Shit! I glanced over my shoulder to see Harry’s curly red hair peeping from beneath the pillows. Still asleep, thank God. Carefully, I shoved the white linen off and scooted off the bed, cursing myself for oversleeping. What time was it? Clearly, the sun had risen, but it was near impossible to see through the thick curtains.
I snatched my phone off the nightstand, swiping up to see nine missed calls from dad. Crap! Unlucky for me, my clothes were spread across the floor as if we’d been in a wild frenzy. And to think the sex was horrible.
Where the heck were my panties? I tiptoed around the room butt-naked looking for something that I probably would never find. Figures... Scooping up my dress, I dashed into the bathroom closing the door ajar. My blue fish-tail dress took a whole five minutes to wiggle and slip into. Ugh...
Returning to the room, I grabbed my shoes, my purse and... Oh yes... I moved over to Harry’s bedside and slipped the access card from his pants pocket. He stirred, turning to his side. That was my cue to get the hell out of there.
Surprisingly, the corridor was empty. Not even room-service or the cleaning lady roamed the halls. Weird... I leaned against the door, sliding to the floor — at least I had time to slip on my heels...
I whipped around. Shit! Harry.
From what it sounded like, he was shuffling around the room. I shoved the second shoe on my foot and scurried down the hallway.
As I took the elevator to my apartment, dad’s name flashed across my screen for the third time. I had to make it safely to my door before comfortably answering him. Because of the high-risk work I did, all my movements had to be calculated.
I swiped answer on his fourth ring, “Yes, dad?”
“Alina. I’ve been calling. Where have you been? I don’t have time to call you the entire day.”
“I was out doing your work.”
“Did you get the file?”
I sighed, predicting exactly what he was about to say after my response, “No, but I made some headway.”
“Alina, headway isn’t going to get me what I want...”
As he continued to lecture me on how much of a disappointment I was, I unlocked the door to my apartment. I froze, annoyed that Dean had let himself in and already got comfortable in his boxers. My nose flared at the sight of him eating potato chips on my newly shampooed, beige couch. I scowled.
“Hello? Alina? Are you listening to me, child?”
Child... And to think I’d been doing my father’s dirty work for nine years since I was eighteen. I was more than a child... His slave... “Yes, dad.”
“If you don’t get this done by Friday, then I’ll get someone else to do it. Don’t be a failure like your mother.” He hung up.
My mother... Why did he always have to bring her up? God, I hated him. I made my way to the bedroom ignoring Dean’s obvious presence. He was practically chewing and crunching on his chips like a fucking hippo. I peeled the dress off, stuffing it in a garbage bag. I even threw my shoes and bra inside. I wrapped my towel around me and walked back to the living room.
“Where were you?” Dean asked as I passed behind him with the garbage.
I stuffed it under the kitchen sink, reminding myself to burn it in the incinerator later. When I didn’t answer, he lowered the tv and turned to face me.
I rolled my eyes, annoyed. Every time we had to go through the bullshit. Although he didn’t know exactly what I did for my dad, he knew I was working with him. And working for my dad meant overtime hours. I scoffed, “The last time I checked you weren’t the boss of me.”
“But we are together, and I have the right to know where my woman was.”
“Woman? I didn’t know we were together. I thought we just fucked? Why are you here anyway? Don’t you have bounties to hunt?”
Dean stuffed his hand in the bag of chips. My eyes narrowed in on the tiny crumbs being scattered across my Persian rug. I scrunched my nose in disgust, “And could you stop eating like that? I just had my apartment cleaned.”
It surprised me that he didn’t fuss about my comment with us being fuck buddies. I pulled on the vacuum from the closet and plugged it in.
“You still haven’t answered me. Where were you?”
I shoved the head of the vacuum near his feet, “Lift your feet.” When he dipped his hand again, I snatched the stupid bag from him. Ants won’t be my companion for the rest of the year.
I stopped the machine, folding the cord to put it back in its place. I didn’t have to answer him. He had no hold against me and certainly no power. Only my dad had such a luxury. “I was doing my father’s work. Why do you keep asking me this shit when you already know the answer?”
“So you spent the entire night doing his work?”
I stormed off, “I’m not doing this shit with you.” I flung the towel on the vanity and stepped into the bathroom, adjusting the shower on the hottest temperature. Steam filled the small space, fogging the glass around me.
As I lathered my body, cold air penetrated the bath, raising goosebumps on my skin. Dean had entered behind. I groaned, squeezing my eyes shut. I’d just had horrible, horrible sex with a geeky guy named Harry less than eight hours ago — my pussy wasn’t in the mood.
Dean pulled me towards his bare, chocolate skin, letting my back rest flat against his rugged chest. His erection throbbed against my firm behind.
He kissed my neck, “I’m sorry. I just missed you.”
God, all I wanted to do was relax my bones. I didn’t need to fuck. But if I didn’t, he’d known something was up. When I reached for the shower handle, he gripped the nape of my neck, slamming my body against the white tiles. I gasped when he penetrated my heat, lifting my leg for anchorage. “Fuck!”
He grunted under his breath, breathing heavy against my neck.
As he stroked, the slick contact of our ebony skin echoed in the small space. I tried not to move as much because I just wanted it to over. Maybe, just maybe if I still didn’t have Harry’s icky residue still on me, I would have enjoyed it. I stood still with my cheek against the wall, waiting until he had his fill.
Sex was the only thing that fixed our indifferences. There weren’t any hashing it out or heated arguments that would make us not talk for days... Whenever Dean and I had a fall-out, we would fuck, and it would solve our problems. That’s what made him tolerable as my partner for two years straight.
When he was finished, I lingered in the bathroom until I was sure he’d knocked out cold.
I got dressed in a large flannel shirt and returned to the living room with my diary. I jotted all the pertinent information from Harry and re-sketched the outline of the building’s blueprint of the thirtieth floor. At least my twenty-five grand contribution towards the fundraiser last night was worth it. The only thing left was to figure out how to get past all the robust security without being noticed. I twirled Harry’s access card between my fingers... Maybe dad’s IT team would know...
This should be fun... I coached myself. But in reality, I was a nervous wreck. Breaking into Volkov Corporation had always been a sensitive mission since my last encounter with them. I stole the wrong file and got out unnoticed, but they’d somehow beefed up security. Two years later, I was back at it again with the correct information and a different strategy.
Adjusting my bag’s strap over my shoulder, I took a deep breath before pushing the glass door. The building was huge. It had enough space in the main area to fit a small concert. Everything except the furniture and tiles was either navy bly or grey. An executive building for criminals.
I eyed the bald-headed tattooed guy with the mini earpiece standing on my right. Definitely security... After I passed the scanner, he gave me a once over and told me to proceed. With all the bustling around me, my heels still echoed against the white porcelain tiles. I meandered towards the front desk, taking in all the emergency exit areas. It’s good to know that they hadn’t changed since my last visit.
A blond female with a neat bun sat at the front desk tapping away on her computer. They stationed her next to a nerdy, straight-haired guy who was miserably sorting visiting badges. What was it with all the nerds?
I stopped in front of the guy and tapped on the countertop, “Hi... I’m Claire. I’m new here. I came yesterday but I just can’t seem to find my way again,” I pouted, giving him an innocent look.
He peered up at me, unblinking. He stuttered, “Uh... Um...”
Although I tried to mask my face with a lot of makeup, it didn’t hide everything. I smoothed my short bob and leaned in closer, eyeing his nametag, “Uh... Barry, how do I get to the third floor?” Of course, I was going to the thirtieth, but I couldn’t say that.
“S-Sorry,” he pointed towards my left, “Go straight down and make a right. Take the elevator. Do you have your badge?”
I flashed him my pearly whites, “Yeah.”
“Well, go right ahead, Claire.” He smiled.
I scanned Harry’s ID with my fake picture in the elevator and selected the thirtieth floor. Piece of cake. If I knew it would have been so easy, I would have done it earlier in the week. The elevator dinged, and I stepped out. Damn my heels for making so much noise! Everyone in the hallway turned, gazing at me as if I was an alien.
A short, chubby brunette walked towards me, “Hi? Can I help you? Are you lost?”
Ah yes... Penelope. Harry had spoken about her. Head over heels for the boss’s son and didn’t stand a chance. To think of it, she looked quite smaller than he described her. Seeing that I’d hit a snag and going forward was near impossible, I said, “Oh, isn’t this the twentieth floor?”
Penelope squinted, surely not buying my excuse, “This is not,” she snapped.
Damn... No wonder she couldn’t stand a chance. “Oh. I’m sorry. But can you direct me to the bathroom?” I leaned in closer by her ear, “I need to pee.”
The bathrooms definitely had upgrades. Five white, marble stalls instead of three? What sorcery was this? Everything was so smooth and shiny. Much more elegant than my father’s place. No wonder he’s so bitter. Locking the main door behind me, I stepped into a stall directly under the vent and covered the toilet lid.
I crawled through the small space, making three rights. As I turned left in my final vent, I stopped square beneath Harry’s office, “Bingo!” The lights were off creating the perfect environment for me to get in and out unnoticed. Harry had the perfect timing for a dentist appointment.
I had three minutes to download the file and two minutes to find myself back in the bathroom before Penelope suspected something.
“Come on... ” I urged. The computer was as slow as a dying snail. At ninety-four percent, I’d already lapsed by a minute.
What the... I surveyed the room as alarms blared in the building. Then a timer on the computer popped up saying Complete Security Shut Down. Did I trigger something? Shit! Sweat beaded my forehead as the timer met eight seconds. “Come on, you slow piece of shit!” Four... Three... Two...
“Yes! Got it.”