Pressing her right foot to the floor, Chrissie Hansen smiled, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel as anticipation of the night ahead pumped through her body. The speedometer in the Ford swept to eighty-five miles per hour.
"Who the fuck is going to ticket us?" She laughed, gazing in the rear-view mirror. "The next mile is as good as a private road. Right, Cagney?"
Cagney stood in the back seat, wagging her bushy brown tail as she pushed her snout against the grate.
"Besides, could you think of a better reason to speed than possible makeup, or breakup, sex with Bill "the Bull" Geyser?" Chrissie blew out a breath and lowered her foot a bit more ... ninety-five miles per hour.
Football season was over and Bill had come home to visit his family. Not that she had wanted to avoid him, but she hadn't talked to him since their fight three months ago. Bill hadn't called, and she'd assumed he had made his choice. A choice that did not include her.
It'd hurt to realize that she had simply been a physical distraction for the only lover she'd ever known, but deep down, she'd always known their relationship was temporary. The chemistry was there, but only when they were in bodily contact.
"Years worth of temporary."
In that time, she'd always been there for him when he'd come home, with no questions about where he went or who he did what with while he was on the road. Not one--not until last fall.
"So, sue me," she mumbled to the dog. "It nagged me that our relationship hadn't evolved. We were together for three years and he never promised me a thing." She checked the side mirror before merging left. "Well, I'm pushing thirty. My biological clock is ticking. And, I don't think I'm being unreasonable."
A low growl escaped Cagney, who sat smack center in the back seat as if studying the road.
"Whatever." Chrissie raised her shoulders and waved a hand in the air. "It was fun while it lasted. It really was. I couldn't have asked for a better fuck-buddy than Bill. I mean, how many other men can make you come every time?"
Squeezing her legs together, she squirmed in her seat and wished she'd worn a skirt to work. Three months, almost four, with no sex had her so horny, she was ready to ride her flashlight all the way home.
Throwing her hat into the passenger seat, she shook out her hair and hit the automatic window button to let the spring air rush through her vehicle and soothe her heated body.
"Cagney, don't ever do what I've done. It will make you so wanton that you'll spread your legs for a man that has no possibility of a future. You'll be an orgasm junky; hooked from the moment he issues the invitation. You'll find yourself speeding home to your battery operated boyfriend just to survive the next five hours of waiting until his bulging cock slams your tonsils up the back of your nostrils or his five o'clock shadow chafes your freshly waxed pussy."
The dog let out an objectionable howl, and Chrissie laughed. Well she hadn't spent sixty bucks on a Brazilian wax to keep it covered with white cotton panties. Red lace was the dress code tonight.
"Oh yeah, Cagney, three months is way too long to wait for some simple, low-down, straight forward sex. It's not like I'm asking for prince charming to offer me the love of a lifetime. All I want is a good orgasm that I don't have to work for all by myself. At least with the Bull, I know what to expect. Breakup sex will have to do for now."
A louder growl drew Chrissie's gaze to her rear-view mirror again. Her trusted German Shephard was standing at attention, signaling danger down the road. Squinting against the afternoon sun, Chrissie could see a figure walking around to the back of a vehicle and lighting a warning flare.
Shit. Her Brazilian touch-up time went up in smoke as the bright pink sparks showered the road.
Sighing, Chrissie feared she'd have to wait another three months for the Bull to come back into town and meet her needs. It wasn't like Littleville was crawling with gorgeous single men that she didn't think of as a brother. Bill the Bull was the only safe release she'd ever known.
Turning on her cherries, she activated her dashboard camera, and signaled right. Probably a city slicker who'd missed the fork onto Main Street and hadn't refueled in the previous town, which just happened to be miles away.
Pulling up behind the fancy Jaguar, Chrissie saw a pair of long muscular legs supporting the tightest ass and broadest shoulders as the figure jacked up the rear of the expensive car.
"Let's go, Cagney," she said, releasing the dog and stepping out of her vehicle. "Mr. GQ needs rescuing," she whispered under her breath.
He looked over his shoulder, and a toothy grin flashed beneath his designer sunglasses. The line of his jaw was familiar, but she couldn't place it.
"Hello. Need some help?" she asked, stopping short of the motorist. She tugged on Cagney's leash and signaled for the canine to remain by her side. The dog sat, surprisingly, relaxed and at ease.
"Chrissie?" drawled a dreamy voice. "Officer Chrissie Hansen. Well, I'll be damned!"
His voice sent shivers down her back, but once again, she couldn't place it. Taking a deep breath, she shifted her legs and squared her stance. Who was he?
He dropped the jack and stood. In five long strides he was standing before her, grinning and making no secret of the fact that he was checking her out.
Cagney was on all fours and ready to receive her command from her officer. Chrissie signaled for her to stay.
"Your license and registration please," she said, flipping open the lock on her holster.
"Don't you recognize me, Chrissie Lacy-pants?" He raised his left hand and removed his sunglasses.
"Oh my God! Paddy MacKlick!" She gawked at the gorgeous man as her mouth dropped open wide enough to collect flies. "I thought you lived in New York now."
"I do--did. My work is headquartered there. But since Momma hasn't been feeling well, I figured I could work out of Littleville for now and look after her a bit."
"I check in on Mrs. M. everyday. She's doing better, but I'm sure she'll be glad to see you. Her health is getting fragile. She can't keep coming into the city to clean up after you every few months."
"Is that what she says?"
Chrissie nodded. "Yeah. With all that money you make, you should hire a maid and leave your poor Momma to rest."
Reaching for her, Patrick tucked a tendril of hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear. "I guess I'll have to look into that, Lacy-pants."
"Cut that out, MacKlick-the Di--"
His burst of laughter interrupted her. Geez, he had a great laugh. It matched his perfect smile and the twinkle in his eyes. Those huge railroad tracks across his mouth which had destroyed his high school image had definitely done their job.
Cagney's bark brought Chrissie back to reality. She bent over the shepherd and whispered for the dog to relax. "Friend."
Wiping at the side of his eye, he blew Chrissie a small kiss. "With your lacy panties and my dick, we make a pretty funny pair. But then again, it might be interesting now that we're a few years older. More than a few. More than a baker's dozen."
"I should arrest you for harassment" she teased, twisting her mouth in a wry smile.
"I won't file a complaint with the department about your use of foul language if you promise to cuff me, Lacy." He took a step forward and placed a large hand on her waist. "You've grown into a beautiful woman."
Chrissie lost her breath as his lips brushed her cheek. Damn, he'd outgrown his awkward self. And double damn, he smelled so freaking good.
"How about, I forget about taking you in? I don't feel much like paperwork tonight."
"Why? Got a hot date?" He arched a dark brow.
"None of your beez-wax, Paddy." She kicked the dry earth and strutted around the Jag. "I'll help you change that fancy tire, and then we could clear the road."
"Pull up the spare and have a seat. I could use the company." He squatted and his trousers spread snuggly across his thighs. "We can catch up, Lacy."
He'd been the only one to continue calling her Lacy after fifth grade. The only one who could get away with such a statement. She used to cringe when he'd call her that in high school, but now it sounded kind of nice.
"When do you plan on introducing me to your friend?" Paddy asked, holding out his palm to the dog sniffing beside him.
"Cagney, this is Paddy. Friend." Chrissie guided his hand to pet her partner.
"Patrick," he corrected and returned to work on the tire. "Paddy stayed back in high school." Then a mischievous smirk spread across his lips. "Cagney and Lacy. Cute."
"Cut it out." She swatted his rock hard shoulder. "Nobody calls me Lacy anymore. That too stayed--"
"You'll always be my Lacy." Paddy winked at her over his shoulder. "But Cagney seems like a good fit, too. I like her."
"Thanks for the seal of approval, Paddy. I don't know if I could work with her if you didn't like her." Chrissie rolled her eyes and tried to ignore how much she was enjoying their little banter.
"Patrick," he emphasized.
"Okay, Patrick," she repeated, sitting on the spare. "How's the Big Apple treating you?"
"Not bad." He locked the L-shaped wrench over a lug nut and stepped on it. "I have a place overlooking the park, and the money is a real bonus, but for some weird reason, I like the idea of coming home for a few weeks. I've missed this place."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I tried to move to Fort Lauderdale with my folks, but after a year I came back. I couldn't stand the thought of strangers living in our home. So I made a deal with my parents, and I'm living in the old house again."
"Great. We share a backyard. Just like old times." He flashed a smile and pulled the flat off. "You know, I've missed our sunset talks."
She remembered those hour long strolls by the pond when they were kids. Paddy was two years older and her protector. He always soothed any fears and worries away. They'd talk about school, friends, bullies, and even about the time her parents had split up for two months. If it wasn't for him, she would have spent that summer crying in her room. That was also the summer he'd promised to be there forever. But forever never came. And maybe, just maybe, she had a say in that.
Standing over her, he offered her a hand up. "We could have a glass of wine once I check on Momma and get settled. Better yet, join us for dinner, and then we'll take the wine down to the pond and watch the sunset."
She rose and sidestepped, allowing him access to the tire. Licking her parched lips, she said, "Thanks for the invite. But I have plans for tonight. How about a rain-check?"
His jaw squared and his Adam's apple bobbed. "Anytime, Lacy. Anytime."
Tugging on Cagney's leash, she sauntered toward her vehicle. "Well, I'll be seeing you around."
"That you will."
A rush of excitement spilled from her core. It sounded more like a challenge and a promise than a casual phrase. What did it mean?