I ran a hand through my hair, leaning back in the chair as I looked at my four employers across the conference table. They were the typical rich men. Old, filthy, and willing to do anything to keep their family and company names clean. Of course, these men didn't like to do their own dirty work. They didn't even hire men within their companies. They hired outside help. Typically, company issues were dealt with in the feuding companies, but these four deigned the issue too big to deal with. I tapped my finger against the very thin file in front of me, eyeing the men in front of me one by one.
The file contained two pages. Each page contained information on two very dangerous men. They were young, charismatic, and incredibly smart. According to the details under their names, these two men had come from nothing. They hated the wealth of society and stole from the powerful to gain their own riches. Twisted Robin Hoods. They were behind the murders and disappearances of several hired guns, but nothing could be proven. These old rich men hadn't been able to pin them down and they needed a lethal outsider to get the job done. I flicked the file open again, just to annoy the men in front of me. They needed me. I did not need them. If these men looked anything like their pictures, I was going to have some fun. If I took the job. The taller man looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on where I had seen him before. I glanced at the pictures again before looking at the men in front of me.
"You expect me to just," I waved my hand about, "hunt down these two men? With this information?" I scoffed, shaking my head. "There's no way."
"Miss Thomas," the elderly man on the far right sat forward - his chair squeaked under his weight as he did so - "these men are destroying our businesses. Our livelihood. We ne-"
"What?" I interrupted with a snort, "do you expect me to fix your problems? I mean, that's what they are - your problems." The man frowned, annoyed.
"Miss Thomas," he insisted, "we are paying you $4 million-"
"Each?" I sat back, gesturing to each man, "or collectively? With this information and their reputations, it'll take a lot more than $4 million to get the job done." The man's lips formed a thin line and he sat back, crossing his arms. He turned his beady eyes to his fellow owners and they too frowned.
"Look," I smirked, leaning my elbows on the table and offering my hands up in a sign of goodwill, "if you want them gone, I'm going to need the money. There are plenty of other fat, wealthy men begging for my help. You called me because I'm the only one that can get this done. So, what will it be?" I raised a brow. I was the best in the business. I was barely thirty and already rolling in money. I could have this arrogance. I knew it would get me killed someday, but I wanted to savor the time while it lasted.
"Fine," the one on the far left conceded and stood. He was far younger than his colleagues and much smarter. We had worked together before. He offered a hand across the table to the unconcealed horror on the other men's faces. I rose with a triumphant grin. He turned to the others.
"We called her because she can eliminate these two men. They are destroying our empires and I'm not about to see mine fall just as soon as I get it," he looked at me and I smirked, shaking his hand. His grip tightened as we shook and I locked eyes with him. "If you fail," he warned, "I'll kill you myself."
"Don't worry," I smirked, releasing him, "I never do." He straightened his jacket before leaving the conference room in silence. I shook the other men's hands and stood triumphantly at the head of the table alone.
These young men were elusive. My first week on hunting them had gone incredibly slow. From the two pages of information, I gathered that they never stayed in one city for longer than a month which was annoying as hell. They never stayed in hotels and used cash to purchase everything. They had no money trail whatsoever. Even though they were wealthy, they always had money on them to purchase whatever they needed. My source said they were party animals, wanting to showcase their power grab at a grand party. Allegedly, every city they stopped in, they held a massive party to display their stolen wealth and give to the lowlifes and outcasts that they brought to the parties. Of course, that meant the location of these parties were secret and only an invite could get you in. First, I needed a way to find them and second, I needed an invite. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to do that.
I sat at a cafe table in Paris, glaring at the laptop in front of me. According to the file, they had been spotted here about two weeks ago. I had asked around about any extravagant parties being held in the last two weeks, but nobody had heard anything. Hopefully that meant they hadn't left Paris.
I shut the laptop in mild frustration. I was going to an underground club tonight. Hopefully, I would run into someone there who knew something about these men.
It reeked of alcohol and smoke. I personally hated these kinds of places, but sometimes the job required it. I also got to dress up in the most primal way. Tonight I had chosen to wear my hair loose and wild. I had chosen a tight, deep red cocktail dress that squeezed against my curves. It revealed far too much. Personally, I hated it. I got attention from all the wrong guys. I preferred the classier way of luring in my victims, but tonight wasn't that night. I was here to look desperate. I was here to dance.
The crowd pulsed with the music. The beat echoed in my chest like my own heartbeat. Soon, my whole body was enveloped in the music and I went into the crowd, dancing and grinding. I twisted my hips, ran my hands through my hair, and let myself be wild and free. Of course, my mind was focused on the task at hand. I was here to get an invite to the bigger, better party if it was still happening.
It had been ten minutes before I felt a pair of firm hands fall around my waist. I held back the little gasp of delight that tried to escape my parted lips as I was pulled back against an amazingly firm body. I was hoping against hope it was somebody handing out invites. I needed to get in.
I tossed my head back against the stranger's shoulder, running my arms up his and locking my fingers behind his neck. We moved perfectly in sync, but his breath against my neck distracted me.
"You looked lonely," he rasped in my ear, pulling my hips back against his and I let out a little sound of delight to keep him interested. I could tell his hair was dyed blond, his roots were still dark, but I couldn't see what his original hair color had been in the darkness.
"I was," I gasped. He dragged his teeth down my neck, biting lightly at the spot where my neck met my shoulder. Unconsciously, I tilted my head so he could have better access. The job left a little room for me to have fun. I would take advantage of it.
"There's a great place for you - if you're lonely," he growled in my ear. In one quick movement, he had my body pressed front to front against his. His hands were firmly planted on my hips and his face was right above mine. He managed to somehow keep my hands around his neck. As I looked up at him, I realized this was one of the thieves I had been looking for. And my god, he was much more handsome in person. His picture did him no justice. His face was sharp and even though it was dark, his eyes were piercing. It would be such a shame to kill him. I swallowed. I needed to focus. I hadn't brought the tools to dispose of him now. I thought that the invite wouldn't be given out personally by the two, but rather by henchmen. I realized he was waiting for my answer, his eyes watching my face.
"And does that involve your bed?" I asked lightly, teasing. I needed to lure him.
"Not tonight," he gave me a wry smile before moving his mouth to my ear, "but I can assure you there will be a time tomorrow," he whispered. "If you wish," he added, sending a shiver down my spine. God, no man had ever made me feel so deliciously warm.
"Where?" I breathed and even though I could barely hear myself above the noise, he read my lips and smirked down at me. He leaned down again, tugging on my earlobe as he murmured the location and code to get in. I closed my eyes in success. I had gotten exactly what I had come for tonight. That usually never happened. I had been granted a ton of luck this evening. He pulled away, about to step away from me to go find another woman to lure before I grabbed his wrist.
"Do I get a name? So I can find you at this party?" I asked innocently, my eyes widening. He grinned at me and stepped towards me.
"I'll give you mine if you give me yours," he conceded, grabbing my hip with a hand. I ran my hands up his arms, my eyes following the movement before I looked up at him.
"I'm Delilah," I told him a tad bit too eagerly and pulled his face down to mine for a searing kiss. No one ever said I didn't have to get involved with the mark before I killed him. He was a good looking specimen and it would be a shame to let him go to waste.
He fell into the kiss like we had been doing it for years. His mouth firm and dominating as he fought for control. Our tongues danced together and I felt the club fade into the background as we became the only two people around. Time stopped for me and then suddenly he pulled away, smirking as I leaned after him.
"The name is Sea," he bit his lip before disappearing into the crowd. Of course, I thought, he wouldn't give me his real name. There was no way he was foolish enough to give that out. He had been stealing from rich guys for sixteen years. There was no way he did that and gave his name out without getting caught. It was going to be a shame to put him down.
I stood in the mirror of my hotel room, looking at the attire I had chosen tonight. Instead of that foul dress, I had chosen clothes that were much easier to move around in. I wore ripped skinny jeans and a tight dark blue shirt that showed too much cleavage to be appropriate, but I was here to lure in modern day Robin Hoods and kill them. I smirked at myself in the mirror, running my hands up into my hair. It was time to get my party on again.
The location was pretty out of the way. The entrance was tucked between a rundown hotel and shady cafe. The only indication that it was the entrance was the slouched figure in the alleyway. I slid up to the man, licking my lips. He was European, maybe French, but he was only half by the color of his skin. Maybe Asian descent. These boys definitely hired men from close to home.
"Hi," I laughed airily, leaning against his arm, wrapping my fingers around his wrist, "do you know where the party is?" I batted my eyelashes up at him, pursing my lips. My French was not as smooth as I would have liked it to be, but it passed for a foreigner.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he turned his eyes away from me and kept his focus on the flickering sign above the cafe.
"Come now," I purred, rising to my tiptoes to whisper in his ear the password Sea had given me. The man's face twitched and I smirked as I moved away from him. He gestured with his head for me to follow after him. He led me down the alleyway. He opened the door to the back of the motel. I could feel the energy in the air and I steeled myself against the crowd that I was not used to being around.
These two kills should go down in my history as some of the best because I absolutely hated blending into the degenerate crowd. I slipped in and out of the crowd until I reached the bar on the far side of the room. I needed a drink if I was going to survive tonight.
"Vodka," I mumbled and the man smirked, pouring the drink.
"Are you not used to this scene?" he asked. I noted his English wasn't very good.
"Just not used to this many people," I said and downed the drink. Somebody slid up to the bar next to me. I glanced over at him. It was the other man in the files. My heart quickened. He was leaner and shorter than his counterpart, but he looked every bit the young, rich man he looked in the picture. He wasn't stunningly attractive, but his eyes did draw me in and I felt entranced. How was he this vastly different from his partner and they work together so well? Sea seemed arrogant and bold, while this man seemed contemplative and wise. He wasn't the action type. So why was he talking to me?
"Are you a gracious party host?" I asked, assuming his English was as good as his partner's.
"I am one of them, yes," he nodded to the bartender and turned to face me once more. "How'd you get in here tonight?" He asked, grabbing his drink as the bartender set it next to him.
"I was invited, of course," I chuckled lightly, trying to divert his attention off my uncomfortableness.
"You may have been invited, but you lied about who you were to do so," he leaned forward, his dark eyes searching mine, "who are you really?" I licked my lips, trying not to let my expression falter. How had he picked me out so easily? They must have had a list of assassins somewhere -
"My name is Delilah -"
"Sea told me about you last night and I know that's not true," he whispered darkly and I strained to hear him over the music.
"Well, then," I sat forward, placing my hand on his arm, "tell me who I am." If I couldn't get my facade past him, I would make him guess who I was. He grabbed my wrist. Fear shot through my veins and I knew he could feel my pulse quicken under his fingers. He tugged me out of the chair and through the crowd into a dark hallway. If he was going to try anything, I had to be ready. He released my wrist and put a hand on his hip - no, something on his hip, a gun. I didn't think to bring anything like that. He pressed a button and an elevator dinged.
Light flooded the hallway and I noted the reflective mirror-like surface on the walls. I glanced back at the man and he gestured for me to walk in with a nod of his head. I stepped in and he followed. I leaned back against the railing. He pressed a button. They hid their wealth very well. From the outside, you could not tell this elevator was in here.
"Off," he said sharply and I leaned forward, raising a brow. He took a deep breath and the doors dinged. They slid open and I held back my gasp of surprise. I had been around luxury before. I slept with royalty on occasion, but I was not prepared for the amount of gold and riches I found in this penthouse. Everything seemed gold plated. Jewels sat on the end tables. Sea sat on one of the leather couches facing a large open window that overlooked Paris. They hid their wealth very well.
"Sebastian, what the hell were you thinking?" The man next to my side suddenly shouted and jerked me forward. I stumbled and turned to glare indignantly at him.
The other man turned to look at us, bemused, and he smiled when he spotted me.
"I knew who she was," he shrugged with a laugh, "that's why I invited her." He got up easily, shrugging his jacket off and draping it over the couch.
"Did you now?" His partner spat, "do you know who she is? What she is?" He pushed me forward and I turned to look at him, anger growing.
"Hey!" I snapped, "I'm not just a piece of meat to be tossed around. I am a wom-"
"Of course, I know who she is," Sea chuckled as he moved towards me, cat-like. He grabbed my chin with a hand and studied my face. I watched his eyes as they landed on my lips. They flicked back up to his partner, "It's not like she'll be able to do anything to us, Alexander." I had names now. I could search for them for the right price. I noted how tense they were around each other. They weren't the tight partnership they projected.
"Who is she then, Sea? What's her name? What does she do to men like us?" Alexander snapped, glaring at us. I jerked my face away from Sea and stepped away from the two as they started to fight.
"I only know her by Delilah," he trailed a hand along the back of the couch, "it's an alias she uses when she talks to her marks." I froze. They knew. I was sosososo fucked. How did I get out of this situation. I was going to die. This was it. I had been caught. These men definitely did their research on all the possible assassins in the world that could kill them.
"Her name is Miss Thomas," Alexander growled as he gestured to me, "she's an assassin of twelve years. She is ridiculously good at her job. She's been sent to kill us-" Sea let out a burst of laughter. Alexander stiffened.
"You sound ridiculous," Sea scoffed and moved towards me. I straightened, tilting my head back to get a good look at him. He was much taller than his counterpart. "She might be a killer, but she isn't Thomas. I met Thomas," my eyes widened, "this isn't her." How had I not remembered Sebastian? It was at a party during my early years. It had been a black tie event. He had been alone. I had missed a mark earlier that day and had come to the event to see if I could find him. I didn't, but I had found Sea. He hadn't told me his name, but he had showed me a great time.
"This girl is sloppy," Sea said, gesturing to me, "she wasn't sent here to kill us, Alexander . There must be another mark here for her. You probably ruined it." I bit my tongue. I wasn't sloppy. I was glad that Sea was arrogant enough to believe I was someone different, but I hadn't been sloppy. My pride stung.
"You're wrong-" Alexander shook his head.
"You're paranoid," he clapped Alexander on the shoulder and turned to me. "Let me have her for tonight. I'll get her safe and sound and away from us tomorrow." As he moved towards me, sliding his hands down my shoulders. I bit back a response. Obviously, Alexander didn't trust me. And he had every right not to. Alexander glared at us both one final time before stepping into the elevators and heading back downstairs.
I turned to Sea and his confident smirk never faded.
"So, what are you going to do with me?" I asked and he took a step closer to me.
"I did promise you a good time, did I not?" He asked with a raised brow before he grabbed my face and pulled me into an embrace. I eagerly melted into him, excited for the night ahead. I could figure out a plan of action tomorrow, but tonight was mine.
Two months passed and Sea kept me as his dirty little secret. He made sure Alexander never knew I was around, but I made sure when I sneaked out that I always passed Alexander. The strife started to rise between the two partners and their money suffered because of it. They got in fights often. Alexander was still certain that I was Thomas.
He was right.
Sea was still blind to who I was. He started to take me out into the countries that they visited. He showed me all the sights and he bought me things that he thought I would enjoy. I was quickly coming to realize I enjoyed spending time with him.
I stood on the balcony of their Greek penthouse in only Sea's shirt. The breeze drifted in from off the coast and I took a deep breath. I had gotten several calls from my employers recently, looking for their prize. I told them this would take time. I hadn't gotten attached. They were just never in the same spot at once where I could kill them easily.
I wasn't attached.
"Miss Thomas," Alexander's smooth voice entered my thoughts, "why are you still here? I know you've been sent to dispose of us and if my source is right, it was for a pretty penny." He was by my side. I blinked, pulled from my thoughts.
"I was not hired to kill either of you, Alexander," I ran a hand through my hair and turned to face him, "I eliminated my last mark and I haven't been called up since. I've been spending time here waiting for something to come up. And my name isn't Thomas." Something clicked in my brain. Alexander was here. Sea was in the next room. They were here together. I took a step towards him. I watched his eyes as they fell to my exposed thighs and then away from me, quietly disgusted with himself. How had I not noticed? He wanted me. I could use this. The balcony was high up and a fall could easily kill a man... I slid into my seductress, stepping towards Alexander.
"I know you want me, Alex," I whispered. His head snapped towards me and his eyes darkened. "Ever since you saw me at the party in Paris you've been jealous of Sea. You want me," I leaned forward. It was a shot in the dark but the way his eyes darkened told me I was right. He grabbed my hips, pulling me into him. I braced myself against him and brought my lips to his. He was powerful and demanding and he shoved me against the railing, running a hand up my thigh. I gasped and run my fingers up into his hair. I spun him around and pushed him against the railing.
"God, Delilah, I- what the-" I shoved myself away from him and he stumbled and went backwards over the railing. His petrified screech of terror was my key to head back into Sea's room. One down. One to go. I headed through the kitchen and grabbed a knife. It was going to be sloppy and I'd have to keep the blade. God, how would I get out. Nobody had seen me come in. Sea had sneaked me in, again.
I couldn't touch Sea. I loved him - No, I didn't. I wasn't attached.
I slipped into Sea's room, the room falling into darkness. The only light in the room came from the charging station on the wall. Sea was spread out on the bed, a bed sheet was the only thing covering him. I sighed and climbed into bed, throwing a leg over his hip and leaning over him. He let out a little sigh of pleasure. Oh, how I loved that sound - No!
"Lila," he murmured as I placed my lips on the inside of his neck. I savored the taste of him. I would miss this.
"I'm sorry, Sea," I whispered in his ear and drove the blade between his ribs with a grunt of effort. He gasped, his hands digging into my arms as I twisted the hilt of knife. The warm gush of blood flowed over my hand and stained my shirt - no, this was his shirt... his shirt - I ripped the blade out and climbed off of him. He choked and gasped as I left the room and I slammed the door. The job was done. The men wouldn't be found and I had my money.
That was all that mattered.
That was all that mattered.
"You finished them?" The oldest man at the table asked, leaning forward, "both of them? Where is their money? Their stolen goods?" I slammed my hands on the table and all the men jumped, shocked.
"You paid me to off them," I snarled, catching them off guard with my anger, "not steal their money. Send your men to find it. Give me my money and you'll never see me again." I stood, tossing the bloody blade on the table. I didn't clean the blade just so that they had proof. I had hired two men to take Alexander's body back into the penthouse so that no one would find it in the streets when the morning sun rose. Grief was an unfamiliar emotion to me and I loathed the way it made me want to throw up. The youngest man watched me, his eyes narrowing. He had worked with me before. He knew me somewhat well. I hated him in this moment.
"You have your checks, you're dismissed," he murmured evenly and I strode out of the room, bitter, angry, and heartbroken. In this job, you couldn't get attached to a mark or you would hate yourself when you had to kill them in the end.