Camile Reynolds tucked her twelfth braid into the arrangement on her head and smiled at her reflection in the mirror. It was a good idea to start the polite smile before she left her quarters. It kept her from being caught with a scowl the moment she left her chambers.
Her makeup was perfect, her dress was understatedly elegant for her role as Dem’s assistant and lover. Only she and he knew that there wasn’t any truth to the arrangement. Well, they knew and his lovers might suspect it.
Camile smoothed her dress, checked her reflection one more time and grabbed her data pad with the day’s schedule.
She picked up the cup with the other hand and opened the connecting door to Demalikan Vip Leahar’s bedchamber.
Cam opened the window and stroked the cheek of the man in bed with her employer.
He opened sleepy eyes and sat up, frowning at her. She offered him the goblet, and he took it, gulping down what seemed to be cool water.
She felt a pang of guilt as she always did while administering the mild hypnotic. “You met with the ambassador, had a vivid fantasy and woke up in your own bed. Go home and wake with a smile on your face.”
The man frowned for a moment until the drug kicked in. He got up and dressed on automatic before leaving the ambassador’s chambers.
Dem rolled toward her, gloriously naked. “You have gotten very good at that.”
She gave his lithe perfection the once over. “You give me plenty of practice. You have your first meeting in an hour and then a luncheon with the governor. I would suggest you get dressed, Dem.”
He grimaced. “You are getting comfortable with this arrangement, Companion.”
“It is why you pay me, Ambassador.”
He laughed and flipped to his feet, stalking to the lav for his morning ablutions.
Cam went to the end of the bed and removed a small bot from a carved wooden chest. With a few small motions, she set the machine and let it go between the sheets, seeking out all DNA that belonged to anyone other than herself and the ambassador.
Her ten months of training at the Companion Training facility had prepared her to hide Dem’s predilection for his own sex. It was funny to have gone from being a beard on earth to being one in space for an alien ambassador, but she was used to the role. Some species just didn’t react well to same-sex attractions, and the Companion arrangement worked well for Dem. He could flirt and have the flings that he wanted to, and she cleaned up after him, as well as acted as his lover in public.
Loneliness flared to life now and then, but in general, Cam was fairly content to see the endless list of worlds that Dem visited on behalf of the Yemish.
That day’s visit to Namkor coincided with the beginning of their festival season. The governor ruled over this province as well as the civic councils around the globe. Dem would represent the Yemish at the events being held during the festival, and Cam would remain at his side the entire time.
Dem came out of the lav with his chest gleaming and a towel around his hips. “It is too bad that you had to send him away. The Namkor males are exceptionally gifted.”
He snickered as he thought of something that amused him, and she remained in his quarters while he dressed to match her clothing. His control of her wardrobe was a minor annoyance. He liked to dress flashy, so she had to wear a little more gleam in daring arrangements than she was accustomed to.
When he finished his toilette, she adjusted his collar with a practiced hand and ran her hand down his chest. She pressed her cheek to his, marking him for any scent-sensitive species.
“Very delicately done, Cam. Are you ready?”
“I am. I have today’s itinerary.”
“Excellent. You forgot the lipstick.”
She grimaced and leaned in to brush her lips against his in a quick move. “Sorry.”
He sighed and rubbed at the light stain she left behind. “The Namkor are very private about their social lives. No one knows what their preferences are. No sense tempting fate. The Yemish need this shipping route.”
“Best behaviour. Got it.” Cam stepped into place behind him, and they left their quarters to head for the dining room of the elegant hotel they were staying in.