The parking garage beneath the Bright Industry and Technology building is nothing like the images in Natasha’s head. The stigma associated with such remote places travels down the elevator shaft with her, making her even more nervous. Or, it could be that her fear has more to do with her intentions rather than the location itself.
She steps out of the lift when the doors open and feels her already overactive pulse kick into overdrive. She’s never made a habit of finding herself in situations like these. As a matter of fact, in all her life, this is only her second trip to an underground garage. Because of that first visit to this part of the building a few weeks ago, she already knows that, as far as what she knows of lighting in underground parking garages from television, this one is very well lit.
Light bounces off the white painted walls and glossy floor, adding to the brightness given off by the lines of fluorescents secured to the ceiling. And yet, the same sense of dread which had over taken her then overtakes her now.
On the one hand, she’s grateful that her employer had seen it fit to illuminate the concrete tomb so thoroughly. There’s not a shadow in any corner. It’s not the dim, dank stereotype with a few flickering bulbs that she’s read about in books and seen on television. On the other hand, she wishes for the cover of darkness to hide her transgressions.
Although, through her observations, she knows that this part of the parking garage is seldom used, she looks around to ensure that no one else is there before continuing forward. The movies had gotten one thing right about underground garages. The click of her heels echoes loudly around her, competing with the sound of the guilt battering away at her conscience.
She should feel a sense of appreciation for her employer that he had seen it fit to make every part of his building secure for the people working there. If there is one thing that Natasha had found out very early on about Lucas during her employment with him, it’s that he prides himself in being a good boss and leader. She’d learned that on her very first day on the job as his assistant.
Former assistant now.
Through her infatuation with him, she’d been so nervous, she’d managed to sink the business end of an industrial sized stapler right into the thenar space between her thumb and index finger.
He’d rushed to help her without any hesitation. That’s how she’d learned that there is a small medical facility right here at Bright Industry and Technology. She’d made use of the service the staff stationed there offers and hadn’t had to pay a dime.
She’d been twenty-seven to his twenty-three at the time. That hadn’t stopped her from falling head over heels in love with him.
Too bad he’s screwed her over. It’s his own fault that she’s found herself tangled up in this web.
Of late, her undying love for her boss raises some serious questions about her recent activities. This isn’t what she’d signed up for but, it feels like she’s in too deep to back out now.
With all her apprehension weighing down each one of her steps, she scurries across the wide space for her clandestine rendezvous.
Beyond social media and texting, she’s not really big on technology but, so far, the bug she’d been instructed to infect the network with has functioned well. It's allowed her movement to go undetected by the many surveillance cameras guarding every square inch of her surroundings. She has no idea what it is or how it works but it’s apparently effective because the police haven’t shown up as yet to haul her away in handcuffs. Whenever she thinks of that possibility, it makes her want to flee -- flee from her apartment, the state. Heck, she’d run from the country, if it were possible.
Angus’s copper head of hair comes into view from where he is standing behind one of only 6 vehicles parked in this section of the garage.
Her already galloping heart flutters a little. He’s the reason that she’s seeing this through. He’s a young virile man and she’s hitting thirty-one. Her biological clock is ticking so loudly, it’s drowned out all rational thought. It’s crossed her mind that once Angus is done with this plot to exact his pound of flesh from Lucas, the two of them could settle into an alternate kind of partnership.
“Did you get what I asked for?” he asks as soon as she approaches.
A little breathless from the fear of being caught, her nervousness about seeing him and her brisk walk across the parking lot, she responds, “yes. But...”
When she pauses, he looks at her with irritation.
“But what?” Angus snaps.
“I ran into him earlier,” Natasha informs him. “He was supposed to have been in a meeting. I think he might suspect...I mean, I’m not sure but the way he looked at me...”
“He can suspect whatever he wants,” Angus shrugs. “As long as you haven’t made any errors...as long as you’ve done exactly as I said, all he’ll have are his suspicions. He won’t know a thing. Have you made any errors, Natasha? That would be very disappointing. You wouldn’t want to disappoint me, would you?”
He stalks closer to her, leading her with that dark tone of his voice and the beguiling look in his blue eyes.
“No,” she breathes. “I wouldn’t.”
“That’s good,” he tells her.
Angus reaches an arm around her to grab her behind and give it a rough squeeze. “You know what happens when you’re good to me, don’t you?” he questions.
He pulls her against him and grinds his almost perpetual arousal against her hip just as he plants his lips against hers and sticks his tongue all the way to the back of her throat. He fists her ponytail and yanks hard.
To alleviate the discomfort, Natasha goes up on the tips of her toes. She whimpers into his mouth and closes her eyes tightly. Any chance with Lucas has already sailed past her but whenever she closes her eyes with whoever she is with, she could almost imagine that it’s him handling her this way.
When Angus pulls back, he gives her that cool look he always wears. It chills her to the bone. The fact that he can be as hard as he is right now, as passionate as he’d just been, but when it’s over, look at her as if he is reading a commentary in a newspaper is strange and unnerving. She truly wonders what it is that goes through his mind and why he wants to get back at Lucas.
He’d alluded to Lucas having stolen something from him.
Maybe a business idea? She doesn’t have the details. But when Angus had presented his vendetta, she’d seen it fit to join forces with him.
Lucas had wronged her.
After she’d served him faithfully for three years.
Never once had she been late. She’d never taken a sick day or vacation day. She’d made herself available to him whenever he’d needed her. And what had she gotten in return for her loyalty?
He’d disposed of her!
Sure, he’d given her a tidy severance packet for her troubles. If he’d thought that that had been enough to deaden her shame and censure, then he’d been sorely mistaken. The utter humiliation of losing her status as Lucas Bright’s assistance -- the woman who just about every red-blooded female in the building had envied for her position by his side -- and having just about everyone speculate as to why he’d gotten rid of her, simply cannot be ignored.
And for what reason had he so thoroughly debased her in the company of her peers?
For some cheap, little leprechaun who she just knows cannot possibly do the things that she can do for him.
Righteous indignation floods Natasha just as it had that first day. Since then, something sinister has taken root and festers in her heart. Her vengeful spirit had imprinted on Angus’ like-mindedness.
She’ll readily admit that this plot to destroy Lucas has gotten away from her and that she might be in way over her head, but it’s too late to turn back now.
Initially, she’d thought that they had been colluding to do something simple like hack his personal mail or distribute porn pictures or videos of him --real or fake -- or something of the sort. She’d have been satisfied with the bad publicity such a sensation would have stirred and the resulting nose dive of his stocks.
Angus had offered her the chance at reprisal or at least getting even and she’d jumped at it without so much as a question.
These days, however, something in his look makes her think that he’s far more vested in Lucas’s destruction than he’s let on. Despite her misgivings, she refuses to just play dead and allow Lucas to get away with the way he’d scorned her.
“Is that it?” Angus asks. He points to the bag in Natasha’s hand.
She nods her head but those misgivings rear up in her mind so she keeps her hand firmly at her side.
“Natasha,” Angus says in that scolding voice and holds out his palm.
She smiles coyly at him while wondering whether he’d be so bold as to punish her refusal right here in the parking lot -- maybe raise her skirt, pull down her underwear to tan her hide before thrusting roughly inside her the way he often does.
In a move so lewd, it makes her gasp and blush, he grabs her free hand and places it over the considerable bulge in his pants.
“If you want this, you know you must please me first,” he declares.
Like the fiend that she is, Natasha moans, fondling his hardness while delivering what he wants to him.
He discards her hand he’s holding, grabs the bag from her and digs into it as if all the answers to the universe lie inside. He pulls out the schedule she’d swiped off Lucas’ assistant’s desk and runs his eyes over it quickly. He hadn't asked her for it but it had been there for the picking so she'd nabbed that too. The pleased look in his eyes affirms that she'd done well. Inwardly, Natasha purrs with content.
He reaches in again to pull out a master key to the building, the designated cleaner’s uniform and the phone she’d cloned.
Angus’ lips quirk up in a smile.
“You did good,” he tells her. “You’ll get your reward later.”
However, he knows that if things go his way today, this will be the last time, he sees Natasha Ingram alive. He’ll have Alaine -- the woman he truly wants, the woman he always imagines he is with when he is driving hard inside this one standing in front of him. Natasha has outgrown her usefulness and is more a liability now. Death must be her reward.
If he’d thought that she was a better person, he might have had a modicum of consideration for her life. Turning on the man who pays her salary for the reason that she had only proves that she’s not trustworthy enough to keep around. She’ll likely flip on him the moment she finds out that she’s only a pawn in his plan.
And he can’t have that.
He’ll finally be with Alaine. While they’re building their lives together he doesn’t want to be worrying about a woman who feels that she’s been scorned running around running her mouth to the police or anyone else who will listen. He’s made certain that nothing she’s done on his behalf can be linked to him so, Natasha will be the only loose end tying him to what is going to take place here later today -- as long as he times it well and doesn’t get caught that is.
It’s probably too soon to go through with his plans but his patience has run thin. He can’t take the chance of losing Alaine again. She’d already disappeared for more than a week. She’s moved out of her apartment, so he has no clue where she sleeps. Not having full access to her the way he’s used to is driving him insane. Now that he has her in his sights again, he can’t take the chance. Lucas has proven that he has the means to disappear with her forever.
He nods at Natasha. She looks at him with eagerness awaiting more praise. He smiles at her and leans in to place a soft kiss on her lips.
“You did good, baby,” he assures her.
When he’d followed her that first night from Lucas’ building, he’d had no idea that she would be so accommodating. He’d found her on a good day. She’d gone to a bar to drown her sorrows about losing her job and he’d facilitated that by plying her with as much alcohol as she’d needed to loosen her tongue and wind up in his bed. Their pillow talk had revealed more than he could have hoped for. Particularly that, in her new position, she’d still had access to her boss. Not only that, the clearance she’d had as his assistant had not yet been revoked.
It didn’t get any better than that.
The only real draw back had been that his plans for vengeance had only a small window. Before long, Natasha would lose her privileges.
“Later, I’ll give you exactly what you deserve," he assures her.
Natasha’s imagination runs away with her. She smiles at him.