Jason and Taylor talk about why he wants to make so much money. It isn’t all selfishness with him. He gives away much of what he has to charity.
“Really?” She couldn’t help being surprised. “I mean, that’s incredible.”
“You mean, you didn’t think I was that magnanimous. Bet you didn’t even think I knew that word.” He sounded hurt, his tone a bit petulant.
“What I meant was, that’s so cool that you do that. I’ve always wanted to. I support some charities, but in a small way.”
He nodded, kissing her shoulder. “Get some sleep, love, or I’m gonna keep you up another couple hours.”
She snuggled against him and he groaned.
“Watch that! Or we won’t get any sleep at all.”
She moved away from him slightly. A few minutes later, she was asleep. Jason flopped on his back and lay with his hands behind his head. He stared at the ceiling, seeing Orchid’s disturbing green eyes as her image floated over him. Each of the pictures he’d seen online showed her hidden malice. If he’d been looking closely, he’d have seen it.
He’d been so dazzled by her beauty and her apparent desire, he hadn’t allowed himself to see it. He was ashamed of himself. He’d let down his guard for a minute too long and fallen into her trap.
Closing his eyes, he uttered prayers to a God he was unsure of. He’d given up on faith when the beatings started. When his parents abandoned him, he was sure that nothing supernatural existed. But when Judge Honoria Walker allowed him the chance to redeem himself, the faith began to return. It grew stronger when he met Taylor and the team. Now that she lay in bed beside him, it grew even more.
He asked for forgiveness and hoped that his past actions wouldn’t bring on any disfavor. He hoped for a successful mission and protection for those he loved. He realized that he cared about Tim, Greg and Alex like family as well. They were like brothers he’d never had.
“Watch over us, please. And help us catch Orchid so the people she’s killed can rest. Thanks.”
It was a simple prayer and maybe not very well worded, but it was sincere. As he drifted to sleep, Jason remembered that when Jesus was crucified, he found forgiveness for a thief. A smile graced his lips as he fell asleep.
* * *
The next day was a repeat of the day before. They went for target practice and made sure Jason was armed. The suits were delivered and the men modeled for the women as payback for their fashion show the night before. Afterward, they worked out in the gym and went for a swim.
They ate lunch and took some time to relax and sleep afterward. Knowing they would likely be up late, they thought it best to go to the party well rested. Later, they ate a light dinner and started getting ready.
At least the women did. The men sat around laughing and playing cards until about 30 minutes before they had to leave. Tim and Alex left for security detail and Jason waited with Greg for Taylor and the women.
“We’re going to be late,” Greg said, tugging at his sleeves.
“A little late is fine,” Jason said. “I rarely arrive first and never early. However, we’ll miss the fashion show if we’re too bloody late.” He twitched his sleeve, speaking in a normal voice as he activated his microphone. “Oi, ladies. Time to go, yeah?”
“Coming!” Taylor said.
“Patience, grasshopper,” Eva intoned.
“I’ll hop your grass,” Greg muttered.
“I heard that!”
They came downstairs, a multicolored wave of feminine beauty, Jason had to admit that Taylor wasn’t the only beautiful one in the bunch. The other women, Eva, Cathleen, Linore and June were all equally lovely.
Each man escorted two women to the limousine. Painted a glittering, metallic black, it shone in the bright lights of Jason’s driveway. An agent Jason didn’t know was driving. He smiled at them, admiring the women. He was medium height and build with close cropped red hair and reminded Jason of Simon Pegg the actor. He sounded like him too, sporting a British accent that rivaled Jason’s.
“Where you from, mate?” Jason asked him.
“We ate some of the same shit then, gov.” He pronounced it with a long ‘I’ sound.
Jason chuckled, sitting back in the circle of Taylor’s arms. She poured him a drink, getting into her role as his subservient girlfriend. It went against his grain to have her act this way, but until meeting her, he had preferred women who took the back seat to him. He liked the spotlight and always used the women to enhance his image.
© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani’s Books:
Under the Western Sky http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/under-the-western-sky.htm