This story was stolen in May and plagerized by a individual named Silk Angel.
This is the orginal version by me, the actual author of the piece. I will also post the second version that I posted to the Royettes April 18, 2001. IT is the same story with a POV change and a few other small changes, but the same story.
disclaimer-I do not claim Michael or any of the other characters in my work, as my own, they are owned by LFN, WB, Fireworks Productions, and I promise to put them back when I'm done borrowing them.
A Birthday Suprise
"Where are we going?" Michael watched Sukh as she maneuvered the Land Rover out of the downtown area of Paris.
"If it tell you it would ruin the suprise, wouldn't it?" She rolled her eyes at him as the city blocks began to blend into the country roads.
"Yes," He looked at her then at the picnic basket in the backseat. "I do know you will be feeding me."
"Smart alek." Sukh turned off onto a country lane. A large house appeared over the horizon. She handed him a CD case. "Here pick five CD's."
"Music, " Michael looked at her again as she handed him the thick case, then started to flip through the selections. "This isn't your personal collection." He commented as he flipped the clear holders and transferred one CD into a smaller case.
"It's a little of mine and a bit of MacCousin's." The house appeared and she turned off toward a large house on the side.
"That explains the Celtic music." Michael smiled softly for a moment as he picked another CD.
A man walked by leading a beautiful Gray Andalusian. Michael watched for a moment, and turned to Sukh. "Riding."
"See, your not a level 5 operative for nothing." Sukh pulled into a parking area. Horses were all over being groomed, walked, and tacked up. "but not quite."
Michael looked at her, his eyes interested in all the activity, and finished selecting his music. His lips tilted up a fraction as he helped her unload the truck. She stopped and began to talk to a stable hand in rapid French. The man smiled, nodded and walked into the cavernous barn.
A young groom came up and started to take Sukh's stuff as Michael stood and watched Sukh look around. She went over to the fence and watched the rider's exercising the horses, excitement shining in her usually closed face.
"You miss the horses." He walked over and leaned against the fence.
"I miss a lot of things. Horses were like a dream to me, a kid on the streets." She sighed. "Then one day I got a chance to get out, a nice foster family. They had horses and all that stuff. That's when I first realized there was a life outside the Homeys and the trouble." She watched the horse canter by at a nice collected pace. "I remember winning my first horsemanship trophy. I finished high school, and thought I had a future as a trainer."
"Then the murder." Michael could see the anger in her blue eyes.
"Then section. My horse days are over, except for this place on my downtime." Sukh smiled. "Maddy knows that is the way to keep me in line, to let me ride every so often."
"The lesser of most of the operatives vises." He turned as a groom approached.
"Follow me," He lead them into the barn. In the barn one of the box stalls had had the tack removed and been transformed into a lunch for two. The bales of hay had been covered by a tablecloth and there was champagne chilling by the China set temporary table.
"Happy birthday Michael." Sukh lead him to a chair, then turned and slipped a CD into the boom box and started it up. The soft sounds of Enigma soon surrounded them.
As they dined on Chicken in wine sauce, Michael poured the champagne. "This is very good." He complimented her as he tasted the brown sugar glazed carrots.
"The harem helped." She admitted as she savored the sharp tickle of the champagne. "If I'd done it myself we'd be eating PBJ's and potato chips." She grinned. "Although I did make the dessert myself."
"I look forward to dessert." He smiled as he relaxed and ate his lunch. A groom acted as a waiter, taking the finished dishes as they chatted. The groom returned with strawberry shortcake, drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with fresh whipped cream. Michael started to take a taste, but Sukh stopped him.
"Not yet." She grinned as she stuck a candle in the top of his cake and sang him a soft happy birthday.
"Thank you." Michael took one bite and closed his eyes to savor tart strawberries mixing with the rich silk of the chocolate. "This is exquisite." He took her hand and pressed a soft kiss to it. "This means a lot to me."
"You deserve a birthday away from section." She watched him clean his plate and smile at her. Then he stood and changed the CD player.
B-Tribe flowed around them as he stood Sukh up. "Dance with me." He took her into his arms, and they danced to the soft rhythms of the Flamenco/Celtic group.
Soon, the groom was back. Michael stopped the dance and spoke to him briefly. "Follow me." He walked to a paddock. Two horses stood there, tacked up and ready to go.
"The Grey one is for you," He watched her blink in astonishment, then burst into a glorious smile.
"Thank you." She sighed as he mounted up.
"Anything for my Harem ladies," He mounted a restless bay, and wheeled out of the paddock and towards an open meadow. Sukh followed, and they spent the last few hours before dusk exploring the open fields.