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I nodded as I started to cut up a lime. “I am. Well, I think I am, if that makes any sense. There are a couple of moments where I’m still freaked out about it. I’m not going to lie. What Kip did, I just don’t want to really dwell on it, you know? He’s gone. And they found that girl’s body, and that’s what matters now. At least her family will have some kind of closure.”

“Yeah,” she replied, eyeing me closely. “And everything with Charlie?”

Cutting through another lime, I smiled. It was a little sad, but it was real. “I miss him. I miss not seeing him every Friday, but I’ll get through this and it’s getting easier.”

“I’m happy to hear that. By the way, I love the new glasses. Pink frames look great on you—what in the world?”

I looked up, following her gaze. A girl had just walked into the bar. I’d never seen her before, but good Lord, she was absolutely stunning. With shiny black hair and a body I’d probably give away an ovary or two for, she was tall and looked like she belonged on the cover of a fashion magazine.

The newcomer was headed toward the bar, but she stopped, her mouth dropping open as she spotted the crew over by the pool tables. I looked at them.

It was Teresa who saw her first, and she drew back, surprised and obviously recognizing the girl. Then she smiled as she glanced over at Cam and Avery—a tentative smile that grew. “Steph?” she called out. “What in the hell are you doing here?”

The girl named Steph recovered enough to walk over toward them. I couldn’t hear what she said over the noise, so I glanced up at Calla. “You guys know her?”

“Yeah. She went to Shepherd. Graduated with Jase. Remember what I told you happened to Teresa’s roommate before she moved out of the dorm?”

“The girl that was killed?”

Calla nodded. “When Teresa found her body, she freaked, and it was Steph who took care of her and called the police. Turned out, she lived in the other suite, but Teresa never saw her. I don’t know her that well, but she’s really hot.”

“Like if Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox were joined together kind of hot.”

She laughed. “So true. Wow. Okay. I got to go see what she’s doing here. You good back here?”

“Yep.” I waved her off. “Go get me some gossip.”

Things got pretty busy, and when Calla returned to help run orders out of the kitchen, there wasn’t any time to find out why the girl who used to go to Shepherd was up here, but I couldn’t help but think of what Katie had said to Nick when I saw him grinning at her when she came up to the bar to get a rum and coke.

I knew that grin.

Since Calla was here for the weekend, she was closing down the bar with Jax and Nick and that meant I didn’t have to hang around. After saying good-bye to everyone and getting a hug from Jax that lifted me clear off my feet, I pulled on my cardigan and headed outside.

A cruiser waited for me in the parking lot.

Grinning, I headed toward it as the window rolled down and revealed one hot-as-hell cop. “Lunch break?” I asked.

He bit down on his lower lip. “My favorite kind of lunch break.”

Heat simmered low in my belly. I totally knew what kind of lunch break he was thinking of. “Mine, too.” Hoping I wasn’t breaking some kind of cop in a cruiser rule, I bent down and kissed him through the window. “Meet me back at your place?”

One side of his lips kicked up. “See you then.”

At some point, I was going to move back into my apartment, sooner rather than later. Not because I didn’t love staying with Reece. I did, especially on nights like this when it took only a handful of minutes to get from Mona’s to his condo and we could engage in some freak-a-deak.

I hadn’t told Calla, but the idea of sleeping in my apartment gave me the sweats, and the only way I could overcome that was by doing it. Obviously, I wouldn’t do it alone. Reece would be there with me, but getting back into my apartment was one way to get back to normal.

When we got to Reece’s condo, there was no time for fooling around and pretending we were going to actually eat something. He wrapped his strong arms around me and kissed me like he was a man dying of thirst, and I was dizzy and breathless from it. We went at each other, ending up on the couch with me on my knees grasping the back of the couch with his body behind mine, one hand on my hip and the other between my thighs. This really was the best kind of lunch break.

My muscles were jelly and I stayed where he left me, curled over the back of the couch as Reece fixed his uniform, secured his duty belt, and then rooted through my clothing. I watched him, my cheek resting on my hands, and as he straightened, he smacked my butt.

“Pervert,” I murmured.

He winked. “You like it.”


Laughing, he picked up my cardigan. “Let me help.”

I raised my brows at him, but lifted one arm with a sigh. Dressing me in the cardigan was like herding wildcats, but he stuck with it, securing each button. “I want to come home in the morning and find you in my bed wearing just this.”

“You really are a pervert.”

Reece brushed his lips over mine. “And I really wish I didn’t have to head back out.”

“Me, too.” I fixed the collar on his uniform. “But I’ll be here.”

He kissed me again, curling his arm around my waist and lifting me off the couch. Placing me on my feet, he drew me up against him. “Walk me to the door?”

Since the door was a whopping ten feet away, I could manage. Following him, I contented myself with the knowledge of a pint of double-fudge ice cream in the freezer just for me. I was going to make that pint my bitch as soon as I closed the door.

Reece turned, his gaze moving over me with enough intensity that it felt like a physical caress. “We’re still on for Sunday?”

Ah, Sunday. Phase two of moving on from . . . well, from everything, began on Sunday. It was going to be a rough day, but I was ready. Stretching up on the tips of my toes, I kissed the corner of his lips. “Yeah, we’re still on.”

“Good,” he replied and then started out the door.


He looked at me over his shoulder, and I said, “I love you.”

His face transformed from striking to stunning with a broad smile that had my heart spinning around in a happy dance. “I love you, babe.”

As I closed the door and threw the lock, I had to admit that was much better than saying good-bye.