Totally, Sweetly, Irrevocably(5)

By: Kira Archer

“Are you going to cuff me, too?” She held up her wrists, making sure her tone was as sarcastically sweet as she could make it.

His gaze burned into hers, heating up until she could feel an answering warmth spreading through her. He leaned closer so only she could hear. “Only if you want me to.”

Chapter Two

Rick didn’t know what had possessed him to say that. It was beyond dumb. The woman—Miss Silvano—Gina—could probably have his badge for a remark like that. Good cops had been fired for less. And she definitely seemed like she had an issue with cops. Or maybe it was authority figures, in general. Either way, he should watch what he said around her.

Easier said than done, though. She scrambled his wits. The whole time he’d been lecturing her, all he could think of was how beyond gorgeous the woman was. It had been far too long since anyone had piqued his interest. He’d been chewed out by his fair share of perps—on a daily basis, really—but he’d never enjoyed it before. With fire flashing in those chocolate eyes and her cheeks more full of color than the crazy streaks of blues, purples, and greens peeking from under the darker top layer of her choppy, shoulder-length hair, he’d been more than tempted to rile her up just to keep the fight going.

But the lovely, and slightly frightening, Miss Silvano was so not his type. He liked the girl-next-door as a rule. Sweater sets and pearls for church on Sunday, jeans and T-shirts for playing ball in the park, maybe a cute sundress for the PBA picnic. Someone who would fit in the quintessential home with the white picket fence that he wanted in his future. He liked his life neat and tidy, reliable, predictable.

Gina was the antithesis to his perfect woman. She was chaos. Boisterous, rule-breaking, authority-hating, crazy-streaked-hair chaos. Everything about her confused him. How could she be the opposite of everything he’d always liked, yet still set fire to his blood with a mere look?

“Like Pac-Man?” he asked, nodding at the set of earrings in her upper cartilage. Pac-Man and a ghost separated by three studs. Like someone had taken a screenshot of the game and placed it in her ear.

“Doesn’t everyone?”

He chuckled. He had to admit, they were cool. Somehow all the piercings, even the tiny diamond in her nose, worked for her. He’d never been a fan of that kind of thing. But on her, they were subtle. Classy, even.

Still, she was so far away from his usual type it wasn’t even in the same hemisphere. So why couldn’t he stop staring at her? Why did his dick try to jump from his pants when her eyes roamed over him until there was a little hitch in her breath and a blush on her cheeks? Why did he have the urge to cuff her, press her up against the wall, and search every inch of her? Thoroughly and repeatedly. Or better yet, keep her against that wall and kiss her senseless so he could feel what it was like to have that stud in her tongue tangled up with his own. Or running over other parts of his anatomy that were screaming for attention.

And why the hell did he tell her he needed to escort her home?

His partner, Joe, was obviously wondering the same thing. Thankfully, they’d been partners long enough that Joe wouldn’t question him in front of a suspect. Or…whatever Gina was. But Rick knew he’d be getting an earful the second she was out of their sight.

He and Joe escorted her out of Mrs. Bogetti’s apartment and toward the elevator. Gina looked over at Joe’s slightly overinflated midsection and smiled.

“I’d like to take the stairs.”

Joe’s eyes narrowed, and Rick had to clear his throat to keep from chuckling. Joe used the stairs only in dire emergencies and sometimes not even then. Rick had been on his ass for years to get in shape. Joe’s usual response was to flip him off and reach for the doughnuts.

The elevator doors dinged and opened, and Rick grasped Gina’s elbow to steer her in. “Let’s stick to the elevator today.”

She shrugged and sauntered inside. They didn’t speak on the way down. Rick stood slightly behind her, close enough he could smell her subtle perfume. Actually, he wasn’t all that sure the vanilla scent that wafted from her was perfume. She drove a cupcake truck for a living. Maybe it was from being around the sweets all day. Either way, it made it even more difficult for him to keep his distance. What he really wanted to do was bury his nose in her hair and sniff her like the department dogs preparing for a drug search.

Joe glanced at him, one eyebrow raised, and Rick sighed. Oh yeah, he was so getting shit for this mess.

The elevator dinged, signaling their arrival at ground level. Gina was through the doors before they’d fully opened. But he stuck to her like glue, despite her obvious dismay. She marched to their squad car and turned around to glare at him.

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