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Matt sauntered in, taking a moment to look around. Wisteria Penny Lane. She'd taken a lot of heat for her name when they were kids. Hippie parents who didn't have a clue the teasing they'd saddled onto their only child. He wondered if they still had that commune outside of town.

He'd seen the ropes, of course. And the marks around her breasts. She'd been tied up pretty well. Who knew when they lost their virginity together in the barn on her parents' farm that the girl would grow up to have kinky tastes? Or that he'd grow up to have them as well?

Now she stood, defiant and proud, her wrists held out before her in challenge. She'd thrown a book at his head the last time he'd seen her, as he recalled. If Brian had told him whose lock he was going to fix, he doubted he'd have come.

"Let me see what I can do. Have a seat."

There was a small chest on the floor in front of the window and he gestured to it.

"I'd rather stand."

"I'm sure you would. But I need steady hands and that's easier to do when I'm kneeling." He smirked. "And you always did want me down on one knee, as I recall."

"You bastard. Get the fuck out of my house."

He drew back in mock astonishment. "Wisteria Lane, such language!"

"I don't want you here. Tell Brian he sent the wrong man."

Matt studied her face. A war went on there. One moment she seemed fully in control, the next she was a breath away from breaking down into full-blown panic mode. Fascinated, he watched the control side take over again. When she spoke this time, her voice was more leveled.

"Go away, Carter. I meant what I said the last time I saw you."

"Yeah, I remember. That you never wanted to see me again. Well, here I am. And you're stuck and I can get you free." He held up the small case of tools. "Picking locks is something I do."

Wisteria sat down hard on the chest, her wrists still held out before her. "Turned to a life of crime?" She sounded bitter and Matt recognized she felt defeated.

"Worked with a security firm for a while," he explained as he knelt down before her and opened the case. He pulled out a dark blue roll of felt and unfolded it as he spoke. "They had a master locksmith as part of their crew and he taught me a few things."

"Security firms are supposed to keep people out, not get them in."

He snorted. "You'd be surprised at how often people lock themselves out of their own systems. First thing they taught me was how to break into a car with a slim jim." Carefully, he reached for her hands. "Now, let me see."

She said nothing to him as he examined the problem. The first piece came out easily enough with a small tweezers. The second proved more difficult and he had to twist around to work the lock from her side of it. That put him uncomfortably close and her perfume distracted him.

Pretending his shoulder didn't touch hers was another distraction. And that string bikini wasn't helping. He remembered those breasts, how soft they felt in his hands, how he could make her purr by licking her nipple...

The piece sprang free and with a twist, he opened the handcuffs, totally shocked by the feeling of disappointment that washed over him. What was he thinking? Wiste wanted no part of him. And, if he was honest with himself. admittedly not one of his strong points, he didn't really want a complication in his life right now. He'd just left one in the desert of Las Vegas, he didn't need to pick up another one here in Connecticut.

"Yes!"

Her exaltation was immediate. He didn't say a word, only putting his tools away, re-rolling the felt and putting it back in its case. Wisteria jumped up and brushed past him as if he didn't exist.

"Em, he did it. Emily? Em!"

But Matt knew Emily had left. He'd heard her sneak down the stairs before he'd even gotten his tools out. For reasons of her own, Emily Baker had left them alone.

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