They were between cases, and that was not a good thing. Being cooped in the office together caused problems. Judy's awareness of him heightened. She sensed every sigh and breath. Without looking, she felt every glance Tom directed toward her. His gaze traveled all over her like a caress. She chewed her bottom lip to keep from moaning aloud.
And that's when it hit her. A flying rubber band zapped her wrist. She nailed the culprit with a hot glance. "Ow!"
"Cut it out," Hanson growled back and aiming his next missile.
"What on earth are you talking about?" Her wrist stung. She massaged the tender flesh as she looked around her desk for means of retaliation.
He jerked from his chair so suddenly that half the squad room gave him the eye. Saluting, he offered them all a tight smile. Then, he came to sit on her desk. In a low murmur, he said, "That thing you were doing with your mouth. It's driving me crazy. I can't concentrate. Cut it out."
She fought the swell of desire that started in the pit of her tummy and spread everywhere. A breathy sigh escaped. Heat inflamed her. She grabbed a report and started fanning. As she tried to cool off, he settled himself more comfortably on her desk. She couldn't help but notice what had immediately caught her attention that morning.
Her eyes narrowed and accusations welled up. "Your jeans are way too tight," she hissed.
"What?" He looked down and plucked the denim from his thigh. "They are not. They're Levis and it took a while for them to feel right. They're not tight."
"Right," she muttered. "If they're so loose, then why did Gladstone whistle under her breath as you walked by? She was checking out your butt, that's why!"
A shit-eating grin spread across his face. "My, oh my. Is this the green-eyed monster coming for a visit?"
"I've got your green-eyed monster," she retorted. Not angry, but definitely enjoying their flirtatious argument. Where the hell had he been all her life?
"Jude." His expression softened as his eyes held hers. "That's not the only thing of mine you have."
Time stopped. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think. A witty response lost momentum as it lodged in her throat.
Hanson blushed. With the pad of his forefinger, he rubbed her wrist. Vibrations soared from the single touch. The background hub of Jump Street dulled to a low roar. The only that existed was each other. Until…
"HANSON! HOFFS!" Fuller stood in his office doorway. "Get in here."
The spell broke. Tom pulled away and rose from her desk. Judy swallowed hard. Had Fuller seen them? Was this the dreaded conversation they'd hoped to avoid?
"Oh, God," she murmured as she proceeded Tom.
"Whatever happens," he said at her ear, "everything will be fine. They can't fire us or anything like that."
"They could separate us." Another thought she dreaded. Coming to work and not seeing Hanson. The other guys were fun. Penhall always made her laugh. Ioki could, too. But Tom made her feel. She wasn't ready to give that up.
His hand briefly touched the small of her back. "Let's just see what happens."
"Close the door," Fuller said after they entered.
Tom did as instructed and moved to stand beside Judy. Nervous tension vibrated all around her. If Fuller didn't have a clue about their relationship, things could possibly change now.
"What's this about, Captain?" he asked.
"Have a seat," Fuller offered. He waited for them to following his bidding before he continued. "I have a special assignment for you."
He handed them folders and moved behind his desk. "Cindy Miller is in the hospital with a coma. She overdosed on her mother's painkillers."
"Is she expected to live?" Judy asked.
Fuller shook his head. "Her mother found her diary and discovered that her daughter had a part-time job at Gino's Pizza Parlor."
"Why keep that a secret?" Tom asked.
"I'm getting to that." Fuller rested his elbows on the desk and leaned forward. "Later entries show that Gino offered her the chance to earn extra money. Her mother found suggestive clothing hidden in the girl's closet and expensive jewelry. Cindy's been withdrawn and defensive. Mrs. Miller suspects the worst."
"Porn," Judy said.
"Possibly," Fuller said. "Hoffs, you're assigned to the high school. Get close to Cindy's friends and find out what she was into. Mrs. Miller said that the diaries mentioned that Cindy heard about the job from some girls at school. Hanson, you're assigned to Gino's."
"What about the high school?" Tom asked.
"This time around, you're a high school dropout. Desperate," Fuller said. "Make Gino think you'll do anything to earn a few extra bucks."
"Got it," Tom replied. He moved to stand, but Fuller stopped him with a look.
"Another part of the assignment is for Hoffs to spend a lot of time at Gino's with you. Once he gets the job, hang around."
"Maybe I should apply there, too," she suggested.
"That's been tried. Gino is picky about the girls he hires."
Tom's eyebrows rose. "What about me?"
"His turnaround time on delivery guys is legendary. You'll have a job as soon as you walk through the door." Fuller looked at Judy. "Scum like Gino tend to prey on a young girl's insecurities. A part of your cover is that your parents disapprove of your relationship with the high school dropout.
"Are we a couple?" she asked, her expression incredulous.
Fuller shrugged. "Couple. Crush. I'll leave it to you two to decide."Back | Part 5 | 364