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Authors: Katherine Allred

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary

Sweet Revenge (10 page)

BOOK: Sweet Revenge
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“Sure you want a girlfriend you hardly get to see?”

His arms tightened around her. “Oh, I’ll make sure I get to see you. Unfortunately, we just won’t be able to be alone that often.” His lips curved in a smile. “Unless we get creative.”

“Creative sounds very interesting. Which reminds me. I don’t have a class scheduled for Friday evening this week.”

“Oh, yeah? How about we make that our first official date?”

“I’d like that. A nd—” She took a deep breath and spit the rest of the words out in a rush. “I’m sorry I stuck condoms all over your office.” He laughed and reached around to remove something from his hip pocket. “Take a look at this. Thanks to you, I’m a hero.” Jessie looked down at the newspaper he held. A huge picture of the condom-covered window, Chase standing looking up at it, was splashed across the front page. The accompanying headlines read, “Sheriff Commended By Local Dignitaries For Progressive Sexual A wareness Program.”

“Oh, that is so typical,” Jessie sputtered. “I do all the work and you get all the credit.”

“Bill Hendricks, the reporter who took the picture, has been calling all day. He wants to know where I got the idea.” Chase grinned at her.

“Maybe we should call him back and tell him.”

“Don’t you dare!” She slid her arms around his neck. “So, how are we going to start all over?” The metal door at the end of the hall clanged open and the sound of footsteps echoed off the concrete walls. Still holding her gaze with his, Chase spoke.

“Harley, if that’s you, and you aren’t coming to tell me there’s a crazed sniper in the bell tower, I suggest you leave in a hurry.” With no pause at all, the steps made a U-turn and went back in the other direction.

“That was mean.” Jessie grinned at him.

“The hell it was. You know what he asked me this morning? He asked me if I thought you might be busy this weekend.”

“What did you tell him?” Her brows arched in amusement.

“I told him you were busy every night and to stay away from you or I’d break his fingers.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “I do believe you’re flirting with me, Sheriff.”

“Is it working?”

“Oh, yeah,” she sighed. “But it would work even better if you kissed me.”

“I think I can manage that,” he murmured as he lowered his mouth to hers.

Both Bridget and A my, along with eight senior citizens, were waiting for her at the studio when she finally made it back.

Bridget took her arm and dragged her into the office. “Well?”

Jessie glanced from her to A my. “We have a date Friday night.”

“Yes!” The exclamation came from both of them as they high-fived each other.

“Dad’s really not stupid,” A my told her. “Sometimes it just takes him a while.” Bridget grinned at the little girl. “How about you spend the night with me Friday, kiddo? We can go see a movie.”

“Great idea. Dad won’t feel like he has to rush home early.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figure.” Bridget winked at Jessie over A my’s head.

In return, Jessie made a face at her, but she couldn’t seem to stop the happiness that was welling up inside her. She only wished Friday didn’t seem so far away. A t least she’d get to spend most of Thursday with him, even if they wouldn’t be alone.

Chapter Ten

“Lazy bum,” Jessie muttered, glancing at the kitten curled up on her pillow. He yawned, pink tongue shining, then watched her dress, his eyes slit against the morning sun streaming in. She’d fixed a box for him to sleep in, but he seemed to think curling up next to her ear, making noises like a rusty chainsaw, was preferable.

She’d finished buttoning the sleeveless cotton blouse and was tucking it into her jeans when the sound of a car drew her to the window. If Chase was leaving, she wanted a chance to look at him. It had been late when she’d gotten home the night before and she hadn’t seen him since she’d left the jail.

But it wasn’t him. She watched a maroon van pull in behind Chase’s sedan, and a slim woman with brown hair climb out. Reaching back into the vehicle, the woman lifted out two bags and headed for the back door. A rms full, she used the toe of her shoe to knock, then waited expectantly.

Hurriedly, Jessie moved to one side and peered around the edge of the window as Chase opened the door. The woman’s smile of greeting as she looked up at him was so bright Jessie almost needed sunglasses. They spoke for a moment and she cursed her inability to hear what they were saying.

A fter the talk they’d had yesterday, he’d darn well better not have another girlfriend on the string, she thought irritably. Especially after telling her he didn’t cheat. There had to be another explanation and she was going to find out what it was at the first opportunity. Which looked like it was going to be real soon. Chase had shut the door behind the woman and was heading across the yards. Good thing she’d unlocked the door when she was downstairs earlier.

Jessie grabbed her sneakers and sat down on the edge of the bed, head tilted as she listened. A smile tugged the corners of her lips when she heard the back door open without a knock. There was a brief pause in the living room, then his steps started up the stairs.

“Jess?”

“In here.” She glanced around as he stopped in the doorway, his gaze taking in her bedroom before coming to rest on the bed.

“Now that is some bed.”

She patted the king-size feather mattress lovingly. “I know. I had it specially made three years ago. I have a terrible time going to sleep, and when I do, I’m restless. I had a regular size bed for years, but I kept falling out of it. This one is heck to make up, but it does work better.”

“Let me guess. You sleep in the middle.”

Jessie finished tying her shoe. “No, I sleep all over it. I’ve actually woken up with my head at the footboard before.” She paused. “So, who’s your company this morning?”

Chase’s face went blank. “Company?” He moved farther into the room and looked out the window. “Oh, you mean Karen. She cleans for me two days a week.”

“She’s got the hots for you.” Jessie stood and walked to him, then slid her arms around his waist. “Not that I blame her. I seem to be having the same problem myself.”

“Yeah?” His voice had gone all soft and husky as his hands moved down her back.

“Yeah.” A shiver ran over her when his palms came to rest on her sides, his thumbs just under her breasts.

“Show me.”

She stood on tiptoe, wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his mouth down to hers. First brushing them gently, she took his bottom lip between her teeth and let her tongue play over it.

His hands tightened convulsively and then he was kissing her back, her body tucked as tightly against his as he could get it while he took her mouth hungrily, ravenously. By the time he slowed, both of them were breathing in ragged gasps.

“God, Jess,” he whispered. “I want you so much I can’t even think when you’re around. A nd when you aren’t around, think is all I do.

A bout you. You’re driving me crazy.”

“Good.” She nibbled on his mouth again. “Because I’d hate to be the only one who felt that way.”

“Do you think once you get the studio going really well, we could take off for a week or so, go somewhere we could be alone?” She leaned back and looked up at him. “That sounds wonderful, but it’s probably going to be a year before I have enough business to hire anyone, Chase. Until I do, I can’t leave the studio for any length of time.”

A sigh broke from his lips. “That’s what I figured, but it sure is nice to dream about it. A beach, moonlight on the waves, no one around to bother us.” He released her and took a deliberate step back as if he didn’t trust himself not to touch her again. “I came over to see if you wanted a ride this morning.”

Jessie glanced at the clock. “Yes. I’d be late now if I walked.”

“A re you ready?” He eyed her jeans.

“I keep my leotards at the studio and only change when I need them. I’ve got a line dancing class first thing this morning.” She picked up her purse from the dresser and slid the strap over her shoulder. “I’m ready.” He draped an arm around her as they walked across the yards to his car, pulling her close, and Jessie had the sudden conviction that every window in the neighborhood contained a set of curious eyes. Let them look, she thought as she defiantly put her arm around his waist.

“What time is your last class over tonight?” Chase opened the door on the patrol car for her.

“Eight. A nd that’s going to be a pain in the rear. Tom Davis is supposed to be over to check the air conditioner and wiring this evening.” He nodded, then walked around to his own side of the car and climbed in. “I’ll be home by four. Want me to let him in and see what he says about it?”

“Would you mind? You’d probably understand what needs doing more than I would anyway.” Chase smiled at her as he backed out. “I don’t mind a bit. It’ll give me an excuse to see you again tonight.”

“You don’t need an excuse.” She rested her hand on the hard muscles of his arm. “I want to see you every chance we have.” He stopped the car and leaned over to kiss her lightly. “You know, a man could get used to having you around. Real easy.”

* * * * *

It had been a horrible day, Jessie decided as she changed back into her jeans. First there had been the line dancing class this morning.

She’d had to demonstrate the basic moves so many times she’d lost count. A t least the senior citizens were enthusiastic, even if they did move with all the speed of a constipated turtle. She had enjoyed laughing and joking with them.

It had been the two classes of four-year-olds that had almost done her in. She’d forgotten how hard it was to hold their attention for any length of time. A t one point she’d had to rescue a little girl who’d managed to get her legs hung on the exercise bar while hanging upside down. A nother one had been so fascinated by her reflection in the mirrors she’d spent the whole class turning in a circle trying to see all of them at once.

A nd last, but certainly not least, had been the private lesson with Mr. Hartman. The man had no rhythm whatsoever. Was, in fact, so uncoordinated that it was a miracle he could walk. Her feet felt like mincemeat, he’d stepped on them so many times. The one thing he had going for him was determination. He was going to learn ballroom dancing if it killed both of them.

She flipped off all the lights except the security light in the office, and stepped outside, locking the door behind her.

“Hi.”

Jessie spun, her hand going to her heart. “Chase! Don’t you know better than to sneak up on a New Yorker like that? You scared me to death. I could have hurt you before I realized what was happening.”

His brow arched. “Jess, I outweigh you by at least seventy pounds. How could you hurt me?” A my appeared from behind him. “I bet she knows karate.”

“No, but I did take some self-defense courses when there was a rash of muggings in my neighborhood. They teach you not to fight fair.

Believe me, I could do some damage.”

He winced. “I get your point.”

Jessie shifted her purse. “What are you two doing here?”

“Well, since you can’t cook, I thought we’d walk you home and pick up a pizza on the way.”

“Okay.” They started down the sidewalk. “Just out of curiosity, why can’t I cook?” He lifted his hand to the small of her back as they stepped off the curb, then left it there. “Because Tom Davis shut off the power to your stove. It’s a real mess, Jessie. In one place, the cover was burnt completely off the wiring and the inside walls were scorched. He said he had no idea why it hadn’t caught the house on fire. The rest of the lower floor needs a lot of work on it too, but the kitchen is the worst.”

“Can he fix it?” She couldn’t keep the anxiety out of her voice.

“Yeah. He’s got several other jobs but he’s moving you to the front of the list. He’ll start on it tomorrow morning. It’s going to take him two days, so you’ll need somewhere to stay tomorrow night. You won’t have any power until he’s done.”

“You can stay with us,” A my piped up. “We have a spare bedroom.”

Jessie glanced at Chase before turning her attention back to A my. “I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Sweetie. I can probably get a room at the motel for one night.”

“The motel won’t let you take Bubbles with you,” Chase pointed out. “Besides, we’ll be well chaperoned.” He gestured at A my. “There’s even a king-sized bed in the spare room,” he said coaxingly.

“In that case, how can I refuse?” She smiled up at him as his hand curved around her waist and gave her a gentle squeeze.

When A my bounded by them and went through the doors of the pizza parlor, Jessie put a hand on his arm. “Chase, are you sure about this? It could cause a lot of gossip if people found out I spent the night at your house.”

“A nd Tom will let them know why you did. Jess, it’s nothing to worry about. The last time the Trinity River flooded I had several families stay with me, and one of them was a single mother with a little girl. People around here do things like that.”

“Okay, if you’re sure.”

“I am. Now, do you want to eat here, or take it home?”

She glanced though the plate glass window at the crowd inside. “Take it home. I’m too tired tonight to socialize.”

“Home it is.”

* * * * *

A s soon as they finished eating, they moved to living room and Jessie collapsed on the couch. “A re you sure it’s safe to stay here tonight?”

“Tom said it would be. He’s got the dangerous part shut off.”

“Good.” She kicked her shoes off, leaned her head back on the sofa arm and stretched out. “I’m too tired to move right now.”

“Jess, can I put your books on the shelves for you?”

“Be my guest.” She suspected A my just wanted a chance to go through all the titles. Eyes half closed, she watched Chase sit on the other end of the couch and lift her feet to his lap. When he started to massage them, her eyes shut in bliss.

He worked in silence, his big hands firm but gentle as they kneaded the muscles and tendons. When he used a knuckle to skim her arch the feeling she experienced soared rapidly from good to distinctly hot. A t the rate he was going, she wouldn’t need the wiring to burn the house down. She was going to spontaneously combust.

A nd she wasn’t the only one. The bulge in his jeans was growing at an alarming rate. It wouldn’t do to groan with pleasure, she reminded herself. Not with A my in the room.

She glanced in the little girl’s direction. A my was sitting with her back to them, absorbed in the books she was filing. When she looked back at Chase he smiled and let his fingertips move softly up her calf beneath her jeans. A s he reached the back of her knee, his thumb moved over the skin in a tingling caress. The sweet throbbing centered between her legs was almost more than she could stand.

Moving her foot slightly, she let her toes curl around the hard ridge of his erection and saw his chest stop moving. The thigh muscles under her heels tightened, and the gaze that met hers was so heated, so full of desire, that she shivered. God help them if they ever managed some time alone. They might just kill each other. On the other hand, if they didn’t, they were going to die from wanting.

His gaze slid down her body and her nipples hardened into erect peaks under the visual caress. Silently, his lips formed her name at the evidence of what she was feeling.

“Okay,” A my slammed the last book into place. “I alphabetized them by author.” Her first word galvanized both Chase and Jessie into action, but when she would have yanked her feet from his lap, he grabbed her ankles and held on. Under the circumstances, it was probably a good thing he did. Even A my couldn’t have missed his condition.

The little girl glanced at them over her shoulder. “You guys are sure quiet tonight.” Jessie gave her a weak smile. “I’m just tired. I think I almost went to sleep.”

“We should go and let you get to bed. Ready, Dad?”

Chase was looking a little desperate. “Uh, why don’t you carry the empty boxes out to the porch for Jessie first?”

“Okay.” She picked two of them up and left the room.

“Nice save,” Jessie whispered.

He shook his head. “I don’t think it’s going to help,” he whispered back. “Right now, I don’t think a bath at the North Pole would help.” A my returned, dumped Bubbles out of a box, and started out again. “This is the last of them.”

“Right behind you,” Chase said. When she’d made it to the kitchen, he stood and pulled Jessie up. “You go first, just in case. A nd make sure the porch light is off.”

Holding his hand, she pulled him along behind her. A my was already outside, standing on the bottom step waiting.

“Take off, Squirt. I’ll be there in just a second.”

“Mushy stuff, huh?” She flashed them a grin. “I can take a hint. But I thought you were supposed to offer me money?”

“Go!” Chase growled.

Laughing, A my vanished into the darkness. A split second later, Jessie found herself pinned to the wall, Chase’s mouth covering hers hungrily while his tongue plundered the moist depths. His hand slid under her blouse and pushed her sports bra aside before closing over her breast. When his fingers teased her nipple she gasped.

“Tomorrow night, Jess,” he panted. “If we can’t be together I’m going to die.”

“A my…” The protest faded as he kissed her again.

“Once she goes to sleep, it’d take a bomb to wake her up, and the guest room is across the hall from my room. She won’t know a thing.”

BOOK: Sweet Revenge
6.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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