That little shit is changing tomorrow.
Tomorrow, shit gets real.
I look down at her face. She"s pretty. Always was. She hasn"t changed much in two years, which surprises me. I would have thought sending six men to their deaths would have taken its toll.
But then again, you"d have to have a conscience for that.
Her hair"s longer. I bet the thick waves she used to tie in a ponytail reach the middle of her back. Her olive skin is pale for the time of year, still smooth, still perfect, just like her tiny nose, those lush, plump lips. I can see a little glimpse of white teeth behind those lying lips.
I crouch down. I"m so close, I can hear her breathe.
I inhale, taking in her scent, remembering it. Memorizing it. Filing it away as my cock stirs.
"Sleep well tonight, Eve El-Amin," I whisper, and I can"t resist touching her, pushing a wisp of soft, jet black hair off her face. "Because come tomorrow, your days are numbered and sleep will become a thing of the past."
Another bad night. Another strange feeling. Almost like I"m being watched. But something"s different this time. It"s closer. Scarier.
I brew a second cup of coffee and tell myself to shake it off when Miranda, the receptionist, walks into the break room.
"Morning, Eve." She pushes the button on the coffee machine and studies me as black liquid fills her cup. Her head is cocked to the side. "Didn"t sleep again, huh""
I"ve known Miranda for a little over a year and I"m still not sure I like her. Or trust her. But maybe the latter"s my own fault. My own nature. Maybe it"s the fact I can"t be trusted that I"m unable to trust anyone else.
"It"s too hot," I lie.
"Mm-hmm," she says and gives me a wink.
I walk past her and check my watch. "I"ve got to go. New client Devon wants me to meet."
"I saw him." Miranda waggles her eyebrows. "You always get the hot ones."
I give her a half smile. "You think every man who walks in here is hot."
She turns her attention to her cup of coffee, pouring milk and sugar into it. "True."
I walk to my office, which is beside Devon"s. Devon is my boss. He owns Alderson Realty. It"s a small, family-run business that goes back almost a hundred years. It was started by his great-great-grandfather, Marty Alderson, and has been passed down through the generations. I"ve been working here since I got to Denver, which was about six months after arriving in the country. Here, I"m Eve Adams. And to hear me speak, anyone would think I was a native-born American. My looks give away my roots, but apart from one or two questions on background"which I lie about"most people assume I"m second-or third-generation and leave it at that.
My name change, it wasn"t my decision. I wanted to keep El-Amin, but couldn"t. I needed to become a different person after that night for so many reasons. And I"m trying hard to be Eve Adams. But there"s that old saying: wherever you go, there you are.
And here I am.
No matter how much time goes by, it"s like the past is still right here"my constant companion"always reminding me.
At my desk, I set my coffee down and take a deep breath before gathering my folders. The new client Devon wants me to meet is looking for a large property with lots of acreage. I heard the numbers and if we can get this job, it"ll be a big deal for us. I know the firm needs the money. Alderson Realty has held its own for a while, but with increased competition from larger realtors and the market being what it is, the future doesn"t look very promising.
My cell phone buzzes with a text message. I don"t need to read the display to know Devon"s waiting for me with the client. I"m running late, and he showed up early. I type a quick reply telling him I"m on my way, gather the things I need and head to the conference room. Miranda gives me a wink when I pass her desk and I roll my eyes. Once I get to the conference room door, I double check my appearance in the full-length mirror on the wall, adjust the skirt of my suit, then push the door open.
"Ah, there she is," Devon says.
He"s facing me, sitting at the head of the table that seats twelve. He rises and touches the chair to his right. My usual seat. The client"s sitting at the other end of the table with his back to me, but he"s so close I catch a whiff of his aftershave, which seems familiar for some strange reason. He doesn"t stand or turn to greet me as I enter.
"Good morning," I start, closing the door. I can only see the back of the client"s head. He has short, neatly trimmed dark hair, big, really broad shoulders and thick arms. It"s almost as though the chair isn"t quite wide enough for his muscular build. "Sorry I"m late," I say, my brain trying to process the memory of the aftershave he"s wearing and the odd feeling that accompanies it. I walk around the table, eyes on my folders and the too-full cup of coffee I should have drunk before coming in here.