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"I, seriously, don't remember how to play Bridge," cries Victoria.

Emma smiles. "I'll show you how."

She brings a pack of cards.

Niall watches them with amusement. She is a good sight to stare at.

Several tries include screaming and shouting at each other as they play. Niall couldn't stop laughing when Emma pulls her hair with frustration and two of her hair comes out. She screams at Emily telling her that she is an idiot instead of shouting at Victoria.

She says that shouting at Victoria will bring down her self-esteem but she wants to take out her frustration anyways so she is shouting at Emily.

Emily purses her lips. Why me?

The whole day moves away with teaching and revising. Victoria knows most of the card games. Almost every cardgames.

Spades, check ✓
Bridge whist, check ✓
Wish solitaire ✓
Spider solitaire ✓
Devil's grip ✓
Rummy ✓
Black Maria✓
Black lady ✓
Hearts ✓



The next day comes and it's #challengeyourfriendsday. Victoria plays against everyone and she wins in most games. They only get one round with every game and Emily wins 1 game with Victoria while Emma wins 5 games, Niall at 4 games, and Nick at 7 games.

Yeah, the boy knows how to play.

"I'm so proud of you, Vicky," says Emma hugging her tightly. "I know that you'll win this for us."

"I'm nervous. There will be a lot many great players, eh?"

She sighs and sits down beside her. "Victoria, everyone knows how goddamn good you are at card games. What we are going to do, is prove that in front of a small number of people. See, nothing to be nervous about."

But I'm nervous myself. What if the plan doesn't work out? What if she loses for a split point and the clients slip out of our hands? I'll probably quit the job because Niall will fire me if this plan fails.

"Hey hey listen y'all," says Niall summoning everyone from the corners of the house.

Once everyone assembles, he says, "If this plan fails--"

Victoria stiffens hard. Niall holds her hand, "Victoria, it's gonna go good. I was talking about the 'IF'. We are not 100% sure that we will win but we are 100% sure that we have a great chance of winning. Alright? We have chances and we should take them."

Emma is shifting uncomfortably in her seat and looking away from him.

He continues, "And.... If we fail, please don't think that I'll fire anyone. You know who I'm talking about."

Everyone's eyes shifts to Emma staring into the pool. She slightly averts her gaze to Niall but turns away when she finds him looking at her already.

He keeps talking. "If this doesn't work out, it's not nobody's fault. Do you understand, Emma?"

She jumps a little startled when he directs the statement towards her.

Emma stares blankly into the pool and watches when the water ripples.

It's raining?

Everyone goes inside as it starts to rain hard but she doesn't go in instead, sits down beside the pool, putting her legs in the water.

Within minutes, Emma is completely drenching in rain. But she feels something hovering over her, shielding her head from the rain.

Curious, she looks up and finds Niall looking down at her with an expression that she can't decipher.

"You'll catch a fever."

"At least fever knows how to catch."

He laughs. She and her dumb jokes.

Niall sits down beside her and she asks, "What do you want?"

He gapes. "Why do you ask me that? Why are you sitting in the rain?"

"Why do you care? You are sitting in the rain too. Go in or You'll catch a fever."

He sighs. "Emma..... Stop overthinking."

She stares at him. "What are you talking about? I'm not overthinking."

He pushes away the wet hair off of his face and wipes away the water from his beard and mustache.

His goddamn mustache and beard. I hope he will shave them off soon. It's not like that it's ugly or anything but it makes him look so bold and older and that's troubling me for some reasons.

Wiping the water off of his face is like drawing lines in the water. What changes will it make? But still, he does it.

"You are, Emma. Your eyes scream nervousness and vulnerability. Don't be like that. My friends should be stronger than this. You said it for yourself. We are going to show them how goddamn good we are at this and that's it. Nothing more. After that, we go home."

Her eyes glow when she looks at him.

He adds, "YOU AND ME."

Her lips split into a Cheshire cat smile and nods. "Aye Aye Captain."

He laughs and takes her in.

The next day at work is fun. Emma and Niall drive to Carter's Inc. for doing some mischievous deed. But it will only do them good and that's why everyone does bad, right? To win.

And that's what we are going to do. Being the baddies.

Parker's CO is the prime center of London but they are not allowed to keep the list of the people coming for the tournament. It is kept by Carter's Inc. because they are a small company compared to Parker's CO and not a participant in the tournament.

And today, they are going to steal it.

Niall wants it because Emma can do whatever she trying to do with it. Maybe she has a plan.

Emma wants it because she wants them to win and she'll do anything for Niall just to see him in triumph and joy.

They finally arrive at the place as if they are coming for an inspection. There's nothing as an inspection assigned to us.

They are going to trick them.

Emma fidgets in the elevator and sighs nervously and he asks if she's okay.

She says, "I don't know how to act."

He sighs in relief. "I thought you were sick." He laughs and continues, "I'll manage and you just follow. Don't--" He sighs and chuckles.

"You know what? Nevermind. I'll do the acting and just believe that it's real and your reactions will be automatic. I'll make you blush. If that's ok with you?"

He waits and she snaps her head to look at him.

"Oh! You were asking me if it's okay?"

He nods. She says yes. A smile creeps on his face as the images of Emma blushing and chuckling fill in his mind. She'll be a cute thing to watch.

"I might do something unexpecting. Don't freak out."

She eyes him suspiciously but nods nonetheless. God knows what this guy is up to.

The elevator chimes open.

Mr. Carter smiles widely at their sight and Emma flashes her million-dollar smile.

Niall squeals inwardly. Miss Trickster.

"Hello Mr. Parker, it's a pleasure to meet you again."

Niall says the same and shakes hands with him. Mr. Carter turns to Emma.

"And I assume, this lovely lady is your assistant."

She beams. "Hello, Mr. Carter! I'm Emma Knight."

He shakes her hand. "You mean, THE Knight. Like the daughter of Xander (aka Alexander) Knight?"

She nods. "Was."

His smile falls. "Oh yes. I'm sorry, I saw the news about the disowning. I didn't mean to--"

"No, it's fine. Really."

He beams and leads them to where his staff is. He starts to explain things that she doesn't want to hear. Mate, tell me something interesting.

Niall keeps nodding and humming to everything like he usually does. Emma wonders why he doesn't say anything in return even though the guy gives some time for him to say something but Niall does not.

Maybe he is clueless about what to say.

Then, out of the blue, Niall starts to act whatever he was mentioning.

His hand creeps down her torso to her waist and then to her hips, squeezing her hipbone.

She closes her eyes feeling the tension growing between him and her body.

What are you doing, Niall?

She looks up at him breathlessly and looks away quickly. A dark shade of scarlet paints across her cheeks. She jerks a bit when she feels his breath against her ears but he pulls her close and whispers, "I like it when you blush."

She gulps hard and watches Mr. Carter taking out some files from the cupboard. So dusty.

She tries to pull away from his grasp but he tightens his hold on her wrist and moves towards her again and whispers, "Correction."

She looks at him and a ghost of a mischievous smirk appears on his lips and he adds, "I love it when I'm the reason you blush."

Her heartbeat escalates quickly hearing those words. What are you trying to do? The Carter guy is not even looking. Then why are you teasing me like this?

She bites her bottom lip. "Niall, please."

He smiles naughtily and winks at her. You are winking? Who are you, man?

"Here you go," says Mr. Carter and gives them the files about the dealings and income and whatever yada yada.

Niall could understand nothing as it was always his assistants who checked this kind of matter. He used to stare somewhere else.

Not everyone is honest every time. Not even me.

The mission is to get inside Mr. Carter's office and steal the participants name list and details and they have to do a drama to get inside the room.

Act like they are on the verge of making out!

Emma is not very sure that this will work but Niall is. Mr. Carter will give them privacy and let them 'use' his office.

Maybe. Who knows.

Both of them are getting bored because there is nothing to inspect in his company. If there were some drugs, that would have been interesting.

As soon as the office room comes up, Emma pushes the door open and pulls Niall inside by his tie, and shuts the door loudly enough to let Mr. Carter know that they went in.

Niall puts his fingers in his mouth and starts to suck on them and pulls them out noisily to make the 'wetkiss' noises. Who knew that the actors had a struggle like this?

Emma is pushing on the door and slightly hitting on it to make it appear as if they are going for more. She taps on the floor with her heels and moans.

They stifle a chortle.

Niall ushers her away and she pulls out her lipstick from the purse and opens the laptop. There are two sides to the lipstick.

One is the real side and the other is the Pendrive. She plugs it in and starts to search around for the data. Where the hell is it?

But she never forgets to keep moaning his name and say 'ah's and oh's. Niall is dying with silent laughter but does not forget to add his touches to the drama. He groans and moans too but does not moan her name like she does.

Emma is very concentrated on what she is doing but Niall's concentration is on her. She probably does not think what moaning his name is doing to him.

He does not want to moan her name. Never. He's just too scared to make her his. It's damn complex.

He keeps nudging the door harder and in between, nudges with that sensitive point of his elbow. The electric shock-like shivers pass through his elbows to his biceps and Niall shudders.

What amuses Emma is that how Mr. Carter didn't even care to knock on the door to make sure what is happening inside. Maybe we are acting splendidly.

It's almost time till they get out. She is biting on her nails nervously wondering why it's so slow. She moans and mutters a light 'f#ck'.

Niall raises a brow in questioning but she doesn't spare him a glance.

After a few moments of near-death experience, the download is complete.

She pulls off the Pendrive and smudges her lipstick with her fingers and smears some on his lips too. He does not say a word.

She folds her fingers in a way that the thumb is covered by all the other four fingers and applies lipstick to the creased part between the thumb and index fingers. She stamps the lipstick on his neck and jaw and it appears exactly like a lip print.

Emma is a genius!

He smiles at her and she ruffles his hair making it look messy and does the same to her hair.

Tutto fatto! (All done!)

She pulls on her blouse a little and ruffles it too before coming out of the room, holding the lipstick in her hand.

Mr. Carter clears his throat to gain their attention and he is leaning on the wall next to the door. Emma almost had a heart attack with his surprise but covers the surprise quickly with a blush.

She turns over the lipstick, finding the right position, and applies her lipstick perfectly without the need for a mirror.

She smiles coyly at Mr. Carter and says, "I became needy for a moment." And makes herself blush a little more.

God knows how she fake blushes just like that.

He returns the smile. "It's alright, Miss Knight. That's a thing of your ages. Things can get way wilder with time given." He winks.

Only he, himself, knows what he meant.

After some moments, they bid goodbyes and leaves a review on everything before leaving.

At home, they celebrate their spy work with a glass of wine and pizza, laughing like hyenas.

He asks her to get him the list of senior employees from his drawer and she sprints up into his room to take it.

But sees something unexpecting. The thing dangles down from the first drawer and shines in the vague sunlight.


Butterflies. Stars. Dangling. On the silver chain. With something written behind the largest butterfly.

Carved on it.


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