After making a revelation about herself that clearly was difficult, Taylor runs to the bathroom in tears. The men sit in stunned silence for a moment before Jason decides to brave the turbulent waters of her emotions.
Smiling her thanks, she dabbed her eyes. “Or that. So. Now you know my stupid secret.”
“Not so stupid. Pretty damn important, if you ask me. How’d you hook up with this bloke, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“He was my step-father’s son. He was so wonderful to begin with. I thought he was just like his dad, but he wasn’t. His father is an incredible guy who loves my mom so much…. But Danny wasn’t like that.”
“We’ve all been fooled before. Look at me. Got the bullet holes to prove it.”
“What’s she like? Orchid?”
He blew out his cheeks, rolling his eyes to the ceiling. “Well, that’s a puzzler. Aside from being completely psychotic, which she covers remarkably, she’s—well—gorgeous. Tall, svelte, sleek like a jungle cat. Her body is amazing. She’s got muscle tone I’ve never seen on any other woman, not ever. Stamina like a bull moose….”
“You’ve measured the stamina of a moose?” She sounded annoyed by that statement.
“Not exactly, but that woman could rut for hours…. Sorry, bad choice of words, that.”
“Was she good in bed?”
“Best I’ve had,” he admitted shyly.
“Have there been that many?”
He shrugged and puffed out his cheeks. “A good few. Less than thirty….” He shook his head, not meeting her eyes. “Forty—two….”
She punched him and he stopped. Laughing, she shook her hair from her eyes. “Okay, so you’re ahead of me in the date department. So?”
“She’s like no one I’ve ever met before. She’s got to be at least half Oriental, maybe a smidge white, but mostly black on the other side. Her hair is long, black, sleek. Her eyes are this incredible smoky green color, like jade. High cheek bones, gorgeous skin….”
“You’re still attracted to her, aren’t you?” She threatened to punch him.
“Whoa! Forgive me for waxing poetical. If it’d been you with a man as gorgeous as her, I venture to say you’d still be as enamored.”
“Maybe I have.”
“Doubt that. Until I met her, I’d never have thought such a woman existed outside a magazine.”
He put his hand on his forehead, closing his eyes. “Oh, my God. I’m such an idiot! Computer!” He burst from the bathroom, rushing toward the living room.
“What? Jason!” She followed him, nearly tripping over her own feet.
Jason sat at the nearest computer, accessing the Internet. He did some Google searches and finally found what he was after. From what the others could see, he’d called up pictures of super models. More frantic searching and he was off to another site. When he sat back with a sigh of success, they had an array of photographs on the large screen before them.
She was surrounded by jungle, dressed in skins, bikinis, high fashion—but it was Orchid. She was the most beautiful woman any of them had ever seen. Her features were exotic, her body magnificent. She glared at them from the page and Jason saw for the first time the lethality of that gaze.
“Not so hard to find after all,” he muttered. “Figured she’d kill me, no one would know. Bitch hides in plain sight. That, mes amies, is the most dangerous woman in the world.” He pointed to the screen.
“That’s our psycho-thief?” Greg asked, trying not to drool as he looked at the pictures.
“The very one. Love to get her psych profile, eh? What makes you tick, lady?” Jason asked, leaning toward the screen.
“Why would she need to rob anyone?” Taylor asked.
“Doesn’t need to, does she? She likes the thrill. Like me, she lives for the excitement. But why kill off everyone? That’s what really makes me curious. She doesn’t ever work alone. I don’t think she’s a proper thief, more of a poser. She likes the thrill, lacks the skill.”
“Why kill her partners?” Greg asked.
“So we can’t go to the nearest copper and go, ‘Oh, by the way, that lovely, exotic beauty in Vogue is the one that robbed you at gunpoint. Remember her?’ Brilliant, in a sociopathic, homicidal way.”
“God, I’d give my left nut to make it with that woman,” Greg breathed.
“And she’d give it back to you strung on a length of your gut,” Jason replied, turning off the screen. “Trust me, no pussy is worth a bullet hole. None!”
“We’ve found her. Now what?” Tim asked.
“Now we watch her,” Taylor said. “She doesn’t know that we know. She has no idea Jason’s put it together. Maybe she figures he never will.”
“But we’ve got her,” Jason said with satisfaction. “Now we need to bait the trap.”
“How do you propose to do that?” Greg asked.
“Perhaps one of you needs to learn to be a thief?”
“Which one of us?” Tim asked.
All eyes went to Greg.
“What? Why me?”
“You’re more her type,” Jason replied, arms folded across his chest.
“Thanks a bunch. You’re telling me that a psycho-killer lady might think I’m hot?”
“You should be flattered. I doubt she’s made it with an FBI agent before. You could be her first.”
“Thanks—but not really. I don’t particularly want to get shot in the nuts.”
© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani’s Books:
Under the Western Sky http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/under-the-western-sky.htm