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Mar 13

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Dancing with Wolf

Summary:

Ari and Dale attend a fancy party to catch their client’s husband in the act, prompting Ari to ponder marriage. (set after “Dogs of War,” with only minor spoilers)

Ari had worn a lot of questionable outfits for a job. She’d worn a delivery person’s uniform, dressed like a punk rock nightmare, and she’d once worn what Dale insisted was not a hooker dress to get access to a CEO’s inner office so she could serve him with papers. She wore what she had to in order to fit in or, in the case of her stashes, whatever was cheap and could cover her nudity. She’d never been picky about what she wore. Being nude was her natural state, a lesson her mother had taught her when she was a child, and anything she wore out in public was a costume no matter what it was.

But still, there had to be some limit. She frowned at herself in the mirror and turned to the side. She felt ridiculous. The dress was mostly white with a strip of black down the back that extended beyond the thigh-length hem and almost reached the floor. It was strapless, which left her shoulders and upper chest bare, a design choice that made her question if the designer had ever been to the Pacific Northwest.

“Maybe it would look better if I had tits,” she muttered.

“You have tits,” Dale said from the other room. “I’m very fond of them.”

Ari smirked and tugged the bodice higher. “Well, it’s the small things that make life worth living, I guess.” Dale came into the bathroom with her. After a glance at her reflection, Ari had to turn to take in the whole picture.

Unlike Ari, Dale was blessed with curves. Her emerald green dress hugged her chest and hips just enough to prove they were there without looking painted on. Her hair was just long enough to be styled into a wave that fell along one side of her face, and Ari brushed the curls away to touch her cheek.

“Wow.”

Dale grinned. “You like?”

“I like. I mean, I’ll take you in sweatpants and an old T-shirt any day. But you clean up very nicely, Miss Frye.”

“Thank you.” She kissed Ari’s lips and cupped her breasts. “See? Found ‘em.”

“Are you sure? Keep looking.”

Dale reached down and swatted Ari’s butt. “Step aside. I need to do my makeup.”

Ari moved to lean against the wall as Dale took out her war paint. They were going to a corporate party, a shindig where the tickets were five thousand dollars per plate, where the combined income of the attendees could probably support a small country. Their client was footing the bill so they could get in and see how her husband behaved while she was in Chicago. Ari had been thinking of it as just another surveillance case, but now that she was actually in her dress she realized how different it really was.

Dale finished her face and looked at Ari. “Ready to go?”

“I haven’t done my makeup yet.”

“Really?”

Ari smiled. “Flirt.”

They swapped places so Ari could put on her makeup. Dale gathered Ari’s hair in her hands and began to loosely braid it. When she was finished Ari had to admit the end result was damn attractive. Dale let go of her hair and bent down to kiss her shoulder.

“I should have you do my hair all the time.”

“Just another service I provide.” She lightly patted Ari’s ass. “Now are you ready?”

Ari nodded. “If I can manage to walk in these heels. Whoever thought these up was a sadist.”

“Remind me,” Dale said as she slipped her arm around Ari’s, “you frequently get multiple broken bones at once, your skeleton is reshaped by twisting every muscle in your body, and you’re complaining about your shoes?”

“Yeah. What of it?”

“Nothing. It just says a lot about how bad high heels really are.”

Before they left the bedroom, Ari pulled Dale over to the small jewelry box. Neither of them were in the habit of wearing much jewelry, but Dale had a few pieces from her mother that she liked to keep close for special occasions. Ari opened the box and nodded at it. “Choose a ring.”

“For what?”

“For me. I’m not wearing the collar you put on me because I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. But I feel naked. I want something.”

Dale smiled and leaned over the box. After a moment of debate, she picked up a simple silver ring. She slipped it onto Ari’s third finger and smiled at how well it fit.

“Wow,” Ari said. “That felt… nice.”

Dale kissed the corner of Ari’s mouth and led her into the living room. They helped each other into their coats and held hands as they headed out. Ari could feel the ring on her left hand, like a weight but without the anxiety she thought it would produce.

The contained environment of the car meant that Ari couldn’t help but smell Dale. She had long ago figured out how to ignore her wolf’s heightened senses when they were inconvenient, but Dale’s scent was always welcome. Skin and sweat, her natural odors that were only mildly obscured by her deodorant and perfume. There was also a slight hint of arousal. Not enough that she thought Dale was uncomfortably turned on, but just enough that she knew if she asked Dale to pull over in an alley they could make themselves very late to the party.

She smiled at the thought and reached over and run her fingernails over the back of Dale’s neck. Dale hunched her shoulders and squirmed as if she was trying to get away as Ari teased the sensitive nape where her skin met her hair.

“Ahhh… stop that.”

“Okay.”

“But remember it for later.” Ari grinned and dropped her hand. “You do that a lot, you know.”

“What?”

Dale said, “When we’re on a case like this. Staking someone out to prove they’re cheating? Providing the evidence for a divorce? You always get really hands-on. Very touchy-feely. I think you’re trying to prove you’re different. Whether you’re trying to prove it to me or you, I’m not sure. But either way, I think it’s cute.”

Ari said, “I didn’t even realize.”

“I know. That’s what makes it cute.” She turned down a ramp that would take them into an underground parking garage. “You see a relationship falling apart and you instinctively reach out for me. You touch my neck when I’m driving, you go out on fewer runs, and you cuddle me tighter at night. I know you hate them, I know they make you sad, but… I have to admit, every time we get one, I know that you’re going to be smothering me. So I don’t mind them as much.”

Ari reached over and squeezed Dale’s thigh. “I’ll try to do it more on embezzling cases and background checks.”

Dale snickered and found a parking space. She took their tickets from the glove compartment and let Ari escort her across the garage. Their heels clicked loudly on the pavement, echoing off the distant walls and the fleet of parked cars. They saw a quartet of other people in their finest outfits heading the same direction they were going.

“This is nice, though.” She pressed tighter against Ari. “A real night out. All you have to do is take a couple of pictures of someone, and the rest of the night is ours to enjoy. All fancy and everything.”

“Nothing’s too fancy for you.” She kissed the side of Dale’s head as they stepped into the elevator. A few of the other dressed-up people joined them, and Ari hit the button for the penthouse. She’d memorized the picture of the man they were supposed to watch. His name was Andrew Duffy, an obstetrician with a house in Queen Anne and a houseboat on Lake Union. He was short, blonde, trollish in appearance, and in the picture provided by his wife, Margaret, seemed to have hands like baseball mitts. She didn’t think they would have much trouble spotting him in the crowd of tanned and toned supermodels and celebrities.

After a quick stop to check their coats, Ari escorted Dale into the main ballroom. It was a wide open area with potted plants and seating areas placed here and there to separate the room into sections. Men and women in their finery milled about with glasses of champagne and nibbling on finger foods. Ari had felt like a princess in her bathroom mirror, but now she felt like a freshman who had accidentally walked into senior prom. At least Dale looked like she fit in.

“Wow. This is like prom.”

“Jinx,” Ari said. “Do you see Duffy anywhere?”

Dale shook her head and took a small triangular sandwich from a woman who had paused next to them with a tray. Ari waved her off and walked toward the nearest bank of divans. Ari’s phone was in a small clutch purse, the camera ready to catch any of Mr. Duffy’s misbehavior. She wondered how private investigators of old – and in this case, “of old” was probably only a decade in the past – managed with the bulky and inconvenient cameras they were forced to carry. She had it easy with a camera she could easily conceal. In a few years, she might be able to switch out the phone camera for an inner-eye device that snapped pictures every time she blinked.

They took a seat with Ari facing into the room while Dale kept an eye on the door. Ari nudged Dale and nodded at the wall of windows across from them. “Damn. There’s a helicopter out there.”

“Very cool. I think one of the Femme Reapers just walked in.”

Ari looked toward the door. “Considering she’s with a man, it’s probably Ella.”

“Egad, Holmes. You’ve done it again!”

Ari chuckled and scanned the crowd. It was almost five minutes before she saw their target. Duffy was wearing a tuxedo, complete with cummerbund and bowtie, so that he was almost indistinguishable from the wait staff. At the moment he was alone, but Ari nudged Dale so they could both keep an eye on him.

“That guy is really attractive enough to get two women interested?”

Ari shrugged. “I guess. We’re not exactly his target audience.”

“I suppose.”

He moved into a group of people and was immediately folded into their conversation. Ari kept him in her periphery in case he wandered off.

“So did you actually get to go to prom?”

Dale nodded, then shrugged. “Sort of. I went, but I went with a guy so it wasn’t exactly the magical experience I’d hoped for. I was still trying to convince myself that I could like boys if I really, really wanted to. He was a nice enough guy, but it didn’t work for me. I guess you didn’t go to prom.”

Ari smiled. “No. I was long gone by then. I doubt I would have gone anyway. I probably would have been one of those kids who spent that night hanging out, getting drunk somewhere.”

“Would you have had a leather jacket?”

“And a white T-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve.”

“Tight blue jeans…”

Ari looked at her. “We’re in public, Dale Elizabeth. Control yourself.”

Dale sighed blissfully. “I want to remember that image, though.”

A man who looked as if he’d just walked out of a James Bond movie approached them. “Excuse me,” he said to Dale. “I was wondering if you would like to dance.”

Dale looked at Ari as if awaiting her answer, then looked at the man again. “Wait, me?”

He smiled. “Yes.”

“Oh. Uh. Sorry… not right now…” He nodded, apologized for disturbing them, and made a graceful exit. She frowned at Ari. “What was that about?”

“That was about a sexy redhead in a green dress who seemed to be sitting alone with her friend. It was fifty-fifty we were together, but he took a shot and backed down when you said no. You have to admire that.”

“When you put it that way, I kind of want to dance with him.”

Ari shrugged. “I won’t get jealous.”

“No. If I’m dancing with anyone, it’ll be you.”

“Are you asking?”

“You have to work.”

Ari held out her hand. “I can multitask. Come on. Second chance prom, right now.”

Dale accepted Ari’s hand. “Are you serious?”

“Absolutely. Come on, indulge me.”

They walked out to where a small group was dancing to music from a string quartet. Ari had taken her phone from her purse and, when she put her hand in the small of Dale’s back, held it against her palm with her fingers. She found Duffy in the crowd and confirmed he was still talking to the same group. There were women in the group, but he didn’t seem to be paying any of them special attention. She held out hope that this would be the rare infidelity case that turned up no evidence of cheating. Nine times out of ten, if someone had enough evidence to hire a private investigator, there was something going on. But sometimes people just worked late. Maybe this would be one of those rare precious times when she found nothing.

“Ariadne.”

She looked at Dale.

“What you’re doing is not technically dancing. That’s called swaying, my love.”

“I’m… it’s…” She looked down at their feet. “It’s sort of like dancing.”

Dale smiled. “I know you’re taller, but I’m going to lead this time.” She adjusted their stance and guided Ari’s steps. Ari smiled and followed her lead.

“It’s hard to dance to strings,” Ari said.

“Eh, we can make it work.”

Ari nodded. Over the top of Dale’s head she watched as Andrew Duffy broke away from the group he was with. He seemed to be in pursuit of a waiter with a tray of hors d’oeuvres, when he caught up, he continued walking without taking anything. She moved her thumb to turn on the phone and activate the camera. Dale felt her hand moving and turned to watch as Duffy neared the glass doors that led out to the helipad.

“If he’s making a getaway, I’ll film you dangling from the struts.”

“I don’t think we’ll have to do anything quite so harrowing,” Ari said. “Check out the blonde making her way over.”

Dale spotted the woman in the sparkling gold dress, the sway in her hips making her look like she was a snake weaving through the tall grass toward unsuspecting prey. But of course Duffy could see her approaching in the mirror. Ari turned Dale so the phone was aimed at their client’s husband and she snapped a picture just as the mysterious golden woman put her hand on his left shoulder and leaned in so she could whisper into his right ear. Her hand moved down his arm, and she stepped close enough that there could be no doubt they were more than just work pals.

After a brief but intimate conversation, the golden woman stepped back and walked away. She trailed her hand along Duffy’s shoulders, and he turned to watch her go as he finished his champagne. He ditched the glass with a passing waiter and walked quickly in the same direction as the woman. Ari watched as Mrs. Mysterious disappeared through a side door.

“Looks like I’ll have to cut this dance short, beautiful.” She kissed Dale’s forehead. “Feel free to find your gentleman caller from earlier to finish out the song.”

“Go get ‘em, puppy.”

Duffy went through the door close to a minute after his mistress. Ari slowed her approach and timed it so they would have time to catch up with each other. She turned her phone to voice record, turned up the volume, and held it against her side so it wouldn’t be readily noticeable. She kept her hand curled over the bottom of the phone in an attempt to amplify the sound coming toward it as she opened the door and stepped into a dark and curving hallway.

The carts of hors d’oeuvres lining one wall, and the clatter coming from the white light at the far end of the corridor indicated it was an access hall to the kitchen. She picked up a shrimp puff from the first tray she passed and moved slowly forward. She heard two people engaged in hushed conversation and, when she rounded the turn, she saw an alcove cut into the opposite side of the hallway. A sign indicated that it led to the bathrooms. She could see Duffy’s arm and shoulder against the far wall and she stopped, made sure she was out of sight, and aimed her phone at the couple.

“–do this at my apartment.”

“But then there’s no chance of getting caught. I like it when I think she could walk in at any moment.” Cloth rustled, and then blondie moaned. Ari grimaced and looked at the door she had come through as if debating a hasty retreat. The sounds coming from the alcove indicated oral sex and, when Ari peeked, she could see the blonde woman was indeed on her knees. Duffy groaned and gave encouragement, and Ari held the phone closer so she could get the whole sordid soundtrack.

When she felt like she’d gotten enough, she stopped the recording and hurried out before she got spotted. Dale was waiting for her near the windows.

“Did you get it?”

“I hope so. I certainly feel filthy enough.” She looked back toward the door. “I want to get a clear shot of her face so there’s no question about who she is. I don’t want to do this all over again.”

They waited until the door opened and Duffy emerged. Ari took a picture of him that was zoomed close enough to show the redness in his neck and ears. He looked furtive as he rejoined the crowd, but no one but Ari seemed to notice. A few seconds later the blonde showed up. She was composed and completely put together. If Ari hadn’t actually seen her kneeling, she would have doubted she was involved in what she’d just recorded.

Ari snapped a picture of the woman’s face and showed it to Dale. “What do you think?”

“Looks good to me. Wanna get out of here?”

“Yeah. I need a shower.” She linked arms with Dale and led her toward the elevators. “We should probably watch the elevators from the parking garage to see if they head home together.”

“Okay.”

“It could take hours.”

Dale shrugged. “Isn’t that part of the prom experience? You have a so-so time, then you and your date go parking for a while.”

“You have a point. I just wish I could offer you something more romantic than a downtown parking garage.”

“It’s the company that matters.”

“Yeah.”

They retrieved their coats and rode the elevator down. Once they were in the car, Ari made sure she could see the bank of elevators from where they were parked.

“What’s bothering you?”

Ari shook her head. “Nothing.”

“You might not recognize me in this get-up, but I actually am Dale. I’m your girlfriend, your assistant, and the one person on this planet who can always tell when something is bugging you.”

“No. It’s just…” She sighed and rubbed her forehead. “What did we do today? What was our accomplishment? We got evidence of some rich guy getting a blow job by the toilets. And now his wife is going to file for divorce, she’ll probably get rich herself doing it. We just got paid to act as witnesses to the end of a marriage. It’s just… depressing to think that’s how we spent our night.”

“Then think of it as a side errand. What we really did tonight was we got dressed up. You took me to a very fancy party. I ate some disgusting shrimp that made me gag at the thought anyone paid five thousand dollars for a plate of this food. Not that I even saw a plate of food. But in a room full of billionaires, you only had eyes for me. You made me feel like the most beautiful woman in that room, Ari. And now, after you take a few more pictures, I’m going to drive you home and make love to you. Sounds like a pretty solid night to me.”

Ari reached over and squeezed Dale’s hand. “You have a knack for the bright side, Miss Frye.”

“With a job like this, you have to.” They watched as a handful of people emerged from the elevator. “Does it matter if they go home together? The guy got head from someone who isn’t his wife. Surely that’s case-closed.”

“I want to cover all my bases. I don’t want to risk Margaret Duffy saying I didn’t get enough and doing this all over again.”

It had happened enough times with past clients that Dale didn’t argue. They watched the elevators, and Ari scrolled through the music on her phone. She found “Closing Time” by Semisonic and pressed play before balancing the phone on the dashboard. Dale smiled when she recognized the tune, nodding her head in time to the music.

“Wow. I haven’t heard this since high school.”

She and Ari sang along with the chorus, echoing that they knew who they wanted to go home with at the end of the night. Dale reached out and Ari found her hand. Ari discovered she was smiling despite her earlier misgivings, so she brought Dale’s hand to her lips and kissed the fingers. Dale leaned back against the seat and sighed.

“I would have had such a huge crush on you in high school. My sexuality wouldn’t even have been a question if you were around.”

Ari smiled. “Yeah?”

“Mm.” The song ended and Dale sat up. “Do you have anything else from the nineties or early aughties on there?”

“Aughties?”

“Oh-oh. Two-thousands.”

Ari said, “God, we need a better name for that decade…” She scrolled. “Oh… this is supreme nineties here.” She hit play on ‘Everything You Want’ by Vertical Horizon and Dale laughed.

“Oh, God. This was my song. It made me cry so much. A girl has someone who fits everything she ever hoped for but she’s not interested? Oh, yeah. Yeah, I knew that song by heart.”

“I’m glad you finally figured out why he didn’t mean anything.”

“Mm.” She closed her eyes and rocked against the seat. “Man or woman, I was just waiting for you. It doesn’t matter what these idiots do in their marriages. They were never supposed to be together in the first place if they’re willing to throw it away so easily. That’s why it doesn’t make me sad. We’re just putting the final nail of the coffin they built for themselves.”

Ari nodded. The song ended and Dale went through her library until she found something else nostalgic. She replaced the phone on the dashboard as Martina McBride started singing. “This really is like prom. Pretty dresses, pretty girl, some music that makes me feel like I need to hurry to homeroom. Except tonight I’m definitely getting laid.”

“Don’t be so sure. You didn’t even buy me a corsage.”

“The night is young.”

Almost twenty minutes went by before the elevators opened again. Ari glanced up in a perfunctory manner, then grabbed her phone. “There they are.”

Dale sat up straighter in her seat. “Are they going home together?”

“Sure looks that way.” She snapped pictures of them walking into the shadows. “And that’s the final nail you mentioned. I think Mrs. Duffy will be satisfied with this evidence.” She went through the pictures to make sure they formed a damning portrait of the night. Once it was combined with the audio, she didn’t see any way the client could be disappointed. “Okay. Take us home.”

“Your wish is my command.”

Their home was only ten minutes away, but trading the lights of downtown for the quiet neighborhood streets made it feel like they’d been transported to a completely different city. Ari left the overhead lights off when they got inside and went directly to her laptop on the dining room table so she could transfer the pictures and audio into a safer file. She would set up a meeting with Margaret Duffy when she got back into town to break the bad news.

“I’m going to go change,” Dale said.

“Okay.” She straightened and unzipped the back of Dale’s dress. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Dale nodded and disappeared into the bedroom. As the photos and audio file uploaded, Ari undid the zipper on her own dress and stripped it off. She draped it over the back of the dining room chair and continued working in her underwear. She had just finished saving the backups when Dale came out of the bedroom. Ari looked up and admired the plaid pajama pants and T-shirt that hung off one shoulder to reveal she’d also taken off her bra. She’d removed the pins from her hair so that one side fell in a sloppy wave over her face.

“Wow. I thought you looked beautiful before.”

“Look who’s talking. Clothes are very overrated for you, puppy.”

Ari smiled and gestured at the laptop. “I was just finishing up.”

“Good. Then you may want to see that I’ve accessorized my outfit this evening.”

“Oh, really?”

Dale stepped behind Ari and kissed her shoulder. “Elbows on the table, Ariadne.”

Ari grinned as she closed the laptop and pushed it out of her way. “Oh. That accessory.” She rested on her elbows and looked back to see Dale slip down the front of her pants. She was wearing the strap-on harness over her underwear, the thin cotton providing enough padding for the straps, and she wet her fingers before stroking the dildo’s shaft. With her free hand she pulled down Ari’s underwear and cupped her sex. Ari closed her eyes and pushed back against her, Dale’s toy slipping between her legs. She reached down and guided it into place.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Yeah.” Dale had to stand on her toes to get the angle right, and she bit her lip as she rested on hand on Ari’s ass. She pushed forward and Ari grunted, lowering her head and flattening her palms on the table. She knew from experience that she wouldn’t last long, especially when Dale’s hand slid around her waist and reached down to find her clit. She closed her eyes and focused on the feeling of Dale’s cock inside of her, but also the two fingers stroking her and the brush of Dale’s thighs against hers. The strap-on meant that Dale was using her whole body, leaning back and then rocking forward, putting all her weight into each forward thrust and then straining to make each retreat take as long as possible.

The dildo brushed against Ari’s g-spot and she moved her head so she could bite her index finger to keep from crying out. Their landlady lived right above them and, while she had yet to complain about the noise, they were still too early in their tenancy to be lazy about sound traveling. “Right there,” she said quietly.

“There?” Dale asked.

Ari grunted, nodded, and bit down again as Dale moved her fingers to scissor them over Ari’s clit. She curled the hand she was biting into a fist while she spread the other flat on the table, her legs shaking as Dale pressed tight against her. After her orgasm, Ari’s right foot drifted off the ground as if it had become weightless, and Dale leaned forward to kiss the back of Ari’s neck through her hair. They pulled away from each other and Ari stood up straight and cupped Dale’s face.

She spoke against Dale’s lips. “I love you.”

“Mm. I love you, too.”

They kissed as Ari undid the harness, loosening it enough so that it slipped off and landed with a heavy thud on the floor. Dale stepped out of it and smiled as Ari guided her to the nearest armchair.

“I wanted to suck on that…”

“Stop it, you’re killing me.”

Dale chuckled and yelped playfully as Ari sat her down. She knelt and reached under the shirt to pull down Dale’s underwear. She lifted Dale’s legs, kissed the inside of her thighs, and then lifted the hem of the shirt up and over her head. Dale moaned and rested her legs on Ari’s shoulders. Ari wet her lips and two fingers before she tightened her mouth into an O and pressed them against Dale’s hooded clit. Dale jerked at the touch, but one hand on her stomach kept her in the chair. The wet fingers of her other hand teased Dale’s folds back, and Ari’s tongue poked through the hole of her lips to explore.

She breathed deep, using her heightened senses to intoxicate herself on the smell of Dale’s arousal. Dale tugged her shirt off Ari’s head. “Let me see you… let me see your pretty eyes, puppy.”

Ari obliged, looking up as she continued to tease with her tongue and fingers. Dale trembled and put her hand on the back of Ari’s head, pushing down against her. Ari circled Dale’s clit with her tongue and slid her fingers inside. She felt Dale tighten around her and started humming, sending the vibrations through Dale’s clit straight to her brain.

“Oh, Ariadne,” Dale groaned, her fingers turning to talons on the back of Ari’s head. “Fuck, puppy, yes…”

Ari smiled and kept up her attack until Dale went limp, placing a few more languid kisses on the oversensitive skin just to see Dale twitch and writhe. She brushed her nose against Dale’s pubic hair, a patch of darker red than that on her head, and she kissed the pale brown freckles on her stomach before resting her cheek just below Dale’s breasts. Dale kept her legs around Ari’s head and stroked her hair as she caught her breath.

“Good puppy,” Dale murmured.

Ari chuckled and kissed the skin closest to her lips.

“I know it makes you sad to see marriages fall apart. I know you think that it’s just one more brick in the wall coming down. That no one can make it. And if the people who cared enough to go through with the whole wedding shtick can’t make it work, what chance do you and I have. Right?”

“Maybe,” Ari admitted.

“I don’t need a piece of paper from you, Ariadne. I don’t want a vow or a ceremony to prove we’re going to be together. I would rather wake up every morning and prove to you how much I love you. I’d rather know that either one of us could walk away at any time, so that staying together actually means something.” She bent down and kissed Ari’s head. “I want to choose to be with you every day, because that means every day, I get to decide I’m Ariadne Willow’s girlfriend. And that’s an awesome thing.”

Ari looked up at her. “What if one day you decide not to?”

Dale shrugged. “What if one day you decide I’m not enough for you?”

“I’d never–”

“And I’d never. We just have to keep winning each other over.”

Ari smiled and slid up Dale’s body. “I think I can handle that.” She kissed Dale’s lips. “A lifelong courtship?”

“Yeah. Now that’s a big commitment.”

Ari shrugged. “I think I can handle it. Want to go to bed?”

“Yes, please.”

Ari sat up and removed herself from Dale’s legs, helped her out of the chair, and swatted her butt as she bent down to retrieve her underwear. Ari retrieved the strap-on from beside the table and gave a final look at the laptop with the evidence that would destroy the Duffy marriage. Too many people saw a wedding as the finish line, as the goal post where they can spike the ball and celebrate their win. Ari would much rather keep the game going, especially when the reward was a life lived with Dale Frye.

“Puppy?”

“I’m coming.” Ari moved the laptop to its case so it would be ready in the morning, then went to join Dale in the bedroom.

Permanent link to this article: http://underdogs.geonncannon.com/dancing-wolf/

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