A romance writer, Simone Beauvais, had seen her hero many times before. And, she’d written about him, she confessed. He was there in One Enchanted Evening, his long lean body sprawled across the rug in front of the fireplace. He was there in A Time for Loving, curled around her heroine’s body after he’d seduced her and loved her until she begged for mercy. Then again in Just the Thought of You, as he’d made love to her heroine under a harvest moon, held in the circle of his arms as they’d listened to the rhythm of the surf kissing the shoreline. And in Your Loving Arms as she’d been beneath him on a secluded beach, moving with him in the night, the taste of salt on his skin as her lips brushed his neck, the moonlight streaming down on them. Even now she could feel the gentle rasping stroke of the beaded grains of sand on her back just the way she’d written it in her book.
Only, what was she supposed to do now that she sat across the booth from him? She wanted to leave right away. No, she wanted to stay. Sigh, she didn’t know what she wanted. Or did she?
Simone gritted her teeth in annoyance as she heard the siren. She checked her rear
view mirror, knowing what she’d find. A police cruiser. A helluva place to get pulled over
by a cop, she grumbled. She was just passing through, for heaven’s sake. The darn town
probably didn’t even have red a light!
She grimaced in distaste at her bad humor. All she wanted was to get across the
Kansas state line. And she had miles to go. She should’ve waited until she reached
Wichita and hit I-135 north. From there it was a straight shot to I-70 that would take her
to Colorado. But she’d been listening to music, not paying attention to where she was
going and made a wrong turn somewhere. Then she’d become hopelessly lost. The town
she’d just passed through wasn’t even on her map: Climax, Kansas. A really dumb place
for a romance novelist to get caught.
Caught for what, she wasn’t sure. Definitely not speeding. She’d been driving slow as
molasses in January, trying to get her bearings. The lay of the land, her grandmother
What law of this Podunk town could she have broken? Going too slow, maybe? She
wasn’t even in the c limits, if you could call this dusty old place a city, she thought
snidely. She eyed the cop in her side mirror as he stepped out of his car, took note of her
tag number and called it in.
Not bad on the eye. A body like his could be written into her next novel. Muscles
bulged from his short-sleeved shirt. His broad chest strained the front buttons. And
when he leaned through his window to get something out of the car she got a good look
at his firm backside. It was too bad she couldn’t afford to spend any time in this town.
Better get this over with, old girl. Time’s a wastin’.
She opened the car door and stepped out into the heat of the day, a blast of hot air
smacking her in the face. Massive heat waves rolled off the black asphalt, shimmering in
the air like ghostly images. She covered her eyes with her right hand to shade them from
the blinding sun. Her throat felt dry and raspy, making her wish for a cold bottle of
water to slake her thirst.
She took a moment to study the area, taking note there was nothing but dust, rock
and scrub brush. She brought her attention back to the man who was just another
irritant in a long day and her body thrummed.
Lincoln Hayes stopped his forward movement, staring at the vision that stepped out
of the car that had been driving along at a snail’s pace. His mouth went dry. Her hair
was dark, short and curly. Impatience drifted across her face. A face with unbelievable
features. Arched brows formed to perfection. Eyes, thickly lashed, a mysterious shade of
green. A short pert nose that he was sure could rise in disdain. Lips, luscious and
shapely, beckoning him to walk right over and have a taste. And a come-hither body that
had his own body flashing spasms of heat that matched the waves rolling off the
He placed both hands on his hips, taking a moment to clear away the images that
had planted themselves in his brain. He was a police officer. There was no place in his
line of work for this type of thing. Judging from the way she was dressed, she could be
anyone, he thought tiredly, maybe even a hooker making her way to Nevada to ply her
trade in the anything-goes city of Las Vegas. He knew he was being unfair, judging her
simply because he was irritated at the day he’d had and she was the closest person to
take out his aggravation.
He gave her one last thorough examination from head to toe.
Bare feet? Hmm. Toes? Tasty!