A/N: Written for monanotlisa. Also, this is the first time I'm venturing into the realm of WowWrongBadHot (which was really much more fun than it should have been *grin*).
She wonders, sometimes, who it is Jack sees when he looks at her. She's afraid to ask, afraid he'll say what she knows to be true, so she'll pretend, in the silence, that it's her he sees, and not the woman she resembles.
He's a surprisingly gentle lover, and Nadia decides there's something to be said for dating older men. (Of course, she tells herself, they're not really dating. They sleep together a couple of nights a week, keeping it a secret from Arvin and Sydney.)
"You're beautiful," he tells her, and she believes him, and thinks she may be falling in love, just a little.
(Sydney knows she's hiding something, but when she asks, all Nadia says is that she's happy to finally have a family. If Sydney knows she's lying, she says nothing.)
"You make me feel young again," he says, and she thinks, you were young when you met my mother. She wants to ask about her mother – she has a thousand questions only Jack can answer – but they're in bed, and any mention of Irina would be completely inappropriate.
She kisses him instead, and for the first time realizes that he keeps his eyes closed.
("Tell me about Irina," she asks her father. Arvin looks at her strangely, then says, "You're the spitting image of her at that age.")
She tells herself she needs to stop seeing Jack. This isn't healthy for either of them, and Sydney will hate them both when she finds out, which she's bound to do. She's not stupid.
But here Nadia is, in Jack's bed again, and when she starts to slide out, Jack touches her hip and says, "Stay the night."
When Jack is asleep, Nadia carefully removes herself from his embrace and heads for the kitchen. It isn't her in his heart, she knows that – deep down, she's always known that – so it comes as a surprise to realize that it hurts.
The study door is ajar, and Nadia enters without thinking, forgetting her original intentions. There's a photo album on the desk, and she can't help but page through it.
Her father was right, she thinks sadly, she does look like Irina.
She wonders if Jack even realizes what he's doing.
Nadia closes the album and returns to the bedroom. She must be insane, she thinks, to even consider staying. This will not end well.
She gets back into bed.