“HIT ME,” said the man sitting at the blackjack table, swallowing in eager anticipation of the next draw.
While checking his watch, he waved over the cute little waitress in a black vest and white fringed skirt from where she hovered by the wall. Arriving at the table, she
leaned in at his side which made strands of her blonde hair dangle.
“What can I get for you?”
“Amaretto on the rocks, please.” He reached into his back pocket, and pulled out a twenty from his wallet while giving her a crooked, boyish grin. “Keep the change, beautiful.”
“Thank you very much, sir.”
Devon Bertrand grinned. A man had to love Las Vegas. The bustling city invited escapism for all those who sought it. The cards offered adrenaline, and the alcohol provided courage and amnesia in equal measure. A case half-full of winnings within arms reach, a pretty lady at his beck and call, and all the drinks he could want—and the evening had only begun.
Without any cares or worries, he drained the last half-inch of liquid. Devon set the glass down on the table, savouring the smooth flavour as it burned its way down his throat.
Calm fingers ran through his espresso-coloured hair, and he focused his intimidating hazel eyes on the other players at the table. The solid muscle behind his grey, pin-striped suit marked him as a man in charge.
“You’re up,” said a burly contender in black. “What’s it gonna be?”
Six Months Ago
Born and raised in Canada, Devon had been out of high school for a couple years now. The dream of traveling the world had always been on his mind since a young age. Out of everywhere he’d been, he hoped Washington, D.C. would be his most memorable adventure. After touring the White House, he stopped to appreciate the Lincoln Memorial statue. The Arlington Bridge, which stood nearby, served as a good resting spot.
Perched on the concrete railing of the bridge, Devon had been lulled into a thoughtful, peaceful state by the water below his dangling feet.
A tourist’s duffle bag slipped and bashed into Devon’s side, almost knocking him off the edge. “Hey, careful man.”
The man tucked the duffle bag closer to his body and realized what he’d done. “Oh, sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. Just watch where you’re swinging that thing,” Devon warned, trying to be kind about the situation. Then a thought crossed his mind, and he pulled out his camera. “Hey, um, I know this is kinda random, but would you mind taking a picture of me here?”
“Yeah, sure thing,” the man answered.
“Awesome, thank you.” Devon handed the camera over and smiled for the picture. Once he received his camera, he stashed it in his jacket pocket. “Thanks, I’m Devon, by the way. What’s your name?”
“Um, it’s Brett,” the blond man said as they shook hands. His cool blue eyes, coupled with his smile, conveyed a sense of wonder and adventure. Close to the same height as Devon, he had a bit more of a slender physique.
“Nice to meet you, Brett. What brings you to Washington?” Devon’s social side took over.
Brett hugged the duffle bag closer to his body. “Just one of the places on my bucket list. Yourself?”
“Pretty much the same. I just love to travel. I’m thinking maybe Italy next, or wherever the winds take me.”
“Ah, yes. I’m, uh… I’m kinda going by the same philosophy.” Brett cocked his eyebrow for a split-second. Glancing to the left, he caught sight of eight men casually approaching the opposite end of the bridge, all dressed in suits.
“We’ve got him spotted,” one of the men said into his watch with a discreet scratch of his sideburn. His earpiece blended in with his ear, barely visible to the public eye.
“Don’t make a scene,” the man on the other end cautioned. “I’m counting on you.”
“We’ll get him, don’t worry.”
The suited man led his group onto the Arlington Bridge. Their pace quickened as they headed toward the target.
Brett was their mission.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea,” Brett suggested with a gentle grasp of Devon’s arm. “Wanna spend the day together? We could be each other’s photographer.”
“Um, maybe?” Hesitant, Devon noticed the guy he’d just met seemed spooked. When he glanced in the direction Brett had, Devon saw the suspicious group of suits. That doesn’t seem good. His eyes bounced back to the man standing before him. Who is this guy?
“Great! I even know of an authentic Chinese restaurant for lunch. That is if you haven’t eaten,” Brett proposed with a charming grin. “I guarantee you dumplings that will change your life. What do you say?”
Devon had no idea of how to respond. But something about the man intrigued him. Is he being genuine, or is he in trouble and needs help? In the matter of seconds, he said, “Sure, I gue—”
“Fantastic!” Brett flashed his winning smile once more. As he led his new friend away from the bridge, his duffle bag bounced off his side.
In a somewhat hurried stroll with Brett, Devon had no idea where his newfound friend was taking him or why he’d even asked him to tag along. He wondered if he might be able to get some sort of answer. “Everything all right?”
“Fine.” Brett sounded rushed, almost agitated. “I’m fine. Keep up, bud.”
Brett’s brisk walk progressed into an even faster pace. He turned his head, catching sight of the men in suits still following behind them.
Brett guided Devon by the arm over to a parked double-decker tour bus.
“He’s behind the bus!” The man directing the group broke into a run as their target boarded the bus. The tourist vehicle merged onto the main street.
“We’ve lost him, sir,” the leader reported to his superior, slowing to a stop to catch his breath. “He boarded a bus with a civilian I’m guessing he’s befriended.” He cleared his throat, followed by a deep breath. “Haven’t ID’d the civilian. I’ll get Agent Phipps to pull up the tour schedule.”
The suited man tugged on the cuff of his shirt, starting to doubt if their mission would be successful. “Bring the cars up, boys. Let’s get ‘em.”
Devon seemed certain he’d win this round. A ten of diamonds and an eight of clubs were his.
The burly contender beside him stared at his own cards. A ten of clubs and a seven of spades made him confident as well.
“What do you say we up the stakes?” Devon’s face showed no fear as he shoved another five grand into the pot.
The competitor smirked. “Well, kid, either you’re lucky or incredibly stupid.”
With a bold stare, Devon took a long sip of his drink and remained silent.
A power move.
The man rubbed nervous fingers through his trimmed beard. While clearing his throat, he also threw five grand into the middle of the table.
Over by the bar, someone had been engaged in Devon’s blackjack game from a distance. A woman nursed a delectable chocolatini, keen on watching to see who would win.
And to find out who Devon was.
Drink in hand, she strolled over to an empty chair at the table to gain a closer vantage point.
Devon’s glance converted into a stare.
Gorgeous, flowing auburn hair framed her light skin, and intense, aquamarine eyes which sparkled had him captivated. The dark red dress she wore hugged her curves, dipped low in the front, and hung just past her knees.
After having his breath taken away, Devon remembered to breathe and refocused his attention back to the game.
“Sir, you have seventeen,” the dealer announced.
“You know what, sir, I think I’m gonna stay.” The man wore a conceited grin.
“And you, sir?” the dealer asked Devon.
“You know what…?” Devon remained calm and confident. “Hit me.”
The woman’s eyes bounced back and forth between him and the card being revealed. A two of hearts.
The dealer flipped over Devon’s second card.
“Hit me now!” the bearded opponent demanded.
The dealer threw down the card.
Jack of diamonds.
The man stared down at his cards in disappointment, mumbling something under his breath as the dealer flipped over his second card.
As he observed the reactions of everyone at the table, Devon noticed the dealer shooting him a slight glare of suspicion.
Unconcerned by the dealer’s facial expression, Devon became more interested in the redheaded woman at the table. With an arm, he slid his winnings closer and placed them in a silver case for safe keeping.
The win fascinated the woman, who tickled the rim of her glass with a finger. “Impressive.”
Devon stopped in his tracks to get a better look at the stunning beauty, and shrugged with a grin. “Nah, it’s all in the cards. You, on the other hand, I’m sure people use that word on you all the time.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Not as many as you think.”
“Well then, would you give me the chance?” He held out his left hand, wondering and hoping she would amuse him.
Their eyes locked, and she refrained from taking another sip of her chocolatini. The poise in his stance, boldness in his tone, and the spirit in his eyes drew her in. “Why not?” With a smile, she placed her hand in his.
When her soft skin met with his, it sent a jolt to his knees as they shook hands. “To start, what does a beautiful woman like you call yourself?”
“Alexandria,” she answered with a cute smile as she drew her hand away. “If this sounds too forward, forgive me, but does a handsome man like you have a significant other?”
“Sadly, no.” Devon swirled the remaining liquid in his glass before gulping down the rest of the amaretto. “I’d love to take the chance to make a new friend though. Why don’t we chat over dinner?”
“Eager to use your winnings so soon?”
Devon grinned at the playful manner in which she spoke. To a degree, he wondered about her true intentions. Is she looking for a good time or for a score of my winnings? Nonetheless, she intrigued him in every way.
And she thought the same about him.
Trying to hide smiles, they accompanied each other over to the restaurant in the casino. Once they found a table, they enjoyed some conversation while browsing the menus.
Alexandria laid her menu on the table, wanting to focus more on him. “So, what do you do for a living?”
“Me?” Devon gave her an innocent grin. “I’m an architect.”
Six Months Ago
“Can I ask you a question?” Devon’s curiosity itched for answers.
“Go ahead.” Brett braced himself, preparing to give the most appropriate answer. He wondered about the possible inquiries on Devon’s mind.
“Why did we randomly get on this bus?” Devon searched his new friend’s face for a reaction. “Is there something going on? Like, are you running from the law or something? ‘Cause I saw those guys in the suits.”
Brett hesitated, rubbing his forehead. The kind of conversation Devon just started was something he’d hoped to avoid, but now it was inevitable. He finally decided to tell his accidental travelling partner the truth. “Can I trust you?”
“I just want to know what’s going on.”
“Can I trust you with a secret?”
Devon sensed the seriousness in Brett’s tone. “Yes, you can.”
Brett scanned the half-empty bus in case there were others listening in.
“Look, at first, I thought we were going to say hi and bye. But, because you’ve seen my face and know my name, I might as well tell you. Those men back there on the bridge, they’ve been following me for a couple days now. And it’s because, well, I have great skills,” Brett explained in a certain nonchalant manner. Simply another normal day for him.
What have I gotten myself into? Devon wondered, unsure about his new friend. But his curiosity got the better of him. “What kind of skills?”
“Well, I’m skilled in hand-to-hand combat, sword fighting, gun slinging, basically a weapons specialist,” Brett answered matter-of-factly as if it was his grocery list. “All that kind of stuff.”
Bewildered, Devon opened his eyes wide. “Whoa, hold on. That’s just… Are you like a…” After glancing around the bus, he lowered his voice. “…A secret agent or something?”
“That’s correct, but I’m much more complex.” Brett remained casual. “I’m also an expert mathematician, scientist, and engineer.”
“Holy crap,” Devon whispered in amazement, remembering people were around them. “You’re serious?”
“Of course, and I’ve created different gadgets, as well,” Brett added with more enthusiasm. “A collapsible jet-pack, force-field creator, cloaking, teleportation device—”
“Seriously? A teleportation device?”
“You’re full of questions, aren’t you?” Brett smirked, amused by Devon’s reactions.
“Tour bus just turned left onto Palisades Parkway.” Brett heard the report from his earpiece, trying his best to stay a step ahead of the suits in pursuit.
Another question came to Devon’s mind, this one more serious. “So then, how come you’re running from them? Are you wanted for something?”
“I needed a little vacation. You know, some relaxation.”
Devon snorted. “You call this relaxing?”
“Listen, bud, I wanted to get away to start a new life with no recollection of my past,” Brett conveyed with a slight sadness in his voice as he stared out the window. “Haven’t you ever wanted to do that?”
Devon shrugged. “Can’t say I have.”
Brett continued. “Even though I would be perfectly capable of handling myself in the field, they didn’t want to take the chance of losing me and my brilliance to continue their experiments.”
The last word stuck in Devon’s head, which started to hurt. “Experiments?”
Aware of a bus stop up ahead, Brett noticed their next getaway vehicle. Duffle bag tight against his torso, he turned to Devon. “Okay, when this bus stops, we’re getting off as quickly as possible and into a taxi. You know me now, so I have to keep you close until we can sort this all out.”
“Fine,” Devon agreed, half-worried, yet still more intrigued than anything.
They rose out of their seats and headed to the front of the bus. As soon as it came to a complete stop, they disembarked and ran for the taxi. The two young men scrambled into the backseat, and waited for the bus to drive off as a decoy. When it passed by, the pursuing agents followed along.
“Perfect. I think we lost them.” Certain his scheme had been successful, Brett plopped his duffle bag in the center seat.
“Where to boys?” A toothpick bounced on the taxi driver’s bottom lip as he spoke.
“Let’s go to your place,” Brett proposed to Devon. “They don’t know anything about you, so it’s our safest bet.”
Sensing he had just been thrust into a new kind of world without warning, Devon became uneasy about getting involved. But part of him wanted to explore this world, to learn more about this super-spy Brett Gallagher and the organization he had once been associated with.
“All right, the, uh…Holiday Inn Express, please.” Devon tried to be as calm as possible.
“Sure thing,” replied the driver.
A somewhat awkward silence set in as the taxi set off for their destination. The two men in the backseat carefully contemplated their current situations.
Arms crossed, Devon found it difficult to remain cool and not freak out. Would my life ever be the same again? What would those agents do to me if we get caught? So far, he didn’t see a way out of the super-spy-centric mess.
On the other side of the taxi, Brett tried to figure out what to do with the civilian sitting beside him. Should I drug him and wipe his memory? Or the other, trickier option. Could he be of more use to me?
“Sorry, but can I ask one more question?” Devon piped up, hoping he wasn’t annoying the brilliant super-spy.
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Why didn’t you use your teleportation-thingy to get away from those guys in the first place? Just curious.”
“And cause a scene back there?” Brett quietly retorted. “Are you kidding me?”
“Just asking,” Devon replied, sheepish.
A faint aroma filled Devon’s nostrils—some sort of intoxicating substance in the cab. His eyelids grew heavier by the second.
Brett smelled it too and tried to roll down the window to get some fresh air. The button didn’t work.
The door had been locked.
Brett glanced over at Devon, whose head had slumped against the window. A groggy sensation took over him. Brett lifted Devon’s right arm, and let go. It dropped limp on the seat.
Brett used all the remaining strength he had to pound on his window. After the failed attempt, he angled his head to find the driver wearing a gas mask.
Slowly, his eyes closed, and he drifted off to sleep as the taxi pulled over and came to a complete stop.
Outside, a man strolled up to the vehicle and peered in the window. The pudgy driver hopped out and took off the mask, replacing it with the toothpick. “I gave ‘em the knockout gas.”
“We finally found you, Gallagher.”
Devon gazed into Alexandria’s eyes—almost lost in them as if he was floating in a calm sea. Everything about her continued to amaze him as they conversed about their careers, lives, hobbies, and favourite foods.
“What have you produced with your talents, Mr. Bertrand?” she inquired, interested in learning everything about him.
“Please, call me Devon,” he answered with a grin. “And I’ve only helped produce warehouses for small companies, nothing huge.”
“So, you came here to make a little more money, trying your luck at the card games. Am I right?”
“That’s partially correct. It’s all in the cards you’re dealt.”
She finished a sip of her water. “Well, that was an impressive win you had back there. Almost like you knew what cards were coming next.”
As he leaned back, Devon raised a skeptical eyebrow.
Realizing she’d made a ridiculous insinuation, she continued. “I’m so sorry, I thought maybe you were counting cards or something.”
“Usually I just go by my instincts,” he explained with a shrug. “That’s all.”
The waiter trotted up to their table, pen and pad ready. “What can I get you two?”
Both menus lowered to the table, and Devon made eye contact with the man. “She’ll be having the merlot to drink and the rib-eye medium rare. No, sorry, medium. And I’ll have the roasted chicken stuffed with spinach, please.”
“Sure thing.” The waiter collected the menus and headed off to notify the chef.
“That was…amazing.” Alexandria became even more intrigued by the man across from her. “It’s like you knew exactly what I was going to order.”
He smirked. “Like I said, I go by my instincts.”
Meanwhile, in the casino, suited men were stationed on the floor in different positions. They perused the crowd, alert, yet casual. A certain picture made its way around to a few of the card dealers.
A photo of Devon.
One suit waded through people to the blackjack table where Devon had won. But the dealer had left for his break a few minutes ago and had been replaced by another.
“Excuse me, buddy,” the agent addressed the new dealer. “Have you seen this man?”
“No, sir, I haven’t,” the dealer answered with a plain face.
Back at the dinner table, Devon enjoyed spending his time learning about Alexandria. Her smile had him entranced, something he wouldn’t mind gazing at all evening. Every facet of her personality drew him as the night went on. Completely comfortable while talking to her, he began to think she was the entire package.
She shuffled her chair back, about to get up. “Be right back, I have to visit the little girl’s room.”
“Come back soon.” A certain playfulness marked his tone. “I don’t want to have to miss you.”
“I won’t be long.” Bending down, she gave him a soft peck on the cheek. “Promise.”
A bit unexpected, but Devon didn’t mind it. Either the night was going super well, or she was trying to speed things along. But overall, she seemed genuine.
As she sauntered off to the restroom, Devon sat gazing around the room. People from all over the world came to Las Vegas, mainly to gamble and have a good time. Right now, he soaked in every great thing about the night.
Then he caught sight of a problem standing by one of the pillars on the right side of the stage.
A man in a suit with a familiar communication device in his ear.
Devon snatched the drink menu to hide behind and peeked over the top in a casual manner.
Another agent stood by the blackjack table he’d won at earlier.
“Damn.” How did they even find me? “Damn!”
Alexandria returned, finding Devon glancing around all suspicious from behind the menu. “I think they’re fixing something in the washroom. Is, uh, everything all right here? What are you…?”
“Huh?” He did his best to regain composure. “Oh, yeah um, everything’s fine.”
As he tossed the menu aside, Devon gave his best reassuring smile as she sat back down. Alexandria picked up his hand, lightly caressing it. Though clearly in danger, he couldn’t help being relaxed with her. Within seconds, their food arrived.
“Merci.” Alexandria thanked the waiter, the sumptuous meal now in front of her.
Devon thanked him as well, even though his mind wandered elsewhere. How did they know I’m here? After cutting into his chicken, he stabbed a piece with his fork.
It just about touched his teeth before he immediately dropped the forkful of chicken onto his plate.
Alexandria noticed his discomfort. “Is your food okay? Is it cooked enough?”
“Um,” he answered as placid as possible. “I’ll be right back.”
After slipping out of the seat, he remained calm and collected all the way to the restroom. He slammed the door open, entered a stall, and sat down on the seat. As he regained his composure, he ran his fingers through his hair and tensed his jaw.
Having been trained about the smells of different compounds and gases, an odour had tipped him off. No doubt his meal had been tampered with. But by who? Did the agents get to my food? The next question caused a struggle in his mind. Is Alexandria in on it? Have I been so blind to--
The bathroom door opened, followed by footsteps. Then silence.
Faint metallic clicks echoed on the tile.
He glanced up and burst out of the stall, finding guns pointing down at him. Two agents scrambled out of the other stalls and shot at him. But they weren’t regular bullets. Tranquilizers fell to the floor, barely making a scratch.
The pair of agents realized what they were up against.
“They want me back that badly, eh?” Devon slipped off his suit jacket.
“Don’t make this any harder, Bertrand.”
“Harder?” After tossing his blue jacket to the side, he grinned. “Let me ask you guys, do you know what it feels like to be a ragdoll?”
Devon ripped one of the heavy stall doors off it’s hinges with ease. A barrage of tranquilizer bullets ricocheted off his makeshift shield until the agents were completely out of ammo. He tossed the door at them like a frisbee, knocking both agents out cold and to the floor.
Dashing out of the bathroom with his jacket in hand, he ran to the first casino guard he saw. “Excuse me, sir! There are two armed men in the bathroom. They were shooting at someone!”
“Okay, stay calm. We’ll take care of it.” The guard pulled a walkie-talkie off his belt, taking control of the situation. “Security, I’m requesting some backup at the west end restroom. Two armed men are reported to be inside. Guy said he heard gunfire.”
Devon rushed over to the dining room but stayed back a few feet behind the gorgeous Alexandria. Her true identity and intentions still remained a mystery. Does she want a good time or the money? Or something else entirely? His gut told him to take a chance, so he walked over at a brisk pace and gave her arm a gentle rub. “Sorry to do this, but we need to go.”
“What? We’ve barely even eaten our—”
“I got it.” He slipped sixty dollars from his wallet and planted them on the table. “Let’s go.”
“What about your winnings?”
The answer to his question. The money.
After making sure most of the agents were drawn to the commotion by the restroom, Devon and Alexandria casually strolled past without being noticed. Finally making it to the entrance foyer, they made a mad dash for the front door.
But Devon hesitated. His hand clutched the cold metal of the door handle, and he sensed a presence outside.
“Mind telling me, what’s going on?” Alexandria tried to catch her breath.
“Okay, I’m being followed by some men, and they’re… Well, they’re not bad by any means,” Devon explained in a discreet manner, wary of the people around. “But they’ll take me out if they have to.”
“You’re serious?” Startled by this revelation, she wore a scared stare. “Did you forget about a permit for a building or something?”
A half-nervous laugh escaped his lips. “No, no, it’s not like that. Um, I wish I could say….”
“Devon, you can tell me,” she pleaded, softness in her voice.
“Alexandria, look, you seem… Well, amazing, and I don’t want you to get annoyed with me. But do you mind if we get to my car first?” He spoke in an honest and rushed manner.
After thinking her options over, she nodded in compliance. As he opened the door, she followed the now mysterious man outside and strolled past two suits guarding the entrance.
One of the men turned and recognized Devon immediately.
“Bertrand’s exiting the building! We’ve got him!”
Alexandria let out a yell as Devon scooped her up into his arms and barrelled forward at an incredible speed.
“Holy…how are…you able to…run this fast?” she managed to ask while trying to stay balanced in his muscular grasp.
Devon made a quick turn. “I’ll explain soon enough!”
Alexandria couldn’t believe the turn of events. First, she had been having a pleasant evening of getting acquainted with a handsome, charming man. Now, she held on for dear life to the same man and eluded mysterious men at a humanly impossible speed.
Once they were a few feet from his silver car, he slowed down to a comfortable pace. After rushing her into the passenger side, he hopped over the top of his car with ease and slid into the driver’s seat.
“Whoa, what a rush. Nothing like a good run,” Devon stated between breaths as they took off out of the parking lot and onto a main street.
“And now you have some explaining to do,” she suggested, determined to get a solid answer. “Who are you? And how the heck can you run at that speed?”
Moments ticked by, and after some hesitation, he decided to tell. “I’m not an architect….”
“Yeah, I figured.”
He checked his mirrors, saw there were no followers, and turned a corner. “I’m a former special agent for a secret organization. Well, I used to be. That’s about all I can say. The rest is classified.”
Alexandria’s mouth gaped open in shock. “Wait, what? A special agent?”
“Former agent. Don’t forget that part.”
A moment of somewhat uncomfortable silence set in until Alexandria piped up. “I’m pretty sure they ID’d your licence plates.”
“I have something for that.”
Devon punched in a code on his radio buttons. The control screen on the dash flipped down to reveal a secret, high-tech one, and he pressed a blue button that read PLASMA-PLATE. The front and rear plate numbers and letters reformed like liquid into a new set.
“They’ll be looking for me at my place,” he brought up. “I’d hate to drag you into this even more, but…”
Alexandria crossed her arms. “And you think you’re going to crash at mine?”
“Please, one night. That’s all I ask,” he implored. “One night, and I’ll be out of your gorgeous hair forever. I promise.”
Her uneasy stare diminished, as the genuineness in his voice seemed convincing. “Fine. One night, and that’s it. I’m staying at Aria.”
Minutes of silence passed, and they eventually arrived at Alexandria’s hotel.
Devon arranged for the valet to take his car, figuring the agents wouldn’t be able to track or find him by now. As Alexandria approached the front doors, he removed his suitcase from the trunk and lugged it along.
The elevator made its beep of arrival at the tenth floor, and they carried on down the hall to her room. She unlocked the door with her keycard and headed inside.
Devon flopped his luggage bag on the bed and unzipped the flap. “Mind if I make myself comfortable?”
“You can change in the bathroom,” she proposed, followed by a yawn.
After pulling out some clothes and a hanger for his suit, he sauntered over to the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
While she waited, Alexandria changed into her matching flannel shirt and pants. As she stood by the sink in the kitchenette, she dampened a hand towel and wiped off her makeup.
Now freshened up, she plopped herself at the foot of her bed. But her curious eyes were drawn to an object in the room.
The way he had run at an incredible speed and had leaped over his car fascinated her. The mystery of his abilities made her want to investigate. As she crept over to lift the top, her fingers shook from the excitement of possibly finding out what he had been hiding.
The rattle of the bathroom handle snapped her out of the covert mission, and she hurried back to bed. Her jaw almost dropped as he came out wearing only pyjama pants, chest exposed.
Alexandria found herself in awe.
While Devon neatly folded his previously worn clothes and placed them back in the case, she couldn’t help noticing the undamaged skin of his abs and chest. “Didn’t you say they shot at you? I can’t even tell you were shot.”
“Crazy stuff, eh?” Devon zipped his suitcase shut.
“What kind of special agent are you? Wait, let me guess, it’s—”
“Classified. I honestly wish I could tell you more.”
A playful smirk crossed her face. “That makes two of us.”
Devon enjoyed her company once again, and wasn’t surprised she even made pyjamas attractive.
Unable to help smiling back, she crawled over the bed to get closer to him. Scanning the handsome guy up and down, she also couldn’t help being a little envious of his long eyelashes.
“Hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve had a great night with you so far. Also, I think I prefer you without makeup,” he expressed with charm.
Her cheeks blushed at his remark.
“It’s safe to say I’ve never had a first date like this. And you’re not too bad yourself.” Alexandria flashed her aqua eyes at him once more, adding to the flirtatious tension. Drawn into his gaze, her fingers touched his shaven cheek.
Devon brought his hand over hers. Her comforting soft skin made him smile once again. “Thank you for letting me stay here.”
She bit her lip. “I’ll admit, I’ve never helped a secret agent before.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Never?”
“Nope, but it’s kind of exciting.” Her eyes locked with his.
“I’m glad you think so.” His smirk dissipated as he leaned in slow to kiss her.
Before their lips touched, he hesitated. They gazed into each other’s eyes once more, sensing even more of a connection. His mystery, her allure. Mixed together, it formed an undeniable spark. Closing her eyes while leaning in the rest of the way, her lips finally touched his for the first time.
Even though they had met that night, Devon wondered if something more might happen between them someday. His genuine charm made Alexandria start to think the same way. Devon couldn’t believe someone like her let him stay for the night.
Coming out of the exquisite kiss, they couldn’t hide their smiles. Their faces still close to each other, they kissed again, more passionate than before.
Devon’s eyes opened wide.
The door burst open. Six agents with rifles swarmed the room. Four of them lunged after Devon. Two men grappled with each of his arms, and the fifth agent attempted to stick a syringe in Devon’s left arm.
Devon flexed his bicep. The tip of the syringe broke off.
“Come on, Bertrand!” the agent cried.
In a swift motion, Devon threw his right arm back, sending the two agents flying into the television stand. Two more men rushed in and grabbed his arm again as another helped the two men who held the left arm. This time the man who had the syringe pulled out a spray-container and dispersed its gas right in Devon’s face.
His eyes meeting Alexandria’s, Devon gave in. The knockout gas entered his lungs and took effect.
A last request managed to escape his lips. “Don’t…don’t hurt…the girl….”
When his body became limp, the group of agents lowered him to the carpeted floor. The rifles were put away, and the injured agents were tended to.
Another agent, who seemed to be the leader of the group, stepped into the room to find Devon sprawled out on the floor.
After slipping into the complimentary white robe, Alexandria walked up to him.
They shook hands as a pair of men hauled Devon out to the hallway.
“Thank you for helping us find Bertrand.”