By Amy Manemann
Smart mouthed Taci Andrews is an investigative reporter for the Riverdale Times with a lot on her plate. Between receiving a dreaded invitation to her fifteen year high school reunion, her best friend's divorce drama, and her own solitary dating status, her fun meter is pretty much pegged. When Taci’s partner goes missing while covering a missing child feature she is suddenly thrown into the story of her career, which oddly enough delves into a past she would rather forget. She soon finds herself squaring off against a malicious class Barbie Doll, the High School Quarterback and a steamy Fireman from her past whose deep blue eyes are still enough to curl her toes. But new feelings for one another or not they both have a job to do and a missing child to find. Can they put their feelings aside to solve the case or will they be next on the missing person’s list?
I stood in front of a washing machine, popping quarters into the worn slots on top. From across the room I glared at Parsons, who lounged comfortably in one of the plastic chairs lining the front window. So much for getting rid of him. Admitting defeat I sighed, closing the lid and moving on to the dryer. The Scrub N’ Pub was surprisingly empty for a Sunday afternoon, which unfortunately meant I might actually have to carry on a conversation with Parsons. Too bad for him I’d childishly decided on the ride over that I was going to give him the silent treatment.
Tony stretched his legs out in front of him, crossing his ankles comfortably.
"How long are you planning on not talking, because your mom might think we’re having a lovers quarrel when you don’t talk to me at dinner.”
I didn’t answer, instead continued to pull the clothes out of the dryer and into my laundry basket.
“Or I could tell her that my lovemaking made you speechless and that’s why you aren’t talking. She might just believe that,” he continued. I paused, sparing him a glare.
“That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?” I asked, unable to keep silent any longer.
Tony grinned. “Not according to some sources. Care to find out?”
A rush went through me and I shuddered. The man had a way with words, what could I say. Closing the door to the dryer I set the laundry basket on top, beginning to fold the clothes into piles.
“You know, since your going to be hanging around you could make yourself useful and help fold clothes,” I suggested. Tony ambled out of his chair, sauntering over to where I stood. Peering over my shoulder he eyed the contents in the basket with interest
“Do I get to fold your underwear?” he asked almost hopefully.
“Do you ever think of anything other than your libido?” I replied. Tony looked thoughtful for a moment.
“Only when you’re not around. You seem to bring out my best side,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. I laughed before I could stop myself.
“You really are incorrigible, you know that don’t you?” I said.
Tony shrugged. “Yeah, but most people find that adorable in me.”
Ok, I had to agree with that one. Plucking up a pile I set it on top of the dryer next to the basket.
“That’s your pile hot shot. Let’s see how well your mama taught you about folding laundry,” I said.
“Oh please, I’ve been doing my own laundry since I went away to college. And for the record, if you added fabric softener to your rinse cycle your clothes would smell better for a lot longer. It’ll also make them feel softer as I’m sure this place runs off of hard water,” he commented, folding a pair of socks together.
I halted in mid fold, staring at him open mouthed. He shrugged. “What? You think just because I’m a guy I don’t know anything about laundry? Sheesh Tace, you could at least try to give me a little credit.”
I flushed, ducking my head. He was right; I haven’t exactly been all that fair to Parsons since he abruptly showed up in my life. But then again, the man never played fair either.
"So you’re a laundry God, huh? Wow, who would have guessed,” I remarked dryly.
“Not quite a God, but pretty close. I’m a pretty good cook too,” he replied, casually tossing a folded shirt into the laundry basket.
"You mean besides bacon and eggs?” I asked skeptically.
Tony grinned. “Bacon and eggs are nothing. I can make a filet mignon topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions with a side of twice baked stuffed potatoes that would make your mouth water.”
Sad to say the drool was already salivating just thinking about it. “So you can do laundry and you can cook. Is there anything you don’t know how to do?”
“How to get you alone in a bedroom for longer than ten minutes without being interrupted. I’m still working on that one,” he replied with a grin. I ducked my head to hide the flush of my cheeks. Men.
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