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teresaplatt

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Reply with quote  #51 
9K I FLOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOMUCH, YOU BRING ZACH AND KENNDALL TO LIFE., NOW THIS IS THE WAY A SOAP SHOULD BE WRITTEN, NOT ALWAYS SO DARK AND GLOOM, JUST NORMAL DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILY STUFF THAT YOU CAN LAUGH AT. ps. i love the miranda part. she loves her unca zach.lol  thank you for all you do for us TK fans.
Granny

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Reply with quote  #52 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrant4218

"Home for the Holidays" is beautiful...it's my kind of story...  But having not seen the prior chapters, my only questions are:  How can I get to see the

previous chapters? and, Are you submitting them to to ABC?

 

Thanks for some enjoyable reading.

 

jg

They are all on this thread.  Go to page one, first message is chapter 1.  They are all beautiful!  You will enjoy them.

Granny 


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jgrant4218

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Reply with quote  #53 

Thank you, Granny, I can hardly wait!  I am on my way.

 

jg


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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #54 
Home for the Holidays

Chapter 7


"Can I ask you something?" Zach said as he looked into the face of his beautiful wife. His beautiful laughing wife. "What's so funny?" he asked innocently. "You know what's so funny," Kendall said as she reached out and poked him in the shoulder. He just looked at her. "Come on, Zach. How many questions will this make? Sixteen? Seventeen? You only have a few left, so you better make it good."

"Oh, it'll be good," he said as he pulled her up against him. "Besides, how else is a man supposed to get to know his wife?" "You already know me, Zach. Inside and out." She grinned at him wickedly and started to kiss him, but he pulled away from her.

"I know what you're doing, Kendall," he said. "You're trying to distract me so I won't ask any more questions. It won't work. Fair is fair. You got your answers and I will get mine." He smiled when Kendall retaliated with a pout. "Fine," she said with her chin in the air. "Go ahead. Ask me anything."

"Anything, huh? Maybe I need to think this through a minute. As you said, I only have a few question left." Zach stretched his legs across Kendall's lap and rubbed his chin. Kendall couldn't help it. She laughed. And waited. Her mind wandered back to the beginning of their 20 questions marathon.

-------------------------

Kendall was on the phone with Zach, lamenting the number of Christmas party invitations they had received since moving into their new neighborhood. They were both in their cars headed to work, but headed in opposite directions.

"You know, Kendall, we don't have to attend every party we're invited to," Zach had said calmly. "We can always politely decline." She sighed into the phone so forcefully it blew the hair curling over his ear. "I know, Zach. But what kind of message does that send? What does that say to our new neighbors about us?" "It says we don't want to attend their parties. It says we want to be left alone. What's wrong with that?" Again she sighed.

"It's rude, Zach. Do you really want to be rude to our neighbors?" "Do you really think I care?" he answered. She heard him chuckle, as if the question was absurd. "No. I know you don't care. But you don't have to live up to anyone's expectations. Erica Kane isn't your mother." "Thank God," he interrupted. He literally heard her roll her eyes.

"Okay, listen. I know how to make this all go away ... to make sure we don't get anymore invitations." "Zach! For the last time. We are not putting a 30 foot snowman on our front lawn!" she screamed into the phone. "How about a life-size Santa on the roof. With reindeer and a sleigh. In lights," he said casually, waiting for her to laugh.

"Dammit!" she yelled. Then she dropped the phone. She could hear Zach calling her name, but she couldn't deal with him right now. She had to work to keep control of the car. After she pulled over to the side of the road, she picked up the phone and answered her frantic husband.

"I'm here, Zach," she said. "Okay, forget the reindeer," he joked. "What happened?" She got out of the car and kicked the shredded tire. "Blowout," she answered. "I guess I need to call AAA." "Don't bother," he said quickly. "I'm on my way." She was stunned. "No. Zach Slater doesn't change tires," she said incredulously. "He has it done. He has staff."

"Zach Slater doesn't leave his wife standing on the side of the road, waiting for somebody who is in no hurry to get there," he said matter-of-factly. "I'll be right there." She was speechless. And touched. She leaned against the car and waited for her white knight to arrive in his silver Mercedes.

-------------------------

"God," Kendall said after watching Zach change her tire. "That is the sexiest thing I've ever seen." "Dirty hands?" he asked as he closed the trunk. "No. Romantic husband." She handed him the baby wipes she kept in her glove compartment and watched him clean the grease from his big, strong hands. "Romantic? Changing a tire?" he said in response to the look on her face. She had stars in her eyes.

She took the wipes from him and began rubbing the grime from his hands. "Romance doesn't have to be satin sheets and candlelight, Zach. This was the sweetest thing anybody has ever done for me. And I love you for it," she said as she stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. "I love you, too," he replied as he returned the kiss. Then he pulled back and arched an eyebrow. "And I can't wait to see what happens the next time I take out the garbage."

-------------------------

"Okay, Zach, what's your next question?" Kendall asked. "I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Don't be so impatient. Here, have some more hot chocolate," he said as he refilled her cup. He had been plying her with hot cocoa all afternoon. And it was all her fault.

-------------------------

"What does a man who can buy anything get his wife who has everything for Christmas?" Zach had asked over lunch. They had already decided to take the afternoon off, even before Kendall's blowout and Zach's grease-stained Armani suit. But something had come over Kendall upon seeing her virile husband changing a tire. She insisted that they go home so he could change his clothes. They never made it work. "Ah, it's good to be the boss," Zach had said as Kendall helped him out of his dirty clothes.

"There are only two things a woman can never get enough of from her husband. Well, three if you count diamonds," she said. The look on Zach's face said he knew what he hoped one of them was. "Well, that too," Kendall giggled. "But I'm talking about time and chocolate," she said. He looked at her as if she'd grown another head. "I mean it, Zach. What woman doesn't want more of her husband's undivided attention? And chocolate, well, it speaks for itself. Chocolate makes women do crazy things." She laughed at the look on his face. "I'll have to remember that," he said in a low voice.

-------------------------

"Isn't there a time limit on these questions," Kendall complained. "I asked you simple little things, and you're trying your hardest to think of something embarrassing to ask me." He flashed his eyes at her, refilled her cup of cocoa, and resumed his thinking. He was absentmindedly wrapping her hair around his fingers.

She thought back over some of his answers. Favorite color? "Green, just like your eyes." Favorite holiday? "New Year's Eve. New beginnings. Fresh starts. Balloon wishes." Favorite vacation spot? "Anywhere the At Last sails." Favorite sport - besides hockey? "Wrestling," he'd said with a big grin. Favorite junk food? "Chocolate," he winked. "You're just flirting with me, Zach. You're not taking this seriously at all," she'd accused. "Kendall, I take flirting with you very seriously. Now have some more cocoa."

"That's it," Kendall exclaimed. "Out of time. Out of luck." "Del!" he yelled. She pushed Zach's feet from her lap and climbed onto his lap. "Sorry, hubby. You snooze, you lose." "Come on, Kendall. I got it in under the buzzer," Zach said as he ran his hands over her back. "You have to explain Del to me."

She chewed on her bottom lip for a second, as if considering it. She was really only doing it to drive Zach crazy. "Okay, one more. Del it is. Let's see. How do I explain Del? Can I explain Del? No. I can't explain it. It's like I was a different person then, Zach. Young, greedy and, apparently, desperate," she said, shaking her head. "Although, he's still not too hard to look at. Have you seen him with his shirt off?" she teased, fanning herself.

"Uh, no. Can't say that I have," Zach answered sarcastically. "Hot, huh?" Kendall started unbuttoning his shirt. "Oh, yeah. Very hot," she said. "But not nearly as hot as this." She kissed every inch of his chest as she uncovered it. "Speaking of hot," Zach said dryly as he slid the straps of Kendall's shirt from her shoulders, "how about more cocoa?" Kendall shook her head and continued on her mission. "Uh-uh. I've had enough chocolate. Now I'm ready for the crazy part."

TBC


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Puppetwrangler

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Reply with quote  #55 

Hurray!! Another wonderful chapter! You are right, there are few more romantic things a man can do than come get you when your car breaks down. My husband has lots of experience with that.( Works both ways.)

Granny

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Reply with quote  #56 

Bravo 9K!! 

 

You have been missed!  Just because there has been so little Zach time on the tube, you don't have to take a holiday!!!!  We need you!!!

 

I sure love your chapters.  I've been checking daily for the next chapter.  When is the next one?  LOL  You know we are never satisfied!  Who said soap drama has to be full of anger, murder, etc.  Why won't the writers give us laughter and happiness?  Your chapters are so touching.  They are full of love, kindness, and always leave us wanting more.

 

Is it my imagination, are your chapters getting shorter?  LOL

 

Granny  


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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #57 
Uh-oh ... busted!!! You got me on that one, Granny. This chapter was a little short. But I will have a new one to post Thursday morning, so this is just to tide y'all over.

I should have known I couldn't sneak it past you.

BTW, thanks to everybody for the enthusiastic support. I am definitely stuck in Happy ZenLand and I don't want to leave. Glad to have you all there with me. Who wants cocoa?

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tkaddicted

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Reply with quote  #58 

9K, you're too funny, I'll take a cup!  Thanks for coming back, like Granny, I've missed you.  I'm looking forward to Thursday.


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Abigail

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Reply with quote  #59 

Hooray 9K!  Another delightful chapter to warm up a rainy, gloomy day here.  Several stand outs in this chapter for me personally...loved when Zach wondered what Kendall's reaction would be the next time he took out the garbage and when Kendall couldn't really "explain" Del after all.  Good stuff that made me laugh.

 

Ok, so this chapter was a little short, but as long as we've got another one coming Thursday, I'm good.  Any chance of some Zpike moments coming up?


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Granny

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Reply with quote  #60 

9K, is it Thursday yet?  LOL  Yep, I'll take a cup of that hot chocolate!  Fill 'er up!  Granny  


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Roseann

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Reply with quote  #61 

Thanks for another great chapter, 9K...looking forward to Thursday.

teresaplatt

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Reply with quote  #62 
9K, you know you got the MIDAS touch with your writing, you would be an excellent ROMANTIC SUSPENCE WRITER.i would buy you books in a new york minute.  
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Reply with quote  #63 

Thank you so much 9K.  I love this story and with so little Zach and Kendall this month, this is great.  Can we get you hired as a writer for AMC?  Why can't they write a love story like you do?  I can't wait until Thursday for the next chapter. 

Granny

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Reply with quote  #64 

Tomorrow is Thursday!!!!!!  Granny


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tkaddicted

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Reply with quote  #65 

Yes, Granny--and I can hardly wait.


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  It is Thursday isn't it?  I need a new chapter!  My hot chocolate is ready.  Good morning 9K.  Can you hear us?

 

  Granny


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Ande

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Reply with quote  #67 

It's Thursday and my Hot Chocolate is ready also!!! Let's get the party started!!!


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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #68 
Okay, here we go. Sorry, it took me longer than I thought. Cheers!

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 8


"That's right, Monte Carlo," Zach said into the phone. "Round trip. First class. Yes, for two," he was checking dates on his calendar, making note of what needed to be rescheduled before then. "And what time will that arrive? Perfect. Have those delivered to my office. Thanks." He hung up the phone and smiled to himself. "If time is what she wants, time is what she'll get." His smile broadened at the thought of a bikini-clad Kendall on the white sandy beaches of the French Riviera. Oh well, not this trip. Maybe he could talk her into wearing a bikini in their hotel room.

His thoughts were interrupted by his secretary. "Mr. Slater, you wanted me to let you know when it was three o'clock." Zach glanced quickly at his watch and jumped from his chair. He thanked his secretary as he hurried from the room. He had an appointment with a V.I.P. and he didn't want to be late.

-------------------------

"Monte Carlo? What the hell?" Kendall said to the courier who had just handed her two plane tickets, along with travel itineraries, hotel reservations, and stacks of brochures. "I think there's been some mista..." she began, but the words died in her throat when she saw Zach's name. "Oh no," she said in a rush as realization dawned, "You were supposed to deliver these to my husband." She quickly stuffed everything back into the envelope and handed it to the confused young man standing in front of her.

"Wait a minute," she said as he turned to leave. "We have to fix this." She paced back and forth in front of her desk, gesturing wildly. "You have ruined my husband's surprise." Her voice softened as she added, "My sweet, romantic, gorgeous husband." Then she stopped pacing and went to stand directly in front of the man. "Here's what you're gonna do," she said. "You are going to get back on your bicycle and pedal on over to the Season's East Casino and deliver this to Zach Slater. Mr. Slater must never know you were here. Understand?" He nodded lazily, but Kendall wasn't satisfied.

"Okay, let me spell this out for you, frat boy. You will keep your mouth shut and do the job you were hired to do. Take this," she said, snatching the envelope from his hand and waving it in front of his face, "to Zach Slater." She drew out the name, saying it very slowly. "And if he finds out you came here first, it will be your job. No, it will be your ass! Now do you understand?"

He stood at attention and saluted her. "Yes ma'am," he said sarcastically. Kendall didn't appreciate his attempt at humor. "Don't be cute," she snapped. "And don't you dare stick your hand out for a tip. Get it right and I'm sure my husband will be very generous." She waved him off and watched him turn to leave. "Oh okay, here's a tip for you," she said sweetly. "Never, ever wear those shoes with those pants again." Then she turned her back, effectively dismissing him.

She reached for the phone and dialed Zach's number. He answered immediately. "Where are you?" she asked. "No hello? I thought you were supposed to ask what I'm wearing," he said, lowering his voice. "Very funny," she replied. "So where are you?" She heard him sigh. "You're no fun. What's wrong? Are you having a bad day?" "Zach!" she yelled into the phone. "I'm meeting with one of my high rollers. Why?" he said at last. She tried to keep the disappointment from her voice. "No reason. I just wanted to see you, that's all. I miss you."

"You do, huh? I miss you, too," he said. "So tell me, what are you wearing?" She heard his soft laugh and wanted more than anything to be where he was. But sometimes work had to come first. "It doesn't matter what I'm wearing now," she purred. "Just think about what I'll be wearing when you get home." He growled. "And what will that be?" he whispered into the phone. "Wouldn't you like to know?" she teased. "Mmmmm hmmmm..." he said, sending vibrations through her whole body. "Then hurry home," she pleaded. "I'll be there," he said and was gone.

Kendall picked up her purse and headed out the door. Monte Carlo, she thought to herself. "What a wonderful man I married," she said aloud to the empty elevator. She found herself tapping her foot impatiently as she waited for the elevator to reach the first floor. She was suddenly desperate to see her husband.

-------------------------

"Okay big spender," Zach said to the young man across the table. "Let's see what you've got." He had been there for more than an hour, trying to teach him the finer points of blackjack. The guy had plenty of money, but very little skill. Zach was fond of the kid and wanted to help him improve his game.

"Sorry for the interruption," Zach said as he showed his cards. "My wife. She can't get enough of me." His opponent said nothing. "You married?" Zach asked. Still nothing. The guy just looked at him.

"I know, you're trying to bluff me, aren't you?" Doesn't matter, I call. Show your cards." Zach reached over and took the cards from his opponent's hands. "Twenty-one. Nice. I guess you win this one," he said as he shoved the pot across the table. Zach was dealing the next hand when his wife came sailing through the door and stopped abruptly.

Kendall couldn't believe what she was seeing. There, in the middle of her living room was her husband and son playing blackjack. Zach had pulled a card table close to the fireplace and had Spike sitting in a high chair across from him. Spike was wearing sunglasses and playing with a bubblegum cigar. Zach was holding a real cigar between his lips, but it wasn't lit. In front of Spike was a pile of Goldfish crackers.

"Zach, what's going on here?" she asked in a warning tone. "I thought you were in a meeting with a high roller." He stood up to kiss her and brought a chair for her to sit in. "I am. Look at this guy? He's cleaning me out." Zach leaned over to whisper in Kendall's ear. "The kid's got a huge trust fund." She eyed Spike's "winnings." "Looks like he's gonna keep it," she said. "Nah, I'm just reeling him in," Zach replied.

Kendall laughed and ran her hand across his chest. "So how long before you lose your shirt?" Zach grinned at her and reached for the deck of cards. "It won't be long now," he said. "Why the sunglasses?" Kendall asked. "The boy's poker face needs a little work. He has a tell. And I don't want the other babies to know when he's bluffing," Zach said. "A tell? What kind of tell?" Kendall asked, studying Spike closely.

"Remember when you came to my office and called me a master liar and manipulator?" Zach asked. Kendall groaned. "Don't remind me," she said sheepishly. "No. It's okay," he said, patting her arm. "But you wanted to know if there are ways to tell when someone is lying. Signs. Well, there are." "And what are they?" she asked, leaning closer to him with great interest. He just laughed at her and wagged his finger. "Not telling."

"Okay then, just keep playing and let me watch. I'll figure it out for myself," she said. Kendall moved closer to Spike and played the cards he was dealt. She knew the basics of the game, but she was no match for a card shark like Zach. It didn't take long for the pile of crackers to move to his side of the table.

"What happened to you losing your shirt?" she said after he won another hand. "I decided I'd rather see you lose yours," he answered, lowering his eyes to her mostly bare chest. God how he loved those low-cut shirts she always wore. It was enough to drive a man crazy. "Oh really," she said. "Let's up the stakes then. One more hand. Winner take all."

"All right," Zach agreed. "But let's define 'all' before I deal the cards." Kendall thought for a moment. "How about this? If I win, I get to take your shirt off. If you win, you can take off mine. Deal?" Zach smiled at her while he shuffled the cards. "Sounds to me like I win either way," he said. "So do I," she agreed. "But I forgot to mention one thing. We can't use our hands." Zach dropped the cards. She saw him swallow as his eyes went to her shirt. She knew he was picturing how he could get it off without using his hands.

"You're on," he said and quickly dealt the cards. Kendall and Spike did their best, but were still unable to beat Zach. In a matter of seconds, the game was over. Now it was time for the real fun. But first, Kendall carried Spike upstairs and put him to bed. Luckily, playing cards with Daddy all afternoon had worn him out.

Kendall came back downstairs to find Zach waiting with a bottle of wine and a light supper. She joined him on the couch and took her sweet time eating. Zach wolfed his food down and watched her anxiously. She nibbled and sipped, licking her lips and wiping non-existent crumbs from her clothes, all to torture her husband. Everytime she took a bite, he groaned. And she smiled.

"Okay, enough," he said at last. "You're having too much fun driving me insane." "What do you mean, Zach?" she asked innocently. "Surely I'll need this to keep up my strength ... and stamina. Won't I?" He pushed her plate away and pulled her up against him. "Definitely," he said as he captured her mouth for a long, hot kiss. Suddenly Zach broke the kiss and held her away from him.

"Wait a minute," he said. "I believe I won our bet. Now what was that about no hands?" Kendall smiled. "A deal's a deal," she said. She pushed on Zach's shoulders until he was lying down on the sofa. Then she crawled over him, straddling him. She leaned over and began popping the buttons off his shirt with her teeth. But she never finished. He was on her before she got to the last button.

"I cheated, Kendall," he said. He was now leaning over her, looking like a wolf ready to devour her. "I know," she said matter-of-factly. "And you just let me get away with it?" he asked. They were both breathless with anticipation. She nodded her head, her eyes never leaving his face. "No, Kendall. I dealt from the bottom of the deck on that last hand. So it's my turn to pay up." She laughed. "You were dealing from the bottom of the deck the whole time, Zach."

He lifted his head from the deep vee of her shirt and gave her a surprised look. "You knew all along? I'm impressed." Kendall pulled him to her and kissed him. Then she guided his head back to the spot he had vacated. "So then, I guess it's your turn to impress me."

-------------------------

"That will come in handy when we get to Monte Carlo," Zach said to the woman sitting next to him on their bed. They were playing poker, and Zach was learning that Kendall played to win. She just looked at him, eyebrow arched, trying to decide if she wanted to play innocent or pretend she didn't know what he was talking about. She decided she couldn't pull off innocent, especially not while she was barely dressed.

"How did you find out?" she asked, picturing her hands around the throat of a certain skinny little college punk. "Well," Zach began as he dealt the next hand, "I got a call from the travel agent asking for directions to my office. I told her to have them delivered here instead. When the kid got here, he was pretty ticked off." He stopped when Kendall grunted, then continued.

"I immediately smelled your perfume on the envelope, so I asked him where he'd been. He tried to lie, but I coerced him into telling me the truth. He offered me his sympathy for being married to such a - his word - 'bitch' and I offered him an attitude adjustment." Kendall noticed that Zach was absent-mindedly rubbing his knuckles and she smiled with satisfaction. She also made a mental note to call that travel agent the next day. She'd show that boy what a real bitch was capable of.

"So much for surprising my wife," Zach said, interrupting her revenge fantasies. "Oh yeah, I did promise the boy I'd put you over my knee. But that was really more for me than for him." Kendall looked up to see Zach grinning at her wickedly. "Promises, promises," she said, watching her husband's eyes dilate.

"Last hand," Zach said in a raspy voice. "Winner take all." "I'm in," Kendall said. "This is taking too long anyway. I can think of a lot of things I'd rather be doing. So, five-card stud, show me what you've got." He arched an eyebrow and spread his cards out in front of her. "Royal flush," he said. Kendall threw her cards over her shoulder and lunged at her husband. "Are you ready to impress me again?" she said into his open mouth. "Oh, you'll be impressed," he promised, "again and again and again."

TBC

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Granny

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Reply with quote  #69 

Yeah!  So worth the wait!!!!  I wonder if the delivery person got a generous tip?!  LOL

 

Great chapter 9K!  Thank you!  It is a dreary day here.  Cold front just came in.  The wind is howling.  The temperature is dropping.  Here comes the cold.  I hate cold weather.  But your chapter is warming!  Thank you again!

 

Granny 


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Reply with quote  #70 

9K, I am impressed!  Again!  I had a lot of fun reading this chapter. 


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Abigail

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Reply with quote  #71 

Another great chapter, 9K.  And thanks for writing some Zpike scenes in...the visual of Spike in his high chair wearing sunglasses and holding a bubblegum cigar with his pile of Goldfish cracker winnings is priceless!

 

I love how you give us this love story as it should be written, but you remain true to the characters and who they are.  This was a great read from start to finish...but I'm always a little sad when I get to those dreaded three letters...TBC.  More, please!


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Reply with quote  #72 
Another great chapter, thank you.  I absolutely LOVED the blackjack scene between Zack and Spike.  It was just so cute.  This story keeps getting better and better, can't wait for Monte Carlo.

Thanks again,
Leela

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Reply with quote  #73 

Another great chapter, 9K!  I can just picture the Slater Family on my tv as I read each paragraph.  What a great way to end my night.  I'm looking forward to the next chapter.  Thanks.

Roseann

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Reply with quote  #74 

Thanks 9K.  Another great humorous and romantic chapter in the lives of our favorite couple. If only we could see this on TV.  I would love to see TK and AM and baby Spike play out some of the scenes you describe in your chapter. Looking forward to Monte Carlo.

 

With the fan fiction and the music videos on this website we could probably survive without McT's "disappointing show" as the SOD surveys described AMC.


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Reply with quote  #75 

9K, you had me in stitches.  The image of Spike sitting in his high chair with a bubble gum cigar sticking out of his mouth wearing sunglasses and Zach across from him with his own cigar was priceless.  What at treat!  Thanks so much.  I got to this chapter late, as much as I was looking forward to it.  Too many projects, but I'll sleep well after reading it and looking forward to more! 


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Reply with quote  #76 

Oh. 9K, thank you so much!  I am printing this out so that I can get into bed and enjoy your beautiful creativity...(it is 11 pm),  I am so looking forward to it!

 

jg


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Reply with quote  #77 

Any word on Chapter 9?  I'm looking but I can't find it.  LOL

Granny 


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Reply with quote  #78 
Yep, Granny, and the word is ... now!

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 9


"Monte Carlo?" Erica gasped. "Why one earth would you go to Monte Carlo now, Kendall? It's Christmas." Kendall fought the urge to roll her eyes. "No it's not, Mother. Christmas is the 25th, and we will be back long before then." Erica just glared at her daughter, unable to believe what she was hearing. Would Kendall really just disappear for almost two weeks in the middle of holiday party season? It was unheard of.

"It's romantic," Kendall said dreamily, interrupting her mother's thoughts. "Don't be absurd," Erica replied with a toss of her head. "It's just Zach Slater's way of keeping you from your family at Christmas," she accused, eyes narrowed to mere slits. "Dear God, not that again," Kendall said. "Talk about absurd. I'm not having this conversation with you again, Mother. I wish I could make you understand. Zach and I love each other. We actually like spending time together. And there's nothing he wouldn't do to make me happy. Why can't you just accept it and be happy for me?" Kendall said. Then she threw up her hands and walked away.

She made her way through the crush of people crammed into her mother's living room. Erica was throwing her first party of the season, and it seemed to be a rousing success. By Kendall's estimation, her mother had invited too many people. Judging by the way the back patio had been decorated, Kendall suspected that the guests were supposed to spill out into that area to relieve the congestion inside, but it wasn't happening. The weather was cold and this group of prima donnas wasn't about to venture out. Which explains why Zach was out there all alone when Kendall found him.

"I can't decide," she said as she walked up behind him. He turned and smiled at her. "What?" he said softly. "Well, is my husband out here because he's a coward who doesn't want to deal with my mother's guests..." "Or," he interrupted. "Or, is he out here in the cold just to prove that he's a manly man?" Zach grunted. "Rugged, remember?" he said. "Rugged, right," Kendall repeated as she moved closer to him, rubbing her bare arms.

"I'm here for the quiet," Zach said. He took off his coat and put it around Kendall's shoulders. "Oh," Kendall said as she started to step away from him. He immediately reached out and pulled her back, wrapping his arms around her from behind. "Not you," he said gruffly. "Where are you going?" She settled back into his warm embrace as the cold wind brushed against her face. "Nowhere," she said with a sigh.

"So how did your mom take the news about our trip?" Zach asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence. "The same way she took the Red Wings ornament you brought her for the tree ... not well," Kendall said with a wary smile. Zach pulled her closer and she could feel more than hear his laughter. "Erica never disappoints, does she?" he said lightly. "And neither do you, Zach," Kendall said as she turned in his arms. "I want to go home. Are you ready?" "I thought you'd never ask." He grabbed her hand and pulled her through the crowded house and out the front door without a backward glance.

-------------------------

"Monte Carlo?" Simone said wistfully. "How romantic is that?" She looked at Kendall through star-filled eyes and Kendall knew she'd lost her. "Simone! Simone!" Kendall said loudly, snapping her fingers in front of her face. "Stay with me. We have some things to go over." Simone snapped out of her reverie and gave Kendall her mostly undivided attention. "Ready boss," she said in her no-nonsense business voice. Kendall spent the next forty-five minutes going over business situations that would need to be handled in her absence, all the while fighting to keep Simone's attention.

"God, Kendall, your husband is something else. I don't care what everybody says about him, he's okay in my book. I mean, people say he's ruthless and immoral and maybe even mob connected, but nobody can deny how gorgeous he is, and sexy ... in that brooding, dark, dangerous sort of way. But then, he does the most romantic things. So he must be a real softy, too. And I think he's got to be the mo-" "Simone!" Kendall snapped again. "Enough! I don't need you to tell me how great Zach is. I'm the one who married him - twice. What I need is for you to take care of these things while I'm gone. Can you handle it?

Simone hopped off the corner of Kendall's desk and walked to the elevator, calling over her shoulder. "Sure I can, sweetie. Don't worry. You can count on me." "Where are you going?" Kendall asked, glancing at the clock. It was too early for lunch. "I'm going to visit Ethan," Simone said casually. "I'm gonna give him hell for never taking me to Monte Carlo. He could have learned a lot from his daddy." Kendall stared after her in amazement until the elevator doors closed.

-------------------------

"Monte Carlo!" Myrtle drawled, dragging the words out. "Ah, the stories I could tell you, dahlin'." She looked up to see Zach waiting patiently for her to continue, but she didn't. She just gave him that Mona Lisa smile and said nothing. "Come on, Fargate. You can tell me," Zach pleaded. "Sorry. You'll just have to wait for my memoirs," she said, patting his hand.

Zach had run into Myrtle completely by accident at BJ's. Myrtle was there on a muffin run, Zach was there for a date. He was meeting Kendall for an early lunch so they could finalize plans for their trip. "So who's the lucky girl?" Myrtle asked when Zach continued to monitor the front door. "I thought you were," Zach said as he kissed her hand. "Oh I am, at least for now. But I bet whoever you're expecting will push me out of the picture," she said knowingly. "Never," Zach said, turning his attention back to Myrtle. "Ah, I should have known," Myrtle said, looking over Zach's shoulder at the green-eyed beauty standing in the doorway. "Oh well, I'll bow out gracefully, as long as it's for her."

Zach turned to see Kendall coming toward them. Myrtle watched the change in him and was overjoyed. These two had caused her a lot of heartache. It had taken nearly all of her tricks to keep them together. Why, anybody could see they were perfect for each other, she thought to herself.

Zach took his wife in his arms and kissed her softly. Then they both turned back to the woman who meant so much to them. "Hello, Myrtle," Kendall said as she bent to hug her. "You keeping him in line?" "Dahlin', you don't want him walking too straight a line. That would take all the fun out of it," she said with a wink. "Now Zach, help an old woman off this stool, and I'll leave you two alone. Have fun in Monte Carlo," she said as she walked away, again flashing a knowing smile.

"What was that about?" Kendall asked when they were seated at a table. Zach shrugged. "She's saving it for her memoirs," he said. "Now that is a book I can't wait to read," Kendall laughed. "Full of shocks, but no surprises." "Speaking of surprises," Zach began, "have you told everybody about our trip?" "Yep. Everybody but Ryan, and he's next on my list," she said through a mouthful of chicken salad.

"Do you think he'll have a problem with it?" Zach asked after diving into his own lunch. "I can't wait to find out," Kendall answered. She smiled at the look on Zach's face and answered the question before he could ask it. "Well, Mom was angry with me for daring to leave town when there are parties to attend," she began. "And," Zach said when she didn't finish. "And, Simone now thinks you are the most wonderful man on the planet." Zach's slight smile broadened when Kendall added, "Of course, I told her I already knew that." "Damn right," he said.

-------------------------

"Monte Carlo?" Ryan repeated. "What's in Monte Carlo?" He'd been curious all day about the favor Kendall wanted to ask him, but he'd never expected this. "Zach and I are in Monte Carlo, or at least we will be in three days," Kendall said. "It's a Christmas present from my husband," she offered, even though she knew she didn't owe him any explanations. "A vacation in the middle of winter?" Ryan guessed. "No, time. He's giving me the gift of his time and his undivided attention for ten whole glorious days. Isn't it romantic?" she gushed.

"Whatever," Ryan conceded. "But what does it have to do with me? Oh, you want me to come along and chaperone," he joked. "Of course, Kendall. I'd love to. I haven't been to the French Riviera in years." Kendall did a double take. "When have you been to the ... you know what? Nevermind. No. I want you to take care of Spike while we're gone." "Ah, I see. Well then, I guess I'll have to settle for that," Ryan laughed. "Seriously, Kendall, you know I'll be happy to keep Spike. He is my son, too. And I promise, no wild parties, no scary movies, and no girls - at least not for him."

-------------------------

"Monte Carlo!" Kendall yelled as she stood on the balcony of their luxurious hotel suite with her arms open wide. The view was spectacular. The weather was much warmer than in Pine Valley, although not quite bikini weather, as she'd already informed Zach. But she did sneak a bikini into her suitcase to surprise him. Maybe they could play a little beach blanket bingo indoors.

"So, what do you think?" Zach asked as he walked up behind her. "I think it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen," she said as he brought his arms around her. "I think I have the most wonderful husband in the world." "Uh huh," Zach mumbled as he buried his face in her neck. She moved her head to give him better access. "I think I can't wait to try out my new poker skills." "Me either," he said into her ear. "And," she said softly, "I think I miss our son already. Am I pathetic?" she asked, sounding almost apologetic.

Zach straightened up and stepped away from her. Kendall turned just in time to see him pull something out of his coat pocket. It was a small gift-wrapped package. "No, you're not pathetic. Here," he said as he handed it to her, "I knew you'd feel this way." Kendall unwrapped the package and found a small framed picture of Spike sitting on Santa's lap.

"Zach," she said incredulously, "you went to the mall?" "Mmmm hmmm. Me and about a thousand moms standing in line to see the fat man in the red suit. I wanted to surprise you." He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. "The boy takes a great picture, doesn't he? And you should have heard his list for Santa. I'm telling you, Kendall, we better get busy."

Kendall laughed through her tears. "You're amazing, Zach. I can't believe you braved the mall at Christmas, and all for me." He pulled her back into his arms. "I'd do anything for you, Mrs. Slater."

She stood on her tiptoes to kiss him. "Thank you, Zach. It was so sweet of you, and the picture is the cutest thing I've ever seen." She stroked the picture and then kissed her husband again. "And you just might have earned your own surprise." "The bikini? Did you bring it?" he asked excitedly. She nodded. He growled. Then he lifted her into his arms and carried her inside.

Neither of them could have known that they were being watched.

TBC

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9K! 

How could you?!  Here I am giggling and daydreaming of Zendall.  I loved your paragraph, "Zach turned to see Kendall coming toward them. Myrtle watched the change in him and was overjoyed. These two had caused her a lot of heartache. It had taken nearly all of her tricks to keep them together. Why, anybody could see they were perfect for each other, she thought to herself." 

I'm swooning and loving every minute then you drop the other shoe!  What the hell do you intend to do with them being watched?  Talk about a cliff hanger!  You had better not hold up on giving us Chapter 10!  I won't be able to stand it.  I'm going to be haunting your dreams! 

Granny 


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And it just keeps getting better.

Thank you


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Thank you, thank you 9K!!  I am so loving this story.  I'd watch AMC 24/7 if stories like this were on.


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Definitely looking forward to Chapter 10!!!  Love it, 9K.
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Oh my 9K - this is going to be wonderful. I hope they hire you soon

Look forward to another chapter soon. Thanks


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Thank you 9K.  Great chapter , can't wait for the next chapter.  I wish the writers would take a lesson from you and write like this for Zach and Kendall.  They are such a great couple, they need a writer like you .

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Another great chapter, 9K...thank you.  You really should be getting paid for your talent.  Looking forward to the next chapter. 

Roseann

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9K, what a wonderful surprise!! 

 

I never expected to be able to continue this delightful story so quickly behind chapters 7 & 8, which makes you  quite a prolific writer...your creative juices are on a roll and we, your loyal readers, could not be happier!

 

Thank you.

 

jg


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9K, how do you do it with all there is to do during the holiday season?  However you do it, I'm glad you do.  This chapter came just at the right time with today's episode and the Santa picture with Ryan, et al.  What a pleasant relief.  You've got me hanging too, so get on with it.  I know you have nothing else to do.  LOL  Thanks for your entertaining stories.  I can hardly wait for the next chapter.


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Hmmm...9K...here all along you've been giving us a warm and delightful love story and now you're throwing in a mysterious twist?  Oh, the possibilities for where this may be heading.  As if I wasn't already addicted enough to this fanfic, now you've really got me hooked!  Great job...can't wait for the next chapter.


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Thanks 9K, another good one!

 

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I know, Granny. It's a short chapter. See you Thursday.

 

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 10

A sleeping Zach reached out to take his wife into his arms and came fully awake when he realized she wasn't in bed beside him. "Kendall?" he called as he sat up and looked around the room. That's when he saw the note lying on her pillow. "Reverse jet lag?" he grumbled into the empty room. "What the hell is that? And what does 'back soon' mean? How soon?" He continued to mutter to himself as he got up, dressed, and headed down to the casino on the first floor, hoping his wife was just anxious to do a little gambling.

Kendall sat quietly and calmly on a stool at one of the poker tables. She knew she was being watched closely by a man across the table, but she assumed it was because she was winning ... and winning big. She only wished Zach was there to witness it. His tricks and her natural talent were working very well together. Like magic. Just like the two of them.

She glanced up from her cards when the man who'd been watching her moved to sit next to her. "Hello," he said smoothly, kissing her hand in a move Kendall knew he'd rehearsed for hours. She was sure he thought it was devastatingly sexy, but she was not impressed. This Eurotrash didn't know anything about sexy. Sexy was waiting for her upstairs.

"What's your name, madam?" he asked as Kendall jerked her hand from his grasp. She held up her other hand and waved her wedding ring in his direction. "Mrs.," she said briskly. "I see," he said, but it was obvious that he didn't because he moved his chair closer to hers. "A beautiful ring for a beautiful lady. I can only imagine what kind of an old man you must have married to overcompensate with such a large stone." Kendall burst out laughing. "Oh yeah, he's a real geezer all right." She knew she should have been insulted, but it was too ridiculous. Besides, she didn't care what this greasy gigolo thought.

"I meant no harm," he continued, running his fingers down her arm. "I just meant that there are things an older man can give, like the ring, and things he can't. I'd be more than willing to take care of whatever needs you have that he is no longer able to meet." Kendall was no longer amused. Now she was angry. She was just about to let him have it when her eyes lit on something behind him. Or someone.

She smiled up at her gorgeous husband and breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh look," she said brightly, "here's the old geezer now." She watched as the annoying stranger looked behind him and up, right into the face of a rather large, but not old, angry man. Zach had been watching the scene from a distance. He was content to let Kendall handle it, as long as he was nearby. But then the guy put his hands on her, and it was over for Zach. That was going too far.

"Can I ask you something?" Zach asked in a quiet voice. Kendall knew that voice was dangerous. "Um, sure. I guess," the man said. "Listen, I didn't mean any harm. I was just admiring your beautiful wife," he blurted out foolishly. "Not here," Zach said. "Outside." "Now Zach," Kendall said as she went to stand next to him. "It's okay, honey. I come in here and find this clown hitting on you ... I just want to return the favor." He kissed Kendall on the cheek, gave her a smile, then grabbed the guy by the arm and hauled him outside. "Be right back," he said over his shoulder.

Kendall resumed her game, but was unable to concentrate. After only a few minutes, she saw Zach coming towards her putting on his coat. When he was next to her, she reached up and straightened his tie. "So, how was your talk?" she laughed. "Invigorating," he replied. "How's the game going?" She showed him her large stack of chips and winked at him. "Let's just say I'm a good student," she said. "You're good at a lot of things," he countered as he gave her a quick kiss and sat down beside her.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Slater," the dealer said nervously, "but I can't deal you into the game." Zach looked up at him with interest, but not surprise. Kendall was outraged. "What the hell?" she began. "What do you mean you can't deal him in? Are you accusing him of something?" It never occurred to her to wonder how this man knew her husband's name. Zach reached out and took her hand. "It's okay, Kendall." Then he looked back to the dealer. "So he knows I'm here, huh?" "Yes sir. And he left strict orders. I'm sorry, sir," he said in a clipped voice.

"Zach, what's going on here?" Kendall said as she collected her chips. "Later," he said. "Kendall, you don't have to stop playing. I'll just watch," he said when he realized what she was doing. "Like hell," she snapped, glaring at the dealer. "Give me a minute," she said as she held up her chips, "then you and I are gonna have a little talk." Zach kept his eye on her as she stood in line, waiting for her turn to cash in. Incredibly, the same man from before approached her while she waited. Zach could tell from Kendall's body language that she did not feel threatened, but he still went to join her.

He was no more than ten feet from them when Kendall reached out and slapped the man. Then she shifted her winnings and slapped him again. Instead of becoming angry, the man seemed desperate. Zach grabbed him by the throat and turned to his wife. "You okay?" he asked. She nodded, still too stunned to speak. "What did you say to her?" he said to the man, his voice low and lethal. "I'm just following orders, sir," he replied. "Please let me go." "Not until I get some answers," Zach said furiously. "Kendall, what did he say?" She shook her head as if to clear her thoughts and glanced at her husband before settling her gaze on the persistent stranger.

"He wanted me to go with him. He said he had a room here and that I had to come upstairs so he could give me what my husband couldn't." She visibly shuddered. Zach reached out to comfort Kendall and the man took the opportunity to run away. The Slaters watched in stunned silence. "Maybe he just wanted to rob me," Kendall said weakly. "I did flash my wedding ring at him, not to mention all the chips I'm carrying." Zach shook his head as he absent-mindedly rubbed her back. "Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold," he mumbled as he watched the man board the elevator.

"Let's go to bed," Kendall said. "I've had enough excitement for one night." Zach gave his wife a pained expression. "Is that supposed to be funny?" he teased. She laughed. "You know what I mean, Zach. And you know you're all the excitement I need." Zach accompanied Kendall to the cashier's counter and waited while they counted out her winnings. Then they returned to their hotel suite, neither of them realizing that they were being followed. At least that's what Zach wanted him to think.

TBC


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This is getting very interesting 9K!  I am having fun reading it, and now anticipating another chapter.


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Wow, 9K!
Now I'm very anxiously awaiting the next chapter!
Lorene

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9K...you are KILLING me girl...I love it


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And so the mystery continues...I love it!  Wonder who this man running the casino in Monte Carlo is and how Zach knows him?  And how very "Zach" to be one step ahead of whoever is tailing he and Kendall back to their room...can't wait for Thursday!  Thanks for another great read...


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9K, you are the greatest story teller ever!  What a fertile imagination you have.  You are the best!  (Even if it was "short" we loved it!)  More please.  (The secret to success is to always leave them wanting more!)  Good job, girl!

Granny 


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Thanks 9K.  It's getting really exciting. More, more, more.


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Thanks 9K...great chapter.  It's almost Thursday!

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Ohhh...love!  Excitement!   Intrigue...What more could one want.  I'll be waiting for the next chapter, but please take your time and hurry!

 

jg


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9K!  It's Thursday!!!!!!  My hot chocolate is ready!  Let her rip!

    Granny


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Thanks everybody. Glad y'all are still with me. This whole mystery thing sorta came out of nowhere, so I just had to go with it.

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 11


Zach awoke with a start, his first thoughts of Kendall. He hadn't told her about being followed to their room last night because he didn't want to worry her unnecessarily. But he was beginning to have second thoughts. Maybe he should tell her so she would be more aware of her surroundings.

"Kendall," he began as he turned to face her, but his good intentions died in his throat. She was gone. "Where am I gonna find a cow bell in Monte Carlo?" he muttered as he started to climb out of bed.

"What?" he heard from behind him. He looked up to see Kendall standing in the doorway that led to the bathroom. She was wearing his shirt, obviously the first thing she grabbed from the floor. "What did you just say? Are you trying to imply something, Zach Slater?" she said, hands on her hips and eyes flashing.

"Oh, you're here. Good," Zach said casually, ignoring her show of anger. He mumbled something about a dream and held out his hand to her. "It's nothing," he said. "Come back to bed." She stood her ground for a moment, but relented when she saw his eyes roam over her body. "Dream. Right. I don't know why I put up with you," she said as she walked over to stand next to the bed. "Because you love me," he replied, patting the bed beside him. "And because I'm the luckiest man in the world."

"You know, one of these days that line is not going to work on me anymore," she said. She sat down beside him and placed her hand on his chest. "Maybe. But not today, right?" he teased. "You're wearing my shirt, Kendall," he said in a low voice. "You don't like it?" she asked, trying to look innocent. He shook his head. "Okay. I'll take it off then," she said. He nodded slowly, his eyes never leaving her face.

She slowly unbuttoned the shirt, watching as Zach's eyes turned black. Then she threw it over her shoulder and climbed in on his side of the bed. He wrapped his arms around her and rolled over so that she was beneath him. Then he kissed her hungrily before pulling back to look into her eyes. She was smiling. "Good morning to you, too," she sighed before pulling his head back down for another kiss.

-------------------------

"So, now would you like to explain the cow bell comment?" Kendall asked. She and Zach were enjoying breakfast on the balcony of their suite on a bright, beautiful morning. He looked at her, but said nothing. "Zach?" she said when he continued to stare at her. "I said it was nothing, Kendall. We'll discuss it after breakfast," he said at last. "Can I take a stab at it?" she asked with a gleam in her eye. Zach put down his napkin, folded his arms across his chest and gave her his undivided attention, "Please," he said.

"Okay, here goes. I think that when you woke up and I wasn't in bed, you assumed I'd left the room again. That's why you wanted to get me a cow bell. Which, by the way, is chauvinistic and rude and so not gonna happen. Am I close?" He tried to hide his smile. "Pretty close," he answered. "I thought so," she continued. "But I know you're just being overprotective because of that guy who followed us upstairs last night. So I forgive you," she said sweetly.

Kendall stifled at giggle at the look on Zach's face. His mouth dropped open and his eyes widened, but for just the briefest second. Then he regained his composure and went back to looking cool, calm and collected. Then he smiled at her. "You knew? Of course you knew. Beauty and brains, it's a lethal combination." "Oh no, Zach. That was the easy part. Now I want you to tell me the rest of it. Who was he and why was he following us?"

Zach pushed back his chair and reached for Kendall's hand. "Come on, let's go for a walk and I'll tell you what I think is going on." She gladly accepted his hand and his offer and the two of them made their way down to the beach below. They walked hand in hand for a few minutes, enjoying the view and each other's company, before Zach started his explanation.

"You remember I told you that I won my first casino in a card game?" he asked. "Yes, you told me that when I first met you in Las Vegas," she answered. "Is this about casino business, Zach?" He tilted his head and looked at her. "Well, yes and no," he said. "The guy who lost that casino to me, his name is Cesar. And he just happens to own the casino that we visited last night. I recognized his style right away. Color scheme, floor plan, even the smell of the place. Very distinctive and very Cesar," Zach continued. "My guess is that he just wants to keep an eye on me because he doesn't trust me."

"That makes sense, I guess," Kendall countered. "Do you think the guy hitting on me was just a coincidence, or does he work for this Cesar?" she asked. He thought about it, about denying it, but he didn't want to keep anything from her. "I honestly don't know, Kendall. You are a beautiful woman. So having some creep all over you is not unexpected. But when he came back the second time, didn't he seem desperate to you?" She nodded vehemently. "Yes. Like he was gonna be in trouble if I didn't cooperate," she said softly.

Zach felt her grip on his hand tighten and knew he'd alarmed her. "I don't think there's anything to worry about, sweetheart. Not yet. Just stay close to me and I'm sure everything will be fine. I won't make any attempt to gamble in his casino. That should satisfy him." Kendall relaxed at his words. She trusted Zach, and she knew she was safe with him. "Stay close, huh?" she said. She tugged on his hand to get him to stop. Then she wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him as tightly as she could. "Is this close enough?" He kissed the top of her head. "No," he said as he crushed her body against his. "Never close enough."

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After a morning of beach combing, window shopping and sightseeing, the Slaters were tired and hungry. Zach wanted nothing more than to return to their hotel suite and take a long nap wrapped in each other's arms. But first, Kendall insisted on being fed. She had her eye on a tiny little bistro down the street, but Zach's wallet and her purse were still in their room, so a trip back upstairs was necessary.

"Are you sure I can't talk you into room service?" Zach pleaded. We wouldn't have to leave this room for the rest of the day. You can wear the bikini again and we can have a luau," he cajoled. "Come on, Zach. Feed me. I want the bistro," she whined. "When we get back, I'll make it up to you." She stood on her tiptoes and whispered dark promises in his ear. He took a deep breath and relented. "Deal," he said as he grabbed his wallet and followed his wife out of the room. "But I'm gonna hold you to all of that. Especially number four. Maybe twice on number four."

"Promises, promises," Kendall laughed as she ran for the elevator. She entered the empty car and waited for Zach to join her. "Hurry, I'm starving," she called as he fumbled with the door key. "Damn key cards," he muttered as he walked away. He looked up just in time to see the elevator doors close. "Well hell" he said aloud.

He waited as the elevator went down to the first floor, then came back up. When it opened, he fully expected to see Kendall standing there. But the car was empty. So he stepped in and rode it down to the first floor, again expecting to find Kendall waiting. But she wasn't there. He looked around the lobby and didn't see her anywhere. He pulled out a picture of her from his wallet and showed it to a few people sitting in the area. Nobody had seen her. So he paid one of the bellmen to wait outside the elevator for her while he rode it back up to their suite, just in case he missed her somehow.

He checked both elevators and the stairs but found nothing. No sign of Kendall. He didn't want to overreact, but his gut told him something was wrong. He was just about to call for the police when he spotted the man who had been harassing Kendall the night before coming toward him. "Mr. Slater," he said calmly when he reached Zach. "Please come with me.

TBC

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