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Undercover Trouble

Undercover Trouble

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Published by pixie1589304

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Published by: pixie1589304 on Feb 22, 2010
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Undercover TroubleA social worker in hiding discovers her insolent neighbor belongs tothe gang with a price on her head.ZOOM! The Harley-Davidson revs up as it passes in the night. JenMurray's cabin walls shudder. She knows it's only a matter of timeuntil the motorcycle returns. The answering yips of her pup, Spooky,irritate her further. She needs peace and quiet and a clear mind todeal with the tragedy that brought her to the lake. The situationcalls for confrontation--and she knows all about confrontation.Jen rushes next door to ask the rider to gear down when he drives by.She is repulsed by his Neanderthal appearance and equally turned offby his rude behavior. Mitch Waverley's attitude stinks as well andsends her running for cover. She soon learns she can't even enjoy apeaceful swim because the hoodlum skinny-dips in the lake. Yet afterbeing attacked by leeches from under her wharf, she's forced to callupon his help and endure his touch on her body.Excerpt: UNDERCOVER TROUBLEOne"Yip-Yip-Yip!"Jen Murray flipped her red-haired ponytail as she scrambled off herchair. "There it goes again. Spooky, you noisy dog, stop barking atthe damn motorcycle or I'll take you back to the animal pound."Spooky let out one more squeak, then flattened his ears."Don't worry, Spooks. I really wouldn't do that."Jen shoved the screen door wide and stepped onto her cabin's porch.Her violent push caused a hinge bracket to slide sideways and pullfrom the frame, leaving the door dangling betwixt and between... notfully attached, but not landing on the warped floorboards, either. Shetossed her hands in the air with the frustration of it all. "Now I'vegot one more thing to fix, pup, and you're no help."The puppy responded with a twitch of his ears and a quick, "Yip.""Yeah, sure. You've got my number and know I'm just blowing smoke."Stretched on tiptoes, Jen peered through the patch of trees separatingher refuge from the only other cottage on the road. Somewhere out inthe middle of Sawtooth Lake, the panicked call of a loon protested thecycle's noisy invasion. The strong scent of the pines, which earlierin the day had soothed her woes, disturbed her now. They emphasizedher isolation. Like the loon, she wanted tranquility.A couple of minutes passed, then a light flickered in the residencenext door. Jen groaned and turned her attention to the starry sky.She'd bought this ramshackle property to enjoy nature's serenity, butshe wasn't getting what she'd paid for."Spooky, wouldn't you think that in the three days we've been here,we'd be able to get all the sleep we wanted?" Still grumbling toherself, she reached down and tickled under the puppy's chin. "Both
nights have been ruined by the roar of that monster's wheels on thegravel. The freakin' engine's so loud the whole place shudders when herides by."Tonight, she'd found herself anticipating the inevitable, which notonly disrupted her rest, but also distracted her from conversationswith cyber friends in her favorite computer chat room."I'm fed up! What do you think, Spooks? Should I go over and give therider a piece of my mind? It's early for his nightly trip; he'sprobably going out again at his usual time."The small terrier-mix looked up. His amber melting gaze had won Jen'sheart and coerced her into choosing him from a pathetic batch of dogs.His adoring watchfulness wasn't calming her heart this night. Spookyappeared to know what she meant though, because he glanced toward theother cottage and plunked his gray, curly-haired body on the top step.He wagged his tail at the prospect of excitement."Okay. Wait `til I get a flashlight."Rather than take the road, Jen chose a shortcut through the trees. Thebrambles clawing at her arms irritated her further. At the back of thelog structure, she rounded the tail end of the contraption causingsuch a flurry in her life. In the dim light from the cottage'swindows, she noticed the Harley-Davidson logo in relief across the gastank. The red of the letters matched the fury between her temples. Shestifled the urge to knock over the gleaming black machine.Jen rapped three times on the front door, then stooped to pushSpooky's enthusiastic paws off her legs. The door jerked open to leaveher staring at a pair of huge scuffed leather boots. She took her timestraightening up to consider her best approach. By the time sheconfronted him, her face had heated as though she'd stood too close tosteaming coals in a sauna. Her brain hissed a warning. Spooky ploppeddown his bottom and stared at the human towering above him."What do you want?" the deep, raspy voice boomed.She ignored having to look up so high to meet his eyes. "I have aproblem, otherwise I wouldn't be here.""Your car broke down?" After giving Jen's figure a lecherous onceover, the man stepped past her to the edge of the porch and peereddown his pitch-black driveway.She glanced in at the cozy, pine-walled interior and noted a loftoverlooking a stone-faced fireplace. She turned, and with the insidelight now illuminating him, swept her eyes over his brownshoulder-length shaggy hair and scruffy beard. He looked likesomething from a Werewolves R Us TV show. Two gold earrings glistenedfrom one ear lobe, adding to the glimmer of three chains that drippedfrom his neck. His tanned, wind-worn cheeks made it difficult to judgehis age, but she suspected he was at least a couple of years olderthan her own thirty-two. Jen stiffened her backbone."I live next door. I should have said, `we' have a problem.""We do?" His eyebrows lifted.
"Your motorbike is wrecking my evening's peace. The noise wakes me upwhen you return.""Hold it right there! It isn't a motorbike! It's a Harley-Davidson.Motorbikes are for pussies."When she noticed his size, she intended to remain calm and controlled,but his tone made her want to throw flames. "To me they're all thesame because they have two wheels and an engine that rumbles loudenough to wake the dead. Is it necessary to rev up when you ride pastmy cabin? Do you have to be coming and going at all hours of thenight? Some people like to get a good night's rest, you know."The hulk checked his watch and scowled. "It's not bedtime yet.""It's not right now, but my point is that you'll probably come pastlater. That's when I'm asleep or trying to sleep. And that's why I'mhere now, to..." Damn. She was babbling. She didn't need to explain."What's that thing at your feet, a mop?"She looked down at Spooky sitting meekly beside her. Some enforcer hewas. "That's my dog." Suddenly, Jen wondered what on earth hadpossessed her to be so foolish. She'd come here alone and angry atGod-knows-who. She had to learn to keep a tight rein on her temper.The aftermath of her last outburst was the reason she'd come to thelake in the first place."He's not much of a dog."Temper be damned. She scowled and said, "Well, he's not a pussy,either. You didn't answer my questions about revving up your enginewhen you pass my cottage.""I wasn't aware I was revving up anything." The Neanderthal peereddown at her, then scrutinized the darkness. "Want to come in anddiscuss this?""No!" She shivered. "Look, I don't want to be a pain. I just want youto be more considerate and keep the noise level down."The neighbor stepped onto the six-inch high threshold and stretchedhis arm to the doorjamb, facing her. A heavy drift of body odorinvaded her nose, forcing her to move back. Her eyes flitted along thefootball-player shoulders attached to arms so firm and thick his teeshirted short sleeves had to stretch tight to enclose them. She wasthankful his sleeves hid his armpits; the thought of seeing a nest ofhair under each arm was enough to make her puke.A sarcastic smile glided across his tightened mouth. "It's hard toquiet a Harley. They're made to rock your world.""They're made to give the illusion of power to those who have rocks intheir heads," she replied without missing a beat. Or the illusion ofballs to guys who have teeny-weeny weenies. Which probably wouldn't bethe case here. She shook the silly thought from her head.Jen couldn't believe it was her usually proper self, acting like afoolhardy David against a tough-looking, bad-smelling Goliath. She hada jarring thought: with no rocks, no slingshot, just a pacifist pooch,

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