Read How Hard Can It Be? Online

Authors: Robyn Peterman

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary

How Hard Can It Be? (7 page)

“Um, no.”
“We will visit you in the big house,” Vito whispered loudly. “We have connections.” He winked at me spastically.
“Thanks guys.” I grabbed Mr. Hot Cop by the hand and dragged him away before my little friends started informing all who wanted to hear how they were “connected.”
His big hand was warm and slightly calloused. He was as stunned as I was that I’d grabbed him. I tried to extricate my hand, but he held on tight and led me out of the building. Little shocks vibrated through my body and I cursed the situation.
Why do I have to have the hots for an undercover detective who is carting me off to jail?
We walked out in to the subzero temps and directly to a waiting car. He was parked illegally in front of WMNS. He politely opened the front passenger door of his vehicle and waited for me to get in.
“Aren’t you supposed to put me in the back, in case I try to kill you or something?” I asked, trying to recall the procedures on
Law & Order.
“Just get in the car, Rena,” he said gruffly.
I did. He was arresting me and all I could think about was what his lips would taste like and if he could bench-press me. And his butt . . . oh my God, what a butt. It was even better than my neighbor’s. Talk about inappropriate thoughts. He got in, started the engine, and we began our twenty-five-minute drive to hell.
I felt him staring as I kept my eyes trained ahead. Why, why, why couldn’t I have met him somewhere else? Anywhere else. Every so often I peeked over and had mini orgasms at the way his thigh muscles were flexing in his jeans.
“May I ask you a question?” my evil captor inquired. Damn, his eyes were pretty.
“Is this the stuff that can and will be held against me before I’m thrown in the pokey?”
He laughed and shook his head, “No, Rena, it’s off the record.”
God, the way he said my name made me lose brain cells. Did I have that disease that kidnap victims get? The one where they get the hots for their abductors? Of course he wasn’t a kidnapper and I was a soon to be convicted felon . . . not a good first date and definitely not a good way to start a meaningful relationship or even a meaningless night of debauched sex. I couldn’t stop imagining the strong hands gripping the steering wheel, gripping my butt. Shit.
“Is off the record legal?”
“Nope, but you can trust me.”
“Why should I trust you?”
He looked over and shrugged. “Something seems a little off about all this.”
Hmm, what did I have to lose? Maybe if I could explain my predicament, he might let me go . . . “Okay, well, seeing as how I’m leaning toward a life of crime, I may as well take you down with me.”
“You may as well,” he grinned.
My tummy flipped and for one brief moment I considered throwing him against the car door and crawling on top of him. Thankfully I had my seat belt on. It stopped my involuntary forward motion and reminded me to ignore my inner slut. It also stopped me from causing an accident . . . he was driving, for God’s sake. I had a really hard time believing this was standard police procedure, but he was so cute and how much more trouble could I get myself into?
My Prince Charming continued, “Why were you at the news station when you have a restraining order against you?”
“Because I couldn’t bring myself to massage her boobs.”
“I’m sorry, what?” He pulled the car over, turned it off, and stared at me.
“That didn’t come out exactly right,” I muttered as he continued to gape at me like I was insane. I took a huge breath and let her rip. “My car died because I didn’t put oil in it, and I need a new car because I’m driving my Aunt Phyllis’s butt-ass-ugly clunker with little green men living in the gas tank. I’m an accountant, but I joined a group of seventy-year-old women who write porno. You know, butt plugs and furry handcuffs and edible body suits . . . I have no talent as a writer, but lack of talent has never scared me. So as it turns out, I do have a talent for coming up with hideous ideas for romance novels and there’s this horrible skank woman who’s been stealing ideas from the cute little bondage writing ladies for years. Anyway, skank woman is famous and has had more plastic surgery than Cher, Kenny Rogers, and Sylvester Stallone put together. She thought my ideas were great, which makes me think she’s smoking crack, but that’s beside the point. She hired me for three weeks at ten grand a week to give her my ideas. The little sex ladies think my ideas will bring her career down in flames. At first I was upset that I sucked so bad as a writer, but now I’m okay with it. I want to help the little ladies and like I said, I need a new car.”
He was shell-shocked. “Um, Rena . . .”
My man-candy was at a loss for words. He pressed on the bridge of his nose with his thumb and pointer finger, clearly trying to ward off the headache that I was sure I’d just caused.
“Rena, that is the strangest and most confusing thing I have ever heard, but nowhere in that frightening diatribe did you answer my question or explain your bizarre um . . . massage issue.”
“Oh, right. I was at WMNS to deliver a package for Evangeline O’Hara, the book-stealing, frozen-faced, scary-knockered hag that I’m doing the three weeks of work for.”
He opened his mouth to speak and nothing came out, so I continued.
“I didn’t really have a choice. My options sucked. I could either squeeze her rat dogs’ anal glands, massage her newly enhanced with Silly Putty boobs from Newark, New Jersey, or deliver a package to WMNS. I figured if I kept my face covered, I could be in and out of there and no one would be the wiser.”
“Oh my God,” he laughed, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Right? I mean, I wasn’t about to touch her boobies—they start all the way up at her collar bone. I have a very active gag reflex, so butt gland squeezing was out. Do you see how breaking the law was my only option?”
“Actually, I kind of do.”
“So you’ll let me go?” I tilted my head and gave him my best sexy look. His eyes flashed and he white-knuckled the steering wheel. He was definitely affected . . . so was I.
“You’re killing me here,” he groaned. “Rena, I can’t let you go. Dispatch already knows you’re in my custody. Trust me. If I let you go, they will assume you escaped . . . life will get much, much worse for you.”
“How can it get much worse than this?” I muttered, wondering who I’d fucked over in a past life.
“Look, I’m going to take you in and we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“So you think I’m innocent?”
“No, you did break your restraining order, but . . .” He paused, considering his words carefully.
“What?”
“How many people knew you were coming down here?” he asked.
What was he getting at? “Three. The Boob Monster, her butler slave, Cecil-Jeeves, and my friend Shoshanna LeHump.”
“Shoshanna Le what?”
“Hump. And don’t laugh,” I warned, narrowing my eyes, “her real last name is far more appalling than that. Why does that make any difference?”
“Because someone called in a tip to let us know you’d be there.”
“What?” I shrieked. That little bastard Cecil-Jeeves. I knew he was jealous, but I had no idea how far he was willing to go to bring me down. His body language at the writers’ meeting should have tipped me off. I was going to kick his prepubescent-voiced ass . . . right after I served two years in the pokey. Wait! He’d offered to go in my place . . . was that guilt? Or was this the work of the Boobies from Hell? I’d bet my sanity, which was quickly disappearing, that it wasn’t Shoshanna. She was my friend, and I knew too much about her secret life for her to be so stupid.
“Do you know who would do that?” he asked, starting the car back up.
“Not for sure.” I answered in a shaky voice. I wanted to cry.
“It’s okay, Rena; we’ll figure this out.”
“Are you this nice to all the women you arrest?” I sniffed.
He took a long pause and looked at me through hooded eyes. “Nope.”
I liked his answer even though I kind of hated him for being the instrument of my impending incarceration. Wait, I didn’t need anyone to fuck up my life. I was doing an outstanding job of that all by my lonesome. “Why are you being nice to me?”
“I’m not exactly sure, but I’m positive I’ll end up in a lot of trouble for it,” he said with a grin.
“I’m sure you will.” I grinned back. “Can I ask you a question since you seem to know so much about me?”
“Shoot.”
“What’s your name?”
“Jack.”
Of course it is.
I sighed and wondered if his last name happened to be Snuffleupagus.
Chapter 6
T
he police station was a circus and I was the center ring act. I got recognized by police and perps galore from my weather girl debacle. I even signed a few autographs before Jack the Hottie took me by the arm and led me to a private room. The room was cold and in need of a good scrub down. The fluorescent lighting was harsh and unfriendly. It reminded me of the interrogation rooms on
Law & Order.
I kind of hoped he would frisk me, but no such luck. He paced back and forth and I watched.
“What are we waiting for?” I asked.
“My sergeant. I was instructed to take you to this room.”
His agitation was making feel queasy, but the way his ass filled out his jeans was making me horny. I contemplated giving him my number, but there was probably a law against that, and I was batting a big hairy zero right now.
“I’ll be right back,” Jack muttered. “Stay here.”
Like I had anywhere to go . . . He left the room and took all my confidence with him. It was the first time today I truly felt scared. What the hell had I done? Was I actually going to go to jail for real? I shuddered at the thought. Did it make any difference that I wasn’t trying to be the weather girl anymore? I supposed not. I’d broken the law . . . Shit, shit, shit.
Moments later a beady-eyed Santa in a police uniform entered the room. He stood about six-foot-three and he didn’t like me . . . at all. The rosy-cheeked, white-bearded cop gave me a hostile stare. “You’re in a lot of trouble, young lady.”
I flinched at the tone of his voice. This was so real, and I was so fucked. “I’m sorry Sant . . . um officer,” I stammered. Damn it, I’d almost called him Santa. “I know it doesn’t make any difference, but I wasn’t trying to become the Sunshine Weather Girl. I got a new job and I was trying to . . .”
“Can it,” he spat, glaring at me with an ugly frown on his Santa face. “None of that matters. The judge won’t care why you were there. You weren’t supposed to be there. Period. You’re looking at two years minimum.”
His stare drilled into me as his words blasted through my brain.
“Can I at least explain myself?” I swallowed hard, trying not to cry. My mother was going to disown me. And my sister, she was going to love this . . . forever. Why oh why didn’t I just rub the boobs?
“Do you want to call your lawyer?” Santa asked indifferently.
My lawyer? I didn’t have a freakin’ lawyer. My mind reeled with confusion. The only lawyer I knew was my boring brother-in-law Dirk. I sure-as-fuck was not calling him. I pinched myself hard, praying this was a nightmare. Ouch . . . not a dream. “Well, um . . . I don’t really have a, you know, a lawyer.”
Father Christmas shook his head in disgust. Before he could further explain to me what a stupid ass I was, the door to the interrogation room opened and a little person walked in. He stood about three feet tall. He wore a police uniform and had blond side-swept hair and slightly bucked teeth. His face was round, his cheeks were pink, and his eyes were huge. I gripped the arms of my chair in terror. . . He looked exactly like Herbie the Dentist from the Christmas special
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Sheer black fright swept through me and my body began to shake. I bit down on my tongue, the inside of my cheek, and my bottom lip to tamp down the hysterical laughter that was threatening to escape. Cackling at a little person, regardless of his likeness to Herbie the Dentist, was not going to endear me to anyone. Especially Santa. I tried to look away, but I couldn’t. Herbie the Cop-Dentist watched me chew on my mouth warily as he took his place next to Santa.
“Is she all right?” Herbie asked Santa, handing him a piece of paper.
“No clue, don’t care,” Santa replied callously. He read the note with his beady little eyes.
I wondered if it was from Yukon Cornelius. That did it . . . My body was no longer my own. I became possessed by the Inappropriate Laughing Monster. I could not, for all the money in the world, control myself.
To disguise my disgraceful behavior, I threw myself down on the dirty linoleum floor and groaned in between peals of hysterical guffawing. I prayed it looked like I was upset and crying. I beat the grimy floor with my fists, hoping to cause myself some pain. If I broke a few fingers or knuckles I was sure I could manufacture some real tears. I peeked up to see if the Christmas Boys were buying it. I couldn’t say for sure, but they were definitely alarmed.
“Should I get a straitjacket, Sergeant?” Herbie whispered.
Sergeant? Santa is Jack’s sergeant? Crap.
“No, she’s going home. All charges are being dropped,” Sergeant Santa groused with disgust. He held up the piece of paper Herbie had given him and flicked it disdainfully. “Apparently the little lawbreaker has friends in high places.”
WTF? I don’t have any friends in high places . . . Did Jack do something? That made no sense. Could he get my charges dropped? Sweet Baby Jesus, did they call my parents? Wait, my parents don’t have any pull. Mom’s a librarian and dad’s a dentist . . . like Herbie. Oh fuck no . . .
I quickly clawed my arms to suppress the wild surge of laughter that wanted freedom from my throat. I’d be a bloody mess by the time I left here.
“You are a very lucky young woman,” Santa sneered. “A paragon of virtue has come to the station to plead your case. This person is taking full responsibility for you. You owe this person your life. Without Evangeline O’Hara, your ass would be in jail.”
I no longer needed to laugh. I felt like I’d been plunged into the Arctic Sea during January. My stomach clenched and my breathing became erratic. What in the hell was Evangeline doing here? Shit, shit, shit. Had Jack called her? Had Cecil-Belvedere-Kato admitted his guilt? That doesn’t seem right . . . Maybe Cecil-Alfred-Benson had admitted guilt and she got pissed because she still wanted my idea. It would be difficult to collaborate from the pokey. That had to be it. She didn’t have one compassionate bone in her skinny body . . . or maybe she did.
Why am I always such a bitch? Maybe she’s not as bad as I think.
“Follow me,” Herbie the Dentist barked, knocking me back to reality. I idly wondered if he’d gotten his uniform from a children’s costume store.
Santa and I followed Herbie down the hallway to another room identical to the one we’d just vacated. It might have been a tad bit cleaner, but not much. The major difference in the room was the company. Evangeline was perched on the table looking like the cat that had eaten the canary. Her outfit would have been slutty on a teenager; on her it was positively gruesome. She wore a teal miniskirt, a purple midriff-baring net top, a teal bra, and thigh-high stiletto boots. My mother would have beaten my ass if I tried to walk out of the house in that. I prayed that Evangeline wasn’t going commando again, but just in case, I kept my eyes trained on her face.
Cecil the Betrayer stood behind her and my fantasy boyfriend Jack leaned against the wall on the other side of the room.
“Oh my sweet darling,” Evangeline cooed, “Are you all right?”
“Um, I think so,” I muttered, confused and wary of her loving manner.
“You should have told me you had a restraining order against you! I never would have sent you to the news station had I known, you silly girl,” she purred.
“Oh, okay.”
“Aren’t you going to say thank you?” Santa demanded, leering at Evangeline.
“Oh, Gerald darling, aren’t you just ever the gentleman,” she tittered, leaning forward to give Santa-Gerald a better view of her knockers.
“Thank you,” I mumbled contritely, still trying to figure out what was going on. “How did you know about this and how did you get the charges dropped?”
“That is no way to show your gratitude,” Sergeant Santa-Gerald growled, clearly affronted that I wasn’t on my knees before her majesty. “By the way, little missy, if she changes her mind, your ass is going to jail.”
Something felt so wrong about this. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but my stomach churned with anxiety.
“Gerald, my sweet,” Evangeline coyly crooned, sounding a little like a wounded cow, “you’re such an alpha male. Let’s go to your office and finish the paperwork.”
Santa blushed furiously and quickly grasped Evangeline as she almost took a tumble off the table. Moving in general seemed to come with a whole set of issues for her.
“Stay with the perp,” he snapped at Jack.
“Yes, sir.”
Santa and Evangeline led the entourage from the room. Herbie held the door and Cecil brought up the rear. Before he left the room, he turned back.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“For what?” I asked, wanting him to admit his guilt in front of Jack. Why? I don’t know. It didn’t make any difference now . . .
“For you,” he replied and left the room quickly.
What in the hell did that mean?
The silence in the room was loaded. I wandered over to the table and sat down, careful to avoid the area where Evangeline had been seated. Knowing Bionic Boobs, I’m fairly sure she wasn’t wearing panties. I swallowed back the bile that had risen in my throat. I was still unsure whether Jack had called Evangeline. Again, it really didn’t make any difference. I’d never see him after today anyway. Why did that make me feel queasy? I stared at everything except for the beautiful man leaning against the wall. I was so embarrassed and ashamed . . . and embarrassed. I struggled to find my voice. I could feel his eyes boring into me. I wanted to say something witty and sexy and self-deprecating . . . something he’d always remember.
“Do you realize your Sergeant looks like Santa and his sidekick looks like Herbie the Dentist?” Oh fuck, did I just say that? It would have been an opportune time to shut up, but knowing when to stop had never been my forte . . . so I kept talking. “Do you see why I couldn’t touch her boobies? They’re ginormous and disgusting. I would have been scarred for life. I suppose some guys like huge knockers, but those suckers are rock hard. She could kill someone with those things. But like I said, some guys like ’em big. Do you like big ones?” I slapped my hand over my mouth before I uttered something more awful than what I’d already said. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what that would be, but I was taking no chances.
I stared at the floor wishing I could melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. I was so mortified I started getting mad at him. Reasonable? No. Legit? In my mind, yes. If he would just speak, I might not continue to make such a gaping ass of myself.
“Please say something or I’m going to jump off the conversation cliff, never to be heard from again,” I whispered, still staring at the floor.
“Rena, I want . . .” Jack started only to be cut off by the ungodly, horrifically timed reentrance of Herbie the Dentist.
What did Jack want? Did he want me? Did he never want to see me again? Did he want to bump uglies and father my children? Maybe fathering my children was moving too fast . . . maybe a weekend of sweaty screaming sex would be a good place to start. Damn it, now I’d never know because of the reappearance of a three-foot animated cartoon character in a police uniform. My fingers itched to pull Herbie’s little dentist head off.
“You’re needed in Interrogation Room Four. Now,” Herbie informed Jack smugly. He definitely had a Napoleon complex.
Jack eyed him silently and Herbie fidgeted under the scrutiny. Mr. Hunky Pants slowly pushed himself off the wall and approached the table I was sitting behind. My pulse raced as I caught a whiff of his sexy scent. He stood in front of me, bent down, placed both of his big hands on the table between mine, and stared straight into my eyes. I thought I would faint.
“Rena, you need to be a good girl. Can you do that?”
My eyes were glued to his lips, watching them move. I knew he’d just asked me something, but I had no idea what. I felt tingly all over, and I flexed all the muscles in my arms to keep from reaching out to touch his beautiful mouth. God, what in the hell was it with this guy? He made me feel like an animal in heat. I looked down at his hands. They were huge. I wondered if that meant his . . .
“Rena?” he chuckled, cutting off my pornographic train of thought. He was totally aware of what he was doing to me. “Look at me.”
“I can’t,” I muttered. “I’m afraid I’ll jump you and get rearrested for accosting an officer.”
He threw his head back and laughed, sending delightful little chills all through my body and right down to my panties.
“What’s going on here? You’re supposed to go to room . . .” Herbie babbled, crossing the room toward us and fucking up my chi.
“Stay!” Jack barked at the little man like he was a dog. Herbie did. I heard him shuffle back to the door. Damn, Jack definitely had some authority here. Lordy, that’s hot. He shifted his attention back to me and leaned in closer. “I told you to behave. I don’t want to have to arrest you ever again.”
“Um . . . okay.”
I felt him slide something under my hand. He leaned in even closer, his mouth by my ear, and whispered, “Although I wouldn’t mind handcuffing you.”
Oh. My. God.
If I hadn’t been sitting in a chair, I’d have been in a puddle on the ground. I have never ever, ever wanted to straddle and ride someone so badly in my entire life. If Herbie the Dentist hadn’t been in the room I might have stripped naked and let my inner slut loose. That would have looked really bad on the six o’clock news.

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