Prompts: Empty, Gold
Word count: 1040
"What do you mean it's empty?" The room became very quiet at the outburst from the man in black. He looked European, his blond hair was not typical and the accent was odd sounding to the ears of the crowd around him.
"Well sir, it is empty. I don't know any other way to say it."
Illya Kuryakin looked at the man behind the counter, still unbelieving that what he had risked life and limb to acquire was merely an empty box. What he had anticipated was indeed a wooden box, but it should have contained something valuable.
Now that he had attracted the attention of the dozen or so people in this little establishment, he needed to find a graceful exit. He would take the box, of course, although finding the proper contents would be necessary.
"My apologies for reacting so …''
''Rudely?" A woman's voice interrupted his exchange with the shop owner, her perfume speaking a language all its own as she moved in closer to the Russian agent from the U.N.C.L.E.
"Yes, I suppose one might say I was rude. But my apology is sincere, Miss…?" Illya was intrigued by the woman, her perfume not the only thing that was slowly intoxicating his senses.
"Dorine, and you are?" Illya took her hand in his and kissed it, bowing in a manner reminiscent of his long ago ancestors, perhaps.
''Illya Kuryakin, at your service. My employer sent me here to fetch this box, although I anticipated it having the contents promised to us. I don't suppose you know where those items are?" Of course she was a part of this, her presence had caused everyone in the room to scatter, feigning interest in something else.
"I have knowledge of it, yes. There was one other condition upon which completion of this, um…transaction, needs be fulfilled. Are you not aware?" Illya's stomach was on the verge of turning inside out. Women making demands in situations such as this rarely meant something good for him. He cursed Napoleon beneath his breath for handing this assignment off to him while choosing to monitor everything from their car. A snort of amusement through the comm in his ear told him his partner had understood the complaint.
"What, exactly, do we lack towards completing this?" Illya hoped it wasn't anything worthy of the dread now building.
A raised eyebrow accompanied a smile that, under different circumstances, might have served as a sort of enticement. Now it only filled his mind with a foreboding of something unpleasant. One never knew with women in this business.
"I only require your attention to a small, not unpleasant detail that your uncle has assured me is within your scope of expertise.' Dorine's right hand traveled the length of Illya's face, tracing his jaw before she encountered the barrier of his turtleneck.
"We might need to lose that.' Illya sighed, certain now that Mr. Waverly had made some sort of deal with this woman in exchange for the contents of the box. She then deftly removed the ear bud.
''We won't be needing that either." She dropped it into a glass on the counter, ending the eavesdropping on the other end.
"Very well, shall we do this then?" He was resigned to it, although this was normally Napoleon's domain.
Dorine looked amused as she waived her hand upwards, to a staircase that led to whatever task lay beyond for the obedient Russian.
Two hours later Illya emerged from the building where his encounter had taken place. He had the box, which now held the promised items that Waverly desired to have in his possession. Napoleon was ready to spring at his partner as Illya climbed into the unwieldy UNCLE car.
"You know what. What did she want from you? Or are you too much of a gentleman to tell?" Napoleon winked at his weary friend. Illya wasn't in the mood to talk about it.
"Really tovarisch? You're not going to tell me what the big secret request was that only you could fulfill?" Napoleon had tried to get Mr. Waverly to tell him, but so far the only thing he knew was that a woman named Dorine was calling the shots, and she wanted Illya to deliver the goods before she would respond in kind.
Illya was tired, the previous two hours had exhausted him. Dorine was a very exacting woman, and she expected him to perform in a way he had not expected. He supposed it wasn't the worst thing that Mr. Waverly could demand from him, but it was highly irregular.
Napoleon wouldn't let it rest, and finally, hoping to get some relief and a nap, Illya relented and gave the details his friend so desired to hear.
"She wanted me to take off my clothes…"
"Ha, I knew it! Okay, go on…"
"As I was saying, she asked me to undress and lie down on a gold chaise lounge that was decked out with a variety of fabric scarves and ornate cloths. It was all very Bohemian looking." Napoleon made a face.
"A beautiful woman tells you to undress and you're giving me details about how the couch was adorned?"
"Chaise lounge, there is a difference." Illya knew he was frustrating Napoleon, but it served him right.
"Okay, so you're naked, and she's … ?"
"She's an artist."
"Dorine is an artist, and when Mr. Waverly sent her our photos so that she could recognize us for the hand off, she requested that I stay and pose for her.' Illya saw the look of disbelief on his friend's face.
"She wanted to use me for a model. That is all. Nothing… intimate. And unlike you I did not attempt to seduce her."
Napoleon had sat in the car for two hours, and the only thing going on was a modeling session.
"So, just you naked on a couch…"
"Quit correcting me. Naked, paint, no sex."
"That is correct."
Napoleon started the ignition and drove away from the scene, wondering why Dorine had wanted to see Illya naked, but not him.
Illya slept, but the smile on his face revealed more than his words, if only Napoleon had bothered to observe.