In the Running (Dee Lloyd) – Chapter Ten

We left the last chapter with Maura/Reenie realising that Matt knew who she actually was and him banging on her door.

His glittering black eyes boring into hers, Matt raised his hand to her face. Gripping her chin with his thumb and forefinger, he tilted her face first one way, then the other.
“I have to admit you were more spectacular as a blond,” he drawled. “But I do think I like the new hairdo better.”
His voice was so cold she could hear ice particles in it. [Can you actually hear ice particles?]
“And the new name, sweetheart,” he rasped in a bitter mockery of sophistication. “I do like Reenie.” [What sophistication?]
His fingers tightened painfully as he began to lower his hard mouth toward hers. [And it’s usually the women who are accused of using sex as a weapon…]

Matt lets go of her and asks for an explanation. Maura/Reenie tells him everything and Matt seems to believe her. So she goes to the kitchen and shows him the envelope she has hidden under the breadbox. [I guess that’s better than hiding it in the cookie jar…] Matt looks at the fotos while Maura/Reenie explains, why everything is fucked up.

He gave a long soundless whistle when he looked at the last print, the one of Jon in earnest conversation with two men. “I wonder what kind of business Casen is doing with Gerardo and Chang Lu. [Did anybody ever mention that name, Chang Lu? Then I must have missed it. Yet, Maura/Reenie doesn’t react to this revelation. At all.] Now that’s a combination that’s worth thinking about.”
“I never heard him mention either one. But I didn’t even know until Sunday night that Jon was Danny’s partner in the Driftwood. Wait a minute. Danny’s mother is a Gerardo.” [It’s now that you think about that? After spending a week mulling over the whole affair, it comes to you just like that?]

Matt makes her tell the whole story again.

Strangely, of everything she’d gone through, it was describing her makeover at the dingy small town beauty parlor that brought tears to her eyes.
“And I told the hair dresser to cut it short and dye it dark brown. I hate this!” Her voice broke, and she waved her hand in the general vicinity of her head.
“If she’d [How does he know the hair dresser’s a she?] shaved it all off, you’d still be beautiful,” Matt stated with a shrug that said he couldn’t understand what she was making a fuss about. [Insensitive bastard. Doesn’t get nervous breakdowns.]
She couldn’t believe her ears. On her best day, she’d never been beautiful. [Maybe the brown hair is better than the blond. Who knows?] She’d prided herself on being neat, well groomed, with enough fashion sense to make the occasional escort exclaim, “You look great tonight!” But beautiful? [Oh, yadda, yadda… It’s one thing to be modest, but people know if they are beautiful or not. They may sometimes doubt it, but in their hearts they know.]

Matt takes her into his arms. She asks if he believes her, which he doesn’t actaully confirm, but doesn’t say no to, either.

A man could drown in deep blue eyes like the ones that were looking earnestly at him now. [Where are those eyes coming from so suddenly? … Oh, well. I remember a friend of mine once saying that you could drown in the blue eyes of a classmate of ours. The pure cornyness of that phrase kept me amused for days…] Maura Fitzpatrick’s expressive face had always telegraphed her evasions too clearly. Matt would almost swear she was being open with him now. [If you remember, before he could read her so well that he could tell the difference between her being panicky because of a real threat and her being panicky because of an imagined threat. And now he can’t tell if she’s lying or not?]

They then turn to more practical things. Matt asks if she thinks Walt Ames recognised her [for a spit-second (sic) he seemed to]. Then he says that they should bring the photos to a safer place and then talk to Gus. Maura/Reenie objects that she first wants to find out if the papers in the envelope are proof for some money laundering thing of Jon’s before they involve the police. [Well, isn’t it handy that Matt did just that for the government until he quit?]

Matt could probably do it. But he would need access to the agency database [Oh, how ominous.], which he cannot access from home. But Maura/Reenie needs him at home. Or so he thinks.

Anyway, Maura/Reenie says that she wants revenge.

The bitterness in Reenie’s voice jolted him. Of course, she’d been planning to marry Casen. How could a supposedly intelligent man play around on a woman like Reenie? [Well, the not so intelligent men don’t manage to keep it a secret, usually. Sad, but true. And anyway, he would play around on a woman like Reenie like he would play around on any other woman. At least, that’s my guess.] In view of his own feelings for a woman who was deeply involved with another man, Matt wasn’t feeling too intelligent himself. [I think that the romantical involvement with Jon is pretty much over and done with, so no worries there.]

Matt turns back to the financial things.

Pulling the printout out of the envelope again, he mused, “I wonder where the computer is that this was worked up on.”
Reenie’s eyes flew open. [Huh? Why?] “The super-powerful laptop that Jon talked Gran into buying was stolen in the robbery at her house two weeks ago. Jon has his own rooms at Gran’s and uses Granddad’s study when he’s there on government business or needs to be at the Lansing GEL office. Do you think…?”
“DiMarco could have arranged for the robbery to get proof Casen was stealing from him. There weren’t any disks in that file drawer, were there?”
“Just the envelope.”
“How did Casen react to the robbery?”
“At the time, Gran was making such a fuss about her jewelry and paintings that were stolen, I didn’t pay much attention to Jon’s moaning about the important records that were on the hard drive of the laptop.”
“I suspect that little laptop could send Jon Casen straight to prison for a long time.”
“Then we have to find it.” [Because it is really no problem at all to find a stolen laptop… If it is so easy for them, they probably could start a good business with that.]

After deciding that, Matt steers Maura/Reenie to the bedroom, where they kiss.

As his mouth covered hers, his tongue slowly traced the outline, then the silky lining of her lips. Her tart sweetness filled his senses. [Again with that…] When he drew her lower lip gently into his mouth, her tongue followed and sent a flaming message straight to his groin. She made a little whimpering noise [whimpering? And that’s a good sign?] and arched against him, her soft breasts moving against his chest.
He was past the age when controlling his body’s demands should be this difficult. But he burned to learn the sweet magic of Reenie’s lovemaking. [*retch*] Making love to her was going to be more wonderful than anything he’d ever experienced. [How could he know without trying it first?] It wasn’t going to happen tonight – not when she was physically and emotionally exhausted. But he didn’t know how much longer he could wait for her. [Wait for her? He’s the one who’s constantly pulling back…] He forced himself to back away.

The next morning, they have breakfast and Matt tells Maura/Reenie that he has decided to move into the apartment with her.

“You can’t toss a bombshell like that over your shoulder and stroll away from me!” She clenched her fists to keep from screaming at him. “Now, look me in the face and tell me that again. Slowly.” [First, thank you for this reaction which is really natural, for once. Second, why would you need to hear it again? Just kick his ass and get the hell out of there.]
Matt grasped her tight fists with strong, gentle hands and held them firmly against his chest.
“Overbearing bully!” she muttered as she tried unsuccessfully to wriggle free. The amusement dancing in his coal black eyes was infuriating. [I say… he just decides that he moves in with her and then is amused by her protests? I think I would kill this guy. On the spot.]
“Listen carefully. I am moving into the apartment with you this morning. Please, sweetheart. I have to.”
The laughter in his eyes vanished, exposing for a moment a man who was endearingly bewildered by his own emotional turmoil. [There’s nothing endearing about anybody who don’t know themselves or their emotions. Nothing. On the contrary, nothing is more disturbing.] And he’d called her “sweetheart” again. [So what? Condescending bastard.] As his thumbs moved slowly back and forth across her knuckles, Reenie’s fists relaxed a bit. [And again, the sex weapon thing.]
“I shouldn’t have announced it like that.” [You’re damn right, you shouldn’t!] He did seem sincerely sorry for way [sic] he’d informed her. However, apparently he had no idea how infuriating his making decisions that affected her life without consulting her really was. [I don’t know if you heard, but there’s this thing which is crucial to social behaviour. It’s called empathy. Matt’s empathy = 0]

But Maura/Reenie doesn’t stay outraged for long. I should have known. Matt explains that it’s for her own safety and good that he wants to move in with her… [No comment.] And that they needed their wits about them.

Did he honestly think living in the same apartment would allow clear thinking? Whenever he came within a few feet of her, one area of her brain came to life, but it sure wasn’t the part that controlled her intellect. Out of her whole relatively uneventful life, it was unfair that her dormant libido had to choose these last few days to kick into high gear. [Dormant libido? That’s so sad. Girl, have you ever heard of masturbation? It’s like with the flowers and the bees, only the flower gets all the satisfaction, none of the problems and the bee’s not involved.]

Well, Matt has made his decision, the indomitable Maura/Reenie can’t stop him and he has already told his family. Who don’t seem surprised at all that their brother/son who hasn’t had a girlfriend in some time, decides to move in with a girl he just met. [I’m telling you, my family would be shocked.]

[Talkin about Wyn’s reaction.]
“I learned a long time ago, the only way to deal with Bronwyn is to go along with her. I told her she was absolutely right. I was smitten and dazed. Love lambasted me square between the eyes the moment I saw you.”
She wanted to kiss him he looked so pleased with himself.
“Lambasted?” She couldn’t hold back a burst of laughter. [Yeah, me neither.] “Love lambasted you? Oh, Matt, you romantic, silver-tongued devil.”


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