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Disclaimer: The characters from the world of Stephanie Plum are the sole property of the very talented author: Janet Evanovich.  We only borrowed them to help enhance our story, and do not wish to make money off of them.  This story, however, is copyrighted to the mentioned authors. This story is for entertainment purposes ONLY. If you would like to add it to an archive, please just let us know.


Stephanie Plum is my best friend.  I owe her my life.  I mean that literally.  I really do ‘owe her my life’.  She got the paramedics when she found me beaten to within an inch of my life and left for dead on her fire escape.  If it weren't for her I wouldn’t ever have met my Tank.  So now I reckon it's my turn to do something for her.

Steph has a kinda weird relationship with this hot Italian cop, who Connie and I like to refer to as Officer Hottie.  Because believe you me, he is one hot Italian god.   And sometimes Steph’s with him and sometimes she's not.  Steph refers to their relationship as either on-again or off-again, I just call it not ready to commit.  And when she’s in the off-again stage, and even when she’s in the on-again stage with Officer Hottie, she gets awfully friendly with Ranger, the resident bad boy and bad ass bounty hunter slash mercenary, and my man’s boss, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Now this hot Italian cop with the fine ass is called Joe Morelli, and I certainly wouldn't kick him out of my bed, unless Tank was warming it at the time of course.  Anyways, Joe Morelli’s idea of a date with Steph is pizza and some ballgame on TV.  Take today for instance, Morelli came into the bonds office to talk to our slime of a boss, Vinnie, not something he does very often.  Then he asks Steph to walk him out to his truck.  As he’s walking out the door, he says to Steph, ‘the boys really miss you, how about you come over to my place tonight. I’ll order Pinos and there’s a Rangers game on TV.’  The door swung shut and I just couldn’t contain my anger and frustration at the way he was treating the woman I consider my best friend in the whole wide world. 

I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that Connie wasn’t in the office.   If she were, we probably could have spent the next hour bitchin’ about men and their inconsiderations towards us women.  I glared at Officer Hottie through the glass window as he began to manhandle my girl in public. 

 “Men!” I shouted. Really, would it kill either of them to do something romantic once in a while? Maybe not flowers but they could do something. Candy! Something! I mean really, a girl needs some romance in her life and I knew just what I’m gonna do to get it.

The first step was taking care of Steph’s man.  I fully admit that my own hunk of burnin’ love could use a lesson as well, but he was going to be easier to ‘train’. Officer Hottie was the one who needed a step-by-step lesson in romance.  Pizza and a game on the tube don’t cut it.   Hell he don’t even bother to get a bottle of wine once in awhile to go with that pie.  I was going to get Mr. Italian into the romance mood if it killed me, cause my girl deserved the best.

I did an immediate about face and headed over to my desk.  I needed to make out a list of things and then I was going to go over and sit on Hottie’s doorstep till he got home and then, it was time to start Lula’s first ever one-on-one course on romance.  Maybe if it’s a success, I can bring it to the local college and they can offer it up as a real course.  Wouldn’t that be somethin’: ‘Lula’s Romance 101’.

Sitting down at my desk, I pulled out a pad of paper and got to work.  As I started my list, I began to really think about Officer Hottie and Steph’s relationship, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much work I had to do.

****    ****

As I snuggled deeper into my man’s arms and listened to his even breathing, I glanced around at the mess we’d made to his bed with a satisfied smile.  The sheets were covered with leafy parts of the strawberries we’d feed each other and lots of splotches of whipped cream.  I’m no housekeeper, but somethin’ tells me that stuff ain’t gonna come off if it hardens.  But then, I suppose I didn’t really care since I was pretty sure Tank would probably just throw this set away. 

Sighing contentedly, I mentally patted myself on the back. Romance 101 had been a success, not only for me, but for Steph as well.  It had been one week ago today that I’d set out on my one woman crusade, and I was pleased as punch to admit that Officer Hottie now had absolutely no excuse to ever say that he didn’t know how to be romantic towards my girl.

Not only had Officer Hottie followed every one of my tips, but he’d gone one step further.  He got them front row tickets to the Broadway show ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and booked a room at the Ritz.  Now, that show may not seem like the most romantic show to go see, I probably would have told him to snag Phantom of the Opera tix, but he didn’t ask me. However, to Officer Hottie’s credit, since he’s not a musical buff like me, he said he chose the show strictly based on the title.  Everyone knows how much my girl hates to carry a gun, so all things considered it probably was the more appropriate choice.

That’s where they were tonight, and I was having a hard time waiting for Steph to get back tomorrow so that I can get me the full report.  And believe me, I plan on getting every last detail.  As my gaze fell on the can of whipped cream lying haphazardly on the nightstand, I wiggled out of Tank’s arms.  He’d had enough of a nap, I was ready for the next round. Grabbing the can, I made my way down south to wake my man up properly. 




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