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The Drunken Parrot was a crappy bar with sticky, mismatched chairs and bathrooms so disgusting it was safer to risk a UTI. It also just happened to be where Miami’s underbelly gathered to drink cheap beer and do illegal shit.
Like the wannabe dick weasel in the godawful rainbow wraparound Oakley sunglasses and clown outfit t-shirt across from her. He kept licking his thin, weaselly upper lip as if to highlight the skinny, douchey mustache.
She hated clowns, dudes who wore their sunglasses inside, and assholes who stole from her friends. This guy had officially struck out.
“Here’s your tatcos,” the bartender said, arriving with a plastic tray of tater tot stuffed tacos. The scraggly tail of his foot-long beard violated several health codes as it dragged through the nacho cheese. He dropped the tray unceremoniously on the table.
“Thanks, Sam,” she said.
He grunted and shuffled off behind the bar where he had a fan angled to stir the humidity around and blow his beard over his shoulder.
“Don’t mind if I do,” Dick Weasel said reaching for one of the tatcos.
With lightning quick reflexes, Jane gripped his wrist. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“What’s a little appetizer sharing between future lovahs?” the weasel asked with another disgusting swipe of his tongue.
She really wanted to punch this asshole in the face. Instead, she released him. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The second he wrapped that greasy palm around the closest tatco a large lizard appeared in the empty chair and hissed at him.
“Holy fuck! Who let the gator in here?”
“George isn’t a gator. He’s an iguana. And he doesn’t like the share. Now, back to this ‘special product’ you brought for me.”
George sank his teeth into the first tatco, still eyeing Mr. Sunglasses with suspicion.
“Yeah. Okay. Fine. Let’s see the money first,” he said, beads of sweat springing up between his upper lip and his pathetic facial hair.
Jane kicked back in her chair and propped her combat boot on the table. “Product first.” Man, she really, really wanted to punch this asshole in the face.
He threw a furtive glance over both shoulders making it completely obvious that he was up to no good. She barely contained the eye roll. Fucking amateurs.
He reached into his pants and pulled out a small tube.
“Told you I got the goods, sweetheart.” He froze for a second, burped, then blew his burp breath out the side of his mouth. She was definitely going to punch him in the face.
“Tell me that came from a pocket.”
He leaned back in his chair and patted a hand over the beer belly that was straining his too tight t-shirt. “Nope. Kept it safe right up against the ol’ family jewels.”
She wasn’t touching that product with anything less than a pair of fucking toaster tongs.
On a sigh, she nudged the Dick Weasel’s Pina colada with her foot. It tumbled over into his lap.
“Hey!” He jolted and tried to take one of George’s napkins to mop up the sodden mess. The iguana hissed his displeasure. “My granny literally just gave me this shirt!”
Jane caught him by the hair and pinned his face to the table. “Newsflash, asswipe. Your granny hates you and so do I. Who hired you to snatch the glue?”
It was a lot of fuss over a new chemical formula designed to stick false eyelashes in place, if you asked her.
He snickered. “Heh. You said snatch.”
She smacked his forehead off the table. “Who hired you?”
“Ow! My hair! I just moussed it,” Dick Weasel whined.
George hissed again.
“I know,” Jane agreed. “I don’t know how someone this disgustingly stupid broke into the lab either.”
The iguana chose that moment to start hacking. “You okay, buddy?” Jane asked. “I told you not to eat them whole.”
George gave another wracking cough and brought up a masticated pile of tots two inches from Dick Weasel’s face.
The distraction must have made her loosen her grip somehow, because the weasel managed to extricate himself, snatch the glue, and bolt for the door.
Jane sighed and pulled her stun gun out of her belt. “You mind keeping an eye on George for me?” she asked the bartender.
She took it as a yes and charged out the door after her quarry.
It was hot and they were too far off the ocean for any cooling breezes. A layer of humidity clung to the streets like the broiler in an oven. But she had Cuban blood pumping through her veins. It would take more than running down a paunchy weasel in her tight jeans and combat boots to make her break a sweat.
She spotted him turning left at the end of the block and took off after him.
“How’s it going, Jane?” Senor Delgado called from the front door of his grocery store.
“Great! I’ll be back for George’s green grapes later,” she yelled as she sprinted past.
She turned the corner at a dead run. And there he was, cowering next to a very angry, very familiar figure shouting obscenities that made even Jane blush.
“When you knock a cone out of a Queen’s hand you buy that Queen another motherfucking ice cream!” Lady Raquel, looking fabulous in a silver sequined leotard, smacked Jane’s weasel in the face with a Fendi bag.
Jane picked up speed and dove for the guy. They went down in a heap and Jane felt the breeze of the drag queen’s handbag as it connected with the weasel’s skull.
“Ow! Lady, I said I was sorry about the ice cream!”
They rolled into the greased-up legs of an off-duty lifeguard taking her down with them.
“Here! Lemme help!” Jane looked up just in time to see Gary Busey in a palm tree and parrot Hawaiian shirt upending his half gallon soda on the lifeguard.
In the chaos, Clown Weasel managed to wriggle his way under the ice cream truck.
“Damn it, Busey!” Jane shouted.
She felt something wet and sticky on her hand as she scrambled to her feet. She’d probably just taken a strawberry sprinkle ice cream and Diet Pepsi bath. She was going to need an hour-long shower after this mess. But first she had to catch a moron.
Charging around the front of the truck, she spotted Glue Guy hauling ass across the street.
She took off again, pausing only to open the face shield of a biker’s helmet to punch the woman off her bike when she ran a red light and nearly flattened Jane in the crosswalk.
“Freaking Miami drivers,” she muttered as she took up the chase again. There was no sign of him for two blocks in any direction, but going on instinct, she snuck down a side street and got lucky.
“You can’t hide in that clown shirt, assface!” Jane snarled as she charged him. He turned around and lowered a sexy pair of aviators to look at her.
What kind of an idiot decided to shoplift a pair of sunglasses instead of a new shirt to disguise himself? He deserved what it was coming.
With a rib-rattling battle cry, Jane went airborne. She was on the small side but she sure as hell knew how to tackle a man. Usually there was a mattress and condoms and a bottle of tequila involved but the skill translated. Weasel had zero time to react before her shoulder slammed into his sternum.
It was like hurling herself into a brick wall. The guy had a much harder body than what it looked like in the bar. There was no sign of a beer belly either. Her momentum had him tipping backwards in slow motion like a redwood tree.
They crashed to the sidewalk, in a tangle of limbs.
“What the fuck?” He growled in a very unDouche Weasel tone. When he gripped her by the upper arms with strong hands, Jane jabbed her stun gun into his glute muscle and pulled the trigger.
He went rigid under her, jolting from the shock. His sunglasses flew off and Jane almost felt a flicker of nerves at the molten fury she saw in his green eyes.
Sweat and Busey’s Pepsi must have obscured her vision because Dick Weasel wasn’t looking very Dick Weaselly. He looked swipe right hot. He looked…Oh, shit.
She grabbed him by the front of his t-shirt. “What happened to your douchestache?”
“My…what?” He sounded pained and Jane realized she was still jabbing him with the contacts of her stun gun.
She moved to tuck it into her belt and found herself flat on her back under the man. “You are going to regret that, buddy,” she said through bared teeth.
“I already regret meeting you,” he said. Without seeming to work too hard for it, he managed to pin her arms over her head. He took the stun gun first and then methodically went through her pockets emptying them of three knives, a set of brass knuckles, two tactical pens, and the Glock on her ankle. She was going to use every single one of them on him the first opportunity she had.
Jane tried to buck him off, but the lean wall of muscle straddling her hips was immovable.
“Seriously. Did you shave when you shoplifted those shades? Why didn’t you steal a shirt that doesn’t make you look like you tempt little kids into sewers?”
He looked down at his shirt. “My grandmother gave me this shirt.”
“I know. You told me that right before my iguana barfed tots in your face.”
His expression softened. “Ah. I see. Are you on new meds or off of old ones? Or are you just good old-fashioned shit-faced at 11 a.m.?”
“Give me my stun gun back.”
“I don’t think you’re in any condition to handle it,” he said, standing up and pulling her to her feet.
“Is everything okay here?” Two muscly pickle ball players in knee pads and Oliva’s Neutron John tank tops bent down into Jane’s line of vision.
“It’s fine,” he said.
“Help me! He started screaming that Ricky Martin is a talentless hack and then he tackled me!” Jane said.
“I would never—“
“Let the lady go, man,” the first pickle ball player said. The second one flexed menacingly until Hot Weasel released her.
“You’re making a mistake,” he warned them.
Jane kicked him in the shin with the steel toe of her boot.
When he bent to rub his abused shin, she snuck around him.
“The things I do for my boss,” she muttered as she shoved her hand into his pants to retrieve the glue. It didn’t take more than a second for her to realize there was a problem. A big, veiny one. Whatever he had in his pants, it sure as hell wasn’t a tube of science glue.
“Give me the glue and the name and I’ll let you take that tree trunk in your pants home with you,” she said, trying not to stare.
“Jesus, are you one of those glue sniffers?” he demanded, trying to pry her hand off of his crotch.
Between his raging erection and the positioning of Jane’s hand, the pickle ballers decided to let them work things out on their own.
“Give. Me. The. Glue,” she repeated. But when she tried to pull her hand free, she found that it was stuck.
He closed his eyes and brought a hand to his forehead. “Douchestache.”
“What?” She gave her hand another yank, but it was still stuck.
“You asked me where my douchestache was. Fuck me. Were you running down a sweaty idiot with a tiny mustache and shit for brains?”
“You damn well know…Oh my god.” No. It wasn’t possible. “No. No. No.”
“I believe you confused me for my brother Dane.”
Jane tried to forget about the pulsing rod of flesh stuck to her hand and looked closer at the man. There was a resemblance that went beyond the hideous clown shirt. But this guy was leaner. Less sweaty. He had a bad boy five o’clock shadow instead of a greasy ‘stache and there were a few sexy looking tats peeking out from under his sleeves.
“You’re not Douche Weasel?”
He shook his head. “I’m Armando.”
“Nice to meet you, Armando. I’m Jane.”
His jaw tightened when she tried to yank her hand free again. “Can you not do that right now?” he said through gritted teeth.
“Very funny. Hilarious. Please get your hand out of my pants.
Jane whipped out her cell phone and dialed.
“I’ve got a problem on my hands, Tea and Crumpets.”
Armando cleared his throat. “Actually it’s in your hand.”
“Jane, always lovely to hear your voice.” Derek Price’s smooth British accent echoed in her ear.
“I need to know what unsticks this fucking eyeball glue.”
“Lashes, darling. Eye lashes.”
“I don’t give a flying fuck. Just tell me how to unstick it.”
“Let me ask my brilliant wife.”
“Do that,” Jane snarled. Her hands tightening.
Armando hissed. “Jane, I need you to not jerk me off on a public street.”
“I’m not trying to!”
“Try harder to not try,” he said.
“Don’t say harder,” she told him when he twitched against her fingers.
“Jane! You got my glue back?” Emily Price sounded bright and bubbly. Derek must have been pouring margaritas down her throat poolside.
“Yes and no. Long story and I don’t come out looking great. How do I unstick skin from…other skin with this shit?”
“Don’t say come,” Armando whimpered as his erection flexed in her hand.
“Just use the serum I gave you in the packet with the rest of the information about the formula.”
“Serum,” Jane repeated. “Packet. Uh-huh.”
“It’ll do the trick…as long as you didn’t add any Caramel E150d, of course.”
“I’ve had enough of this. Remove your hand from my cock now,” Armando ordered. Something brassy and shiny flashed in front of her face.
Cradling her phone between her ear and shoulder she batted it away. “Carmel E what?”
Emily laughed. “Don’t worry. As long as you haven’t bathed in Diet Pepsi you’ll be fine.”
“Damn you, Busey!” Jane shouted.
“What was that, Jane?” Emily asked.
Jane groaned. “What do I have to do if there was Diet Pepsi involved?”
“In that case, you’d just need to submerge the affected skin in warm water for about thirty minutes, apply the serum, give it a vigorous rubbing and it’ll come right off.”
“Vigorous rubbing. Of course.”
She should have stayed home today. Or taken her motorcycle for a long cruise off a short pier. Or gone and gotten her entire body waxed. But no, she was going to have to jerk off a complete stranger that she’d tasered into a hard-on.
The shiny thing was back in her face. This time she uncrossed her eyes and looked at it.
“Uh, Boss, can you put Derek back on the phone?” she squeaked.
“Miss me already, Jane?” Derek said.
“I have another bigger problem.”
“I’m all ears.”
Actually Derek was more abs, charm, and huge penis than ears. She’d seen it the first time they’d met when he’d broken into her boss’s mansion and helped himself to some scotch and a bubble bath.
The penis in her hand was shaping up to be just as impressive, if not more so. Too bad it was attached to a man with a badge.
“I think I’m assaulting a cop,” she told him. She glanced at Armando for clarification.
“Undercover,” he said in her ear.
“When you say assaulting, do you mean present tense?”
“Yes. I am currently assaulting a cop.”
“I see,” Derek said. “I’ll get the legal team assembled and meet you with bail.”
Jane looked up at Armando and winced. “Bring a lot of money.”
“Lucky for us I’m married to a billionaire.”
She hung up. “So, funny story. I’m not actually trying to assault you. Your douchebag brother—apologies by the way, he seems terrible—stole something from a friend of mine. A proprietary glue for eyelashes or some shit. Anyway, he ran. I chased. I thought you were him. Blah blah blah.”
“So you tackled me, used your stun gun on me, and then shoved your hand down my pants,” Armando said, filling in the blanks.
“That’s where he kept the glue. But when I wrestled him to the ground back at the ice cream truck the bottle must have burst and I got some on me.”
“You’re saying you glued yourself to my cock.”
People were starting to stare at them. Even for Miami where greased up men roller bladed in G-strings with ferrets perched on their shoulders, their predicament was attention-grabbing.
“We’re both going to get arrested at this point,” he observed.
“I know how to get it off. We just have to get to my apartment.”
He looked down at her. “Excuse me?”
“It. Meaning the glue. Not it…you. I mean I know how to get that off, too.”
He was breathing heavily now. “Will you shut up about getting me off?”
“Right. Sorry. Also, the whole erection thing. I think it’s a side effect from the electrical shock. Some guys shit themselves, some guys get raging boners. I knew this one guy Taser Tony—”
Armando placed a large hand over her mouth. “If you don’t stop talking about erections and getting things off, you’re going to end up with a handful of very illegal embarrassment. It takes a lot of concentration not to go off with your hand wrapped around my fucking shaft.”
Jane nodded and decided not to make any hand job jokes. Not before she told him that to get it off, she was going to have to get him off.
He removed his hand from her mouth and muttered something about Miami Dolphins stats.
“Look. We have to get back to my place,” she explained. “There’s a serum that will unadhese the adhesion.”
“And how do you propose we do that?”
Jane glanced around at their surroundings and spotted a souvenir shop. “I’ve got an idea.”
The look he gave her was all cop. “You realize how this sounds, don’t you?”
“Listen, if I wanted to get my hand down a man’s pants I wouldn’t have to concoct an elaborate scheme involving glue and sexual assault. All I’d have to do is walk into a bar and point.”
His penis flexed in her hand.
“What’s this plan of yours?”
“Get your minds out of the gutter, sisters,” Jane snapped as they shuffled them past a table of nuns seated at the gelato place next-door to the souvenir stand. In order to walk together, Jane had to put her left arm around Armando’s waist and he had to keep his right arm on her shoulders. Besides the hand down the pants thing, they could have passed for a happy couple on a romantic stroll.
“Son of a bitch. I can’t believe I did it again,” she grumbled, trying not to move her hand any more than necessary.
“Again? You tased the wrong twin before?”
“Once or twice.”
He stared at her unblinkingly.
“Relax. It’s a joke. Mostly. The last time it happened they were fraternal twins. I could tell them apart, but they both deserved it. Here.” Jane snatched a fanny pack that said Fluffy’s House off of the rack on the sidewalk.
“A fanny pack? That’s your grand plan?”
“Listen, guy in the clown shirt, if anyone asks, just tell them your granny bought it for you.”
“Granny is funny, not cruel,” Armando argued.
Jane eyed his shirt and shuddered. Clowns really freaked her out. She’d punched two of them before she was 12. “I beg to differ. Just put it on.”
“There’s a pet rock in here,” he said, pulling out a rock with crooked googly eyes.
“That must be Fluffy.”
While he snapped the fanny pack in place, Jane reached for her wallet.
“What are you doing?”
“Don’t pay these assholes,” Armando said. “You think they pay their rent with fanny packs? I busted this place last week for selling horse tranquilizers and knockoff autographed prints of Robert Pattinson out the back.”
“You know. Sparkly vampire guy? I met him last week. Nice guy. He was in town and we had him come check out some of the fake autographs. I was in charge of his safety during the sting.”
“A vampire bodyguard? That’s kinda hot.”
“I’m a pretty impressive guy once you get to know me.”
“Believe me,” Jane said, trying not to tighten her fingers on the man’s appendage. “I’m already impressed.
Armando steered his vintage Bronco through Bluewater’s security gate.
“That guy didn’t bat an eye seeing you with your hand down a stranger’s pants,” he mentioned, pulling onto the palm tree lined drive.
“Security knows me,” she said with a shrug. She directed him to her building.
Armando let out a low whistle. “You live here?” He gestured at the fancy AF stucco building in front of them.
“Perk of the job,” she said, trying to get out on her side before remembering she was still attached to his schlong.
“Who do you work for?” He asked, picking her up over the console and depositing her on the asphalt.”
“The billionaire science mogul?”
“That’s the one. That’s who your dumbass brother stole from.”
He swore under his breath. “My mom is gonna be so pissed if I have to arrest him again.”
“Come on fanny pack boy, let’s get this over with.”
“Get what over with?”
Jane used her security override key to take the elevator straight to her floor. Unfortunately she didn’t have a security override for avoiding the WW. The Wealthy Widows were a pack of troublemaking elderly women, and a handful of men—they didn’t discriminate—who generally wreaked havoc on the community.
“My, my, Jane. I’ve never seen you so affectionate,” Bertha Backwater trilled as Jane tried to hustle Armando into her condo.
“Bite me, Bertha!”
Jane slammed the door and took a deep breath. “Okay, so here’s the extended situation. The serum isn’t enough to de-stick the stick on your stick.”
“Jane.” Armando’s voice was full of warning.
“I know how it sounds and I can get my boss on the phone to confirm. But basically because Gary Busey dumped a Diet Pepsi on me it’s created a super sticky bond. Which means we need to soak it—or us—in warm water for 30 minutes, apply the serum, and then…” she tried to say it under her breath.
He leaned down close to her mouth. “Say that again.”
She mumbled the words a second time.
“Are you saying vigorous rubbing?”
“Look, I’m not happy about this either. Usually in a vigorous rubbing scenario, I’m getting some too.”
His eyes darkened and his hard-on throbbed in her hand. Uh-oh.
“Not that I’m asking you to… Or saying that we should…”
Armando took a breath and let it out. “Let’s start with the warm water and see where it goes?”
“This isn’t terrible,” Armando mused, as he handed the bottle of tequila back to her.
The huge tub on her deck had a wide view of the Miami skyline and the sound. They’d cut Jane out of her tank top since her hand was stuck to his wang, stripped down to their underwear, and started talking sports.
The tequila burned its way down her throat nicely as she thought about his back tattoos.
“Yeah. So how do you want to do this?”
“All business, Jane? Are you a workaholic?”
“Aren’t you in a hurry to get your dick back?”
“That was before I found out you were a fan of soccer and the Rock’s tequila.”
“Ha. Very funny. But I do have season tickets to Miami United,” she pointed out.
“A girl after my own heart,” he teased, then glanced down at where her hand disappeared into his Calvin Kleins.
“That’s not your heart,” she said smugly.
“Still, maybe when this is over you could take me to a game.”
She eyed him over the bottle. “If you help me track down your brother I’ll take you to a game.”
“It’s a date.”
“Great. Now let’s get this hand job started.”
“Maybe we could…I don’t know. It feels a little impersonal,” Armando said, biting his full lower lip.
“I don’t know if it gets much more personal than this,” she argued.
“I mean usually I’ve at least kissed my partner first.”
Jane’s chest region did something weird. It felt like her heart flipped over and then flipped back. She was fairly certain that was medically impossible or at the very least deadly.
“Uh, okay. Weirdo. How about this? We apply the serum and kiss or whatever. Then I rub—”
He cut her off with his own mouth and Jane’s heart did the flippy floppy thing again. His lips moved over hers in a languid, unhurried kiss. His stubble was rough against her cheek and jaw, his mouth insistent with its firm pressure. One hand splayed on her back while the other cupped her neck in the kind of dirty possession that Jane really, really liked.
Water sloshed over the sides of the tub as she threw one leg over him. The tequila sank to the bottom and neither of them cared.
He took advantage of her lips parting and his tongue advanced into her mouth, thrusting leisurely against her own.
This guy knew how to kiss.
He stood, sweeping her up in his arms, and stepped out of the tub.
This guy knew how to do a lot of things.
That hand at her back toyed with her bra strap. “You know, Jane,” he said between kisses. “Usually in a situation like this, I’m not the only one getting off.”
She needed to make an appointment with a cardiologist ASAP.
“Um. Well, if it makes you more comfortable,” she said, just before sinking her teeth into his lower lip.
He growled. “Much more comfortable. Is that a yes?”
“Fuck yes,” she breathed. His lips curved victoriously under hers. And before her heart could flip itself back over, her bra was sailing over the railing.
“Hey, I liked that one. It has a built-in holster.”
“I’ll buy you a new one,” he promised, burying his face in her neck.
She remembered the serum, only because he knocked it over on the patio table when she yanked his sexy briefs down to his knees.
“Wow,” she breathed, taking in the sight of her small hand looking even smaller than usual in comparison to the pulsing, purple-headed member in her grasp.
While he worshipped her torso with teeth and tongue, Jane managed to work the bottle open one handed and squeezed it over her fingers and his tremendously impressive penis. It smelled like lime, a decent compliment to the tequila they were both drenched in.
“Let me?” It was both a command and a question when he hooked one hand into the band of her thong.
“Have at it,” she murmured against his mouth, tugging at his hair with her free hand.
He removed her thong and then carefully placed her on the table on her knees so they were close to the same height.
“Maybe you should hang on,” he suggested.
“Whatever you say.”
He nipped at her bottom lip then soothed the spot with his tongue as he sank two fingers into her sheath.
Not to be outdone, Jane finally moved her right hand.
“Where have you been my whole life, Jane?” he groaned.
Right here. Waiting for him. The thought was so un-Jane-like, she shook her head to dislodge it. This wasn’t a date. This was supposed to be a simple, clinical procedure. But damn did he know what he was doing with those fingers, that tongue. The hand that guided her hips back and forth so she could ride his fingers.
“I’m really good at hand jobs. Blow jobs too. Actually all jobs really,” she rambled.
“You’re fucking amazing.”
She gripped him harder, pumping mercilessly, hoping that the serum didn’t work its magic too early.
When he increased the rhythm of his hand, she matched it, stroking him faster, harder. Suddenly, there was more glide. More motion. She was able to stroke from root to tip, tightening and loosening her grip.
“I think it worked,” she said on a low moan as he changed the angle and added another finger.
“Don’t fucking stop,” he growled.
“Oh, thank god.”
She could feel it building inside. The trembling and tightening. The build-up to the explosion.
“Ride my hand, Jane,” he ordered.
She did exactly that and when she came, when every muscle in her body tightened and went limp, she shouted his name.
He tensed against her a second later, his hips missing a thrust into her hand. He groaned loud and long as he orgasmed in her hand, across her stomach, down her thigh, and onto the table. Yep. Armando was pretty damn impressive.
“I’ve never been so glad a woman glued herself to my dick in my entire life,” he rasped.
“This has happened before?”
“Once or twice.” He grinned wickedly.
She laughed. “Cute.”
“My granny thinks so,” he said.
“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about your granny while your fingers are inside me.”
“I guess I can let go,” Jane said, staring down at her hand. “I can’t believe I’m saying this. But I’m going to miss being glued to your schlong.”
“Maybe this doesn’t have to be the last time you see it.”
She bit her lip. “Maybe. So were you serious about helping me find your brother?”
He nodded. “If it means seeing you again. I’d willingly spend time with the douche.”
“Good. Because I have an idea.”
“The last time you said that I ended up in a fanny pack.”
Jane pressed an open mouthed kiss to his neck. “Does your brother have any heart conditions I should be aware of?”
“None that I know of.”
“Man, you certainly deliver,” Jane said, hopping out from behind the wheel of her souped-up golf cart in the night.
Armando stood at the entrance to the pier looking all kinds of fine in black tactical pants and a tight black t-shirt. There was sweaty, bloated, clown shirt-wearing heap at his feet. He had a reusable grocery tote over his head.
“Is he unconscious?” she asked nudging Dane with her boot.
Dane whimpered pathetically and stomped his feet against the planks.
“No. He’s pouting. He goes limp like a toddler then throws a tantrum,” Armando explained.
“Classic Dane,” Jane said. “I’ll get his feet.”
They carried him to the end of the pier and bent him over the railing headfirst.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about you today,” Armando murmured into her ear, his teeth grazing her sensitive lobe.
“I might have given you a passing thought or two.” Or fifty-seven.
“Let me take you to dinner after this.”
“Can we get it to go? I have a king-sized bed we didn’t get to break in this afternoon.”
“I’ve never been so happy to break so many laws in one day,” Armando said with a deadly grin.
“Stick with me, kid. Okay. Ready for the finale?”
Jane ripped the tote bag off of Dane’s head and tossed a rotisserie chicken into the water in front of him.
“What the hell is this about? I don’t know anything about anything!” Dane whined.
“Steve begs to differ,” Jane said.
“Who’s Steve. I don’t know a Steve!”
Just then a surly three-legged alligator surfaced next to the chicken.
“That’s Steve,” Jane said. “And he heard you’ve been a very bad moron.”
“Who told you to steal the formula?” Armando demanded.
Steve gave a half-hearted hiss and then opened his gigantic alligator mouth to chomp down the rotisserie chicken.
“Oh my God! Okay! Okay! It was this hot chick. Like super hot, but in a mean kind of way?”
“Fuck,” Jane sighed.
“You know who he’s talking about?”
“Give me a name, Dane.”
“Yeah. Okay. Lita something. I have her as Lita Hot Bod in my phone but that’s not her real name. She was in a hurry for the formula something about awaiting trial and maybe going to jail and needing money to skip the country. I wasn’t really listening. She had a low-cut shirt on.”
Jane rolled her eyes.
“Got what you need?” Armando asked.
“Yep. I’m going to let you buy me some tacos,” she said, sliding her arm around his waist. “Unless you still have to arrest me for assault.”
“How do you feel about handcuffs?” Armando asked, leading the way to the golf cart.
“I’m a fan. Maybe after some tacos and margaritas we could try yours out?”
He slid in beside her as she turned the key. “I know this is too soon. But I think we should talk about marriage.”
Jane choked out a laugh. “I’m more of an Oprah Steadman kind of gal. Or Goldie and Kurt.”
“My granny knows them,” he said.
“All of them? Who the hell is your granny?”
“Betty White. Today’s her 99th birthday.”
“God bless Betty White. She is a goddamn national treasure.”
“She’s going to love you,” he predicted.
“Hey, how do you feel about iguanas?”