Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 119

“Not that much to poke through. But I don’t want any grief about how I should spring for new underwear and use what I’ve got as dustrags.”

“I’m not your mother. Will you let Jordan know I’m coming?”

“He’s off somewhere today.” Flynn pulled his keys out of his pocket, worked the house key off the chain. “You think you’ll still be there when I get home?”

“Why don’t I make sure I’m there when you get home?”

“Why don’t you? Then I’ll call Jordan, tell him to stay away. He can bunk with Brad tonight, and I can have you all to myself.”

She took the key, bumped her lips lightly on his. “I’ll look forward to being had.”

The wicked gleam in her eye kept him grinning for an hour after she’d gone.

MALORY jogge

d up the steps to Flynn’s front door. She was going to be systematic, slow and thorough, she told herself.

She should have thought of this before. It was like connecting the dots.

The paintings reflected moments of change, of destiny. Certainly her life had changed when she’d fallen for Flynn. And this was Flynn’s house, she thought as she stepped inside. Hadn’t he said he’d bought it when he’d accepted his destiny?

Looking within and without, she remembered as she merely stood and tried to absorb the feel of the place. Inside the house, outside in the yard?

Or was it more metaphorical, in that she’d begun to see herself inside this space?

Light and shadows. The house was full of both.

She could only be grateful it wasn’t full of things. Flynn’s spartan style was going to make the search simpler.

She started in the living room, automatically wincing at the couch. She looked under the cushions, found eighty-nine cents in loose change, a Bic lighter, a paperback edition of a Robert Parker novel, and cookie crumbs.

Unable to stand it, she hunted up the vacuum cleaner and a dustrag and began to clean as she went.

This two-for-one process kept her in the kitchen for more than an hour. At the end of it she was sweaty and the kitchen sparkled, but she hadn’t turned up anything resembling a key.

She switched gears and headed upstairs. She’d begun and ended her dream upstairs, she recalled. Maybe that was symbolic. And certainly there couldn’t be anything up here in as deplorable shape as the kitchen.

One glance at the bathroom disabused her of that notion. Even love—of a man and of order—had its limits, she decided, and shut the door without going inside.

She stepped into his office and was immediately charmed. All the dark thoughts that had damned him for a pig vanished.

It wasn’t neat. God knew, it needed a good dusting, and there was enough dog hair balled in the corners to knit an afghan. But the walls were sunny, the desk was a beauty, and the framed posters showed an eye for art and style that she hadn’t given him credit for.

“You’ve got all these wonderful sides to you, don’t you?” She trailed her fingers over the desk, impressed by the stack of files, amused by the action figures.

It was a good work space. A good thinking space, she imagined. He didn’t give a damn about the state of his kitchen. His sofa was just a place to take a nap or stretch out and read a book. But he took care with his surroundings when it was important to him.

Beauty, knowledge, courage. She’d been told she would need all three. In the dream there had been beauty—love, home, art. Then the knowledge that it was illusion. And finally the courage to break that illusion.

Maybe that was a part of it.

And love would forge the key.

Well, she loved Flynn. She accepted that she loved Flynn. So where was the damn key?

She turned a circle, then wandered over to take a closer look at his art collection. Pinup girls. He was such a . . . guy, she decided. A very clever guy.

There was a sexual punch to the photographs, but an innocence underlying that. Betty Grable’s legs, Rita Hayworth’s mane of hair, Monroe’s unforgettable face.

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
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