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:~: Thursday, June 07, 2007 :~:

The Poolhouse - Part II

Kat eyes the newcomer with caution. GQ model handsome. Oozes sex appeal. Refined. Obviously comes from money. Smooth. Cultured. Slick as snot.

She knows guys like him. Hell, she'd fallen for one.

One . . . one . . . Damn, she can see his face. Blond hair, gray eyes. Why can't she think of his name?

Vince's gaze sweeps the length of her body, from the tips of her grungy sneakers, up her worn denim jeans, hovers - just long enough to make heat rush to her cheeks - on her breasts covered by the white tee, then grazes over her face. There's approval in his eyes. A hint of mischief. She forgets about the blond no-name in her head, focuses solely on the sex-god in front of her.

He steps forward, reaches for the box still clenched between her hands. "Pretty thing like you doesn't need that." He sets the box on a nearby table, takes her hand, leads her toward another box across the patio that seems to have magically appeared out of nowhere. "Now this," he opens the lid, pulls out a pink crochet string bikini with matching sarong, "looks like it'd fit you much better."

Kat's mouth falls open. She stares at the scraps of fabric. Can't really recall what she's doing here or why she feels like protesting. "I . . . I don't wear pink."

"Honey, with your coloring," he brushes his fingertips over her cheekbone, "you would look perfect in this."

She should say no. There's something - someone - on the edge of her mind, but she can't put a name with the face. She should say no because . . .

Her brow lowers. Confused, she takes the suit from . . . Vince? Is that his name? Yeah. That's it. Sexy Vince. She turns to look at the others. Caitlin's rolling her eyes. Angie and Paige and Cassie are all staring at the man next to her like he's Adonis.

Maybe he is.

"I know what you're doing," Caitlin says. "It won't work."

Vince's eyes flick from Kat, to Paige, to Cassie, still holding the cobalt blue bikini she'd found in her room loosely between her fingers. "Oh, little sis of mine, it's already working." He clucks his tongue, lets his gaze hover on Cassie's long legs. "Damn, you women are enough to make me consider hero status. Of course, my series would have to be something along the lines of James Bond." He shakes his head, shoots Angie a sexy come-get-me-grin. "I just can't imagine riding only one woman for the rest of my life."

Angie lets out a yearning sigh. Cassie runs her hand up her neck and mutters, "Oh, my." Kat seriously considers taking that ride herself, extended trip or not.

Caitlin pushes up from the chaise with an irritated exhale and snaps her fingers. "Ladies. Snap out of it! The dark hormone over there is working you."

"Oh," Cassie says on groan. "But I really need a workout."

"God, help me," Cait mutters as she looks up to the sky.

Vince steps forward, pulls each of the women to their feet in turn. "Don't listen to her, girls. She's just jealous. Tell you what. Take your pick. There's something in this box for each of you. Change, then come back out. The party's just about to get started." With a soft chuckle, he heads for the bar.

As the women start to move off the patio, he looks toward his sister as he pours himself a scotch. "There's even something in there for you, sister mine."

Caitlin crosses her arms over her chest. "I don't want whatever it is. I know what you're doing. It won't work. Yeah, you've got these girls all in a sexual frenzy right now, but they'll wise up soon enough. You can't make them forget their heroes forever."

He lifts the glass, takes a long swallow. Ice clinks in the bottom as he sets it back on the counter. "Ten bucks says I can. And I can make you forget him too."

Caitlin drops her arms. "Vince, don't meddle in-"

He chuckles, looks toward the end of the patio as footsteps approach. "Well, what do you know. Help's already arrived." He looks back at her. "Fifteen minutes and Tick Calvert will be nothing but a vague recollection for you. Guaranteed."

***

"I should kill you." Caitlin narrows her eyes at him. "I know a lot of ways to do that."

"You love me too much."

"Don't bet on it, Vinnie-boy."

The footsteps grow closer and she glances toward the steps. "Oh, my God," she groaned. "Him?"

Vince slants her a look. "Caitlin, dramatics are not becoming."

She quirks an eyebrow at him. "Neither is manipulation."

He refills his glass, extends the bottle in the direction of the newcomer. "A drink, Dr. McClane?"

Ethan shakes his head. "No, thank you." He's still not sure why he's here. He should be off in Happyland, living ever after with Sam. Not on some incredible island caught in the middle of what looks like a brewing battle of wills of epic proportions. He glances in Caitlin's direction and inclines his head. "Agent."

She returns the gesture with a cool smile. "Doctor."

"Now that the niceties are out of the way, can we get down to business?" Vince drains his glass and sets it aside. He adjusts his cufflinks, a devilish smile gracing his face. "I have . . . plans."

"What you have are serious issues." Caitlin points at Ethan. "Good thing you called him. You definitely need his services."

Ethan spreads his hands. "Would someone like to tell me what's going on here?"

"He's interfering in my life again. Or trying to." She crosses her arms, quirks one eyebrow and smirks. "He probably wants you to give me a hypnotic suggestion or something equally ridiculous."

Vince smiles at Ethan, the expression beatific and angelic. "Make her forget the farmboy cop and I'll make it worth your while."

Caitlin laughs. "Give him a conscience and I'll double the money."

Ethan glances between them and sighs.
***

Before he can speak, once more footsteps whisper up the steps.

"Precious?" The voice is a deep, dark Southern drawl.

Vince rolls his eyes on a groan. Caitlin whirls, a smile breaking over her face. "Tick!"

He stops at the top step and she rushes to meet him, turning her face up for his kiss. Tick shoots Vince a look over her shoulder. "Foiled again, huh, Vinnie?"

"That's a villain's line, farmboy." Vince straightens his cuffs. "I'm not a villain."

Caitlin draws Tick's attention back to her. "Does this mean . . ."

"Yes. She typed the last sentence this afternoon." He kisses her again, a wild joy visibly vibrating in him.

Caitlin pulls back to study him. "Have you been drinking?"

He waves a dismissive hand. "Couple of shots during a poker game."

The other women enter, giggling and complimenting one another on the scandalous swimsuits they're wearing. His eyes widen. "Holy hell. Just what's been going on around here?"
***

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Blogger Laurie said...

Congrats on finishing that last sentence this afternoon! :)

10:10 PM  

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