The Chase (Fox and O'Hare #2)

A complete stranger--a giant pancake, no less--has just appeared in their home," Boyd said. "Why isn't anyone reacting to this? Wouldn't they be screaming in terror?"

"They love pancakes," Stan said.

"What would they do if a fried chicken leg walked in?"

"I'm not sure a chicken leg could walk in," said the script supervisor, a lady who wore three layers of shirts and sucked on a pencil as if it were a pacifier. "I suppose it could hop."

Stan looked over his shoulder at her. "let me handle this." He turned back to Boyd. "The family knows you. You're not just another pancake off the street. You're a celebrity pancake, the Jay Leno of breakfast foods. Would anyone throw Leno out of their house?"

"Okay, assuming you're right, I'm a pancake asking this family to eat me. Am I suicidal or simply filled with self-loathing?"

"Take your pick," Stan said. "Whatever will get you through the scene.

cognoscenti

Dad's on a fishing boat in front of Carter's estate. If we get into trouble, all I have to do is press the button on the tiny transmitter in my pocket and he'll destroy the dome on top of Carter's house. Is that enough of a distraction for you?"

"Maybe we can work out something a little more subtle.

If you can’t fool yourself,” he said, “how can you expect to fool anybody else?

I like cars the way I like my men. I pick them up, grab the stick, and drive them hard down the straightaways and fast around the curves.

Is that why you have hand grenades and a garrote in your nightstand?"

"They're sleep aids.

I was pressed for time, so all I was able to whip up was deviled eggs with a dollop of Tsar Nicoulai caviar on top, a selection of fruit and artisanal cheeses, and sauteed Dover sole with lemon and capers."

Kate's idea of preparing a quick meal was eating Cap'n Crunch out of the box, so this was Christmas dinner by comparison.

I was pressed for time, so all I was able to whip up was deviled eggs with a dollop of Tsar Nicoulai caviar on top, a selection of fruit and artisanal cheeses, and sautéed Dover sole with lemon and capers.” Kate’s idea of preparing a quick meal was eating Cap’n Crunch out of the box, so this was Christmas dinner by comparison.

Kate heard from Nick two weeks after the events in Hawesville. He invited her to a mansion on Broad Beach in Malibu. The place belonged to an actor who was shooting an eight-hour gothic miniseries in Bulgaria. Nick was an actor friend from England who was housesitting. At least that's what he told the neighbors.

Kate wore her favorite date-night outfit of jeans, Glock, and navy FBI windbreaker. Nick had Tolberones and caviar set out.

"If I didn't know better I'd think you were trying to seduce me," Kate said, eyeing the Toblerones.

"You could be right," Nick said.

Kate knocked on his door and sucked in some air when he opened the door fresh from a shower. His hair was wet and he had a towel wrapped low on his hips.

"Jeez," Kate said, staring at the towel, her mind running amuck over what the towel was hiding, unable to drag her eyes to Nick's face.

"Is that a good jeez or a bad jeez?"

"It's just jeez. Don't you have a robe?"

"The room didn't come with a robe."

"Okay, so that's why you're wearing the towel. I can see that. Makes perfect sense."

A smile twitched at the corners of Nick's mouth. "Is there something I can do for you?"

"No! Gosh. Absolutely not." Kate stared at the towel. She was pretty sure she saw it move.

Nick tightened his grip on the towel. "Kate?"

"Yep?"

"You're staring."

"I know. I can't help myself."

"Cute," Nick said.

Kate squinched her eyes shut and wrinkled her nose. "Ugh! I hate being cute."

"Cute is good."

"It's not. I'm an FBI agent. There's no cute in the FBI. Cute is goofy."

"I'd grab you and kiss you, but I'd lose my towel, and I'm afraid you'd faint at the sight of me naked."

"I think I could handle it."

Nick dropped his towel

Nick stopped on the sidewalk, pulled a ring from his pocket, and handed it to Kate. "Your wedding ring."

It was a platinum band inlaid with diamonds. Simple but elegant.

Kate put the ring on her finger. "That's got to be the least romantic proposal in history. Where did you steal this?"

"I bought it," he said.

"That must have been a new experience for you."

"It was. Cost me ten grand." He slipped a matching platinum band onto his finger. "I want that ring back when this marriage is over."

"No way," she said. "You can keep the dishes.

Nick stopped on the sidewalk, pulled a ring from his pocket, and handed it to Kate. “Your wedding ring.” It was a platinum band inlaid with diamonds. Simple but elegant. Kate put the ring on her finger. “That’s got to be the least romantic proposal in history. Where did you steal this?” “I bought it,” he said. “That must have been a new experience for you.” “It was. Cost me ten grand.” He slipped a matching platinum band onto his finger. “I want that ring back when this marriage is over.” “No way,” she said. “You can keep the dishes.

Ordinarily, a trip from Westwood to downtown Los Angeles took an hour. But Kate drove with the pedal to the floor, weaving wildly through traffic. She got there in twenty minutes and even managed to eat one of her Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits on the way.

She gestured to the bag. "What have you got in there?"

"Nothing much. Some golfballs, a handful of tees, a Glock, extra ammo, two hand grenades, a tear gas canister, a knife, Tums, clean socks, flares, and some Ensure chocolate shakes."

"You took all of that with you to play golf?

Stealing equipment from a small-town fire station is such an easy, petty crime,” Nick said. “It feels anticlimactic after starting the day in New York selling three stolen Rembrandts and outwitting the FBI.”
“We could break into the International Bluegrass Music Museum,” she said. “I hear that it’s the Louvre of northwest Kentucky.”
That got Nick’s attention. “What have they got to see?”
“I was kidding! I was being sarcastic.”
“Sarcasm isn’t one of your strengths,” he said.

Then you know that my portrayal was dead-on. He breaks into homes and asks children to eat him. He's obviously not a well-adjusted pancake.

through no fault of his own was a victim of an economy in the toilet. Joe used to make six figures a year in a corporate position commanding a crew that installed high-end security systems in Malibu mansions much like the one he was visiting right now. Joe’s Geek Squad job was a step down with no chance of stepping up. He had a monstrous mortgage on a house that was worth half of what he’d originally paid for it. His wife had left him and taken the dog. And his Lexus had been repossessed. He sometimes thought he’d like to become an alcoholic, but he couldn’t afford the liquor.

Two windows,” she said with a smile. “And there’s no such word as besweatered.” “It’s like bespectacled, only with a sweater.

Verisimilitude,

Welcome to Château du Roi,” Carter said. Of course the house had a name, Kate thought, and one about as subtle as the three cars out front. Castle of the King. She decided to name her apartment something classy when she got back to L.A. Her place overlooked a gas station, so maybe Château du Chevronview.

We want you to break into the Smithsonian."

"Always a pleasure," Nick said.

Kate raised an eyebrow at Nick. "You've done it before?"

Nick shrugged. "Nobody goes to D.C. without visiting the Smithsonian."

"Most people go when it's open."

"I don't like crowds.

You're my bodyguard and lover."

She shook her head. "Just your bodyguard."

"He'll never believe I'm not sleeping with you."

"You aren't."

"Even I find that unbelievable," Nick said.