Trace stared at her from head to toe as they left the gymnasium for the hallway. "Where are you from, Fia?"
"Nowhere, really. I was orphaned when I was three and grew up shuttled between Jergin and Aptor. That's where most foundlings are raised." She noted the softening in Trace's, if not Vaan's, face. Vaan, the assassin, remained wary. Yet Trace, Racor's legendary assault commander, was a sucker for a woman with a sob story. "I had a very loving childhood, though. And when I reached my majority at fifteen, I decided to become a sex sharer. It's respectable work and pays very well."
Vaan lifted a brow at Trace, who scowled but said nothing.
"That's what I've always told my friend here. Sex is to be treasured, explored, not deemed dirty or wrong." Vaan stared smugly at Trace.
Fia frowned, enjoying her role. "But if you feel that way, Trace, then why are you here?"
"Good question," he muttered, and Vaan chuckled.
"Don't mind Trace. He's just upset that I got the better of him in our entanglement."
"Shut up, Vaan." Trace's gaze narrowed, and Fia encouraged his small temper, knowing it would aid her as a distraction.
"But you both seemed so wrapped in each other," she said earnestly. "Trace, your climax was so beautiful, Vaan's hands so giving." To her delight, Trace flushed and Vaan grinned widely.
"I told you I knew what you needed," Vaan murmured.
"And I told you I'd make you pay for that." Trace kept Fia between them while his attention fixated on Vaan.
"Um, I hate to interrupt," Fia said meekly. "But would it be okay if I cleaned up in my chambers before we met Vela?" She blushed, staring at her bare feet. "I want to maintain a good impression, and I feel a trifle, ah, used."
Vaan glanced from Trace to her, his eyes gleaming. "I don't think I've ever seen you look better, Fia. You're practically glowing." Damn. Now Trace looked speculative as he stared at her. "But all right. Take us to your room."
Within minutes, they stood in her spartan quarters. Unlike Clea's side of the room, Fia's had little adornment. Only a silken bedsheet and a blooming orvid marked the room as hers. While they checked the security of her windowless room, she worked on appearing shy, demure. A difficult task with a bed so near the objects of her desire. "Um, I don't suppose you'd let me change in private?" She forced another blush. "I'm not used to dressing in front of others."
Vaan's eyebrows rose. "What? You're just used to undressing in front of others? You are a sex sharer, aren't you?"
She called on some tears and forced a flush.
Trace shot Vaan a sharp look and the light-haired assassin sighed. "We'll be right outside, Fia. And don't even think about running away or there'll be hell to pay." His eyes burned as they lingered over her breasts.
The minute they left, she jammed the security box by the door, buying her a little time. She'd been more than pleased to share Clea's room, partial to the hidden chamber directly behind the armoire, a secret meeting place Clea and Vela liked to use when Vela felt naughty.
Moving with a sense of urgency, Fia threw a few sets of clothing and a pair of sandals, her communicator--which didn't work except in one small area deeper into the island--a knife and a map into a small bag and passed into Clea's secret chamber. From there, she squeezed through a narrow window leading to the central garden and inner courtyard. She quickly weaved through guests and curious staff alike, nodding pleasantly while gauging how much distance she'd put between herself and the men trained to hunt down their prey until found.
She could only hope she'd given herself enough time.