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Crash Into You(3)

By:Roni Loren

Melody stepped next to Brynn as if sensing her need for support, and Cooper’s eyebrows rose. “You two know each other?”

Boy, did they—in just about every way a man and woman could. She searched Reid’s face, and he tipped his head infinitesimally, as if giving her permission to answer the question. Her eyes narrowed. “Used to. Long time ago.”

Cooper smiled, either oblivious or unperturbed by the tension zipping through the air between her and Reid. “Great. Guess introductions weren’t needed then.”

Nope. Not needed. Brynn knew exactly who Reid Jamison was. A first-class bastard.

Reid tucked his hands in his pockets, his relaxed confidence taunting her. “How’ve you been? Weren’t you working with kids the last time I saw you?”

So this is how he was going to play it, like they were old buddies. Fine. She nodded. “I was. But after my mother’s murder, I decided I should work with troubled women. Someone needs to be on their side.”

Reid’s jaw tightened. “Of course.”

She swallowed the scoff that threatened to escape. Of course, her ass. He’d been all too happy to take on her mother’s killer as a client. Who gave a shit about guilt or innocence if the paycheck was good, right? The ridiculous hormonal surge he’d caused turned frigid with the memory. She shot a pointed glance in the direction of her table. “Sorry I don’t have more time to chat, but I can’t leave my date waiting.”

Reid’s mouth curved upward, the effect more predatory than friendly. “No worries. We’ll have all kinds of time to catch up now that we’ll be working together again.”

Together. Every day. With Reid. The words felt like shackles locking around her limbs. She attempted a facsimile of a smile, exchanged good-byes with everyone, and then hurried back to her table. Dealing with a weepy date suddenly seemed like cake compared to spending one more second under the knowing gaze of the guy who, once upon a time, had brought her to her knees with a single, charged glance.

Reid watched the swaying ass of Brynn LeBreck as she hightailed it away from the group and returned to her date. Poor bastard. He’d overheard Brynn say something about her vibrator, so he assumed the guy wasn’t going to be asked in for “drinks” tonight. For some reason, knowing her date didn’t do it for her gave him an odd sort of satisfaction. It’d even been on the tip of his tongue to tell her that if she was in need of a good toe curling, he’d be more than happy to cuff her to his bed tonight—no battery-operated intervention needed.

But he figured the whole hating-his-guts thing would probably get in the way of her accepting his invitation. If time was supposed to heal all, Brynn definitely hadn’t gotten the memo. The fury that had flared in those green irises of hers could’ve set his suit on fire. Unfortunately, sharing air with the sexy blonde again had set other things aflame as well. His dick had jumped to attention like a soldier reporting for duty.

And he wasn’t even going to acknowledge the little flip his heart had performed in his chest. Stupid.

It’d been a few years since he’d seen her, ten since he’d touched her, but he remembered the feel of her curves and the taste of her skin as if he’d been buried inside her luscious body yesterday. He yanked at his collar, his tie suddenly feeling like a noose. Maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to take Cooper up on his offer of cheap rent in exchange for some pro bono work. He’d hesitated when he’d seen Brynn’s name listed on the brochure for the crisis center, but he’d figured he’d be immune to the woman by now. Plus, the deal had been too good to pass up. But now that he’d seen her again, he couldn’t deny that the residue of his old attraction still clung to his bones. Fuck me.

“Well, boys, I’m off,” Melody said, dragging Reid’s attention back to the two people standing beside him. “These shoes were made for dancing and the night’s almost over.”

Cooper turned to him after Melody traipsed off. “Man, you look like you need a beer.”

Reid’s shoulders relaxed a bit, and he gave his friend a half-smile. “You have no idea.”

Coop got the bartender’s attention, ordered two Shiner Bocks, and handed one to Reid. They moved away from the busy bar, but remained on the fringes of the milling crowd. His friend took a swig of his beer, then nodded in the direction of Brynn’s table. “So what’s the deal with you two?”

Reid shook his head. “Long story. Shitty ending.”

He chuckled. “I’m guessing there was nakedness involved. I’ve never seen her look so horrified to see someone. Although, I’m having trouble imagining the two of you dating. Brynn’s, uh, not exactly into guys like us.”