Something About You Page 23

“I’m fine, thank you, Mr. . . .” Jack cocked his head. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“Collin.”

He saw that this registered with Jack. A look of recognition crossed Wilkins’s face.

“That’s it! You’re Collin McCann,” Wilkins said.

Collin grinned. Ah . . . fans. He never got tired of meeting them. “Guilty as charged.”

Wilkins rocked back on his heels excitedly. “I thought you looked familiar when you opened the door, but it took me a moment. Something’s different from the picture they’ve got in the paper.”

“It’s the goatee. An unfortunate choice in my late twenties. I’ve been trying to get them to change the photo, but apparently it tests well with the eighteen to thirty-four demographic.”

Jack’s eyes darted between them. “I’m missing something here.”

“He’s Collin McCann,” Wilkins emphasized. “You know, the sportswriter.”

Jack shook his head. No clue. Collin tried to decide how offended he was by this.

Wilkins explained. “He does a weekly column for the Sun-Times where he writes directly to the teams—you know, ‘Dear Manager,’ ‘Dear Coach So-And-So’—and he makes recommendations on trades, what players to start, how to improve the team, those kinds of things.” He turned back to Collin. “That was one hell of a letter you addressed to Piniella last week.”

Collin chuckled. He’d pissed off a lot of Cubs fans with that one. “Needed to be said. When people stop dropping thousands of dollars in season tickets for a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908, maybe the owners and management will finally be motivated to put together a ball club that’s worthy of its fans.”

Wilkins glanced over, embarrassed for his partner. “Seriously, Jack, I think you might be the only guy in this city who hasn’t read his stuff. Collin McCann is like the Carrie Bradshaw of Chicago men.”

“You mean Terry Bradshaw,” Jack corrected.

“No, Carrie,” Wilkins repeated. “You know, Sarah Jessica Parker. Sex and the City.”

A silence fell over the room as Collin and Jack stared at Wilkins, seriously fearing for the fate of men.

Wilkins shifted nervously. “My ex-girlfriend made me watch the show while we were dating.”

“Sure, you keep sticking with that story.” Jack turned to Collin. “Sorry I didn’t recognize the name. I’ve been out of touch for a while.”

“Oh? The Sun-Times doesn’t deliver to Nebraska?” Collin quipped without thinking.

Oops.

He saw the flicker in Jack’s eyes and could read the agent’s thoughts as clearly as if there was a cartoon bubble above his head. So . . . he knows where I’ve been the last three years. She’s talked about me to this joker, then. Who is he, and how much does he know? Except on the issue of sports, a subject on which he clearly is all-knowing.

“Actually, I meant that I’d been working undercover the last time I lived in this city and didn’t have much time to read the paper.” Jack eased back against the counter and took in the kitchen, a room much higher on Cameron’s totem pole that recently had been remodeled. His gaze fell to the hardwood at his feet. “The floors turned out great. You have a very nice place here.”

“I’ll be sure to pass your compliments along to Cameron,” Collin said.

“Oh, I assumed you lived here as well.”

“Nope, just visiting.”

A smoky, feminine voice interrupted them. “And apparently letting unexpected visitors into my house.”

The three men turned and found Cameron standing in the doorway. She wore jeans and a gray T-shirt that hugged tight to her chest, and she had her long hair pulled up into some sort of ponytail/bun-type thing. She looked adorable in a fresh-faced, kicking-back-on-the-weekend kind of way.

Collin stood farther from the doorway, where he had a view of Jack. And although it was subtle, he was pretty sure he saw the agent run his eyes over Cameron before resuming his guarded expression.

Interesting.

Cameron folded her arms across her chest. “Agent Pallas . . . this is a surprise. I wasn’t aware we had an appointment this morning.” She peered around him and her expression turned warmer. “Hello, Agent Wilkins. Nice to see you again. Sorry if I kept you waiting.”

“No problem—we were just catching up with your boy Collin here,” Wilkins said.

Cameron turned her attention next to Collin. “Can I speak with you for a moment?”

“Of course, dear.” Collin followed Cameron into the living room. When they were safely out of earshot, she poked him in the chest.

“What is he doing in my house?” she whispered.

“There was a badge. And some mildly intimidating gazes. I felt it was best to cooperate.”

She poked him again. “I don’t want him in my house.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you’d get this flustered over Jack Pallas.”

Cameron scoffed at this. “I’m not flustered. I just prefer to handle him on my terms. As in, at my office, at a time when I’m more prepared for a business meeting.”

Collin’s gaze fell to her bare feet. He recalled her vow to be more suitably dressed the next time she encountered Jack Pallas. “You’re losing clothing every time you see him. At this rate, you’ll be naked in front of him before you know it.”

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