Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 39

Pitte wrapped an arm around her, drew her tighter to his side. “Don’t weep, my heart.”

“Foolish.” She dashed a tear away. “To cry over a stranger’s dog. When we get home . . .”

He shifted her, cupped her face in his hands. His tone was gentle, yet somehow urgent. “When we get home, you’ll have a hundred dogs. A thousand.”

“One will do.” She rose on her toes to brush her lips across his.

IN the car Malory let out a long, long breath.

“I take that sound of relief to mean you got the pictures.”

“I did. I felt like an international art thief. I guess I have to give Moe points for being the main distraction. So, tell me what you thought of them.”

“They’re slick, smart, and full of secrets. But they don’t seem crazy. They’re used to money—real money. Used to drinking tea out of antique cups brought in by a servant. They’re educated, cultured, and a little snobby with it. The place is full of stuff—fancy stuff. They’ve only been here a few weeks, so they didn’t furnish those rooms locally. They had it shipped in. I should be able to track that.”

Frowning, he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. “She went goony on Moe.”


“She turned into a puddle the minute she saw him. I mean, he’s got a lot of charm, but she melted. I have this impression of her from inside. Cool, confident, aloof. The kind of woman who’s sexy because she knows she’s in charge. Strolling up Madison Avenue with a Prada bag on her arm, or running a board meeting in L.A. Power, money, brains, and looks all wrapped up in sex.”

“I get it. You thought she was sexy.”

“Last checkup, I had a pulse, so, yeah. But you should’ve seen her face when Moe jumped out of the car. All that polish, that sheen just vanished. She lit up like Christmas morning.”

“So, she likes dogs.”

“No, it was more. It wasn’t the coochee-coo that some fancy women do with dogs. It was fall down on the ground, roll in the grass, and gut-laugh. So why doesn’t she have one?”

“Maybe Pitte won’t have one around.”

Flynn shook his head. “You’re more observant than that. The guy would slice open a vein for her if she asked him to. Something strange about the way she got Moe to shake hands. Something strange about the whole deal.”

“No argument. I’m going to concentrate on the painting, at least until one of us comes up with a different angle. I’ll leave you to try to pin down Rowena and Pitte.”

“I’ve got to cover a town hall meeting tonight. How about we get together tomorrow?”

He maneuvers. He herds. She remembered Dana’s words and shot him a quick, suspicious look. “Define ‘get together.’ ”

“I’ll adjust the definition any way you want.”

“I’ve got four weeks—less now—to find this key. I’m currently unemployed and have to figure out what I’m going to do, at least professionally, for the rest of my life. I recently ended a relationship that was going nowhere. Add up all the above, and it’s very clear I don’t have time for dating and exploring a new personal relationship.”

“Hold on a minute.” He pulled off to the side of the windy road, unhooked his seat belt. He leaned over, took her shoulders, and eased her over as far as her own belt would allow while his mouth ravished hers.

A rocket of heat shot up her spine and left its edgy afterburn in her belly.

“You’ve, ah, really got a knack for that,” she managed when she could breathe again.

“I practice as often as possible.” To prove it, he kissed her again. Slower this time. Deeper. Until he felt her quiver. “I just wanted you to add that to your equation.”

“I was an art major. Math isn’t my strong suit. Come back here a minute.” She grabbed his shirt, yanked him to her, and let herself go.

Everything inside her sparked. Blood and bone and brain.

If this was what it meant to be herded, she thought dimly, she could be flexible about her direction.

When his hands clenched in her hair, she felt a stir of power and anxiety that was as potent as a drug.

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
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