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Chapter Eight

Will didn't think she would comply. He had, after all, terrorized and traumatized her in the last several hours. He even had her locked up. She should have been spitting nails at him. 

And yet her body was turned toward him at the waist and she was staring intently into his eyes like she was willing him to do something because she was lost and didn't know what to do next. 

Well, he knew what he should be doing right now. He was supposed to be meeting up with the undercover field agents one by one who would serve as his backup, to brief them on what he might need help with. Instead, he was here, on a bed with an incredibly desirable woman and for some reason, they were both still fully clothed and not even touching. Obviously, this was an error that must be immediately rectified. 

She put her hand on his shoulder and drew herself up so she could brush her lips against his. She did it once more and a third time before sitting back down on the bed. 

Will could feel his pulse beating like a tattoo in his throat. He couldn't remember ever getting this turned on in his entire adult life with just a simple kiss. He felt like grabbing her, tossing her in the middle of the bed, and mounting her like a stallion mounts a mare. At the same time, however, he realized he also wanted to savor every inch of her skin to assure her that her pleasure and comfort were his top priority. 

He sprung up from the bed and made a beeline for the suite's minibar. He poured himself a shot of bourbon and swallowed it all in one gulp. Bloody hell, it wasn't even noon yet and he was already drinking. Sad state of affairs, this. But he had to momentarily get away from the woman who made his cock tumescent and throbbing in zero to sixty. 

He made himself another drink, pouring more bourbon into his glass and adding a couple of cubes of ice from the mini-fridge. The shot did little to quell the shaking deep within him. He could feel her gaze on him, so he looked back at her over his shoulder to see how she was doing. 

What did she think when he practically ran across the room to get away from her after she kissed him? 

He expected to see some kind of smirk on her face because he'd acted like such a green lad in front of her, but she was just looking at him, her dark eyes slightly wide in surprise. He asked if she would like something to drink. 

"I'll have what you're having."

He brought two glasses of bourbon on the rocks with him and handed one to her. "Sorry about that. You just gave me a bit of a jolt, that's all."

She nodded and took a sip from her drink. She got up from the bed and moved to the window seat, bringing her glass with her. "Yeah, my lips are a little dry because of this cut I have. "

He almost laughed out loud. God, her mouth had felt like satin. "No, dear girl, it's not..." His mobile vibrated in the front pocket of his trousers and for a moment, he thought about not acknowledging it. But it was the one in the left pocket, which made it his "black" phone. 

The text message he had just received was for Will Scott, not Guillaume Esposito. The "black" phone was on loan to him by MI6. Only he could access it because the security parameters were tied to his fingerprints and heat signature. The calls and messages made and received on it were heavily encrypted and cannot easily be accessed by a third party. It was also designed so that the calls cannot be recorded because a sound wave the phone emits distorts and garbles the audio files. It was even analog-resistant. Its best feature, however, was the GPS locator. It was accurate within a meter's radius. Control could locate him anywhere in the world and help him out of tight spots when needed. 

"Excuse me, my darling." He brushed the pink hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear before walking to the door. He put up his hand to the panel to enter the code to exit but stopped. He didn't want to leave. With a sigh, he pulled out the black phone from his trouser pocket to quickly scan the message. To another person, it would just be a series of numbers, symbols, and random letters that spelled nothing, but from it, he derived the name of the field agent, the meeting spot, and the time of the meeting. It was in three hours.

Normally, this would have been the moment that Will disengaged and found a quiet place to meditate so he could be in the best mindset to prepare for his meeting. He had no time to be wasting with her. He had a business enterprise to run... and ultimately ruin in the name of the Royal Secret Service and England. 

He glanced at his wristwatch. He also had a scheduled video conference call with Park Byung Hun, the managing director of the Sunbae Group. The international company owned hotels all over the world and were interested in securing an in-house Jupiter nightclub for fifteen of their powerhouse establishments in major cities. One of those cities was Bangkok, which was considered to be one of the biggest hubs for human trafficking all over the world. It was absolutely essential to his mission that he secured the Bangkok deal. 

He dragged his hand down his face. He had all of these things on his plate and yet he couldn't get his body to open the door, so he could leave this room. He wanted to stay. With her. 

His feet were already pivoting toward her direction before he fully realized what was happening. She was still on the window seat, probably looking at the garden below, with her knees drawn up to her chest. She had her drink in her hand and took a sip of it before turning away from the window to look at him. 

Who was this woman and what was she doing to him? He had checked out her employee file and it said her real name was Eileen Tom, not Akiko Takeshi. A quick background check revealed she was twenty-eight, born and raised in Los Angeles, and had degrees in Dance and Theater Arts from UCLA. Her parents were originally from Hawaii and her father Frank was a dentist. She had a one-bedroom apartment in Silverlake and a five-year-old tabby cat named Mushu. She had no siblings. 

How could this be? The dossier provided to him by Interpol indicated that this woman was Akiko Takeshi. Was it a case of mistaken identity? His mind reeled at the idea that she could be blameless in all of this and he was keeping an innocent woman in captivity.

"What's your deal?" She got up from the window seat, eyes blazing with irritation. "I thought you were leaving."

Will spread his hands before him in a gallant gesture and smiled at her. "It appears I have some time to kill, after all. I'd like to take this opportunity to get to know you. I know I've been a neglectful host."

She continued to stare at him, her eyebrows drawn together. "If it's all the same to you, I'd like you to go back to neglecting me, please. I want to enjoy my confinement in this nice, fancy suite. I might never get this opportunity again, you know. "

She wasn't at all afraid of him. Most people who knew him or knew of him feared to displease him or incur his wrath. They thought his English politeness must hide a cruel, sadistic streak.

But she was different. There was always defiance in her eyes when she looked at him. A sort of challenge that said, "Hit me, asshole, and prove what a dickless coward you are." He admired that about her. 

"So," he began amiably as though they were about to sit down for tea. "I gather you're satisfied with the amenities of your suite?"

She stared at him for a few beats as though she were trying to figure out what he was going on about and shrugged. "Hey, the AC is working and the drain isn't clogged. No cockroaches and ants that I've seen so far. The food isn't bad. I'll make a note to review it on Yelp."

He nodded and picked up the drink he had previously abandoned. "I'm just trying to keep you safe, Kiki. Saito's boss will come looking for him and the money. They'll find out your connection to the night's events and track you down." 

He crept on her little by little, so he wouldn't scare her. When she didn't bolt, Will lifted his hand and attempted to touch her face, but she shrugged him off. "I've seen what the Kiriyama gang does to women. They're especially vicious to the lovely ones."

Turning away from him, she stalked past the four-poster bed so that they would have the structure between them. She was cradling her drink to her chest as though it were a child. "Well, what does that mean, then? That I'll never be safe ever again until those Yakuza dicks are dead?"

He heard the soft catch in her voice and sighed. If she really truly were Eileen Tom and a complete innocent, it was even more vital that he kept her with him. No one else could protect her better than he could. He wanted to cradle her to his chest and bury his face in her hair, whispering that everything was going to be all right. "I just want to keep you alive, Kiki. I can't stand the thought of anyone harming you."

One corner of her mouth lifted up in a sneer. "Anyone else, you mean?"

"I won't apologize for that, kitten. You disrespected me in front of my people. You had to be punished." He attempted a glib tone, but didn't quite succeed. Instead, he sounded patronizing. One of her eyebrows twitched, but she didn't otherwise react. "Unless you like being punished. You've been nothing but an insolent brat to me from the moment I walked into this room. Must I adjust your behavior for you, kitten?"

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