“Are you sure I should leave you here?” Anton asked, as Joe put the car in park.
“No. I can’t think of anywhere else I can go to hideout. If she says no, I’ll show up at the safe house and go to the back entrance to see if it’s all clear,” Joe told him and opened the door.
“I’ll keep an eye out for you,” Anton remark moving over to the drivers seat. Joe went to the rear entrance to the hotel. The few people around he deemed harmless. Once on the third floor and Joe removed the bagger hat then smooth back his hair. What kind of reception could he expect of a woman he’d met once. That never worked for him before.
Room 312 was near the end of the hall. Joe mulled over what he should say. Nothing seemed the right thing. At the door he knocked hoping for the best.
Sick of reading real estate sites Danie closed the lid on her new laptop. She sat at the table in front of two of the room's windows. It was so overwhelming to look at any more houses, yet she knew she had to find a place for her and Reilly to live in soon. She glanced over the spacious corner room and wished for the thousand time that her dog could stay here with her. The room was lovely and bright with light coming from the three windows overlooking two busy clean London streets, with a view of the Tower Bridge. Nothing like back home, where many streets in the cities near her town were in decline, chaos born from a lack of concerned leadership and individual greed, she mused.
Glancing around the stunning room. Danie loved the mix of the Mediterranean wood furniture and the cream color velvet Chesterfield bed, wing chair and long sofa which at the moment set askew in the middle of the room. Earlier Danie pushed it there wanting to mix the mess made by her many suitcases scattered around. But before she could work on that, room service arrived with her dinner. She was tired of the cluttered her ten suitcases caused and thought to organized them better. Danie had moved four of her suitcases over to the wall where the couch had been. Once she had the suitcases lined up she'd push the couch back to stand in front of them. She shrugged, that was her plan for now anyway.
Deciding to get back to it, Danie took the last sip of beer from the bottle, the unused glass still on the tray with the remains of the dinner dishes. She ate most of the Bacon Butty Sandwich Cyril recommended saying the Pondham Hotel made a 'proper' one. It was delicious, although bad for everyone's cholesterol count. It consisted of thick spread of salted butter on two large pieces of white bread, three generous slices of soft and translucent bacon or middle rashers, as named on the menu, and England mustard!
Danie got up intenting to place the dinner tray in the hall for pick up when a knock sounded on the door. Danie put down the tray and went to the door. Leaving the security chain on, she opened it just that wide.
Even with the straggly beard and his haggard appearance Danie knew it at once it was Joe from the bar. He was in blue jeans, work boots and a polar fleece jacket.
“Oh, hi!” Danie said loudly in astonishment. She was stunned by her feeling of excitement. When she had asked about him, Cyril said he was out on a case that was taking him out of the city.
Danie moved back to let him as she voiced the only thought that came to mind. "Is Reilly okay?"
"Reilly?" Joe questioned.
"My dog," she replied.
Joe remembered she mentioned her dog at the bar that night. "No, it's nothing like that," he said, "I just need a place to stay where no one will look for me."
Joe came in and close the door behind him, put down his briefcase and leaned against the door and looked at her.
That was when she realized what she had on. A large purple knit sweater, her comfy pink yoga pants. She swallowed feeling mortified. To cover her embarrassment she asked, "You want to stay here?"
He answered, "Yes, but before you say you'll let me stay, I am in trouble and you could be in danger being with me."
"What kind of danger?" Danie asked, concerned. Her mind ran through a few things that might endanger private detectives. Following wives and husband's cheating was the first on her list.
She rushed to say, "Is it an armed lover?" Then she winced. This sounded funny even to her own ears and she blushed.
Joe frowned, not understanding where that came from. ""No, nothing like that."
Frailty overtook him and he pointed at the couch out of place in the room. "Can I sit down? I can move that for you." He moved around her and the luggage scattered around.
Danie quickly began pushing her luggage up against the wall out of the way. As Joe began moving the couch, Danie grab the other end and they pushed it over until it stood in front of the luggage lining the wall. Then Joe removed his jacket. He wore a long-sleeve T-shirt covering his muscles snugly. He pushed the sleeves up to the elbows. Danie couldn't help noticing his jeans fit well as he sank down on the velvet couch and closed his eyes.
Danie grabbed the food tray from the table and moved to the door. She put it on the floor in the hall, closed the door and set the lock and security chain. She had no qualms, if Reilly could stay with Cyril, Joe could stay here.
Now that she made up her mind that he could stay her thoughts turn to what this meant and she stood there frozen.
The only man she spent much time with in a bedroom with Ben, she grimaced. Ben was one thing; this man whom she only met one other time was another thing. Not knowing what else to say and fearing her nervousness was evident, Danie said, "There are towels in the bathroom if you want to take a shower." As she moved to the bed and sat.
He opened his eyes and looked at her a minute. Then he said, "Yeah, that's a good idea, thanks." Joe got up and headed for the bathroom.
She sat there until the shower began to run.
Standing, Danie continued to reason with herself moving around the room. Yes, he was a stranger, but she has good feelings about him, and he did work with Cyril who she felt in the short time they knew each other was a true friend. She also knew she didn't have much experience with knowing good people from bad, and she sighed. I have to start somewhere, she tried telling herself as she laid back on the bed close her eyes to suddenly open them again. She got up, ran to the closet for the extra pillow and blanket and place them on the couch. She then went back to the bed and got under the covers pulling them up over her. Her mind racing Danie rolled over and lay awake wondering if she could sleep with her visitor in the room with her. In a few minutes, the water went off. Not long after the bathroom door opened. Joe came into the room and Danie could imagine him settling in as he wrestled with the bedclothes on the couch. In a short period of time, the room fell silent.
A loud shout startled Danie from a deep sleep. In the shadowy room, she saw Joe tossing and turning. She put on the bedside light, got out of bed intent on waking him from his restless dream. He laid on his side facing the wall and bare to his waist, the blanket draped over his lower half.
She touched his shoulder causing him to flinch awake and roll to his back grabbing hold of her wrist. Danie cringed and set down on the edge of the couch to lessen the sudden pain his grip caused.
Joe peered up at her. Then she saw recognition in his eyes and he dropped her wrist. "Sorry," he murmured wiping his face with his hand.
Danie rubbed the wrist. "You were having a bad dream or nightmare."
Seeing her touching her wrist, he said, "I didn't mean to hurt you. Sorry," he said again and took her hand in his. "I can't remember what I was dreaming about I was so tired."
The sight of her hand in his with the feel of their skin touching was mesmerizing. When Danie did look up she met his eyes that were intently fixed on her and Joe reached out and tenderly stroke her arm.
"Your skin is so soft," he said.
Danie didn’t want to stop staring into his eyes. An intense emotion Danie could not name was written there.
Joe slipped an arm around her pulling her in toward him. With no thought of resistance, Danie leaned in and kissed him. With ease, Joe swept Danie over him to lay beside him as their kiss deepened.
Copyright 2019 by D Holiday
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