“Still struck monogamous?” I twisted in my seat and looked up at him. All the physical signs were there. All the responses I needed to know he was, for all intents and purposes, my slave. If I told him to get down on his knees and kiss my feet, I knew he’d do it.
He lifted an eyebrow in answer.
I smiled and stood up because my mouth was too close to his zipper, and Daniel wasn’t ignorant of that nearness. “Of course you are,” I said. Moving closer, I pressed a lingering kiss into the slope of his jaw before grabbing my clutch and heading for the door.
“We haven’t even finished the first course yet,” he said after me.
Oh, we’ve definitely finished the first course.
“I’m more of a main course kind of girl,” I called back over my shoulder. “I’ve never been into the whole gradual progression thing.”
Daniel’s chuckle rumbled low in his chest. “You’re leaving? You’re really going to leave me like this?”
A person could be left like this in about a million ways, but if Daniel Silva was saying those words, there was only one way.
“Until tomorrow night.”
“There is a way you could help me out, you know.” Suggestion dripped from his voice. “A way that wouldn’t technically qualify as me f**king you on the roof.”
Optimistic, relentless bastard.
“Sorry,” I said with a wave of my hand, “I never give head before I get it.”
There was a few moments’ pause while that settled in.
“You are the most intriguing creature I’ve come across,” Daniel replied as I swung the door open.
“I know,” I said to myself as I headed down the stairs.
DANIEL SILVA WAS getting nailed tonight.
In every way a man could. I’d done my job and done it well. Of course it would figure that when I’d finally landed in a city I could spend the rest of my life in, I moved the Target through the stages of seduction in next to record time. When the Target was a douchebag to Daniel’s degree, I only took my time getting him into bed only out of respect for the wife. I could have been in his bed the night I’d met him, but timing was everything in my career. Just as taking too long was a detriment to wrapping the case up with a big bow, so was taking too little. Just under one week was a little fast, but still within the acceptable realm.
I’d texted G last night letting her know tonight was the night, and I’d texted Mrs. Silva the address, time, and suite of where Mr. Silva could be, literally, caught with his pants down. As long as she didn’t drop the ball. Considering all of the intricate pieces to the game, making sure a P.I. or detective had a camera ready at a certain time was a preschool task. I’d never had a Client fail me, and if that day ever came, there’d be hell to pay. From G and me.
With most jobs, I’d take care selecting just the right lingerie. If the Target had suddenly grown a conscious, the lace, or the bustier, or whatever his preference in the unmentionables department was would send him over the unsure edge. Daniel Silva, though, wasn’t in danger of growing a conscious. I could have showed up in a jumpsuit, and he would have been hard before I stepped inside the suite.
Since a particular shade or style of lingerie wasn’t an issue, I went with none at all. Other than the red lace dress, that was short, tight, and off-the-shoulders, I wore nothing else. Well, I had some heels on, too. Having less to take off meant less actual time spent with Daniel Silva.
I knew hav**g s*x with a man I detested was a deplorable concept. I also knew if the Eves were ever made public, the scrutiny would be instant and overwhelming. But those who would turn their judgey little fingers our way wouldn’t be the ones who knew how it felt to have your entire world crumble around you because of one man. They wouldn’t know how it felt to invest your time and your dreams in one person only to discover they were f**king someone else behind your back. They wouldn’t know the utter devastation of betrayal and the loss of self that ensued. They wouldn’t know how our Clients felt knowing that freedom meant financial and social ruin. They wouldn’t understand any of it.
And that was all right. Because I did.
I knew how it felt to have my whole life ruined because I’d been stupid enough to fall in love.
I knew. And I’d never forget.
As I punched the gas behind the wheel of the 640, I knew the Miami scene wasn’t the only thing I’d miss. I was always assigned a sweet car, but this one was especially sweet. As much as I loved the car though, it wasn’t worth spending another day with Daniel.
As I pulled up to the valet outside of The Presidential Hotel, I checked to make sure I was as removed from myself as possible. I needed to be sharp enough I didn’t make a slip, but I had to remove myself enough that my actions wouldn’t permanently taint my soul. I called it conscious removal, and to date, it hadn’t done me wrong.
I barely noticed the lobby as I whisked through it because the lobby wasn’t my destination. The South Beach Suite was. I’d chosen that suite instead of the presidential suite because it didn’t require a special access key to get to the floor, which the Contact wouldn’t have been able to get to. I always chose an accessible place that would provide the fewest number of road blocks. It wasn’t my job to make the Contact’s job easier, but it was my job to close the Errand, and I didn’t want to give anyone an excuse for not holding up their end of the bargain.
Once I was inside of the elevator and going up, I checked my reflection in the gold doors. I’d lined and painted my lips red like I did on every Sheet night. Men were fixated on women’s mouths, and when it was bright and hard to miss, the way mine was, they automatically imagined what it would look like wrapped around a certain part of their anatomy.
Red lips were what we called a natural aphrodisiac. Lingerie, cl**vage, stilettos, tiny and tight dresses, bedroom eyes, coy smiles . . . all of those were natural aphrodisiacs. Unnatural aphrodisiacs had to do with chemical engineering. Certain drugs slipped into a drink could stimulate desire or, if need be, sleep. Liquids with precisely the right mix of pheromones could be dabbed on the neck or décolletage to lure a Target closer. The Eves arsenal had it all, but I was something of a purist. I’d never needed the assistance of chemical engineering to bed a Target, and my goal was to keep it that way.
I didn’t consider it cheating; it just seemed like a cop out. The day I couldn’t lure a man with nothing more than a look or bring him to his knees by sucking my lower lip into my mouth was the day I needed to start thinking about retirement.
The elevator doors whooshed open, announcing it was show time. I stepped into the hall and headed for the suite. There were only a few rooms on that floor, and it was mostly quiet, except for a couple of voices behind one door.
A male and a female voice coming from behind the door of the suite I was headed toward.
I cursed under my breath and started ad hoc’ing the hell out of my contingency plans. Maybe it was just a maid doing a turn-down service. Maybe a waitress was delivering the Cristal. Maybe it was no one of significance.
I sucked in a breath and knocked. The voices went silent right before the door swung open. Daniel was in a dark suit, smiling at me with expectation, and a familiar woman came up behind him.
It was the show-stopping burlesque dancer from last night.
“Daniel,” I said cooly, giving Natasha just as cool of a look. No one had said anything yet, so I didn’t technically know why she was there, but from her clothes—almost identical to mine except her dress was black—and Daniel’s already rumpled tie, I knew why she was there.
That cheating, three-way bastard was going down, and knowing I’d be responsible for it felt like a privilege.
“We’ve been waiting for you,” he said with a smug expression. “I thought we could use a little company on our big night.” He inclined his head back at Natasha, who was smiling at me as though I was more her type than Daniel.
If I ever ran into Mrs. Silva again, I would give her hell for not documenting that her husband was so into three-ways he probably couldn’t get off anymore without two girls grinding all over him.
“And I thought I told you that I didn’t do that.” I propped a hand on my hip and gave him a killer look.
“Anymore,” he added. “You said you didn’t do that anymore. But tonight’s going to change that.”
He reached for my waist and pulled me inside. I would have fought if I thought I could succeed. Knowing when to fight and when not to was an important part of our world. Daniel had me when it came to brute strength. I’d lose any and all physical battles against him. My strength came from my words, and I’d battle him with those until I’d won.
Daniel picked up a glass of champagne and handed it to me. If he thought this was my celebration face, he had another thing coming.
I crossed my arms and narrowed my eyes. “Either she goes or I go.”
Natasha crossed her arms, too. No offense to her, because if I batted for the other team, I’m sure she’d do it for me, but Natasha and female f**kery wasn’t part of the job.
Daniel firmly shook his head. “No. Nobody is going. We’re all going to get nak*d, play with each other, and f**k like it’s going out of style.” With those ever so eloquent words, he lifted the glass of champagne I’d refused and drained it in one long drink. “Any questions?”
I took one full breath before I chanced responding. I wouldn’t have been able to stay civil if I hadn’t given myself a few moments to bite back the words that wanted to fly out of my mouth. “She goes. Or I go.”
Daniel’s forehead wrinkled. Setting the glass back down, he approached me. He wound his arm around my waist and shoved me hard against him. His mouth moved just outside of my ear, and he held me like that for a while before he said anything. It was a play to intimidate me.
I couldn’t be intimidated, least of all by someone like him. Behind the expensive suit and the insatiable sex drive was a little boy who’d wet the bed and grown up ignored by his mother. G hadn’t been remiss when she’d included psychological training in the Eve line-up.
“I know how bad you want me. I know you want me so bad you’d be willing to do anything,” he breathed into my ear, pulling me harder to him. “You want me? This is the price.”
I lifted an eyebrow and gave him an unimpressed smile. “I know how bad you want me. I know you want me so bad you’d be willing to do anything. You want me? She goes,” I said, not blinking as I met his stare. “This is the price.”
“You’re bluffing.” His eyes flashed with excitement. From his expression and his stiff member pressed into my hip, a woman talking back to him was obviously turning him on. The majority of my Targets were the same.
“I never bluff when it comes to sex,” was my reply. When his hold on me loosened just enough, I wove out of it and headed for the door.
Yes, I was bluffing. Tonight was the night, and come hell or three-way high water, I needed to get Mr. Silva’s pants around his ankles. I was playing a hunch that he wouldn’t let me get past the door. I didn’t want to think about the repercussions if that hunch blew up in my face.