Now here was this thief. A man she barely knew, a convicted felon, her primary—a man she couldn’t have under any circumstances—and she wanted him to make love to her. Was she out of her mind? Had she finally gone completely over the edge? If he continued to touch her like that, she’d melt. She knew she would.
“I really want to kiss you, Taylor. I have since the moment you walked up to my jail cell.”
“I know you won’t. I know we can’t. But I had to tell you.”
“There you are!” Greg Kisler walked into the room with a plate and another soda. “I’ve been looking all over the place, but I got lost.” He laughed at his own incompetence. “You already ate?” He looked in frustration at her empty plate. “I found the box with your name on it, so I brought you some.”
“Thanks, Greg. I’m still hungry. And Jason might like some?” She offered the food to Jason as well.
“I could do with another slice. Thanks, both.” He took a piece after she served herself.
She offered some to Greg too, but he declined.
“Thanks. I ate before I came looking. It was a feeding frenzy. Free pizza and FBI agents equals mass hysteria. So, what are we discussing? You looked like you were having a deep conversation.”
“Training,” Taylor said abruptly, stuffing pizza in her mouth.
“Yeah. Looked like that,” Greg said slyly. “Not my business…. Well, it is, in a kind of round about way. Tay, you’re a good friend. Jason, dude, you’re awesome. There’s nothing I’d like more than to see you two crazy kids hit it off. But we know, all of us, just how suicidal that would be. I mean, career suicide, right?” He looked directly at Taylor. “I won’t let you do it to yourself, baby. Hell, you wouldn’t even go to bed with me! Not that I’m jealous…. Okay, maybe a little…. But I’m not on the wrong side of the law blanket, Tay.”
His boyish face and green eyes held deep concern. He really did care about Taylor, Jason realized. He might even be in love with her still. It was hard to tell, not having seen them together before. But Greg had let slip a vital clue—she had never been to bed with him.
Never? Sweet…. Jason wanted to smile, but didn’t.
“We do need to discuss training,” Greg continued, nodding his agreement. “What options have you talked about?”
“Ever thought of being a safe cracker?” Jason asked him with a smirk.
“Seriously? From time to time.”
“Jason thought it would be good to teach us to think like a thief while we train him to defend himself.”
“Not a bad plan, kid.” He punched Jason in the shoulder.
The younger man could have been offended by Greg’s attitude, considering there was so little difference in their ages, but he chose not to. There was no point getting bent out of shape over something that wasn’t meant to be insulting. For all he knew, he probably was younger than Taylor too. Not that it mattered. His first sexual experiences had been with older women. He tended to prefer them as a result.
“Stu was going to talk to his brother about the gun practice,” Taylor said.
“Yeah, he was talking to him when I left.” He looked at his watch. “Like thirty minutes ago.”
“It really took you that long to find us?”
“Got turned around. Then got distracted by the garage. Dammit, you’ve got cars in there that cost more than I’ll make in ten years—twenty! Super collection, bro.”
“Thanks. Fast cars, hot women….” He glanced at Taylor apologetically.
She giggled, rolling her eyes. “Men! You’re all alike! Get you a little power under your ass, you think you’re God.”
Jason and Greg burst out laughing, having to agree. There was no point in arguing with her, because she was right.
“Then I imagine he’ll have something to report soon,” Taylor replied. “Jason, what are you working on?”
“What to show you first. I’ve a variety of safes here. There’s also explosives, but not going into those.”
“Some of us handle those well,” Greg replied.
“And I venture to say I know them better, at least for my purposes. The tool collection has a practical application. I teach myself to disable unfamiliar equipment.”
“We can work on that tomorrow,” Taylor decided. “I think that later today we should start with martial arts. It’s a good, basic beginning. You ever had any training, Jason?”
“Wee bit here and there. I’m mostly a brawler, bare knuckle boxing kind of guy. Never had the chance to stay in one place long enough to get into a proper training program. Mostly what I picked up as I went along—the have to way.”
“Then our first order of business is getting you on the mat,” Greg said. “I think we can find you something to wear. You and Tim are close enough in height, You can borrow his spare gi.”
“Better not volunteer it without his permission,” Taylor said with a smirk. “You know how he gets.”
“We can always send one of the flunkies out to get what we need. Let’s go discuss this in the kitchen. The others were a little worried when you didn’t come back.”
They walked together to the kitchen. Jason was puzzled that Greg could possibly have gotten lost, but said nothing. More likely the man was either totally distracted by the cars or had been eaves dropping. Not that it mattered. Jason had nothing to hide that Greg hadn’t already figured out. He was attracted to Taylor, she to him, and it was awkward.
© Dellani Oakes