DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD?
A gentle hand traveled over my arm, lingering a second too long, and my stomach did a couple cartwheels. I turned, expecting to see Dek who commanded such a physical presence, but it was Adam’s touch that had sent sparks shooting through me like Fourth of July fireworks. My throat clamped shut and I was, believe it or not, speechless.
“You all right?” Adam slid closer, his breath warm against my forehead.
“Hmm?” I blinked and my heart did some goofy little extra beats like I’d had way too much caffeine that morning. Only thing is, I’d skipped it in favor of orange juice.
“Yeah, sure.” If he’d let go of my arm, I’d be better yet. What triggered the rapid-fire in my chest? Who was I kidding? Adam always caused me to catch my breath after just one glance.
Not to attract attention, he whispered in my ear, “I hope Arnie didn’t give you a bad time. I know how you two feel about each other. Sorry it had to be him who answered the call.”
“I’d feel the same about any man with such attitudes toward women. He’s something from the Dark Ages.” I crinkled my nose and shrugged. “I only wish I knew what that something was.” But in my work, I’d come across it all the time. Adam, himself, had been a gigantic pain when we first worked together.
He grinned and winked causing more fireworks. “Some of us outgrew it, some of us didn’t. What can I say?”
“Don’t laugh. Believe me, you haven’t a clue. He doesn’t beat his chest when you’re around. He knows better, but put estrogen within ten feet, and it’s a whole different Deputy Disgusting.” I blasted out a huge sigh as Adam’s brow deepened. “No, he didn’t give me a hard time, no more obnoxious than usual.”
His hand lingered on my arm. Unsure of what to do, I figured maybe I should step away and break the contact. Instead, he moved his hand from my arm to the small of my back and directed my steps nearer the crime scene while he talked and gestured toward the sauna. “He showed you the body, I take it.”
I’ve always loved the hand on the back thing. It’s reassuring, protective, and comforting in a weird sort of way, and he did it so well. “Yes. Did a few preliminary sketches on what I thought the team might move, but once they’re out of the room, I’ll finish.”
“They won’t move a thing ‘til you’re done. They know better. But, thanks.” His gaze rested on my eyes and he didn’t look away, causing me no end of uneasiness.
I suddenly felt like the thirteen-year old wallflower asked to the junior high dance by the cutest boy in the class. And Adam was cute. Yikes! Cute.
“Susan, I appreciate the help. With such a small department, we don’t have need of a full-time sketch artist.” He added a mouth-watering smile to the gaze, and I had to clear my throat.
“As I’ve told you in the past, your sketches get the feel of the scene that a camera misses. I’m not even sure how to explain it.” He shrugged. “Just that it works.”
I ran my fingers through my hair and stepped back, breaking the comfort of his warm touch. “No problemo.” I made some ridiculous sappy happy face to cover what I felt inside where no one was allowed to look. Since the divorce, I didn’t allow anyone inside my head, my heart, or anywhere else for that matter. Couldn’t trust myself. I rifled fingers through my hair again.
“Well, there is a slight problemo.” He chuckled and stared at the top of my head, his hands swirling in the air. “You have horns now.”
“Your hair. It’s standing on end and I don’t think it’s the spiky punk look that was fashionable on women for a while. After all, you’re hair’s not blue and green.”
I did a one eighty and checked the mirrored wall to the left. Eeouwww. He was right. I straightened my shoulders and turned back. “That’s all you know.” My face flamed red hot, but I lifted my chin as high as it could safely go without choking to death.“I’m a trendsetter.”