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My brows flew up. “You’re not?”

He laughed under his breath. “Babe, you’ve always had a hell of a temper on you.”

Ah, that was kind of true. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Reece cocked his head to the side. “A sexy thing, but vandalism and destruction of property doesn’t look good on you, sweets.”

“No. It doesn’t match my manicure.” I raised my hands, flashing him the blue nails.

He laughed again and then he sobered up, just like that. Cop Face was on, and yeah . . . the low coiling in my stomach told me I found Cop Face arousing. “You’re lucky. He could’ve pressed charges, and this conversation would be going in a whole different direction.”

My own half smile slipped off my face. “I know. It’s . . . I was just with Charlie, and he’s . . .” Unable to continue, I forced a casual shrug I didn’t feel. “What are you going to do with me?”

His lips parted as his chest rose with a deep breath, then his gaze dropped to my mouth, and his expression tightened. He looked . . . he looked hungry. “I have lots of ideas.”

Warmth invaded me in the form of a slow burn. His thick lashes lifted, and I was lost in the depths of his blue eyes. My fingers itched to touch him like I had that night so long ago—to sink my fingers into his damp hair, to smooth my hands over his hard chest and stomach. I bit down on my lip as he moved his left hand and caught a piece of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail. He smoothed it back, and a wave of tight, hot shivers coursed down my spine. In an unconscious, oddly instinctual move, my hips lifted off the door, moving closer to his. That did not go unnoticed by Reece, and I wondered, what would he do if I touched him now? Dragged my hand down his chest, under his shirt? Touched his bare flesh?

God, just thinking about it almost made me moan.

A half smile formed on his lips as the blue of his eyes deepened. “What are you thinking, Roxy?”

Naughty, dirty thoughts I’d never share, so I said the first thing that came to mind. “Thank you for the roses.”

He arched a brow as some of the heat faded from his stare. “I didn’t send you roses.”

“Oh. Oh.” The moment between us was officially broken. “You didn’t?”

Pushing off the door, he dropped his arms to his sides. “No.” His lips pursed as he turned sideways, eyeing the roses on the desk. “Those flowers?”

“Yeah, those flowers. I thought they were from you.” I edged away from the door. “Are you sure you didn’t send them?”

The look on his face basically said what a dumb question that was.

“Well, this is awkward.” I shifted my weight from one foot to the next. “The card didn’t have a name on it, and I honestly don’t know who they’d be from.”

He approached the flowers, running a finger over a dewy petal. “What did the card say?”

“Um, something like it’ll be better next time.”

Looking over his shoulder at me, he grinned. “I can see why you’d think it would be from me, but it wasn’t.”

I wondered if he thought it would be weird if I grabbed the flowers and threw them out of the office. Okay. No more throwing stuff.

“Should I be worried?” He faced me fully.


The grin was full of boyish charm. “Do I have competition?”

It took me another moment to get what he meant, and a laugh burst out of me as I glanced at the flowers. “Yeah, I guess so.”

The flowers had to be from Dean, and that meant even though I hadn’t responded to any of the four texts he sent me, he still hadn’t gotten the message.

“I’m going to have to do something about that,” Reece said, leaning against the desk. He crossed his arms, drawing my attention to the shape of his upper arms. “Which reminds me. Back to what I’m going to do with you.” His blue eyes glimmered.

My mind jumped in the gutter.

“I didn’t drive here tonight,” he announced.

“You didn’t?”

“Nope. Went home first. That’s why I wasn’t here earlier. Needed to get changed since I was helping Dad clean out his garage. Then I got Colton to drop me off,” he explained as he tilted his head to the side. His gaze dipped, and I felt it all the way to the tips of my toes. “I’m going home with you tonight.”

Chapter 9

My heartbeat had not slowed down a moment since Reece announced he was coming home with me. Nervous energy buzzed throughout my system as I finished up my shift with . . . with Reece sitting at the bar.

Drinking water.

It didn’t take long for Jax and Nick to notice that Reece was more waiting by the bar than really hanging out.

“I feel like I’ve missed something important,” Jax commented dryly as he glanced in my direction and then back at Reece. “Like really missed something.”

Reece chuckled. “You missed everything.”

Walking by, Nick snorted.

Jax raised his brows as he grinned. “Well, it’s about damn time.”

My mouth dropped open. What the what on a monkey butt?

Reece nodded as he picked up his glass, eyeing me over the rim. There was that glint again, mischievous and boyish. “Truer words have never been spoken.”

For once in my life, I was absolutely flabbergasted, which seemed to work for everyone, because between fulfilling drink orders, Jax and Reece chatted it up. I bounced from customer to customer, excited and nervous and hopeful and a thousand other things.

He was going home with me.

I was okay with this.

I was also freaked out about this and what it meant. As I mixed drinks like a bartending ninja, I tried to remember if I shaved my legs that morning. Or if I’d have time to do a quick touch-up in other areas. These were pressing concerns, because that’s why he had to be coming home with me, right? It wasn’t to knit a blanket at three in the morning.

Handing over a cocktail to a girl I’d seen in the bar a few times, I stole a quick glance at Reece. His head was bowed and in his hand was his cell phone. My heart stuttered in my chest as it suddenly became hard to swallow. I was totally willing to hook up with him. I mean, I’d wanted to before and this was what people our age did, and I’d moved on from what happened that night between us. Just thinking about being with him caused parts of my body to tighten and my breath to shorten. I’d wanted Reece since I first saw him, when I was fifteen.