Agent Driscole reveals that the reason she doesn’t like or trust Jason is because her father was murdered in a robbery gone bad. She and her mother found him, but he died before the ambulance arrived.
“Well, to reassure you that I’m not such a bad guy, I never ran with a gang. I never used a weapon in any of my robberies, I didn’t do snatch and grab, and I don’t even know how to shoot a gun,” Jason said quietly.
“Nope. Scared of them, really. Bad things happen to folks when guns come into play.”
“You really should learn, Jason. Orchid obviously knows how to use one. For your own safety….”
“I’ll teach you. We’ll set up a target range in the basement.”
He laughed, leaning back with his arms folded behind his head. “Yeah? Where? The bowling alley?”
“You don’t really have a bowling alley in the basement.”
“I don’t, eh?” He laughed, arching his back as he stretched.
His shirt rose high, his jeans dropped and Taylor Driscole got a good look at the lean, long, hard muscled body of a man who knew how to stay fit. He hadn’t developed jail pallor yet. He had a golden hue to his skin and she wondered if it was natural. Curly, fine golden hairs formed a peak just above the top of his pants, pointing to his navel. A scattering of equally soft hair rose above it, under the level of his shirt.
Jason didn’t miss the journey her eyes made. He wished she’d quit looking at him because her gaze set his loins on fire. He was a hot blooded man and she was a very attractive woman. He couldn’t call her exactly pretty. She was too sharp edged and angry for that. But maybe, if she relaxed, let her hair down more often, softened up her makeup—then she’d be beautiful.
Carefully keeping his hands to himself, he lowered his arms, folding his hands in his lap to conceal his much too obvious desire. Damn, he hadn’t reacted like that to a woman’s stare since he was a kid! If he got up and moved away, she’d see it. Even with his arms down, she was staring at him, mesmerized.
Taylor’s eyes rose to Jason’s face, a look of wonder in them. He thought of smiling, but that might break the spell, so he did nothing. Her fingers moved quickly to his chin, lightly touching the now livid bruise on his jaw. Three knuckles had left quite distinct, separate bruises.
Jason winched, twitching away from her cool hand. Sucking air in sharply, his teeth clicked together and he realized how much they hurt too.
“Oh, I got you good.” She moved closer, tipping his head toward the light. “We need to get Spence to look at that?”
“Medic. He was a corpsman in the military.”
“Why bother? Can’t do much with a bruise.”
“Does your jaw feel all right?”
“Teeth hurt some.”
She stood, holding out her hand. “Come with me. He’s got a clinic set up somewhere downstairs.”
“I shudder to speculate which room has been commandeered for a clinic.”
“Good job I don’t have a butler, eh? He’d be pissed.”
He took Driscole’s hand and she hauled him to his feet. She was remarkably strong for such a comparatively small woman. Jason wasn’t huge, but he was six feet tall and muscular. She might be five eight at the most, and on the thin side. The fact she could lift him made him more than a little turned on—again. He liked strong women.
He followed her to the double doors leading to the corridor. Opening them abruptly, she startled Kisler and Graves who were standing close to them. Jason got the distinct impression they were eaves dropping and he smiled. Nothing to hear—yet.
“I’m taking him to Spence,” she said by way of explanation.
The two men flanked her, walking down the window lined grand stair.
“Is there another way down that’s not quite such a shooting gallery?” Kisler asked.
“Back servant’s stairs. Thought you’d have spotted them by now.”
“We weren’t given the opportunity to look over the house before we came to get you.”
“Want a tour? Servant’s stairs are this way. There’s two sets. One here and one at the other end. This leads to the kitchen. The other leads to the garage, back of the house and the basement. We can come back up that way.”
“What about the bowling alley?” Driscole asked dryly.
Jason laughed. “Still don’t believe me, eh? Grand tour starts now.”
He turned left, away from the windows and his room, heading toward the wall. It looked completely blank to the agents. Reaching out, he put his hand on a portion of the wainscot and the wall swung inward. He thumbed a light switch to his right and headed down.
“It’s a tad narrow. If you chaps have big feet, go sideways.” He demonstrated. “First time I came down, I fell halfway. Big feet, me.”
He chuckled at his own lack of grace. “I was glad I didn’t have company. How embarrassing would that be? Fall down the stairs, she’s liable to think I’m clumsy in bed.”
© Dellani Oakes