Once a Thief

Once a Thief by Kay Hooper Page B

Book: Once a Thief by Kay Hooper Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kay Hooper
Tags: Fiction
really do think you owe it to yourself to at least give me a try.”
    “Why?” he demanded bluntly. He could have sworn there was a fleeting gleam of laughter in her cat’s eyes, but her slightly drawling voice remained almost insultingly dispassionate.
    “Because a steady diet of
is going to taste awfully bland eventually. If it must be blondes, the least you can do is broaden the range a bit to include those of us who aren’t tall even on a stepladder and who don’t have blue eyes—which are very common, by the way. Why not put a little spice in your life? I can guarantee you won’t be bored.”
    Before he could stop himself, Wolfe retorted, “That’s not what I’m worried about.”
    A little laugh escaped her. “Afraid I’d cling and be demanding? Happily ever after and a white picket fence? Well, I don’t cling, and I tend to ask rather than demand, but as for the rest, I wouldn’t rule it out. In fact, small-town Southern girls have that goal drummed into them practically from birth. But I could hardly drag you to the altar bound and gagged, now, could I? And since you’re captain of your fate and master of your soul—to say nothing of being considerably larger than me—I imagine it wouldn’t do me much good to catch you. Unless you wanted to be caught, that is.”
    Wolfe had another uneasy feeling, this time that his mouth was open. He was thirty-six, which meant that his interest in females—and vice versa—went back more than twenty years. If he’d wanted, he could have told some colorful stories; he was a scarred veteran of the sexual wars. But this was a first for him.
    Was she simply a very honest woman? A woman who was attracted to a man she’d just met and said so without hesitation or any attempt to play games? Somehow, he wasn’t quite prepared to buy that. He wasn’t that vain—or that gullible. And he was a skeptical man.
    So . . . what was she up to?
    He frowned down at her, trying to listen to his instincts. “I’m getting a little confused. Are you after a date, a lover, or a husband?”
    “Well, that depends on your stamina, doesn’t it? At least I assume that’s your problem. Judging by what I know of your track record, there must be
reason why you haven’t been able to go the distance—any distance at all, in fact—with any of your previous blondes.”
    Whatever Wolfe’s instincts were trying to tell him was drowned in the roar of his temper. Biting every word off, he said, “Did it ever occur to you that the
might simply be a lack of continuing interest on both sides?”
    Storm pursed her lips thoughtfully. “I suppose it might have occurred to me, but I figure that any man who dates only carbon copies of one type of woman must be sure that he knows what he wants and certainly should know what makes him happy. Assuming that, you must be satisfied with brief, surface relationships—or else you’d make an effort to try something different. Ergo, if there is a problem . . . it’s yours.”
    Wolfe didn’t really follow the logic of her argument, mostly because her drawling voice and dispassionate tone—not to mention her words—were feeding his temper steadily. If she’d set out to make him so mad he would act purely on impulse, she couldn’t have done a better job.
    Almost growling the question, he asked, “Did you drive here this morning?”
    “No, I took a cab.”
    “Then meet me out front at six.”
    “You’re on,” she said promptly.
    Wolfe turned on his heel and stalked from the room.
    After a few moments, Storm took her boots off the desk and got up. She went to the door and closed it quietly. She leaned against it, gazing at nothing in particular, until a beep from the computer terminal drew her back to the desk. Returning to her chair, she removed a CD from the computer’s CD-ROM drive tray and replaced it with another she took from a disk file beside the keyboard. She typed a short command, and the computer began humming

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