My line of work involved deterring home-wreckers. When stubborn women refused to step aside, desperate wives would hire me to charm their husbands. Once I successfully won their hearts and dissuaded those tempting mistresses, I would swiftly exit the scene, leaving the men in my wake. Surprisingly, many of these once-faithless husbands found their way back to their devoted partners. For those husbands who remained steadfast in their desire for a divorce, my role shifted to gathering evidence of their infidelity. My aim was to secure the maximum compensation for the wives during the property division, preventing the husbands from squandering their assets on other love interests.
Apex Group stood as the behemoth of Raybourne's corporate world. Its chairman, Dylan Hewitt, had achieved business mogul status through his wife's connections. However, such marriages often concealed hidden agendas. These men viewed marriage as a means to propel themselves upward, only to repay their partners' support with ingratitude once they attained wealth and power. Reclaiming their rightful assets became a daunting task for the wives, even if they desired to do so. Despite my wealth of experience, I approached this particular mission with a tinge of uncertainty. These modern-day men were shrewd and ruthless, and a single misstep could lead me down a treacherous path of futility and danger.
Intrigued by Theresa's handsome pay, I decided to embrace the risk and take on the challenge.
She provided me with only a few tidbits about Dylan.
Firstly, he didn't possess a strong inclination towards women. Secondly, I was forewarned that successfully enticing him would require a delicate touch and considerable patience, as it could easily swing either way.
Having navigated the complexities of thirty previous cases, I found myself faced with the most demanding task based on Theresa's guidance.
She handed me two photographs of her husband. In one, he was deeply immersed in his work, displaying an unwavering focus. The other captured him engaged in a fitness routine, showcasing a well-proportioned, robust physique. Although appearing slim, it was evident that he possessed underlying muscular strength. Although I could only see his side profile and back in those photos, I had to admit that Dylan possessed a captivating allure, surpassing any man I had encountered before.
Curiosity prompted me to ask Theresa a crucial question. "Do you seek to salvage your marriage or pursue a divorce?"
"Divorce." Without a moment's hesitation, she responded with unwavering determination, "I want to claim at least half of his assets."
A furrow formed on my brow involuntarily. Her husband, the chairman of Apex Group, held a position of substantial wealth. Acquiring billions of dollars from an ex-spouse had never materialized in our country's history of divorce settlements.
Sensing my hesitation, Theresa placed a substantial stack of cash on the table and said, "Miss Garrett, I am aware of your exceptional skills. Invest more time in coaxing him into making a significant mistake. The more incriminating the evidence, the greater my chances of victory."
Silence enveloped the room as I weighed the gravity of this decision.
Her voice laced with desperation, Theresa continued with a sigh, "I have endured emotional abuse since the day I married him. He intends to discard me and coerce me into relinquishing all my possessions. I am left with no choice but to find a way to protect myself. Miss Garrett, there is no need for you to fear exposure. I have no desire for a scandal. I will handle the negotiations with him privately."
Despite Theresa's reassurances, lingering doubts still plagued my mind. "What if you fail to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with him?" I queried, skeptical of Dylan's susceptibility to manipulation by a woman.
With unwavering resolve, Theresa responded, "In that case, I will have no choice but to proceed with legal action. Rest assured, I will ensure your anonymity until the court proceedings."
While her words attempted to allay my concerns, I couldn't shake off the lingering unease. Furrowing my brows, I voiced another pressing worry. "And what if your husband seeks revenge against me?"
Theresa's patience waned, her tone firm. "Miss Garrett, now that you're in this business, it's inevitable to take risks. I'm confident that you possess the skills necessary to handle such challenges."
Taking a deep breath, I placed the stack of money into my handbag. "I will endeavor to get the job done within three months."
Theresa stirred her coffee with grace, her voice laced with caution. "Miss Garrett, while I appreciate your confidence, I must remind you that Dylan is not easily swayed. I strongly advise you to adopt a long-term strategy and proceed with meticulous planning. How about we set a timeline of two years?"
Two years seemed far too extensive for my liking. In my experience, there was no prey I couldn't ensnare within three months.
Confidently, I asserted, "I cannot afford to invest so much time on a single order. Three months will suffice."
Theresa smiled, picking up her shopping bags. "Then I wish you the best of luck."
With Theresa's help, I assumed a new identity. I became a girl hailing from a modest background, fresh out of a prestigious university, and untouched by romantic entanglements. The upper echelons of society held a cautious approach, weighing risks before taking action. They often gravitated towards individuals with a simple, unassuming charm. Armed with the information provided by Theresa, I initiated contact with Dylan.
As the call connected, a deep voice resonated from the other end. "Hello?"
I replied, "Hello, is this Mr. Hewitt?"
Dylan's response came in a flat tone, "Who is calling?"
In a gentle voice, I introduced myself, "I am the assistant hired by Mrs. Hewitt. My name is Sabrina Garrett. Today-"
Before I could finish my words, Dylan interjected abruptly.
"Have you been to Emerald Boulevard?"
I raised my head, scanning my surroundings. "Yes, I have, but I'm not familiar with it."
"Meet me there now," Dylan commanded before abruptly ending the call.
I stared at my cellphone screen, contemplating Dylan's demeanor. He exuded a resolute air, an indifference that bordered on unromantic. Indeed, he would prove to be a challenging target.
Rouging my lips, I carefully wiped away the excess color, leaving only a subtle, alluring shade on my delicate pout. Dealing with such a cunning individual required caution. I couldn't afford to appear too casual, as it might project an air of carelessness or boredom. Conversely, excessive preening would come across as overly assertive. Understanding the delicate balance was paramount to success.
Once satisfied with my makeup and a spritz of perfume, I set off toward Emerald Boulevard.
As dusk settled, the sky adorned itself with a reddish hue, casting a warm glow over the bustling crowd. It seemed as though they had boundless energy, undeterred by the weariness of a busy day.
I drove across the viaduct and parked in front of a convenience store. Rolling down the window, I gazed at the Apex Group building. I spotted a slender figure bathed in the radiant sunset glow. His back resembled the one I had seen in the photograph. He stood there, his expression unreadable, as if devoid of interest in the world around him. Positioned in front of a French window, he toyed with something in his hand. The metallic object rolled over his fingertips, casting a glimmer of silver light.
As I pulled over, I discerned that it was a lighter.
Dylan possessed a charm that surpassed his photo.
He wore a cream-colored turtleneck shirt, its collar delicately skimming his prominent Adam's apple, adding a touch of allure. His grey woolen overcoat hung unbuttoned, revealing a pair of sleek black suit pants. A mature aura emanated from him, and his eyes, a deep and mysterious shade of blue, resembled the tranquil depths of the sea. Women would be instantly drawn to him.
Dylan stood apart from the men I had encountered thus far. He possessed the untamed spirit of a wild stallion, an essence of unyielding defiance. Such a man left an indelible impression. Upon closer observation, I found his allure intensifying. He might not have possessed conventional handsome features, but he exuded a distinctive, heroic aura that captivated attention.
Of all the men I had encountered, Dylan exuded a rugged masculinity. There was a brooding quality to his countenance, characteristic of a man driven by insatiable desires for material wealth, power, and women.
I speculated that his apparent disinterest in women was merely a guise, concealing his hidden hypocrisies and desires. Even Theresa, his own wife, failed to fully perceive the depths of his true nature.
At that moment, it dawned on me that I was about to face a formidable adversary.
Given Dylan's status and circumstances, countless women must have thrown themselves at him. He likely possessed an immunity to the allure of love affairs. Men who exuded an air of bureaucracy and frivolity were easy prey, but those with unwavering self-control and worldly wisdom, epitomized by Dylan, proved to be the most challenging conquests.
Taking a deep breath, I opened the car door and stepped out onto the pavement. With haste, I crossed the road and positioned myself before him. "I apologize for my tardiness, Mr. Hewitt."
Dylan glanced at me impassively, responding, "It's alright. I just arrived."
I offered another apology, acknowledging, "It's inexcusable for me to keep my boss waiting."
Dylan adjusted his cufflink, his index finger hovering around his wrist. A smile tugged at his lips as he remarked, "You're quite interesting."
He ascended the steps, and as a gust of wind swept by, I caught a whiff of alcohol emanating from him. It seemed he had just concluded a business engagement. I followed him into the elevator, his back facing me. He casually pushed the eleventh floor, and then turned to me, posing a casual inquiry. "How did my wife come to hire you?"
I fixed my gaze upon Dylan's reflection in the mirrored elevator doors. He sensed my scrutiny and locked eyes with me. As our gazes intertwined, an overwhelming sense of oppression emanated from him.
With composure, I replied, "One of Mrs. Hewitt's acquaintances happens to be one of my university professors. He recommended me to her."
A smile flickered in his eyes as he queried, "Is that so?"
Seizing the opportunity, I swiftly changed the topic. "Mrs. Hewitt mentioned that you dedicate considerable attention to your career and have little time for rest. Hence, she hired me to assist you."
Dylan stood tall, his gaze fixed upon the illuminated LED screen in the elevator, his silence speaking volumes.
Internally, I conducted a second assessment of Dylan. He was remarkably astute and inscrutable. He would undoubtedly remain on high alert against any individuals arranged by Theresa, leaving me with less than a fifty percent chance of success.