Taylor and Jason almost connect — nearly kiss…. Later, a phone conversation with her mother puts her on edge. She’s angry at herself for being so attracted to Jason — a thief, something she abhors. But she can’t deny that she finds him charming and handsome.
“You know what my mum related problem is. My family redefined dysfunctional, taking it to an entirely new level.”
“My therapist says I’ve got unresolved anger issues with my dad.”
“Why? Did he beat you?”
“Of course not. He was a wonderful father!”
“Then you feel like he abandoned you, eh?”
She looked surprised. “Yeah. How did you know?”
“Have you been in therapy?”
“Nope. Never saw the point. I can psychobabble myself into a corner well enough. I hold imaginary conversations with myself instead. I’ve resolved a myriad of issues by talking to myself. Works wonders.” He flashed a grin at her.
“Smart ass.” She swatted his arm.
“Been called worse.”
“She knew about me and Greg. She was asking questions about why we broke up.”
“None of my business.”
“But you’re curious.”
“I am, but it’s not my place….”
“Gets back to the cold prickly bubble thing.”
“Ah.” He nodded knowingly. “Thought as much.”
“If you knew, why did you ask?”
“I didn’t actually.”
She knew he hadn’t, but she was irritated that he’d gotten so close without her noticing.
“Taylor, I think the best thing for me to do is learn all you all can teach me about survival. And I think I need to teach you and your team how to think like a criminal.”
The abrupt change of subject startled her. She’d been thinking along those lines herself, but hadn’t really gotten far before her mother called.
“Okay. I agree.”
“We need to start immediately. Obviously, the shooting thing will take a wee bit of time to arrange. However, I’ve a variety of items around here I can show you all, starting tonight. I’d like my swim, though, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.”
“You’re welcome to join me.”
“No problem, I swim naked.”
Her jaw dropped lower, her eyes bugging. Jason laughed hard, pointing at her.
“I’m kidding! However, I do have a couple suits around that might fit you.”
“Do I want to know why?”
“The occasional female guest…. Speaking of which, did Kyle speak to your superiors about that?”
She frowned, looking puzzled.
“I’m guessing not. Or it hasn’t dribbled down to you yet.”
“I’m not arranging a hooker for you, Jason.”
“Why does everyone assume that? I’ve never made it with a hooker—ever!”
“You want a bootie call.”
“Baby, I’ve been without a woman for so long, I can’t remember. The boys are hungry.”
Taylor blushed, then started to laugh. “I’m sorry. I know it’s important to you. I guess it’s the way you said it.”
“That’s right, doll. Laugh at my pain. My balls are a lovely shade of indigo as we speak.”
“Do they really go blue?” She looked and sounded so serious, it took him a moment to process.
“Never looked, actually. Want to see?” He stood up, offering to unzip.
“Thanks. As tasty a treat as that might be, I’ll pass.”
He chuckled, sitting back down. “Your loss.”
Her eyes raked his body from head to foot, lingering on his abs, dropping lower. “Yeah — I can believe that.”
Jason felt his body swell, growing hot and hard. He could hardly breathe. The weight of her eyes fell heavily on him and he felt trapped by her stare. The only consolation he had was that the happy dance in his pants was having a similar effect on her. They were feeding off one another like a couple of adolescents. If something didn’t happen soon, he knew he would take her right there in the office. He didn’t care how many other people there were in the house.
A phone rang, making them both jump. Jason reached for it, but she beat him to it.
“My job,” she cautioned. “Special Agent Driscole.”
© Dellani Oakes