Sunday, June 14, 2009

Aspen Exposé -- Group Novel -- Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Never underestimate a woman who knows her way around a computer.

~Sally Kilpatrick

Rachel gave in to the slow, dreamlike
magnetism that drew her to Jack. Just one second of
those lips, she told herself, and then...

Their lips met, a slight brush, with enough
electricity to supply the entire state of Colorado. She
could almost forget she had a reason for kissing him,
a reason other than the obvious. Still, she needed
answers and she needed them now so she subtly let
her hands wander down Jack’s sinful body as he
deepened their kiss.

Focus, Rachel, focus. Finding her mark, she
grabbed him at his most sensitive spot.

“Want to play rough, huh?” His ragged voice
wound down her ear canal, causing her entire body
to implode in chills.

“No, I want some answers.” She tightened her
grip on his family jewels.

“Okay,” he said, his face a blank slate. “Just let
me know the questions before you tighten your grip.”

“Who are you and how do you know the valet?”

“Jack Davenport. Tom is an old buddy of mine.”

“You mean your FBI partner?”

“Fine, he’s my partner. Can you please let go so
we can have this conversation like civilized adults?”

She knew she wasn’t inflicting pain, rather just
the threat. “I don’t think I’m ready to let go yet,” she
said. “Because you are obviously not who I thought
you were.”

Disappointing, really. She had only agreed to
this trip because she couldn’t refuse those blue eyes.
And because she had hoped to loosen him up a little
while playing out a few fantasies of her own. She
hadn’t come here to get tangled up with his evil
twin, any of the catty women in his social circle, or to
find out she was in the middle of some kind of FBI

“No, I’m exactly who you think I am. I’m just not
what you think I am.” Though desire had left his
blue eyes, it appeared sincerity had taken its place.

“And just what are you, Jack?”

“FBI. We’ve been working a long time to bring
Van Buren down on charges of racketeering and
money laundering. Mira Technologies is really just a
front for him. We’re so close. I couldn’t risk losing it
all now just because he’s got some irrational belief in
marriage as an indication of stability.”

She studied him carefully. She could always
hack his computer later to see if the story checked
out. Hell, she would have already known the
answers if she hadn’t been so caught up in getting
dressed for him and his cronies. After Allison’s
comments in the bathroom, she wasn’t sure why she
had bothered. She was a computer programmer after
all, not a socialite.

Of course, she also wasn’t the kind of girl who
went around grabbing a guy in his most sensitive
area, but it was comforting to know she hadn’t taken
self-defense classes for nothing. She relinquished her
grip, and he visibly relaxed.

“You know, that wasn’t exactly how I was
hoping that kiss would end up,” he said before
tossing her on the bed, one hand clasping her wrists
above her head.

“This is a lot closer to how I had hoped the
weekend would end up,” Rachel answered with a
nervous laugh as she looked up into hard blue eyes.
“At least before I found out you were a crazy FBI
agent. If, indeed, that’s who you are.”

He reached into his back pocket with his free
hand and drew out his FBI badge, holding it just
inches from her eyes. She studied it, but she couldn’t
tell if it was real or just a really good facsimile.
He leaned down to plant a kiss on her cheek and
to whisper in her ear. “If you grab my balls again, I’ll
have to resort to drastic measures.”

“Drastic measures?” The combination of arousal
and apprehension mingled, her entire body tingling
with alarm.

He sat up and released her wrists, and she
scooted to a sitting position, bringing her hands in
front of her. She studied her enigmatic faux fiancé.
He stood and started walking to the door.

“Yeah, like having Tom hold you here at
gunpoint.” He straightened his jacket and reached
for the door.

His hand lingered on the knob, and he turned to
look at her—to look through her, really—with a
sizzling gaze. “It’s a shame, really. I was looking
forward to seducing you and sending you to the
slopes tomorrow with a noticeable afterglow.”
It was silly to harbor regrets, but Rachel did.

“Where are you going now?” She winced as the words
came out of her mouth. She sounded too much like a
jilted wife or lover.

“I’m going to the bar to join Van Buren and the
others. You are going to stay here and behave
yourself since I’m afraid you have just come down
with a very unfortunate migraine.”

She bristled at his tone. “And if I don’t?”

“You will,” he said confidently. “Because Tom is
just outside the door.”

She jumped to her feet. Her mouth opened and
closed indignantly. “You can’t keep me here!”

“Normally, I would agree with you—Bill of
Rights and all that, but all you have to do is play
your part for less than twenty-four hours and you
will be free. I’m not going to ruin this whole
operation just because of your snooping.”

“Snooping?” He hadn’t even begun to see her

“Yeah, snooping. Play nice and see if you can get
on board. Otherwise, I suppose you’ll have to be
indisposed for the rest of the trip.”

He closed the door behind him, and she heard
him exchange pleasantries with someone who had to
be Tom. She paced the room muttering insults and
threats. Then she spied his laptop. She could always
resort to her original plan and find out if Jack
Davenport was telling the truth.

Ridiculous, really, for him to leave it here with a
computer expert. Something told her he had
supreme confidence in his abilities to keep her from
his secrets, but he had been underestimating her
thus far. She wasn’t the type of girl to sit back and
follow orders. No, Rachel Livingston was going to
find out all of Jack’s dirty little secrets.

Seven down and two to go. Are you keeping up with all the questions and giving
us the answer in your comment? Here's the next one.

Question for Chapter Seven

How did Rachel get Jack to tell her who he was?

A. Threaten to call security

B. Threaten his family jewels

C. Pull a gun on him

D. Pull the fire alarm


Sandy Elzie said...


You did a fantastic job on this chapter. I really enjoyed it, especially her threat to his manhood. Wheeee, guts. Our girl has guts. (g)

Can't wait for next week to see what she does next.


Mary said...

Good chapter! Yikes, she threatened his family jewels. I think Jack has met his match (in more ways than one).

Dianna Love said...

Too funny for her to hold him at jewel-point. Goes to show a woman has more weapons at her disposal sometimes than an armed warrior.

I've been keeping up with the story while traveling but not always able to convince the internet to let me post.

Looking forward to another installment.

ECSpurlock said...

Oh, great move, Rachel, threatening the family jewels! Unexpected, clever and effective. Now I'm looking forward to watching our girl unravel the whole case using that laptop. Great chapter, Sally!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks, guys! I had a few concerns when writing this, but I had to let Rachel do what made the most sense to me.

Marilyn Baron said...

Great chapter. Rachel threatened Jack's family jewels. Looking forward to the next one.

Marilyn Baron

Lorraine said...

Wouldn't it be ironic if Rachel scratched Jack's family jewels with the canary diamond she's wearing? Rachel is proving to be one tough cookie who would have the ova to pull that off. She won't have to because it looks like she'll use his laptop for a cyber weapon.

Tami Brothers said...

I love this chapter because it made my mom blush...grin...

Rachel is sure one tough cookie!!!


Sandra Leigh said...

She threatened his family jewels. I wonder why he left his laptop behind. It's not a trap, is it?

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Great comments. Tell your mom I'm sorry I made her blush. : )

Ana Aragón said...

Sally, I loved the chapter all over again! You pulled it off...even after pulling out your hair!

And Jack remained a good guy! My goal in Chapter 6.


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Ana, you put me on the spot, and I love you for it! I, too, wanted to resurrect Jack as the good guy--he went a little PMSy on us there for a while, I think.

Nicki Salcedo said...

In my part of town, we call them "huevos" but if you prefer the answer is "family jewels."

I guess I'm not really a romantic at heart. I'm glad she grabbed his huevos and he left her hanging!

Thanks for the fun, Sally.

Sally Kilpatrick said...


I don't think liking my chapter means you're not a romantic at heart--if so, what does that say about me? Anyway, I'm just throwing a little monkey wrench in there to make the romance sweeter when it does come. If it does come.


Linsey Lanier said...

Family Jewels - ouch! (Or "huevos" - see what you can learn on this blog? Thanks, Nicki!) Rachel is tough.

No need for concerns, Sally. It came out great. I especially love the lead-in line: "Never underestimate a woman who knows her way around a computer." How true!

I think the chapter's romantic. Rachel and Jack just don't know it yet. :)


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks, Linsey. Glad you'll be joining us for round two--see what you have to look forward to?


Maxine Davis said...

Great chapter!! There is no stopping you girls - I love the book!!

B) Threaten family jewels

Anna Steffl said...

Dynamite! Sally just blows me away.

Anonymous said...

Rachel's a gutsy lady to threaten Jack's family jewels!! I didn't want to stop reading.

Barbara Monajem said...

She threatens his family jewels. Can't wait to see what she finds out, and what happens when he returns...

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks, folks--happy to keep you hanging.

Pamela-reader said...

Definitly the ol' jewels! I think she should have given them a semi-forceful squeeze just before letting go.
Humm, I'm also wondering if the laptop is a trap.