Steak-Out Pt.2

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(Be sure to read part 1 first)

"Fake your own death to fool your enemies"~ Niccolo Machiavelli 

~**~~**~

At his proclamation, V.C.'s eyes widened, sparkles showing as she leaned forward toward him, her nose almost brushing his nose.

He could almost feel her warmth seeping into him.

She searched his eyes with her own and the edges of her lips pulled up to reveal a set of sparkling white teeth. "Oh. . . my. . . goodness. . . I can't believe it. Jack Rhodes likes me!" She leaned back in her seat and laughed, shoulders shaking with mirth. "This is a monumental moment."

Her laughter grew louder as she threw her head back against the seat.

Jack shook his head and reprimanded her, "Shhh, shhh! We're on a stake-out!"

But her giggles didn't quell until he shoved a palm over her face to stifle the sound. And then immediately jerked it away.

"Ew! Did you just lick me?" He wiped his wet palm on the top of his thigh. "And I didn't say I liked you, I said I didn't hate you. There's a difference."

A smile still stretched across her face. "Doesn't matter, it still counts."

Warmth coursed through Jack and settled around his heart. For some reason, he liked fooling around with her.

He hadn't done that with anyone in a long time.

She was distracting him, but not in a bad way.

Tapping her fingers against her own thigh, V.C. questioned him, "But what about you? You supposedly know all about me, but I don't know about you. That's not exactly fair, now is it?"

And just like that, Jack felt the warmth dissipate.

He remained silent and turned his attention back to the outside storage units. Everything was quiet, nothing to distract him.

It was funny.

Mere moments ago he had wished she would distract him, but now he would give anything for silence again.

He didn't know what he wanted to share with her. Sharing meant letting people in and he wasn't too sure if he was ready for that.

Especially with her.

V.C. stared at the ceiling and counted off items on her fingers. "Let me guess — the boy scouts, varsity football in high school, a scholarship to the Ivies, and then a career in white collar before you joined the Navy, right?"

"Wrong."

She raised her eyebrows back at him and scoffed. "About which part?!"

"Football, I never played sports in high school."

"Really? With those shoulders?" She ran an appreciative glance over his body. "But I was right about the other parts though." When Jack begrudgingly nodded, she continued. "Then if it wasn't the football team, what was it?"

He shrugged and again looked out the window. It was becoming a habit. He wasn't sure if it was because he was trying to distance himself or he was looking for the answer in the darkness.

He didn't want to tell her about his childhood.

It hasn't been a happy one.

But there was one memory he looked back on with happiness. One that he wouldn't mind sharing with her.

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