Authors: Cat Johnson
Her heart started to beat a little faster when she reached Bobby’s closed bedroom door. She turned the knob tentatively, not knowing if this was the one door in Pigeon Hollow that would actually be locked.
It opened and her heart pounded harder as she stepped into the room lit by only the soft glow of early morning light creeping through the half-raised blinds.
Bobby slept with the two windows open, a fan propped in one, blowing on him where he lay on the bed. It figured he didn’t have an air conditioner in his room, even in the summer. Mr. Tough Guy wasn’t the type.
He slept face up, on top of the sheets, totally exposed and clad in only dark-colored boxer briefs. In the dimly lit room, Christy’s eyes widened. There was a lot of man contained in those briefs—long, thick, hard. She swallowed at the sight.
In hindsight, this had probably been a risky idea. She’d never considered he slept on top of the covers. What if the man had slept in the nude? She swallowed and was very aware that Fletch had begun filming next to her. The tape was rolling. Too late now.
She glanced back to the underwear and the man within them. Privately, she’d been torn as to whether this staunch public servant would be a boxer or a brief man. This morning had answered her question. His garment was neither and both at the same time, much like the man himself. Yes, Deputy Bobby—as Mandy called him—was a paradox all right.
Bobby stirred in his sleep. With a groan, he reached down and rubbed his impressively thick length through his underwear before rolling over onto his stomach and showing her his other asset. That side was just as nice to look at as the other. This man was definitely a two-sided coin, and both sides were equally attractive.
The red glowing numbers on the bedside alarm clock changed to 5:00 and a deafening beeping filled the room. Christy jumped. Fletch cursed. Bobby rolled over and slapped the button. Then he made Christy fear for her life, no exaggeration, since it seemed the deputy slept with his weapon. Or at least with it right next to his bed on the nightstand.
Gun drawn and wearing a glare that could kill without bullets, Bobby growled, “This here is a good way to get yourselves shot.”
With another withering glance in her direction, but without any sign of self-consciousness, he stood. He grabbed a pair of jeans off the bedside chair and strode into the hall on his way to what Christy assumed would be the bathroom.
She let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “You get all that, Fletch.”
“Nearly shit my pants when he pulled that gun, but yeah, I got it.”
“Good. Let’s give the deputy some privacy and wait in the kitchen.” Before he did shoot them. Besides, she smelled coffee.
Sure enough, when they reached the kitchen the light on the coffee maker was on and it was happily dripping away. They may be in Nowheresville, but at least the Bartons had an automatic coffeepot with a timer, and Bobby—it had to be him, Mr. Detail—had remembered to set it to go off at dawn.
Christy decided that seeing Bobby in his underwear and having fresh, hot coffee made life pretty good. She went to the pantry and grabbed three mugs from the cabinet Mrs. Barton had previously shown her. After pouring them all a cup, she sat and waited for Bobby to come in and chew her out.
Feeling much like a bad child trying to get an adult to notice them, she realized that any attention she received from Bobby, even of the negative variety, was good enough. Christy took a long sip of scalding coffee and wondered exactly what that said about her.
Bobby was still pissed as hell when he pulled up to his favorite fishing spot. Striding from the parked car to the river, he took a perverse pleasure knowing he was moving so fast Christy and Fletch couldn’t keep up.
After what she’d done this morning it would serve her right if he accidentally on purpose dropped the microphone and battery pack that had become a permanent part of his wardrobe in the water. Maybe he was being childish, but honestly right now he didn’t give a crap if he was.
He found Jared already there, laid out on a log, eyes closed beneath his straw hat. Feeling particularly mean at the moment, Bobby jabbed him with the toe of his boot on his way past.
“Ow! What the hell’s wrong with you?” Jared sat up and frowned at him.
“Ask her.” Bobby hooked a thumb in Christy’s direction.
She pressed her lips together and shook her head. They’d probably have to edit that out. He knew she didn’t like him talking to her while the cameras were rolling. Too frigging bad. Sneaking into a man’s bedroom while he’s sleeping and defenseless. Well, okay, he did have his gun, but he was in his underwear for God’s sake. Not to mention sporting one hell of a morning woody.
Christ, they wouldn’t broadcast that on television, would they? Then again, this show was for one of those hundred cable stations Bobby rarely had time to watch, so who the hell knew what they could show.
Just great. His cock, flying out to millions of paying subscribers. Not to mention that Christy had stood there ogling him in his underwear for God only knew how long. He didn’t know which bothered him more, the strangers who would watch the show seeing him, or Christy.
Why didn’t there seem to be any male producers on this crew? There were only females. A male would never have snuck in and filmed another man waking up in his underwear. They would have known better. Things happened to a man in the morning. Things he had no control over. Did Christy realize that? Or did she just think he sported a hard-on all the time?
He couldn’t think about it anymore or his brain would explode. Bobby shook his head and cast his line out into the lake, determined to ignore the annoying woman and her cameraman if it killed him.
Jared stood beside him, yawning and casting his own line. “You ready to tell me what’s wrong yet?”
“All right.” Jared yawned again.
Bobby took the time to finally look at him. “You look like crap. Did you sleep at all?”
He let out a loud breath. “You know if you were up all night with one of the horses you could have just called and canceled.”
Jared got an evil grin on his face. “Oh, a little filly kept me up all night, but it wasn’t one of my horses.”
Bobby shook his head, even more pissed off now. Jared was managing to get himself laid practically every night, and Bobby was destined to live like a monk for the five or so remaining weeks of filming because of his two shadows back there. Didn’t that just figure.
Between Jared’s exhaustion and Bobby’s anger, there was pretty much silence for most of the morning. Good, he couldn’t think of better revenge on Miss Nosy than a few boring hours on tape of two men fishing.
The only problem was it gave Bobby too much time to think. He began to think back to the last time he’d enjoyed the pleasure of a woman, and he was having trouble remembering. Between trying to set a good example when it came to females for Mikey and working crazy hours for the sheriff’s department, his social life was pretty much out to pasture.
Now with the camera up his butt—literally, this morning—there was no hope to rectify the situation anytime soon. No frigging way was he letting the cameras catch him even talking to a woman so they could broadcast it all over television.
The more he thought about it, the more he realized he was afraid to even handle things himself in that department. He couldn’t even risk jerking off. She probably had the bathroom and his bedroom bugged with microphones or hidden cameras. In fact, the minute he got home, he was going to check. That thought made him even angrier.
These were sad times indeed when a man couldn’t even jerk off in private. He shook his head, cast his line and settled in for the long haul.
A few hours later, Bobby glanced at his watch and reeled in his line.
“Time for work.” He slapped Jared on the back and turned to pack up his stuff.
Jared, half-asleep on his feet, jumped. “Already? But I was having so much fun.” He reeled in his line too.
“What’re you doing for the rest of the day?” Bobby asked his sarcastic friend.
“I’m thinking I need to inventory the hay bales.”
Bobby laughed at what he knew was Jared’s code for hiding in the hay room to take a nap. He glanced up and saw Christy already on her cell phone. “I’m thinking my jailor is already on the phone to yours and you better run and hide quick before the camera finds you.”
Jared squinted in Christy’s direction in the morning sunlight. “Hmm. Good thing I know a short cut.”
Bobby smiled. “Good thing. See ya later.”
“Yup. Have fun at work.” Jared grinned and took off.
Watching him sprint for his truck like a racehorse out of the starting gate, Bobby wondered why he couldn’t treat this whole thing like one big game the way Jared did. Then again, Jared always viewed life as a game. He guessed it was hard not to when your life and livelihood revolved around watching horses fuck all day at the breeding farm.
“Where to now?” Christy interrupted his thought.
Yup, he couldn’t even
the word fuck and she was there. Forget about actually trying to find a woman to do it with. Nope, not with her around. He looked his nemesis up and down. It was going to be a hot, humid day, and he could tell this girl, most likely born and bred in air-conditioning, was already feeling the heat. She’d tied the bottom of her shirt around her ribcage, exposing a good amount of stomach between the shirt and her low-rise shorts.
Bobby frowned at himself for even looking.
“Look, I’m sorry, okay? I was wrong. Dead wrong and I will never enter your bedroom again without permission. So can you stop frowning at me so we can move on? If not, the remainder of this shoot is going to be a long five weeks.”
She stood directly in front of him, hands fisted on those nicely rounded hips. He raised his eyes from her curves, skimming as quickly as he could past the good amount of cleavage exposed by the low neckline of the shirt. He tried to concentrate on her face as she glared up at him with her piercing green eyes.
He nodded once. “Fine.”
“I accept your apology. Now I’ve got to get home, change and get to work.” He started for the car when he heard tiny footsteps running to catch up. He paused and gave her time to run around in front of him again.
“Wait. You promised we could ride with you.”
She was worried he’d back out of their deal. He could see it on her face.
“Come on then. I said you could ride with me, I didn’t say you could make me late for work.” He continued walking toward the car and smiled at the sounds of the harried scuffle to break down the equipment behind him. He’d forgive her, and he’d follow through good to his word and let them ride with him, but he’d be damned if he’d make it easy for them.
Christy sat in the corner of the sheriff’s office and watched Bobby. It was a lot like watching paint dry. Sure, he was gorgeous. Even observing him doing nothing could be a mouthwatering experience, but it lost some charm knowing that if something, anything, didn’t happen soon her job was toast.
He leaned way back in his chair, booted feet up on his desk, as he read the local newspaper. And that was all, for the past hour and a half. Pigeon Hollow was not a hotbed of crime, to say the least. Maybe she could ask him for the help-wanted section. She had a feeling if things didn’t pick up soon, she’d need it.
Christy glanced at Fletch. He shrugged at her and then continued to work on his crossword puzzle, the video camera back on the tripod for the second time that day.
She sighed, not for the first time during this eternal sit-around-and-wait game she was playing. It was almost as if…no, he wouldn’t…would he?
“Did you somehow arrange for there to be no calls today?” She stood, hands on her hips, and accused him.
Bobby lowered the paper slowly and raised a brow. “Would I do that?”
His tone made her think he might just do exactly that. Her mouth fell open.
“Bobby.” She dropped back down into her chair and buried her face in her hands. Breathing heavily, she tried to calm her panic. She was so screwed.
“What’s her problem?” Bobby asked Fletch.
“She’s probably going to lose her job because she gave you that Cole Ryan tape, that’s all.”
Christy winced at hearing that. Fletch was trying to help, but she didn’t want Bobby to know that little piece of information. She felt a hand on her shoulder and glanced up.
Bobby had crossed the room and was standing next to her. “That true?”
He was so tall and strong and stern looking, he’d be frightening if she wasn’t already in lust with him.
She shrugged. What could she say? “If I don’t come up with something entertaining to replace it, yeah.”
“I didn’t re-route the calls. It’s just a slow day.” Shaking his head, he looked concerned. He squatted down and took one of her hands in both of his. Her heart knocked against her ribcage. “But even so, this is Pigeon Hollow. Not much goes on here.”
“I know.” Trying not to pass out from even that small physical contact, she nodded. Why did she suddenly not care if she lost a thousand jobs, as long as he kept touching her?
His head dropped briefly and she stared at his crown of dark waves. He looked back up to capture her in that entrancing blue gaze. “If it really means your job, I’ll give you back the tape.”
Her lips trembled. He was too good to be true. Hot
nice. Guys like this only existed in romance novels. Definitely not in real life. At least not in
Christy shook her head in answer to his magnanimous offer. “No. Ryan may be a public figure, but I won’t expose your nephew like that. Your family deserves some privacy. It’ll be all right.”
He watched her for a second, as if sizing her up. Nodding once, he squeezed her hand. His form of a thank you, she supposed. It was more than enough.
And then, thank God, the phone rang.
“Let’s see what I’ve got for you.” He winked and strode to the phone on his desk. After a few minutes of cryptic one-sided conversation and her nearly swooning over the fact he’d winked at her, he hung up and looked in their direction. “Is a swarm of bees settling in the rectory entertaining enough for you?”