Forgiven

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The Fundraiser

Chapter 46:

There was a reason why she did not like going to formal events. It always took her a while to get ready. Alec was most probably done getting dressed by now, but he did not rush her or even check on her. It might be because he thought that the later they showed up, the less time they had to spend there. Still, she did not like the fact that someone was waiting for her while she was trying to get things in order.

Her room looked like a mess. Her heels were scattered in one corner. Her clutch and the items she wanted to squeeze into it were on the bed. Her eyeliners, lipsticks and brushes were all over the vanity. She stood there, eyeing the mess she had created and did not know if she could leave her room like that. Her makeup and hair were already done. The only thing she had left to do was to slip into her formal gown. She could attend to the mess if she wanted to, but that in itself would take a while.

Alec walked in and leaned against the doorframe to check on her. She had nothing on except her black strapless bra, her lace panties and a not so suspicious looking strap wrapped around her right thigh. Her back was to him, but he could tell that she was so lost in thought that she did not sense his presence behind her.

“Do you need help, babe?”

She turned around to look at him and his heart almost skipped a beat. She looked absolutely stunning. Seeing her back earlier already made his head run wild, but now that she had turned to look at him, he began to seriously consider his decision to leave the flat. He wanted nothing more at the moment than to take her underwear off and show her exactly how much of an effect the mere sight of her had on him.

“Can you see the mess?” She asked in frustration.

“I didn’t even notice.” He did not bother to look around. His eyes were fixed on her.

“I don’t know if I can leave my room like that,” Lesly said as she unzipped the black gown she had placed on the bed earlier and slipped into it.

“If you want to stay and attend to it, I have no problem with that.”

“You would love that, wouldn’t you?” She muttered sarcastically.

“Very much,” he answered seductively. “I’d advise you not to make the bed, though, because I plan to use it.”

“I wouldn’t expect less,” she giggled as she struggled with the zipper at the back of her formal gown. She looked at him then and asked him sweetly, “Would you zip me up, please?”

Alec walked over to where she was standing and tried to help her. The scent of her perfume coupled with the sight of her made the blood rush feverishly through his veins. His hand grabbed the zipper and pulled it up slowly. However, before he had it drawn all the way up, his other arm circled her waist, and his lips began planting light kisses to her shoulder and the back of her neck.

“Alec…,” his name came out as a moan as she tilted her head to give him a better access.

Seeing her moan and lean against him like that kept him going. He pushed the dress down a little and began kissing her creamy shoulders.

“Alec, we’re gonna be late,” she whispered with a sigh.

“There’s always the option to stay in,” he whispered against her ear.

“As appealing as that sounds, I told you. I have to be there.”

“Fine,” he spoke in a deep voice that sent a chill of pleasure down her spine.

She tried to take a step away from him so he could attend to the task she asked him to do, but he immediately tightened his hold around her waist and pressed her harder against. Her giggles turned into a gasp when his mouth found her neck again and allowed his teeth to pull her skin in. She knew what he was trying to do, but she did not stop him. It was a high neck sleeveless gown, and since his lips were marking her at the base of her neck, she knew it would not be visible.

After Alec was done sucking and biting on her skin, he pulled the zipper all the way up and twirled her around so she could face him. He had a sexy grin on his face that made her smile.

“Are you done?” She asked as she rubbed the spot where he had just marked her.

“I want it to be known that you’re taken.”

“Possessive…,” she pointed out. “That’s another issue we’re gonna need to address later,” she explained to him jokingly as she began stashing her things into her clutch.

“Honey, have you seen the way you look tonight?”

“I could use the same argument against you,” she said to him before she slipped her feet into her high heels.

A mischievous glint twinkled in his eyes. “Mark me anywhere you want. I’m yours.”

His remark caused her to smile seductively at him. She walked towards him and began adjusting the tie on his tuxedo. Even with high heels, she found herself tilting her head back to be able to look him in the eye.

Her voice was low and alluring as she spoke to him. “I have plans for you and they all involve getting you out of this tux.”

“Oh?”

“However,” she interjected. Her hands slid slowly to interlock behind his neck. “since we can’t afford to be late, I promise you I’m gonna follow through with them the moment we get back home.”

“I look forward to that.”

She kissed him on the cheek. “Shall we go then?”

“Not yet,” he responded before he fished something out of his pocket. It was a suspicious looking bracelet that he began securing around her wrist without as much as an explanation.

“Is this what I think it is?” She asked with a frown.

“It is.”

“You’re seriously gonna go this far? I told you I won’t leave your side.”

“And I told you it would put my mind at ease if you wore it. We discussed this already,” he explained to her before he finished securing it on her hand.

Lesly lifted her wrist and eyed the sliver bracelet with a frown. It had a very simple design that was too basic to go with the gown she selected, but it was doubtful that anyone at the event would notice. Lesly narrowed her eyes at Alec next. He stared back with an amused expression on his face.

“You are not to remove it no matter what, at least until we get back home,” he instructed before he walked out of her room.

She shot back from behind him as she grabbed her clutch to follow him, “I feel like a dog that’s being collared.”

His roaring laugh echoed back in response.

***

Alec initially seemed less worried about it than she anticipated, but it soon turned out that whatever he lacked in worry showed in his temper instead. She tried to crack a joke or two to ease the tension, but those were received with a glare rather than a laugh. He was not this anxious when they were home, but now that they had arrived at the venue and started mingling with people, it was obvious that it would only be a matter of time before he declared it necessary to head back. Every once in a while, he would check on the bracelet on her wrist to make sure it was there, and every time she would assure him that it was still there.

An hour had passed before Lesly decided that she had had enough. He did not lecture her or try to say anything that would ruin the event for her. However, his vigilant behavior was driving her insane. She could not relax because he could not relax. When a waiter passed by with drinks, she grabbed another glass and handed it to him with the hope that it would mellow him down a bit.

“Here, have this,” she instructed.

“I don’t want it.”

“Take it, please,” she demanded firmly.

He complied reluctantly with a sigh of exasperation and began sipping on the drink. Lesly watched him silently, contemplating all the while whether she could help him relax a bit through some other means. Alec noticed that she was staring at him and asked in confusion.

“What?”

Lesly grabbed the lapels of his jacket and tried easing his mind a bit. “You look really handsome tonight.”

He was suspicious. “What are you trying to do?”

“You can’t even take a compliment?” She asked sweetly as her hands interlocked behind his neck.

“Not when I know there’s something behind it. I know what you’re trying to do.”

“Is it working?”

“A little,” he shrugged.

“How about now?”

He did not expect her to express affection in public, but she did. She brushed her lips against his and smiled shyly at him. It took him a while to think of a response. However, before he got to say anything, she was distracted by something, or rather someone who was walking towards them.

She pulled back and announced cheerfully, “There’s Stacey.”

He could tell how much of a nervous wreck the young woman was before she even got to them. Something was obviously wrong, which should explain why she was trying to seek her superior. When she finally got to them, she greeted the two of them, but her eyes were anxiously scanning the surroundings. It was not unusual to see Stacey like that. He had met her enough times to know that she was the type that got easily rattled by just about anything.

“How’s it going, Stacey?” Alec asked casually.

“Hanging by a thread,” the young woman responded hastily before she looked at her superior. “Lesly, a word?”

“Sure,” Lesly answered hesitantly before she allowed Stacey to guide her a couple of steps away from Alec.

The dark-haired woman waited for her assistant to tell her what was happening. Stacey glanced briefly at Alec before she began fanning herself. “God have mercy on us.”

Lesly could not help but laugh, “Is your boyfriend here?”

“He is, but please don’t bring Alec anywhere near him. So far he’s only heard about him. I don’t want him to see what he looks like. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Does that mean I won’t get to meet him?” Lesly asked as her eyes scanned the crowd.

“You’ll meet him, but not here when Alec’s hanging around you. I can only deal with so much right now,” Stacey muttered in frustration.

“Stacey, relax. You’ve done an amazing job assisting with organizing the event.”

“I know, but there’s one tiny problem.”

“What is it?”

“Patrick just called. He caught a stomach bug, and he’s violently ill. I don’t know who’s going to run the event and introduce the speakers instead.”

“Ask Gary,” Lesly proposed calmly. “He did it before a couple of times.”

“I already did. He said he’s not getting involved. I guess it’s a pride thing.”

“Tell him Lesly is calling in that favor. He won’t say no,” The dark-haired woman instructed confidently.

“What favor?”

“That’s between me and him. Go now. He won’t be able to refuse.”

“Thank you,” Stacey said in relief before she walked away in haste.

Lesly turned back towards Alec who was waiting patiently for her. “Did I take too long?”

“No,” he answered with a scowl as he checked his phone.

“What’s with the frown?”

“I just received a report that there’s no suspicious activity whatsoever.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“To me it feels like I’m missing something.”

“Now you’re just looking for a reason to worry.”

“Call it a gut feeling,” he replied before he grabbed her wrist and inspected the bracelet.

“It’s there, Alec. Would you please relax?”

He tried to follow her advice and stashed his phone in his pocket. “You said that Michaela is coming, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I asked her to come.”

“Did she get here?”

“Not, yet. She’s on her way, though. She texted me.”

Alec went quite again. Lesly could see that he was still feeling anxious, so she figured that he would relax a little if she introduced him to someone he could talk to. She already had a person in mind. As such, she grabbed Alec’s arm and tried to get him to come with her.

“Listen. I need you to meet someone. You see that old man over there?”

“What about him?”

“That’s Graham. The guy who recruited me to the organization. I want you to meet him. I get the feeling that you two would get along.”

Alec did not seem totally onboard. He shrugged and took a sip of his drink, “What makes you think that?”

“He’s a former judge,” Lesly explained. “He might know a thing or two about some of the people we’re investigating. He won’t talk to me about them because he knows how…livid I can get, but he’ll talk to you.”

Alec arched an eyebrow at the interesting word she chose to describe her tendency to act reckless, but he continued to ask casually, “What if he doesn’t?”

“He will. I already told him about you and about the case that we’re working on together. He might not be okay with the fact that I can….”

“Act a bit livid?” Alec asked with feigned innocence when he noticed that she hesitated to finish her own sentence.

“Yes,” Lesly frowned, “but he places too much value on my opinion.” She added emphatically.

Alec chuckled, “Lead the way then.”

Lesly walked towards the retired judge and Alec followed closely with a drink in his hand. She introduced the two men to one another. They shook hands and began chatting casually as they enjoyed their drinks.

“Lesly told me so much about you.”

“Likewise,” Alec responded.

“How are things going by the way?” Graham asked as he looked from Alec to Lesly. “The last time we talked, you said that progress had been rather slow.”

“Unfortunately,” Lesly commented.

“Our initial investigation led us to Cook,” Alec explained. “I’ve had him under surveillance for a while, but he was offed before we managed to get to more substantial leads.”

“Yeah, I heard about that. How’s the shoulder by the way?”

“Fine, can’t complain,” Alec answered.

“That’s good to hear. They ought to tighten security around that place. It’s not the first time an incident of this sort happened.”

“I’m aware of that. Fortunately, it wasn’t as catastrophic as the shooting that happened in 2014.”

Graham nodded his head in agreement, “I remember that one.”

Lesly watched the two men as they got busy discussing matters that she was already aware of. She continued to take a few sips of her drink silently as her eyes scanned the crowd. It was then that it occurred to her to check on Michaela and to see whether she had made it yet, or not. She needed to see her friend and have that talk that she had been wanting to have with her for quite some time now. As such, she took a few steps away from the two men, and fished her phone out of her clutch.

Her heart started pounding in her chest the moment she unlocked the screen. There was a response to the last email she sent to the informant. It contained nothing but one simple line.

Meet me in the west hall. We can talk there.


Author’s Notes:

Any thoughts or guesses on why the informant chose to meet with her now? What is he going to tell her?

If you like the story, drop me a comment. Hearing from my readers always cheers me up.

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