True Deceptions (True Lies)(2)By: Veronica Forand
When he pulled the straps of her dress down and claimed an exposed breast, she sighed again and spurred him on by brushing her fingers though his hair. His thumb played with her nipple until her sighs turned into moans. Soon he had her sprawled across the couch, topless and begging for attention. He complied with her wishes and provided her with pleasures small town farm boys had probably never shown her.
His kisses moved up her neck, stopping to nibble her earlobe. She turned toward him, demanding his attention on her soft, full lips. His mouth feathered over hers until she parted her lips, and their tongues met. She tasted like champagne mixed with nuts. Almonds. Bitter almonds. Shit.
Her eyes widened, and she gasped for breath. He pulled away just before her body began to convulse. Five to ten minutes since the last sip—someone must have spiked the hell out of the champagne for the poison to hit her so quickly. It didn’t help that she’d spent dinner flirting instead of eating. She had nothing in her system to stop the cyanide from killing her.
Simon turned away from Anna Marie and spit out her saliva. He wiped his tongue on his shirt and then spit again. He’d be fine, but she wouldn’t be. He knelt next to the couch and brushed her hair back. Her body rocked, and he held her steady by her shoulders, whispering stupid nothings, but the horror reflected in her eyes didn’t subside. Her convulsions had slowed, and tears fell fast down her cheeks. She would die in the arms of a stranger who didn’t know her, love her, or have the capacity to mourn for her.
Anger rushed through him. Another woman dies because of me. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”
Struggling to breathe, she stared at him as though he was a monster, until her eyes shut, and she faded away from Bermuda and the glamorous life she’d never have.
No one was supposed to know his location. He’d stayed hidden for the past eight months. It was time to relocate and hide somewhere new.
The next few hours involved moving her body to a vacant room in his hotel. The task was easily handled with the help of a laundry cart and knowledge of the security cameras. He cleaned off the champagne bottle and left it by her side for the local authorities to play with.
When he returned to his suite, he had a visitor. An unexpected and unwanted visitor.
“Simon Dunn. On a stakeout, are you?” Dressed in white trousers and a pink polo shirt, Tucker Magee looked like a pretty boy on a modeling assignment instead of a spineless intelligence officer.
“I’m on vacation.”
“For eight months?”
“How the hell did you find me, Tucker?”
“The problem with shagging every sexy woman on the island is their love of social media. The boys at headquarters have had the facial recognition program scanning for you for months.”
“Glad to know the vast resources of the Secret Intelligence Service are used for employee retention instead of actually protecting the commonwealth. You could simply offer more vacation time and a better benefits package.”
Tucker glanced at the back of his hand. No doubt he’d just had a manicure and was admiring the handiwork. His image had always taken priority over his actual job requirements. “Her name was Sarah, here on break from university.”
“I don’t remember her.”
“A picture of her in a bar with her friends showed your ugly face in the background. They tagged you ‘hot guy.’” He smiled, the snotty prat.
“What the hell do you want?”
“My assignment is to bring you back to London.”
“I’m not ready.”
Tucker’s eyebrows rose. “Word on the street is you killed Luc Perrault after he stole away your latest piece of ass. They even say you snuffed Nicola in a rage of passion.”
His accusation fueled Simon’s anger. “I didn’t kill her.”
“Doesn’t matter. The rumor will increase your influence brokering arms deals. Everyone’s going to mind you now that you’re a known murderer, and that makes it even more important that you return to your post.”
“I don’t think you understand your options. Come back immediately or stay here and face a murder conviction.” Tucker tapped his fingers together beneath his chin and grinned. “Choose wisely.”
Simon’s heart accelerated to full speed, drugged by adrenaline and fury. The bastard had framed him, killing a beautiful someone in order to punish him for leaving a job that slowly burned away his soul. He stormed over to Tucker’s chair, intent on ripping his heart out. Before he reached him, Tucker pulled out his revolver and pointed it directly at Simon’s crotch. His eyes narrowed, and he waved Simon back with the barrel of the gun.