Chapter 8

Spin the bottle?

Tom couldn't believe this was happening. He thought he left those childhood games behind when he joined the force. That's what he got for working undercover as a teenager. His mind searched for a reason to avoid the rotating bottle. Nothing came fast enough. He grunted and joined the circle on the floor. For a brief moment, his gaze connected with Judy's. The horror in her eyes mirrored the panic swirling inside his gut. At least, he wasn't alone in this.

Trish plopped onto a pillow beside her gambling boyfriend, Owen. A mischievous smirk played on her pink frosty lips. She avoided eye contact with anyone and promptly snatched the bottle from the floor.

"The game has a new spin on it." She giggled at her joke.

Tom bit back a grimace and listened as she continued.

"I'm doing all the spinning tonight."

Groans erupted.

She answered their defiance. "It's my house and my rules. If you don't like it, you know where the door is." No one moved. "Okay, that's settled. Before I spin, I'll name the boy and whomever the bottle points to is his all in the privacy of one of the assigned rooms."

A few guys clapped at this pronouncement. Tom managed a half smile. Great. Freaking perfect.

"Tom, you're first."

His eyes widened and he sat up straight. Crap!

"Don't worry. This will be good," Trish promised.

George Michael's Kissing a Fool began to play as she gave the bottle a smooth twist. Air lodged in his chest as Trish's spin determined his fate. Of all the stupid, asinine ways to infiltrate a high school gambling ring. Surely, the captain could have thought of something better. Dammit. Tom hated the suspense of waiting.

Finally, the bottle stopped. Slowly, his gaze drifted from the glass bottle to the girl sitting on the other side. A pair of slim, shapely brown legs greeted him first. An acid washed mini skirt left little to his imagination. A hot pink tank top molded to curves that he knew intimately. He gulped air and met Judy's shell-shocked brown eyes.

"Don't take all day!" Trish ordered. "Tom, Judy's all yours. Now, go! You can use my dad's study. It's down the hall, the last room on the right. Just be sure to clean up whatever you mess up. Have fun!"

Seeing no other way out, Tom stood and reached for Judy's hand, helping her to stand. He felt her tremble as they left the room.

"Relax." They entered the study and he closed the door. "We wait it out and she'll come banging on the door."

"You have no idea how determined she is to get us together." Judy cast a wary glance toward the closed door. "I wouldn't be surprised if she barged in to make sure we were making out."

"Would it be so bad?"

"What do you think?" She sighed and perched on the edge of the desk. "This was supposed to be simple."

He frowned. "What? Us?"

"No!" she released in a harsh whisper. "This case. We know who the players are. Why can't we just go in andó"

"Ssh!"

A slight noise on the other side of the door propelled Tom into action. He pulled Judy from the desk and into his arms in one fluid movement. Her mouth opened to protest. He wasted no time in seizing the opportunity. Lowering his head, he eagerly pressed his lips to hers. His tongue delved inside her open mouth, exploring and reveling in the sweet taste of her. His heart pounded his chest. It had been far too long.

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