The Spy and the Pussycat
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by Kimberly Zant
Description: Andrea had no idea why or how she'd suddenly become the target of every gun toting lunatic in Florida but, until she lucked out and met Ian, it didn't look like she was going to live long enough to find out. Actually, the future didn't look a lot brighter after she'd met Ian, and there was no getting around the fact that her cat had a problem with her hunk-and vice versa-but at least she had somebody on her side! Didn't it just figure, though, that she would finally meet the very guy that did 'it' for her when she'd been charged with murdering her last boyfriend and seemed to have every gun toting goon and kook in Florida chasing her? Rating: sensual/spicy Adults situations and language. Genre: Contemporary Romance.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: October 2010
10 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [410 KB]
Reading time: 261-365 min.
Andrea Wendt couldn't seem to stop shaking. She was so weak-kneed from fright it had taken all she could do to hold the gas pedal down. She didn't know how she'd managed to make it home. She couldn't even remember the drive up highway one to her apartment in Titusville. She supposed there must not have been much traffic, either that or she'd functioned on automatic. Maybe God had been her co-pilot?
At that thought, she laughed shakily, a laugh that ended on a sob, and dropped her head to rest against the steering wheel. "They shot poor Fabian! They shot at me!"
She lifted her head, sniffing and swiping at her eyes, then looked in the rear-view mirror automatically to check her mascara. Another half-sob, half-laugh escaped her as she realized what she was doing. What possible difference could it make if her mascara was smeared after what she'd just been through?
She fought off the urge to give in to tears and squall her head off. She could do that when she was inside and safe, after she'd called in the cavalry, when she'd bathed and doctored all the scratches and friction burns she'd gotten blundering through the woods in her escape.
If only she could magically transport herself from her locked car to her locked apartment!
Where, she wondered with sudden, irrational anger, were her nosy neighbors now? When she could have used some of their nosiness? Inside, of course, where they couldn't do her any good! So what if it was night! Couldn't someone have been out doing something? She stared at the black, unwelcoming windows of her own apartment, feeling an involuntary shiver skate down her spine. Peering into the dark shadows that separated her from her haven, she sucked her lower lip fretfully. "They wouldn't have followed me," she assured herself doubtfully. "Anyway, they could scarcely have gotten here before me, even if they did try to follow me."
She still couldn't completely accept that what she thought had happened had actually happened. It was too nightmarish to be real.
However, even if she accepted that it was real, and not the results of somebody slipping something nasty in the coke she'd had with her lunch, she had to be right about not being followed. It had to be physically impossible, if nothing else, that they would have arrived at her apartment before her. She was positive of that much at least. Or pretty certain. And it still took an act of will to make herself unlock her car door and dash for the door of her apartment.
Not that it was much of a dash. She thought, in fact, that her legs would buckle under her the moment she tried to stand up. "That's the problem with adrenaline," she muttered irritably. "It always deserts you when you need it most."
But she gritted her teeth and charged the door on spaghetti legs, key in hand so that she could ram it into the lock, give it a quick twist, jump inside, and slam and lock the door behind her.
It didn't work out quite that way. She couldn't seem to get the blasted key in the hole. It was too dark to see what she was doing even if she'd been able to keep her mind on the business at hand instead of darting frantic glances over her shoulders. And she was shaking as if she was attached to one of those 'fat-shaker' machines at a health spa, which made it amazingly difficult to ring a tiny key hole.
Finally, she succeeded, leapt inside and locked her door, breaking three fingernails in the process. Ignoring her throbbing fingers, she leaned her forehead against the door once she'd shot the bolt home, taking deep breaths to try to calm herself. She was safe now. Safe. She had to quit thinking about what might have happened if she hadn't gotten away. She had to fight off the fear that they would come after her.
Because it was paranoia. They had no reason to come after her, even if they knew who she was, and they couldn't know that. They couldn't have any idea of where she lived, and they certainly had no reason to come after her. Whatever their problem was, it had nothing to do with her.
She moved away from the door finally and headed for the bathroom. Her whole body was a mass of stinging scrapes and bruises from her flight through the woods. What she needed was a long hot soak to alleviate the bone deep chill that had descended upon her from the moment .... But she wasn't going to think about Fabian right now. And, unfortunately, she couldn't allow herself the indulgence of a soothing soak. She could and would take the time to tend her scrapes, however, before she talked to the police.
She paused, though, when she'd passed the doorway that led to the living room and stepped back, reaching up to flick the switch on. Her jaw went slack with stunned surprise.
Her computer was on, its bright blue screen displaying her financial statement, which was strange enough in itself considering she hadn't updated the thing in a month.
Except for that her computer was just as she'd left it that morning when she'd gone to meet her boyfriend, Fabian, for an early luncheon before hitting the survival course. And she might have convinced herself that she had inadvertently left it on, except that it looked like the eye of a hurricane, amazingly untouched, and surrounded by utter destruction.
Her lamps were lying on the floor, broken, the tables that had held them now leg-less. Her beautiful Queen Anne couch was overturned, the stuffing ripped from its back and rolled arms, and the cushions torn from their covers. The wing-backed chair that had matched it was in no better condition. Her bookshelves had been emptied and upended, her books and carefully selected nick-knacks strewn and broken. Even her fish tank had been overturned and shattered.