Falling for the Guy Next Door(7)By: Claire Robyns
“Wh—what’s wrong?” he heaved, worry creasing his brow as his eyes darted from corners to shadows to bushes and then back to her.
“Jack Marlin,” she said. “He’s running a brothel next door.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Harry’s brow creased deeper. Blue, blue eyes seared her. “Dammit, Megan, did it occur to you that you could be dragging me away from a real crime?”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Am I?”
“That’s not the point.”
“Didn’t think so.” She nudged her chin at the front door down Jack’s end of the house. “I’m not kidding. He’s had two girls in there, one straight after the other.”
A grin erased Harry’s scowl.
Megan poked him in the chest. “Very, very young girls.”
She almost went that far. Almost. “I’m reporting suspicious activity, Harry. It’s your duty to investigate.”
“You’re harassing the poor man,” he countered, “and last time I checked, I decide which reports of alleged wrong-doing are actually worth an investigation.”
“I have photos.”
“Of you,” she said. “Remember how those railroad braces made your mouth so dry, your upper lip was forever sticking to them, making you look like a hungry bunny? Oh, and my favourite, the time we went swimming and you didn’t realise how transparent white briefs were? Or maybe your disco phase? So many photos, Harry…”
She shook her head sadly. “You know, Corkscrew Bay never did pay tribute when you were promoted last year and my best friend does run the Corkscrew Weekly. We could organise such a lovely spread—”
“Kate would never do that to me,” Harry scoffed, but his cheeks were tinged with red.
“You turned her down when she asked you to the prom.”
“That was junior prom. None of the guys in my group went with girls.”
She gave him a sympathetic look. “There’s no statute of limitations on a woman scorned.”
Harry changed tactics. “You could get into serious trouble for blackmailing a police officer.”
“Oh, don’t be so stuffy. All I’m asking is for you to take a look next door and make sure there’s no funny business going on.”
The silence stretched as he looked at her. Probably trying to decide whether she was bluffing. “Okay,” he said at last. “But I want those photos back.”
“Yeah, right.” She prodded him ahead as they walked down the path on her side of the hedge.
Jack muttered a curse as the doorbell chimed below. He took a long second to adjust his equipment, then straightened and gave Susie an apologetic grimace. “Don’t move a muscle. I’ll be right back.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” she cooed, fluttering thick lashes his way.
He chuckled as he left the room and trotted down the stairs. A quick glance at the hallway clock and he saw it was much later than he’d thought. Megan was due—he cut that thought with a smile, realising it was probably her at the door.
She wasn’t alone, though, and her hazel eyes, peering over Harry’s shoulder, flashed green with anger.
Jack threw his hands up and took a step back. “I never reported you as missing, I swear,” he told her.
“Missing?” Harry asked, crossing the threshold to stand inside so he could glance back and forth between them. “Megan was missing? Were you?”
“Obviously not,” she snapped.
“Well, if you’ve come for a drink and a chat,” Jack said, “you’re welcome to my fridge, but I’m in the middle of something—”
“I’ll just bet you are.”
Jack folded his arms and put his back to the wall, his eyes on Megan. Her hair, a rich chocolate brown, fell to her shoulders and his fingers itched to tangle in those loose curls. The green flecks in her eyes were usually more dominant when her emotions were high. The last time he’d seen them this particular shade of green, her legs had been wrapped around him and she’d been in the midst of a climax.