By: Lois Greiman

He chuckled. “Cell phone,” he said, and slipped his hand around my waist.

“And here I thought you were just happy to see me.”

“Believe it,” he said, and shifted so I could feel the full length of him against my hip.

“Shouldn’t you…” I might have gasped a little. “…answer it?”

“No.” His hand was under my shirt. His phone was still ringing. Either that or my thighs had started to harmonize.

“Catchy tune.” I couldn’t quite identify it, but it seemed wise to fixate on it lest I take him down like a grizzly on a salmon and swallow him whole. “Carly Simon?” I guessed.

He drew back with a scowl, paused as if dragging his mind past the stark banks of lust and back into sanity. Then he dipped his hand into his pocket. Flipping open his phone, he pressed it to his ear, eyes searing mine. “Yeah.”

I couldn’t hear the voice on the other end of the line, but his expression darkened toward dangerous. I was still leaning back against the wall.

“All right,” he said, and snapped the phone shut. The bathroom was as silent as my bedroom had ever been. A tic bounced in his jaw. His eyes were blacker than hell. “I’ve got to go.”

My ovaries growled. I may have done the same. “Now?”

“Yeah.” He shoved the phone into his pocket. It was matched by a bulge on the other side. Maybe he kept his nightstick there. “Sorry.”

I straightened, but I didn’t grab him by the shirtfront and demand favors of any sort. Instead, I smoothed out my skirt. “Everything all right?”

He glared at me from beneath heavy brows, but I’m not sure he really knew I was still there. “Trouble with the senator.”

“The…” I shifted my weight more securely over my three-inch heels. “Senator?”

He opened the door. Harlequin sprang inside, but Rivera didn’t seem to notice him, either. You’ve got to be pretty far gone to ignore a dog the size of a refrigerator.

“Dear old Dad,” he said, but even in my current state it would have been difficult to misread the sarcasm.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. My brain was tumbling around in my skull like a sun-dried raisin. Seems like all my body fluids had been called to the front lines.

“Listen.” His voice was rough and deep, his dusky gaze fire-quick as it shot toward the front door and back, impatience stamped like a tattoo on his brow. “I’ll have to take a rain check.”

“No problem,” I said, drowning out the strident protests from belowdecks.

“You sure?”

“Of course.” I managed a nod. “Familial matters come first. You must attend.”

He stared at me for an instant, then kissed me once, quick and hard. After that he was gone, striding across the floor like RoboCop on steroids.

It took me a full minute to marshal my senses. But finally I teetered atop my heels, wobbled out of the bathroom, and traipsed into the kitchen. The freezer handle felt nice and solid beneath my hand. I refrained from ripping it off and pulled out a carton of Freaky Deaky Fudge ice cream. Frozen moral support.

I shoveled a spoonful into my mouth. It hit my overheated system like a garden hose on a forest fire…optimistic but ineffective. It didn’t matter, though. I wasn’t some teenybopper bent on steaming up the windows on my boyfriend’s T-Bird. I am woman. Hear me roar. Or moan.

Harlequin whimpered, possibly in sympathy. Possibly because I was eating and he wasn’t. I flicked him a chunk of Freaky. He caught it, swallowed, made a face.

I grinned at his expression. Everything was fine. So Rivera had left prematurely. It was no big deal. If I was ever going to have a grown-up relationship, I would have to learn to rise above minor frustrations and petty inconveniences.

I ate some more ice cream.

Rivera had issues to work out with his father. I knew that much from past conversations. Thus, it was really quite commendable that he was attempting to do so now…at 8:20…on a Saturday night…during the first viable date I’d had since the Clinton administration.

Another bite of Freaky Deaky made me feel a bit calmer. I didn’t want to rush this relationship anyway. We were adults. We both had obligations, careers, pasts. And I’d made the mistake of moving too fast before. A tsunami was mild compared to the catastrophic results of those disasters.

And it wasn’t as if Rivera wasn’t attracted to me. I had hard evidence to the contrary. I gave myself a Freaky Deaky salute for my cleverness and reminded myself there was no hurry. He’d be back. We’d talk things through like intelligent adults. Maybe I could help him unravel his tangled emotions regarding his father. Men often have mixed feelings concerning the patriarchic head of their adolescent years, especially….

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books