"It's not safe." His voice was rough. "You coming to a place like this dressed like--" He waved his hand to encompass her clothing.
"Huh?" Pip looked down then back at him. "What's wrong with the way I'm dressed?"
"What's wrong? What's right?" Drawing in a deep breath, he looked away. It was better to focus on his frustration than his desire to climb on the table and take her beneath him. "No lady dresses like that."
"Oh, hell no. You did not just say that to me."
She started laughing. It wasn't a giggle or even an enthusiastic snort. This was a full-bodied, throw-your-head-back-and-clutch-your-belly laugh that started at the tips of her toes and ended at the top of her head.
"What is so funny?" he demanded.
"You. You're...you're...so...funny." She gasped. Wiping at her eyes, she continued to chuckle. "I can't believe you said that to me."
Mystified as to what she thought was so humorous, Jeff fixed her with his cop's stare. Cool, patient and unemotional.
"Oh, my." She fanned herself. "You said no lady dressed like this. But you forgot something. I'm no lady." She shook her finger at him. "My mother will tell you all about it."
It figured she'd take it the wrong way.
"Do you remember when they sent me to that sissification school? Can you believe they spent twenty grand in an attempt to make me more socially acceptable?" She leaned toward him, and he inhaled the sweetness of her light perfume. "Do you have any idea how many people that would feed?" She straightened. "Not that they would've donated it to something so noble as the hungry."
"Knowing them they probably would've had something nipped or tucked or stapled." She shuddered. "Can you imagine? I wonder what they do with the pieces they cut off."