Authors: Kimberly Dean
Tags: #memories, #short stories, #young love, #high school, #snow, #reunion, #resolution, #holiday romance, #second chance, #make up, #old flame, #teenage love, #new year, #new years eve, #high school sweethearts, #reunited lovers, #love lost and found, #one that got away, #make up games, #new year wishes
New Year’s Bang
Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dean
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Snow was falling lightly as Lita made her way home
from work. Crisp white flakes trickled down around the lonely
streetlights and settled silently on the ground. The roadway was
already dusted with the white powder but, by morning, there’d
probably be a few inches of accumulation.
Too bad it was too late.
“Christmas was three days ago,” she sighed.
Then the ground had been brown as… well, as dirt. For
somebody having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit, the
barren view outside her window certainly hadn’t helped. Even now
with the snow glistening, she couldn’t find that special excitement
within herself. Instead of appearing picturesque, the white
landscape just looked cold. Isolated. Lonely.
She let out a long breath. God, these winter blues
were getting old.
Wanting to get home, she stepped on the gas. The
light was yellow as she crossed Sycamore Street and a car suddenly
swung in behind her. The headlights reflected off her rearview
mirror, making her jump so high she nearly bumped her head.
“Oh for heaven’s sake,” she muttered. Reaching up,
she adjusted her mirror so the lights wouldn’t blind her.
Still, her heart rate kept its accelerated pace and
she sat a little straighter in the driver’s seat. Unable to help
herself, her gaze kept flicking to the mirror and the car behind
Every night, the same car pulled in behind her. It
kept pace with her, turning when she turned, slowing when she hit
her brakes, following her until she got home…
She flinched when the lights atop the car started
“What?” she blurted, looking quickly at the dash
board. “What did I do?”
Her speed seemed okay. She looked around at her
location. She hadn’t run any stop signs and that light had
definitely been yellow.
Letting out a frustrated groan, she pulled over to
the curb. She shifted into park and looked again at the rearview
mirror. The car behind her came to a textbook police stop. Suddenly
self-conscious, she focused on her own reflection. There wasn’t
much she could do but run her fingers through her hair, trying to
give it a tussled sexy look.
The door of the patrol car opened and her attention
immediately shot back to the officer who stepped out of the
“Damn,” she whispered.
He looked good tonight. Really good.
Officer Pirelli started towards her and the strangest
thing happened inside Lita’s chest. Her heart rate actually slowed
– only the tattoo of it threatened to break right through her ribs.
Nervously, she rubbed her damp palms against the steering wheel.
God, she hoped she didn’t say the wrong thing again.
He approached her car carefully, even though he knew
she was the one inside. She always was. Reaching for the controls,
she lowered the window as he came to a stop beside her car. Cold
winter air rolled in and her breaths appeared as puffs in front of
her face. “Hi Troy,” she said throatily.
“Lita,” he said, his face impassive.
She gave him a hesitant smile. “Did I do something
“You tell me.”
Her smile fell. “I don’t think so.”
The dislike in his voice hurt, although she knew the
source if it. Still, a gal could hope. When he’d first started
following her home, she’d thought it was to harass her. Lately,
though, she’d begun to wonder if it was something else – like maybe
he was concerned about her safety.
Her blue mood quickly squashed that idea.
Officer Troy Pirelli detested her.
“Driver’s license and registration,” he ordered.
“You know they’re good, Troy – from the
time you pulled me over.”
He just held out his hand, watching her like a
Lita sighed and leaned over to open the glove box.
She fished her license out of her purse and handed both documents
He studied them and she took the rare opportunity to
study him. The black winter coat of his uniform made his shoulders
seem wider and he had his hat pulled down low. Still, snowflakes
clung to the tips of his hair. His blond hair was darker in the
winter, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to run her fingers
through it. They were tingling so badly, she curled them into her
palms to try to stop the sensation. “The light was yellow,” she
said, taking the offensive in this game they played way too
The two simple words effectively tripped up her
battle plan and she struggled for something to say. He’d pulled her
over before, but there had always been a reason. And a resulting
ticket, of course. But if she hadn’t run the light… “Then what’s
“You,” he muttered quietly.
He handed her back her things. She watched as he took
off his hat, ran his fingers through his dampening hair and put it
His gaze settled on her then and it was as hot as the
night was cold. His attention started on the clenched fists in her
lap. Self-conscious again, Lita dried her palms on her jeans as
that observant gaze drifted upwards. Her body warmed under the
attention, even though she wore a winter jacket and a heavy
sweatshirt. Her heart thudded harder against her ribcage as that
observant gaze finally landed on her face – or more precisely, her
lips. They prickled with heat before he looked directly into her
“Could you step out of the car?”
She blinked. “Out of the car? Why?”
He pushed his hat back and, for a moment, she thought
she saw concern in his eyes. But then it disappeared and a muscle
in his jaw flexed. “I have concerns that you’ve been drinking.”
For a moment, Lita couldn’t process the low words.
When she finally did, her head snapped back so hard it bumped
against the headrest. “Drinking?”
Of all the things he could have said, that was the
last she’d expected. She actually found herself sputtering with
indignation. “Why would you even think that?”
“Your cheeks are flushed and your eyes are
Well, yes, but
wasn’t the reason.
Flustered, she tucked her hair behind her ear. Suddenly, she wasn’t
so concerned about looking sexy. “No, I haven’t been drinking. And
just so you know, I resent the accusation!”
He didn’t budge as he stood over her. “Resent it all
you want. You’ve been weaving down the road and you drifted over
the center line going through that last intersection.”
“I did what?” Leaning out the window, she looked back
at her tracks. They were clear in the newly fallen snow – and they
proved that she had taken a rather S-shaped path – but his
implication was ridiculous. She wasn’t drunk; she’d been watching
the snow coming down. “Give me a break, Pirelli. I can’t even see
the center line. If I crossed it, it was only by about six inches.
“You’re having vision problems?” If anything, the set
of his shoulders only hardened. “Get out of the car.”
Lita looked up at him, eyes narrowing. What was up
with him tonight? Was he taking a new tactic and
piss her off?
Because it was working.
She yanked on the door handle and he stepped back as
she got out of the car. The way he watched her made her feel like
something in a lab experiment and she slammed the car door behind
her. The sound was abrupt in the midst of all the cold, winter
“You know I just got off work,” she said, folding her
arms defensively across her chest. “They’d fire me if I was drunk
on the air.”
He didn’t even blink. “Then this should be easy for
you. Let me see you stand on one foot.”
Lita looked away. Well, this was just the capper to a
perfectly miserable holiday season. First her parents had decided
to take a Christmas cruise. Then her sister had up and taken her
nephews to their paternal grandparent’s place in Chicago. Of
course, once her coworkers had found out that she had no plans,
she’d been besieged with requests to cover the Christmas Eve and
Christmas night slots.
She’d done both.
. Here she was on a frigid winter
night being accused of driving while under the influence.
Snowflakes pelted her in the face and she wiped away the trails of
moisture that started down her cheeks. Indignantly, she shoved her
hands into the pockets of her KIWU jacket and lifted one foot.
“See? I didn’t even get a whiff of the eggnog tonight.”
Her greedy little station manager had scarfed the
last of the batch.
“Other foot,” Troy said unemotionally.
Snow scrunched as she changed feet. She could not
believe he was doing this. Talk about crossing the line!
“Mind if I multi-task?” she asked. “It’s cold out
Still standing on one foot, she closed her eyes.
Holding her arms out to her sides, she crisply touched her index
finger to her nose. Then, just to prove her point, she made a show
of it. Right finger, touch. Left finger, touch. Both at the same
“Can I go now?” she asked, coming back to a normal
She refused to look at him. If she did, there was a
strong possibility she’d cry. And for someone who never cried,
doing it now would be the absolute worst. So, of course, she felt
her throat thickening.
She was wet, cold and tired. Her holidays had sucked.
She’d even burned the sugar cookies she’d tried to bake. Worst of
all, though, the man she fantasized about had it in for her.
“Lita,” he said again, this time more quietly.
It almost pushed her over the edge. Sniffling, she
lifted her chin. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his hand
lift toward her. It was too much.
“Fine. I’ll walk a straight line.” She jerked away
from his touch and swiftly put one foot in front of the other. The
snow was coming down more heavily now and his oh-so-important
center line was getting harder to see. Still, she followed it down
the deserted road like a high wire circus professional. She even
pivoted without falling off. “There. Is that what you want?”
It wasn’t even close.
Troy let his gaze run up Lita’s form to her face. If
it got stuck on her close-fitting jeans for an extra second or two,
he couldn’t help it. When he looked into her big brown eyes,
though, his concern returned.
Something was wrong.
been driving strangely and he hadn’t
even mentioned her speed. He’d sat through an extra cycle of the
streetlights at the Sycamore and Main intersection when he’d seen
her coming. It had just taken her forever to get there. She’d been
moving at an absolute crawl – until she’d gunned it. It was
behavior he’d seen before. Drivers left the bars knowing they were
intoxicated. They just drove extra slow in an effort to be
She didn’t appear to be impaired, though. For some
reason, that troubled him even more.
The snow began to fall in big, fluffy flakes and he
turned up the furred collar of his police jacket. “And back,” he
ordered, nodding at the now nearly invisible line.
He needed time to figure out what was going on.
Because it was more than just her driving…
Surreptitiously, he glanced back at his cruiser. A
transistor radio sat on the passenger seat. Admittedly, it wasn’t
department issue, but on slow nights he listened to her show. And,
for the past two weeks, she hadn’t been herself. Not that her smoky
voice didn’t still give him a hard-on every time he heard it. Her
spirit just wasn’t there.
And her spirit was half the attraction.
going to make me do a breath
test,” she said as she came to a stop in front of him.
She blinked rapidly as if the snow was bothering her.
Her voice was huskier than normal, though, and his gaze
involuntarily shifted to her lips. When he saw them tremble, the
bottom of his stomach fell out.