A different dread now cast a shadow over Kian. She had screwed up. The theft was her fault, she was sure of that. She should have paid attention to that creepy feeling that had come over her. She should have told Aidan the second and third time it happened. He would have believed her. He would have done something. She was sure Aidan would be angry with her when she told him, but she had to tell him anyway. Besides, he had every right to be angry.
Before Kian could open her mouth to speak, Aidan grabbed her by the hand. “Come on, we gotta search this place.”
Kian followed him as they covered every inch around the cabin before Aidan drew his weapon and went inside. Kian followed. The three packed boxes were still on the table, packing tape intact. With Kian close behind, Aidan searched first the living area, then the kitchen, and then the bedroom. Nobody.
“Wait here,” he said when got to the ladder up to the loft. Kian watched as he ascended the steps, gun pointed ahead. Then she heard his footsteps above. “Any hiding places up here?” Aidan called out to her.
“No, all open space,” Kian replied.
When Aidan finally came back down, he holstered his gun and went to her. He held her shoulders in his strong grip. “About that creepy feeling you got when we arrived. Rule number four, always listen to your gut.”
“I know, I know,” she said looking away from him. “But it gets worse. I felt it again, that creepy feeling. Starting right before we went out to the garden and then it got worse before we removed the box. This is all my fault, isn’t it? If I had told you….” The tears rolled down her cheeks and she wiped them away with the back of her hand. “I promise I won’t make that mistake again.”
Aidan lifted her chin and looked deeply into her eyes. “I should have been more careful. I could have listened the first time you told me, but I didn’t.” He wiped a tear from under her eye. “Lesson learned, okay?”
“Oh, Aidan, I feel awful. What are we going to do now?”
“I don’t know yet.” Aidan wrapped his arms around her. “But we’ll think of something,” he said softly, his breath close and warm. “We still have the Ark.”
For a long moment they stood with their faces inches apart, just staring at each other. Kian wanted him to kiss her, to reassure her everything was okay between them, and she tilted her head. Then she felt her body arch up as if reaching for him. Suddenly she knew she wanted more than just his reassurance. She wanted him.
Aidan’s brilliant turquoise eyes seem to lose focus as he gently brushed his lips against hers. The most intimate places in her body felt warm, tingly warm, and she reached further into his embrace. He pressed his lips to hers, more urgently this time, grabbing her, and pulling her closer.
Just when Kian started to wonder if her old mattress was still up in Jacob’s loft, Aidan’s cell phone vibrated.
“Oh my god! Jimbo.” Aidan pulled away. “I signaled we were in trouble. Should have called him back.” He put his index finger gently to her lips. “Hold that thought.”
Kian had no doubt she’d be holding that thought for a long time.
It took Aidan’s body a while to calm down. He’d blown it, he knew that. Kian was a “case,” not a lover. He pulled away to get some distance, both physically and emotionally before punching the screen of his smartphone. “Jimbo, sorry. We are both fine. I’m putting you on speaker.” He held the phone out between them.
“Jimbo, one of your perps had us at gunpoint. What happened? You lose surveillance?”
“Fuck, man, I’d a warned you if I did. I still got two perps. They are covering the area with a metal detector.”
“I think we got us a third perp.”
“Man or woman?”
“Hold a minute, Scotty, I’m going in closer.” Kian and Aidan waited and listened. Then Jimbo was back. “That’s Stephen alright, but that’s not his wife. Some other broad. Damn, I should have noticed.”
“Tell me about it. I let that creep sneak up on me. I mean I’m telling you I did not feel a thing.”
“Shit, man, that’s not like you.”
“Not making me happy, either.”
“That other bitch could be watching you now,” Jimbo said.
“Right. We’ve been in one place too long. Gotta move.”
“Been here too long myself. Later.”
With that, Aidan and Kian went back into the cabin and Aidan picked up two of the packed boxes while Kian picked up the third.
“You are driving,” he said as they loaded the Jeep and he jumped into the passenger seat.
Kian started the Jeep, threw it into reverse while making a quick turn back toward the road. “What now?” she asked.
“Find fake Stephen’s wife. If we find her, we find the wings.”
On the way back through town, Kian insisted the local police needed a push. A huge push. “It’s their job to pick up Mary Weber, not yours.”
Aidan doubted the local police would be able to find her, but Kian insisted, “Mary stole those wings from us. At gunpoint. It’s time they got off their lazy butts and brought her in.”
“Kian, we have no proof it was Mary who took the wings. We didn’t see her. Remember that.”
“Yes, well it was Mary and Stephen who shot at me, I’m sure of that, even if nobody else is. Besides,” she added, “they haven’t picked up those other creeps on my property. Trespassing is against the law.”
Kian pulled into the lot and parked the Jeep. “You coming with me or not?”
“Yes, as soon as I make a call.”
Photo Attribution: https://img.haikudeck.com/mi/245c979e7dd1ff1dc687ba5238a79d80.jpg