Jason is showing the FBI agents around his house. Taylor finally saw the bowling alley and it hasn’t seemed to amuse her in the least. Jason reveals a little about what his life was like before he took up robbing people for a living. Taylor can’t even imagine what he went through as a boy. She finds herself softening toward the young, attractive thief.
He led them in there. The men checked the doors and one window. This room, like all the rest, was neat and orderly. Nothing was out of place. In one corner was a well stocked tool shop.
“You a carpenter?” Graves asked him, eyeing the expensive tools jealously.
“I dabble. Tools are for more than woodworking,” he replied, but didn’t go into detail.
He showed them the rest of the downstairs. Even the storage room was neat and clean. Everything was locked down tightly with all kinds of sensors on the doors and windows.
“The security system, does it have its own power supply too?” Stuart asked.
Jason glanced at him with slitted eyes, hands shoved in his pockets. He didn’t have to say anything, they all knew it was a dumb question. Stuart laughed at himself.
“Okay, so Stu’s having a slow day. Anything else we should see?”
“The other stairway to the second floor,” Jason said. It’s in the bowling alley down by the rack. It comes up in the garage but continues to the second floor by the billiards room.”
“Just how big is this place?”
“Absolutely monstrous. I figure you’ll get lost here for awhile unless you remember things as well as me.” He wasn’t bragging, he was being matter-of-fact.
He led them back into the bowling alley. The sound system had been playing all this time. The song had changed to a song by Audioslave. Chris Cornell’s distinctive voice filled the room with the moody, haunting Shape of Things to Come.
“Pull the door shut, eh?” He asked Kisler, who was last in. “The lights turn off when we go out the other side.”
They walked near the wall on a pathway that bordered the lanes. There was a door marked Exit on the end. Jason opened it, jerking sharply upward as he turned the knob.
“Safety measure. Won’t open unless you give it a bit of a jab. Primitive, but effective.”
“Something nasty happen if you don’t?” Kisler asked.
“Yeah. Door won’t open.”
Jason flashed his five star smile, making Taylor, who got the full brunt of it, weak in the knees. She lost her footing, tripping over the door sill. Jason caught her, setting her on her feet.
“You okay, love?” His face reflected his worry.
“Yes. Fine. Sorry. I think I need something more than a cup of coffee. I missed breakfast.”
“And it’s after lunch. We can send someone out for pizza or something. I don’t ever order out,” he said over his shoulder. “Not safe. Anyone can show up like a delivery boy.”
These stairs were lower than the others, though the tread was narrow like the servant’s stairs.
About halfway up, there was a higher step. All of them but Jason tripped over it.
“Sorry, should have warned you. Learnt that from a castle I visited. Nothing like a high step to trip an enemy soldier.”
“Is there anything you didn’t think of?” Graves asked, terribly impressed.
“Probably. But if I didn’t, they won’t have either.”
“Cocky, aren’t you?” Taylor snapped.
Driscole was irritated with him again for some reason. Probably because she’d nearly fallen in his arms going through the door. Tripping on the stairs, she’d grabbed at the nearest support, which happened to be Jason’s muscular buttocks. He hadn’t said a word, but it had obviously embarrassed her. He had to admit, he had rather enjoyed it and hoped she had too. At least she now had an idea that his arse was as finely honed as his chest and abs.
They came up in the garage. There were more cars parked there than the others had seen under one, privately owned roof. He didn’t stop for them to admire them, but the men spotted reasons to return.
Kisler murmured in awe,”Boss 351!”
“Is that a 442?” Graves asked over his shoulder.
“The James Bond car,” Kisler said, admiring the Aston Martin in the corner.
“I think I just jizzed myself,” Stuart added quietly.
They took the rest of the team by surprise. They weren’t greeted by another wall of weapons, but everyone stopped talking and looked up as they walked in the door.
“Home tour,” Driscole explained.
“This place is fascinating,” Kisler said as they walked back to the kitchen. “Where’s the pool and gym?”
“Just there.” He pointed across the kitchen. “Pool overlooks the backyard which has a remarkable view. The backyard slopes down and a cliff drops to a river.”
“More security?” Graves asked.
“That, and it’s the most spectacular panorama for a sunset that I’ve ever seen in my life. I had the windows built specifically to frame it. I go for a swim at sunset every evening.”
“Bulletproof glass?” Kisler said.
“What do you think?”
“I’m beginning to like how you think, kid.”
© Dellani Oakes