Wake Up Maggie(8)

By: Beth Yarnall

“It’s not?”

He shook his head. “My job now is to protect you, make sure nothing happens to you.”

“Like a bodyguard?”

“Exactly like a bodyguard.”

I would have made a crack about the ways in which I’d like him to guard my body, but reality locked the words in my throat. It wasn’t enough that the tattooed tramp had banged then killed my boyfriend, leaving me to take the rap. I was now at the top of her hit list with nothing but Super Agent between me and death.

Chapter Five

When Super Agent had first proposed his staying in my apartment to guard me, I readily agreed, swept away by visions of foreplay days and fornicating nights. Boy, had I been wrong. He stuck to his no-nookie rule like he’d been sworn to the priesthood by the pope himself. Just when I began to doubt his interest, I’d catch him looking at me as though he’d mentally stripped me and was cartographically tracing my every slope and curve.

It was those looks that kept me awake at night, wondering if I’d ever get to touch the tightly packed muscles I knew lurked beneath those horribly baggy suits. After I accidentally on purpose caught him coming out of the bathroom with nothing but a towel around his waist, he stayed dressed night and day. I was pretty sure he was showering in those damn suits now.

To make matters worse we hadn’t heard a peep from the Mata Hari madam, and I was beginning to think Super Agent’s theory of me being on her hit list was as farfetched as me losing the extra twenty pounds I’d been carrying since the day I was born.

“Can’t I just go to the store and say hi to my friends?” I asked one bright and shining morning.

Super Agent glared at me over the top of his coffee cup. “No.”

“I can’t afford to stay home from work another day.”

“The press is still hounding you.”

“Not as badly as they were before. Besides the store has security.” My job as a beauty advisor for Estelle Landers Cosmetics wasn’t as glamorous as a special agent for the FBI, but it paid the bills and kept me ankle-deep in beauty products.

He looked back down at his phone and made a “we’ll see” noise. The majority of his speech had been reduced to noncommittal grunts and long-suffering sighs. I wanted to say it was my charm, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t. Our forced confinement was getting to him too.

“I’ll call my boss to let her know to put me back on the schedule.” I pulled out my cell phone to make my call. “Next week we’re having a gift with purchase, and I can’t afford to miss the extra sales money.”

“You’ll have to explain me.”

“Hopefully you’ll be gone by then.”

He raised his eyebrows at me.

Jeez. Such a Sensitive Sally. “You know what I meant.”

He returned his attention to his phone, leaving me to stare at the top of his head. Conversation over. All morning he’d been texting and emailing his thumbs to bloody stumps. Something was afoot.

My phone rang, and a quick look at the display told me this was a call I needed to take in private. As I slipped off the barstool and padded down the hall, I could feel Super Agent’s gaze on me. I’d never taken a call out of his presence and I could almost hear his gears spinning out questions three at a time. Two could play the I’ve-Got-a-Secret-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na Game.

I closed the door to my bedroom and went into the closet. “Hey, Jonas.”

“Hey. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.”

“No worries. Were you able to find anything out?”

“I posted the image you gave me on a couple of forums and I think I may have found your guy. There’s an artist out of Amsterdam who recognized the ink. I’ll text you the deets.”

“Thanks, Jonas. I owe you.”

“When are you going to come in so I can finish you?”

Jonas still needed to fill in the color on my newest tattoo. “Probably next week.”

“Text me and I’ll fit you in. You know, now that you’re not with the senator anymore, we could go out. Dinner or something. What do you say?”

“I say I’ll text you next week.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re not serious?”