Agent Provocateur Ch. 02byAlexandra©
Copyright Alexandra Lee 2006
'Mrs Price?' The bespectacled man in the blue uniform smiled to reveal a gold tooth from under a well-groomed handlebar moustache. Although not tall he was powerfully built and from the little she knew of the Indian police force, the array if gold on his shoulders indicated that he was a senior officer.
'Yes,' she smiled as she tried to hide her apprehension at being singled out in the long queue awaiting customs clearance. Several of the passengers turned to look at the exchange, no doubt grateful for something to alleviate their boredom. They had been waiting for over an hour, though Danielle wasn't complaining; on her previous visit the air-conditioning in Delhi's Indira Ghandi International Airport had been out of service turning the building into a sauna.
'Please, come with me, we can expedite you through customs.' At once a tall, thin police ifficer appeared and took control of her suitcase. She surrendered control to him, along with her passport, but retained the laptop computer that was slung over her shoulder.
'I am Chief Inspector Gupti of the New Delhi Police District.' The senior police officer walked briskly through the airport towards the administration area, with his junior officer trundling her suitcase just behind. Danielle had to hurry to keep beside her escort.
'Well Chief Inspector, may I inquire as to the reason behind the honour of such a greeting on my arrival? It is most unusual.' She noted many of those in the busy terminal stopping to watch the white woman being escorted by two police officers.
'Certainly, once we are in my office,' he said. They walked the rest of the way in silence until she found herself seated opposite a desk piled high with yellow folders and papers. Photos of a man who was clearly not Chief Inspector Gupti indicated that this was not in fact the policeman's office. She was also aware that her suitcase had not made it into the office and she had no doubt that it was being very thoroughly searched.
'Mrs Price, we of course were expecting you and understand why you are here.'
'Of course,' she nodded and offered a small smile. 'My husband's arrest had caused me much concern...'
'No, no, no,' Gupti interrupted. 'Your husband has not been arrested; he is merely assisting us with an investigation and is in fact staying at the Hyatt Hotel.' This was news to Danielle but she kept her expression neutral.
'And how much longer will this investigation go on?'
'A few days, no more,' he said, showing her his palms and rocking his head from side to side. She knew that a few days in India could turn out to be two weeks. Or more. A shadow fell across the carpet as someone neared the glass-partitioned door and Danielle pretended not to notice the policeman's subtle nod to whoever was outside.
'We just wished to inform you that this is a routine matter and perhaps with your help it can all be sorted in a few days.' Gupti stood and offered her a business card, which she accepted. She offered hers in return.
'How can I help?'
'Perhaps you could accompany Mister Price when he comes to the police station tomorrow?'
'Of course,' she smiled. 'Is there anything else I can do?'
'No, no,' Gupti's gold tooth glinted as he smiled. 'We shall see you tomorrow?'
'Tomorrow it is.' They shook hands and the tall junior officer led her from the building to a waiting limousine. The forty five minute drive to the hotel gave her time to think through the implications of what had been said in the short interview, and more importantly what had not been said. Apart from the opportunity to search her suitcase thoroughly, the authorities clearly wanted her to know that she was known, was being watched and that people of high authority were interested.
The contrasts of India never failed to fascinate her. The crisp modern lines of New Delhi's newest building overshadowed run down slums where people in ragged clothing begged for a living. Limousines, such as hers', passed horse drawn wagons and forty-year-old cars that belched smoke and looked to be made of rust.
She was greeted with great warmth at the Hyatt and was not required to check in, instead being given a swipe card and led to the luxurious room where her husband was residing.
She tipped her escort and the porter who followed close behind, a handsome and cheeky young man who kept his body language politely subservient but let his eyes wander voraciously. Danielle enjoyed the attention and met his stare with a faint smile.
Danielle was relieved to find the room empty. Stu, or Jeff as she would have to call him, was apparently out, where she did not know. The room was whisper quiet and again a stark contrast to the cacophony that were the streets of the city. Danielle quickly unpacked her suitcase, deciding that pessimism about the expected length of her stay was the best option. Unsure of how long she would have to wait for Stu's return, she flicked open her mobile and dialled in the number for Jeff's office in Melbourne. It was just after eleven in New Delhi and therefore just after half past three back home.
'Hello?' His voice sounded strained and she smiled grimly. The caller ID function on his phone would have warned him it was her and therefore he didn't identify himself when he answered.
'Hello Richard,' she said, using the nomenclature she had chosen just in case her calls were being monitored. It was her reminder to Jeff of what she thought of his involvement in this.
'Hello Danielle,' he replied, 'I take it you have arrived okay?'
'Indeed.' She realised that she felt somewhat sorry for him having to wait in Melbourne for the news from her as it trickled through, and was grateful that they had made love and reconciled before her departure. 'I just wanted to check in and see if there had been any developments in the JetAAI proposal?'
'No, no change.' She could sense that he desperately wanted to be more personal. 'Ah, how is Jeff?'
'Oh, I'm not sure. He isn't under arrest, in fact were staying at the Hyatt, but he's out somewhere at the moment.' The impact on her visit of Stu not being in jail dawned on her as she listened to the silence the news had invoked at the other end of the line.
'Oh, well, that's great news. Does that mean you, I mean he, will be coming straight home?'
'No, not quite, the police want to ask him, us, a few more questions tomorrow. I'll call and let you all know what is going on after that.'
'Yes, yes,' Jeff sounded distracted, possibly upset. Danielle wanted to get off the phone and re-compose herself before Stu returned.
'I'd best go,' she said.
'Okay, right you are. Thanks for calling.' Then the line went dead.
Danielle felt the effects of the long flight hit her then, so she ran the bath in the marble and gilt edged bathroom. She picked some clean clothes from the wardrobe, locked the bathroom door before stripping and slipping into the bubble filled bath. Her mind was racing, trying to piece together everything that had happened. There was only one bed, albeit a King sized one that she would have to share with her "husband."
She had expected to find him in jail and therefore have limited contact with him at least until his release. If she had been with Jeff, the real Jeff, he would have been in the bath with her right now, followed by a passionate session in that bed. She recalled the sensation of him entering her from behind just twenty-four hours earlier and felt a tingle. Her hands wandered down her body, brushing her palms across her nipples, which stiffened in response. She ran her fingers through what remained of the hair at her crotch. She had spent an hour before leaving Melbourne with her beauty consultant being waxed, a final pampering before she entered the lion's den.
The memory of Jeff's tongue inside her led to her pressing her fingers against her mons and gently stroking her clit. The spark ignited in her belly, the promise of pleasures to come and she increased the pressure of her middle finger, pushing downwards across her clit and parting her lips. She directed her right hand up and down her slit, slowly pushing deeper as the forefinger of her left hand began to draw increasingly faster circles across her clit. Her stomach muscles clenched and relaxed as the pressure built within her body, sending the water rippling up across her chest and occasionally exposing her nipples to the cool air of the room. All at once she gasped, water splashed over the edge of the bath and Danielle arched her back as she came. Her bottom slipped and threatened to send her under the water and brought her orgasm to a premature end as she regained her balance.
As her breathing returned to normal the thought that Stu might return at any moment entered her mind and all at once she wanted to get dressed and ready herself for his return. Within ten minutes of leaving the bathroom, refreshed and aglow, she heard the door open. The look of stunned surprise on Stu's face informed her that he had not known that she was coming and she couldn't help but smile.
'Hello,' she offered.
'Oh, ah, darling, I had no idea that you were coming over.' He was flustered, far more than she expected and she knew something was wrong. He closed the space between them and went to hug her, but she pushed him away and stepped back.
'Dani,' he protested, a look of alarm on his face. 'I know that this must be inconvenient for you, but you can't blame me for the mix up.' Something in his tone made her accept his next attempt at a hug. 'Follow my lead,' he whispered in her ear through her hair.
'Are you hungry?' She nodded, realising that in fact she was starving.
'Let's go for a walk and grab something downtown.'
'Sounds great,' she said with a smile.
They left the hotel in silence caught a cab to the old market district. It wasn't until they were entering the maze of back street shops and seated themselves at a café full of bronzed backpackers that Stu began to talk. He believed that the police were suspicious of the scientist who had made contact, but were taking a wild stab that he was the contact. He knew that the hotel room was bugged and probably under video surveillance, as the police had taken him to the room and were picking up the tab in order to "relieve the inconvenience."
'How can you be sure that the room is bugged and we're being watched?' She wanted to believe that he was wrong.
'Because it is exactly how I would try and catch us out. Look, I believe that they have nothing. What's more, I believe that that they have nothing on their scientist, just suspicions all round and that they hope in the next couple of days we say something that will give them the lead they want.'
'So they are watching us all the time?' She was mortified that she had masturbated in the bath. 'I had a bath before you came back.'
Stu smiled. 'They'll love that.' He saw her embarrassment and his tone became reassuring, 'in all seriousness things like that will convince them that you have no idea that you are being watched.'
'Oh my God. I had no idea that this was going to happen. Are we being followed now?'
'Yes, but it is very discreet. More that they want to see where I go and who I meet rather than trying to listen to what we say.'
'Shit, then we need to be acting husband and wife all the time.'
'Yes.' They ordered some roti and a mutton curry. The aromas set her stomach juices flowing and she ate far too much too quickly. They discussed their situation in low tones until they were each happy with what was to happen the next day. Danielle found Stu's confident manner very reassuring and that him far warmer towards her than she was used to.
'You've never really liked me have you?' Danielle was a little surprised at herself for asking the question.
'I wouldn't say that,' Stu protested. 'If anything I may have been a little stand-offish because you've never really liked me.'
'Why do you think that I don't like you?'
'As far as I can tell, it was Jeff's bucks party.'
'Yeah, I figured you weren't too impressed and blamed me.'
Danielle smiled at his assumption. 'Look, Jeff didn't do anything and told me about it, I didn't blame you for organising it, that's the sort of thing that happens at a buck's party and you know what, even if Jeff had screwed her, I wouldn't blamed you.'
'Oh.' He looked puzzled. 'Then why were you so cold towards me at the reception?'
'Because that girlfriend of yours at the time...what was her name?'
'Shelley,' he said with a grimace.
'Yes her, she told me that she was dumping you because you tried to come on to my maid of honour.'
'I did nothing of the sort!' The surprise on his face told her that he wasn't lying.
'But she dumped you the next day.'
'Yeah, but it wasn't because of that.'
'Well why was it then?'
'Other reasons,' he replied quickly, glancing out onto the street. Danielle saw him blush and couldn't help herself.
'It doesn't matter,' he said. 'Look, we should be going.'
'Why?' Danielle reached across and placed her hand over the back of his. He looked surprised. 'Shouldn't a husband and wife, re-united at a stressful time, spend time together and relax?'
'I guess so, at least we can talk fairly freely out here. Say, do you want to have a look around?' She nodded and for the next couple of hours they wandered the streets and alleyways of the bazaar until Danielle finally called it quits. The after effects of the long flight were catching up and she had decided that a couple of hour's sleep was needed.
'So why did Shelley dump you?' she asked during the cab ride back to the hotel.
'You don't want to know.' He sounded firm in his response but is simply piqued her curiosity further.
'I am way too curious now not to want to know.'
'Alright then,' Stu sighed, but looked out the window as he spoke. 'Shelley was a bit of a wild girl in bed, she liked dirty talk, videos and fantasies. The night before the wedding she blindfolded me and asked me to use a different name.' Stu fell silent for a few moments. 'It turned out that she didn't like the name and that was that.'
Danielle didn't need him to tell him whom he had fantasised about. His embarrassment and reluctance to tell the story made it abundantly clear. Danielle was aware that she had completely misread his apparent antipathy towards her and in fact, he was obviously attracted to her. And now they were play acting as husband and wife. She hadn't mentioned it at the café, but the thought that they would have to be seen to be physically intimate had entered her mind. She had decided that some make believe under the bed covers would have been sufficient, but this new revelation was going to make simulating sex even more awkward than she had imagined.
'So why didn't you like me?' Stu's question broke through her reverie.
'To be honest, I thought you were one of those men who get jealous of their best friend's wife.'
'More jealous of him than of you,' Stu smiled wanly.
'And now you have Naomi.' Danielle wanted to deflect the topic of conversation from her. The cab stopped at the entrance to the Hyatt and Stu paid the driver.
'Before we go in,' she slipped her arm through his. 'We have to appear to have sex tonight...'
'I thought about that, but decided that we could get out of it if we're seen to have a fight over this situation.'
'No,' Danielle shook her head. 'If there appear to be tensions between us it may just lead the police to prolong this situation. If we appear relaxed and confident, and if as you say they are fishing, they will believe our innocence a lot quicker.'
'You're right,' he said, leading her away from a black Ambassador that had pulled up near them. 'Here come our friends now,' he murmured as two suited men clambered out of the car, studiously looking everywhere except at them. 'Darling, why don't you have a sleep and I'll go for a workout at the gym, then we can grab some dinner later?'
'Sounds wonderful,' she smiled, and it did. He moved towards her and their lips brushed and Danielle felt her heart skip a beat. She hadn't touched another man intimately since meeting Jeff, and although the kiss was hardly intimate, the message it was meant to convey to their watchers gave it an intimacy that she hadn't been ready for.
Danielle was woken at five thirty by the sounds of running water. Light spilled through the open door from the bathroom and she suspected Stu had wanted to warn her that he was back from the gym. She allowed herself the luxury of lying under the warmth of the covers, stretched a couple of times then slipped from the bed and shrugged a summer dress over her shoulders and smoothed it over her hips.
She was sitting on a chair in front of the mirror brushing her hair when Stu emerged from the bathroom dressed only in a towel. For the first time in the eight years that she had known at him she took note of the muscled abdomen and strong chest.
'Did you sleep well?'
'Yes, it was nice, how was the gym?'
'Good, very good.'
Their conversation was stilted so she decided to take the initiative. She placed her hairbrush on the table as she stood and crossed the short distance between them. She ran her hand over his chest and around his neck, pulling his face to hers. He resisted at first, then let his mouth be led to hers. The kiss was chaste and Danielle took his hand and led him to the bed.
'Unzip me,' she said. Stu fumbled with the zip that she had only just done up, then she found herself shrugging the dress down over her hips. She was desperately conscious of being in her underwear in front of a man who was not her husband, and explained away the thumping of her heart to her anxiety.
She turned to him and again they kissed; another chaste meeting of their mouths. She pulled him down onto the bed as she sat, forcing her eyes to meet his as she pulled his towel free and dropped it on the floor. Then the covers were over them and Stu was over her, holding his weight on his arms as they kissed again.
'Turn the light off,' she murmured and he moved quickly to comply, plunging the room into near darkness. She had thought that the inability to see Stu would make the process of simulating sex that much easier, instead she found herself thinking that she was with Jeff, that she was going to make love. But Stu's hard body could not be mistaken for her husband's and when his tongue forced its way into her mouth she found herself meeting its thrusts with her own. They writhed under the covers until Stu rolled from her and onto his back. They had been at it for just over five minutes and could have realistically called the job done.
But something in Danielle's mind made her follow him and slide her body on to his. Unlike Stu she didn't attempt to hold her weight off him and plunged her tongue into his mouth. She sat up, the sheet around her shoulders, and she felt his hardness. He was fully erect and the action of her sitting pressed his erection against the top of her buttocks and lower back. She stopped, looking down at him, her heart racing. Then she began to move up and down as though she was riding him, feeling his hardness as it rubbed through the cotton of her panties. The thought that Stu had become so hard as a result of the limited contact between them drove a wedge of excitement into her self-control. Danielle felt close to crossing a boundary that she had no desire to cross, so she sat heavily on his abdomen, lifted her face to the ceiling in an approximation of an orgasm, then dropped to the bed beside him, ensuring that there was no contact between them.
'That was good,' Stu said after they had lain in silence for a few minutes.
'Yes, I've missed it while you've been away.' They made no attempt to look at each other.