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Usually, I am fond of posh hotel rooms. The anonymity, the luxury, housekeeping and room service.

Tonight I am a bit off. If Anatoly is a bear, this cousin of his is a wolf, lean and rangy. Where Anatoly was parties and extravagance, Pavel is brooding and aloof.

Tonight he took me to dinner with a party of people I knew from my time with Anatoly, and it was only a matter of moment before I discerned my true usefulness. Pavel watched how everyone treated me. He was gauging the truth of Anatoly’s claims and assessments. I am a mole, an informant by virtue of past association, and all I need to do is sparkle at dinner.

Pavel doesn’t desire me, I am a business asset, and I find it refreshing.

Of course, that leaves me cloistered here in this room, weary from small talk and playacting, but strangely restless. I lower the lights, curl my legs up like a child, and close my eyes. When my phone chirps from the nightstand I grab it, pushing my hair back from my eyes. It’s a text from Blue.

Am I allowed to miss you?

I miss you, if we’re being honest.

Aren’t we always?

Yes. We are, rather.

How is the Russian?

Pleasant. Undemanding.

Good in bed?

Blue!

Well, I know you’re good in bed…

He doesn’t want sex.

So, he’s crazy.

It’s nice.

I want sex. With you. Now.

That’s nicer.

Call me. Let me be nice to you.

Now?

Now.

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