Chapter 2

Early the next morning Johnís beeper going off made him pounce on it in the hope that Evangeline was finally checking in. Instead he found he was needed on a breaking case with the Llanview police department that might tie into one of his on-going investigations. Knowing he would eventually have to swing by the hospital for the job John decided to check in with his brother, Michael, and see if anyone matching Evangelineís description had been examined or admitted. With his brother and cousin, Shannon, living in the town John had chosen Llanview for his base of operations and he was starting to really think of it as home, even though he was still living in a residential hotel instead of renting or buying a place.

Arriving at the station John tried not to anxiously check for messages of any sort, obvious or cryptic, that might hint of Evangeline. He choked on his disappointment as her silence held for another day. Lost in worry over her he didnít hear Michael enter his office and jumped when his brother shook his shoulder, "Hey bro, wake up, no sleeping on the job. I think this is the first time since you joined the Feds that Iíve been able to just walk up on you."

"I let you walk up on me."

"Yeah, right Johnny."

Michael ducked Johnís light jab at his jaw, "No kidding man, you look beat. Work? Or is Lady E working you out?"

John raised an eyebrow but the quick retort never left his mouth instead the truth fell from between his lips, "If I could lay my hands on her Iíd gladlyÖ" catching himself he takes a breath, "SheísÖunavailable to me for now. When she shows weíll all get together and hang out."

"Forever the mystery woman, huh? What is she, undercover? Is she with the Bureau too? You know mom asked me what she doesóshe thought she was a modelóand I didnít know what to say."

"Itís not for you to say, Mikey. Let it go and get out I have work to do. Wait, why are you here?"

"Oh, I came to say that I okíd Roxy letting your mystery babe into your place. Sheís something else and sheís in your room now with Roxy, whoís trying to chat her up and get all in your business."



John held Michaelís gaze saying slowly "If youíre jerking me little brotherÖ"

"John go home, the lookerís waiting for you. I donít know why, but she is."

John was out the door so fast Michael thought he could see his words hanging in the air waiting to enter Johnís ears, but he was long gone. John made it to the Angel Square Hotel and up to his top floor room in no time. Outside his door he paused to force himself into a relaxed postureóhe didnít want to startle her if she was sleeping or scare her by showing how frantic with worry he had been. He opened the door quietly and was greeted by wonderful, tantalizing aromas.

"Oh good, you came right home. I was wondering where and how I would store this food if I had to wait on you. Your brotherís word is good." Evangeline stood up from the sofa and crossed the room to Johnís side with quick long strides. She was standing close to him and he breathed in her subtle signature scent, her own customized fragrance that brought mountain flowers with a tang of the ocean to his mind.

"McBainÖ" she breathed then pressed her mouth against his and they kissed deeply, repeatedly, barely able to pull apart to inhale or exhale before their lips sought each otherís again. Their hands moved sensually over the otherís body; John pulled her flush against him and groaned his displeasure at her stubborn turtle neck that didnít give him much room to explore her swanís neck. Evangeline sensed that her top was going to become a casualty of lust but since it was a long sought after color and a favorite of hers she leaned slightly back from Johnís insistent mouth and handsócausing him to moan in frustration, and quickly undid the sweaterís side and shoulder buttons before he could resort to ripping them off. "The food will get cold John, stone cold."

"As long as youíre hot why should I care?" then he stopped himself, "Iím sorry, are you hungry? You probably need to eat something donít you?" With visible effort he stepped away from her and went towards the food, "What did you bring?" he asked while his brain queried "Where have you been?!" But he held it in, for now.

"Italian and all fresh, I made a little Philly detour before I headed into Llanview and picked up some tasty treats for the mouth," Van felt the loss of his heat wrapping around her and hastily added, "nothing that canít be reheated. If you donít have a microwave we need to get you one. Anyway, food is not the hunger I need to quench the most right now." She turned John to her and slipped out of the turtle neck and tossed it towards the sofa, her skirt followed and the ever-growing bulge in Johnís pants told Van her lilac lace underwear where on their way to becoming his favorites.


Johnís eyes roamed and feasted on her body, he knew heíd stopped breathing and reminded himself to start again. Looking at her he started to unbutton his shirt with one

hand and undo his belt with the other when she stepped closer to him, "Iíll take off your clothing, mister, itís one of my favorite things to do," her comment accented by her unzipping and reaching inside his pants to stroke him. Her fingers made electrifying contact with his skin then they were on half on the couch, half on the floor undressing each other.

"I was worried you know," John said happily exhausted and wide awake at the same time. Lying on his stomach with Evangeline stretched on top of him tracing his tattoos, playing with his hair and kissing his ears and neck causing him to shudder with the need to possess her again.

"I knew you would be, so I came straight to you in the flesh rather than leave a trail of messages. I made each flight with seconds to spare otherwise it mightíve been another three days before I got to you. Iím telling you air travelís just not the fun it used to be, but Iím here now, nothing else matters."

"Iím more worried now, what happened to you out in there in the world? You winced when I held you tightly and when I put my full weight on you so I backed off and touched you carefully. Should you see a doctor?"

"Oh, I scraped my ribs in a minor accident, a slip. Theyíre still sore but no worries. And you werenít hurting me."

A lengthy silence stretched between them as John tried to think of how to get real answers out of her without starting to really interrogate her which would only bring on a fight, but he was at a loss on how to handle her.

"John, Iím fine. I capsized on a sail boat and hurt myself trying to right it again. Obviously all the bruising is gone or you wouldíve noticed right away."

"Thatís why youíve been out of touch, sailing?"


He waited for her to elaborate until it became clear she considered the topic dealt with and that she wanted to move on to something else. "Sailing where that you couldnít phone, e-mail, snail mail, nothing?"


"Well, I launched from New Zealand and I decided to end the trip at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, everywhere else was just where the wind took me."

"How many in your crew?"

"Just me, I was in one of my smallerÖ"

"You were out on the ocean for weeks on end all alone?!! You couldíveÖnever mind, I know, I know youíre safe and here with me."

"Well, yes John Iím home with you. You know I like to travel alone, you know I can protect myself; I deeply appreciate your concern. I stayed in touch for as long as possible. I so do not want to fight with you over something thatís already done." Evangeline saw his face and appreciated that he was trying hard not to pull his stoic mask into place but to share his emotions with her, worry that she had inflicted on him. Speaking more softly she continued, "John, I met and shook hands with my death long ago so I know in a boating accident isnít the way Iím leaving this earth. Iím not as careless or as reckless as you seem to think I am. Youíve given me all the reasons in the world to keep living."

"I hate when you drop out of sight like that. Donít you know what it does to me? Iím trying to respect your independence and your privacy but help me out here!"

"I know and I donít mean to panic you, you know that. Just remember, all my life Iíve been alone and so many times I faced serious injury and possibly my death and who was there to know? Who was there to care? Iím used to being on my own; but I want to share things with you and Iím trying to be better about making sure I donít scare you unnecessarily. To that end, how would you feel if I moved Stateside instead of all this international traveling?"

"Youíd move to America? Youíd move in with me?"

Move in? She hadnít thought heíd put that offer out there, but now that he hadÖ..

"Yes, and yes if you want me to live with you butÖ.John, I canít possibly live someplace with so few closets and no room service. Iím a woman. We come with stuff."

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