Diving into my private rooftop 25-meter Infinity lap pool, I let the water’s soothing embrace envelop me. I swam underwater the first length, halfway between the water’s surface and the pool’s black tiled bottom, working my dolphin kick from my steely core, to reach the other end.
Coming up for air at the opposite edge, I closed my eyes for just a moment, savoring the delicious calm of the water’s sanctuary. I knew this moment wouldn’t last for long. I had business to attend to and to be honest, it wasn’t business that I was particularly in the mood for.
Though don’t get me wrong. Peg Spitman had it coming to her; it was the only way. And I knew that once I had her where I wanted her, between the steely clench of my thigh burn hold, her turtle neck writhing helplessly in my deadly embrace, well...I sighed to myself, I would have the satisfaction of a job well done.
But for now, I needed this swim like a Dalmatian needed her spots, and I’d be damned if Peg Spitman was going to keep me from my workout.
I reached for the wall at the other end, my hand catching the edge of the smooth concrete deck.
“Hey, Sexy,” a low baritone cooed.
“What the hell?” I glanced up at the pair of strong manly legs greeting me.
“Lookin' good,” Rodney grinned.
Splashing him, I laughed. He was always full of surprises. It was his unpredictability that kept me coming back for more. Among other things. “If you don’t let me finish my laps, I’m not going to look this good come later.”
“Oh, I highly doubt that,” he stared at me, undressing me easily with his eyes, and not just because I had on my skin tight Donga De La Rosa Serversinia Cross Strapped Italian Suit. No. Rodney had that way about him, the smooth confidence that came with the territory of being a special op for a covert operation.
Kneeling down to my level, he took my chin in his hands, and pulled me toward him, the kiss paralyzing me with its tingling intensity. “Mind if I join you?” he asked, his blue eyes twinkling.
Pulling away, I laughed, “Only if you can keep up with me!”
Dunking back under the water, I dolphin kicked a few yards, then rose to the surface, and pulled hard, racing across the pool, knowing he was fast on my heels.
“Narita? Hello? Anyone home?” Galinka sat on the bar stool next to me, waving her hands in front of my face, her big brown eyes questioning.
“Sure...” I stammered, trying to shake the reverie from my head. It had all seemed so real. The pool. The swim. The kiss.....
“Where the hell were you anyway?” she asked, taking a sip of her Jameson’s as she glanced around the dark bar of the Hotel Garden Shanghai, Chicago.
“Uh....” I shook my head. How to explain to Galinka? It had been over a year now and still I couldn’t get him out of my head, my dreams, my life.
“Seemed like you were a million miles away.”
“Yeah, something like that,” I took a slug of my own whisky.
“Did you hear anything I said?”
“Yeah, sure. The Italian Emissary’s going down unless we do something to stop Spitman from carrying through with her mission.”
“I spoke with Joe Diamond,” Galinka eyed me, skeptically.
“He said that there was only one way to stop T&A from carrying out their plan.”
“Okay, you’ve got my attention now.” I tried to shake the pool kiss from my mind, but Rodney was calling to me even though I knew it had all been a cruel watery mirage.
“Excuse me, Ladies,” a familiar voice sent chills down my spine.
But Galinka was on it before I could even turn to confront him, her spike heels landing squarely in his smug pudge of a face.
“No,” I caught her by the arm, holding her at bay. “Let me.”
Galinka smiled as she backed away, “You sure?”
“I’m sure.” I swung around, circling his thick neck in my vice-like grip. The swimming did come in handy for just such occasions, I thought, as his putrid breath eked out in pitiful helpless gasps.
Pine Fannon was mine and the moment was delicious. “Please, Narita....” he gasped. “I don’t think... you really...want to....do this...I’ve got something important to tell...you and if....”
I held him tight for a moment, the feel of his soft pudgy flesh tantalizing me to finish the slimeball off.
“Maybe we should take him back to the room?” Galinka nodded at the small crowd in the bar, all eyes on us.
“It’s your lucky day, Fannon,” I hissed, letting him go.
Falling back onto the bar, Pine Fannon reached for his gun, but Galinka was too fast for him, knocking the pistol out of his hand, and catching it neatly before it fell to the ground. “C’mon Fannon,” she commanded. “You’re making me cry.”
Holding the gun against his spongy side, Galinka led him out of the bar. I turned and gave the ogling group in the bar a look that could melt a rock hard Hagen Daz ice cream that had spent a year in the freezer at Fred’s Market. “Show’s over folks. Go back to your drinks.”
Grabbing my whiskey, I downed the rest, before following Galinka out of the bar and into the waiting elevator, Pine Fannon’s eyes bulging in whiny fear at the thought of what two women with heels of steel were could do.