Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

I should have known when I woke up pleasantly sore in a strange apartment with a man wrapped around me that my life was about to get complicated. It wasn’t going to mean anything , I’d lied the night before when, intoxicated by pheromones and champagne, I let him take me home. As I’d gathered up my clothes and planned my escape I’d assured myself it had been a momentary lapse, that I’d never see him again. Apparently that, too, had been a whopper. Because here he was, on the other end of a Glock 19, and he was pointing it at my chest.

“Police! Don’t move.”

Behind the Mask
Copyright © Samantha Sommersby, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Samantha Sommersby.

The room was dark, but the ambient light from the moon shined in through the bedroom window, skimming over the top of his head and landing on the 1.8 million dollar diamond necklace I had clutched in my hand. My eyes darted about the room, searching for something, anything that I could use to get away. The window I’d entered through was directly behind him. That route was clearly cut off. To my right was a door.

“Don’t even think about it,” he hissed. “Hands in the air. Turn around and face the wall.”

My mouth was dry and my heart was pounding. I looked down the barrel of the gun and swallowed hard.

“Jason, I’m not armed.”

I held my hands out to my sides, palms up. The necklace fell to the floor, landing on the plush carpet.

The fact that I knew his name caught him off guard. He seemed to recognize my voice. But I don’t think he’d placed it. Why would he? When we met at the charity ball the night before the circumstances had been totally different. Last night I’d been wearing a classic black cocktail dress. Now I was sporting the outfit I reserved for all my breaking and entering, topped off, of course, with the always-fashionable black ski mask.

I pulled off the mask and shook out the mass of fiery red curls that, less than twenty-four hours ago had lain like a blanket across Jason’s chest. Then I stepped forward, out of the shadows and into the moonlight.


All at once confusion, hurt, and betrayal passed across his face. His handsome features marred as he drew the understandable but wrong conclusion.

“It’s not what you think,” I said, taking another step forward.

He’d started to lower the gun but suddenly it was back up and he was coming towards me.

“You have no idea what I’m thinking!” he growled as he grasped my arm, spun me around, and pushed me towards the wall. “Hands on the wall. Feet apart!”

He patted me down, his touch cold and impersonal. It was nothing like the warm and lingering caresses that my body had recently enjoyed and craved more of.

“I told you, I’m not armed,” I muttered.

“You told me a lot of things. Or should I say a lot of lies.”

His accusation stung.

“I never lied to you.”


“No!” I shouted out as I turned back to face him. “I admit, it was stupid mixing business with pleasure but-”

“Which one was I?”

He was standing so close to me. I could feel the heat radiating from his body. I wanted desperately to reach out to him. But I didn’t.

“Last night was about you and me. Nothing else,” I told him, looking him straight in the eye.

“You knew who I was, what I did.”

“Yes,” I admitted.

“You let me take you home.”

“Uh huh.”

“We had sex ,” he added, whispering the last word like it was some salacious secret.

I smiled, then I placed my hands on Jason’s rock-hard abs and ran them up over his muscled torso. “No. We had really great sex.”

“You used me for information so that you could steal the necklace! What did you do, rummage through my files after I fell asleep?”

“You leave case files where people can rummage through them?”

Within a blink of an eye Jason was on me. His face a hairsbreadth away from mine as he slapped his hands on the wall behind me, pinning me in.

“It doesn’t have to end this way,” I whispered. “Let me go.”

He closed his eyes and leaned down. His lips brushing gently across mine, the feather light touch making me tremble.

“I can’t,” he sighed, pulling back slightly. “I have to bring you in, Vivien. Even if I don’t want to, I have to bring you in.”

“I didn’t come here to steal the necklace, Jason. I’m recovering it. I was hired by Pinnacle Limited.”

“Recovering it,” he repeated. “For the insurance company? You expect me to believe that?”

“It’s what I do. This necklace doesn’t belong to Colbert. You know it doesn’t. You know he filched it; you just don’t have enough evidence to nail him. That’s why you had this place staked out. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“So what if you are?”

“Now you have the evidence,” I said, looking pointedly down at the necklace. “You happened to be driving by, thought you saw a potential robbery in progress-”

“Called for back-up.”

“You didn’t!”

Jason winced. “I did.”

“I swear I’m telling the truth.”

I watched as he stepped back, then bent down and picked the necklace up off of the carpet.

“Go,” he said, walking over to the window and glancing outside. “They’ll be here any minute. Go.”

Flooded with relief I ran over to him, wrapped my arms around his waist, and pressed myself against his back.

“I’ll be waiting for you at your place,” I whispered.

Jason turned within the circle of my arms and smiled. “It’ll take a couple hours to wrap this up. There’s an extra key-”

I placed my finger over his lips to silence him.

“I don’t need a key,” I reminded him. Then I stepped back, fading into the shadows and disappearing into the night.