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Officer Next Door(10)

By:Ranae Rose

“That’s what I like about it,” he said, turning to face her with a sack of sugar cradled in the crook of his arm. “Close to everything, but not to anyone.”

“Well, I hope I didn’t spoil things for you by moving in next door.”

A certain look flashed in his eyes – all hard light and something that made butterflies burst into motion inside her belly – as he met her gaze. “You didn’t spoil anything. Here’s your sugar.”

“I only need one cup,” she said as he placed the entire five pound sack in her hands. His fingertips brushed hers, and – God help her – the split second of contact made her entire body tingle, all the way down to her toes.

“Take the whole bag, and bring it back when you’re done.”

A deliberate excuse to have her return to his place? Or was he just being neighborly? Alicia wasn’t sure, but a sense of excitement rose up inside her anyway, leaving her feeling distinctly Sasha-like. “Thanks.”

“So was your friend really planning to make brownies?” he asked. “Or did she surprise you with the news?”

Alicia blushed as she clutched the sugar sack. “You heard about her brownie-making plans before I did. How did you know?”

“I get lied to all day; it’s my job.”

“Right. I guess convicted felons probably aren’t the most honest bunch in the world.”

“Definitely not. I can’t say I like being lied to, but if it involves freshly-baked brownies, I’m prepared to let it slide.” A slight smile tempered his serious expression, and the sight of it nearly had Alicia melting into a puddle.

God, he was hot. A fierce sense of jealousy-laced satisfaction filled her as she silently congratulated herself on fetching the sugar in lieu of letting Sasha do it. Sasha claimed to have her eye on Henry, but no woman in her right mind would be immune to Liam’s appeal.#p#分页标题#e#

“Sasha’s the head chef at Wisteria – I’m sure the brownies will be worth a little dishonesty. Besides, as far as her schemes go, bending the truth in the name of getting you three to join us for the evening is pretty mild.”

“Well, I’m glad she did it. I’d lay down my life for Henry and Grey if it came down to it, but I’d be lying if I said getting to know my new neighbor wasn’t more appealing than sitting around here and watching some game I don’t really care about with them.”

Alicia smiled. She couldn’t help it. Liam Alexander was flirting with her; she was sure of it now. As she met his eyes, her nipples went hard beneath her sundress. Life on Pine Hollow was shaping up to be much more exciting than she’d imagined, and she wasn’t about to complain.

Liam tipped his head toward the sack of sugar she’d clutched to her chest. “Your friend will be waiting for that. Don’t spill it all, or there won’t be any brownies.” His smile returned.

She glanced down and realized that sugar was pouring from one corner of the bag, falling in a fine white mist to form a gritty pile by her sandal.

“Sorry about that,” she said, righting the sack and hoping she wouldn’t actually turn red. “In case you didn’t realize this morning, I’m a total klutz. Where are your paper towels? I’ll get this cleaned up.”

“Don’t worry about it.” He tore a couple from a roll beside the sink, dampened them at the kitchen faucet and knelt in front of her for the second time that day.

She half-stepped, half-stumbled backward despite the fact that her sandals didn’t have heels. Living next to Liam was going to kill her via a heart attack if dropping to his knees in front of her for seemingly innocent purposes turned out to be a habit.


When Liam rose from his knees, Alicia was practically dizzy from the sight of him kneeling in front of her. “I’d better get this sugar to Sasha before I ruin it all,” she said and turned carefully, wary of tripping.

Whenever she was flustered or excited, she was ten times clumsier than usual.

He held the door for her again, and she managed to make it down the porch stairs without face-planting at the bottom, which seemed like a considerable success after that morning’s ordeal.

“Thanks again for the sugar,” she said to fill the silence as she and Liam strolled side by side.


By the time they reached her front porch, it was almost a relief not to be alone with him anymore. A relief and a disappointment at the same time. She returned to the kitchen, where Sasha seemed busy despite her lack of sugar.

“Well, that certainly took longer than it needed to,” Sasha said, her blonde ponytail whipping around as she turned to face Alicia. “Did you—”