Tell Me Lies
Out stepped Detective Rafael Barandas. She didn't need the glow of the streetlight to know he was six-two and extremely fit, or how his dark brown eyes looked black when his blood was pumping, or how thanks to his Portuguese heritage he had a yearlong tan. All those details were burned into her brain a lifetime ago.
“That man is like fine wine.”
“Shut up, Kat.”
“Well, well, well, if it isn't the stable boy,” Vinnie piped in.
“Shut up, Vinnie,” Lexie and Kat replied.
The detective cautiously stepped out from behind the open door, as if they were a threat instead of two women.
“Well, if it isn’t Smith and Jones, forever together.”
Vinnie snorted in her ear. “Good one.”
If she could, she’d elbow him in the gut.
Rafe looked up and down the quiet street. “One of you call in a burglary?”
“Yes, sir,” Kat said.
Feet planted shoulder width apart, arms crossed in front of him, she could imagine the intimidating stance worked on many a suspect. Ignoring Kat’s answer he pointed in the direction of her car. “You’re parked illegally. Engine trouble?”
“No, sir,” Kat said.
He made his way over, stopping directly in front of Lexie, stealing the air from her lungs. The saliva in her mouth went Sahara Desert dry, her tongue stuck to the roof refusing to work. Her heart pounded a strong, fast rhythm in her ears.
“Just out for a late evening stroll and happened to see the crime going down?”
She swallowed a few times, focusing on his Adam’s apple as he spoke, refusing to look into his eyes. Oh no, she knew better, having fallen into that trap before. But, she wasn’t the same person. That was a lifetime ago, so why was she having the same old reaction to him? Stupid pheromones. And where was her voice?
“Uh, not exactly. Lex, you want to explain to Detective Barandas how we happened to be in the area?” Kat jumped in, but not exactly to save her.
Lexie shot her best friend—former best friend—a look that said a whole lot more than no. The less said the better, for more reasons than she cared to think about, but at the top of the list was the possibility of losing her client’s proof if her camera was confiscated as evidence.
“Not really.” Pulling it together, she looked him in the eyes. “Suffice it to say we were in the area on business and caught sight of someone in the Irwin’s house.”
Rafe looked at the nearby houses. She followed his gaze from the cars in the driveway to the lights on inside the homes. The look on his face, as he scratched his jaw, made her want to laugh.
“Probably best I don't ask. Your call said the burglars exited through the backdoor?”
He directed his question to her, but Kat responded. “Yes, sir, that is correct, sir.”
“Okay, can you two wait here while I check the residence? I'll take your statements after I've cleared the home.” After getting their affirmative head nods, he stalked across the street as quietly as a giant cat on the prowl for its next meal.
“I’ve got to say it, wow. He just keeps getting better looking every time I see him. Don't you think so?” Kat nudged her arm with an elbow.
Lexie pushed Kat away, and took a step back, giving herself some space to breathe.
“Let's not go there. Rafe was a long time ago. Besides, I thought you were Team Benjamin. You said he’s a nice guy.” Not that she wanted to date him either, but she had hoped mentioning him would shut the other two up. Apparently not, as snorts of laughter rang through the night.
She didn’t blame them.
Rafe and Benjamin. It was like comparing a delicious, fresh, sweet apple to dehydrated apple chips. Same genetic make-up in the beginning, but life had shaped them into totally different beings in the end.
For her, Rafe would always be sweet temptation. But just like Snow White was a goner with one bite, she knew she would be too if she tasted Rafe Barandas again.