A/N: Consider this the warnings, etc. for the entire story. I don't own the characters that are familiar. I'm not making anything off these stories, etc. etc. Blah Blah Blah. Please read, enjoy and let me know what you think.

I want to thank my wonderful Beta. You know who you are M and I couldn't do this without you. You've been a total blessing to me and helped me out during the last few trying weeks of RL. You're perfect, and this story is going to Rock! :) --Sare


By: PricklySare


Deny, deny, deny. That was my first thought when I tried to open my eyes. Quickly followed by, Holy shit, and Oh fuck! Slamming my eyes shut I rolled over and groaned, noting that there was a distinct taste of stale tequila residing in my mouth. Ewwww. I couldn't really say I was hung over since the little men with the jack hammers were missing from my head, but my head definitely felt like it weighed more than it had when I left my apartment last night.

Maybe if I deny it long enough I can convince myself that last night hadn't really happened, that I hadn't made a complete fool of myself, irrevocably damaging my relationship...er... non-relationship with the Man of Mystery. Yeah, that's it. It didn't really happen. Welcome to the Land of Denial, current temperature, a balmy ninety-five degrees.

My name is Stephanie Plum, and I am a dumbass. Okay, well, I'm also a bounty hunter, a horrible girlfriend, a terrible daughter, and a tolerable hamster mommy...and I'm just betting that I'm soon going to be the soul resident of a jungle habitat in a yet undisclosed third world country, but that is best ignored for the time being. I am in my thirties, and have long since lost track of my actual age. A girl doesn't really need to remember something as unimportant as that, right? Priorities, I tell you. It's much more important to remember things like the number for Pino's, and the way smooth mocha latte skin felt under my hands. Shit, can't think about that.

I climbed out of my bed, stumbling into the bathroom with bleary eyes. One look in the mirror made me wish that my eyes had remained closed. My hair was more than scary; it was...Jeffrey Dahmer scary. I wasn't even sure a shower would tame it from its serial killer impersonation. Apparently, after returning from the impromptu girl's night I had decided it was easier to sleep in my clothes rather than taking them off. Let me just say, that the little black dress isn't nearly as versatile as one might be led to believe. Currently it was definitely looking the worse for wear. I'm pretty sure it's bad to feel like you're participating in a walk of shame while standing inside your own home. Turning my back on the mirror I took care of nature, turned the shower on to just this side of boiling, stripped off my clothes, and climbed in with a whimper.

An hour later I was feeling a little more human, and amazingly enough my hair no longer looked like it was a candidate for death row. I pulled on my Rangeman uniform and tried not to hyperventilate at the knowledge that last night actually happened and I was getting ready to brave the lion's den. Maybe I should just call in sick...or dead? Dead is looking like an attractive option. Much better than the third world country that undoubtedly has my name all over it.