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"Hey, knock it off," a female voice said.
"What the hell?" Jack moved to the side and lowered the lighter, trying to see the body that accompanied the voice. A woman lay on the porch, barely covered by a satiny red bra and a scrap of matching panties. He squatted down next to her bare feet, holding the lighter in the direction of her face. "Are you okay?"
"Go away. Leave me alone."
Her voice was husky sounding, reminding him of a porn star. He'd given up watching the occasional porn movie after he'd gotten married six years ago and had lost interest after his divorce two years ago. "Are you sick or hurt?" As far as he could tell her eyes were closed. She didn't look like Abby's daughter, Bailey, because this woman had dark colored hair.
"Go away," she said again.
"It's thirty freaking degrees outside, lady, and you're dressed for," he paused. Seduction.
"I'm dressed how I want to be dressed."
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Who the hell are you?"
"Jack McBride. I live across the street. I've been keeping an eye on Abby's place."
"My mother is dead."
The lighter momentarily clicked off as surprise rolled through him. This woman who lay half naked on a cold hard porch was Abby's daughter. He remembered the bleached blonde hair, and the sad eyes. Flicking the lighter back on, he stood and stepped sideways until he was flush with her head.
Squatting down next to her, he held the lighter near her face. Her eyes were closed and she almost looked like she was sleeping. Jack lightly touched her shoulder, feeling the smooth, silky skin that felt like a half frozen ice cube.
"Don't touch me," she said without opening hereyes.
"You need to get inside, Bailey, before you freeze to death." He didn't smell booze on her. So why in the hell was she pulling a stunt like this? October in Montana produced damned cold nights and mornings.
"How do you know my name?"
She didn't even peek out of one eye at him. "I knew your mother. She talked about you a lot."
His words didn't elicit a response from her. "Come on. I'll help you up."
"I'm not getting up."
Stubborn female. He almost wished it would have been a bored teenager or two over here at Abby's house. At least, he could have kicked some butt and intimidated the young boys. Something wasn't right here. "If you don't get up, and soon, I'm going to pick you up and carry you into the house. So start deciding how we're going to play this."
Her left eye finally cracked open a slit, barely showing the tawny color.
"The Blackfeet Indians used to strip naked," Bailey paused, her eye closing again. "And roll around in the snow to bathe themselves."
"Is that right?" he muttered. "At least they were moving to keep circulation going through their bodies."
Jack counted to ten and when she didn't answer or move, he moved his hand off the lever of the lighter, throwing the covered porch into darkness again. After he stuffed the lighter back in his shirt pocket, he hoped she might say something or attempt to move. He waited a beat before he reached for her.
When his hand accidentally landed on her soft, plump breast, she screeched.