Homecomings can be wonderful in breaking down old walls
Once the princess of Cottonwood Falls, Vicki Boshay had exchanged her crown and dresses for a badge and a gun as a deputy in her hometown. Disowned by her family for her decisions she has moved on and carries her head high. One foggy night she’s reunited with a man who lived on the wrong side of the tracks but had always interested her.
Chase Ellery is out of the Army and has come back home. He is shocked to see Vicki Boshay wearing a uniform when she gives him a ride into town. Some memories are harder than others to get rid of and despite the passion arching between them, their past is still there. Will they be able to move on or will it fracture the budding relationship?
Vicki did a double take and pivoted on the soles of her shoes to follow the passing motorcycle with her gaze. “Was that Mrs. Mallery on the back of that bike?” she asked her lunch companion. I never thought I’d see the day when that woman got on a motorcycle.
“Looked like her,” Toby replied. “Who was that driving?”
A grunt. “He’s been away a long time.”
She faced her friend, eyebrows up in amazement. “Really? You’re going to talk about being gone so long?”
He grinned. “This isn’t about me. And, how did you know it was him?”
She finished her drink to buy herself time. “I had him in my cop car last night.”
Toby paused, fries almost to his mouth, and raised his brow. “Did you now?”
“Mind out of the gutter, perv. I gave him a ride to town. His truck broke down.” Even as her mouth delivered the information to Toby, her mind happily skipped down the road she didn’t need it to traverse. Being in Chase’s— No way, I won’t do this.
“I see that look in your eye. You want to fuck him.”
“Toby,” she said, glaring at him.
“Was I not supposed to speak so bluntly?”
“Don’t you have your own sex life to think about?”
“I do, thank you. Mellie and I have a great sex life. If you were getting some, you may be happier.”
She scowled. “I’d be happier if you would drop the subject.”
His grin was unrepentant. “I’m sure you would.”
“Have you and the good doc set a date?” She prayed he would take the bait and change topics. Thankfully, at the mention of his fiancée, he swiftly latched onto it.
“Not yet. With her father still suffering from the chemo, she is staying focused on helping as much as she can, as well as running the clinic.”
“I understand. Is Dr. Glazer any better?” I need to stop by and see him.
Worry leached into Toby’s gaze. “No,” he said, sobering. “The cancer has spread.”
“Damn it.” She stretched out her legs. “I’d hoped he was improving.”
“We all did, but this is a very aggressive strain. It’s starting to weigh on her.”
She squeezed his arm. “She’s very lucky to have you in her corner, Toby. Give her my best.” She stood. “I have to go. Are you okay?”
Toby gave her a grin. “Fine here. Meet again soon, yes?”
“Definitely. I’m glad you stuck around.”
“Me, too. Now, go on. I’m calling Mellie, and you don’t need to hear our convo.”
“No argument here.” She walked away with a wave. At the grocery story, she meandered through the aisles, plucking things from the shelves and depositing them in her cart.
A high feminine laugh had her rolling her eyes as she walked around a corner. Chase and one of the Anderson twins. Vicki wasn’t sure which one from the back. Whichever, or whoever it was, leaned close to Chase, no doubt showing off ample cleavage.
He glanced up in that moment, piercing her with those stormy eyes. Her belly tightened as her heart rate accelerated. What’s wrong with me?
His expression was mocking and cold until he dismissed her. When he returned it to the woman before him, his features morphed into raw sexual promise. A look that made Vicki think of nights of unbridled passion.
The jealousy coursing through her shocked her. Okay, it’s official—I need to get some dick because, in no world, should I be jealous of attention another woman is getting. She pushed her cart by and kept her focus on the shelf to her left.
“Hi, Vicki,” the woman said.
She stopped and angled back to the couple standing there. “Hi, Jen.”
“How’s being a cop this week?”
Pasting her patient smile on her face, Vicki replied, “Same as it was last week. The best job I could ask for.”
“Can you believe our Vicki Boshay went and became a cop?” she asked Chase, leaning closer still to him.
Why don’t you just hump him here in the store, so I can arrest you for a public display?
“Nope,” Chase said, voice deep. Once more, he allowed his gaze to meet hers.
Infusing steel into her spine, Vicki held his judgmental stare. “People change.”
“And, sometimes, just the outside does, but the inside remains just as rotten as before.”
She wanted to smack him but nodded. “Very true. Have a good day, you two.” Vicki walked off before she snapped off something inappropriate. Pausing in the cracker aisle, she searched for her craving.
The warning up her spine wasn’t nearly enough. Not even close. She turned her head to see Chase standing there behind her. The hunger that poured through her nearly took her to her knees. Under the artificial light of the store, he appeared even harsher and harder than he had last night. Worn jeans clung to his legs like a lover who never wanted to let go. His cotton tee molded to muscles that didn’t seem to end.
“Something I can do for you, Mr. Ellery?” She flexed her fingers along the Wheat Thins box.
“Just curious as to what your father thinks about you being in the uniform.”
She replaced the box and faced him fully. “Not that it’s any of your business, but the day I joined the academy, he disowned me. Does that tell you what you want to know?”
He stepped closer, bringing with him the pure scent of man and a light hint of sandalwood. “No,” he whispered along her ear as he reached for the box she’d just returned.