Undercover Secrets & Lies is NOW LIVE!
Laila is locked and loaded as she goes Undercover.
“I can’t take this anymore. Is there nothing entertaining in this city tonight?” Titus asks.
“I will take care of you, Baby,” Jolie hums, dancing her way in front of us all and stripping down to her underwear as she swings around, waiting for Ben to rescue her. Titus looks up at Nathan who rolls his eyes. She is not impressing anyone, and the indifference is starting to get to her. “If you’re not going to pay attention to me then I will go find someone that will!”
“Alright, but you’re not getting any of my security people while you go do it.” Titus waves her off, whispering something to Nathan who moves Ben next to Titus, making sure he stays put.
Infuriated, Jolie puts her dress back on and rushes down the stairs to mingle until she finds the right dumbass to give her what she wants. She lures the fool into nearly having sex right in front of Titus. The poor man doesn’t know what’s coming for him. “Stop!” she yells. “Help! Let go! Help! Stop. Please stop! He’s hurting me!” Jolie screams, flailing about as if she has been struck. The man stands dumbfounded as Titus sends someone down to right the situation. I doubt Titus fell for her act, but he enjoys the show and rescues her in a grand performance. It’s a beating I don’t enjoy watching, and I am not sure the man will live through it. Once Titus finishes with him, he is carried out and thrown into the street. It’s a display that proves Titus’s need for attention and respect. Jolie kisses him as her rescuer, and they return to the balcony like the king and queen of the utmost bullshit I have ever seen. They are made for each other.
Ben and I both take hold of our weapons and prepare to rush Titus out, but Titus holds us off, standing up calmly to address the crowd who are unsure if they should move. “Please, all is good. My wife is safely back at my side and the deplorable has been dealt with.” Everyone begins clapping along with Titus and his grand appreciation for Jolie’s insanity. It settles the crowd some, but it’s obviously still tense, and people are looking to leave. “Please continue having fun. Drinks are on me for the rest of the night,” Titus states, aiming for entertainment of another kind—drunken stupor. No one seems anxious to do much of anything. “I didn’t come here to watch people stand around. Someone do something. I don’t care what, but things better improve quickly or my good mood is going to disappear.” Titus slams his fist down on the arm of his chair, a deep shade of red forming on his face. “Ben, I always enjoy your entertainment. Surely you can think of something?”
“I do have an idea.” Ben leans down to whisper into Titus’s ear.
Titus nods, “Of course, you have my permission to do whatever you want.”
Ben disappears for a few minutes, talking to the DJ who nods and hands him a microphone. Ben looks up at me and winks. Oh this can’t be good. He races back up the stairs to the balcony. The music stops once again, and a spotlight beams right on us. Titus sits up with interest while I try to back away. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I need your help. I have been trying to convince this woman right here to go out with me for weeks.” I am pushed into the center of the light, shaking my head and cursing him under my breath. “Sadly, she keeps saying no.” The crowd simultaneously moans, and Titus laughs, clapping already at Ben’s ability to engage the crowd. “So, I was wondering if a song would help show my devotion to her.”
“No, it won’t!” I insist.
“Oh, I think it might, Laila, or should I say, Layla,” he belts out for no reason. Suddenly, I hear it. The notes that have plagued me my whole life, cursed by a song that happened to play when my parents first met. The crowd begins to get excited, and Ben? Well, Ben sheds his suit jacket, loosens his tie, and undoes a few buttons on his shirt to the roar of every woman in the room. He belts out the song as if he has done this a million times before, taking my hand and pleading every note to me.
I look around as everyone is cheering him on, including Titus who is encouraging and wanting more. Ben, I have to admit, is impressive with his moves, and the more I shake my head, the more elaborate the situation gets. I keep shaking my head, hoping this will end, but before I know it, he has me down in the middle of the dance floor, spinning me around and sliding up to me on his knees, begging me with passion as he calls out my name. This is a nightmare. With my hand in his and looking down at the fool on his knees, I am annoyed beyond words. This is can only going get worse.
“Yes. Okay, yes. I will go out with you. Whatever you want. Just please stop.” Everyone cheers. Guys pat Ben on the back and girls tell me how lucky I am while trying to give him their phone numbers. Ben pays attention to no one but me. It’s disarming how he looks at me and even pulls me in close to him. He thanks everyone for helping him. I really don’t understand people.
He wraps his arm around my waist, staring into my eyes as he finishes out the long finale of the song. My hands are in his when he moves one for me, up and behind his head. The other he holds between us while I move in against his chest, dancing and listening to him sing in my ear. We are cheek to cheek as he sings just loud enough for me to hear. It’s an odd feeling that I don’t quite know how to handle. There is something comforting about the way he holds me. He continues singing songs of his own choice, lightly in my ear.
“Yes, you look wonderful tonight.” I look around and realize no one is paying attention to us anymore. Buried deep in a crowd, I close my eyes and relax against him, as he continues to impress. Ben pulls his head away from mine, grazing my cheek with his lips.
“Laila,” he whispers as his hand slides down my back. I lay my head on his chest and let him in a little closer. Everyone else completely disappears from my mind. It’s me and him. Ben singing, only to me, and swaying my body with his. “Are you ready to leave?”
“No.” I glance shyly into his eyes. “Not yet. Keep singing.” But just to me, please. Ben adjusts to allow me to fit right into his arms, as close as I can get to him.
Ben got Titus to agree to let us have the rest of the night off if I said, yes. If I didn’t, Ben was to give up his beloved car. It was a bet Titus was willing to take. He does love his games, and Ben took advantage.
“That’s two yeses, you know? I’m not giving up.”
“I realize that. Don’t worry, I surrender. It better be a damn good date,” I say, and he immediately dips me backwards, smiling at me.
“Don’t worry. You’ll get your kiss, Tiger.” Pulling me back into his arms, he sings lightly, nosing my cheek with a tender kiss whenever he feels the need to do so. I don’t know what this feeling is, what these raw emotions are rushing through me. I haven’t felt it since I was a child, since my father told me it was all going to be alright—when I last felt safe from the world.
In the underbelly of L.A., crime has a sinister grip on the inner-workings of the city. When a cop turns up missing, his senator father will stop at nothing to locate him, even if that means bringing in the precarious Laila Lowell. Charged with the task of rescue or recovery, Laila sets out to take down the city's most powerful criminal while defending the secrets that will keep her alive, but the moment she meets bad boy Benjamin Ryder, her mission takes on a whole new dimension -- a deeply personal one. From the front lines to the tangled depths of honor, vengeance, and allure, Laila is locked and loaded as she goes Undercover.
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