Bingo. This was going to be easier than he thought. Her technical expertise was questionable, but the point was to keep her talking. "If it's fiber optics, then they must have run wires into the pool lights that feed information to the cameras. "
"Well, yes, I suppose that's how it's done. But that's kid stuff compared to Lake's control room. There are banks of screens, and—" She went quiet suddenly, and alert. "Why do you want to know about the mansion's security?"
He shrugged off the question. "AH I said was the guard was an idiot. You're the one who brought up the rest of it. "
She went back to her grooming then, wadding the hem of the T-shirt and using it to dab at dirt smudges. Finally, as her efforts led up her thigh, revealing more and more skin, she hesitated and looked up at him. Her brows knit. "So, what is it you don't like about me? Specifically. My legs?"
He looked her over. "I'm sure your legs are fine when they're not covered with scuzz. "
"My breasts then?"
"I'm sure they're fine, too. "
"You saw them, " she reminded him.
"I could hardly miss them. "
"I've been told they're incredible. "
He shrugged indifferently. "Are they real?"
She sniffed at that and began to pull up her T-shirt as if another look would verify their authenticity. On the way she inadvertently gave him an eyeful that nearly took his breath away. A beaver shot, he marveled. That's what they would have called it in his horny high school days. Her legs were folded Indian-style, and her creamy white inner thighs made him fantasize how she must look on a runway. All legs, he imagined. Her inner thighs were just about the only part of her not smudged with something, except for the black satin delta that sat enticingly at their center. Christ! He'd done plenty of things outside the law, but this was his first kidnapping. It would also be his last, and she could take the credit for reforming him.
His hand shot up to stop her from exposing anything else. "Once was sufficient, thanks. "
"Aren't we polite?" she told him hotly. "You're not exactly Mr. January, you know. "
She corkscrewed around and kicked his blue jeans off the bed, then pulled the trench coat over her and flopped down as if to go to sleep. There was a lot of twisting and sighing involved until she got herself settled, but she finally ended up on her stomach, her face smashed into the tattered mattress.
Maybe she'll smother, he thought.
The possibility had a certain macabre appeal, and much as it pained him to admit it, so did she. It wasn't just her physical appeal, it was her style. She wasn't a woman, she was an event. Like fireworks on New Year's Eve, she was more noise and flash than gunpowder, but she was incredibly shrewd under all the pyrotechnics. And cute, too, though he loathed that word. He didn't want to think about what sex with her would be like. No, he did not want to think about that.
Staring up at the ceiling now, he was aware once again of the aching soreness in his shoulders and the gooseflesh on his naked skin. His body was humming with an inner expectancy, readying itself for some physical encounter. His hands had that restless, empty feeling he'd noticed while driving the car and the hot spark in his jeans was kindling into something hungry and dangerous. How long had it been since he'd been with a woman? How much longer had it been since he'd wanted to be with one?
Don't contaminate the work with personal feelings, Culhane. You did that once before and everyone you loved got killed.
The litany stormed his thoughts, warning him, reminding why he was here and what he'd been doing the last five years. It had kept him straight all that time, that and a rage for justice.
Even so, he couldn't deny what was happening to his body tonight. Hunger? Shit, he had a need that hadn't been fed in years. If he was being truthful, he was ravenous, starved for a woman's touch. He rolled over on his side, facing away from her and felt the sharp ache