Carpe Noctem

by Charlie Kirby

It's rough being in love with a Section Two agent. It's not just the danger and the weird hours. That's hard, don't get me wrong. It's just a bit harder when you are also an employee of the same company and he doesn't even really acknowledge you in a day-by-day sort of way.

My name is Nellie and I'm a nurse. The object of my affection is a certain blue-eyed, blond Russian. Illya Kuryakin has many times been relegated to my care. I've seen him naked, have inserted tubes into places in him that most people don't even want to think about and have had his vomit on me from my waist down. He has no secrets from me, but he keeps me secret from everyone else.

I'm not sure exactly how this ended up being a big secret. He took me home from a party and we ended up in bed. He was polite and asked first, of course. My mama didn't raise a fool, so I said yes. I always said yes, even when he sometimes said no. I couldn't resist him, nor did I really want to. Illya, on the other hand, had made avoiding emotional entanglements with women almost a national pastime. He was never cruel, don't misunderstand me, but it always had to be on his terms. And, honestly, his terms were never often enough for me.

I don't know why I thought that this, our first Valentine's Day as a sort of almost couple, would be different. I'm not saying I expected to see my desk covered in rose petals and him on one knee declaring his love in front of an amused nursing staff. It just would have been nice to have had one rose, even just one candy heart.

In the end, there was nothing and I took solace in the fact that at least neither he nor his partner were residents of my unit. That they were healthy and racing around doing something great with someone probably just a bit prettier than me made me both sad and happy. Section Twos, though, if you try to hold them too closely, you lose them forever.

I walked through the secretarial department on the way out, a masochistic drive-by shooting of my heart. Nearly every desk had flowers or something to mark the most romantic day of the year.

"Hi, Nellie!" My friend, Janice, walked up to me, at the bus stop, balancing on heels so high I was surprised she didn't have a nosebleed. I wanted to shake her and tell her that sensible shoes were her friend. That's when I saw the gold heart around her neck, a small diamond twinkling in the light. So, even my friend, a nice girl, but let's face it she could be a bit more tidy about her daily hygiene, had been blessed with a token of esteem.

"Hi, Janice. Nice necklace."

"Thanks! I think Napoleon gave it to me. Several of the other girls got one as well and we only have Napoleon in common... Oh!" She stopped then and looked at me, in my sensible shoes and my white starched, but now wrinkled, uniform. I'd spent the day with bed pans, shouting doctors, and a whining insurance desk. She'd spent the day with gold around her neck. Oh, this was going to be a pity party of the highest extremes.

"So, how about those Giants?" I asked. It was my standard, 'the conversation is stalled and something needs to be done' question.

"Um... huh?" Janice did come by her blonde hair honestly. Although I warn you; don't try to out type her. She wasn't a genius, but put a typewriter in front of her and watch out for the sparks.

I kept the chatter going until I thankfully was able to climb on board my bus and disappear. I found a seat, tucked myself into it and stared out at the streets. People were going by, some in pairs, some in groups, laughing and clinging to each other. The only thing I would be clinging to tonight would be a reticent cat or possibly a patchwork dog named Heathcliff that my mom gave me.

I climbed down from the bus and nearly slipped. There was no one to catch my elbow and steady me, no one to make not-so-innocent comments about me being an almost fallen woman. Instead, I flailed my arms in a beguiling windmill fashion and managed to stay on my feet.

The bus pulled away and I got back far enough on the sidewalk to not catch the slush spray of it or any of the passing cabs, all filled with romantic couples, no doubt, on their way to some romantic restaurant for a romantic dinner and romantic dancing before going back to a romantic get-away for a night of oh- so-romantic groping.

I shifted my packages—you can always tell how long someone has lived in the city by the number of packages they carry—and unlocked my door. I set the bags down and started to slip my coat off.

The thing that made me stop was the smell. It smelled like a florist shop. Then I realized there was a light in the living room. Some UNCLE agent I would have been. THRUSH would have been able to shoot or stab or whatever THRUSH agents do a hundred times over.

I walked deeper into my apartment and gasped. There were flowers and candles everywhere. The room didn't have a surface that wasn't covered by some sort of flower.

"Napoleon told me that today it is customary to tell the person you love just how you feel and said that flowers are appropriate." I spun around at the familiar voice. Illya was standing there, looking ever so handsome in a tux and holding a red rose out to me.

Then I heard music playing, it was by some jazz artist I didn't recognize, but it was soft and sweet.

"Oh..." I couldn't get out anything more than that and he smiled. My knees must have given out because suddenly his arms were around me and we were moving gently to the music. My God, the man can dance, both in and out of the bedroom.

"I'm sorry that I wasn't able to make a gesture at work," he murmured into my ear. "This is ours and I refuse to share it with anyone else." He kissed my temple. "Just ours."

So, suddenly I had my arms full of gorgeous man, felt his muscles moving against me... and something that wasn't exactly a muscle... anatomically speaking. I had an apartment full of flowers and candlelight. What was I going to do? I managed to whisper, "Uh huh," just before the tears started to trickle down my cheeks.

"Nellie, what's wrong?" He, like all guys, was instantly on the alert. "Have I done something wrong?"

"No, you've done everything just right." I wiped the tears away with my fingers and kissed him to let him know that he had, that I should never have doubted him.

His hands dropped from my waist to my butt to pull me closer. There was no doubt that, beneath those nicely cut pants, there was something all ready to come out and play. There was also no doubt who was in charge and it was Illya. He pulled away and we continued to dance slowly, although I was pretty sure the music on the turntable had ended. The music inside my heart was as loud as ever.

I suddenly realized we'd left the living room and were now in the bedroom. The bedspread was neatly folded down and a corner of blanket and sheet was folded back. On the pillow, another rose and on the nightstand, two flutes of champagne with strawberries lazily bobbing up and down on the bubbles.

"I thought perhaps an appetizer before the main course." Illya dipped me and then twirled me towards the bed. I thought he was talking about a quickie, but nothing about the Russian was fast. Instead he offered me a glass of champagne. It was good, better than others I'd had, but I also suspect it was a bit more expensive than anything I'd had to date.

He was doing something on the night stand, but before I could look, he glanced over at me and smiled a sly, devilish smile. "Close your eyes and open your mouth."

Oh, boy, the naughty thoughts that sped through my mind at that command. I obliged and felt something placed into my mouth.

"Chew." The command was soft, but firm. Something salty, tangy and slightly sweet—I'd never had anything like it—and I opened my eyes. "Good?"

"Very good, but what...?"

He held up a tin of caviar. The writing was in Cyrillic and I wasn't about to ask him how or where he'd gotten it. He offered me a second little pancake, I learned they were called blinis, and I happily alternated between it and my champagne.

I flopped back on the bed, happily stuffed for the moment. "Illya, that was delicious." He had a twinkle in his eyes that made me ask. "Now, what?"

"Now we work it off." As he buried his nose in my hair, he began to unbutton my uniform top and my breath caught. His fingertips removed the smooth fabric of the uniform first and then of my bra. He eased the straps off my shoulders, gently pulled down the cups and began to nuzzle my breasts. He didn't complain that I smelled of antiseptic and other... things. His lips and tongue were too busy to complain.

Illya is a man after my own heart. He can be playful at many things, but when it comes to sex, he doesn't fool around. He's focused and attentive and never teases... well, never teases too long. Of course, I wasn't about to just lie back and let him have all the fun. Previous experience had taught me about all of Illya's sensitive spots, save one. You see, I'd been reading—strictly for the gain of knowledge and continuing education credits, you understand—and I had been saving one certain fact for a special occasion. I only prayed the book I read was right.

I pushed Illya's hands away and put the condom on him, doing my best to make it as much a sexual pleasure as possible. The way he was moaning, I suspected that I did everything just right. At that point I was in too much of a hurry to be coy so I spread my legs, and with half-closed eyes, Illya slid home. It hurt at first until he got me stretched out to accommodate him.

He was careful, moving slowly until he was sure I was ready for him to step things up a notch. He started to thrust and I clamped down with my vaginal muscles.

He groaned and tipped back his head. "Nellie, you're strangling me. What...?"

"Kegels, my friend. Lots and lots of Kegels." I was getting close now and I knew it was a matter of now or never. Without breaking rhythm, I got one hand free and found a little jar of Vaseline. I stuck the fingers of one hand into it, then I let my hands drop to his very tight ass and squeezed. He grunted and thrust a bit harder. Praying I wasn't about to make the biggest mistake of my life, I got the fingers of one hand between his cheeks and stroked down until I found his anus. I pressed in and Illya gasped.

Now I know he's had a prostate exam with his yearly physical, but from the noise he was making, I'm pretty sure he'd never enjoyed one as much as he did this one. I was truly surprised he didn't rupture the condom with the force when he came.

I discreetly wiped my finger off as he was disposing of the used condom.

"Where did you learn that?" he asked as he stretched out beside me, the fingers of one hand drawing a lazy circle on my stomach.

"Oh, the pursuit of knowledge is a very important part of my job."

"So what other surprises do you have for me, devil woman?"

"Mmm, that depends. What surprises do you have for me?"

"How about dinner?"

"Great!" I was starving and would have gladly eaten anything. The fact that dinner was take out from my favorite Chinese restaurant was music to my stomach.

We chatted our way through chow mein, eggrolls, Kung Pow chicken and sweet and sour pork. I was pleasantly stuffed now and already my mind was starting to wander back to the bedroom and imagining all the delights to come... in a manner of speaking.

Illya cleared the dishes and returned with a small plate. On it were two fortune cookies. I took the one pointing in my directions and cracked it open, intent upon my fortune, only to gasp. Inside the cookie was a necklace, a delicate chain with a lovely cross on the end of it.

"Oh, Illya, it's..." That's when I noticed the cross was different than the one I usually wore. It had an additional cross piece closer to the bottom.

"It was my grandmother's." Illya's voice got a little sad and I realized how much he missed his family and his country. "She practiced the Russian Orthodox faith even when it was forbidden. We were raised to know both it and the Communist doctrine. When I was preparing to leave for America, she gave me this to remind me of my heritage and of who I was."

"I can't take this, Illya." I started to hand it back and he was on his feet in an instant and fastening it around my neck.

"I cannot marry you, Nellie. I can barely even acknowledge you in the presence of others. Wear this and know that you are always in my heart and I am always at your side."

Things got a little weepy then, but I was able to pull it together enough to give Illya a very proper thank you that night. Several times. Mama did raise me to be polite.

I woke up in the morning and I was alone. I would have thought it a dream except for the rose on the pillow beside me and some serious aches and pains in places I didn't usually hurt.

I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror and saw the cross hanging around my neck. I heard Illya say again, "Wear this and know that you are always in my heart and I am always at your side."

Suddenly, the day was warm and happy, for I knew in my heart of hearts I was loved by a very wonderful man.

Please post a comment on this story.
Read posted comments.