to Part 2
The Spy Who Love Me
Dust coated Carrie's face, and she tasted the now familiar dryness as she licked her lips. How
long had she been in this place? A month? A year? Sometimes it seemed like just yesterday that she'd stepped off
the plane into this desolate land. Carrie's mind wandered back to what had brought her there in the first place.
It had become too much. Austin pulling at her from one side. He wanted a baby, she wasn't sure. He kept pressuring her, harassing her, and it seemed that he didn't hear her as she repeated over and over that she simply was not ready to start a family.
Then there was Mike. Carrie had been working night and day to win him the Chief of Staff position at Salem General. At first she'd told herself that it was the least she could do for him. It was her way of being as good a friend to him as he'd been to her. She'd kept telling herself that for a long time, even as it became apparent that things were shifting. Carrie spent more and more time with Mike, and then the inevitable happened.
It was after the first interview. Mike had made the cut. When the word came down, Carrie had rushed to Mike's office.
"Hey." She said softly as she pushed the door to his office open. Mike was standing at the window, staring out at the lights of the city. He turned as she entered the room, a look of indescribable pain passing over his face. Carrie's breath caught in her throat as she stared at him. Something was wrong.
"Carrie." Mike said, his voice solemn. "I'm glad you're here."
"What's wrong?" Carrie asked as she crossed the room and laid her hand on his arm. Mike flinched a little at her touch. "You made it Mike. We should be out celebrating."
"No." Mike turned roughly around to face the window again. Carrie could see his reflection in the glass as he closed his eyes briefly then opened them again. Her hand came up to his shoulder, rubbing it softly and they stood there together in silence. Mike shivered a little and Carrie felt warmth deep down in her stir.
"We shouldn't be out celebrating Carrie. You should be home with your husband. I. . ." his voice faltered a little then picked up again. "I don't think I'm going to need your help anymore for PR."
"What are you saying Mike?" Carrie's voice was stunned. Her body went stiff and cold with her hand still on his shoulder.
"What I'm saying, Carrie, is that you're fired. I'm hiring Gates and Noble to handle my PR from now on. I don't need your help any more." Mike's voice was cold and stiff.
"No!" Carrie heard her voice, strange and alien, as she pulled Mike's shoulder until her face her. "No. Mike, I have worked hard on this. You can't fire me. You can't. Don't you understand that I. . ."
Carrie's voice trailed off as she mentally finished the sentence. Don't you understand that I need you, Mike, she screamed in her head as she stood staring at him, unable to find the words in her head.
"I can fire you Carrie." Mike sighed. "I hired you after all. I just think we're spending too much time together, and you aren't spending enough time with Austin."
Austin? Carrie continued to stare at Mike in silence. This was about her relationship with Austin? Mike seemed uncomfortable with her lack of reaction.
"Ummm, I just don't want you to destroy your marriage Carrie. That's the last thing I want."
"What I do with my marriage is my business." Carrie spat out, finally finding her voice. Anger coursed through her body. "If I want to destroy it, than I will, but it's none of your business Mike Horton. None at all."
"You don't understand Carrie."
Carrie cut him off.
"Don't understand?" Her voice was rising, as she became more and more angry. "What's there not to understand about you butting into my relationship with my husband? I wouldn't be here, Mike, if it wasn't okay with Austin. Don't you think I can make the decision whether or not my marriage is in trouble, or do you think I'm incapable of making a decision and that you have the RIGHT to make it for me?"
Carrie had been moving closer and closer to Mike as she continued her tirade. Now they were standing close, barely inches separating them. Carrie had never felt so angry as she stared at Mike, she was so tense that she felt she would snap.
"You don't understand." Mike said, his hand coming up to touch Carrie's arm. She reached up and pushed his hand away. The thought of him touching her made her feel nauseous. "People are talking Carrie. They're saying things, and I don't want you to get hurt."
"And this isn't hurting me right now Mike? You can't do this to me Mike. Not after all I've done to help you out. Not after all this time together, now you just pull the rug out from under me?" Carrie felt a sob well up in her throat as she the anger started to melt away. Tears started to form, pooling in the corners of her eyes.
"Damn you Mike Horton." Carrie struck out at him, her hands striking at his chest as she started sobbing. "Damn you. What could they be saying that would make you hurt me this much?"
Mike grabbed her flailing arms, holding her wrists tight, pulling her even closer. Carrie could practically feel his breath on his face.
"They're saying that we're lovers Carrie." He spit out, his voice low and pained.
Lovers. With the word, Carrie felt deep warmth that spread through her body. Lovers. Mike was holding her close, and Carrie felt her breath speed up. She stared up at him, her lips parted, and she realized that she wanted Mike more than anything. The project that had started as friendship was just a cover for something else.
Carrie felt desire rip through her body as she stared up at Mike, and she could see in his eyes that he was feeling the same thing. After what seemed an eternity, she slowly her hand around his neck, and with the touch of her fingers, Mike let out a deep sigh and Carrie felt tension leave the body that she pressed her hips against. Their lips came crashing together, and Carrie couldn't get enough of his mouth on hers.
Suddenly, Mike pulled away, but not so far away that the physical contact was broken.
"I'm sorry Carrie. I've been so good about not touching you because I was afraid this would happen."
"Mike" Carrie said softly, slipping her fingers under the waistband of the slacks he had worn for the interview earlier that day, feeling his warm skin. She leaned up against him, an ache running through her that she knew only Mike could ease. Her lips went to the skin at the base of his throat as her hands found the button on his slacks. His breathing became faster.
"Make love to me Mike." She whispered against his throat, and with a groan Mike pulled her to him, crushing his mouth to hers, pressing her body as tight against him as possible. Carrie groaned back as she pressed her hips into his and ran her hands up and down his back. Make love to me, she thought, because I need you so much.
It was afterwards that the guilt came. Mike had collapsed against her with one last shudder, then promptly fallen asleep. Their lovemaking had been passionate and brutal, two people who weren't supposed to be together, desperately making love, drinking deeply of what they'd been told was forbidden. Carrie forgot about everything with the touch of Mike's hands and mouth on her body, but it all came crashing down as she held Mike, sleeping in her arms.
Carrie felt like she was falling into a black hole. What had she done? She'd broken her vows and she'd proved all the rumors of her and Mike to be correct. Not only had she destroyed her marriage, but she'd destroyed Mike's chance to become Chief of Staff too. Everything was her fault, and there was only one thing Carrie could do. Quietly, she extracted herself from Mike's arms and slipped her clothes on.
Carrie turned back to the small medical hut in the compound. Enough remembering Brady, she told herself. It had taken her about a year, but she'd finally been able to get through a day without thinking about all she'd left behind. The nights were a different story. She'd gotten used to not sleeping, but she wasn't sure if she'd ever get used to the dreams.
"Hey Kat, we've got five more sick kids that were brought in."
A young blond American woman came up behind Carrie.
"Kat? Did you hear me?"
Carrie jerked around. She was used to her new name now, but sometimes she was slow to respond. Five more sick kids? Carrie's heart sunk with the woman's words. If only headquarters would hurry up with that doctor.
"Thanks Emily. Can you see if we have enough room in the medical hut, and if not, see if there's an empty house in the village? I guess this means we're officially over capacity."
Carrie started back towards the medical hut, but her mind once again returned to the past.
"Uncle Shane?" Carrie stood at the phone booth at the truck stop. She'd been driving all night when she came to a conclusion. It would be best for Austin and for Mike if she just disappeared. That way they could go on with their lives and she wouldn't be there to mess things up.
"I need some help. I'm in some trouble and need to disappear for a while. Can you help me?"
That was the birth date of Katrina Bradford. Shane had agreed to help Carrie out, no questions asked. She'd driven to New York and boarded a plane to London. Shane met her at the airport. He agreed to enroll her in the ISA, but Carrie insisted on using a different name. Her parents would be looking for her, and Roman Brady was well known in ISA circles. There was a good chance that Carrie Brady would be recognized as Roman Brady's daughter. So, she'd become Katrina Bradford.
The first thing Carrie did was cut her hair. She wanted to make it has hard as possible to recognize her. Her shoulder length tresses went short and spiky, a hairstyle that needed little care or worry. The next thing she did was let her hair grow back to it's natural brown. After six months in ISA training camp, where Carrie discovered muscles she never knew existed, and was shaped into a lean fighting machine, Katrina Bradford was ready to face the world.
Her first mission was to Russia. The ISA needed to monitor the activity of anti-Semitic gangs that were terrorizing the city. Carrie wouldn't be on the front line, but act as a contact for the ISA agent in deep cover within the gang. Carrie had learned to speak Russian fluently, and had studied the movements and gestures of a typical Russian woman. She found that she had a flair for languages, and blended in easily to the Moscow environment she was dropped into. After a year of work, the ISA ended the operation successfully, and Carrie felt proud of the work she'd done. It had been tight at times, almost getting caught a couples times, but Carrie found the danger aided in her forgetting the pain she was carrying around with her. As soon as she returned from Russia, Carrie asked to be sent out again. This time it was assisting with breaking up a terrorist ring in Greece. The next time it was gathering information about nuclear activity in India. Carrie kept asking to be sent out, and for three years straight she'd been on assignment because she found any downtime she had would lead her back to Mike and the incredible pain that she was running from.
Soon Carrie became know within the ISA as someone who was professional and serious about her work. Finally she'd been given her own assignment. The ISA needed information on terrorist groups in Angola. The World Cup was coming up, and they were worried that Angolan terrorists might try to disrupt the games. The ISA needed information on the terrorist infrastructure so they could dismantle the group before they followed through and possibly killed hundreds of people attending one of the World Cup games.
Carrie was sent in as part of the Peace Corp. She was to pose as a nurse intern, and the ISA gave her enough medical training to deal with the common medical problems in that region. She was sent to an area where a terrorist camp was known to be located. At some point, she would receive word from her contact, along with maps and other information, which would allow her to sneak into the terrorist camp and photograph documents. Until then, Carrie was to lie low.
What she hadn't counted on was some sort of outbreak. All of the sudden, children started coming to the Peace Corp compound running high fevers, and Carrie found out there were many more at the nearby village. She had no idea what was wrong, and she needed help. The ISA had said they would send in a civilian doctor in case of emergency, so Carrie had sent out the signal.
That had been three days ago, and no doctor had shown up yet. They had already had one child die, and it looked like a couple more wouldn't make it through the night. Carrie was starting to get worried. She wet another cloth and placed on the forehead of a child burning up with fever.
"Kat." Emily came running in the medical hut, slightly out of breath. "I just got a call from headquarters. The doctor is here, but he needs a ride from the airfield." Carrie's heart leapt. Finally help was arriving. The last thing she needed was to have her minimal medical expertise revealed as more sick children died.
"Thanks Emily. I'll go get the Jeep and pick him up." Emily was a good kid, her face full of concern. She wasn't part of the operation, and Carrie was gad the doctor had finally arrived so Emily to distract her from discovering that Katrina Bradford was no nurse. Carrie handed another wet cloth to Emily and grabbed her bag. Carrie quickly felt her waistband. The gun that she kept tucked there at all times made her feel slightly safer as she ventured out into the dangerous Angolan countryside.
Carrie jumped into the Jeep sitting outside the hut, and turned the key a couple times in the ignition before it started. Finally, the assignment was going to get underway. Once the doctor completed his work, Carrie would get the signal and infiltrate the terrorist camp.
The airfield where Carrie was supposed to pick up the doctor wasn't much. A dusty stretch of land that had originally been cleared when the Germans had ravaged through Africa in World War II, there was barely a plant to be seen, and the planes arriving and departing kicked up dust, coating everything. A small building had been erected as an airport, but it consisted of a primitive toilet and a man selling gum, candy and airplane tickets. Carrie suspected that he had a few other things on the side. The airfield was remote which made it a perfect place to bring in contraband weapons for the terrorists. Carrie steered clear of the man at the airport, trying not to make him suspicious. Carrie squinted in the sun as she arrived, looking for the doctor she was supposed to pick up. She didn't see him, so headed towards the building. He was probably inside, languishing from the heat.
"Ms. Bradley?" The voice behind Carrie surprised her. It was a somewhat familiar voice.
"Yes." She said as she turned around, her voice trailing off when she saw what was standing in front of her.
Only Carrie's ISA training kept her from falling apart as she felt her body go numb. Her heart clenched as she stared at the man standing in front of her.
"I'm Dr. Mike Horton." He extended his hand and Carrie took it, trying hard not to betray the confusion inside of her. Didn't he recognize her? Had she changed that much? She certainly recognized him. His beautiful blue eyes, his long fingers. Carrie suppressed a shiver as she remembers those hands on her body, his mouth. . .damn him for bringing back those memories.
"I hear you've got some sick kids in your village. The Corps sent me to help out."
Carrie swallowed hard. After all these years, she never expected to see Mike Horton again. Now he was with her and didn't even recognize her. Part of her felt betrayed that she'd meant so little that he didn't even remember her. The other part was relieved. The last thing she needed was to have her cover blown.
Carrie ignored Mike as she grabbed his stuff and threw it in the Jeep. She jumped in, gesturing for him to follow suite, and turned the key in the ignition.
"I'm sorry Dr. Horton." Carrie said loudly over the roar of the Jeeps' engine. "The village is about fifteen miles away. We'll get you in there and out quickly. This area is pretty dangerous for foreigners." And having you so close is dangerous for me, Carrie thought. They turned down the dusty road to the village, and Carrie lapsed into silence. They had a long journey in front of them.
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