“Yeah,” he murmured, dropped his head and before I could avoid it, he brushed his lips against mine. Then, murmuring again, he said, “Later,” let me go but leaned into me to grab his shades then he prowled to his Camaro, all badass cool, on his way tipping his chin to the commandos. Then he folded into his kickass car and purred off.

I stood by my car for awhile watching the street where I’d last seen him thinking one word.



Then I grabbed my shades, avoided busy commandos, made my way inside, set a big pot of coffee to brew and when it was done I poured out about five mugs for various hardworking commandos.

Then, finally, I went to my office to fire up my computer.

Chapter Six

To the Rescue

I’d hit my zone and was able to focus even with a bunch of commandos banging around in my house when I suddenly felt my hair shifted off one shoulder, swept across my neck and over my other shoulder.

Then I felt lips at the skin at the back of my ear.

A delicious tremble radiated from my ear going up, down and out and my eyes on the computer screen unfocused as I came crashing headlong out of my zone and careened happily into an entirely different zone. The lips left my ear and, dazedly, I saw a brown paper bag accompanied by a white plastic bag hit the desk by my keyboard. I looked at the bottom right of my computer screen to see the time was twelve forty-seven.


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I swiveled in my chair and looked up to see Hawk standing there, tearing open the folded over and stapled top of the bag.

I didn’t say anything because I was too busy freaking out because this was the subject matter of a daydream. When I said that I meant I had actually daydreamed this and now I was living it.

Okay, not the Thai food but, many a time, I’d drifted off and dreamed about what it would be like if my Mystery Man showed in the light of day, coming up to me silently while I did the dishes in the kitchen and he slid his arms around me. Or while I was in the shower and he joined me.

Or while I was working and he snuck up on me and kissed my neck.

Just like I liked in the spot that I liked.

Exactly like he’d just snuck up on me and kissed my neck.

Just like I liked in the spot that I liked.

And it was better than a daydream and not only because J’s Noodles was a welcome addition but because it was real.


He started pulling food from the bag as I struggled to pull myself together. I saw him reveal a lidded cardboard cup of soup and another container of noodles, both of which I knew, from experience with J’s takeout, were for me. Next came chopsticks in paper and then he took out another container for him. Then he picked up the bag, dropped it on the floor and rifled through the other bag that had familiar red, orange and green logo on it. He took out a bottled water which I knew was for him when he set a can of diet grape soda by my food.

I stared at the soda. Then I looked back up at him.

“What? Do you follow me?” I asked.

“Sometimes,” he answered and I felt my eyes get squinty. “Sometimes my boys do it.”

He turned away from me and went to my couch, sat down, set his water on a side table and opened the top of his food container.

“So do you have a big, fat file on me at your base?” I asked, tearing the paper off my chopsticks then picking up my soup and pulling the lid off.

“Nope,” he replied, “verbal reports. ‘She went to J’s, got soup and noodles, then to 7-Eleven for a diet grape.’ Shit like that.”


“Why?” I asked.

“Why?” he repeated.

“Why did you and your boys follow me?”

“Babe,” he replied then he dug into his noodles with his chopsticks as if this was nothing, him and his boys following me, sharing reports about my food and beverage preferences, intruding into my life without my knowledge. Then my eyes dropped to his food and his noodles looked like nothing but noodles and veggies. No sauce. No cashews. No peanut bits. No succulent shrimp. None of the good stuff. Nothing. Just noodles and veg.

This reminded me of the first time I saw him when we were at a restaurant. He had a steak, baked potato and steamed vegetables. I remembered noting then, somewhat drunkenly, that he didn’t have anything on his potato. Not sour cream. Not bacon bits. Not cheese. Not even butter.

“What are you eating?” I asked.

“Noodles and veg,” he pointed out the obvious then shoved some into his mouth with his chopsticks.

“Just noodles and veg?”

He chewed, swallowed and said, “Yep,” then shoved more noodles in his mouth.

“No sauce?” I pushed.

More chewing then swallowing then, “Babe, I ate like you, I’d get a gut. In my work, you can’t have a gut.”

I felt my blood pressure rise. “Are you saying I’m fat?”

The double dimple threat popped out and, chopsticks loaded with noodles and veg halfway to his mouth, he replied, “Sweet Pea, the way you eat means you got tits and ass. This is good because I like tits and ass. This is bad because Tack and Lawson like ‘em just as much as me.” Then he shoved his noodles and veg into his mouth and said with his mouth full, “Tack maybe more.”


“I need to focus on work,” I announced.

He stretched his long legs out in front of him, crossed his feet at the ankles, clearly planning to stay awhile, and replied, “Then focus.”

I glared at him. This was bad since he looked good stretched out in my office like that. Tracy and I had painted the walls white but I’d had the guy at the hardware store squirt a hint of orange in the paint so the white had warmth to it. My desk was long, white, sleek, narrow and girlie. My shelves were white and likewise girlie. The narrow, square tables on each side of the couch were equally white and girlie. My couch was cushiony and salmon-colored with chartreuse and peacock blue toss pillows. I’d decorated heavily in light wicker and had white ceramic, circular, lacy shaded lamps dotting the space. It wasn’t OTT girlie, all pink and ruffled, but it was definitely feminine space.

Sitting on my couch like that, Hawk looked like an invading conqueror enjoying a meal, bulking up before expending the effort to rape and pillage. Except he wouldn’t have to rape, all the townswomen would line up for their turn.


I swiveled to face my desk and sniffed my soup. Lemongrass. Yum. I swirled it with my chopsticks then took a sip.

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