Opening one eye a mere slit, the view told her she wasn’t still sitting on Vivian’s couch. Pauley’s first thought was she needed to stop drinking Vivian’s tea, and the second was she needed to punch Vivian in the face.
Rising on her elbows, Pauley’s looked around the guest room. Alone in the King-sized bed, she lifted the blankets, and peered over the edge of the bed, looking for Stanley. A loud yawn drew her attention to a chaise lounge tucked into an alcove across the room.
Stan was sitting on the edge of the sofa, head in his hands, elbows on he knees. Yawning again, he stood, scratched himself, and instantly realized he wasn’t alone in the room. Sheepishly, he met Pauley’s gaze, then wrapped his discarded sheet around his waist.
“What happened?” he asked. “I don’t remember much after giving Vivian my phone last night.”
Throwing off her covers, Pauley stood stretching. “Vivian happened. She put something in our tea. We both should know better than to drink anything she brews.”
“She drugged us?” Stan nearly tripped trying to walk over to Pauley. “What the hell?”
“There’s no telling,” Pauley made room for Stan next to her on the bed. “I don’t know if I even want to ask. We woke up, at least there’s that.”
Sitting close to Pauley, Stan put out one arm to steady himself, then reached toward her, caressing her face with his fingers. Pressing Stan’s hand against her cheek, Pauley leaned in to kiss him.
The Kiss was sweet at first. It wasn’t the kind of kiss that made you see fireworks, but she was smart enough to know that if they continued kissing like this there would be an explosion. Pauly could tell that Stan was just a nervous as she was. He placed his hand nervously on her knee, and slowly began outlining her thigh until he rested comfortably on her hip.
The cream-colored sheets were the only thing separating his hand from her skin. The though of this sent shivers to parts of Pauley’s body that she didn’t realize had feelings. As Stan began to slowly nibble on her chin and make his way down to her neckline, Pauley attempted to rearrange herself on the bed so that Stan was able to find his way easily.
As they tumbled onto their sides in the over-sized bed, Pauley hooked a leg over Stan’s hip. Tugging at the sheet around his waist, she freed his makeshift toga the moment Lenore burst through the door carrying a tray with two steaming cups of coffee.
Disentangling from their embrace, Stan grappled with the sheets trying to cover up and Pauley dove under her pillows.
“Senhorita Pauley, breakfast is ready,” Lenore set the tray on a side table, ignoring the couple’s discomfort. “Vivian is waiting on the varanda.”
Closing the door behind her, Lenore stifled a laugh as she walked outside to meet Vivian.
“How are the lovebirds?” Vivian, dressed for the day, with her hair and makeup perfect, sipped her cup of coffee, a wicked smile spreading across her face.
“They are… awake,” Lenore joined Vivian at the table, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
Vivian held Stan’s phone, flipping through his notes about Tomas and the Sampas.
“I have to credit Stan, there’s enough information here to bring down Tomas’ whole organization,” she slid the phone over to Lenore. “How much do you know about these men?”
“They were high-ranking soldados when I was with the Sampas, they would be even more important now.” Lenore pointed out several crew bosses.
Vivian nodded, mentally running through her arsenal of poisons and deciding which ones would be most useful.
“Senhor Stan and Pauley will want to go hunting,” Lenore knew they both preferred a more long-distance solution. “It could be too dangerous for you to be that close to the execuções.”
Vivian waved a dismissive hand. “I know what I’m doing, Lenore. Besides, Tomas is screwing with my life. Dealing with him myself will be so much more personal, and satisfying.”
“And, what about Pauley?” Lenore took a sip of coffee, watching Vivian’s face, searching for her real motives.
“I’m okay with letting them plan their hits,” Vivian poured another cup of Brazilian roast. “In the end, I always do what I want anyway.”
*A special thank you to Deana, Lance’s better half for helping with my chapter this week. She wrote the good parts of Stanley and Pauley’s love scene. Deana is better than I am at writing all that mushy stuff.