Hired for Secrets

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Do you want him back? (18)

The Hungarian leaned forward. There was a dangerous smile on his lips. He liked where this was going. Within the space of two heartbeats, he managed to turn a disappointment into an opportunity. He slowly lifted his scotch to toast to this change of direction before taking a satisfied gulp. Sofie suddenly felt dread, she wasn’t quite so sure his proposition was mutual.

“I’m meeting Mr. Lee tomorrow. And I need...”, the Hungarian lightly tapped the table with his index finger searching for the right word, ”... a witness.”

“A witness? For what?”

“Signing a contract.”

A strange inflection in his voice made the statement sound like a question. The meeting tomorrow was more than just a simple business transaction. There was something more to it. Something sinister. Sofie didn’t particularly care about the predicament the Hungarian was in, but witnessing an unsavoury deal between him and Mr. Lee was just the kind of incriminating intel she was after. So this was a mutual opportunity.

“I can do that,” she grinned.

“Great.”

There was sarcasm in his tone. An accusation. Like she was colluding with Lee to rip him off. The deal was rotten and he felt pressured into it. That’s why he looked so displeased when he left the VIP area earlier.

“Mr. Lee wants to keep this confidential,” he continued, “and… unofficial. So he needs a special kind of witness. Can you be that?”

“I can be whoever you want me to be.”

As soon as the words were out of her mouth she regretted them. She did not mean to sound so seductive.

“Yes... You obviously are no stranger to lying. You strike me as someone who always gets what she wants.”

Sofie closed her eyes for a second to take a deep breath. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t. And why did she even care what this stranger thought about her? At least he was honest. A character trait she actually appreciated after having spent too much time with Philip and his polite but calculated lies.

Realizing she wasn’t going to correct him, he pulled his mouth in a lopsided expression. “Lee wants me to put skin in the game. I need to bring someone... personal to me.”

This deal was dangerous! And the stakes must be very high for him to even agree to this. He was forced to put a loved-one in danger. No wonder he wanted a decoy. Wanted to use a stranger to act the part.

“You aren’t looking for a witness,” Sofie said slowly, “Mr. Lee wants collateral if things go south.”

“Yes,” he admitted. Was there guilt in his voice? “But I don’t intend to break the contract. You’ll be safe.”

“Of course, I am. Just as safe as your real loved-ones sitting at home.” She did not hide the ridicule. “So? Who am I playing? Your sister? Or cousin?”

“No, Lee knows my family. You need to be my…” he looked as if he had just swallowed a fly, “...mistress.”

“Oh? Mistress? So you are married, then?”

He did not reply. He did not need to. The way he chewed on his lips told Sofie that there was someone, even though he had no ring on his finger. No wonder he was beating himself up over looking at her that way earlier.

“And do you normally have mistresses?”

“No.”

“Really? Someone rich and handsome, working in the film industry? You must get tempted? Is that what Mr. Lee has on you?”

“I don’t have mistresses,” he said with a conviction that made orthodox priests look like sinners in comparison.

Intriguing.

He was the polar opposite to Philip. Conservative and outspoken. With him, Sofie knew exactly where she was at. With him, she was the one in control. Wrapping him around her finger, thinking two steps ahead. This was what she needed to get over the spell Philip had put her under. To regain her sovereignty. To get back to normal. Rachel was right!

“Well, you’ll have a mistress now.”

“Oh yes? I don’t think you can be that persuasive.”

His accent had become thicker. There was no doubt that her wicked smile had the intended effect.

“Follow me and we’ll find out.” Sofie got up and held out a hand for him.

“I can’t.” He looked torn, but with a firm shake of his head he summoned conviction. “Look, I don’t know why I said it. I’m sure you’ll be very convincing tomorrow.”

“Listen,” she placed both hands on the table, “if this deal has such high stakes, Mr. Lee won’t take any chances. He’ll be looking for clues. And us behaving like perfect strangers because we’ve never even touched. It will betray us. He’ll know you brought a decoy.” She leaned forward and lowered her voice. “And then what? Do you think he’ll let us simply walk away?”

“Sof... -ar, as I can tell he might,” he stuttered, before regaining his resolve. “Let’s not make this complicated.”

“What’s complicated about it? You were flirting with me before. What’s changed?”

“Nothing has changed…” He paused. “You have your agenda. I have mine. Let’s leave it at that.”

“Your agenda was to pick up a girl to play your mistress tomorrow. Well, here I am. ”

He looked down. This conversation was not going the way he had planned.

“You are making this difficult.”

“Yes! Because I see the risks!”

She paused until he looked up at her.

“I want to meet Mr. Lee. And I’m willing to take the risks. I’m not judging you. I’m sure you have good reasons for setting the deal up this way. All I’m asking is to not go in unprepared.” She placed her hand on his. It was warm and soft. “If it helps us act more believable tomorrow, get your deal done with less risk, then what’s the danger?” She held out her hand again. “It’ll be our secret.”

His expression softened. With a sigh he took her hand and reluctantly followed her out the bar and down the hall. Sofie opened the door opposite the cool room. A warm breeze whirled around her dress, tussling her hair and stroking her skin like invisible hands. Little goosebumps formed on her arms as she turned to the Hungarian. She reached up to her mask to loosen the knot and let it fall to the cobblestone floor.

“Kiss me.”

His jaw muscles pulsed. He was not pleased with her demand but he complied. Stepping forward, he cupped her cheeks and brushed his lips against hers. The silver metal of the fox mask touched Sofie’s cheekbones. It felt smooth and warm from his skin below. Sofie leaned in for more but he had already dropped his hands and taken two steps back.

A frustrated snarl built in Sofie’s throat

“See? That’s what I mean. How is this believable?”

“We won’t have to kiss in front of him.”

“No. But you avoiding my touch? That’s what’s not believable. You’ll have to try a little harder than that.” She closed the distance between them. “So drop that damn mask and kiss me properly.”

She reached for his face but he caught her hands.

“No. I can’t let you see my face.”

His accent made his vowels stretch, giving the statement an eerie ring.

“What? Is it burned? Or scared?” She paused, how naive was this man? “Don’t you think that’s a dead giveaway? Me seeing your disfigured face for the first time tomorrow. Or will you be wearing a mask then too?”

“No, I won’t. And it’s not that.”

“Oh... “ Realization kicked in. “You are someone famous then! You are from the film-industry and I would recognize your face. Is that it? You’re an actor!”

More determined, she reached for the mask again. But before she could unveil his identity he had her pinned against the wall, wrists captured on either side of her body by his unshakable hands. He glared at her with his heart hammering in his chest. His objections came out as an unintelligible growl and were overthrown by him kissing her, rough and desperate, like someone who had just bent to her will.

“Is that what you want?”

“Yes!” Sofie breathed, desire rushed her down a one way street.

She didn’t need to know who he was anymore. In all likelihood, he was a celebrity trying to hide his shady deals with Lee. Some petty crimes, which Sofie didn’t care about. What she did care about was how good his lips felt on hers.

He gently lifted her arms above her head and held them with one hand against the wall. He wasn’t trusting her with the mask but he also couldn’t resist roaming her body with his other hand. He let his fingers trail down her arm, across her collarbone and lightly squeeze her full breasts.

Sofie moaned as his thumb brushed against her nipple. With her hands caught she could only use her leg to pull him closer, tilting her hips up to press his hardness against her aching heat.

“We need to stop,” he rasped breathlessly, “I don’t have a condom.”

“I have one,” Sofie trailed kisses along his jawbone, ”I’ll fetch it, if you let me go.”

He let go of her hands and stepped back. Sofie reached into her handbag to pull out the foil pack, when she noticed the look in his eyes.

“You came prepared!” He let the incriminating statement linger. “Was that for Lee?”

“No!” Sofie was offended by his implication, “ Of course not! A friend of mine put it in my bag. I wasn’t going to use it. But she thought...” Anger entered her voice. “That I needed to get over someone.”

“And? Do you?”

“I don’t know.”

It sounded more melancholic than she had expected. She looked up at the Hungarian. Was there pity in his eyes? How dare he. She was prepared to counter with a flippant comment, when he reached out to brush a strain of hair out of her face.

“Do you want him back?”

What the hell? This wasn’t turning into a therapy session, not on her watch.

“Just shut up and fuck me,” she snapped.

With that one sentence she had bared her soul to him. She was at her wits’ end. Had abandoned manners and reason. And reached the end of her patients. All she wanted was to numb the heartache by hooking up with a stranger.

When she looked at him again the pity was gone, replaced by understanding and... lust.

He kissed her. This time he didn’t capture her hands and let them freely roam his body. Sofie unbuttoned his shirt to let her palms glide up his broad chest. But before she could feel his skin he stopped her. He gently turned her body around, placing her hands against the wall. He was not going to let her undress him, neither the mask nor the shirt.

Standing behind her, he kissed her shoulders and let his fingers trail down the groove of her spine. Goosebumps erupted like silent explosions across her body. His hands dipped into the loosely hanging fabric of her slip dress, gliding up her stomach and over her bare breasts. The warmth of his skin was a soothing balm that made her crave for more. She stemmed her hands on the wall and swayed back against the bulge in his pants.

He kissed her back while gathering the silken fabric in his fist to expose her buttocks. Hooking his thumbs into Sofie’s drenched panties, he bent down to help her step out of them. When he moved back up he trailed a finger along the inside of her legs. The suspense was putting her senses on edge.

Sofie’s pulse quickened in anticipation as he ripped open the foil package. He moved the head of his erection along her slick folds to spread the moisture before finally pushing into her. He stilled for a second, breathing against her shoulders and holding her in a gentle embrace.

But Sofie rocked against him, needing more. Sensing her impatiens, he let his hand glide to the centre of her vee and started stroking her. The rhythm matching his steady pumps. His other hand cupped her breast, sending greedy quivers to her core.

Sofie gripped the wall harder. She had expected a mindless pounding. Something that would have reminded her that she didn’t need physical intimacy. But this was good. Too good. It made her realize how much she missed Philip. How much she wanted him back.

As the Hungarian picked up the pace, Sofie surrendered her body to the waves of pleasure.

“Keep going, Philip. I am so close…” she moaned.

It was barely audible but a grunt behind her disclosed that the stranger had heard it. But Sofie didn’t care. She climaxed with Philip’s name on her lips.

“I think your friend is wrong,” the Hungarian said as their breathing had settled and Sofie was putting her dress back in order.

“About what?”

“Hooking up with someone else will not help you get over him.”

She threw an acid glance his way. Even if she had come to the exact same conclusion, it was not his comment to make.

“Maybe,” he continued, ”it would help if we saw more of each other? Tomorrow, after the meeting?”

She highly doubted that. Yes, he was good. But he wasn’t Philip. That spot in her heart was already taken. And she wasn’t going to give it up until he surrendered it.

Is sex better with love? That was one of the first questions she asked Philip when they first met. And now she knew without a doubt that the answer was ‘Yes’.

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