Authors: Joanna Blake
Safe In His Arms
© 2014 by Joanna Blake
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
Donnie sat in one of the booths and stared out into space. Actually, that's not true. He blinked and realized he was doing it again.
He'd been watching her. Just like he did every time he came into the diner.
She was the quiet, mousy waitress that worked with Kaylie most every shift. In fact, she seemed to practically live at the damn place. Almost every time he came into Mae's he found his eyes drawn to her irresistibly. He tried to look away but he always ended up with his eyes following her as she worked.
The damnedest part was, he couldn't figure out
It's not that Sally wasn't pretty. She was definitely a cutie, in an extremely wholesome way. But Donnie liked his women uber feminine and flouncy. This girl, with her blond hair constantly pulled back in a ponytail, long bangs concealing her eyes and no makeup, was practically fading into the background. Never mind the fact that he couldn't get a glimpse of her body. Lord knows, he had tried. But with her loose fitting uniform and fuzzy old cardigan, it was impossible to tell what sort of figure she had hidden under there. He frowned. She was always wearing that thing. Even in July. She kept her apron tied loosely as well. The woman could be a swimsuit model or a wraith for all he knew.
And yet he watched her.
Even stranger was how much he enjoyed it.
Maybe it had to do with how gracefully she moved around the diner. Or those big eyes of hers. A couple of times he'd caught her eye and felt a pure jolt of energy sizzling between them. But she always looks away too fast for him to be sure.
She glanced his way and blanched, growing even paler if that was possible. He shifted his eyes away momentarily and then watched as she scurried into the back. He stood and stretched.
"Gonna hit the head."
Dev just nodded, distracted by watching his old lady fill up the salt and pepper shakers. Donnie rolled his eyes. Man, Dev was whipped.
Devlin was the head of the club and was strong willed as hell. But when it came to his woman, he was putty. It was funny to watch, sure. But Donnie promised himself he would never let a woman make him feel that way.
Jack was just as bad. Ever since he'd known him Jack had been silent and grim. A couple of months ago that had all changed abruptly. Jack was frequently seen smiling. Donnie even heard him laugh once or twice.
Jack's transformation was even funnier than Dev's.
He shook his head and pushed open the swinging door to the back. They'd been teasing him that he was next. No way man. Donnie wasn't the settling down type.
He was walking down the hallway toward the bathroom when he heard it.
Not just singing.
singing. It sounded like an angel. It was a sweet country song that he was sure he'd heard on the radio before but he couldn't quite place it. Something about Sundays and maydays.
He followed the sound to the stock room where Sally was standing on a step stool stacking boxes of napkins. He could hear her voice even better now. He was practically frozen in place by the shock of it. She should be singing professionally, not waiting tables in a tiny place like this.
He stood there listening to her sing, completely enraptured. She was an amazing singer but it was more than just that. There was a sweet sadness in her voice that pierced him to the core. He stood there mesmerized as she sung softly to herself and leaned forward to stack boxes of paper napkins on the shelf.
The other bonus was that he finally had a really good view of her legs.
They were good legs.
He must have made a sound of appreciation because she turned suddenly and gasped. Shit, he hadn't meant to scare her. Her eyes widened as she tottered back and forth on the stool. Donnie realized she was about to fall a split second before she did.
He caught her against him and fell backwards against a stack of boxes, knocking them over. His arms were around her so she came with him, landing squarely on top of him.
Donnie was in shock as he stared into the biggest green gold eyes he'd ever seen. Hazel. They were hazel. How had he not noticed that?
And he finally had his answer about her body.
He grinned at the girl lying sprawled on top of him. Her big, luscious breasts were crushed against his chest. Her waist was tiny under his hands and… he let them slide down a bit to feel her rounded hips and bottom. Accidentally of course.
Jesus, the woman was stacked.
"You alright sweetheart?"
She made a little sound of outrage and pushed against his chest.
"Let me up."
He grinned and squeezed her waist.
"What's your rush?"
She frowned at him and wiggled out of his grasp. Damn, he really hadn't wanted to let her go. She brushed herself off and stared down at him, looking annoyed.
"Can you help me up?"
He held up his hand and made his best puppy dog eyes at her. She looked at his hand distrustfully before grabbing it to hoist him up. Damn, she was a suspicious little thing!
He made sure to overshoot so he could get close to her again, landing on his feet up with his chest pressing against her body. He slid his arms around her waist to stabilize himself and smiled down at her. She gasped and jumped backwards. He raised his eyebrows at her with an unspoken invitation.
If it wasn't obvious enough the first time.
Usually that's all it took for Donnie to get a girl on her back. Of course the girls he messed around with were mostly hangers on who showed up at the club night after night, not shy little waitresses. He'd also never done it in a storage room. There was plenty of room though. Especially if he bent her over… He was already hard at the thought of it.
Sally did not look like she was picking up what he was putting down come to think of it.
In fact, the girl looked even angrier. She was obviously not used to male attention. That's all it was. Once she got over the shock that Donnie wanted her, she'd come around.
God, he hoped so.
"You guys okay?"
Kaylie stood at the door to the storage room, surveying the mess. He glanced over at Sally. She looked ready to jump out of her skin.
"I fell and-"
"I caught her."
Sally yanked her apron off and crumpled it into a ball.
"I'll clean this up in the morning Kaylie. Do you mind closing up? I just- I have to go- sorry."
Donnie got goosebumps just listening to her talk. Her voice was beautiful, melodious, even just yammering about closing up. He grinned at her dopily. Then she shot him a furious glance and pushed out of the stockroom. They heard the little bell over the front door jingle.
"Jeez, what happened Donnie?"
He smiled at Kaylie.
"Nothing. She just slipped. Here, I'll fix this mess."
He didn't know why, but he didn't like the thought of Sally having to do this all by herself.
"Okay Donnie. That's nice of you to do."
She turned to go but he stopped her.
"Hey Kaylie, why don't you invite your friend to the barbecue on Saturday."
He smiled and nodded.
"Tell her to wear something cute."
"Are you sure Donnie? She seems kind of quiet for you."
"What, don't you like her?"
Kaylie gave him a look that would have cut glass.
"I like her a lot Donnie. I just don't want you messing with her head. She's not really your type anyway."
He just laughed.
"Maybe my type has changed."
Sally stared at herself in the mirror. She sighed, pulling her button down shirt forward to cover her breasts. Not that they were easy to hide. She'd blossomed at twelve and they had just kept coming. She tried yanking the top underneath up. If she left it open over her pretty pink camisole, you couldn't see how big they were from the sides. Or how tiny her waist was. She had the sort of figure that attracted attention a little too easily. Unfortunately she didn't have a potato sack laying around.
It would have to do.
When Kaylie had invited her to the barbecue, she'd specifically mentioned leaving her cardigan at home. She'd smiled to show she was joking but Sally knew it held a kernel of truth. She was unnaturally attached to her grandmother's old sweater. Maybe it was time to retire the ratty old thing. It made her feel safe though.
She stood up straight. No more. She'd been here for over a year now. It was plenty of time to learn how to protect herself. This town was her home now. It would be okay to go out and socialize a little bit.
Besides he would be there.
She felt a tremor of butterflies go through her. Donnie was a frequent presence at Mae's. Whether he was outside, lounging on his bike while waiting for Dev and Kaylie, or inside, lounging in one of the booths and eating apple pie.
The guy loved to lounge.
She knew he was a biker and bad news. Those guys didn't treat women right. Kaylie's boyfriend Devlin seemed to be the exception. He was absolutely devoted to her. And Jack with his new girlfriend Janet. But they were smart girls. Brave and always standing up for themselves. For someone like her, it was better to stay away.
That didn't mean she couldn't look though, did it?
With his dark hair and piercing blue eyes, Donnie was gorgeous. He was almost too pretty to be a biker. She'd even heard some of the other guys give him shit about it. She'd nearly laughed out loud at the sour look on his handsome face.
Yeah, Donnie could have easily modeled with his looks. Never mind being tall and incredibly well built. The man was pure muscle. Not that he would ever notice someone like her.
The old her, yes. But the new, mousy, afraid little ghost? Doubtful.
She'd have to resign herself to her extremely active fantasy life and leave it at that. After the other night she had something new to add to the pot; the ways his arms had felt around her. And the way he smelled. And the moment when he looked at her the way a man looks at a woman he wants to kiss.
She'd seen that look before.