Miami, mistletoe & murde.., p.7
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       Miami, Mistletoe & Murder, p.7

         Part #4 of Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus
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Page 7


  “Mine,” Alisa sniffled.

  “Exactly. No one would question your love for your daughter. What happened was awful, but Juanita never saw anything and by the time you go home, we’ll make sure everything is cleaned up. ” She needed to talk to Travis about that to make sure she could actually do it, but she’d try. There was no way Juanita needed to see any traces of what had happened in her home.

  Travis cleared his throat, drawing both their attentions to him. Juanita was standing there, looking up at him adoringly and Noel bit back a smile. Juanita had a crush on a different boy every week at school. It seemed Travis was now her newest crush. Noel couldn’t blame her.

  “I’d like to talk to Alisa about some security options, so maybe…” He nodded subtly toward Juanita.

  Understanding what he meant, Noel jumped up. “Of course. Juanita, why don’t we hit up the cafeteria? I’m starving and I’m sure you must be too. ”

  “I’m not hungry. Tia Ivette cooked me breakfast before we left her house this morning. ” She stuck out her bottom lip defiantly, making her look much younger than fourteen.

  The aunt finally spoke as she pushed up from her chair. “We can eat again, little one. Come on, let’s give them some privacy. ”

  Guiding Juanita toward the door and ignoring her complaining, Noel shot a quick glance at Travis over her shoulder. He gave her a half-smile full of sensual promises that had her toes curling in her boots. Noel was dying to know what Travis planned to talk to Alisa about, but knew he’d tell her later. The truth was, that wasn’t the main thing she was even concerned about. Right now her thoughts were so focused on what kind of piercing he had and when she would get to see it.

  * * * * *

  Reggie tugged on his Santa beard, making sure it was in place. He knew a janitor who worked at the hospital who owed him a favor so he’d gotten an ID badge that wouldn’t hold up if someone asked him to take off his hat and beard, but it worked well enough if all he had to do was tug down his beard to quickly ID himself. It wasn’t as if he was trying to get into the maternity ward. That place was like Fort Knox. He just wanted to get to the fifth floor to spread Christmas cheer. He nearly snorted at the thought.

  All he needed to do was get Alisa alone for a few minutes. Either her or that brat daughter of hers who’d clearly been spreading lies about his brother. He wasn’t going to let anyone malign Dwight and he sure as hell wasn’t letting his death go unpunished. Fucking cops wouldn’t be doing shit about it. They were probably glad his brother was dead. The guy who’d called him sure hadn’t sounded broken up about it. He’d delivered the news as if he was talking about the weather.

  His black boots thudded along the hallway as he kept his pace even. He couldn’t appear to be in a hurry. When he saw a woman wearing scrubs rolling a young boy down the hallway in a wheelchair eye him curiously, he let out a loud, “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!”

  The blonde woman smiled and the boy giggled, not giving him another glance as he continued walking.

  When he neared the door, a bunch of people were hurrying out. A tall, very sexy woman with pale eyes glanced at him. Her arm was wrapped around Juanita and an old woman who looked vaguely familiar was with them. The pale-eyed beauty smiled as they all brushed past him and from their conversation, he guessed they were headed toward the cafeteria.

  It was too much to hope that Alisa might be alone, but this was definitely her room number and Juanita was leaving it. He doubted anyone else was inside. Heart racing, he stepped in, but froze when he saw Alisa sniffling and talking to a giant of a man.

  Tattoos peeked out from the neckline of his sweater and he could see different patterns and colors of ink along his forearms. And the guy was huge. Someone Reggie wouldn’t want to get caught alone with in a dark alley. This was the kind of man you’d have to take out from behind.

  Reggie immediately wondered if this guy had been involved with his brother’s death. Maybe he was Alisa’s new boyfriend. Another guy she was stringing along and using. Why else would he be at the hospital visiting her? Alisa didn’t have any brothers and she wasn’t the type of woman to have male friends.

  He smiled jovially at them and muttered “wrong room,” before hurrying away. Even though he had a disguise on, he couldn’t take the chance that Alisa recognized him. At least he knew where she was for the time being. And when she was released, she’d most likely be going home. He didn’t have a problem waiting to get her alone. Patience was the one thing he’d never struggled with.

  Chapter 6

  “So, are you gonna tell me what you wanted to talk to Alisa about or will I have to drag it out of you?” Noel asked, her voice teasing, as they headed across the parking lot to her car.

  “I talked to my boss about installing a security system at her place pro-bono and wanted to talk to her about it. The company occasionally does stuff like that for people in need and it won’t be as high grade as our industrial installations, but it’ll work for her needs. ” While Travis couldn’t go back and change what had happened, he could hopefully give both Alisa and Juanita peace of mind since they’d be returning to their home soon.

  “Wow, that’s very nice. Thank you. Why didn’t you want to talk about it in front of us?” She pressed the keyfob to her car when they reached it.

  “I grew up with a single mom—my dad bailed before I was born—and I remember how she struggled. I didn’t want to embarrass her or for her to think it was charity so I thought it might be best if it was just us two. Juanita and Alisa deserve a sense of security after what they went through and this is the best way I could think to help. ” He and Noel had talked about families before, but he’d never come out and admitted he’d never known his father until now. But he wanted her to know everything about him. Just as he wanted to know more about her.

  “Well, I know she’ll appreciate it. They certainly deserve a break. ” Noel smiled softly as she started the engine. Instead of pulling out like he expected she turned in her seat to face him. “I was wondering if you’d like to go to the Miami Outboard Club tonight? They have a big boat parade that’s always fun and I haven’t been in years. Unless you’ve changed your mind about that date?” The words came out in a rush before she abruptly stopped.

  Changed his mind? Not likely. Not ever. “Sounds fun, and since we have so much time to kill before then…” He didn’t say the one thing he really wanted to do which was spend hours naked between her sheets feeling her climax around his cock, fingers, mouth… “You interested in hitting up Bayside?” Bayside Marketplace was always busy on weekends and with this weather, it was perfect to spend time in the outdoor market.

  “Yeah, I love the art the vendors set up on weekends. I’ve been so busy with work I haven’t been in months. ” Her face lit up as she checked her rearview mirror and reversed.

  At that moment, it hit Travis just how quickly he’d fallen for Noel. And fallen hard. It had happened in increments. Each time he was around her, it was like she pulled him deeper and deeper into her sensual web without even trying. She was easy to be around and didn’t play games. There was nothing artificial about her and in Miami that was a treasure in itself. The desire to learn more about her was potent. “So tell me something about yourself I don’t know yet. What’s your middle name?”

  She turned that pale gaze on him with a slightly pained expression on her face. “It’s pretty bad. ”

  “Somehow I doubt that. ”

  She mock shuddered as she pulled out onto a main street. “My mom was obsessed with Christmas. So even though my brothers all got normal names, I didn’t. My middle name is actually Noel. ”

  “So what’s your first then?” From her expression, he was almost afraid to ask.

  Noel bit her bottom lip. “Christmas. ”

  His eyebrows raised. “Your mom named you Christmas Noel?”

  “Apparently she wanted to name me Mary Christmas and before yo
u ask, no, I’m not kidding. My father let her name me Christmas as long as they got to call me by my middle name. It still annoys me he even let her go as far as she did, but according to my brothers he never could say no to her. ”

  Travis bit back a laugh because he knew he’d pay for it if he let it out.

  As if she read his mind, she shook her head. “Go ahead and laugh. All I know is that when I eventually have kids, they’re getting normal apple pie names. ”

  “I like it,” he said quietly, still holding back his laughter.

  “You are such a liar, but thank you. ”

  “So, last relationship?” This question was deeper, but she’d never mentioned ex-boyfriends or dating around him. While he’d been pleased she hadn’t brought any former relationships up, he was damn curious.

  “You’re just asking all sorts of fun questions today. ” Her tone was wry.

  “You don’t have to answer. ”

  “You go first, then I’ll tell you about my last boyfriend. That’s the only way you get the goods. ”

  His lips quirked up at her almost haughty tone. “I didn’t realize this was a negotiation. ”

  She shrugged, eyebrows raised, but didn’t take her eyes off the road.

  Since he didn’t have many exes, he decided to tell her everything. “I had one serious girlfriend all through high school and we tried to make it work when I joined the Marines, but we broke up a year into my first tour. She was in college and I was never in the country. We were destined to fail, though we are still friends. After that, I didn’t have another serious girlfriend until four years later. I was with her for two years, but she wasn’t cut out for the unpredictability of military life and I wasn’t ready to get married. I actually don’t blame her for breaking up with me. Without giving her the commitment of more than a boyfriend, I know how hard it was with me being overseas so much. Since her, I haven’t dated anyone. ” His dating history in a nutshell.
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