Saiph checked the readout from his earbuds, confirming that the incoming footsteps matched the gait profile of his target. He silently adjusted the readout to minimum opacity so it would not obstruct his view and subtly adjusted the belt clip holding his combat knife. He tensed in the shadows of the alcove as his target drew closer. He had to time this right.
He stepped out, reaching forwards in one simple, silent movement and, with a straight hand executed a gentle prod to the ribs of the comfortably, but smartly dressed woman.
“Tag. You’re i…” he smirked.
Her almond eyes flashed as she spun, her long Persian patterned skirt flaring artfully as she kicked away from him and drew her Morrisey Elan, cutting him off mid-word. Saiph’s specs threw up a faint red circle around the gun as his commlink registered the distinctive click of the Elan safety being cycled. Looking beyond the AR for a moment Saiph’s eyes focused on the fine detail of the mechanism as it switched states. His practiced reactions carried his hand in a sharp movement, drawing his customised SMG and sweeping aside the woman’s long, delicate limb to break her line of fire. The tanned woman swiftly countered with a sweep of her leg but Saiph was naturally stronger and his muscles surged with magic as he bent his knee into her attack, pushing her off balance and giving the mechanism of his weapon time to fully unfold.
Her skirt billowed, giving a flash of sleek but well-muscled leg as she staggered backwards, flinging a manicured hand behind her to arrest her fall. Golden bangles from Constantinople jangled on her wrist. Saiph pressed the advantage, hoping to use his strength in close while his SMG finished deploying but he was too slow. Her foot lifted off the floor and her leg tightened as she coiled, bringing a sharp heel in between them. Saiph was distracted by the glimmer of gold jewellery tumbling across the neckline of her blouse before she drove her foot straight into his chest, twisting to swing the other stylish shoe up under his jaw. Staggered, he heard the beep of his commlink registering the completed deployment of his sidearm as he corrected his footing. A sweep of black, loosely curled hair flashed before his face as she sprung up, knocking aside his weapon with the momentum of her own gun arm and bringing the other hand in for a follow-up to his face.
This time, however, he was prepared for her speed, letting the first strike through so that he could focus on dealing with the second. His forearm met hers and he grabbed her wrist as he deflected her blow, letting her momentum carry her between him and the alcove he had struck from. Shoving hard he pressed her into the corner, pinning her lean arms above her head with his free hand while the barrel of his SMG chilled the exposed skin of her tight midriff.
He was momentarily struck by just how beautiful she was, staring into her large dark eyes as she stared into his. He could taste her hot breath on his lips and feel her chest swell against him as she panted with the sudden exertion. She licked her lips and a loose dark tress fell over her face, breaking the spell.
“You’re getting better Brin.” Azadeh sighed breathily. “You really got me this time.” She smiled wryly at him through her tousled curls.
Saiph made no move to release his grip. “Don’t lie to me Az, you had me with your draw.”
“Whatever do you mean?” she asked, pressing herself gently against his hold to reassert that he had bested her.
“I saw you cycle the safety when you could have pulled the trigger.” he whispered softly in her ear.
“Well I have to, obviously…” she began, trying to flick her hair out of her face, but he interrupted.
“You cycled the safety on Azadeh. I watched your firing pin lock. You keep your weapon live just as I do.” He released her wrists and lowered his gun from her side, letting his gaze follow her hands down as they adjusted her hair then pulled the shoulder of her blouse back up over her gently curved shoulders. She sighed heavily and for a moment he thought his heart would break. Then she shook her head and laughed.
“Only you could have noticed that Brin. You’ll get me next time.” She stepped forwards and poked his sternum with her forefinger then twirled gracefully and carried on down the corridor to whatever appointment he had delayed her from.
He stood and watched her go, wondering if he’d ever get her. Wondering if he should even want to. She belonged with someone else and whatever his feelings he should respect that. He would not make the same mistake again. Folding and holstering his sidearm he headed back to his room to meditate. He needed to find another focus for these feelings. Perhaps, he thought, he could ask Mel or Gabi for advice…