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Officer Next Door(2)

By:Ranae Rose

There was just something about all that silver, giving her an excuse to let her gaze rove over his groin, sparking vivid memories and scorching heat.

Which brought up another thing: sometimes, during her little spying sessions, he was hard.

Whenever he got into the shower that way and stepped out minutes later cleaner and clearly softer, her mind went wild with visions of how he might’ve spent those ten minutes behind the shower curtain.

“You’re limping,” he repeated as he descended his own stairs, boots falling heavily against the boards, then crunching against gravel.

“Twisted my ankle a little,” she managed to say. “No big deal.”

As she took another step toward her car, a distinct unsteadiness in her gait warned her that the damage had gone beyond a twisted ankle: her shoe had been affected. In fact, it felt alarmingly as if one kitten heel was no longer there.

“Maybe you should slow down.” Instead of approaching his own vehicle, he came toward her. “Put some ice on it.”

“Can’t. I’ll be late for work.” She did her best to stand up straight, hiding the fact that her shoe was broken.

“Guess I haven’t properly introduced myself.” He was so close now she could see that his eyes were almost the same color as her house: a clear blue she was irresistibly attracted to. “Liam Alexander.” He held out a hand – a large hand she’d witnessed wrapping a towel around his naked body just half an hour ago.

Even his name was hot, and his baby blues weren’t his only stunning feature: his mouth was full and his jaw was strong, a curve of bone she could just imagine dusted with dark stubble, though he was clean-shaven for work. Up close, he didn’t look much older than her.

She was exactly thirty.

“Alicia Dalton.” Every fiber of her being lit up, consumed by the lust she’d been living with for the past three weeks, as her fingertips brushed his.

When he closed his hand firmly around hers, she forgot all about compensating for her broken heel and nearly toppled over.

“You should get that ankle looked at,” he said, dropping his gaze to her feet.

“It’s my shoe,” she confessed. “I think the heel broke off when I tripped.”

She had a pair of flats she kept in her car – flats she’d hoped to change into without him ever knowing. Being a klutz was never convenient, but as she stood with her hand swallowed up in his, it was downright embarrassing. Oh, how she would’ve loved for their first official introduction to have occurred under different circumstances.#p#分页标题#e#

He finally let go of her hand and then, without warning, dropped to his knees in front of her.

She barely stifled a gasp, one borne half of surprise and half of illicit delight. His head was just level with her hipbone, and from above she could see that his dark hair was thicker than she’d realized, though still too short to run fingers through, or really grab ahold of. She’d gladly deal with that minor disappointment though, if only he’d—

“Here you go.” He rose to tower over her again.

It took her several moments to realize he held something pinched between his thumb and forefinger.

“Thanks,” she breathed when she realized what it was.

She held out her hand, and he dropped her snapped-off kitten heel into her palm.

A couple moments ticked by in silence, and her gaze gravitated to the patch sewn onto the left sleeve of his uniform.

“You must work at Riley,” she said. That was what all the locals called the massive brick edifice some fifteen minutes away, officially the Riley Correctional Center. It was the largest prison in the state, or so Alicia had been told by one of her co-workers.

Liam nodded. “And you?”


“Where do you work?” he clarified.

The heat that’d been burning steadily in her cheeks intensified as it became painfully obvious that thinking clearly in the presence of a man she’d been watching shower wasn’t possible.

“Wisteria Plantation House. I’m the new special events coordinator. I arrange things for weddings, corporate retreats and stuff like that.”

He nodded, his crop of short hair shining in the early morning light that was chasing away the fog, growing brighter by the moment. “I know the place.”

Of course he did; he sounded like a local. He had a Southern accent that softened his words and lengthened his vowels, an accent Alicia hadn’t fully appreciated until she’d heard him speak.

Within easy driving distance of Wilmington, Riley County was home to the Wisteria Plantation House, some gorgeous beaches, a massive prison and not much else. Though it was off the beaten path, Wisteria was the county’s biggest tourist attraction, and anyone who lived in the area had to be familiar with it.