Hired for Secrets

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Lake of darkness (18)

Phil and Sofie arrived at the safe-house as the sun was setting. Golden hour dipped the little cabin in a warm glow. It didn’t matter that it was barely liveable, it was a place for them to be together. And that’s all that mattered for now.

Sofie fought the little rusty door on the dilapidated front porch. “We need to change that damn lock,” she muttered impatiently when Phil wrapped his arms around her.

“We have all the time in the world to fix this up as our home,” he breathed against the nape of her neck.

Sofie leaned back into him, feeling his chest rise as he brushed her buttocks against his groin.

“On second thoughts, you better get the door open otherwise I’ll have you right here.” His hands moved over the curves of her hips with a sudden famishing hunger. “I want you so badly. You’ve been all I could think about the past couple of weeks.”

Sofie let out a small giggle that turned into a moan as his warm lips brushed over her skin. With one last shove the door finally gave way and they tumbled into the living room, bumping the table and chairs. This space was way too small.

Phil backed her against the wall and their mouths melted into each other.

“Do you have any candles?” he rasped as their lips finally parted.

“Are you worried about switching on the lights?” They had been careful coming here. Taking the tube and walking the rest of the way. Sofie was certain they had no tail. No one should know they were here.

“No,” Phil laughed, ”This is our first time together as you and me. And I want it to be special.”

“Oh,” Sofie blushed. This had not even occurred to her. But she was glad that one of them had a romantic streak. “I see what I can find.”

Heading for the small bathroom he added, “I take a quick shower.”

When he returned Sofie had placed thick white candles on the fireplace mantle and next to the bed. Their glow gave the rundown bedroom a rustic-chic feel and Sofie was pleased with the transformation. This actually felt cosy.

“You are so beautiful,” Phil breathed, standing in the doorframe with his hair still wet from the shower.

He took her into his arms, cautious and longing, like he could not believe that this was actually real. That they were finally together, without games or agendas.

“And you are naked,” Sofie grinned, inhaling his clean soapy scent as she unraveled the towel around his hips.

She let her hand run down his taut belly, feeling him grow hard.

“Do we have a condom?”

“You are mine now.” Sofie looked into his hazel-brown eyes. The warmth she saw in them was not the reflection of the candles. It came from deep within. It was the radiating comfort of belonging. “We haven’t been with anyone else since getting tested at Elandra and I’m on birth control. I want to feel all of you.”

A tempting smile played around his lips. She’d pushed open the door to experiencing his full repertoire. Tonight was a small preview of what was to come, what the rest of their lives would be like. And Sofie couldn’t wait to get started.

“Lie down,” she commanded. Not breaking eye contact she slowly crawled on top and straddled him. His bare member twitched against the thin fabric of her panties. She let her eyes roam over the handsome man below her. All the scheming and decisions had taken her to this point. All the dangers and risks were worth it. He was worth it all.

She unzipped her dress and lifted it over her head. She needed to feel his skin on hers. Sensing her urge, he let his hand slide up her flanks, hooking his thumbs underneath the clasp of her bra, and making her breast spring free. He cupped them and sucked a nipple into his mouth. Lust rolled through Sofie’s body as he swirled his tongue around her hardening bud.

Gently tucking his hair to stop his sweet assault, she rasped, “Tonight is about you.” She pushed him back onto the bed. ”I want you to enjoy this without holding back.” As she moved down on him, she let her stiff nipples brush over his chest. “Tonight, I want your pleasure to come first.”

She licked along his erection and wrapped her lips around the glistening head. It tasted salty and rousing. She could feel his shaft throbbing in her mouth.

“Sofie, this is so good.”

A primal groan came from his throat. She could tell how much he enjoyed being the one indulged for a change and she loved the control she had over his arousal. He was getting harder with each pump and his moans vibrated deep within her core.

“I want to be inside you,” he forced out between unsteady breaths.

He leaned forward to grab her hips. Effortlessly he lifted her off his body and rolled on top of her. She opened her legs for him. It was the unspoken invitation to finally be one.

Every nerve in Sofie’s body exploded, as he eased into her. Without even trying, the techniques he had perfected over his career pushed Sofie over the edge. Her muscles pulsed around him bringing him close to his own ecstasy. With one more hard thrust, he climaxed. Burying his face into her neck he muffled a moan. He continued to move, riding out their orgasms as long as they could last.

This was perfection and Sofie hoped this moment could last forever. Only the two of them, with the world around them disappearing. No responsibilities, no threats, no promises or obligations. Just the warmth of his skin next to hers, listening to their steady heartbeats.

The candles had burned low and the flickering flames shining through the wax groove tinged the room into a mellow glow. This far into the suburbs, everything was quiet. Even the crickets outside had stopped their ambient concert and the wind rustled the bushes around the house. With a sudden jolt Phil sat up.

“What’s wrong?”

“Something’s changed. The sounds are different...”

He pulled his pants back on and tossed Sofie his shirt.

“Do you have an alarm system here?”

“No.” She realized how much she had veered from her usual protocols in her haste to be with Phil.

He went into the dark kitchen and peered out the cracked glass of the front window. The street was deserted, no cars, no people. It was a cul-de-sac leading to a scrapyard, no one would stroll the streets, especially at night.

He shook his head and let out a small laugh. “I’m sorry, Sofie, I’m being paranoid.”

Phil crawled back to bed, pulling her onto the mattress with him.

“But I discovered something after all,” he added playfully.

“Oh yes, what’s that?”

“You look damn hot in my shirt.” He let his fingers slip under the loose fabric to stroke her flat tummy and their lips found each other again.

With a sudden screeching crack the front door flew open and two men in black ski masks stormed the bedroom.

“Don’t move,” one of them shouted, pointing his gun at Sofie.

The bright torch he held underneath his gun blinded her and she lifted her arms to shield her eyes.

“I said, don’t move!” the masked man growled, deliberately shining his lights directly into Sofie’s face.

The other goon tossed a phone to Phil. “Boss has a message for you.”

The mobile was on speaker and Lee’s voice filled the room.

“Hello Philón.”

“How did you find us?” Phil’s voice was filled with contempt. He had been so close to having finally escaped. Being finally free from the shadows of his past.

“You don’t need to know.” The phone made Lee’s chuckle an inhumanly croak. “All you need to know is that I’ll be able to find you again. Anywhere. Anytime.”

Sofie reached for her arm.

“He injected something to track us.” Her eyes met Phil’s. “The silicon and metal traces... you were right.”

“Clever bird,” Lee sounded genuinely surprised. “Then I probably should tell you that there is no way to remove the nano-trackers. I injected thousands of them and by now they have spread through your whole body.”

“You bastard!” Phil was shaking as he lifted the phone to shout into it. “Why did you inject her when you wanted me?”

“Those little nanobots are experimental. They still have some nasty side effects that would lower your market value. And I need you to perform as Elandra’s Primo.” His amusement turned to business. “In fact, I need you to do that tonight. I’ve set up a rendezvous with Siri Tommer. That’s why Yates and his team are here, they will escort you to Elandra now.”

Yates! Phil searched the masked faces for hints that would identify the former Elandra guard.

”The information you gave me on Ms. Tommer checked out but I need more. She’ll appear at the Royal Commission hearing tomorrow. And I want to know what she’s going to say before the press does and the markets move.”

“I can’t do that.”

“What do you mean ‘can’t’?”

“He’s blown his load already, Boss,” one of the goons snickered. “Being with his little floosie.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Yates.” Lee’s voice sounded exacerbated, “He is used to that. You know as well as I do that Elandra runs multiple sessions a day.” Lee paused to consider his approach. ”Yates, I think you need to convince him to perform.”

The goon took off his mask. After having been outed by Lee, there was no need for secrecy anymore. His sturdy built, pale green eyes and hairstyle made him look like an average football hooligan.

“How convincing am I allowed to be, Boss?”

“Do what you must.” Lee sighed. “But only to the girl. Philón needs to stay presentable.”

Yates licked his lips. “Roger that, Boss.”

The phone line disconnected. Lee was not going to listen in on the maiming and torturing Yates asked permission for. He just wanted to have the results, he did not care how they were achieved.

“Yates,” Phil stepped forward, “let’s make a deal here...”

“I had enough of your deals. The last one put me straight into the nuthouse. I’d still be there if Lee didn’t pull me out.” He flashed his teeth and moved closer to Sofie. “Refuse to come with us one more time, Pillip, and I’ll have some fun with her. I’ll make you watch how I’m...”

“He is not going anywhere with you,” Sofie lifted her chin and glared at the hooligan.

Looking at Phil, she lightly nodded her head towards the fireplace mantel and the bedside table. She only hoped that Phil understood her reckless plan.

“Go,” she shouted and they both grabbed a candle and splashed the molten wax into the goons’ faces. Before Yates could recover from the boiling viscose liquid running over his eyes and mouth, Sofie grabbed his gun and fired two rounds into his chest, like she had trained hundreds of times before.

Phil’s goon was still wearing his ski mask, which protected him from most of the assault. He ripped his mask off and stumbled backwards before Phil could get hold of his gun. Instinctively the thug veered to the side and pointed his gun at Sofie, who had taken aim at him and was about to fire.

“Stop, I’ll come with you.” Phil lunged between the two guns facing off. “No one else has to die here tonight.”

“Oh yes? Says who?” the goon laughed.

He sidestepped Phil and fired at Sofie. With reflexes kicking in, Phil threw himself in front of the shot. He yelped in pain as the bullet tore through his flesh.

A second shot was fired. It lit the room in an eerie yellow flash and created a sickening crack as metal tore through bone. The goon sank to the floor with blood pouring out of a hole between his eyes.

In shock and disbelief Sofie crouched next to Phil. His blood pooled on the floor boards. Sofie could smell the warm metal scent of his lifeblood running out. It created a shimmering lake of darkness in the dimly lit room. In it, Sofie could make out her own reflection. It was a mask of panic and terror.

“Don’t leave me,” she whispered, unsure whether Phil could still hear her.

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