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Hot Six

By´╝ÜJanet Evanovich


OKAY, SO HERE'S the thing. My mother's worst fear has come true. I'm a nymphomaniac. I lust after a lot of men. Of course, maybe that's because I don't actually actually have sex with any. And some of my lustings probably aren't going anywhere. Probably it's unrealistic to think I'll ever get it on with Mike Richter, the goalie for the New York Rangers. Ditto Indiana Jones.

On the other hand, two of the men on my list of desirables actually desire me back. The problem being that they both sort of scare the hell out of me.

My name is Stephanie Plum. I'm a bounty hunter, and I work with both these men. Both are involved in law enforcement. One is a cop. And the other takes a more entrepreneurial approach to deterring crime. Neither is very good at following rules. Both outclass me when it comes to lusting experience.

Anyway, there comes a time in a girl's life when she needs to take the bull by the horns (or some other appropriate body part) and take charge of her life. And this is what I just did. I made a phone call, and I invited one of the scary men over for a visit.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should let him in.

My fear is that this could be an experience similar to the time when at age nine I got carried away in a Wonder Woman fantasy, fell off the Kruzaks' garage roof, destroyed Mrs. Kruzak's prize rosebush, ripped my shorts and flowered cotton underpants, and spent the rest of the day not realizing my ass was exposed.

Mental eyeroll. Get a grip! There's no reason to be nervous. This is the will of God. After all, didn't I pick this man's name out of a hat tonight? Well, actually it was a bowl, but still, this is a cosmic meeting. All right, so the truth is, I cheated a little and peeked when I picked. Hell, sometimes fate needs some help. I mean, if I could rely on fate to do the job I wouldn't have had to make the stupid phone call, would I?

Besides, I have some things going for me. I'm prepared for the task ahead. Man-eater dress, short and black. Anklestrap heels. Glossy red lipstick. Box of condoms hidden in my sweater drawer. Gun fully loaded, on standby in the cookie jar. Stephanie Plum, woman on a mission. Take 'im down, dead or alive.

Just seconds ago, I heard the elevator doors slide open, and I heard footsteps in the hall. The footsteps stopped outside my apartment door, and I knew it was him because my nipples contracted.

He rapped once, and I stood paralyzed, staring at the lock. I opened the door on the second knock and stepped back, and our eyes met. He showed no sign of the nervousness I felt. Curiosity, maybe. And desire. Lots of desire. Desire in spades.

"Howdy," I said.

He stepped forward into the foyer, closed the door, and locked it. His breathing was slow and deep, his eyes were dark, his expression serious as he studied me.

"Nice dress," he said. "Take it off."

"Maybe some wine first," I said. Procrastinate! I thought. Get him drunk! Then if it's a disaster he might not remember.

He slowly shook his head. "I don't think so."


"Later. A lot later."

I did some mental knuckle-cracking.

He smiled. "You're cute when you're nervous."

I narrowed my eyes. I hadn't been shooting for cute when I'd set this up and fantasized the evening.

He pulled me in to him, reached behind my back, and slid the zipper down on my dress. The dress dropped from my shoulders and pooled at my feet, leaving me in my slut shoes and Victoria's Secret barely-there string bikinis.

I'm five feet seven inches, and the heels added another four, but he still had an inch on me. He had a lot more muscle, too. His hands skimmed the length of my back, and he looked me over.

"Pretty," he said.

He seen it before, of course. He'd had his head under my skirt when I was seven. He'd relieved me of my virginity when I was eighteen. And, in more recent history, he'd done things to me that I wouldn't soon forget. He was a Trenton cop, and his name was Joe Morelli.

"Remember when we were kids and we used to play choo-choo?" he asked.

"I was always the tunnel, and you were always the train."

He hooked his thumbs into the waistband of my panties and inched them down. "I was a rotten kid," he said.


"I'm better now."


This got me a wolfish smile. "Cupcake, don't you ever doubt it."

And then he kissed me, and my undies floated to the floor.

Oh, boy. Oh, boy!



Carol Zabo was standing on the outermost guardrail on the bridge spanning the Delaware between Trenton, New Jersey, and Morrisville, Pennsylvania. She was holding a regulation-size yellow fire brick in the palm of her right hand, with about four feet of clothesline stretched between the brick and her ankle. On the side of the bridge in big letters was the slogan "Trenton Makes and the World Takes." And Carol was apparently tired of the world taking whatever it was she was making, because she was getting ready to jump into the Delaware and let the brick do its work.