The week passed smoothly, never before had work been so easy or pleasant. Whenever I needed a file or a book, Nicholas was right there with it. If I got frustrated with something he was there with soothing words and sometimes hot tea. By the end of the week I wasn't stressed in the least and even joined my coworkers at the bar. I hadn't done that in years.
When we arrived at the bar we all took a large table in the back. Nicholas sat to my right. So far everyone seemed to like him. He was pleasant if quiet company. Everyone ordered beer but him and me. Instead he asked for a glass of red wine. This amused my male coworkers. The most aggravating of them was Tim.
"What? Beer too much for you!?" Tim laughed harshly and smirked at Nicholas. Nicholas just stared at him even more cold and neutral than normal.
"Not at all. I simply find the taste of American beer to be crude and weak." Nicholas's nonchalant words silenced Tim real fast.
I smiled slightly at Nicholas and sipped my soda. All my coworkers know I never smoked, never drank alcohol and exercised more in a week than they do in half a year. The first few months at the firm I was the butt of a lot of jokes.
Sara, the only other "health nut" of the group stared at Nicholas a while before finally saying, "So, Nicholas. Tell us about yourself! You're a little too well dressed to be an assistant." She smiled at him warmly.
"I always try to make the best impression. That is why I dress so well. I do not believe that I should dress down due to my lack in status." He stared at her beaming face so emotionlessly she couldn't help but stop smiling.
I nudged him. "Nick, be nicer. Besides, you didn't say much about yourself."
He sighed. "What is there to say? I live alone. Don't date. I don't own a car, have only a few close friends and just recently became Calla's employee." Nicholas looked around the table at everyone. "Is that what you were expecting?"
Tim snorted. "Hardly." Sara shrugged. "I expected you to say you were married or something." She shrunk into herself starring into her beer. The others shrugged and the conversation quickly changed gears. Soon, me and Nick were left on the side lines just listening in on the conversation around us.
After an hour of this, I finally decided I had enough. "Well guys, I'm calling it a night. You know the saying, early to bed early to rise and all that crap." I got up and Nicholas stood with me.
Tim leered at us then winked at the others. "Sure, whatever you say. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night... for both of you!" He laughed and the others joined in.
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, say what you like. I don't really care." Turning, I quickly walked out of the bar. Nicholas followed without a word of good-bye to them.
Once in the parking lot I sighed. "Now I remember the main reason why I stopped going to the bar with them."
Nicholas stood by my side, his hands in his coat pockets just starring at me. I glanced up at him and stared at him intently for a while.
"I don't have any friends... All I do is work. I haven't gone out to see a movie in over two years. I haven't dated since High School. All I have done my whole adult life is work." I felt tears in my eyes and quickly turned away from Nicholas.
"Is this how it's supposed to be. We go to school as kids to get a good job and when we get the job that's all we have. When did we stop living and it all became work? When did that become all we are... workers?" I almost jumped in surprised when I felt his arms slip around my waist. He pulled me against his chest and whispered in my ear.
"Your life has been run by those around you. You can choose to change. If you do not, the only person to blame would be you." His voice was gentle, but his words were painfully truthful.
"You might as well go now. I'm obviously not Drake material. It would probably be worse working there; I'd probably just get lost in the shuffle and continue to live for work and work to live." Hot tears burned down my frozen cheeks. I felt him give me a little squeeze.
"No, it would be different. Trust me." And I did, at that moment I realized I trusted him completely. I've never trusted anyone in my life and suddenly I trusted this strange man who I'd only known a week. I didn't just trust his words, but him. Standing there in a parking lot with no one around but him and the darkness, I felt as safe as when I was a child in my mother's arms.
I turned in his arms and buried my face into his shoulder, his smell filled my nose and I stopped crying. His fingers lightly brushed down my back and he simply held me, like a perfect gentleman his hands didn't stray. I couldn't help but laugh at that moment.
"How can you be so damned perfect!? It's impossible. You look perfect, you smell perfect. Every little detail about you is so, precisely perfect!" I leaned back and stared into his face. He was more serious than normal.
"I think it's time." His voice was colder than the winter air around us. I blinked at him in puzzlement.
"Time for what?" He stepped back from me and used my keys that I didn't know he had taken to unlock the car and opened the passenger door.
"Get in, I'll drive." I did as he asked, still puzzled but knew he would explain in due course. He always did.
He climbed in the driver seat and started the car up. It sputtered to life and he drove me home. The ride there was full of a painful silence. At least for me. He seemed as cool and calm as normal. Though his eyes were harder somehow. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something had changed. I had a feeling this was just the beginning. I had dropped my mask, now it was his turn.
We arrived at my little old house and he parked the car in the drive way. He stepped out of the car and moved to open my door for me, but I beat him to the chase.
"Tell me one thing before everything changes." I looked into his golden eyes that were so foreign yet so familiar. He nodded.
"You're not some psycho killer and planed on murdering me horribly are you?" I grinned at him. His cold mask cracked a little as he smiled softly in amusement.
"No milady. I am no psycho." Having said that, he turned and walked up the driveway to my door which he opened with my keys.
"Nicholas?" I asked softly. He turned to me.
"Give me back my God damned keys will you!" He looked down at my keys in his hand and held them out to me. I took them and walked past him into my house smiling. A few moments ago I was terrified about what was going to happened, but now I figured what the hell. Whatever he was going to tell me it was the final step, after this I knew his job would be done and he'd be gone from my life and quickly and mysteriously as he came. I might as well enjoy the last few moments with him that I could.
He trailed after me as I moved into the living room. We both shed our heavy coats and he hung them on the coat rack. I walked into my bedroom and tossed my suit-coat on the bed and kicked off my high heels, happy to be rid of the damned things. When I walked back into the living room, he was standing in the middle of it his suit-coat off. My furniture had been moved from their normal places and was now pushed against the wall.
"You move fast." I looked around. "Why'd you do that?"
"I needed the space. Now, please take a seat. You may find what you're about to hear shocking to say the least." He motioned to the couch that was facing the room as he spoke.
I sighed and shrugged. "Whatever you say." As soon as I was seated he gave me a very serious look.
"I know you trust me and I want you to know I wont do anything to harm you. Please keep that in mind for the rest of the night." I nodded almost wanting to say a sarcastic remark, but he was so resolute I couldn't form the words.
"Humans are not alone..." He started and I smirked thinking to myself, I was right! He is an alien. He went on to say. "There are many other species out there. Most of these species have been reduced to myth and legend. Or forgotten." He started to remove his tie.
"Many of these races prefer to stay hidden for whatever reason." He tossed his tie onto the lazy-boy near him and went to unbuttoning his shirt as he kept talking.
"I am not human. I never was. The only thing human about me is this form I have taken." Nicholas pulled open his shirt revealing his perfectly formed chest and abs. I couldn't help but stare in puzzled silence, dying of curiosity now and more than a little eager to see how far he'd take this.
"My species is not very common. They tend to stay in their home land, which is in India mainly." He dropped his shirt on top of his tie and stepped out of his shoes and pulled off his socks which joined the shirt.
"The only reason I'm telling you this is because I believe you can handle the truth. If I'm correct I will recommend you to my superiors so you may join the Drake Law Firm." His hands moved to his belt and unfastened it; he slipped it off and placed it with the growing pile of clothes. My eyes were locked on him, a herd of elephants could go dancing by and I wouldn't notice them.
He started to unbutton his white pants and said. "What I am about to show you may startle you. May I ask something of you?"
I nodded dumbly. He smiles ever so slightly. "Good. Are you afraid of snakes?"
I nearly fell off the couch laughing. The comment wouldn't have been as funny before, but he chose to ask it just as he was unzipping his pants. I rolled on my back laughing so hard tears were flowing down my cheeks. I laughed even harder when I saw his puzzled look.
"Should I take that as a no?" Nicholas tilted his head to one side like a confused adolescent.
I managed to gasp out. "Think about what you're doing and what you just asked!"
He got a thinking look then smirked. "You have a point, my apologies. But I'm serious. Are you afraid of snakes?"
I sobered up with a great deal of effort. "No, no. I like snakes. Even had one for a pet as a kid." I couldn't help but giggle slightly. Nicholas gave me an infinitely patient look.
"Good." He stepped out of his pants, now wearing just a pair of white silk boxers. He laid the pants onto the pile and asked.
"Are you ready?" I giggled and he rolled his eyes. "Please try to be more serious."
I took a deep breath and nodded. It was easy to be serious since he was so focused. Any mirth I had left in me vanished when he removed his boxers. For some reason I kept thinking he wouldn't go that far, but he just did.
He stood in the middle of my living room, completely naked. The first thought that came to my mind was oddly enough that I just realized his body was completely hairless. I had a hard time trying to meet his eyes. It had been years since I had seen a man naked let alone one as perfect as him.
Every inch of his body was the same smooth pale golden color. His muscles were tone but not bulky. He had the body of a martial arts master. I never realized how long his hair was. It hung around his broad shoulders in a silken gold mass. This was how I imagined Apollo looked.
When I finally met his eyes they were pure gold, the whites were gone, his pupil's were silted like a snakes. I gawked in shock, which quickly grew as his skin became more and more golden. At first I didn't notice it was changing then all of a sudden he was more like a golden god. Then the real change started to happen.
The skin on his legs was changing slowly to scales like the one's on a snakes. They were the same gold as his hair and eyes. It felt like an eternity as he became more and more inhuman. Every time I blinked I felt like I missed some crucial part of the change. Soon the scales on his legs was growing together as they became a tail. Almost all at once they went from clearly defined legs to a thick heavy snakes tail.
From his hip bone down, he was a golden snake with white gold scales on the underside. From the hips up he was still perfectly human, just with snake like eyes. I couldn't help but blurt out.
"What the hell are you!?" My reaction of all things seemed to relax him.
"I am a Water Naga. To be more exact a gold Naga. Think of a gold Naga being like an albino, a rare genetic event that can happen to any family." His voice was the same as always. He started slithering towards me. It was the most graceful thing I'd ever seen. His tail rippled and pushed him forward till he was just in front of me.
Nicholas held out a gold hand to me. More than a little dazed I took it and he helped me to my feet. I was all of a sudden standing chest to chest with a Naga. Part of me was screaming run, but then I took a deep calming breath and his scent caught me. Instantly I was calm. It was stronger now that he was no longer fully human. The aroma was intoxicating.
He moved back in one smooth motion and held out his arms. In a casual voice he said. "Go ahead. Examine me."
I didn't have to be told twice. It took me a few moments to fully take in his whole form. I circled him slowly and noticed a line of gold spines that started just above the small of his back and trailed one forth of the way down his long thick tail. I trailed my fingers along his waist where his scales met his skin. It was smooth and seemed so natural for some reason.
"What is that smell?" I finally asked after starring at him for a while. He turned around with little effort and met my eyes.
"It's my natural musk. All Naga have it. The closer we are to our true form, the stronger it is." His tail abruptly knocked me off my feet and into a pile of coils.
I cried out in shock, but quickly relaxed. It was amazingly comfortable. I grinned up at him.
"You're comfortable." He smirked and moved to my side, his movement made the coils under me ripple. It was like a gentle massage. I made a little moan of pleasure without realizing it and blushed.
He chuckled. "So I've been told." Then quickly became more business like. "I am pleased that you are taking this well."
I patted the side of his face. "Like I said I trust you. Besides... Tomorrow I'll do the freaking out. Tonight, I'm just going to enjoy you."
Nicholas gave me a curious look. "You speak as if this will be our last night together."
I met his eyes and smiled sadly. "Isn't it? I'm willing to bet that now that you've found out I can handle you and make a good employee of Drake Law you're going to leave. Your job is done. You'll just move on."
He nodded. "Normally you would be right, but my job doesn't have to be done now. Your all but an official member of Drake Law. You will need someone to show you around and help you adjust to your new life. Who better than me?" He lightly touched a hand to his chest and gave me a curious look.
I laughed. "No one of course." He smirked and leaned back against my couch watching me.
"Do you have any questions?"
I nodded quickly. "Yes, one thing has been bugging me. Why did you show me your 'secret', what does this have to do with working for Drake Law?"
He didn't have to consider my question long. "Most of the people you will work with and for won't be human. You'll meet a lot of new races and it would be impossible for you to be unenlightened and work there."
"Unenlightened?" I gave him my best puzzled look.
"Oh, sorry. That is a term that is used to describe people who either know about supernaturals or don't. You are now enlightened." I lightly ran my finger along his stomach as he spoke only distantly hearing what he was saying. I was starting to not care anymore. I had a new life. A better life. Thanks to this strange golden god who had walked into my life. I looked up and met his eyes.
"Nicholas?" My voice sounded small and fearful. A vaguely concerned look flashed across his face.
"Yes milady?" His eyes studied mine intently, trying to find the cause of my distress.
"Could you stay the night... I've been alone so long. Please, be here with me." I smiled at him hopefully.
He was silent for a moment then nodded slowly. "You are not alone. You never will be again." With one arm he pulled me close to his chest. I laid my head on his shoulder and relaxed into his golden body. I was soon lulled to sleep by his exhilarating smell and gentle touch.