The Spy and the Pussycat
Andrea had no idea why or how she’d suddenly become the target of every gun toting lunatic in Florida but, until she lucked out and met Ian, it didn’t look like she was going to live long enough to find out. Didn’t it just figure, though, that she would finally meet the very guy that did ‘it’ for her when she’d been charged with murdering her last boyfriend? More
"Can't you go any faster?" Andrea asked anxiously as she peered back at the men that scurried back and forth across the lot, some with flash lights, some moving unobtrusively amongst the parked cars. The latter soon moved off—to get their vehicles, no doubt. They couldn't be any more anxious than she was to talk to the police. She wasn't certain, but she thought she'd seen 'Ichabod' and his cronies, as well, turning into the mall as they had pulled out of the parking lot.
"Sure," replied her companion dryly. "If you want them all to know we're running. You might as well put a sign in the rear window while you're at it."
"Oh," Andrea said meekly, settling in her seat more comfortably when she realized that no one had seen their departure. She turned to her companion finally and extended her hand. "Thanks. I'm Andrea Wendt."
He glanced down at her hand, gave her a rather piercing look then shook it briefly. "Ian Chandler."
She noticed he didn't say she was welcome. She wondered if he was always so rude or if he'd dropped the accepted response to indicate that he was sorry he had helped. She cleared her throat uncomfortably, fighting the urge to apologize for involving him in her troubles.
He'd involved himself, after all. After she's helped herself. When she hadn't really needed his help anymore. And, anyway, he was rude. And she hated apologizing to rude people because they never accepted graciously. They only used the apology as an opportunity to get in a few more digs, usually accompanied by 'I told you so's'. Not that he was in any position to do that.
"You can set me down just anywhere."
He glanced over at her again. "Your place?" he asked in a carefully neutral voice.
Andrea shuddered. "No!"
"I didn't think so. We'll go to my place. I have to get some things from there anyway."
Andrea stared at him. Like she would go within a mile of some strange man's apartment! Another lunatic! Lord! The place must be overrun with them! "You can drop me off anytime … any place will do .... This is good!" she said firmly.
"Look," Ian said shortly. "It may have escaped your notice, lady, but I just stuck my neck out for you! Now I'm involved in whatever you're involved in ... and don't hand me any bull about marital troubles, because I noticed you weren't exactly anxious to run to the cops ... and you're not going anywhere until I find out just what kind of mess I'm in. And I mean to beat the cops to my place and get a few things I need. It’s not going to take them long to figure out who helped you get away. I saw at least two people in there that know me."
Andrea stared at him, torn between the shocked realization that what he said was very likely true, relief that he did not, apparently, have designs on her body, and indignation. Indignation won out. "Fat lot of good it'll do you to hang on to me!" she snapped scathingly. "I don't know what's going on myself! I wish to the Lord I did!" A thought occurred to her just then, however, and she decided it was time for a little backstroking. "All right. I see your point. We'll go to your place so that you can pick up whatever it is you need. Then we can go by mine …."
He gave her a look that was a curious mixture of speculation, surprise, and irritation. "I thought you said you didn't want to go there? I got the impression you were afraid you'd run into the cops at your place. Or those other guys. Or were they detectives?"
"I don't …. I didn't …. The thing is, I have to go to my apartment. There's ... something there I really need to get. And I don't know who those men were, but they weren't detectives."
"Just what is it that's so important that you'd risk getting caught now? When you just managed to get away from them?"
Andrea looked away from him.