Too Close For Comfort
“Ouch!” he protested, flinching in discomfort.
“That was a warning,” I said. “Touch me again and…”
“It’s this cold cement floor we’re sitting on,” he griped.
I was furious. My red silk dress was probably ruined.
“Man up,” I said. “Have you heard me complaining?”
“Being such a hot broad, how would you understand?”
“Keep your compliments and hands to yourself,” I said.
He sighed. “I was just trying to shift my position.”
“Uh, huh. Right. Like I really believe that.”
“Can’t blame me for trying to keep my hands warm.”
“They were traveling where they shouldn’t. Watch it.”
“Now is not the time for you to be so touchy,” he said.
“Or you, feely,” I countered, losing my patience.
“Any guess on the time?” he asked. “Feels like hours.”
“With it being pitch black here and no windows? No!”
“My throat is getting scratchy too,” he grumbled.
“After all your hollering and yelling, I’m not surprised.”
He exhaled loudly. “I need a good stiff drink.”
“You aren’t going to start that again, are you?”
“Hey, you did your fair share of hollering too.”
I frowned. “Yeah, and no one heard either one of us.”
“Wherever we are, it must be somewhere remote.”
“Pray tell. Why do you think that, oh wise one?”
He chuckled. “Your screams could’ve roused the dead.”
“Look who’s talking?” I shot back, elbowing him hard.
“Hey! What’s with you? That hurt!”
“Wandering hands again,” I hissed. “I warned you.”
“Are you always this moody or is it a moon phase?”
“You are so lucky my hormones aren’t in play.”
“None of this is my fault,” he stated emphatically.
Our bodies were tied back to back, ankles taped in front, wrists taped behind us, and we were anchored to the floor.
I was fuming. “I was perfectly positioned, but then you go and sneak right up behind me, yell my name, and draw attention to me. Amateurish at best. This is all your fault!”
“What about the guy behind you?” he asked. “I guess I was supposed to ignore he was about to chloroform you?”
“There was someone behind me?” I asked, surprised.
“One about to pounce, cloth in hand, I might add. What I didn’t expect was someone right behind me. That ether-like sweet odor…everything went black, then I’m here.”
“Oh,” I said, digesting this latest news. “I didn’t know.”
“Do I detect an apology somewhere in that sentence?”
I blew strands of hair off my face. “Ha! You wish.”
“There’s a lot of things a fella can wish for, such as…”
I cut Tony off. “Don’t hold your breath, buddy.”
He laughed. “That’s what I love about you, Samantha.”
“And what’s that?” I asked, expecting more acerbic wit.
“We have this love/hate thing going on between us.”
I laughed at his compliment/jab. “In your dreams.”
He laughed too. “Kind of a ‘fatal attraction’ thing.”
Thirtyish, tall, dark, handsome, and over six-foot Tony was similar to my very personal undercover PI: private investigator, Clay, but in Tony’s case, in a dangerous way. Tony was dressed ‘to the nines,’ as Martha, another of our sleuthing cohorts says, always wearing his signature, flashy Hugo Boss suits, Ferragamo shoes, and Louis Vuitton ties.
I yelled, “Hey! I swear, if you touch me again…”
He snickered. “Just checking if you’re still there.”
I lapsed into silence, thinking.
…Maybe I should just kill him off in my next book.
Then I heard loud sniffing.
What was he up to now?
“I think my cologne is wearing off,” he grumbled.
I sighed. “What is it called, ‘Eau de Drive Her Crazy’?”
He laughed again. “Admit it. It does, doesn’t it?”
I pinched him hard.
“Ouch! Not only am I cold, but I’m being abused too!”
“I warned you…”
Then he moaned loudly.
I blew out a breath. Here…we…go…again.
“Now what?” I asked, sighing once more.
“I’m getting a headache,” he complained testily.
I shut my eyes, speaking low. “If I only had a gun…”
“I need aspirin and a stiff drink to chase it down.”
My nerves were already frayed and my temper was now running short. I was about to blow big time.
“Don’t start, Tony, or I swear, I’ll…”
He cut me right off midsentence. “Man, you are wound up tighter than a…”
“Always with the last word. Be quiet!” I said testily.
…A damn chuckle.
“I just love feisty women. Why, I remember…”
Being a connected, armed and dangerous kind of guy, putting Tony on our payroll was supposed to be a semi-trial run after he helped us out with my last mystery, The Lush Life. Now, he was proving to be quite a handful. Literally.
So I’m asking myself, what in hell was I thinking?