Erin Upton is too embarrassed to tell the cops what she was really doing while her townhouse was burglarized, especially since the first officer on the scene is former nuisance next door Charlie Dwyer. Where’s the justice in the world when a neighborhood know-it-all grows up to be six-foot-three inches of solid muscle with gorgeous green eyes and a slow, sexy please-arrest-me-now-officer smile? It’s bad enough she’s wearing her robe and slippers—did he have to notice her fuzzy hand cuffs on the bathroom sink?
He’s arrogant as he ever was, which is fine by her—she’s too busy with her dance studio’s grand opening to make time for a man. But they keep crossing paths, and
when Charlie offers to help her put in new flooring at the studio one night, things go from hammering nails to hammering each other in a hurry. And about those hand cuffs…
They agree it’s a one-time thing. But when that becomes a two-time thing, then a three-time thing, Erin starts to wonder if maybe she and Charlie could be a life-time thing. Her best friends Mia and Coco found love in unexpected places. Is it finally her turn?
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.
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Charlie finished up his second beer, but I thought I’d better stick to one tonight—two, and I was liable to invite him to back to my house for a little more drilling. The memory of being bent over that island hit me again, and I closed my eyes, squeezing my thighs together just for a second. Jesus. That orgasm was so intense. Why should it be that intense with someone I’m not in love with? It didn’t seem fair. Could I justify sleeping with Charlie? Because if he was that good with his hands, imagine how good he was with his—
My eyes snapped open. “What’s funny?”
“You. You just moaned.”
“You moaned just now, and your eyes were closed. What were you thinking about?”
“Uh, these fries.” I shoved the last one in my mouth and chewed frantically.
“Erin.” He put a hand on my leg. “What were you thinking about? I want to know.”
I swallowed. Should I just tell him the truth? I barely knew Charlie. I barely liked Charlie. But maybe it was because I didn’t like him all that much that I figured I might as well be honest. What did I have to lose? After a breath, I looked him in the eye. “I was thinking about that night in my kitchen.”
“Yeah? What about it?”
And I heard it—the low, hushed tone. He’s turned on too. “I liked it.”
“You, a person who does not enjoy violence, liked being coerced in the dark like that? Forced to do what I wanted you to?”
“Yes. Does that surprise you?”
“Actually,” he said slowly, “it scares me a little.”
“Because I know what I would have done to you if the lights hadn’t come back on.”
My stomach cartwheeled. “Turn off the lights and do it now.”
He inhaled and exhaled, deep and controlled. “You don’t know what you’re asking for.”
For a few seconds, neither of us moved. I imagined that in his mind he was debating the wisdom of subjecting me to more coercion. I’d said I liked things dirty, but he must have recognized that I hadn’t had much experience. It had probably been obvious by my stunned, faltering reactions to his words and his hands. But it had also been obvious that I enjoyed it, right?
What was he afraid of?
Confession: I was afraid too. Of being rejected, of being in over my head, of being wrong about my inclinations.
But mostly I was turned on. And curious. And bored with the Naughty Rabbit.
Bring on the Naughty Cop.
“Charlie.” I set my beer bottle down and got on my hands and knees. “Show me.”
He looked down at my wrists and circled one with his fingers. “Don’t. Move.”
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