Looking for a little taste of "Protect and Serve"? Wondering what Kevin Stone's story is all about after you fell in love with him in "Spliced"?
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“Mind if I ask why you changed your number?” Kevin folded it in half and held it.
Tami shrugged. “Too many wrong numbers. This will stop it. How’s the woman?”
Again, she changed the subject so he rolled with it. “They’re keeping her overnight. I guess she has some deep bruising and a few broken ribs. Sounds like she’ll live.”
“For now, or until she wises up and leaves that worthless piece of crap. Next time she might not be so lucky.”
Her anger reflected in her eyes and he understood it. Seeing that type of violence up close affected a person. “We all have to make our own decisions.”
“I guess. So, you want your usual tonight or are you willing to walk on the wild side for a change?”
“I’m thinking it’s time I check out the wild side. See what it has to offer. What do you suggest?”
Tami crossed her arms beneath her breasts, jacking the soft orbs up and giving him a peek at her cleavage. “You like surprises, cop?”
“I’m beginning to,” he answered and then chuckled. Oh yeah, he could see a surprise around every corner with her.
“Good.” Tami jotted something down on her order pad, looked up, winked and then hustled away.
Kevin couldn’t stop watching her tiny ass as she departed. His sweaty palms actually itched to hold her bottom and feel if it was as taut as it looked. They’d been playing this game for months now, flirting and sizing each other up. He definitely wanted more.
Tami returned a few moments later with a plate of baked ham, mashed potatoes and a side of applesauce. Normally he ordered steak, but he had to admit, this looked and smelled good. He couldn’t help wonder what she’d bring him for dessert.
“I’ll get you a drink, is there anything else you’d like?”
“Actually, yes.” Kevin looked up from his plate and met her gaze. “I’d like to take you out as soon as possible. Think you can handle that?”
Tami blinked twice, the smile on her face fading briefly and sending his heart plummeting to his gut. He couldn’t have read her wrong. Impossible.
And then, just like that, she lit up. Her eyes sparkling and her smile dazzling. “I think I can. In fact, I’m pretty sure I can. What about you, cop? Are you sure you’re ready for a woman like me?”
“I’m a cop, I’m trained to handle anyone,” he replied, ready to forgo dinner and drag her out now.
“Be sure now,” she warned. “I guarantee you’ve never dated someone like me.”
Kevin leaned back in the booth. “I have no doubt and that’s why I’m asking. How’d you get to work?”
“What time do you plan on getting out of here?”
“Ten at the latest.”
“How about I take you for a late-night dessert and then drop you off at home?” He hadn’t planned this. But he couldn’t wait for a formal date. She intrigued him.
“Sounds fun. You don’t mind me being in my uniform?”
Yeah, he did, but that was his cock talking and not his brain. “If you want to take it off, I’m good with that.” Kevin wiggled his eyebrows and Tami burst out laughing.
“We’ll see, cop. We’ll see.” She left him then, went about checking on her tables and bussing the dirty dishes.
Kevin ate slow, enjoying the view far more than the cuisine, not that he had any gripes about it. The ham tasted out of this world and the potatoes were homemade, not flakes you simply added water to. Maybe he’d start letting Tami surprise him more often. The diner crowd thinned out, letting Tami and Tess get a jump-start on cleaning. When Tami finished prepping the other tables for the morning rush, she headed his way.
“How’d you like it?” she asked, and then picked up his dirty dishes.
“Excellent. Got any more surprises for me?” He shot her a daring glance, anticipating her quick, witty response.
Tami set the dishes down, turned and plopped in his lap. Her arms circled his neck and her lips were only a breath away from his. Kevin instinctively settled his hand over her rib cage and let his other rest on her thigh.
“I’m full of them,” she whispered, drawing his attention to her lips. “Question is, are you man enough to deal with them?”
Something inside him surged forward. Like a hidden animal finally set free and starving for what she offered. None of his other dates had dared be so forward in public.
Tami’s fingers threaded through the short hairs on the back of his neck as she adjusted herself in his lap. The movement and her touch brought his groin to life. No hiding the erection growing and pressing into her hip. And, from that sassy little smile on her face, she felt it.
“That answer your question?”
“So, the attraction goes both ways,” she muttered. They sat there, him drawing little circles on her thigh with his thumb and she driving him wild with her fingers caressing his scalp.
She brought out the eager, pure male side of him. That part he kept hidden from the rest of the world. His mother and father had taught him to show respect for women and not treat them like sexual objects, and he did. Tami, she made him want to forget it all,
throw caution and etiquette to the wind. She made him feel like a man with her forward ways and unapologetic wants.
She must have been able to read his thoughts, because her eyes dilated and she sucked in a sharp breath. “Hold that thought, cop. I’ll get out of here as soon as I can.”
When she made a move to abandon his lap, his grip on her thigh and ribs grew tighter. She stilled, smiled and then cupped his face and traced the pad of her thumb over his bottom lip. A small voice chattered somewhere in the back of his brain, scolding him for acting this way with a woman he barely knew. Except he did know her. They’d been dancing around this very night for months now. He’d just been too blind to see it.
Tami extracted herself from his lap, grabbed his dishes and gave him one last heated, hungry look before disappearing into the kitchen. Kevin groaned, scrubbed his face hard with his hands and wondered where the hell he’d left his common sense. Right now, at this second, he had no qualms about taking her back to his place, stripping her bare and enjoying every square inch of her body. He’d never entertained that idea with other women he took out for the first time.
Yet, when he looked into Tami’s gorgeous eyes, he knew he wouldn’t have to hold back. He could be the man he wanted to be with her and she’d be right there with him. Meeting him head on and giving as good as she got. Who the hell walked away from that?
The door to the diner opened. Kevin glanced up and stiffened when he saw Peterson stagger in. The guy obviously had a good drunk going from the looks of him. Harmless as a butterfly sober, he could be a vicious drunk. Kevin still hadn’t forgiven the man for putting bruises on Tami a few weeks back.
Tami came through the swinging kitchen door, saw Peterson and stopped dead in her tracks. Kevin zeroed in on her, watched as her face went blank after a quick look of dread. She didn’t look to him for support or help; instead she straightened her spine, jutted out her chin and kept a good distance between herself and Peterson.
“What can I get you, Mr. Peterson?”
“Food, dammit,” he slurred. “Why the hell else would I come in this fucking place?”
“What kind of food would you like?”
Kevin’s hand slid to the side of the table, curled around the edge and gripped tight. One move, that was all it would take and he’d be on that man like the plague.
“I don’t know,” he snapped. “Give me a sandwich.”
Tami rubbed her temples. “I’ll see what Oscar has he can throw together for you.”
“You do that,” Peterson muttered, nearly falling off the stool at the counter.
Tami disappeared into the kitchen and Kevin kept watch on the man. It drove him nuts to see good people morph into blistering assholes after a night of heavy drinking. If the man wanted to get wasted, he should confine himself to home and stay there.
Peterson grunted, huffed and then stood and swayed as he tried to see back into the kitchen. After a few incoherent mutters, he plunked himself down on the stool again. Each ticking second made the man more frustrated. By the time Tami returned with the sandwich, Peterson’s pickled attitude had gotten worse, if that was possible.
“Here you go, Mr. Peterson.” She set the small plate on the counter in front of him and backed away quickly.
The man studied the food, mumbled and then began to eat. Tami continued about her business, making sure to keep out of arm’s length of Peterson. Ten minutes later Peterson shoved his plate away, stood and damn near fell over. As he headed for the door, Kevin slid from the booth.
“I’m gonna follow him, make sure he gets home. I’ll be back,” he told Tami. He didn’t like the idea of Peterson roaming the streets in this condition. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Someone would either run him over or he’d pick a fight with some teens.
She nodded and gave him a halfhearted smile. “I’ll be waiting.”
Peterson staggered the two blocks to his home. Kevin waited in the shadows until the man finally unlocked his door and disappeared inside. After taking a relieved breath, Kevin rushed back to the diner.
He found Tami standing alone in the dark outside. “You should have waited inside,” he told her and then held out his hand.
She took two steps toward him, slipped her hand into his and they walked side by side to his car. “I knew you wouldn’t be long. Besides, Oscar is the only one of us who has the code for the alarm. I take it Mr. Peterson made it home without any trouble?”
When they reached his car, Kevin unlocked the passenger side door and opened it. “He’s tucked away for the night.”
Tami slid in the seat, her skirt riding high and exposing more silky flesh on her thigh. Kevin couldn’t tear his gaze away. She had sexy, long legs and he wondered how they’d feel wrapped around his waist. That primal need to have her surged again, but Kevin shoved it back. He shut the door, walked around the car and slid behind the wheel.
Since he promised her dessert, he drove to the local ice cream parlor only a few blocks away. She ordered a double scoop, one coconut and one chocolate cherry. He ordered a small dish of plain vanilla and they took a seat outside on the bench.
“Here, try this,” Tami said, taking his spoon and loading it with both flavors. “It tastes like a coconut candy.”
She fed him the ice cream, but Kevin barely tasted it. All he could think about doing was tasting her lips. “Good,” he muttered.
“It’s my favorite.” Her tongue darted out and gave a long, slow lick of the cold, creamy concoction and, after eating it, she swiped her tongue across her bottom lip.
All the blood in his head drained and rushed to his cock. Even his lungs froze momentarily. Tami didn’t seem to notice, instead diving into her ice cream and enjoying every torturous lick.
“How long do you suppose we’ve known each other?” she asked, and then ran her tongue around the rim of the cone.
Kevin’s cock twitched and throbbed. “Three months,” he answered.
Tami nodded. “That’s what I thought. Aren’t you going to eat your ice cream?”
Kevin looked down at the dish in his hand. Damn, he forgot he had it. “Not really hungry.” He gazed back at her, her red hair sparkling in the pole light. “I’m having more fun watching you.”
A grin tugged at the corner of her lips, but she didn’t miss one beat. Her tongue worked, swirled and lapped away. Kevin’s insides fluttered and roiled as if he were a rocket ready for launch. An image of her working him like that, sucking and slurping, repeated over and over inside his brain. The damn woman knew what she was doing to him.
“I’m twenty-seven years old. I don’t judge people, live life to the fullest and I’m willing to try anything once. I’ve never been arrested. I pick up strays and care for them until I can find them homes and I love a good time. My philosophy, you only live once, might as well make the most of it. There, you know everything there is to know about me. What about you?”
Jesus, she was a whirlwind. Blowing through, scattering his good sense to the four corners of hell and leaving him excited and horny. “I’m twenty-nine, a cop, believe everyone deserves a second chance, try to see the good in everyone and have always thought things through before acting. But you are testing my patience.”
She tilted her head to the side and frowned. “Why?”
“I should take you home before I do something I’ll regret.” Kevin tossed his uneaten ice cream into the garbage can next to the bench and stood. “Come on, trouble.”
“Did I do something wrong?” Hurt filled her beautiful blue eyes and her lush lips pouted.
God help him, he wanted to kiss her. “No.” He took her hand and helped her to her feet and then pulled her up against him. “I don’t jump into bed with women on the first date,” he whispered. “I’m old-fashioned that way.” He lifted her hand holding the cone and took a slow lick of the ice cream. “You are poking a sleeping dragon, teasing me like this. You make me feel things I’ve never felt with another woman before.”
“And that scares you?”
“No. Just the opposite.” He wasn’t the least bit scared. She excited him, made him feel out of control and he liked it.
“What’s wrong with that?” She pressed her body tight against him, snuggling in.
What was wrong with that? He had no answer for her. A group of loud teens came out of the building. Kevin released his hold on her slightly but didn’t let her go. “First date,” he muttered, as the teens walked past them, more to regain control over himself than anything.
When they’d gone, he led her back to the car, helped her in and slid behind the wheel.
“So you’re saying if this was what, our third or fourth date, that would be okay?”
Kevin started the car. “Yeah.” He pulled out and headed toward her apartment. Okay, so maybe it didn’t make sense to her, and right now it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. Hell, nothing did. He couldn’t think straight because every bit of blood in his body had converged in one particular area. Still, he liked Tami and would not disrespect her by sleeping with her on their first date. It was the way he did things.
“We ate dinner together one night two months ago, remember? I was on break and you invited me to join you? That could technically be considered our first date.”
Kevin grinned. Yeah, he remembered. They’d talked and laughed and he had one hell of an erotic dream about her that night.
“A couple of weeks later we ran into each other at the grocery store and talked for about an hour. That should count for something.”
Kevin wanted to groan. She was killing him.
“What about that night Mr. Peterson grabbed me and you held ice on my wrist? Who else would have done that for me?”
Kevin turned down the street to her apartment. Why was she so hell bent on getting him in bed? “You’re reaching, Tami,” he growled. Honestly, she was winning him over.
They parked, he slid from the car and opened her door.
“So this could be considered our fourth date.”
He kept his mouth closed as he walked her to her door. His body and brain waged a silent war as the seconds ticked off. Would he go in with her, or leave?
“You are afraid,” she whispered, unlocking her door. “That’s okay.” Tami put her keys inside her purse and then looked him square in the eye. “I don’t want to make you do something you’re uncomfortable with. Not everyone gets my need to live in the moment and that’s fine. Thanks for the ride and the ice cream. I guess I’ll see you in two days.”
He caught a brief look of rejection in her eyes as she turned to go inside. He wasn’t rejecting her. He wanted her, damn it, so why not follow her through the door? His body wanted to move, but his brain had put a lockdown on all ambulatory function.
“G’night, cop,” she told him with a bright smile before she closed the door.
In the span of a few seconds, everything she said on the drive here replayed in his head. They’d spent time together, maybe not in the traditional sense, but they’d probably talked more than most do on a date. She’d given him the quick rundown on herself at the ice cream parlor, things he already knew. He wanted her, God, he really wanted her and she wanted him. They were both adults, able to make their own decisions.
On the other side of that door waited a woman he knew could change his world if he let her. She’d already touched some primal part of him deep inside, what else could she do? His mind raced for long moments with the possibilities. Each passing minute heated his blood and hardened his body. Kevin decided he really wanted to find out.
He rapped hard on the door a few times, waited a couple of seconds and then knocked again. The sound of locks being tripped and the wooden door rattling made his cock swell. Tami Cassidy was about to get a taste of the monster she released.
The door opened slowly and there she stood in a short T-shirt that barely reached the top of her thighs. And oh what glorious thighs they were. His breath hitched as his gaze roamed up and he realized he could see through the thin material. Large, pink nipples stabbed against her shirt and all reasoning disappeared.
Kevin took a step inside, pushed the door closed and smiled. “You win.”