I, Spy?
    “Hey, cut that out.”
    He looked amused. “You didn’t seem to mind at the gate.”
    “I was acting at the gate.”
    “Ah.” We’d reached the car now, and Luke dropped his arm to get his keys. “Acting.”
    We got in, and I fastened my seat belt. My fingers were shaking.
    “So, if I told you the thug was walking this way right now, what would you do?”
    I started to turn my head, but Luke grabbed me. “Don’t look.” He kissed me again.
    I have to tell you, I am fully prepared to back Jeremy Clarkson in his hatred of the Vectra, based on my own experiences. Those seats are bloody uncomfortable when you’re trying to make out.
    But then equally, I have to hand it to Luke. After about thirty seconds I no longer cared about the seats. Or the gear lever. Or the hand brake. Or any of it. Luke’s hands were on me again, and it was magic. His mouth was hot, and he kissed me like he was in charge. I ought to have been bothered about that, but the Scarlett in me just swooned and let herself be dominated.
    The only thought that entered my brain was how attractive my underwear was. Once I’d remembered it was perfectly presentable, I happily shut down all cognitive functions and concentrated on the heat of Luke’s body under my hands, the sweep of his tongue against mine, the hot, sweet taste of him. I felt drugged. It was marvellous.
    Eventually Luke pulled back into his own seat and extracted his hand from my shirt. “Your place?” he said, and I nodded. I knew there’d been no thug.
    I swear, the journey home had never seemed so long. It was about five miles but it felt like fifty. Luke’s fingers brushed my leg whenever he changed gear and I got so hot I had to stick my head out the window. Note to self: don’t do this when there are trees by the side of the road. Having my head attached to my body could only be a good thing.
    It took me bloody years to find my keys when we got to the flat, and Luke didn’t help by running his hands over me and murmuring in my ear what he wanted to do to me. My hands were shaking at the mention of those things. I liked those things—okay, I liked the idea of those things. If he actually did them to me, I'd probably die.
    But what a way to go.
    We fell inside, still kissing, and I tripped over the mail.
    “Dammit,” I said, grabbing the bunch of bills. “Just let me—euw!”
    “What?” said Luke, as I held up an envelope that was dripping all over me. It was dripping something red. It was dripping blood.
    Suddenly all sexy thoughts vanished from my mind, and I could see they were vanishing from Luke’s too. He raced over to the kitchen and grabbed my rubber gloves, took the bloody envelope from me and carefully opened it.
    And withdrew a severed finger.

Chapter Seven
    We both stared at it. Luke was standing there in my hallway holding a severed finger that was dripping blood all over the carpet. Thirty seconds ago I’d been about to have sex with him. Now he was holding a severed finger.
    “Oh God,” I said, clutching the wall for support. I reached out for the envelope but Luke held it away.
    “Fingerprints,” he said, and peeled off a glove for me.
    It had been addressed to me in the most ordinary of writing, plain blue biro on a manilla envelope. There was a torn plastic bag inside which I guess had been to stop the blood leaking all over the place. Somehow it had failed.
    “That’s a finger,” I said, staring at it. “That’s a real live finger.”
    “Actually, it’s a real dead finger,” Luke said, going into the kitchen again and looking for something to put the finger on. He ended up with a plate, which I resolved to smash immediately.
    I watched him get out his phone and speed-dial. “Lexy? Can you access the autopsy of that body? The Mansfield one.”
    How many bodies did they have on the go?
    “Was it, by any chance, missing a finger?”
    There was a pause. My heart was hammering. Someone sent me a severed finger in the post.

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