Read I LOVE LUCY (The Bachelor Pact) Online
Authors: Rita Herron
“What are you talking about?” Sophie said.
“The kitchen stove was warm, and Lucy’s underwear is strewn all over her bed. There are two wine glasses by the bathtub with a bubble bath waiting, too. A
“Are you sure?” Sophie asked.
Reid scrubbed a hand over his chin. “I’m not making this up. It looks like she’s been entertaining. There are damn flower petals floating in the bath water.”
“I don’t understand,” Sophie said. “Lucy wouldn’t cheat on you, Reid.”
What other explanation could there be?
Sophie’s soft sigh echoed back. “Maybe she let a friend stay at her apartment.”
Reid considered that possibility. “I suppose she could have, but there isn’t a car here.” He walked through the room, checked the bathroom, then looked inside the closet. Shoes were scattered on the floor.
Odd. Lucy prided herself on her shoes and kept them in the shoeboxes or the little gloved cases the boutiques wrapped them in as if they were gold.
His gaze scanned the closet again. A pair of black lace panties lay on the floor, torn in the crotch.
“Reid?” Sophie asked.
“I don’t see a suitcase. If a friend is staying here, wouldn’t they have brought an overnight bag?”
“Probably,” Sophie said, sounding worried.
“And Lucy’s closet…it’s a wreck. Her shoes are everywhere.”
“You’re right. Something’s wrong,” Sophie said. “Let me call you back in a second. I’ll call her agent and see where she’s staying.”
Reid breathed deeply. “Good. I’ll feel better if I know she’s safe.”
Because if she wasn’t here or hadn’t loaned her place to a friend, someone had broken in, pawed through her clothes and made himself at home.
A siren wailed in the distance, and Reid decided to look around downstairs. Maybe Lucy had left a notepad with the name of her hotel.
His phone buzzed again, and he punched connect. “Sophie?”
“Reid, Lucy’s agent said he never called her for an audition.”
Reid heaved a sigh. “Then she’s dumping me.”
“We don’t know that,” Sophie said. “Besides, if she was, she would have told me. And she’s not returning my calls either.”
Now he was worried. The siren wailed closer, and he jogged down the stairs.
“I’ll call you if I hear from her,” Sophie said, then the phone went dead.
Just as Reid reached the foyer, the front door burst open and a roly-poly policeman rushed through the door, his gun drawn. “Police, don’t move.”
Reid froze and threw his hands up in surrender. What the hell?
A noise sounded from the kitchen, footsteps pounded, and another officer barreled around the corner, his gun drawn. “You’re under arrest!”
Reid swallowed hard. “What’s going on?”
The officer grabbed his arm. “Turn around and spread ‘em.”
Reid choked back a curse as the officer shoved him against the wall.
“Why are you arresting me?” Reid asked as the cop frisked him.
“Breaking and entering for starters.”
“I didn’t break in, my girlfriend lives here.”
“Yeah, right,” the officer growled.
“It’s true,” Reid said. “Just call her and she’ll tell you.” Of course, she’d have to answer the damn phone first.
“Shut up and walk to the car,” the second officer snapped. “You can tell it all to the judge.”
Cop one frowned. “Not that it will do any good, buddy. Stalking a woman is serious stuff.”
“Stalking?” Reid asked. “I’m not stalking Lucy, I’m in love with her.”
“Uh-huh,” Roly-poly muttered. “We’ve heard that before.”
“It’s true,” Reid said. “I love Lucy.”
“Yeah,” cop two said. “Stalking all right. Poor woman.”
. She was off auditioning in L.A. with God knows what kind of hunk of an actor, maybe even playing touch-feely between the sheets, while he was being arrested for trying to surprise her with a Christmas tree.
“Please,” he said, vying for calm. “You have to listen, let me explain.”
“You can explain what you did to Lucy,” cop one said as the second cop raced up the steps. “Where is she?”
“I told you; she’s in L.A.,” Reid said between clenched teeth.
“Right,” cop one said as he twisted his arm. “Listen, buddy, we’ll go easier on you if you just confess.”
“Confess to what?” Reid barked.
“To stalking and kidnapping,” the cop said.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Reid said. “I’m telling you, Lucy is my girlfriend and – ”
“You are sick,” cop one muttered beneath his breath.
What? Reid’s shoulders snapped back as the guy pushed him toward the door. “You’re making a mistake.”
Cop two rushed down the steps, his jowls jiggling. “Nothing upstairs. But it looks like the freak has been wallowing in her underwear on the bed.”
“I have not,” Reid bellowed.
“Shut up, you pervert,” cop number two growled. “I hate your kind. You probably can’t even get it up.”
Panic mingled with anger making Reid want to spit. But common sense kicked in and warned him that wouldn’t be a good idea.
Then cop one dragged Reid onto the front lawn where blue lights twirled against the darkness. “You’re going to be sorry,” he muttered as the officer shoved his head down and pushed him in the back seat.
“That sounds like a threat,” cop two mumbled.
“Damn right it does,” the other cop said. “Let’s add threatening an officer to the charges.”
Reid gritted his teeth as the officer slammed the car door. Dad blast it, he’d keep his mouth shut until he reached the police station. Then he’d demand his phone call and figure out what the hell was going on.
And why these bozos thought he was stalking Lucy.
Emmet pressed the boa over his mouth to stifle a laugh as the police car roared away.
Did that bastard really think Lucy loved him when she belonged to Emmet?
At least the cops had taken care of the smuck. Obviously hammerhead didn’t know where Lucy was or he would have called her to verify his story.
A stroke of luck for
Except he still had no idea where Lucy was.
He slipped from the closet, Lucy’s boa wrapped around his neck.
He had to find her before the cops realized they had the wrong guy.
He grabbed his phone and sprawled on her bed, draping her underwear over him.
“The police must have alerted Lucy,” he told his friend when he answered. “I think she left town. I need a trace on her phone.”
“Are you sure you want to go that route?”
“Just do it,” he said impatiently.
His buddy made a clicking sound with his teeth. “All right. You should know something by tomorrow.”
Emmet ended the call, then found a local reporter’s name from the newspaper on the table and called the number. A young woman named Jewel. She was probably hungry for a story.
“I have an anonymous tip,” he said. “Police just arrested a stalker at the home of Lucy Lane.”
“Who is this?” Jewel asked.
“I don’t want my name mentioned, but I witnessed the arrest myself. The man’s name is Emmet Roach. He escaped prison and broke into Lucy’s house.”
“Thanks,” Jewel said. “I appreciate the information.”
“Good, I’m sure Miss Lane wants to know she can come home for Christmas.”
He dropped the phone in its cradle, then closed his eyes and imagined being with Lucy.
She’d wear the red lace teddy trimmed in white lace, the one he’d put in her stocking. He’d dress like Santa Claus and pretend to come down the chimney, then they’d strip, and he’d dribble eggnog on her belly and lick it off.
Then they’d make love on the floor in front of the fireplace.
Everything would be perfect. They’d get married and welcome the new year as man and wife.
Yep, Santa was finally coming to see him this year. It was going to be a jolly, jolly Christmas and a happy new year!
Reid struggled to remain calm as he was fingerprinted, processed and tossed into jail.
Lance was going to kill him.
He’d seen the inside of a cell when he was a teenager, but that was half a lifetime ago when he’d been angry and rebellious.
Now he had a business with his brother and was respected in the community. If his arrest got out, it could cause problems for their company.
A prisoner in the next holding cell banged on the bars, ranting about aliens while two drunks in the cell next to him demolished Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall with their slurred singing.
Reid gripped the bars and bellowed his innocence. “Give me my phone call. I’m innocent.”
“Shut up,” the alien guy said.
He yelled again, but no one came. Dammit, why wouldn’t they listen to him?
Did he look like a crazed stalker?
The tattooed skinhead in the cell with him played drums on his legs with his hands while a cross-dresser in a Mrs. Santa outfit whined in the corner, insisting he hadn’t been soliciting in front of the fancy B & B where he’d been picked up.
It was going to be a long damn night.
He stared at the clock and paced the cell. But as the minutes rolled into hours and midnight struck, his mind traveled down a dark path.
If the police thought he was stalking Lucy, they had a reason. The fact that she’d rushed him away added to his anxiety.
Come to think of it, he hadn’t actually seen her leave her apartment.
What if something had happened to her?
He mentally reviewed the facts. She was upset after that phone call the other morning. And tonight, her clothes and shoes had been scattered all over the place as if someone had rifled through them. As if someone was staying there.
Either Lucy was cheating on him, or she was…in trouble.
He gripped the bars of the cell and yelled for the guard. He just couldn’t sit in this cell and rot if Lucy needed him.
“I need my phone call,” he yelled again.
The skinhead next to him laughed. “Good luck with that one, buddy. They usually make you wait twenty-four hours.”
Reid yelled again and banged on the bars until his voice was hoarse. But the skinhead was right.
No one came.
Finally he sank onto the floor in the corner and closed his eyes. He’d tough it out tonight, but in the morning, they’d better give him his call.
He just hoped something bad hadn’t happened to Lucy.
Lucy laughed as the women gathered around, listening to Ellen read sex tips from a book on sex for seniors that she’d received in her Secret Santa gift bag.
“Do you have a boyfriend, Taylor?” Sue asked.
Lucy polished off her peppermint martini. “Well, yes, I do.”
“What is he like?” DeEtte asked.
“I bet he’s a hunk with a six-pack,” Nelda said.
“Yeah, and not one with Bud’s name on it,” Ellen joked.
“Are you two doing the deed?” Mae asked.
Lucy laughed. “You mean sex?”
Willene narrowed her eyes. “You don’t have to get personal, Mae. Just because getting laid is all you think about doesn’t mean everyone else thinks about it all the time.”
“I wished men thought about it more,” Sue mumbled.
“Of course they’re doing it,” DeEtte said. “All the young folks do it.”
“You know what they say about not buying the cow if you’ve had the milk,” Ellen said.
“That’s just old fashioned,” Mae said.
“Taylor?” DeEtte said. “Is he good to you? I mean does he
Lucy blushed. “Well, yes, he does,” she said, remembering the wicked things he did with his tongue. “It’s just…I don’t know if he wants to ever get married.”
“Oh, no, one of those commitaholis,” Sue offered.
,” Ellen corrected.
“You have to give them a little incentive,” Mae said.
Willene frowned. “I don’t think baking pies works for the young kids.”
“My coconut cake gets me some loving every time, “ Ellen said.
Inez made a tsking sound to Ellen. “But we’re talking about marriage, not getting someone in the sack.”
Nelda raised her eyebrows and winked. “Honey, the secret is to keep him guessing.”
Ellen murmured Amen. “Yep, keep him fed and sexed up, and he’ll be faithful.”