A SPY IN THE HAND SOON TO BE PUBLISHED
Thursday, April 29, 2004 11:44:00 AM
by Toni C. LoTempio
|Gary Preston and Clarissa McMillan are two actors whose cancelled series, MR. AND MRS. SPY, is more popular now than when it was on the air! At a fan reunion, thier producer is murdered...and Gary and Clarissa find out his secret-he was a double agent! Now the duo find themselves cast in the role of spies in real life to trap his killer and recover a missing nerve gas formula.....
"Well, what's holding you back, then?” Clarissa said tauntingly. “Don't tell me she's not your type?"
"Yes, well, women who pack a .45 rarely are. I prefer them sassy and blonde." Gary’s eyes raked her body.
"Dreamer." She glowered at him to cover up the strange sensation she felt when he looked at her that way. 'Kindly keep your focus on the matter at hand."
She stuck her tongue out at him, and he laughed. "Tut-tut. Don’t do that unless you intend to use it,” he said.
She thought about using it. Melding it with Gary’s, evoking hot, devouring, kisses..what was she thinking! Good Lord, after all this was over she needed a vacation-badly! "You can be disgusting, you know, Gary."
"Yes, although I'm delightfully so, my dear. Want to find out?" he wiggled his eyebrow in a comic gesture. In light of her latest fantasy, this was just too much.
"No, not really." She glanced at her watch. "It's nearly midnight, can you believe it?"
"Actually, considering the amount of alcohol I've consumed, yes, I can." He glanced around. "Not a sign of Ms. Manning, or Fritz or Barbara. I wonder if they managed to shake the woman."
"If not, we're sure to hear about it. I don't see Max, either."
"He may be passed out somewhere-it's almost time to meet your friend in the garden. Shall we meander outside?"
They walked into the hallway just as the orchestra began playing a waltz. Hearing the soft strains, Gary suddenly gathered Clarissa into his arms and swung her into step. "Nice moves."
She moved against him, disturbed by the way her heart was suddenly hammering in her chest. This was Gary, for God's sake! 'You're not bad, yourself," she admitted.
"Kind of makes you wish we'd danced together before?" Gary said wistfully.
She looked at him. "Not really, but if dreaming gives you pleasure-"
His hand tightened on her waist. "I'd like to tell you what would give me pleasure," he slurred. "Or, at the very least, show you."
She pushed him away. Not tonight, not ever. "Are you drunk, Gary?”
He hiccoughed slightly. “What gives you that idea? I prefer the phrase, feeling good. Like our friend Max.”
“Swell! You decide to emulate Max just when I need you to be sharp-we have to meet Birdell very shortly!"
"Aw, Clarissa, calm down. I just needed a little extra fortification for the night’s adventures. I'm sharp. Trust me." He caught her wrist. "Sharp as a tack."
His touch released a flood of warmth within her, not an unpleasant sensation. She tried to get free but he held her fast while he whispered in her ear, "Ah, Princess. You're so in love with me you can't stand it. Let me melt that iceberg you call a heart, Clarissa. Let me show you."
She touched her lip with the tip of her tongue. He sucked in his breath. Was she deliberately trying to drive him crazy? He was drunk, not dead. "In your dreams,” she hissed. He could only wish! “It’s five minutes to midnight-time to hear the little Birdie sing.”
They moved out into the beautifully landscaped garden behind the hotel. "I don’t see your friend," Gary remarked. "Don't tell me we have to play hide and seek."
Clarissa's gaze fastened on a nearby fountain. "The perfect meeting place. We must have done that in quite a few scripts."
"Well, we can only hope Birdell saw those episodes," Gary chuckled. He started toward it, Clarissa close behind him. She shivered.
"Goodness, I have a chill. The last time I felt like this, I found a dead body. Good thing history can't repeat itself."
Gary stopped short. She ran full tilt into his back and looked at him indignantly. "What did you stop for?" she demanded.
He turned to her, and in the pale moonlight she could see his skin had turned ashen. "What was that about history not repeating itself?" he asked and stepped aside. The two of them stared straight ahead at the fountain and the body of Louis Birdell that floated, face up, in its basin.