Have you met Toby? He’s Luc Blackfox’s dog, an injured in the line of duty, retired K-9 canine. He’s loving, loyal and a menace to houseplants, wallpaper and handcuff keys. Here’s a glimpse at Toby.
After Kaylee’s apartment is broken into she refuses anyone’s help, including Luc’s. In a not-so-well thought out plan, he handcuffs them together to force her to the safety of his house. Once there, Luc will uncuff them and that will be that. Except he forgot to let Toby in on his plans.
Toby whined and laid down, propping his chin on the backs of his front paws. Kaylee had to admit—even though she was still a little afraid of him—that Toby seemed like a good dog inside. Way down deep inside. He just didn’t have the outlets that police wives had. He couldn’t knit odd looking sweaters or take useless dance classes. He could only stay at home and miss his master and friend.
With one last look at the forlorn canine, Kaylee allowed Luc to tug her along. Two steps into the room, she realized it was Luc’s bedroom. And the bed was the one he slept in. This was where he got dressed in the morning and undressed at night and—
“Dammit, Toby. Where are my jeans?”
“Do you have a date or something?” Kaylee asked. A pitiful attempt at flippancy.
She couldn’t stand in Luc’s private domain, handcuffed to him and look him in the face. Instead she centered her gaze on the vee of bronze skin at the opening of his collar. The mere sight of flesh disturbed her as well.
“I left the key in my jeans pocket,” Luc explained. “And I left my jeans on that chair.” He pointed to a wooden rocker in the corner of the room. A handmade quilt lay folded neatly over the back, but no jeans remained.
From the doorway Kaylee could hear the thump of the dog’s tail on the carpeted floor. Then a bark. She tried not to flinch at the sound. At least it wasn’t a growl.
“Find them,” Luc instructed. “Right now. Or I’m never repapering the bathroom.”
Toby barked again. Silently Kaylee wished the dog the speed of Mercury. It was enough being with Luc in his bedroom, but it was too much to be there handcuffed to him, a breath away from him, her nostrils filled with his very essence.
The dog returned a few moments later dragging a worn and ripped pair of jeans behind him.
“Good boy.” Luc patted the dog on the head, then smiled. His lips froze as he turned the jeans over. They looked like they had been run through a meat grinder backwards. The pockets had been rendered non-existent. “The key must have fallen out,” Luc said, but it sounded as if he was trying to convince himself. “It’s got to be around here somewhere.”
After a thorough, twenty minute search of the upstairs, the key was no where to be found.
Luc turned to Kaylee, his expression sheepish. “I think my dog ate it.”
Kaylee took a deep breath, in a futile attempt to calm her temper. “Luc, this is not the third grade, and unlike your teacher I’m not going to accept that excuse.”
He smiled wryly. “She never did either.”
“Tell me you have a spare.” Kaylee prayed he did. She could not spend any longer handcuffed to Luc. Her resistance toward him was wearing thin.
“Kaylee, I have a spare.”
She let out a sigh of relief.
“But it’s at the station.”
“Let’s go get it.” She started toward the door, but he tugged on their bound wrists and pulled her back.“Would you stop doing that!”
He held up their hands for her to see. “Do you want to explain this to whoever is on duty?”
Kaylee sobered. She hadn’t thought about that. If they went into the police station handcuffed together, everyone on the police force—including her brother—would know about it before the next roll call.
Check out all of Toby (and Luc and Kaylee’s) mis-adventures in Ten Reason’s Not To Date A Cop!
Available now from Samhain Publishing