They sat across from each other and ate their hotdogs. Yo noticed she liked hers with mustard, while he scarfed his down dry. They both chased them down with ginger ale.
"I meant to ask you earlier, what do you do for a living?" he asked as he peeled apart a bun to fix his third dog.
"Honestly? I'm between jobs."
"Between jobs? I take it that's a euphemism for jobless." He grinned to show he was teasing.
Thierry laughed softly. "Busted."
"What did you do before you became jobless?"
"I worked in customer service for Scyllin Industries."
"Scyllin Industries. Isn't that based out of Chicago?"
She nodded. "Yeah. They have twelve branches all over the world." Thierry gave a derisive snort. "Seven years to get a psychology degree, and I ended up fielding major bitch-fests."
"Hey, I would think your degree was a huge help in maintaining those client relationships," he admonished gently.
"You're right. It did."
"So how did you become jobless?"
She gave a little shrug. "Economy soured. Company decided to close three of its branches, which included the Houston office."
"How do you support yourself now, if you don't mind my asking?"
"My inheritance, or what's left of it. Frank borrowed nearly ninety grand from me to help him with his last campaign."
Yo gave a low whistle. "He hasn't paid you back yet?"
"No." She gave Yo a hard stare. "But that's not why I'm searching for him," she clarified.
"I never meant to imply otherwise."
They ate a few more minutes in silence before Thierry inquired about his investigation outside. "Did you find anything earlier?"
"No. After I'm done here, I'm going back outside to do some more investigating."
"When do you think you'll be done?"
"I have no idea. Why?"
She shook her head. "Nothing. I was wondering if we were going to be spending the night here."
Their eyes locked, and the air was suddenly filled with a palpable energy, almost as if the cabin had been charged with electricity. For several heartbeats a silent message passed between them that sent his heart racing. The food in his mouth went dry.
This can't do, Antonio. Don't even think about it. The little voice was as insistent as it was cruel.
Unable to swallow, he broke the spell to grab his can of soft drink and drain it. As he put down the can, his eyes rested on her lips, and he realized their dark pink coloring was purely natural. Stifling a groan, Yo wiped his mouth with his sheet of paper towel and got to his feet.
"I'll try to stay in range, in case something happens and you need me."
"Why don't you give me your number and I'll call you if something comes up?" she suggested.
Yo shook his head. "You may not have time to call me, or even reach the phone."
"I'd still like to have your number, just in case."
He hesitated slightly, then nodded. She took out her phone, and he gave her the number, watching as she punched it in.
"There. I put you in my favs. Won't take as long." She grinned. Getting to her feet, she followed him to the door. He turned to say good-bye, or something along those lines, and found himself inches away from her face and from those lips, especially that fuller lower lip that almost begged to be sucked and nibbled. His mouth went dry again as her tantalizing scent flowed around him, enveloping him like an aromatic blanket. Before he was even aware of his actions, Yo bent his head and kissed her.
To his amazement, she placed one hand on his stubbled cheek and kissed him back. Not hard. Not passionately. But it definitely was not the type of kiss one would give a friend or casual acquaintance. If he didn't know any better, he would swear it was a promise kiss. A pressure of her lips that bespoke of things to come, of things that could be.
Things were quickly becoming way too complicated, and those included his feelings for this woman. She was smart, she was beautiful, and she was self-reliant. The one important thing she wasn't was being aware of who and what he was.
Yo jerked his head back, breaking their connection. He needed space between them. He needed fresh air, and he needed time to think. Unfortunately, the deep breath he took didn't help. Her warm, womanly smell filled his lungs.
"I b-better get. If you need me, call. Or yell out the door."
"Now that I have your phone number, I think it'll be okay if you venture further than shouting distance." She grinned playfully. Her whiskey brown eyes sparkled.Bobbing his head for a nod, Yo left the cabin, but not before he noticed his fingernails had made impressions in the screen door's wood frame.