Imminent Affair. Sheri WhiteFeather
with pointed ears, plastic eyeballs, tiny pom-pom noses and long white whiskers.
He couldn’t help but smile. They were even more ridiculous than he’d first assumed. He pointed to the fur balls in question. “Does Sam like those?”
“She loves them.” Allie wiggled her feet. “So do I.”
“It must be a girl thing.”
“I suppose you think they’re atrocious.”
“Yeah, but it’s okay. You can wear whatever you want.” Except pretty nightgowns while she was in his room. He made a show of looking around. “By the way, where is Sam?”
“She was up earlier, but she went back to sleep.”
In Allie’s soft, warm bed, no doubt. “I guess she’s not an insomniac.”
“No. She’s a cozy sleeper. But cats are supposed to take catnaps.”
Daniel’s omelet was done first. Somewhere in the midst of their conversation, Allie managed to fix hash browns, too. She handed him his food, and he stood near the sink and wolfed it down. He didn’t sit at the table because he didn’t want to make a domestic ritual out of sharing meals with her. It was bad enough that he’d brought her to his house for an extended stay.
But what choice did he have? The vandal, the potential stalker, was all too real, and he intended to do whatever it took to keep Allie safe.
Would he take another bullet for her? Yeah, he thought, he would. He would do just about anything for Allie Whirlwind. He wasn’t sure why; he just knew that he would.
“You’re going to get heartburn.” She scolded him for eating so fast.
“I’m fine.” To prove his point, he took a second helping of hashed browns.
She shook her head and sat at the table, spreading a napkin on her lap. She would have looked quite proper if it weren’t for the horrendous robe and slippers.
“I already called Rex,” he said. “He’ll be here in a few hours.”
“I wonder where he’ll start.”
“With my background, I suppose.”
“Are you nervous about it?”
“Why?” He scooped the last of his food onto his fork. “Do you think I have something to hide?”
“No. I just can’t imagine being in your position.”
“I can’t imagine being in yours, either.”
“Getting my loft trashed or having the kind of ancestors that I do?”
“Both.” He thought Allie was too sweet to hail from a lineage of evil witches, but that was her background, her burden to bear. He had no idea what his was going to be.
He’d lied about not being nervous.
By the time Rex arrived, Daniel’s anxiety was at an all-time high. But he hid his feelings, greeting the other man with a sturdy handshake and inviting him into the living room.
Rex Sixkiller was a half-blood from the Cherokee Nation. At thirty-six, he was the same age as Daniel, and although they weren’t from the same unit, they were both Desert Storm veterans who had served in the army. But like most people from Daniel’s past, he had no recollection of Rex. Of course since regaining consciousness, Daniel had made a point of spending time with the Warrior Society, and that included Rex.
“Where’s Allie?” the P.I. asked.
“In her room. I’ll go get her.”
Daniel went down the hall and knocked on her door. She appeared in a colorful Santa Fe style dress and a pair of western boots. Her hair was plaited in a single braid that hung down her back, leaving the angles of her beautifully sculpted face unframed. Her earrings were big silver hoops decorated with turquoise nuggets.
“Rex is here,” he said.
“Oh, okay. I’m ready.”
She walked beside him, and upon entering the living room, Daniel made the introduction. Rex rose to meet her. He also checked her out a bit too closely, putting Daniel on edge. From what he knew, Rex was single and somewhat of a player.
Daniel gave his comrade a territorial stare, and Rex looked back at him with a curious expression. Apparently the other man had wanted to gauge Daniel’s reaction, to see what he and Allie were truly about. And now he knew.
Daniel had the hots for his female friend.
“Let’s get started,” Rex said, settling back onto the sofa and elbowing a leopard-print pillow.
Daniel sat next to him, leaving a leather recliner for Allie.
For a moment, they were all silent, then Rex turned to Daniel and said, “Tell me what you recall from your past.”
“I recall bits and pieces about my parents. My dad lives close by, and my mom died when I was a boy. I’m from the Lakota and Haida Nations.”
“Do you remember being from those tribes or is that something you were told after the coma?”
“I remember.” He paused, then frowned. “I also remember Mom’s body being laid out at the funeral house. It isn’t a good memory.”
“No. I don’t suppose it is.” Rex furrowed his brows. “Do you have any good memories?”
“Not really.” Daniel paused once again, pondering the question. “Actually, my memories of Allie are good.”
He glanced her way, and she scooted to the edge of the recliner. As soon as their gazes locked, he broke eye contact. He wasn’t comfortable with Rex watching.
“How good are they?” the P.I. asked, almost making the query sound like a double entendre.
Not that good, Daniel wanted to say. “They’re kind of warm and fuzzy, I guess.” He hoped that didn’t sound stupid, but it was the only description that came to mind. “I don’t remember her as much as the feeling of being around her.”
“And it was warm and fuzzy?”
“For lack of a better term, yeah.”
Rex shifted his attention to Allie. “Does that sound about right to you?”
She nodded. “Daniel and I were close.”
“But there was no romance?”
“No.” She started to fidget.
Annoyed, Daniel squinted at the P.I. “Is this line of questioning necessary?”
“Yes, it is. I need to know if there’s anything that happened between the two of you that the vandal might have seen or heard.” Rex pushed Allie a little further. “No romance at all?”
“No,” she said again.
“Not even one little oops? One little kiss?”
She responded with another fidgety, “No.”
Rex kept pushing. “Were you visibly attracted to each other? The way you are now?” he added, not mincing his observations or his words.
Her breath hitched. “Yes.”
Damn, Daniel thought. This hungry-for-each-other thing wasn’t new. He gave Rex a flustered stare. “Can we move on now?”
Rex gave him a tight nod in return. “Yes, but I’d like to know about other women from your past. Do you recall any of your former lovers?”
“No, and I already told you about Glynis over the phone.”
“She’s a good place to start, but she can’t be the only significant woman from your past. I’m going to have to interview your friends and family and see what they know.”