Chapter 2 Please review! Pretty, pretty please with sugar on top!
Bond's tone had dropped to that particularly silky register it got when he saw something he wanted and Tanner's head whipped around to track what had captured the other agent's attention, noting as he did so that Bond had stopped on his way to M's office and was now leaning, arms folded against the edge of the balcony suspended across the entrance atrium.
Tanner rolled his eyes mentally. Bond, for all his all superhuman focus when on a mission, could be alarmingly mercurial when not, and was singularly incapable of not instantly indulging his curiosity when it was aroused. And it was clear that something had aroused that laser like focus, possibly to its detriment.
Bond was notoriously rough on the subjects of his attention, whether it was weaponry or the far more vulnerable human hearts he left bruised in his wake. Tanner didn't think it was deliberate on the 00's part but that didn't stop the damage he caused hurting any less. Sighing inwardly he turned to stand beside his colleague, looking down at the small group of suit clad figures huddled just beyond security that had so captured Bond's attention.
"Oh yes. The new fast track recruits. Jones in personnel mentioned that they were being inducted today."
Bond hummed slightly in acknowledgement, his attention still fixated on the group. No – not on the group, Tanner realised. On one particular member of the group who was hanging back at the very edge of the crowd, maintaining a slight, but noticeable distance from the rest of the pack. Female, going by the wheat blond hair neatly pulled back in a high ponytail and quite tall, but as she had her back to the group and was mostly screened from their clear view by the rest of the new recruits Tanner could not really see what had Bond so interested. Then she turned around.
It was the kind of singular understatement that only an Englishman could make. Beside him Bond made a low almost indecipherable noise, like a tiger purring.
"I couldn't agree with you more, Tanner."
Tanner tore his gaze away from the young woman with an almost perceptible effort and frowned at Bond who was still watching his newest interest with lazy appreciation.
"We have a meeting with M in 15 minutes, 007," he reminded Bond, a thread of irritation clear in his voice despite his best efforts. Bond glanced at him; one eyebrow raised at the uncharacteristic sharpness in his tone and then leaned back on the balcony edge.
"And I'll be there, Tanner.” Bond responded mildly. “Just give me a minute."
In his peripheral vision Bond saw Tanner huff slightly and then with a last glance at the group stalk away towards the corridor leading to M's office, leaving him alone on the balcony.
The object of his attention had moved behind the rest of the group again, half turned away so he could only see a sliver of her profile and he settled to wait until she turned around again. He had to see if she was as arresting on a second look as she had been on that first, flashing, glance. And that had been pretty bloody arresting.
The few minutes that passed were nothing to someone who was used waiting for hours in absolute stillness for his target to stir and he was rewarded when the group of ducklings shifted again and she turned back to face into the atrium.
There. And yes –just as arresting on a second glance. Actually, he corrected himself - even more arresting. Inwardly he hummed in appreciation as he scrutinised his newest interest. She must be at least 5"8, maybe 5"9, tall for a woman and most of it was legs that even that horrendously baggy trouser suit couldn't disguise. He couldn't see much of the rest of her figure due to the oversized suit jacket she was wearing but even that couldn't hide the line of her shoulders or the elegant curve of her neck. Her skin was the lightly sun kissed gold of a naturally pale blond who had spent time outside. And her face – her face was remarkable. And Bond as a connoisseur of women didn't use that term lightly. Young, very young. Maybe 23, 24? MI6 didn't hire non graduates for the fast track so she had to be 21 at the very least. High cheekbones and cupid bow lips just made for a man to run his thumb across and then ravage, combined with wide eyes that were currently surveying her surroundings rather dubiously, as if she wasn't too sure whether to just cut and run.
Bond really hoped she didn't.
He shifted slightly in place and glanced at the other members of the group for a second. Nothing particularly interesting there. However, the movement must have caught her attention for when he looked back she was staring directly up at him, eyes narrowed.
He looked down at her with a lazy appreciation and her head came up and back at the overt scrutiny, her entire body language telegraphing uncertainty. Then he shifted again, automatically scanning the rest of the atrium for possible threats as he did so before he returned his attention to his target.
The target whose entire body language had shifted in the few seconds it had taken him to scan the room. Where before there had been a young and obviously uncertain young woman, now there was someone a lot more deadly - and far
Cold eyes scrutinised him with a focus he could feel even from a distance, running over his body with clinical assessment, looking for possible weaknesses. The body language had shifted from confused uncertainty to a subtle coiled tension that Bond recognised instinctively. It was the same singing tension that he lived with every day, the kind that saw threat and reacted to it on an unconscious level. Her whole physique shouted predator rather than prey and his own battle hardened instincts started screaming an alert as they registered the potential danger.
It just made her even more fascinating.
He blinked at her, avoiding making eye contact and lazily scanned her from the toes up in a mirror of her own earlier assessment, not even making an attempt to hide his blatant appreciation. By the time he reached her face her body language was even tighter than before and the eyes that were boring a hole into him were glittering with irritation. He smirked at the swiftly hidden signs of temper. Oh good - he did love women who had fire. So much more fun trying to avoid becoming burnt. He slowly scanned her body again, avoiding her eyes and by the time he came back up to her face those eyes were spitting sparks. Despite himself, his lips twitched in amusement as he finally made eye contact with his target.
And stilled, caught in her gaze as she was obviously just as abruptly caught in his.
It was like looking in a mirror. A younger, female version of himself, but so achingly familiar despite that. All the clinical assessment, all the tightly leashed violence only a thin veneer over the darkness underneath. Caught, he held her gaze as she held his and they simply stared at each other for one long moment, each echoing with that strange recognition.
And then one of the other ducklings shifted clumsily towards his target and she automatically moved out of the way, even that tiny movement full of a lethal grace. But that tiny shift had been enough to break their death stare and she didn't choose to renew it, just scanning him briefly and dismissively with one lovely raised eyebrow and then turned so her profile faced away from him, the 3/4 presentation of her back eloquent in its dismissal.
On the balcony Bond straightened, battling mixed feelings of surprise and amusement, trammelling down the slight flare of irritation at the loss of the connection. Unseen by his newest interest his mouth quirked in a small smile that he was hard put to disguise. Well - that had made her feelings abundantly clear.
But he had never been a man to give up easily, if at all, and especially when it was something he wanted and he had no intention of starting now. He rocked back on his heels, shoving his hands into his trouser pockets as he contemplated the long line of his newest interest's back, still firmly turned towards him. He would have to get a move on if he was to get to M's meeting on time. He turned to leave but indulged himself with one last glance and another swiftly hidden smirk at the upright line of her back. No, his newest target wasn't just interesting. She was a puzzle wrapped in honey gold skin and James was going to take great pleasure in unwrapping her all the way down to the bones.
He was looking forward to it.Please review!