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"So, luv, how was your trip to the mainland?"

 

Pete's emergence from the shadow on the side of Muir Island's research facility, where he'd been enjoying some solitude and a Silk Cut, brought Kitty and Amanda's slow trek up the foot path to a sudden halt.

 

"Oh, it was... fine." The girls immediately dissolved into giggles.

 

"I see." Pete nodded carefully. He couldn't help but be a bit concerned.

 

Although, to be fair, usually when the girls started giggling about something Kitty bought, it turned out to be good for him, and she did have some rather heavy-looking shopping bags in her hands.

 

"Let's go inside, and I can show you what I bought." Kitty grinned widely.

 

"That's my cue." Amanda snickered, tossing her hair. "I bought a few things that Fuzzy will want to see." She hefted her own bag in evidence. "Have fun, you two." She winked, disappearing into the house.

 

"Like that's a problem." Kitty snickered.

 

"Not in the least." Pete conceded. "So what's in the bag, luv?"

 

"You want to go inside and look?"

 

"Maybe I want to see them now." Pete shrugged, leaning forward to peer into one of the bags. He caught a glimpse of something, and his leer changed to a look of confusion. "...Pryde?"

 

"What?" She turned, moving to a nearby rock where she could put the bags down. Pete grinned at her cheekily.

 

"Is that an umbrella in your bag or are you happy to see me?"

 

"Oh, it's an umbrella all right." She grinned. "But that's not all I purchased."

 

Kitty reached into the other bag pulling out a large piece of black leather. As she held it up for Pete's observation, he realized that it was a catsuit. A nice catsuit. After all, he did have a thing for women in leather, and this was perfection.

 

"Wait a minute." Pete was starting to twig her intention, and he was really enjoying where he was pretty sure this was headed. Apparently that old TV marathon last night had been effective. "Please tell me you also bought--"

 

He had no need to finish the question. Kitty pulled a felt bowler hat out of the bag from which the umbrella had come. She held it up, a great big smile on her face.

 

"Well? What do you think?"

 

Pete took the hat from her, placing it atop his unruly, black hair. He grinned rakishly at her, and she giggled in response.

 

He picked up the umbrella, too, holding it straight out in front of him to gesture at the folded catsuit where it lay on top of the carrier bag.

 

"I think that we had better get inside so that you can put that on." He winked. "After all, Mrs. Peel, we're needed!"

 

Brian had no idea what sent Pryde and Wisdom giggling through the kitchen like teenagers, and he certainly had no idea why Wisdom was wearing a bowler hat, but he knew, without question, where they were headed, and that information was enough to make him recognize the futility of trying to speak with either one for several hours.