Finally my Lovelies! Delilah’s Fiction Relay Part 9! That pesky little thing called Real Life came knocking hard, so please forgive my tardiness. We’re still in the beginnings of this Fiction Relay, so if you haven’t been following along, well, shame on you first of all, but please feel free to go here, the Home page, where you can see what it’s all about, who’s playing along, and links to all the chapters. You can also go here to the Summary Page to catch up a bit on each chapter. We’re still early in the game, so settle down, pour yourself something tasty, sit back and enjoy the journey with us. We have no more an idea where this is headed than you do, so lets all find out together!
And away we go…..
Joey wiped down the pristine bar for the fourth time, although it was already so shiny he could see his own reflection.
A rather nice reflection it was, if he did say so himself.
It was a nervous habit he had when he felt like he had no control over anything. Mindless cleaning by rote kept him occupied. His brain whirled as he tried to piece together the puzzle that was now taking up a good portion of his life, courtesy of Rosalie.
Sure, he loved her like the sister he never had but she’d gotten herself into a mess and as usual, he gladly attempted to put together the pieces for her.
There was nothing Joey wouldn’t do for Rosie, after all, she’d saved his life when he needed saving the most and he knew he could never repay that debt, even though she shrugged it off.
That was his Rosalie, strong, courageous, beautiful, and always there to bail out her friends whether they asked or not.
But she prided herself on taking care of her own problems and did her best to keep everything hidden behind a forced smile. Rosalie found out the hard way that relying on other people usually ended up in disappointment and heartache.
Never again would Rosalie trust anyone aside from Joey. She’d been hurt too many times.
Well, it was time to turn the tables on Rosie, she needed help and this one was too big for Joey to handle himself. He needed assistance, so without letting Rosalie know, he called the only person he knew capable of taking care of things, legal or not.
There was only one not-so-little problem and it was a doozy.
If Rosie found out he was working with Charlie behind her back, trouble was sure to follow.
Rosie was on her way to see Joey now. They’d been searching for her “sister” for over two years now to no avail, but Joey had just gotten some information that could either find her or lead to yet another dead end. Every time they seemed to get closer to the truth, another obstacle was thrown in their path. They weren’t even sure if they were following the right path, the last three women who were supposedly the sister Rosalie was looking for turned out to be false leads. Even if this girl turned out to be the one they were looking for, there was no solid proof she even knew anything about the gem, or if she’d admit anything she might know.
Rosalie had never met her, it was only through her deceased Mother’s journals that Rosie became aware of the possibility of a sibling. The more she read the more she became suspicious there was some sort of mysterious cover-up. Her Father was no help, he was too busy increasing his fortune to acknowledge his daughter. Or was that daughters?
Charlie was the source of the latest update and there was no way Rosalie could find out. She’d be furious that Joey confided in someone else but if she discovered that someone else was her neighbor Charlie, all hell would break loose.
Rosalie seemed to have taken an instant dislike to Charlie. In Joey’s world, and knowing Rosalie as well as he did, instant dislike translated to an attraction to Charlie.Rosalie would never admit it but Joey knew her better than she knew herself and she was unwittingly showing all her tells. That in itself was out of character for Rosie.
If Joey wasn’t careful this whole undercover shit could blow up in a colossal way.
Charlie had to admit, he was having a good time messing with his cute neighbor. He hadn’t missed the flustered look on her face when she saw him dressed closer to his real self rather than the old ratty robe he wore as part of the character he was playing.
A man had to make a living, and even though Charlie had a hefty bank account between his inheritance and his tendency to live frugally, he socked away most of the money he made on the occasional jobs he took on.
He got bored easily and working undercover was unpredictable. Anything could happen and usually did but Charlie was always prepared for anything that might come his way. While he tried to stay away from guns, he was an expert when it came to Martial Arts and like a true Martial Artist, he kept that fact close to the vest. No need to advertise his skills, no need to let anyone know he could kill a man with one move using the right pressure point.
Better to try and keep a low profile, carry himself around with a scruffy beard and worn clothing. People like that tended to blend into the crowds becoming nearly invisible which was a big plus in his line of work.
He knew Rosalie trusted him about as far as she could throw him and he took a perverse pleasure in encouraging her opinion of him.
Easier to get the job done if he kept his distance from her, but when he thought of those eyes of hers, and that pert little figure she tried to hide, he couldn’t help but play with fire.
Joey told him in no uncertain terms that Rosalie was off limits as far as the romance department was concerned.
Looking down at the scruffy little tabby that had followed Charlie home a few weeks back, he scooped him up and laughed as Ripper purred loudly as he brushed along Charlie’s face, claiming ownership.
“Well Ripper old boy,” Charlie said as he stroked the cat affectionately, “Joey may have put romance off limits but he never said anything about some mutually agreed upon sex.”
Charlie grinned as Ripper meowed in agreement.
He’d seen a lot in his line of work and Charlie was sure there was a lot more to Rosalie than met the eye.
Over to sylvialoves for the next chapter!