Bad Boys In Blue…good cops doing bad things for love.
When the sheriff—who happens to be her best friend’s father and secret fantasy—busts Sera for underage drinking, she seizes the opportunity to try to seduce the older man. He’s intent on telling her parents and doing the right thing. At nineteen, the seduction has nothing to do with keeping her parents from finding out she was at a party and everything to do with having Jack inside her. And maybe having Jack’s baby…
This is a QuikRead and the perfect length to finish during the morning commute or while waiting for an appointment. No cliffhangers!
The sound of police sirens had a mobilizing effect on all the partiers crammed into, and spilling out from, Benji Shultz’s party. That his parents’ cabin was deep in the woods didn’t seem to have deterred the police from busting up the underage drinkers’ get-together. From her vantage point in the corner, Sera might have been amused by the frantic scrambling of her former high school classmates fleeing the scene if she hadn’t been just as eager to escape.
Someone jostled her arm, making her spill beer over her cute black cami with its sparkling straps and rhinestone heart that rested right between her breasts. Cursing, she set the cup on the nearest table, wincing at the thoughtlessness of leaving her trash behind. However, her parents would be much angrier to find out she’d been drinking than if they learned she had shown bad manners at her host’s house.
She wobbled on the too-high heels and cursed again. Why had she let Julie convince her to wear these deadly things? Yeah, they made her legs look awesome in the short miniskirt, but she’d known four-inch heels were beyond her comfort zone.
Trying to duck and dodge, she didn’t make it far before colliding with a solid wall of flesh. The quarterback from her senior year, now a cashier at the lumberyard, barreled into her. With a grunt, he shoved her aside and kept going.
The collision left her flailing, and she barely maintained her balance by grasping the wall. As soon as she was steady again, Sera headed straight for the back door, just one more lemming amid the fleeing herd. She had almost cleared the bottom step when someone jostled her from behind and sent her sprawling to the ground. Her heel had tenaciously clung to a knothole in the step, but the rest of her shoe had come with her.
Her ankle now ached, and she whimpered when she tried to get to her feet. Pain flared sharply, moving up to her knee and forcing her back to the ground. “Help me,” she called out to the people running past her, but none of them even glanced her way. She looked around for Julie, but didn’t see her in the melee. Her best friend wouldn’t have abandoned her, even if it meant getting caught by Julie’s dad, so she must have taken a different exit route.
The last of the partiers seemed to have fled the house and spread out into the woods as the sounds of sirens encompassed the area before shutting off abruptly. Sera took a deep breath and scooted over to the railing, using it to pull herself up. Her ankle protested bearing any weight, and hot tears scalded her eyes. She wasn’t entirely sure if it was from pain or fear.
If her parents found out she’d been at this party, they would probably disown her. They loved her, but they had inflexible standards and were already disappointed that she hadn’t done better than a three-point-one GPA during her first two semesters at junior college. She was on thin ice with them as it was. Her attendance of this party didn’t fit in with their dictate to buckle down and apply herself.
Never mind it was summer vacation, and all her friends and former classmates had been here. Her parents didn’t believe in breaking the law for any reason, and the excuse that her friends had done it wouldn’t buy her any leniency. They would stop paying her tuition and dorm fees. They might even kick her out of the house, leaving her homeless for the rest of the summer and beyond, until she could figure out an alternative or get her side business—and true interest—of jewelry designing really established.
With those thoughts in mind, Sera managed to endure the pain of walking, taking several slow steps from the house. Even as she struggled, she knew it was futile. It was almost a relief to run into a police officer, just to end the suspense.
“Hello, Sheriff Robinson,” she said politely as her ankle gave out, and she collapsed into the solidly muscled arms of her best friend’s father.
Jack caught her effortlessly, a scowl marring his handsome features. It made the fine lines at the corners of his eyes and bracketing his mouth more visible, but she liked that rather than finding it off-putting. In conjunction with his silver-tipped brown locks, it only added to his air of maturity, which appealed to her. Really, there wasn’t anything she didn’t like about Jack, except he was the sheriff and her parents’ friend.
“Are you drunk?” His nose wrinkled, indicating he’d caught the scent of beer on her.
Not thinking he would believe she’d been nursing the same beer for more than two hours, and the vast majority had ended up on her instead of in her, she just shook her head.
“What’s wrong with you then?”
“I sprained my ankle.” She sounded pathetic even to herself.
Jack looked down, his expression inscrutable as he surveyed her way-too-short skirt and way-too-high heels. “It’s no wonder in those contraptions.”
“Yes, sir,” she said meekly.
He snorted, putting an arm around her waist. “I’m going to have to take you in, Sera. You’re nineteen and too young to drink.”
She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Please, Jack, don’t. I swear I won’t do it again.”
They inched forward, soon coming across a deputy. Sera was relieved it wasn’t her brother Derek. If she could persuade the sheriff not to tell her parents, and could avoid her brother seeing her here, she might still salvage a relationship with her parents.
“Sheriff, the kids scattered everywhere.”
Jack nodded. “Gather as many as you can and issue citations unless they’re repeat offenders. Call the parents. If you have to make any arrests, don’t book them until the parents come down. Otherwise, we’ll deal with this mess in the morning.”
Sera was relieved to hear he was going easy on most of the kids, but Jack was usually fair and sensible. She just hoped that applied to her as well. Keeping silent, she hobbled beside him toward his car, her mind straining to find a way to convince him not to tell her parents when they got back from the real estate seminar Sunday night.
She didn’t know how close they were to the blue SUV he drove as the county sheriff, but it wasn’t near enough as thunder cracked. A streak of lightning a second later heralded the arrival of the first drops of rain, which sprinkled her arms and face.
“Damned Oregon weather,” muttered Jack.
A second later, she squealed with surprise when the strong sheriff picked her up in his arms and started jogging toward his SUV. The rain was getting heavier, and she used it as an excuse to curl close to his warmth, burying her face against his neck. When she exhaled, she was certain the sheriff stiffened. Was it a purely automatic response, or something more?
Even with the chill rain wetting them, she was cozy in his arms and could have stayed there all night. Pressed against the solid wall of his chest, one of his arms around her back, and the other under her knees, she couldn’t recall feeling more content.
Of course it had to end and did as soon as they reached his SUV. Somehow, Jack opened the door with one hand while still holding her before depositing her on the front seat. At least it wasn’t in the back, where a metal grill separated the sections to hold prisoners.
He dashed around the car and slid inside behind the wheel. After turning on the engine, Jack started the vents blowing to reduce the condensation on the windows.
The cool air blasted her face and front of her shirt, hitting her nipples forcefully enough to make them almost ache. They crinkled to a state of hardness that strained against the thin cami, and she was embarrassed not to have worn a bra.
Embarrassment faded when she glanced sideways and saw the sheriff’s gaze plastered on her chest. He seemed discomforted, but she didn’t think she was imagining the gleam of lust in his gaze that disappeared when he blinked.
A second later, he’d flipped the control to warm, and the cold ache in her nipples dissipated, though they didn’t soften. Naughty thoughts had crowded into her mind, fueling her arousal and making her body tingle. Could it be that Jack was finally noticing her as a woman?
“I’m not going to arrest you.” He spoke as he drove out of the Shultzes’ half-moon driveway and got back onto the road leading away from it. It was more of a gravel lane than any kind of road, and the SUV bumped and juddered along.
“Thank you, Jack.” It was the second time she’d used his name, and it tasted good on her tongue. She’d called him by name in her fantasies, but never to his face. Until tonight, he had always been Sheriff Robinson despite how she felt about him.
He frowned, but didn’t seem inclined to chastise her for addressing him as his contemporaries did. “I’m going to have to tell Bob and Linda though.”
Sera froze, folding her hands into fists. “Please don’t, Jack. I really won’t do this again, and they’re already irritated with me for not doing so well in school.”
He nodded. “Bob mentioned you were close to failing.”
She rolled her eyes. “I have a three-point-one GPA. That’s hardly failing.” She just wasn’t all that interested in the business courses her parents had insisted she take, when her heart was in art and design.
He made an ambiguous sound. “You’re heading down a dangerous path, kiddo.”
She winced at the term. “I’m not a kid, Jack. I’m nineteen.”
“That’s not old enough to drink.”
Shrugging, she said, “It is in Europe.”
Jack snorted. “Then move to Europe. In my county, you have to be twenty-one, and I have to enforce all the laws. Letting you slide isn’t good for anyone, including me.”
She sighed. “They’re going to disown me. I’ll be living on the streets and uneducated because of you.”
He breathed deeply, as though reining in his temper. “Because of you, Sera. You have to take responsibility for your actions. If you’re an adult, prove it.”
She nodded tightly. “Can you drive me home please? My folks won’t be back until tomorrow night, so you’ll have to wait until then to talk to them.”
Jack turned onto the county road, heading in the direction of her home without speaking. She didn’t try to break the silence either as her brain spun. He wanted her to prove she was an adult, right? Well, that might mean something entirely different than facing the consequences for a few sips of stale beer. She just had to be brave enough to make a move when the opportunity arose.
As they neared the ranch-style house where she lived with her parents, and her brother maintained a modular home on a nearby acre of the property, the rain suddenly let loose in torrents, streaming from the sky and reducing visibility to barely anything. She hid a smile, appreciating that Jack wouldn’t be able to leave very soon, since it was unsafe to drive.
He pulled up to the house. “We’re going to get soaked.”
“No, I’ve got the garage remote.” She’d grabbed it on the way out and tucked it into the small clutch, wanting to make it easier to come home later.
He frowned. “Why’d you need the remote?”
She shrugged, unable to tell him they had taken Julie’s car, and her friend had planned to sleep over after the party. The sheriff clearly thought his daughter was at her mother’s house in the next county over and didn’t realize his ex-wife had gone away for the weekend with her newest boyfriend, leaving Julie alone in that empty house and with plenty of time to get into mischief.
In lieu of explaining, she pressed the button to raise the garage door. Seconds later, Jack parked the SUV inside and turned off the engine as she closed the door behind them. The garage was dark, and she took advantage of the moment to tug her shirt lower, ensuring he saw a healthy amount of cleavage when he came around to her door to help her out. The console light surely gave him an eyeful, but he didn’t seem to notice it.
Sera slid down from the seat and put her arm around his waist without asking. She hoped he’d lift her up and carry her inside, but he didn’t. Still, walking beside him slowly—and she was maybe milking the swollen ankle a bit—their bodies rubbing together, was almost as nice as him holding her.
He led her straight to the living room and to the oversized sofa. She plopped down on it, kicked off Julie’s shoes, and stretched out. Pretending to be oblivious to his stunned staring, she stretched forward to put a pillow under her ankle and propped it up. As his gaze raked over her, she deliberately parted her legs a bit wider, hoping he could see the satin pink panties she wore under the tiny denim skirt.