Brianna Reagan married her high school sweetheart, and she was proud of him and his decision to fight for his country, but as the years and deployments went on, she realized that he enjoyed the life of a soldier living on the edge in a war zone more than he loved her. Then he was killed, and she was heartbroken.
But she’s put her life back together again. She’s happy and busy, she has friends and a great job, and she’s sure her eight-year-old son Sam is all the man she needs in her life.
Then Sam joins Cub Scouts and Brianna meets his new den father.
A tall, blue-eyed hottie full of charisma and swagger.
Brianna Reagan stood beside her car with her cell phone to her ear, surveying a very flat tire.
Come on, Sam. Answer the phone. Where are you? Her son should have been in the apartment by now. The bus would have dropped him off ten minutes ago.
If she hadn’t tried to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store before heading home to meet Sam’s bus, she wouldn’t be where she was now. And just maybe she wouldn’t have had a flat tire at all. Sam. Where are you?
Relief washed through her. “Sam. It’s Mom. I got a flat tire and that’s why I didn’t get there in time for your bus. I just wanted to make sure you got home okay.”
“I came straight home, just like you told me to if you weren’t at the bus stop.”
“And you’re alone?”
“Yes, Mom. I’m alone.” Condescension and sarcasm dripped from his young voice.
“And you locked the door behind you?”
Sam sighed loudly.
“Okay, I’m sorry. I just want to make sure you’re safe. I’ll be home as soon as someone comes to change my tire.”
“How come you can’t change your own tire?” Eight years old and already Sam sounds like his father.
“I know how to change a tire, but I’ve got my work clothes on.” Why am I defending myself? “Never mind. Just stay inside until I get there and don’t let anyone in. Got it?”
Sam groaned “Got it.”
“There are fudge pops in the freezer. Why don’t you have one and get started on your homework?”
“Can I go upstairs and see if Mr. Cameron is home? I want to show him the new signs I learned.”
“Mr. Cameron is probably at work. But,” she added hastily to ward off another round of dramatic sighing. “You can go up and see if he’s there as soon as I get home. Okay?”
“Kay! Bye.” Sam disconnected leaving Brianna feeling oddly alone on the only deserted stretch of roadway between the grocery store and home.
She began hunting through her contacts for C.J.’s Auto Shop. The sound of a motorcycle pierced the late afternoon quiet. The rumbling grew, still out of sight around the corner, but loud enough to be either a big machine or more than one.
A nervous fluttering began in her stomach. Not all bikers were a threat. But still.
Then the motorcycle rounded the bend and began to slow. She relaxed. It was a North Carolina State Trooper. She shoved her phone back into her pocket and waited for him to reach her.
The big silver and gray bike pulled up behind her car and rumbled to a stop. The trooper swung his high-booted leg over the back of the bike and flicked the kickstand down. Then he unsnapped his chinstrap and removed his helmet.
Brianna swallowed hard.
That was something that had been glaringly missing from the list of things she thought she knew about Sam’s new idol.
He grinned as he approached. “Not your lucky day, I guess. Or maybe it is your lucky day considering I’m standing here.” Everything about him was overpoweringly masculine. Even the slightly overgrown hair that had been mussed by the helmet.
“I was just about to call C.J.,” Bree said, trying to ignore the effect Will had on her libido.
“Pop the trunk. I assume you’ve got a spare?” This manifestation of Will Cameron was definitely larger-than-life. He seemed taller than usual. And broader. Maybe it was the uniform. Or the bike. Or the fact that he was a trooper, and he was in rescuer mode.
“Of course, I’ve got a spare.” She pressed the trunk button on her key fob and the lid clicked open.
“Then I’ll have you back on the road in no time.”
He reached into the trunk, spun the big nut that kept the spare in place, then hoisted it out as if it weighed nothing. Which it didn’t. A fact she knew because she almost hadn’t been able to lift it enough to retrieve an important slip of paper that had managed to slide down underneath a week earlier.
The play of muscles rippling beneath the crisp fabric of his uniform shirt evoked the same breathless fascination she’d felt while watching him disassemble cardboard boxes wearing no shirt at all on the day he’d moved into her building. She wanted to look away, but couldn’t bring herself to do so. She wanted not to be impressed, but couldn’t manage that either.
This was not a man it was safe to fall for. He was a cop. And cops led lives almost as dangerous as soldiers. He might be an easy-going Cub Scout den father, but there was no denying the pure animal magnetism he exuded. That confident grin of his with a deep dimple in one cheek and an extra lift to one corner of his sensuous, kissable looking lips would charm any woman with a pulse. But she didn’t want to be charmed. Not now that she knew who he really was.
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