"And how is your new project shaping up, Lilah? Is he... satisfactory?"
To ask her that in front of Gavin is unforgivable but she pastes a smile on her face and gives a non-committal shrug. "Fine, sir. I'm making progress."
Holland and Gavin exchange glances, male, overt, dripping with meaning, and laugh.
She wonders if Wesley would've done something if he'd been here; avenged her honour, forced an apology from them; made Gavin grovel, made Holland crawl?
"I'd have done nothing of the kind," he tells her later, when her head is pillowed on his chest and the sound of his heart slowing to normal has replaced the background music of his harsh, ragged gasps and her rising exhortations. "Really, Lilah."
There's a flicker of disappointment, quenched by cynicism. Of course he wouldn't. Why should he? She was a whore and if he wasn't the one paying her for sleeping with him, that doesn't change the label on her.
She regrets the impulse that made her stay to be held, because tonight she'd needed the illusion that she mattered. Regrets the shared confidence even more because it exposed her vulnerability to him.
"Would you like to know how I'd have punished them for their ill manners?" he says in a sleepy drawl, the tips of his fingers brushing her nipple and then pinching it awake.
"Yes," she says and there's no hiding her eagerness or the hopeful surprise in her voice.
His hand slips up to her shoulder and she feels a gentle, insistent downward pressure.
As her tongue curls around rapidly hardening flesh that still tastes of her and he starts to detail the most delightfully violent torments she wonders if Holland will ask her that question again.
Because he's loving telling her how he'd rescue her but he comes, not because she's sucking hard, head bobbing fast, but because he gets to the bit where he takes out his gun and shots them both dead, dead, dead.
And she thinks she'll meet Holland's bland stare with one of her own and tell him 'job done'.
Then he pulls her to him for a kiss, soft and wet and urgent, and shifts between her legs to return the favour and she changes her mind.
She's really in no rush to close this case after all.
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