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Outside the Kennedy Center; Washington, D.C.

Xavier walked around the side of the building and approached Mulder.  His mind was elsewhere, but his job was here.  "You wanted to see me?"

Mulder had been waiting for a while, but he seemed amused. "How was the opera?"

"Wonderful, I've never slept better." Almost asleep next to a beautiful woman. It felt good. Life was good in there. He wanted to get back to it, "but I don't like these hasty public meetings, Agent Mulder."

"I'm sorry," he might have been. But only marginally. "I need your help."

"It's over. The fat lady is singing."

"I need to know what you know."

Need was such a strong word. But he wanted it. Maybe it was time to find out what Agent Mulder could deal with. How far he was willing to go. "Okay. They're all dead."

"No. One of them is alive, the one who was sent to kill them. Where is he?"

"A nuclear submarine located his craft in the Beaufort Sea five days ago. They were ordered to destroy it but they were disabled. An attack fleet left port from Anchorage this morning to make sure this man does not leave."

"I got to get up there."

He was willing to go too far. He hadn't learned yet how powerful the Syndicate was, or how impossible it was to escape their tendrils. "You'll only win the war if you pick the right battles, Agent Mulder. This is a battle you can't win."

X watched Mulder walk off, disappearing into the dark of night. He shook his head, "Poor bastard," he muttered under his breath, turning to return to Marita.

When he reached the lobby of the Kennedy Center, he found her reading over a pamphlet of upcoming opera offerings. Her eyes lifted to meet his when he returned.

"Looking for more ways to assist my insomnia?" he asked, motioning to the opera schedule she held.

Marita shot him an amused look, "What did he want?"

X started to speak, but shook his head, "The usual. I'll tell you more later." He eyed a group of opera patrons suspiciously as they moved past the two of them. Marita's eyes slid over his frame. He looked good in his tuxedo — large frame neatly tucked into a well tailored jacket. When he moved his arm, she could see the muscles of his hand flex, and she wondered what exactly those large hands were capable of that didn't involve death.

That was the terrible truth about this job, after all. Despite all of the power and money, behind it all was just the cold, hard reality of death and destruction. Her feelings about Xavier, on the other hand, were a stark contrast. Even cloaked in death, Xavier brought her warmth and light, feelings that were a rarity in this awful business. She craved them, and she craved him.

"We should get some dinner before we head back," he said, interrupting her thoughts. X slipped his hand in hers as they walked out into the cold night, and Marita flushed, mind flashing back to the limo for the hundredth time that night. His hands and lips moving in ways that brought pleasure she had long since forgotten.

She felt a warmth seize her most sensitive parts, and dampness made the silk fabric of her panties cling to her delicate skin. The effect wasn't entirely unexpected, but it caught her off guard, nonetheless.

"No," she breathed, "Not hungry."

X cast a glance in her direction, "Feeling all right?"

She stopped in her tracks as they passed alongside a secluded patch of garden near the water. The tug on his hand told him that they had stopped. X looked surprised and a little worried, "What's wrong?"

Marita sucked in a breath. She felt as though the fire that seemed to be brimming from her core might engulf both of them as she leaned forward. Hot, sticky, ready for him. She wanted him to take her now. Bend her over the cold metal railing, and fuck her brains out right here in front of the opera house.

Now that would be a show worth staying awake for.

She pressed her lips against his, crushing them with her fervent desire for his touch. "Let's find a hotel," she breathed in his ear, voice husky with desire. X looked more than a little shocked, but he was already feeling the familiar tightening in his groin, as he pulled her close. Pressing her body to his, he kissed her again, savouring the feel and taste of her soft lips.

He wasn't going to argue.

Finding a hotel didn't take long. Checking in didn't either, but it seemed to both of them that it was impossibly slow. The elevator ride to the 15th floor took even longer, and the key-card was stubborn in the lock.

Once inside the room, Marita felt a chill of uncertainty. She walked into the room, leaving the lights off. She set her purse on the table beside the television, and listened to the sound of X locking the door behind him. His hand on her waist brought back the fire, and her doubts vanished.

Marita let out a small moan as X pulled her closer, and the two of them tumbled back onto the bed. The plush ivory fabric gave way under their combined weight, and it felt smooth and cool on the backs of Marita's thighs.

"This is a bad idea," he murmured into her flesh as he nibbled at her earlobe, planting small kisses down her neck.

"I know," Marita breathed, her hands loosening his tie.

But she didn't care. Not right now. Not while X pushed her gown down around her waist, and hungrily sucked at her nipple. With his other hand he circled the other nipple, only to quickly shift his hand downward. He pulled her silk panties to the side, and moved a coarse thumb gently over her, and she let out a gasp.

He grinned. It was the response he needed to hear, and it made him feel more alive than he'd felt in years. She fumbled with the buttons of his shirt, exposing his muscular chest to her explorative hands.

His fingers reached into her slickness, as his thumb continued on relentlessly. She was wet. So wet, and she let out a sharp moan as he slipped his fingers into her. Her body clenched around his finger, and her hips bucked up and down as he curled his fingers upwards.

He bent his head down, his warm tongue flicking against her. She smelled sweet and ready, and he lapped at her with a desperation he hadn't felt in decades. Her back arched instinctively as her innermost core twitched against his fingers. His tongue was firm, and swirled around her, leaving her gasping for air.

"Xavier, " she said, clutching the bed sheets, "I need you..."

His hand pumped back and forth a few times, before he withdrew his hand from her. She let out a small, pitiful cry, left longing to again feel the dexterous ministrations of her mentor's hands. X maneuvered the emerald green gown off of her, leaving Marita to wonder how the hell he had unzipped it without her knowledge. He truly was a man of mystery after all.

When he pulled off the silk fabric that shrouded her, she felt ready to explode, and sat up to unzip the tuxedo trousers that stood between her and ecstasy. She pushed them down to his knees, taking his boxers with them, and the corner of her mouth twitched into a smile. He was hard as a rock.

She leaned forward, planting a kiss on the tip of him, and his head tilted back as he let out a low moan. Encouraged, she enveloped him with her lips, letting her tongue stroke across his skin.

"Mare," he breathed. He repeated her name, louder, "Mare, I can't wait."

Marita smiled, and pulled him down with her as she lay back in bed. She wrapped her legs around him, and gasped as he pushed into her, her arms pulling him closer. She was so hot, so wet, and her hips responded instinctively to his rhythm.

He took a deep, ragged breath before his lips met hers hungrily. He managed to speak, "Perfect."

Marita's legs tightened around X's waist, as he pushed in deeper, inch by painfully glorious inch. She moaned loudly. X was a large man, and she could feel herself stretch around him. She was bucking wildly beneath him as he pounded into her, both of them reveling in their perfectly matched rhythms.

Tongues intertwined, as the two of them rocked back and forth against each other. Marita's nails dug into his back as the blood pounded in her ears. Her back arched up, pressing her completely against his large frame. Her head fell back, and blinding lights flashed before closed eyelids, "Oh God, Xavier..."

He quickened the pace, happy to see her so close. He couldn't hold on much longer. His hand moved under the arch of her back, pulling her body close to his. He could feel her throbbing around him as she gasped, then let out a scream. Ecstasy coursed through them both, and he collapsed on the bed beside her.

His arm snaked around her waist, pulling her close. As they lay there breathing heavily he murmured, "You are fantastic. Just, absolutely, amazingly fantastic." His eyes opened wide, "I suppose this is a terrible time to realize we forgot to use any birth control."

Marita's head turned, and she smiled, "Taken care of." She didn't mention why. He didn't ask. She loved him for it, and assumed he probably already knew. Anyway, now was not the time to reveal her need for birth control as it related to the less savoury parts of her job.

"You are incredible. All that fire and passion hidden under dark suits and trench coats."

He chuckled, "I could say the same about you."

Silence followed. Comfortable silence as they lay tangled in the sheets. His hand traced up and down her arm, and she dropped her other arm across his muscled torso. She felt cherished. Comfortable. It had been a long time, and it felt good.

After a few more minutes Marita looked back over at him, "Maximus?"

X laughed, "You, woman, do not give up. Still trying to guess my name?"

She shrugged, "Won't stop until I get it right."

He brushed his lips across her head, "And that is why you make a good operative." He sighed, "All considered, I suppose it would be fitting for you to know my first name. But it goes no further than this room, Marita."

Marita nodded, holding her hand up in mock oath, "I swear...Octavian?"

He snickered, hand still moving up and down her arm, caressing the warm skin, "Not even close," a pause, followed by another sigh, "It's Francis."

Marita let out a laugh, and propped herself up on arm. Her other hand ran across the velvety ebony skin of his muscular chest.

"Francis?!" she asked incredulously, trying to stifle more laughter.

"And now, Marita, you know why I go by "X."

Marita lowered herself to lay with her head on his chest, "I have to admit, Xavier does have a more mysterious feel to it...Francie..."

"Funny, Marita Olga Covarrubias."

She playfully punched at his arm, "Point taken."

He chuckled, beginning to stroke her hair, "I'm sorry the opera was so boring."

"The after-party made it worthwhile."

He laughed, "I like the way you put things."

"I like to hear you laugh. It's a good sound." She wished that she heard it more often.

Silence followed. In response, he leaned over to kiss her, placing gentle kisses along her neck. Marita's head tilted back, and a smile touched her lips. She felt safe, happy in X's arms. After so many years of working late nights on projects, whispered secrets, covert flirting, it was almost impossible to believe that they were now intertwined together in 800 thread count sheets after a night of intense passion.

Marita rolled over onto her elbows, and ran her tongue along his pectoral muscle, heading southward. X let out a moan, and Marita looked up to see a look of pure contentment on his bearded face. She was suddenly happy that she wasn't due at work until Monday.

CSM: Nothing vanishes without a trace...burn it!

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