Risa rubbed her eyes, taking in the unknown surroundings.
She had trouble recalling her last memory. But it was definitely not a good one. “Wait, I was… kidnapped? There was this man who told me he was looking for the same person as I… and then I lost consciousness.”
“Are you feeling okay?”
– Nathaniel…? What are you doing here?
– Don’t get up just yet. I was the one who brought you here. It’s a hotel, it’s safe.
– But… the man?
– He tried to attack you, Risa. Please, lay back down for a while.
Risa’s legs gave way as soon as she tried to stand and she lost her balance. “See what I mean?” Nathaniel smiled.
– Are you alright?
– Still dizzy, I guess.
– I don’t understand anything. I got attacked, and suddenly… I’m in a hotel room with you. Did you… help me?
– I… stepped in on time.
– How did you know where I was…?
– Knowing what people are up to is part of my job.
Risa was still in a daze and not really listening. She brought her hands to his face. “It’s you… It’s really you.”
“Of course it’s me.” He smiled tenderly at her. Her touch felt so good.
“Please take care of yourself. I… I can’t always be with you and it worries me. Just stop investigating that affair, okay?”
Although her heart skipped a beat for being pulled so close to him, his words abruptly reminded Risa of the real world.
She awkwardly disengaged from his embrace.
– Just how involved are you anyway? What is the governement’s role?
– I can’t answer any of that. Risa, you have to understand there are things best left untouched. I tried to get you to keep your distance, but you’re so stubborn…
– Wait a minute, were you behind all the other requests I suddenly got swamped under?
– Well… yes.
– I can’t believe it… You can actually control my workload. Nathaniel, that’s my job we’re talking about. If there is something fishy, I have to write about it. You can’t forbid me anything.
– Believe me, spreading the news would only cause disrupt and panic. I’ll take care of it. I have reasons to take part in this.
– What reasons?
– Anyone who’s trying to stir trouble in my family’s territory will be dealt with.
– That, and…
“By choosing you, he chose the wrong target.”
“Now you’ve got to stop me… or I’ll kiss you.”
Risa only had to mention Ashley’s existence and she knew it would be over. She had to tell him anyway… But she just didn’t want to stop him.
Instead, she brought his mouth to her lips.
As they broke the kiss, her hands reached for his collar and brushed his skin, sending shivers down his spine.
– Risa, I won’t let you take all the bad decisions.
– What do you mean?
– I want you. Now.