24. Devils in the Dark

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In the darkest corners of the Garden of Eden, snakes slither to their beds. None sleep alone.

Except for tonight.

**

"We lost her. How could you have let that happen! You said we do background checks, how did he even get in here?"

"He had ...connections." Samuel tapped his fingers on his desk.

"Well I want to know who those connections were. You promised her to me."

"Calm down." His tone was warning enough. "I told you you could choose one. As a gift. How was I supposed to know you would go choose her on the same night I would be offered three quarters of a million for her." Samuel tried to be patient. Unlike the man in front of him, his anger stemmed not from loss of the girl but from loss of future profit. Business first, always.

"As for this connection of theirs," Samuel shifted his eyes to the younger man, pacing across his office, "I'm handling it."

Samuel was more dangerous now than ever, a fact that he hid under the surface of composure. He turned the page on his and Harry's original contract. He stared at the signature, and at the information he had given.

Falsified, of course. His business, real, but devoid of any info that couldn't be found online, and his address...

Samuel slammed his hand down. The address had turned out to be a vacation house in Seven Oaks that had immediately gone up for sale. His men, who he had ordered to keep an eye out, had reported back minimal activity all week. To Samuel, that meant no funny business. He never once suspected it had all been a ploy. Samuel slid the papers off the desk, startling the handsome younger man in front of him. Opening his desk's top drawer he took out the documents that this Styles kid had served him. For years he had never been crossed, their security was air tight, and it would've continued to work too, had protocols been followed.

What Samuel kept coming back too was their evidence. He wore no wire. There was no briefcase to house a microphone and no camera to be seen, yet, he had photos and audio.

Now, even without a wire, Samuel's hands were tied. After years of jumping through loopholes with the law, their terms were clear: forget her and move on, or be turned over to federal law enforcement.

How did they know he had local cops in his pocket? He wasn't sure.

"She's the only one I want." Samuel heard him mumble. Funny, those had been Harry's exact words.

"You need to forget her." Samuel told him plainly. He didn't have the patience or energy to entertain his spoiled son's desires. "Go to that orphanage, get my money back, and don't-" Samuel set his imposing gaze on him, "I repeat, do not, do anything stupid."

**

For Eve and Harry, the week that followed was considerably more relaxed.

Eve had been quick to argue when she had seen the gift Harry had laid out for her- another phone. But he talked her into accepting it by assuring her he had been due for an upgrade on his own phone and he hadn't spent a dime. As much as his gift giving annoyed her, she found that she was too happy to mind for long. She was free, and it was finally feeling real.

Harry, however, was cautious. All week long he focused on giving his work the time he had scourged from the week before; and it would've been easy to throw himself back into it, if only there wasn't a beautiful woman living in his house.

Sipping coffee on the patio...

Tanning in the sun.

She was always doing her own thing, never searching him out. Harry was so used to people needing his time that he didn't know how else to react to such independence other than be drawn to it.

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