Strange Bedpersons: Chapter One

When Tess Newhart threw open her apartment door, Nick Jamieson was standing in the hall, tall, dark, successful, and suspiciously happy to see her, his pleasantly blunt face making a nice human contrast to his too-expensive, perfectly tailored suit. She stared at him, wary, fighting down the ridiculous jolt of relief and happiness and lust that welled up in her just because he was back.

Then he threw his arms open to hug her.

“Tess!” he said, beaming at her. “You look great!”

Tess looked down at her sagging green, bleach-splotched sweatshirt and faded blue sweat pants , the hems shrunk to mid-calf on her long legs. So much for relief, happiness, and lust. She rolled her eyes at him, all her suspicions confirmed. “Right,” she said, and slammed the door in his face and shot both dead-bolts.

“Aw, come on, Tess,” Nick called through the door. “It’s been a month. Actually it’s been a month, a week, and two days, but who’s counting? All right, I’m counting. I miss you. I keep calling but you won’t call me back. Is this fair? I think we should talk about this.”

“I don’t,” Tess said firmly to the door, but her face was uncertain as she ran her fingers through her short red curls. If Nick hadn’t had such a large streak of calculating rat running through him, he would have been just what she needed at the moment instead of the last thing she needed. But there was that streak of rat, and if he was at her door being charming it was because he wanted something. And the something probably wasn’t her; it was something to do with money, promotion, status, or all of the above. She shook her head, newly determined, and turned back to cross the threadbare gray carpeting to her chair and her conversation.

“Who’s the wise guy? Your landlord?” Gina DaCosta sprawled on Tess’s lumpy couch, a symphony in black: her unruly dark hair falling into her eyes, her small body lost in a huge black t-shirt, and her legs wrapped in black leggings as tight as Ace bandages. She stretched those legs out tentatively and then winced.

“Worse.” Tess flopped back into her over-sprung armchair which groaned under her weight, and slung her long legs over the side. “You know, every time I think my life has hit bottom, somebody lowers the bottom.”

Nick pounded on the door. “Come on, Tess. Open up.”

“Who is that guy?” Gina said.

“Nick, but I don’t want to talk about it,” Tess said, forestalling Gina before she could leap into the breach. “Between him and my landlord, I may never open that door again.” Tess patted her lap, and a huge black cat jumped back into her arms, reclaiming the territory she’d lost when Tess had gone to answer the door. “Sorry, Angela,” Tess murmured to the cat.

“Tess?” Nick called. “Come on. Let’s be adult about this. Or you can be adult and I’ll fake it. Tess?”

Gina frowned at the door. “Why are you ducking Nick?”

“Well,” Tess said, and thought for a minute. “It’s like this.” She stood up, dumping the cat off her lap again. “I answered the door and he said–” She flung her arms open wide and beamed a toothpaste smile at Gina. “–Tess, you look great!”

Gina looked at Tess’s sweats. “Uh oh.”

“Exactly,” Tess said, flopping back into her chair. “You know, every time I see Nick, my mind looks at him and says ‘Yes, he’s fun, but he’s also a power-hungry rat, so stay away from him’, and then my body looks at him and says, ‘Hello, gorgeous, come to Mama’.” She shook her head. “I have to have a long talk with my body.”

Gina looked at the sweats again. “I don’t think it’s gonna listen to you. If you dressed me like that, I wouldn’t listen to you.”

“Forget the clothes,” Tess said. “You’re starting to sound like Nick.”

“OK,” Gina said. “New topic. Why are you waiting for your landlord?”

“I reported him to the housing commission,” Tess said, visibly cheering up at the thought.

“Well, that was unfriendly,” Gina said. “What did he do?”

“It’s what he didn’t do.” Tess shifted in her chair as she warmed to the story of her landlord’s crimes. “Three apartments in this building have been vandalized in the past two months, and Ray won’t even fix the lock on the hall door. Anybody can walk in here. Somebody had to do something.” She grinned at Gina. “And I thought, who better than me?”

“Tess?” Nick called again. “You know, it’s not safe out here. If I get mugged because you’re playing hard to get, you’ll never forgive yourself.”

Both women turned to look at the door, and then Gina looked at Tess. Tess shrugged.

“OK,” Gina said, abandoning Nick. “So you did something. That’s no big surprise. I’m just amazed you did something so calm as just reporting him.”

“Well, I had thought about organizing a tenant candlelight-vigil-protest-march,” Tess said, starting to grin again. “I thought we could all light candles and march on Ray’s condominium, but this place is such a fire trap I knew we’d never make it to the front door alive, so then I thought about Bic lighters for everybody instead, but that made me think of Stanley across the hall.”

“Stanley?” Gina said.

“You’ve never seen Stanley?” Tess’s grin widened. “Stanley always wears the same t-shirt and it doesn’t cover his tummy and Stanley’s tummy is not attractive. In fact . . .” Tess’s face took on a faraway look as she visualized Stanley’s stomach. “In fact, Stanley’s stomach is the only one I’ve ever seen with a five-o’-clock shadow to match his jaw.” She frowned at Gina. “Do you suppose he shaves it?”

“That’s gross,” Gina said.

“Well, I think so too, which is why I couldn’t picture Stanley with a Bic. A torch, yes; a Bic, no.” Tess smiled again. “But then I thought, why not give Stanley a pitchfork and put him at the head of the march?” She stopped to visualize it. “You know, there’s a lot of Quasimodo in Stanley.”

“Come on, Tess, cut me a break here,” Nick called. “I came back to apologize. Doesn’t that count for something?”

Gina raised an inquiring eyebrow at Tess, but Tess shook her head, so Gina returned to the Stanley and the pitchfork problem. “I don’t think Quasimodo had a pitchfork,” she said. “He didn’t in the movie.”

“Anyway, I finally had to get serious before somebody around here got hurt,” Tess said. “So I acted like an adult and filed the report.”

“Good choice,” Gina said. “Getting arrested for pitchforking Stanley would probably have been bad for your career.”

“Well, actually, my career is sort of dead right now anyway.” Tess slumped down in her chair. “I wasn’t going to tell you since this is your first night back from the tour and I was looking forward to one night without trauma, but . . . I lost my job.”

“Oh, no.” Gina sat up, her face bleak with sympathy and concern. “What happened?”

“Don’t panic,” Tess said from the depths of her chair. “I have a plan.”

“Sure you do,” Gina said. “What happened?”

“Funding cuts,” Tess said. “The education governor we elected decided that supporting private tutoring foundations wasn’t educational. So now the Foundation is going to have to staff with volunteers. Eventually, the whole place may go.”

“Tess, I’m really sorry,” Gina said. “Really. I know how much those kids meant to you.”

“Hey.” Tess sat up again and glared at Gina with mock severity. “I’m not finished yet. The kids aren’t leaving. And neither am I. I just have to find a job to pay my bills that gives me my afternoons free so I can still volunteer there.” She grinned. “I saw Pretty Woman the other night on TV, and Julia Roberts was having such a good time being objectified by Richard Gere that I thought seriously about taking up hooking, but then I thought, thirty-six is a little old to hit the streets.”

Nick knocked again. “Tess? You want me to grovel? I’ll grovel. I’ve got a great grovel. You’ve never seen my grovel; you left before I could show it to you. Come on, Tess, let me in.”

Gina slumped back into the couch and jerked her head toward the door. “If you’re thinking about swapping your bod for money, go answer the door. He’s still loaded, right?”

Tess nodded. “I haven’t checked lately, but knowing Nick and his affinity for money, he’s still loaded.”

“Marry him,” Gina said.

“No,” Tess said.

“Why not?”

“Well, to begin with, he hasn’t asked me,” Tess said. “And he’s a Republican lawyer, so my mother would disown me. And then . . . ” Tess frowned as if in serious thought. “I always thought it would be a good idea to marry somebody who wouldn’t try to pick up the maid of honor at the reception. Call me crazy but –”

“Since that would be me, you got no worries,” Gina said. “Marry him.”

“You don’t know Nick,” Tess said. “He could seduce Mother Teresa.” She cocked her head toward the door and listened for a moment. “And it doesn’t seem to be an option anymore anyway. I think he got tired and left.”

She tried hard not to be disappointed. After all, she’d had no intention of opening the door anyway.

Still, it wasn’t like Nick to give up that fast, dangerous hallway or not. He must not have missed her that much after all.


Nick leaned against the wall outside Tess’s door and regrouped. Pounding was obviously not getting him anyplace, and his charm was bombing, too, which was a new experience for him. What the hell was wrong here? OK, maybe she was still mad, but she couldn’t be that mad. Not Tess. Tess erupted all over the place and then forgot about it. She’d never sulked in her life. So there was something else going on here to keep her from falling at his feet. Nick grinned at the thought. OK, she’d never fallen at his feet. But she’d never slammed a door in his face either.

She was upset about something.

That wasn’t good. He liked Tess, and the thought of her unhappy bothered him. He spared a fleeting thought of concern for her and then returned to his own problem.

She wasn’t upset with him, she hadn’t slammed the door on him right away, so it was something else. She was upset about something else, probably one of her lame ducks in trouble, and then he’d tried that dumb line about her looking great when she actually looked like hell, and she got exasperated and slammed the door. All right, so he deserved the door. Now all he had to do was get the door open again, give her a little sympathy, and he’d be in.

If he waited half an hour and then knocked again, she might open it, thinking he’d gone away.

And if he had flowers or candy or something . . . No. Not for Tess. Tess would not be impressed with generic peace offerings. He thought about the problem for another minute, and then he left, surveying the gloomy hall with contempt as he went.

“I think you shoulda let him in,” Gina said. “Rich lawyers don’t grow on trees.” She flexed her right leg cautiously. “Hey, you got any muscle rub? My calves are killing me.”

“I don’t have time to toy with Nick right now. I have to work on my plan.” Tess tipped the cat gently from her lap again, and walked the few steps across her tiny apartment to her bathroom, stepping over several sloppy stacks of books, a pile of mis-matched socks, a bundle of partly graded essays, and a half-finished poster that said “I Read Banned Books.” She kept talking as she went, and her voice rose and fell as she went out of and came back into the room. “I have a chance at a teaching job, but I don’t know if I can get it. I’m not really qualified for it, and it would be working with a bunch of rich kids, so they’d probably think I was an alien, but the money is good and the hours are great.”

She handed Gina the tube of muscle cream and dropped back into her chair.

Gina squirted the cream onto her fingers. “Go for it. It beats starving.” She winced as she rubbed the cream into her calf.

Tess sat up, her job problems forgotten. “Are you all right? I thought this was just your usual dancer’s cramp.”

“No, I’m not all right,” Gina said. “I’m thirty-five. I’m not snapping back like I used to.” She rubbed her calves again, frowning against the ache. “I’m starting to really hate the pain. I never liked it, but now I’m starting to hate it.”

Tess stopped, not sure of what to say. “How can I help?”

Gina laughed. “You can’t. It’s age.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tess began, but Gina waved her into silence.

“Honey, I’m the Gramma Moses of the chorus line.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tess said again. “You work all the time. You’re never out of a job. How many dancers can say that?”

“I’m never out of a job because I always show up, I’m never sick, I never screw up, and I never leave the show in New Jersey to get married.” Gina stretched her legs out again, the pain in her face easing a little. “But that’s not gonna carry me forever.” She shrugged. “Course, neither will my legs.” She stared at hers, frowning, as if they were something she’d picked up on sale and now regretted. “I don’t think I ever want to do another plie again.”

“You’re joking.” Tess fell silent for half a second and then regrouped. “What do you want to do?”

“I want to get married,” Gina said.

Tess sank back into her chair. “Married? This is new.”

“Not really. I always wanted to get married,” Gina said wistfully. “I just wanted a career first.” She smiled a little. “Big career I got. Now I want some peace and quiet. Some security.” She looked at Tess, suddenly vulnerable. “You know. Some love. I never found anybody on the road, which is no big surprise when I think about it. But now I’m ready. I want a house and kids and the whole bit.”

“Is this because you never got out of the chorus?” Tess said. “Because think of all the people who never got in–”

“I never wanted out of the chorus.” Gina flexed her legs again, wincing again. “I never wanted to be a star. I never wanted all that attention. I just wanted to be part of the show. And that’s what I want now. I don’t need some big, important guy. I just want to find a nice, unimportant guy and be part of his show.”

“As a feminist, I should probably say something here,” Tess said. “But I won’t because it’s your life.”

“Thanks,” Gina said. “I appreciate that.”

“I know some nice guys from the Foundation,” Tess said. “Of course they’re out of work now, but they’re–”

Gina shook her head. “I can do this on my own, Tess. Forget about fixing my life.” She shot another look around the apartment. “You got your own to fix first, anyway.”

“Me? I’m not ready to get married. I never even think about it.” Tess looked around the apartment, too. “Well, I hardly ever think about it.”

Gina’s eyebrows shot up. “Hardly?”

Tess looked wistful for a moment. “Well, every now and then I have these fantasies where I wear an apron and say ‘Hi, honey, how was your day?’ to somebody gorgeous who immediately makes love to me on the kitchen table.”

Gina looked confused. “It sounds like Donna Reed Does Dallas.”

“I know.” Tess frowned. “I don’t think I’m cut out to be a wife. I mean, I get lonely sometimes, and I start thinking about how nice it would be to be a homey sort of person and bake cherry pie for somebody, but then one thing leads to another and I’m having fantasies about somebody ripping my apron off and licking cherry juice off my body, and I lose my grip.” She focused back on Gina. “Also, I can’t bake pie. So I don’t think about getting married much.”

Gina frowned at her. “How could you get lonely? You think it’s your job to save everybody in the world. You gotta know more grateful people than –”

“Well, sometimes it would be nice not to save everybody,” Tess said. “Sometimes I think it would really be nice to be taken care of and live in a house instead of an apartment and to have great sex every night.” Tess stopped and frowned. “I’ve got to get off this sex thing. It’s clouding my mind. The career, Tess, concentrate on the career.” She shook her head. “Now, I’m starting to sound like Nick.”

Gina frowned. “Speaking of Nick, why’d you shut the door on him? That’s prime home-building material there.”

Tess laughed. “You obviously don’t know Nick. The only reason he’d build a home is for the equity. In fact, that’s the reason he did build a house.” She leaned her head back against the chair, remembering. “The skeleton of the place was up about the time I left him. We walked through it once, and I was trying to figure out what it would look like, and he was trying to figure out how much it would appreciate in value the first year.” Tess shook her head and grinned. “It was not a Kodak moment for us.”

“Did you have Kodak moments?” Gina said.

“Yeah,” Tess said, her grin fading. “We did. Quite a few actually.” She stood up suddenly, dumping Angela from her lap, and went into her bedroom.

“Tess?” Gina said.

“Here,” Tess said when she came back. She sat beside Gina on the edge of the couch and showed her a snapshot. It was Nick, a smudge of dirt on his chin and his hair in his eyes, in an old sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off, sitting on the ground with his arms wrapped around Tess from behind, his chin buried in her shoulder. Tess was even more of a mess: her red hair stood straight up, and her face was dirty, and she had no make-up on at all. Her smile took up her whole face, and she looked about ten.

“What were you doing?” Gina asked, mystified.

“This is the first day we met.” Tess smiled at the picture. “At a picnic. Playing touch football. He was wearing these really ratty jeans and a sweatshirt that was older than my sweatshirt, and I thought he was poor and cheerful, like the prince in my fairy tale.” She laughed. “Boy, was I wrong.”

Gina took the picture and looked at Nick more closely. “Even messed up, he’s gorgeous, Tess.”

“I know,” Tess said. “But looks aren’t everything. It was those damn crinkles he gets around his eyes when he smiles that threw me off, but he was definitely the wrong prince.” She shook her head and sighed. “It wasn’t long before I caught on, though. I mean, we were obviously not the perfect couple. We went to this opera thing the night we broke up, and the press took our picture.” She grinned at Gina. “Actually, the press took Nick’s picture and got me because I was standing beside him. It finally made the society page a couple of days ago.” Her grin widened as she remembered the picture. “Nick looked like a Kennedy cousin. I looked like a rutabaga with hair. All over Riverbend, people looked at that picture and said, ‘What does he see in her?'” Tess shook her head again. “We definitely do not belong together.”

Gina handed the picture back. “I still don’t get the prince bit.”

Tess moved back to her own chair, looking sadly at the print. “Remember I told you I lived in a commune when I was little?” she said, her fingertip stroking the edge of the photo. “Well, my mother wouldn’t let me read Cinderella and the other fairy tales. She said they were patriarchal and sexist and I was really disappointed, so a friend of hers at the commune, this guy named Lanny, made up this story for me he called CinderTess.” She laughed at the sound of it and Gina smiled back.

“Cute,” Gina said. “I still don’t get the prince.”

“Well, CinderTess got to the ball on her own without any fairy godmother by rescuing people and animals who turned out to be able to help her,” Tess said, remembering. “But she felt responsible for them and their problems, so when she got to the ball, and she was the best dancer there–”

“Not the prettiest?” Gina said, grinning.

“Looks are superficial, real women get by on hard work and skill,” Tess said primly and then grinned back. “Where was I?”

“She was the best dancer,” Gina prompted.

“So while she had all the attention because she was the best, she sort of made speeches about the problems,” Tess said. “There was one about the environment and one about the poor, I think. I always sort of skipped those parts mentally until Lanny got to the good parts, about the prince.” She smiled again remembering. “I didn’t care about the politically correct part. I just wanted a fairy tale with a prince.”

Gina laughed again. “Who doesn’t? So where’s the prince?”

“There were two of them who got upset about the speeches,” Tess said, frowning as she remembered. “But then the third time, the third prince said she was right and helped her and . . .” Tess’s face smoothed back into a grin, “this is the part I always remembered, he had these crinkles . . . ” She screwed up her face to make laugh lines at the corners of her eyes. “. . . right here, and he promised her he’d help her make things better and that she’d laugh every day if she married him, so CinderTess knew he was the one.” She looked back down at the picture. “I’m sure Lanny meant well, but those crinkles have played merry hell with my life ever since I met Nick.”

Someone knocked on the door.

“Must be the landlord,” Gina said. “Try not to hurt him too bad.”

Tess tossed the snapshot on the end table and stood up, tipping her exasperated cat out of her lap again, but when she opened the door, it was Nick.

“I know you’re upset, so I won’t bother you for long.” He smiled at her, his dark eyes brimming with the confident charm she found alternately obnoxious and irresistible, depending on the reason he was using it on her. There were crinkles at the corners of his eyes, and a lock of his hair fell over one eye and made him look rakish and endearing.

Tess was sure he knew he looked rakish and endearing.

Still, he also knew that she was troubled, and that was touching.

His smile broadened as she hesitated. “I brought you something to cheer you up,” he said, handing her a paper Chinese food carton.

“What is it?” Tess said, taking it from him, knowing she should turn back now but weakening.

“Pot stickers,” Nick said. “Double order.”

“Oh.” Tess blinked at him. “You remembered.”

“I remember everything,” Nick said, and Tess’s uncertain expression turned to contempt.

“That sounds like a line,” she said. “Did you really come back to apologize, or is this something that you and that weasel you work for have cooked up to close some deal?”

“Park? Funny you should mention Park –” Nick began, and Tess slammed the door in his face again and went back to her chair, dropping the pot stickers on the table as she sat.

“He’s hopeless,” Tess began, and then she jumped when Nick opened the door and closed it behind him, throwing the dead bolts.

“Lock your door, dummy,” he said. “This is a terrible neighborhood. Anybody could walk in here.”

“Anybody just did.” Tess put her hands on her hips, faking indignation. “Go away.”

Nick moved toward the kitchen, stopping only to pat Gina on the head. “Hi, kid. Good to see you again. You look great.”

Gina beamed and started to say something, but he’d moved on by then. She checked herself, her smile fading, and then she dug in her purse until she found a stick of gum.

“Excuse me?” Tess called after him. “I did not invite you in.”

Nick backtracked swiftly and kissed her, and she softened into him for just an instant, giving herself just a second of his warmth before she savaged him as he so richly deserved. But he let her go before she could stop enjoying him, and he moved toward her tiny kitchen before she could retaliate. “God, this place is a mess,” he called back to her. “Is any of my beer still in the fridge?” He stepped over the cat as it headed back to Tess’s lap. “Hello, Angela. Try not to shed on me.”

Tess looked at Gina.

“Definitely time to talk to the body,” Gina said. “If you’d had an apron on, you woulda ripped it off.”

Tess jerked on the hem of her sweatshirt and lowered her chin, trying to psych herself into being impressive. “You’ve been rejected,” she called to Nick. “Leave.”

“You can’t reject a proposal you’ve never heard,” Nick said from the kitchen.

“You’re proposing?” Tess said in disbelief. “I don’t believe it.”

Gina’s eyebrows shot up. “Marriage?” she whispered to Tess around her gum. “Grab him.”

“Of course not marriage,” Tess said to Gina. “What are you proposing?” she called to Nick. “Whatever it is, the answer is no, of course, but I like to know what I’m rejecting.”

“Well, not marriage.” Nick came to lean in the doorway with his beer, smiling at her, solidly attractive, boyishly confident, and infinitely desirable. Stop it, Tess told herself and narrowed her eyes at him.

“I need a date for the weekend,” he said and widened his grin at her. “I thought of you first.”

“Why?” Tess said, trying to stomp on the quiet little sizzle that had started inside her when he smiled at her.

“Because I need you,” Nick said. “My life has been empty since you walked out.” He twisted the cap off the beer and began to drink.

“Your life has never been empty, even before I walked out.” Tess moved her eyes to Gina. “I picked him up at the airport one day, and the stewardess kissed him good-bye. You’d have thought he was going off to war. She did everything but offer to have his baby right there in the airport.”

Nick choked on his beer. “She was just a friend,” he said, swallowing. “I’m a friendly guy.”

“I realize that,” Tess said, crossing her arms. “Get out.”

“Tess, honey.” Nick leaned forward and smiled at her. “Sweetie. Baby.”

“Boy, you must really be in trouble,” Tess said.

“Up to my neck,” Nick said. “I need you. One weekend. No strings.”

“No sex,” Tess said, ignoring her body. “That offer will not be repeated.”

“Whatever you say,” Nick said. “If that’s the way you want it, no sex.”

“This must be bad,” Tess said to Gina. “I think he really is in trouble.”

“So, of course, you gotta save him.” Gina smiled shyly at Nick. “I’m all for it. For once those do-gooder instincts of hers are gonna do her some good.”

“You know, I always liked you,” Nick said to Gina, and she blushed with pleasure.

“Actually, I don’t care if I save him or not, but if I go with him this weekend, I’ll get to watch,” Tess said. “If it’s really big trouble, I may feel avenged for that war bride of a stewardess.”

“You are all heart,” Nick said to Tess.

“Although it won’t make up for the night you stood me up at the Foundation Benefit,” Tess said. “And definitely not for that night you turned me down in the Music Hall parking lot. I know women who would be slashing your tires and poisoning your beer for that night alone.”

Nick started and looked down at the bottle in his hand.

Tess studied Nick with a sinking heart and rising heat. He was easily the most attractive thing in her apartment. In fact, he was easily the most attractive thing in her life. Of course, looks were superficial. Especially on Nick who had more faces than Sybil.

She cast an uncertain look at Gina, still stretched out on the couch.

Gina cracked her gum. “Do it.”

“Maybe.” Tess turned back to Nick. “Give me the details. And this better be good.”

“It’s terrible,” Nick said.

Gina swung her legs around to the floor, winced, and stood up. “This sounds like my exit cue.”

“No, it isn’t,” Tess said at the same time Nick said, “Thank you. You have terrific instincts.”

“Hey.” Tess said, but Gina just picked up her purse.

“I’d have to be going anyway,” she told Tess. “I love you, but I don’t want to hang out in your neighborhood after dark, and I really need more of this muscle stuff on my legs. Call me later and tell me everything.”

“You know that’s an intelligent woman,” Nick said when she was gone.

“That’s the woman you said was wasting her life in tights,” Tess reminded him.

Nick winced. “I didn’t exactly say that. I said that dancing wasn’t much of a career, and she was going to be in trouble some day if she didn’t plan ahead.”

“Well, some people live for the moment,” Tess grumped. She flopped back into her chair and tried to forget that Gina was in trouble right now because she hadn’t planned ahead. One of the more annoying things about Nick was that he was often right.

“I was wrong. I’m sorry.” Nick opened his mouth to go on, but Tess shook her head.

“Forget it. I’m in a bad mood and I’m taking it out on you. Now, explain this mess to me.” She craned her neck up to look at him. “But don’t explain it looming over me.” She waved him to the floor. “Sit.” She watched him slide down the wall to sit at her feet, his broad body graceful even in collapse, and then she grinned at him. “This is good. You understand the basic commands.”

“Come down here with me and I’ll roll over,” Nick said, and Tess felt her pulse flutter.

“Go away,” she said.

“Forget I said that,” Nick said. “That was my evil twin.”

“The only evil twin you have is that twit you work for,” Tess said.

“Funny, you should mention Park — ” Nick began again….

Copyright © 1994 by Jennifer Crusie Smith. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever w/o written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.