Chapter nine

I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I had on a short, two-piece, black bodycon dress with a slit on my left side for flexibility. I was left-handed in writing and in fighting. The slit was an added advantage. 

I accompanied my look with some light make-up, peach lip gloss and black eyeshadow. For the earrings, I went for a silver arrow design mis-match pair and finished off with a pair of suede ankle boots. 

I tied my hair in a neat bun above my head and decided on a small silver purse.

8 p.m.

Ding dong!

"You gotta be kidding me!" I complained. The guy was really good with his time.

My palms suddenly grew sweaty, my heartbeat rose, drumming against my chest. I was nervous. Before, I wouldn't even care. Not that I went for dates before, even if it was a mission.

Fucking emotions!

I drew in a breath as I descended the stairs towards the door.

I placed my hand on the door knob, it was shaking.

"Stop shaking!" I scolded myself then opened the door. 

I released the breath when I saw who stood behind my door waiting for me.

"Je-Jeremy!"

"Becca!"

We both said at the same time, definitely salient shock written all over our faces. 

"I didn't think, I never thought..." Jeremy started. 

"You are the mystery guy?" I asked, surprised. 

"In the flesh. You do know now I realize you are working for the police."

"With. They didn't hire me. I'm just doing them a favour."

"Says the famous interrogator." He said, smiling. 

"Oh! So you've heard of me?" I asked looking intently at his blue-green eyes. 

"Nah! Xander told me. You look really good by the way. True to your word, huh!"

"More like yours but thank you." I said, coming into a sudden realization. 

"Come to think, this is the fourth time we are interacting yet it seems like we are strangers."

"You're right. First at my father's lab. I didn't quite get a glimpse of how gorgeous you look and you never saw me because your vision was blurry." He reminiscenced.

"Then you ended up calling me, had a heated conversation and bumped at each other quite oblivious." He said, his eyes glinting.

"And now." I finished.

"I think fate is trying to prove something." Jeremy said. 

I laughed. 

"Yeah right!" I said, rolling my eyes.

"Shall we get going then?" He asked, placing his arm out for me to intertwine mine with.

I nodded my head, intertwining my arm with his as he led me to his car.

Driving out in the night, not sure sure where we were going, I just let Jeremy surprise me. The radio played a slow classical music that made me stifle some couple of yawns. 

That failed horribly. 

"Tired already?" Jeremy asked, chuckling. 

"Nope! Just hungry." I lied. 

I was bored. If I had known any better, I wouldn't have agreed to this but if I had to survive I needed to be part of the game.

Money, sure is corrupt but without it, you can be as well sure you'll be stuck in a maze. Not knowing which direction, which route to take. The world is competitive. Nothing comes easy.

To get where I was I had to adapt and find my way through out of the maze. Survival.

"We are almost there." Jeremy assured.

"Hey, the first time you talked to me, you were so calm, warm and gentle but on the phone, everything including your accent was different. Sounded more of Irish. How come?" I asked shifting my gaze from the window to him.

"One more thing, how are you a doctor and probably a leader of the Mafia?"

Jeremy laughed.

"My mother was Irish and you know Xander is American. I grew knowing both languages so I always keep on shifting. Mostly, to strangers on the phone I use Irish. You don't know when the police would decide to claim to 'have a word'." He explained, his eyes fixed on the road. 

Oh, the sexy bilingual guy did know he didn't appear on our database. Bloody clever.

"And, I'm not the leader of the Mafia. I'm just the 'middle man'. The Mafioso use me to convey their messages because I'm good with undercover. I decided to help them. Like you, they didn't hire me, I chose to do them a favour. Extra pay doesn't hurt. Survival, am I right?" He added, flashing me a grin. 

The car suddenly stopped in front of a small bar.

"This is where you were bringing me? To a bistro?" I asked bewildered.

"Relax! You are dressed for the occasion anyway." 

"Excuse me!" I exclaimed as he got out of the car, walking round to my side and opening the door for me. Typical!

"And you haven't answered my first question." I said as I stepped out, him closing the door after me.

"I think you know the answer. Now, may we proceed, Becca?" 

I didn't say anything. He placed his hand at the small of my back, leading me inside.

The bar, made of stone and a wooden floor, was dark and sleek with just the perfect amount of people. Some round tables in the middle were empty but the booths at every corner was occupied except for one which was reserved for us. Jeremy led us to the booth.

For a bistro, it sure was busy.

Before I could get myself comfortable, I excused myself to go to the washroom.

I stared at my reflection, mentally questioning myself why the hell I was nervous. 

"You okay there?" A small voice asked.

I turned to see a girl, seeming a few years younger than me, wearing an off-white see through dress, with a whole load of make-up on her face, chewing a piece of gum disgustingly. Definitely a stripper.

"I'm fine!" I retorted harshly, looking back at the mirror. 

"Are you the boss' new meat or are you applying for a job here?" She asked.

Boss?

I turned to face her.

"Excuse me!" I said and realized that it was too polite for someone like her.

"I saw you coming in with the boss. I just need some new gossip to tell the rest."

I glared at her warningly.

"I am not a subject for gossip." I said in my usual cold tone. 

The girl seemed undeterred. 

"Fine! The boss will just screw you and drop you like nothing ever happened. Feeling so high and mighty. The ecstasy will soon melt down, honey."

"Don't make me break your bones, bitch." I said between clenched teeth.

Wait! I don't threaten. I do.

I abruptly, out of the blue, take the girl's arm and twist it behind her back. I then whispered in her ear.

"I'm here for pure business with your boss and I could make your arm my business too." I warned. 

"Dressed like that, yeah right! Just admit to yourself you are calling for his attention. Maybe he will give it to you since other girls have failed but that doesn't mean you won't tear up like the rest of them."

She had some nerve and she was getting on every one of mine. She didn't even know me.

And just like that, I snapped and broke her arm. The girl screamed just as the door handle jiggled. 

I stepped from behind the girl, washing my hands then opened the door to be met face to face with Jeremy.

"I thought you flashed yourself down the toilet. Thought I should check up on you." He said. 

He was about to continue but a whimper behind me made him draw his attention over my shoulder. I smiled, walking out.

"Lila, what happened?" Jeremy asked, walking past me towards her.

"Your crazy new girlfriend broke my arm. You son of a..."

"Please! Save the insult for someone who deserves it. I actually did you a favour, Lila!" I spat.

"More than one of your small bones would be broken. Just hold your tongue around me next time. You should thank me. I'll be waiting." I said making my way to our booth.

Our food had already been served. Was I gone that long?

Jeremy had ordered us both some lasagna, spicy potato sprinkled with coriander leaves and salad on the side. He even ordered a bottle of red wine that was delicately poured on our glasses. A bit classy for a bistro.

Point of correction, he requested. He's the boss, why would he order?

"Enjoying the food?" Jeremy asked as he joined me.

"Never thought I'll find someone with the same taste as mine."

"Lucky me, then." He said.

I took a sip of the wine. My tastebuds almost burst. Jeremy was looking at me sternly, as if waiting for my reaction. 

"You like it?" He asked. 

"Which one is this?"

"It's from Ireland, my grandparents' vineyard. According to me, makes the sweetest wines." He said, taking a sip from his own glass.

"I'm jealous." I said, taking another sip. 

"You've impressed me, what you did back there."

"It was nothing. I was just making it clear I am not a toy for kids to play with. I've got standards and I'm living up to them." I said. 

"No, really! And I want to use you right now."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, savouring my last bite of the delicious food. I loved the taste of spices in my mouth. 

"Well, a certain father of mine, told me of your expertise in intimidating and blagging information out of people, I guess you don't mind if I use you to do the same. Just not for the police, for me."

"I don't take orders. I choose to do things myself, my own way."

"Sure! I'm not against that at all but if you want some information relevant to the police, you'll have to take my orders. Otherwise, we'll just sit and talk like I brought you here for a date, which I don't mind at all." He demystified, leaning on the brown leather of the booth, taking a sip of the sweet wine.

I sighed in defeat.

"What do you need me to do?"

"The middle table over there is reserved for four Mafiosos. I want you to go and make yourself comfortable on one of the chairs and wait for them. It won't be long until they arrive."

"But there are only four chairs."

"Exactly!"

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