Home > Floored (Frenched #3)(5)

Floored (Frenched #3)(5)
Author: Melanie Harlow

He glanced around. “I noticed you don’t have curtains on the windows in here.”

“I just moved in recently. I took the old ones down because they were hideous, and I have new shades, but I haven’t had time to put them up yet.”

“I’d make time. It’s like a fishbowl in here. Anyone can see right in.”

“I’ll take care of it,” I said evenly. Weren’t police officers supposed to make you feel safe? Be a comforting presence after something like this? “You know, you need to work on your people skills a little.”

“Noted. OK, what did you do after the phone call?”

Chugged wine. Ate a bag of pretzels. Ogled sexy men in tunics. “I had dinner.”

“And then you went upstairs?”

My face warmed. “Yes. Um, I turned off all the lights, went up and took a shower, but when I was drying off, I heard a noise down here. I threw on my robe and came down to check, and I noticed right away my laptop was gone, along with my phone, iPad and purse.” My stomach pitched and rolled at the memory, and I shivered. Someone had been in here, in my house while I was upstairs in the shower. I hadn’t even locked the bathroom door, which caused a fresh wave of nausea. Closing my eyes, I held my aching belly. My God. This could have been so much worse.

“And were you going to arrest him yourself?”

My eyes snapped open. “Huh?”

“Those cuffs up there in the bathroom. I assume they belong to you?” With a wicked gleam in his eye, Charlie raised his brows. “Maybe you were going to shock him with your little Taser in the black box first. I didn’t know Lelo made self-defense products.”

It was one of those moments where I’d have welcomed a nice catastrophic event—an earthquake, perhaps. An F5 tornado. A volcanic eruption. Anything that would cause the earth to split and swallow me whole so that I would not have to respond.

I gave it a minute.

I gave it a Hail Mary.

No luck.

I cleared my throat to break the painful silence and mustered my last remaining shred of dignity. “You know, a nice guy would have just let that go.”

His grin deepened. Damn it, he had dimples. “Do you live alone, Erin?”

I clenched my jaw. “Yes.”

“Do you have any pets?”

“No.”

“Well, you might think about getting one. A dog would be good for a woman alone.”

“I don’t like dogs.”

“Are you serious? Who doesn’t like dogs?”

“Me. They’re hairy and slobbery.”

He shook his head, as if I were hopeless. “Do you own a firearm?”

I recoiled. “You mean like a gun? Of course not.”

“Don’t look so shocked. Grosse Pointe Park is a nice place and all, but you need to be smarter.”

“What’s so smart about a gun? That wouldn’t have helped me tonight anyway. He was gone by the time I got down here.”

“Tonight he was,” he emphasized. “What about next time? Wouldn’t you feel better as a woman alone knowing that you could defend yourself?”

“Look, will you stop with all the ‘woman alone’ stuff?” I made little air quotes with my fingers. “I live alone by choice.”

“I never said you didn’t.”

I pinned him with a stare. “You implied it. It was strongly implied.”

“You know, now that you mention it, I am kind of surprised the Homecoming Queen is still single.”

“I wasn’t the Homecoming Queen,” I said indignantly.

Confession: I was totally the Homecoming Queen.

“And how would you know, anyway?” I went on. “You moved away before high school.”

“Just a hunch.”

“And for your information, I’m not single,” I lied.

“Oh no? What’s his name? Or her—I don’t want to make assumptions.” Dimples again. Asshole.

“It’s a him. Why do you want his name?”

“Could be relevant. Where is he tonight?”

“He’s—working. He’s an actor. He’s shooting a film tonight.”

Charlie found that funny for some reason. “What’s his name, please?”

Desperate, I scrambled for a name and said the first one that popped into my head—my father’s name. “Tad.”

“Tad? Tad what?”

“Tad…Pitt.” Cringe. Cringe. Cringe.

Charlie cocked a brow. “Your boyfriend’s name is Tad Pitt?”

I lifted my chin. “Yeah.”

“And he’s an actor? Let me guess—adult films.”

“Wrong.” I tried to look offended. “He’s a… dramatic actor. Shakespearean, in fact.”

Charlie made a note on his pad, an infuriating chuckle shaking his shoulders. “I could show you how to shoot a gun, you know. I mean, if Tad’s too busy shooting King Lear or whatever.”

“No, thank you.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m anti-gun and I don’t think they belong in people’s houses. I’ve never even seen a gun in real life, except on a police officer.” Glancing at the one on Charlie’s hip, I shivered. “I could never shoot one.”

“Suit yourself. What about an alarm? Ever think of getting one installed?”

“No.”

“Maybe you should.”

   
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