Sunday, June 7, 2009

Aspen Exposé -- Group Novel -- Chapter 6

Chapter 6

When in doubt...punt.

~Ana Aragón

“There you are, sweetheart.” Jack draped his
arm around Rachel’s frozen, bare shoulders and
breathed a sigh of relief. He thought he’d lost her. If
it wasn’t for Tom—

“E-eek!” she squealed, ripping herself from his
embrace and hurtling into Tom’s chest, arms
wrapping snug around his waist. “W-what are you
doing here?”

His partner, Tom, motioned with his chin over
her curly, golden brown locks, and mouthed, “What
the hell?”

If he only knew. Jack shook his head and
whispered, “Later.” He attempted to wrest her hands
from Tom’s waist, but she held on tighter than a tick
on a beagle’s ear. Between the two of them they were
finally able to release her hawkish grip from Tom’s
doorman jacket enough to pull her away. She
turned, her eyes blazing with anger, nostrils flared.
If he didn’t know better, he’d think he was staring
into the eyes of a bull that had just been speared.

“C’mon, Rachel. I’m sorry—” A swift kick to the
shin and it was his turn to yelp. “Jeez, Rach.” He
hopped on one foot, rubbing his sore leg through the
woefully thin tuxedo pant leg. Damn. She broke
skin. “Stop it, will you?” Now he’d have to get the
darned pants cleaned.

Tom restrained her from behind by locking his
arms through hers, which only served to make her

“ you!” She aimed a swift kick
toward his groin which, given his advanced FBI
training and experience with other, similarly angry,
women, he was able to deflect, grabbing her ankle
and four-inch spiked heel a split second before she
made contact with the family jewels. She hung
suspended between the two of them, swinging her
free leg back and forth in an attempt to get free, her
dress billowing in the wind.

Jeez. And she seemed so sweet and mellow at
the office. “Listen, Rachel,” he said, in an attempt at
conciliation. “We need to get you up to our suite. I’ll
explain everything once we get there, okay?”

Her green eyes sharpened into pinpoints that
could melt steel. It took a few moments for her to
realize she wasn’t in any position to refuse and the
look of resignation on her face when she finally came
to that conclusion nearly knocked him on his butt. “I
guess I don’t have much choice now, do I?” she
whispered, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“Let me go.”

He dropped her foot and she struggled to gain
traction on the cold pavement, eventually shrugging
her arms free of Tom’s grip. She breathed in a
lungful of air, releasing it slowly as she squared her
shoulders and straightened her backbone to all fivefoot-
three inches of raging femininity. Turning from
him, to Tom, and back, her usually plump lips
firmed into a straight line, making him think of
every possible way he might soften them. A nippy
gust blew in from behind her, propelling her scent
toward him. He couldn’t help but breathe her
in...freesia. That was it. He recognized the
scent...but, damn, his former lover had never
smelled this delectable.

She shivered. “This had better be good,” she
whispered, moving quickly toward the glass door.

Tom brought Jack up to speed quickly and went
back to work. Jack followed Rachel in, unable to
keep himself from admiring her firm, round butt
above muscular thighs, sexy calves and curvy ankles
as she strode into the hotel lobby, her loose, brown
curls bouncing rhythmically against the expanse of
creamy, white skin at her back. It took every ounce
of strength he possessed to keep him from tackling
her from behind and taking her right here.

This wasn’t the thought that should be crossing
his mind, dammit. Even if Rachel Livingston was a
dream come true and he’d been lusting after her for
nearly a year. She had a cute, pixyish face,
voluptuous body, sharp wit and an intellect that
gave him a run for his money. From the moment
they crossed horns over the Wilkerson account, he
was a goner. It didn’t matter that he was engaged to
Karen; frankly, he’d given in to the engagement so
Van Buren would keep him on, so he wouldn’t blow
his cover. The sting they’d planned for two years was
nearly over; within a week, Van Buren would be
behind bars and Jack would be back in D.C., pushing
papers and getting ready for his next long-term

As they entered the elevator, he popped the
special keycard for the penthouse level and pondered
just how much information he’d need to divulge.
Certainly enough to keep her from blowing his cover,
but not enough to endanger her life. It had taken a
lot of prodding on the part of his superiors to
convince him to put her in harm’s way in the first
place. But after receiving assurances that the
Bureau had their back and she’d be in less danger
than if she walked down H Street by herself at dusk,
he finally relented.

Rachel huffed, crossed one gorgeous ankle over
the other and leaned against the far wall of the
elevator, as far away from him as possible. Her arms
were crossed underneath her breasts, which only
served to push them up and out for his inspection.
His lusting gaze must’ve been obvious, because she
huffed again and turned away, giving him a better
view of her left cheek—both of them, actually. If only
she knew he was much more of an ass man than a
breast aficionado.

Thinking of all the possible scenarios he could
concoct on short notice, given they were now two
floors from their destination, Jack let his mind
wander. If he could somehow distract her, he might
buy himself some more time. He closed his eyes and
thoughts of possible diversions floated as he
mentally walked through the doors of the
Presidential suite. Against the floor-to-ceiling,
mirrored wall in the entry. Curled up on the plush
rug in front of the fireplace. Spread-eagle on the
granite countertop in the kitchen. In the whirlpool
tub, all sixteen jets—oh, yeah, he’d counted—at full
blast. In the two-person shower, her back flat
against the marble wall, hands locked ab—

Briiinnnggg! The bell signaling the penthouse
floor level broke into his thoughts and Jack stifled a
groan. Opening his eyes, he watched as Rachel’s
gaze moved slowly from the front of his bulging
pants, up, up, up to meet his. Her sweet mouth was
open, her cheeks flushed—and the look in her eyes
was all desire.

The doors opened directly into the hallway in
front of their suite. He motioned with his hand,
allowing her to exit first so he could adjust himself.
She let herself in with her own key. Her spiked heels
clicked ominously on the terrazzo tile floor, a
reminder he had but a few seconds to come up with a
plausible story…um…lie. She reached the entry
mirror and twirled to face him. He paced the seven
steps—who was counting?—to land within arms’
reach and stopped.

She was close enough for him to see himself
mirrored in her olive eyes, now smoky with desire,
her mouth set in a determined line. It seemed like a
lifetime before a pink tongue peeked out, moistening
the underside of her upper lip, her fingertips
reaching out to caress the day-old beard at his

He pulled her into his arms as her scent
enveloped him.

Well, well, well. This was his lucky day.


Thanks for dropping by. And now for the question.

Question for Chapter 6

What is Jack Davenport's real profession?


Stay tuned next week for Chapter 7


Mary said...

He's really an FBI agent.

Marilyn Baron said...

Jack Davenport is an FBI agent.

This story is really heating up.

Marilyn Baron

Nicki Salcedo said...

FBI, baby. It looks like it is Rachel's lucky day, too!

Sandy Elzie said...

Yes, ladies, Jack is FBI and it looks like it's a good thing for Rachel...but is it?

Stay tuned to see what will happen in chapter 7.

(chapter 9)

Tami Brothers said...

Isn't this fun!!!! FBI!!! Who woulda thunk it? ....grin....

I loved this turn of events and I can't wait for you guys to see what else happens. And how Rachel feels about it all...

Come back and see us again next Sunday (and every day in-between for that matter!!!).


Lorraine said...

Both Jack and Tom have involved
and you GRW gals really have us readers hooked now!

Ana Aragón said...

Glad you enjoyed the turn of events...stop by next week to what happens!


Anna Steffl said...

Boy, do you know how to get a gal's pulse going! Great chapter, Ana.

Mary Marvella said...

You girls work well together! Good story.

Christy LaShea said...

Jack's with the FBI. Glad he's not the bad guy.

Linsey Lanier said...

This is getting better and better each week. Great chapter, Ana.

Oh, and Jack is with the FBI. Wonder if he's been profiling Rachel?


Debbie Kaufman said...

FBI, who would have guessed?

Cyrano said...

Great chapter.
I'm having so much fun reading Rachel's crazy, sexy journey.
Have a lovely Sunday,

Barbara Monajem said...

He's an FBI agent.

I loved this! It was so much fun to see Rachel from Jack's point of view. Whew!

ECSpurlock said...

Wow, great twist Ana! I thought Tom was staking out Jack, but Jack is FBI too! And good job seeing things from Jack's POV for a change. Nice to know that Rachel isn't just a pawn in this game, especially when it looks like things are about to heat up big time -- in more ways than one!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

I had to take a moment to comment because I'm next up. Ana put me on the spot by setting me up for a love scene as well as the FBI twist. I loved the chapter even as I pulled out my hair trying to figure out where to go next.

I also loved being in Jack's head, which was a stroke of brilliance on Ana's part.

Well, everyone come back next week. I'm going to spend it on pins and needles as I wait to see what you ladies think about my humble offering.


Ana Aragón said...

Poor Sally,

I really put you in a bind! But you did a superb job with the story...and that's what's so fun about serial stories with different authors!

Tune in next week!


Carol Burnside said...

Loved it, Ana! You made me like Jack again. [g] Can't wait until the next installment.

Anonymous said...

Jack is in reality an FBI agent.

Looking forward to what comes next.

Pamela-reader said...

Jack is FBI... of course, technically from the chapter, I could only tell he was some sort of law enforcement with the reference to a "sting" and "DC". (shrug)

Rachel must have really been freaked out to hang onto Tom after he freaked her out by using her full name & showing the badge. Guess the badge made him a "good guy" subconciously(sp) for her.

(I admit though... I've reread the chapter (& the last) to see what in the world Jack is apologizing for... since he just came up to them. I'm still a little confused... We all know Rachel deserves an apology, but how does Jack know? Last time he saw her she was just going to the bathroom! Tami sure left you with a lot of tricky details to tidy up!

Still loving it. Darn though, I'm all caught up now. Shoot. Now I gotta wait with everyone else.

Ana Aragón said...

Hey, Pam,

Let's see if I can answer your questions...Jack is apologizing because he realizes Rachel must know he's up to something because she's trying to run away. He just wants to get her into the hotel to try to explain...something...because he has no idea what he's going to tell her.

And he describes himself as FBI when he thinks "...given his advanced FBI

I'm glad you're hooked! You'll enjoy the rest of the story, I promise!


Maxine Davis said...


I really enjoyed the chapter! You girls really gave each other 'a run for the money' with your twists and turns! love it!

FBI - I do love a badge

Lorraine said...

Did I forget to say that
Jack is an FBI Agent? Yes,
I inferred that in my response
a few weeks ago. Now it looks
like Rachel might want to hook up with the FBI. But with which

Pamela-reader said...

By golly Ana, you're right. Guess only my subcon caught that! :-)