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Jillian Durant didn’t wake up one morning and decide to become an elite traveling companion. If she had to re-create how it happened, she’d have pointed to her first job in the ad agency, her first boss on whom she’d had a massive crush, and that first furtive, forbidden kiss and grope behind his closed office door just before Christmas that first year.
And then the idea that he’d subtly planted with his creative director, that he needed an executive assistant in his entourage of art director, account executive, and producer when he went to pitch to clients outside Manhattan.
Which led to that first trip, that first flirtation, that first why don’t you—join me for a drink, have dinner with me tonight, have sex with me now. And the conscience-suppressing rationalization: we’re so far from home, who would know? Why shouldn’t I?
Why shouldn’t I was the philosophy she’d lived by ever since her impoverished childhood, with nothing except her twin sister, Justine, between her and their alcoholic father, the meager welfare and disability checks that barely supported them, their pregnant mother, and Jillian’s determination to never be poor again. Ever.
And now, as Jillian slowly awakened in an exclusive London hotel in Cadogan Square and saw her lover’s Centurion Card propped up on the nightstand for her, she didn’t have a single regret.
She ran one hand through her tumbling midnight black curls, then positioned herself so that her hip curved provocatively under the luxurious 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheet and her left nipple peeked out enticingly over the silk duvet.
The trick was to make it all seem natural—the bed head, the sinuous movements, the erect, naked nipple—rather than deliberately choreographed to arouse him, though it was. And it worked: his penis shot to attention under his elegant five-hundred-dollar Burberry trousers, and his hands clenched.
“I have a meeting this morning,” he told her.
“Let’s you and me have a meeting first,” she countered huskily.
“We can meet later, and you can model all the flimsy lingerie you’ll buy today that I’ll tear off your body tonight.”
“I don’t need lingerie, do I? When I have this?” She stroked her nipple tip, licked her lower lip, and gave him a kittenish look from under her lashes.
“Damn,” he muttered, climbing into bed with her. “You do this all the time.”
“It’s not me—it’s you,” she whispered, pulling his head down to her nipple. “I can’t buy what you make me feel when you”—gasping as his tongue swiped her nipple and his lips surrounded the hard tip and sucked—“do that.”
“I could do that all day,” he grunted, pushing her onto her back, tearing away the sheets and the cover, and pulling out his penis as he swiftly spread her legs. “But I only have time for this.” He shoved between her legs, and she lifted her hips to pull him in deep, hard and fast. He spurted in an instant, totally beguiled by her manipulative morning seduction.
It didn’t take much with men like him. They didn’t have time for foreplay and could barely spare ten minutes for sex. She had learned early that she would have to do the work and take whatever she could get.
“And now,” she whispered as he pumped himself into her, “you’ll have my scent all over your penis during this very important meeting, and you’ll only be thinking how soon you can fuck me again.”
He wouldn’t; Clive Ellicott was an expert at compartmentalizing. He had to be, to keep all his lives separate—the business, the competition, the marriage, the mistress, the traveling companion.
“How about now?” Without pausing a beat, he rolled her over onto her stomach, lifted her onto her knees, and drove into her from behind.
She knew to hold still, to let him go at her with the primitive zeal of a caveman while he fondled her. Now he felt totally in control, in a position where she couldn’t seduce him with her feminine wiles and it was just his penis dominating her sex, the way he fully believed it should be.
He crammed himself tight against her bottom for a long, grinding ejaculation and then collapsed on top of her, his expensive trousers down around his knees.
“God,” he muttered. “I want to root in you all day.”
“We should plan such a day.” But there never was time for that. He was too tightly scheduled, and running late now because she had enticed him with her brazen seduction.
That was her job, after all. That, and to make him look good when they went out in public.
“Tomorrow.” It wouldn’t happen. Tomorrow they’d be jetting to France for another meeting, first class, with every amenity, even on the short forty-five-minute hop to Orly.
But tomorrow she could suggest some quick mile-high mischief, encouraging his sense of being above all others at twenty thousand feet. He’d like that idea. And the privacy. And all the hot, kinky sex she could tease out of him.
She’d suggest it obliquely, let it be his idea. Get him revved up thinking about all the deliciously naughty things they could do.
He hadn’t moved yet. “God, you’re so tight and hot.”
“For you,” she whispered. “Do me again.”
“No time.” But he didn’t move.
She undulated her hips and felt his penis elongate. “I felt that,” she teased.
“Tomorrow.” He started withdrawing, but then thrust back into her with a rough possessiveness that was almost obsessive. “God, I can’t get enough.”
His hands were all over her buttocks, his vigor heightened by the fact that he was dressed and she was naked and open, wholly his for the taking whenever and wherever he wanted to fuck her. There was a third quick, hard fuck, and he came again. “God, no more. I won’t be able to think.”
“You’ll be such a hard-ass today,” she contradicted playfully as he reluctantly pulled out of her. “Because you know my soft ass will be waiting for you later. Don’t take too long—I’m missing your penis already.”
She watched him from the bed, her legs tangled in the sheets but spread to reveal her naked cleft, her nipples hard and prominent, a tableau she’d perfected for her clients and one that worked every time.
A moment later his face burrowed between her legs, his mouth seeking her muff, his tongue probing her irresistible clit. She came in an instant, her orgasm explosive from repressed arousal. It was another good trick, and he hardened up like cement.
“God, I can’t,” he groaned.
“Hurry back, then,” she whispered, stroking her nipple.
“Shit. Fuck.” He wrenched away and hurriedly pulled up his pants, then stood looking at her. “I don’t want to leave.”
“We’ll have all night.”
“No, we have a dinner.”
“True. And the flight tomorrow,” she added with a tinge of regret. “A whole hour wasted just sitting on a commercial flight, when we could be—” She shook her head. “But of course, there’s always Paris.”
“Be ready at five,” he ordered abruptly. “And cover your tits and ass now. I need to make some money today so I can afford your voracious cunt.”
He didn’t see her little smile as he stalked out the door. She’d played this and similar scenes dozens of times in dozens of luxury hotels all over the world.
Now he would think about that wasted hour tomorrow. He didn’t like to waste time, especially when he could be fucking her. He’d come up with a way they could be deliciously alone. He’d think of a private jet.
Why shouldn’t I?
For some reason, her lover made her think about her first boss, a married guy she was crazy about, with whom she had sex whenever they were on a business trip, or after hours on his office floor, or at lunch, when he’d pin her against his office wall.
It was always on the edge and mind-blowingly exciting.
But she’d been naive to think that no one in the office was aware of what they were doing. People watched. People gossiped. Especially the assistant art directors. Particularly Zach Leshan.
“You two are cozy. Your conversation sounds like forties movie dialogue.”
“He’s a great guy,” she’d said, keeping her tone neutral while her stomach knotted. Zach wasn’t a friend, exactly. He was a source of great gossip—if he liked you and felt like telling. She didn’t like what he was telling her now.
“He’s a great boss. How many trips has he taken you on now?”
“I am his executive assistant.”
“And the question everyone wants answered is, what are you assisting him with?”
“Company business,” she’d said sharply. “Read the new-clients list. Check the new accounts he’s brought into the shop in the past year.”
“And how many orgasms has he brought in?” Zach had asked slyly. “And why isn’t he paying you for your time?”
“Are you crazy?”
“Okay, here’s the deal. I like you and I like him. But he’s married, you’re not, and you’re giving it all up for nothing. He gets a gorgeous hottie on his arm, he gets to play outside the school yard, and he gets to relive his youth and vigor, which he then brings home to wifey, whom he can fuck to oblivion with impunity every night. But what do you get out of it, besides a long wait between trips to get fucked?”
“You are so out of your mind.”
“Honey, people talk. I’m amazed they haven’t cracked down on him yet. So you’d better reorder your priorities. When he takes you along, don’t fuck him unless he gives you something in return. Like some really expensive gift. Or like money.”
“Like per hour?” she’d sneered. “Like a hooker?”
“No, like a businesswoman who values her assets and what her time is worth.”
“God, you are so off the mark, you’d be dead if I had a knife.”
“Think about it.”
“Not going to happen.”
He had sauntered away, giving her a meaningful look over his shoulder, the son of a bitch.
At that moment, it had been two months since their last trip. Two months since she’d had sex with the boss every day, twice a day for a week. They’d snuck it in everywhere: a quickie in the morning, a blow job in the men’s room during lunch, a midnight tryst. And he’d gone back to his nice suburban home, his really nice suburban wife, and his urban executive position: guy on top.
It was insane for her to give up so much in return for just a trip out of town every now and then.
She’d hated Zach for pointing it out, and was wary of him after that exchange. But Zach wasn’t done yet.
A month later, she accompanied her boss on a trip to the Midwest—a big trip with the big guns, because they were in danger of losing the account.
A test for her, perhaps? Could she stay away from her boss, knowing that management was right in the next room, and he was down the hall?
“God, I can’t stand not having you,” he’d whispered in her ear as they grabbed a cab to the client’s headquarters the next day. “I can’t stand that they’re all looking at your tits; they all want to fuck you.” He ran his hand up her thigh, between her legs, into her naked cunt, knowing she wouldn’t be wearing panties. “It’s been too long.” He probed deeper, and she groaned.
“I know. I want it, too. But we can’t take the chance here.”
“Then somewhere else. Another hotel. Just an hour. Just so I can suck your tits. That’s all I want. An hour of tit fucking.”
What’s in it for me? What’s that hour worth to me?
“We’re almost there,” she warned.
He pressed deeper, his whisper thick with arousal. “I want the scent of your sex on my hands. I need it.”
“You can’t do this ten minutes before your presentation. Please, Bill, don’t,” she hissed.
“Then don’t tempt me,” he said abrasively, sliding away his hand.
What? It was her fault that he couldn’t control himself?
“Then don’t bring me on trips unless you’re willing to pay for the privilege,” she shot back without thinking.
“Pay for it?” He looked stunned. “You’ve been giving it away, for God’s sake. Pay for what?”
This was not the great secret love of her life. This was just a guy who’d lucked into easy, no-demands sex with a naive twentysomething who had stupidly believed he cared about her.
“For me,” she said tersely, so he knew she meant it. “From now on. If I decide I want to go any further with this relationship.”
“Shit to effing hell. Forget that.”
“Fine.” It didn’t even hurt to say that. Because she realized she wasn’t that easy or that gullible after all.
And Jillian wasn’t easy this night in London either, when she met her lover for dinner, dressed exquisitely in Chanel.
He was with a man named Oliver Baynard, an English billionaire he was courting to partner in a major business deal. He introduced her as his companion and they had a leisurely dinner together, full of good conversation, humor, and easy companionship.
At the end, her lover murmured discreetly, “Would you mind if Oliver joined us?”
“Join us how?” she asked sweetly, smiling at Oliver.
“He prefers to watch rather than be a participant.”
She looked at her lover from under her lashes. This was the time not to be easy. “I’m agreeable, if you agree to additional compensation.”
He looked faintly annoyed. “Which would be?”
She didn’t want to give a sum in front of company; that would be crass. She sensed he thought she ought to accommodate this sexual extra as a favor to him, but that wasn’t possible if she were to maintain her standards. She folded her napkin, leaned forward so that only he could hear, and murmured, “Double.”
Her lover gave her a hooded look, which told her that she was on thin ice—that this was important and that she ought not to have brought money into it, and that her having done so would make things difficult for her if they proceeded.
But she knew he wanted Oliver in that room watching them fuck. And she was there to please her lover—no matter what it cost him.
“Done,” he said reluctantly and stood up.
“Oliver,” she said warmly, holding out her hands. “I can’t wait for the rest of the evening’s events.”
“Nor I,” he said gallantly, taking her arm.
“I won’t disappoint you,” she whispered, snuggling against him.
“I’m certain you won’t.”
The minute they entered the hotel room, she ensconced their voyeur in an overstuffed chair inches from the bed, where he could see everything. Then she stripped for him, sinuously shucking her expensive clothes and kicking them lightly to the other side of the room with a bare foot.
She fondled her naked body for Oliver, stroking her nipples, her breasts, her buttocks, between her legs, sinuously belly dancing for his pleasure until she finally sank onto the bed, propped herself up on her elbows, and splayed her legs to reveal every detail of her shorn cleft to him.
As Baynard fondled his penis, her naked lover climbed into bed with her and turned to showcase his hard shaft in the lamplight for Oliver to admire, before he lifted her legs, tilted them over her shoulders, and drove deep and emphatically into her cunt.
He was a stone god that night, his penis massive and vigorous between her legs, spewing orgasm after orgasm in every possible position before he collapsed onto the bed.
“Oliver?” she asked with a playful tweak of her lover’s wilting shaft.
“Do him,” Oliver rasped.
She grasped her lover’s penis, erected it with consummate skill, and pumped him until he oozed his last drops of semen. She looked at Oliver from under her lashes, coated her nipples with her lover’s cream, and Oliver ejaculated, hard and hot all over his expensive suit.
“We’ll call the valet,” she said huskily. “Just take off your pants and come here beside me.”
She wasn’t exhausted, but Oliver was, and so was her depleted lover. She stared at the ceiling. Tomorrow an insane amount of bonus money would be transferred into her bank account, a test of her true worth to her lover. She could almost count the dollars as she counted orgasms, and she didn’t know which was more pleasurable.
She loved sex, and she loved the substantial sums she earned by pleasuring her exclusive clientele. Maybe Oliver would eventually become one of them. He was a very cultured man, very nice-looking, with a hefty enough package to attract her. If voyeurism was his thing, she could accommodate that—and that nice, thick penis that was elongating deliciously even as she watched.
“Suck it off,” Oliver said huskily, watching her.
“I’d love to.” She went to work, vacuuming him into her mouth and sucking on him with gusto.
Her lover propped himself on an elbow to watch while he stroked her heaving buttocks. A moment later he was on top of her, lifting her rump so he could enter her from behind. And then it was all pumping and sucking, and they both came nearly simultaneously, her lover in her cunt and his guest in her mouth.
“If he agrees to partner with me, this will be worth every dollar,” her lover rasped in her ear before he toppled off of her.
She called in the valet at 3:00 A.M. with instructions for him to return with pressed suits, washed underwear, and shined shoes by seven. She ordered breakfast to be delivered at six-thirty. She allowed Oliver to watch her bathe and let him ejaculate onto her nipples and watch as she pleasured herself by swirling his cream all over her hard nipples.
She sent him off with the memory of her feeding him tea and scones while sitting naked on his lap and shimmying against his burgeoning erection. At which point she just had to have his spunk for breakfast, which she proceeded to suck from him with dainty cat laps of her tongue until he swooned and spewed and gave himself up utterly to her greedy mouth.
After, she dressed him with much coy playfulness, saw that he finished breakfast, and then her job was done.
Because these high-powered, high-testosterone men wouldn’t be caught dead trolling for prostitutes, a sleek, sensual, naked, and willing woman like her could command massive sums of money for her exclusive companionship, her body, her adoration, and her time.
But it had taken Jillian a long time to come to grips with that. It started just after that client rescue trip to the Midwest when Bill, her boss and former lover, caught her alone one evening when they were working late.
“I can’t believe you meant what you said to me when we were in Denver.”
“I meant it.” She’d given a lot of thought to what she’d say if he should approach her again, and how serious she’d be about her demand for compensation. It was a scary thing to take office sex to that hard-line level. But their sex wasn’t casual anymore, and he was forever married, and that made all the difference.
“You want me to pay you for sex, is what you’re saying.” He clearly couldn’t believe it.
“I deserve some compensation for my companionship and my time,” she said, keeping her voice neutral and firm. She deserved it, she wanted it, and it occurred to her suddenly that this could possibly be her way to secure that future where she’d never be poor and hungry ever again.
“And the thing between us, the incredible sex—that’s not enough?”
“It should be enough for you to make certain you have a way to exclusively continue to fuck me.”
“You’re selling yourself? Go to hell.” He wheeled away.
“I’m offering certain things that are available to you only from me,” she corrected, mastering her temper. “If you think someone else can fill that… need, by all means, take advantage of that.”
That might have been a bluff. She felt as if she were taking baby steps toward something, but she didn’t know quite what it was. It sounded like she was prostituting herself, but there was some difference between that and what she was asking. She didn’t quite know what it was—but sex was a commodity, and every bit as salable as anything else.
Only Bill wasn’t buying. His outraged morality instantly blocked out the fact that he’d cheated on his wife. He was furious because she held the whip hand, and her body was now off-limits unless he wanted it badly enough to accede to her demands.
She felt a surge of sensual power. How badly did a man want her body? That was the question. And how much was he willing to pay—and for what?
Bill made it very plain that he wasn’t willing to pay for anything, as if that somehow would change her mind. But it only firmed up her resolve. There were too many memories in the way, anyway. She had no future here, either way. Her only recourse was to find another job.
“Learn a lesson from this,” Zach told her. “I mean, everyone’s sleeping with everybody else, and nobody’s thinking about the fallout.”
“Oh, yeah? Who’re you sleeping with?”
“What if I said Bill?”
“Ha.” She didn’t believe him. But… maybe. What if all his good advice had been rooted in jealousy?
Before she even started looking for a new job, she got a phone call.
“Is this Jillian?”
“I was referred to you by Bill Nagel.”
She clutched the receiver, her heart pounding. If Bill had betrayed her—
“I wonder if you’d join me for a drink tonight to discuss a business proposition.”
This phone call was really when and how it began. Arthur Server—perhaps his real name, perhaps not—was a closeted member of the board of directors of a major Fortune 500 corporation. He needed a female companion for a trip overseas, and he was willing to pay top dollar for her company and her discretion.
It required that she quit her job, which was not a problem. The fee was twice her year’s salary. The job required that she look and dress the part, and Arthur paid for that, too—the makeover, the clothes, the first-class ticket to Europe, the luxury four-star hotels, the dinners, the plays, the sightseeing.
There was no sex, there was just his delightful companionship on a whirlwind trip to Europe, during which he conducted business with affiliates, showcased her at half a dozen business dinners, and made sure that she was happy and entertained.
“It’s almost too much, Arthur,” she said one night during dinner, after he had given her a tiny perfect diamond set in eighteen-carat gold on a long, thin gold chain. “It doesn’t need to be this much.”
“I think it does,” he said, “precisely because you don’t expect it. I can afford it, and it’s my pleasure.”
This was the kind of man she needed to target and attract. The man who could afford it, afford her, and she needed to make herself into a sexual object of desire who was worth the money.
Arthur was so pleased with her, he passed her on to another executive, who in turn recommended her to another friend. That was the beginning. She offered discreet companionship based on trust, mutual attraction, exclusivity, discretion, and choice.
Her twin sister knew nothing about her choices. Justine was as straight an arrow as they came. She was the logical one, the just-the-facts one, the resourceful one who’d kept things together during their horrible abusive childhood when, every day, Jillian felt as if they’d fall apart.
That lasted until the night their mother gave birth to her third child, when social services unexpectedly stepped in. Jillian often wondered if Justine had called them because she was too young and overwhelmed to cope with a newborn baby, and to take care of her bedridden mother, alcohol-sodden father, and emotionally distraught twin sister.
They’d all been separated and had grown up in different foster homes, their baby sister adopted out days after she was taken and long gone from their lives, if not their memories.
Now she and Justine lived separate lives, in touch weekly by phone, by text, and dinner out once or twice a month, each of them having chosen a different path to security and certainty. Justine dealt in the clear certainties of science, and Jillian on an erotic path to big money and living in luxury.
Her cover story, that she was a body parts model, explained the huge sums of money she earned and why she was constantly traveling. But it didn’t explain her insistence on giving Justine a one-time “lock box” tour of her apartment, showing her the secret panel in her closet that hid the safe where her valuables were stored: her computer and her cell phones.
“And I’m giving you the key.”
“Why?” Justine had asked. “You’re acting like you’re some kind of secret agent or something.”
Jillian hadn’t replied, but later, over dinner, she’d said, “If I ever invoke the code, you have to take it seriously. You have to go to my apartment.”
“Why to your apartment?” Justine had wanted to know.
“Because I always leave you a message before I go on a trip. Just in case.”
“In case of what?”
“I’m always flying off somewhere. What if the plane crashes on my way overseas?”
Their childhood fail-safe was a code that meant she was in trouble and she needed the security of knowing someone had her back. Jill never mentioned it again, because both of them knew, no matter what happened, Justine would never fail her.
Several hours later, Jillian was sucking off her lover’s hard-on fifteen thousand feet over the English Channel. She obediently swallowed as he ejaculated in thick, heaving spurts, and then drew her up between his legs so she could cradle his penis between her breasts.
“We don’t have much time. Sit,” he demanded.
But for some reason, Jillian just wasn’t feeling it and was regretting her subtle suggestion for more alone time.
“I have a better idea.” An easier idea. She moved down his body to the sweet spot beneath his scrotum and began sucking ferociously. Hearing a movement behind her, she withdrew slightly, slanting her head just enough to see the pilot when he said, “Twenty minutes ETA, sir.”
“Get up here. You heard him. Twenty minutes. I want naked cunt now.”
She hoisted herself up reluctantly and mounted him. One thing she didn’t play around with was obeying her lover’s commands.
“This was such a good idea,” she murmured as she rocked and undulated against his shaft.
“A really good idea,” he panted.
“I feel that way, too.” Though she didn’t.
He grasped her breasts and heaved his hips upward. “The hell with that. Feel this.” Orgasm one. “Don’t move.” She couldn’t. He slowly rolled her over onto her back.
“Still hot and bone hard,” she whispered as she spread her legs to accommodate him.
He thrust into her violently, her hips angling upward to give him access to her pleasure point. Orgasm two erupted.
He took her like a piston, exploding into her, and thrusting through his cum and her orgasm. He didn’t need to do anything differently when he was mad with lust to possess her. It was the one thing she could use to her advantage.
He took her every way he could think of as the jet descended and prepped for landing. He never noticed her waning enthusiasm as he spewed his last drops of semen into her.
“It’s not enough,” he rasped as he collapsed on top of her, his thousand-dollar suit in total disarray all over the cabin.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she whispered.
“Don’t wash off my cum.”
“Nor you, mine,” she murmured coyly, robotically. The dialogue never changed.
“Stay naked till I finish my business and then we’ll fuck our way back to London.”
She gave it a moment’s thought. “I’d love nothing more than to wallow in your cream, but isn’t there a second meeting, tonight?”
“Shit, hell, fuck—I forgot.”
“Till then,” he whispered, slipping his fingers between her legs and feeling her semen-soaked cunt. “I’ll take this”—he held up his hand and inhaled—“with me.”
Jillian stood on the tiny balcony on the fifth floor of an exclusive hotel in Montmartre the next morning and let the incomparable sights and sounds of Paris wash over her.
This made everything worth it—her aching body, her well-used cunt, her lover-lies, the endless fucking after his meeting, with selected invitees.
If she was weary, sore, or tired of the game, she only had to remember the money. She only had to soak in a tub this morning, then fly back with him to London, and this trip would conclude with a fat deposit to her bank account.
Her lover was attending yet another meeting this morning with the same business associates she’d entertained the night before. There had been no morning delight today. But meantime, there was coffee waiting, a hot breakfast, and a soothing tub, all at his behest. He could be thoughtful sometimes.
This moment, with him gone and Paris at her feet, was perfect. She did care for him, a little. She found she always had some feelings for the men she traveled with regularly. There had to be some spark of attraction, of affection, or she wouldn’t have chosen them. She loved having the variety, but especially loved having the choice.
That made all the difference; it was the difference. She chose her lovers and never had to settle because of the money.
She idly flipped on the TV to CNN and sat down to have breakfast. A nibble on a croissant. A sip of black coffee, always reviving. God, she felt bruised. It couldn’t be that she was too old for all the acrobatics. Not yet.
She examined her legs. The faint black-and-blue marks on her thighs where her lover had grasped her could be hidden with makeup. He didn’t need to see anything else. It was her job to preserve all illusions, including her naked perfection.
The newscaster’s voice permeated her thoughts: “…word comes this morning of the death… Oliver Baynard… security… contracts…”
Her head shot up. Oliver? The Oliver who had been in her room, in her bed, two nights before? Her body went cold, and she raised the volume.
His picture was on the screen. That Oliver, the potential partner who liked watching, who preferred jacking off on her soap-slicked nipples to fucking her, who loved a blow job better than boning.
The Oliver with whom her lover was negotiating a business deal?
“… sources are reporting the death of Oliver Baynard, the British billionaire entrepreneur, in an automobile accident early this morning. Police believe Baynard was returning to his estate in Shenbridge when his limousine took a turn too fast and shot across the median into an oncoming car. According to witnesses who arrived on the scene later, the limousine was engulfed in flames…”
The camera cut to an eyewitness.
Jillian froze. No. She had to be seeing things. Maybe.
“There was nothing to be done,” the man was saying, his voice shaking as the camera zoomed in. “It was all on fire—you’d have been horribly burned if you’d tried…”
He wore a hat, low on his forehead. He stood just beside the interviewer, his shoulders hunched, his hands stuffed into his pockets. She knew him, anyway. It was his voice. The mouth. The glimpse of him she just caught from an angle on the floor on her knees was enough. Ellicott’s private pilot was right there on the screen, his voice pitched just a bit higher, his speech more colloquial. He said he had only just been told who was in the car. He said what a shame it was. He said he wished he could have done something.
Jillian sat very still, a chill washing over her. The fact that a companion was sometimes privy to business secrets was not always a good thing. She knew that her lover Ellicott had been negotiating a major security contract from the British government. She knew that Oliver Baynard had had the inside track and her lover had hoped to convince Oliver to partner with his firm and take their merger to the global marketplace.
She didn’t know what Baynard had decided.
Or perhaps now she did. But why would she even think that Baynard’s unexpected death had anything to do with a potential multibillion-dollar business deal—or his rejection of it?
It had to be just an unfortunate accident.
Their pilot was in England because Ellicott had sent him there yesterday afternoon. On business.
Purely a coincidental accident.
Not something to make a mountain out of. Scotland Yard would investigate every angle, talk to every conceivable witness. The death of Oliver Baynard was no small thing. They’d ferret out any and every connection. Including Ellicott. If there was anything suspicious about the crash, they’d find it.
No, no—wait a minute. That would impact her lover, and subsequently her life. No. She had no reason to think… it was just her imagination; that chill of suspicion in her gut wasn’t real.
But when she left for the airport very early that morning in a chauffeured limousine, she still wasn’t sure. And when the pilot appeared to welcome her on board as if nothing had happened, she instantly knew she’d made a big mistake. She didn’t imagine that look between Ellicott and the pilot.
She’d always been aware that Ellicott was a cold-blooded bastard. And it was possible that she might be only one of a handful of his associates who knew of his meeting with Baynard, who could place him with Baynard two nights before his death and could connect him to one of the alleged witnesses.
More than possible. Probable.
Maybe he’d thought she’d never see a newspaper or turn on a TV in the wake of all that sex. Or that she wouldn’t recognize the pilot.
Maybe Ellicott was a gambler, but a man could only trust his instincts—and his whore—so much.
She had no choice but to get on that jet and fly with him back to London as if nothing had happened.
He acted as if nothing had happened, and she wondered, as she slipped out of her clothes and onto his erection, whether she had imagined the look.
The sex was intense. The flight—and the orgasms—seemed to go on and on, spiraling out of control. Or was it the plane? Swaying right and left, nosing subtly downward, tilting dangerously. Her lover pulled abruptly away from her, diving for security. She scrambled after him, pawing on her clothes and grasping for her cell. She pushed herself behind a seat and texted off one word on her cell before grasping the seat, preparing for the moment of impact.
© 2010 Thea Devine
Posted April 30, 2010
Twin sisters Jillian and Justine Durant always knew they could depend on only each other during a traumatic childhood. They even set up their own SOS "Just in time" as a safety survival mechanism. As adults they moved beyond their harrowing youth in radically different ways; but shared in common a deep belief that neither would ever accept poverty again.
In the middle of the night the text fail safe message arrives from Jillian to Justine after the former sees her last lover Oliver Bayard on CNN, a murder victim. Knowing her twin needs her, Justine leaves her research job to insure her sibling is okay, but Jillian is missing. Justine quickly learns her globetrotting model sister uses the name Justine Dare as a paid companion to the affluent. Desperate she masquerades as her sibling after a wealthy customer arrives at her sister's place and assumes Justine is Jillian. The men keep coming like Zach, but who is an ally is and who is the enemy is remains elusive while Justine as Jillian searches for her missing twin.
Twins switching in a romantic suspense tale is not a new device (see Switch by Sandra Brown) although Thea Devine somewhat refreshes the plot by having one sibling disappear though that has been deployed less frequently (see Double Take by Brenda Joyce). The story line is fast-paced with plenty of sexual encounters, although the characters are not that deeply developed but Justine gets deep into the role of Jillian while researching her sister's disappearance. Fans will enjoy the ultra heated aptly titled Sex, Lies, and Secret lives.
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