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.Everything tasted wonderful, and I shared an appreciative smile with Ramos.He returned my smile, thinking he could get used to this arrangement.Sharing a meal with a beautiful woman did wonders for his digestive system.I blushed.“Are you trying to embarrass me?” A quiver of guilt at the intimate nature of our dinner rushed over me, but I did my best to brush it away.A self-satisfied grin spread over his face.“I’m glad you’re feeling better.For a while there you had me worried.All I can say is, it’s a good thing I got the soda.”I huffed and shook my head.“I guess I got a little upset, but I’m fine now.”“Good.” He checked his watch.“I should probably leave for the airport.Nick will be arriving soon.You’ll be safe here, but you can come if you like.”“I think I’ll stay.Maybe go for a swim or something.”Ramos nodded, thinking it would be good for me to take it easy and enjoy myself.Who knew when I’d get another chance? He took his dishes to the sink and began stacking them in the dishwasher.“I can clean up if you want to go now,” I offered.“Um…sure.” He finished what he was doing and turned to leave, grabbing his keys from the counter.“I should be back with Nick in about an hour.” He started toward the door.“Wait!” A sudden thought occurred to me, sending my heart rate into overdrive.“Nick can’t know about me.”Glancing back at me, Ramos stilled as the implications of what that meant hit him.“No, of course not.Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out.”I let out my breath and nodded.Ramos opened the door and was gone, leaving me to worry about how we were supposed to do that.Remembering the few times I’d talked with Nick tightened my stomach.He was curious about me the first time we met, wondering exactly what I did for Uncle Joey and why I was so important to him.How was I going to keep Nick from finding out all he could about me?I grabbed my cell phone and called the only person I knew who could take care of it.“Shelby? Are you all right?” Uncle Joey asked.“Actually, no.I’m worried about Nick being here.”“What? Why?”“Because he doesn’t know about me and what I do,” I explained.“You know he’ll try and figure it out, right?”“Hmm…I see what you mean.We can’t let that happen.”“Exactly,” I said, relieved he was agreeing with me.“You know that Ramos knows, don’t you? Given how curious Nick is, I’m sure he’ll try and figure it out too.I just can’t have one more person knowing.Especially Nick.”“Hey, Nick’s not that bad,” Uncle Joey protested.“Yes he is,” I said quietly.“All right,” Uncle Joey sighed.“What do you suggest?”“Can’t you just call him and order him not to ask any questions about me? Tell him what I do for you is off limits and that’s all he needs to know?”“Do you really think that would work?” he asked with a chuckle.“If anything, that would make him even more curious.No…we’ll just have to give him another explanation for your involvement.Why don’t you just tell him that you have premonitions? You’ve told other people that.”“Oh, yeah,” I stammered, chagrined that I had made such a big deal about something so simple.“That should work.”“Good.Listen…Ramos told me you wanted to stay and help him, but you don’t have to.I’m pretty sure he can take care of things himself if you want to come home.”I arched my brows in surprise.Uncle Joey was giving me an out? “Oh, that’s okay.I’m fine to stay and help.Chris isn’t real happy about it, but I don’t mind.”“I can believe that,” he snorted.“Just be careful.I want you back in one piece.” Before I could respond, he continued, “So…how’s the vacation house?”“It’s great,” I said, warmed by his concern for my welfare.“In fact, I think I’m going to go take a swim in the pool.”“Good.Let Ramos know what we discussed, and call me if you need anything.”We disconnected and I sighed, somewhat surprised at the irony that Uncle Joey had actually helped me feel better.Twice in two days.Who would have thought that possible? Chris wouldn’t believe it.Knowing the next few days were going to be stressful, I hurried upstairs to put on my swimming suit and go swimming.I was actually going to take Ramos’ advice and enjoy myself.I was swimming on my back when the sliding doors opened and Ramos stepped out.The sun was low on the horizon, sending hues of golden light through the sky.It caught Ramos in the face, outlining his chiseled features and making his skin take on a burnished bronze glow.I sighed in appreciation.“Just wanted you to know we’re back,” Ramos said.“Nick’s inside working on the thumb-drive.” As Ramos took in my wet hair and welcoming smile, he gritted his teeth against a sudden desire to join me in the pool.Before I could answer, he disappeared into the house and slid the door closed with a thwack.Hmm…I grimaced, what was that all about? Did I really want to know? Nope.I was going to pretend I hadn’t picked up that Ramos’ attraction to me was making him angry.Maybe it wasn’t so bad that Nick was here after all, although I was hoping to have a minute alone with Ramos to tell him what Uncle Joey and I had discussed.Now that would have to wait for a better time.I hesitated to get out of the pool just yet, mostly because I didn’t want to face Nick.Or was it Ramos? Or maybe a little of both? Of course, when Nick found out I had ‘premonitions’ I was sure he wouldn’t take it seriously.He’d probably think I was joking, which was just fine with me.I swam a few more laps, then got out of the pool and dried off with the beach towel I’d found.I wrapped it around my waist and went inside.Nick sat at the table working on his computer, and Ramos stood behind him, looking over his shoulder at the screen.Both of them had frowns on their faces.“What’s wrong?” I asked.“I got this,” Nick said.“Ramos doesn’t think I can break the code, but as good of a hacker as Warren was, I’m better.It would help if you’d quit looking over my shoulder, though.” He said this to Ramos, who straightened and jerked away with a scowl.“I’m going to go take a shower.” I could see that now was not a good time to talk to Ramos.Besides, Nick didn’t seem concerned about my presence at all.If it ever came up, I’d figure out what to tell him then.I took my time in the bathroom, hoping Nick could get into the files before I joined them downstairs.More than half an hour later, I gingerly crept down the stairs to find them both much happier and I sighed, finally relaxing my shoulders.Ramos glanced at me and smiled with cold calculation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]