Linsey Wheeler felt her body burning. Everything everywhere felt so hot.
Linsey stumbled forward as she pushed herself to run. She had come here to discuss business with a client, but things took on a different and horrible turn. As luck would have it, the client had other intentions in mind and spiked her drink when she wasn't looking.
Fortunately, Linsey managed to flee from the chamber, but by that point, the drug was already taking effect on her. The heat coursing through her body was so intense that her very blood was boiling in her veins.
She was on the verge of panic and despair when she turned the corner and rammed into a broad, hard chest.
She took hold of the man's arm and clung to him as if her life depended on it. And it might very well did. "Please! Please help me!"
Linsey could smell a faint trace of alcohol from the man's body, mixed in with the crisp scent of cedar. It left a cool impression that somehow calmed her raging emotions.
But it wasn't enough. She needed more.
Through the haze of the drug's influence, she thought she heard the man gnash his teeth together before saying, "You brought this upon yourself."
The next thing she knew, her feet were off the floor, and then she was being pinned down against a soft mattress.
Before she could even fully comprehend what was happening, the man took Linsey's mouth in a kiss so fierce and passionate that she could hardly keep herself from responding.
This was only the beginning, though, and the rest that followed was just as fiery and intense as that initial kiss.
The air in the room grew hot and heavy in the minutes that passed, and the only sounds that were heard were soft moans and gasps, coupled with the distinct sound of two bodies pounding and grinding against each other.
The dim light of the moon filtered through the windows to illuminate their naked limbs entwined with each other.
After what felt like forever, the stormy fire finally abated.
When Linsey opened her eyes again, it was already bright outside. She tried to stretch, only to realize that she was sore all over, particularly in her inner thighs. It was all the proof she needed to know that the previous night wasn't a dream at all.
Just then, a chilly voice sounded from the other side of the bed. "How much do you want?"
She rolled over and froze.
The man was sitting on a chair, looking cold and dashing in his business suit. It was none other than her husband of three years, Bryson Higgins.
What was he doing here? Did that mean that the man from the previous night was him?
Bryson's brows furrowed when Linsey said nothing and just kept staring at him. With a small sigh, he took out a check and tossed it in her direction. "Take the money and leave. Forget about last night. Don't even think about going after something that doesn't belong to you."
Bryson had just attended a social gathering last night and was about to retire to his hotel room when a girl suddenly accosted him in the hallway.
Bryson wasn't normally one to indulge in such sordid activities, but he had found himself unable to resist this strange woman. It was a first for him.
Perhaps that was why he was so disgusted by her. Now, anyway.
Linsey frowned. Something wasn't right with this situation, apart from the obvious. "Don't you recognize me?"
"Should I recognize a party animal who drunkenly throws herself at the first stranger she meets?" Bryson mocked.
"It's not what you think. I..." Linsey rushed to explain.
"Don't bother explaining. Just take the check and go." Bryson waved a hand impatiently. "And make sure to never show up in front of me again."
Despite his words, he was the one who stood up and left the room.
Linsey stared at the check in her hands, not knowing what to make of this ridiculous development. How ironic, to have spent the night with her own husband after three years, yet he didn't even know who she was.
Their marriage had been arranged by Bryson's grandmother.
Displeased with this arrangement, Bryson had left the country on the very day of their wedding and stayed abroad ever since. Needless to say, it turned Linsey into the laughingstock in Ekarora.
Who could have imagined that she would finally meet her absentee husband under such crude circumstances?
Linsey looked down at herself and noticed the hickeys adorning her chest and arms. Linsey sighed to herself. Ignoring the pain in her muscles, she gingerly got out of bed and took a shower.
Her phone was ringing when she emerged from the bathroom.
She glanced at the caller ID. It was Asher Harper, a high-profile client she had previously worked with.
Asher's cheerful voice instantly came through the line the second she swiped to answer. "Linsey! How have you been doing these days?"
They exchanged a few pleasantries. Then, Asher finally explained the purpose of his call.
Linsey had recently helped Asher win a lawsuit and maximize the benefits he gained from the case.
As a show of gratitude and good faith, Asher was now trying to introduce Linsey to a major client.
Linsey swallowed her roiling emotions about Bryson and went into work mode. "What is this about? Tell me everything about the case."
"Yes, well, a good friend of mine has just secured a large project overseas," Asher began. "The problem is that the shipment has been embargoed by customs. Since you're a top-notch lawyer in this particular field, I thought it would be best to bring this case to you. I was hoping you could help."
Linsey always welcomed new business, and bagging a huge client never hurt. She smiled and said, "Whatever it is that you and your friend need, I am absolutely at your service."
Considering Asher's social status, she did not doubt that this client was a prominent figure.
Just like that, her spirits were lifted. "Thank you for this, Mr. Harper."
"No problem. My friend is willing to meet up with you today to discuss this matter in person. I'll text you an address."
As exhausted as she as, Linsey didn't want to waste a single minute and delay this lucrative opportunity. She agreed, said goodbye and checked the address Asher had sent her. Then, she quickly dressed and made her way to the Twilight Bar.
As soon as she entered the designated chamber, however, she was shocked to find the very same man who had cruelly dismissed her just over an hour ago, the same man who had made passionate love to her last night — her husband.