by Mia Watts
Releasing November 17th from ResplendencePublishing.com
“Don’t forget to tuck ’em, sweetheart.” Agent Jennings slapped Chris Tarpington’s shoulder. “God, I love fresh rookie meat.”
Chris tried to smile good-naturedly, but really he wanted to storm out of the sector office and slam things.
“What are you complaining about? Your first op and you get to go undercover with the local police farce,” Mathis shouted after Chris, not even trying to cover his booming laughter.
“Swing your hips, Tarp. Hold your chest out,” Jennings coached, joining in.
I’m going to fucking annihilate this case, Chris thought. No fucking way would he be humiliated on his first big assignment by dressing in drag. The detective assigned with him would have to take that honor. He smiled in grim determination.
Clutching the case file in a white knuckled grip, he stormed through the office to the public area and the conference room where his new partner waited. Some of the desk jockeys snortled as he walked by. He shot them each personally designed death glares.
“You’re the big guy now, aren’t you Tarp?” one of them mocked as he passed. “Or is that big gal?”
“Don’t get your panties in a bunch,” another of Chris’ old co-workers quipped. “Those big girl panties can bind.”
By the time he got the conference room, his shoulders felt tight. God, what a nightmare. Chris steeled himself with a deep breath and brushed the blond strands, obscuring one eye, off his forehead.
He almost snorted. Detective Vincent Pilk didn’t know it yet but the tables were gonna turn. Detective Pilk would be wearing the dress through this op and Chris would let him think it was an honor to do it. With a new plan firmly lined up, he swept into the conference room to tell Pilk how things were going to be.
“Aw, shit!” Plans crashed into a heap and spontaneously burst into flame. This? This was Detective Vincent Pilk? A man whose name inspired visions of protruding Adam’s apple, knobby knees, and sailor suits? “Damn it! You’re a fucking bull.”
Broad shoulders, dark curling hair, and a tight ass turned slowly, with a demeanor of being inconvenienced. Pale blue eyes zeroed in on Chris with laser intensity as mocking dark brows rose in arrogance. Full, chiseled lips quirked upward higher on one side than the other. All together he looked to be patiently amusing Chris’ perusal, taking his initial assessment in stride.
There was no way on God’s green Earth a man with the shoulder span and arm size of Vincent Pilk could put on a dress. Wide chest narrowed to lean hips and a runner’s legs. And two hundred twenty or forty pounds of red-blooded American linebacker physique swallowed Chris’ five foot, eleven height and slammed it down with another six inches, easy.
“How the hell do you detect anything without being spotted?” Chris wondered aloud. He circled the Detective, shaking his head. “You’d make one fugly woman.”
Pilk folded his arms across his chest, looking more immovable by the second as his smile disappeared. Amusement still twinkled in his blue eyes set in the olive complexion of pure Italian heritage complete with high cheekbones, square jaw, and what looked like a permanent five o’clock shadow. A pale scar curled from the side of his bottom lip toward the point of his chin and stopped just shy of a barely noticeable cleft. Chris would have to be an idiot to force the dress issue.
“Is this a set-up?” Chris laughed suddenly realizing the sector guys had pulled a good one on him. “It’s a fucking set-up. Shit, for a minute there, I thought you were my ops partner. I mean, shit, what were they thinking, right? I could just see you tottering around in red heels and talking about your latest casserole recipes.”
Tears streamed from the corner of Chris’ eyes. He slapped his hip and peeled in another round of laugher.
“Oh, God, this is amazing!” Chris wiped his eyes and shook his head to show he was duly impressed. “You’re amazing. I mean, God, look at you. A gigantic body-guard with attitude is just what I need in a fucking wife. Damn, I sure as hell wouldn’t fuck you in a dress, Vincent.”
The breath slammed out of his body. Chris’ feet dangled off the floor and two meaty fists wadded his shirt as the wall pressed unforgivingly against his shoulders and head. “What the fuck?” he gasped.
Pilk’s stony face, and inch from Chris’ nose, snarled. “You’re a foulmouthed asshole who talks too much. You’re careless and stupid and you will never, ever, ever call me Vincent again.”
Chris’ eyes widened. “Sure, okay,” he gasped.
“My name is Vin, are we clear rookie?”
“Clear,” Chris’ voice came out strained and wispy. “Can I come down now?”