Nikita looked away from Charolette after speaking. She looked across to the hallway opposite the kitchen and living-room, licking her lips. The lipstick didn't even smudge.
She knew the boy was awake- his mother had said he was reading- and watched as Charolette gathered her things and walked down the hallway.
She skirted the door at the end and entered the private master suite, leaving Nikita alone.
Alone. It was so often that Nikita found herself alone. She sometimes ached for company. For someone to gather her in their arms, hugging her close, whispering soothing nothings.
She shook her head, clearing those thoughts, and stood up. She put the glass of wine into the sink and rinsed the goblet, putting it away in the cabinet.
She'd go to her room, get dressed in her pajamas and say goodnight to Sasha.
It was odd, Nikita pondered, to care so much about a child she hadn't birthed. Perhaps it was from her own experiences in childhood, experiences and memories she often neglected to confront.
They were too painful, too close to her heart. She never felt safe to confront them, and never had anyone to walk her through it and get her out the other side of her nightmares.
Nikita walked down the hallway to her bedroom. She twisted the tarnished bronze doorknob and opened the door, sighing gently. The room wasn't decorated. It served its necessary purpose.
A queen-sized bed was snug against the wall, the foot of the bed facing the door. She would not be caught off-guard. The walls were painted a neutral shade of green, with white trim.
The hardwood floors were a deep cherry color and not even marred. There was a dresser next to the closet door, and those held her pajamas and undergarments as well as spare weapons.
She unclipped the halter around her shoulders and shrugged it off, hanging it on the hook beside the bedroom door. She took out the Browning and the magazine, putting it all away in the dresser.
The hip halter was next, putting the Firestar away in her bedside table.
She turned on the lamp and walked towards the bathroom, stripping off her tank-top, unclipping her bra and shrugging it off, putting it into the dirty-laundry bin.
Then she took off her boots, setting them aside on the mat that helped clean the soles, and took off her socks and jeans as well as her underwear.
She dropped her clothes into the bin and stepped into the glass-paned shower, turning on the water and letting the hot water wash over her.
After she was clean, she dressed in a soft, gray tank-top and pajama pants with cats as the pattern. She hummed as she walked out to Sasha's door and knocked faintly.
"Yes?" A young voice answered.
"It's Nikita, can I come in?"
There was no response, but she heard the lock on the door click and the door opened. A little boy looked back up at her.
His cheeks were round, his chocolate brown eyes slanted and his lips a soft pout. He yawned and rubbed at his face, lifting his arms.
Nikita picked him up, cuddling him to her chest, and walked into the room. She closed the door and turned off the main light, laying him down on his bed and tucking the blankets to his chest.
"Sasha," Nikita murmured, "You're tired, honey. You should try to get some sleep."
"I'm scared..." The little boy whimpered, looking up at her with his eyes heavily lidded from tiredness, "I don't want the monsters to get me..."
"How about I stay in here for a bit, then?" Nikita offered, rubbing his chest before scooting the overstuffed sitting chair close to the bed, "I'll stay here and make sure no monsters get you."
Sasha cuddled deep into his bed and hugged his stuffed unicorn to his chest, nuzzling into the speckled fur.
He let out a heavy sigh and Nikita watched as the boy's body gave in to sleep, his breathing going steady and quiet. She stood up, turning off his lamp, and gently kissed his head.
The next thing for her to do? Go kill Charolette.