Excerpt from Take A Chance On Me by M.J. Schiller
After chasing leads at the station, Cash returns to his home where his partner, Ian, is supposed to be watching over the murder witness, Harper...
Cash slowly pulled his keys out of the door, examining the pair. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing. Right, Ian?”
Ian nodded loosely. “Nothing. Like she said.”
Cash closed the door and set his keys on the end table. “Uh-huh.” He stuck his hands in his pockets. “What’s behind your back?”
Ian shot a glance at Harper. “You’re on your own.” He ducked into the kitchen.
“Coward,” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth.
Cash moved forward, and she took a step back. He lunged, catching her, and causing her to scream. He wrestled the bottle from her hand and brought it out where he could see it. Ian ran in, his concerned gaze darting to Harper. He stopped and put a hand over his heart, leaning against the side of the archway between the two rooms.
“Hmm.” Cash took a step back, tilting the bottle. He fought the smile tugging on his lips. “Is this my Jäger?”
Ian and Harper looked at each other with open mouths, but neither spoke.
Cash ambled over to the coffee table and clinked the bottle against the shot glasses as he set it down. “So—and correct me if I’m wrong—it looks like, while I’ve been out working my ass off, the two of you were busy getting snockered.”
“Oh, no.” Harper shook her head. “We were working hard, right, Ian?”
Ian made an attempt to stand straight, but swayed comically. “We were working hard.” He nodded, but turned to Harper. “What were we working hard at again?”
“Looking at the mug shots.”
“Oh. Yeah. That’s right. We were looking at the mug shots.” He faced Cash. “And doing shots.”
“Sh-sh-sh. It’s a secret.” Harper laughed.
Ian chuckled along with her. “Oh, yeah.”
Cash put his hands on his hips. “Well, I hate to tell you, friends, but the cat’s out of the bag now.”
“Cat? What cat?” Harper laughed, seeming to be slightly more sober than her partner in crime, his partner.
“He has a cat?” Ian seemed genuinely confused, looking around for the feline. “You never told me you had a cat.”
Harper sputtered and broke into laughter again.
Cash sat, hiding his chuckle. She was so damned cute. He put his feet on the coffee table, spreading his arms out along the top of the couch. “Whose idea was this anyhow?”
They pointed at each other.
“It was mine?” Harper asked. Ian nodded. “Oh. It was mine.” She smiled and didn’t appear to try to hide her pride.
Cash shook his head, staring at them for a moment. He stood and pulled out his phone. “Okay, Ian. I’m calling you an Uber.” He punched some buttons. “Chrissy’s gonna kick your butt. And the next time she sees me, she’s gonna kick my butt.” He looked at his screen. “Two minutes away.” He came over and put his arm around Ian, steering him to the door.
Cash grabbed his jacket off a recliner. “Yes, you are. Maybe the night air will sober you up some.”
“I doubt it.”
Cash laughed. “I doubt it, too. And you, little missie—” he swung around to point to her.
She looked about, then put a finger on her chest and mouthed “Me?”
“Yes, you. Don’t think you’re off the hook. I’ll deal with you when I get back.”
About M.J. Schiller: One day–when M.J.’s triplets were about two, and her eldest four–she was doing laundry and matching up the socks, one of her least favorite chores. She lined them up all along her arms as she hunted for their mates. After a bit of fruitless searching, she glanced at the time and realized she needed to hustle to be on time for a prayer service she was attending at her church.
She made it in time, her four children in tow, and removed her coat before kneeling to say a prayer. An half hour later, as she piously prayed along with the congregation, her eldest asked, “Mommy, why do you have a sock on your shoulder?” She had missed removing one of her husband’s long, mateless gym socks!
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