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Authors: Tressie Lockwood

Tripp in Love

BOOK: Tripp in Love
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Tripp in Love

Tressie Lockwood

eBooks are
not
transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement of the copyright of this work.

 

 

 

 

TRIPP IN LOVE

Perfect Strangers Collection

Copyright © 2012 TRESSIE LOCKWOOD

Cover art by Amanda Kelsey

Edited by Trinity Scott

ISBN: 978-1-936387-50-2

ISBN 10: 1-936387-50-6

 

 

All Romance eBooks, LLC

Palm Harbor, Florida 34684

www.allromanceebooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events, or locales is coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever with out written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

 

First All Romance eBooks publication: February 2012

 

 

Table of Contents

Title page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Epilogue

About the Author

Also by This Author

Chapter One

She glanced in the rearview mirror and grumbled under her breath. “Perfect, just freaking perfect.” The cop’s lights flashed, and he’d given his siren one swift blare before he’d turned it off. Toya hit the brake to slow down and then pulled to the side of the road. She grabbed her purse and began searching through it while the cop was doing his thing in his car, probably looking up her tag number. She sighed and then froze. Her wallet wasn’t in her purse.

“Of all times…” She stretched across the seat to check her glove compartment, but she never put her wallet there. The sides of the seats produced nothing, and her suitcase in the back seat didn’t have it. “Oh damn, I’m in trouble.”

He knocked on her window while she searched the glove compartment again. She peered at him, but his gaze was lowered to her skirt, which had hiked half-way up to her snatch. She’d intended to wear tights with the piece, but inside the car, she always got overheated. Now her legs were exposed. Did she dare use the sexy woman card to get out of being hauled off to jail for driving without a license? She better try something that was for sure.

Straightening, she lowered the window. “Hello, officer,” she said in an almost unintentional breathy tone.

“Ma’am, you mind cutting your engine?” The question was more of a command. She did as he asked and sat back. She didn’t have to look to know that her silk blouse was undone by a few buttons, showing off her cleavage. The officer might not be into black women, but he might not mind the view just for the sake of it. He cleared his throat. “Do you know how fast you were going?”

“I’m sorry.” She looked directly into his face for the first time and had to catch her breath. Okay, now she was at a loss. The man was gorgeous. His eyes were light blue, framed by thick, dark lashes that matched his full head of wild curls. Although his cheeks were red, no doubt from slipping in and out of his car into the cold February weather, the color only enhanced his strong jawline, straight nose, and thick, kissable lips.

He wore full policeman regalia, including the CB hanging from his shoulder on his coat. The big chest and gun at his hip added to the sense of power she felt from him. Her breath came in quick spurts, and she couldn’t think of what to say to charm him.
Come on,
Toya, get it together, girl. You have men eating out of your palm all the time at work.

“License and registration,” he intoned, seemingly unmoved by her appearance. She didn’t think she was drop-dead gorgeous, but she was no joke either. She kept herself in reasonable shape, with a few extra pounds. But getting hit on all the time told her men found her attractive—black and white. Was this man dead or what?

She offered him her best pout, which resulted in a frown from him. “I kind of…forgot it,” she said.

He took one step back. “You want to step out of the car, ma’am.”

She grunted. “Really? You have to keep calling me ma’am?”

His eyebrows went up, and she muttered an apology as she stepped out of the car. Never in her life had she been arrested, and now she was about to. To her embarrassment, tears started in her eyes and a slight tremor shook her body. That was just great, she was going to cry, and she hadn’t meant to. Besides, they wouldn’t work on him anyway. He was immune. Or gay.

“I didn’t mean to come without it, trust me. I can’t believe I forgot. I’m from New York, and I’m down here for my brother’s funeral. I have to stay in a hotel, so I didn’t intend to come without my ID or credit cards.”

With that little speech, the corner of his mouth turned up, and his disbelief was obvious. “You expect me to accept that you were speeding to a funeral?”

Keeping control of her temper was an effort. “No, I admit I was speeding,
and
I am on my way to my brother’s funeral. Whether you believe it or not is up to you.”

His gaze swept her from head to foot now that she stood beside her car. Toya tried not to fidget under his glare. She’d righted her skirt, but it hardly covered more of her thighs than when sitting, and her boots were “fuck me” high. She liked them like that in the winter, especially stretching over her knees and a small way up her thighs.

“You’re not too good at using what you have to get out of trouble, are you?”

Toya’s jaw dropped. The first time he unbends from the hard cop routine, and he insults her. She tossed her hands on her hips. “Excuse me?”

He pointed his chin at her. “The attitude. One minute you’re all soft and delicate, the next you look like you want to scratch my eyes out. Which is the real you?”

“For your information, I’m always real. Now if you’re going to arrest me, do it. Otherwise, let me go.”

The step he took closer to her made her stumble back. That’s when she saw for the first time how much taller he was. He towered above her even in her highest heels. But then she noticed the front of his pants. Okay, yeah, he was interested all right. No man could hide that.

“Whose funeral?” he demanded. She had the feeling he knew she’d seen the hard-on. “What’s the name?”

“Lorn Foster.”

The recognition of her brother’s name flashed in his eyes to be replaced by doubt. He frowned. “Let’s not play games, ma’am—”

“Again with the ma’am stuff? My name is Toya Foster, and Lorn is my brother. I can tell by your attitude that you don’t believe me. We have different mothers. Both my parents are black, and his mother is white. Lorn took after his mother. It’s not impossible. It happened. Whatever.”

“Since you don’t have ID, I’m going to have to take you in. Your car will be impounded.”

All sense of pride left to be replaced with self-preservation. She grabbed hold of his coat and pressed closer without thinking. “Please, please, you can’t arrest me. I’ve never gone to jail in my life. I’ve never even had a ticket. I have to go to my brother’s funeral. Can’t you just let me off with a warning? I promise to be out of your hair by the end of the weekend.”

He covered her hands, but he made no move to pull them off of his coat or push her away. “Even if I did that, one of my fellow officers could pick you up later. I have a feeling you like power and speed.” He didn’t even blink at what he insinuated. “It’s better for me to take you in now, and maybe we can make arrangements down at the precinct.”

She blinked back tears and let him go. “Fine, but I’m talking to your superior about sexual harassment.”

“Really?” His gaze swept her and then her car. The vehicle had been a congratulatory gift to herself for landing a promotion with a fat raise. The way she dressed and carried herself, along with her car, no one would go for the story that he tried taking advantage of her. And the fact was she was still driving without a license.
Damn
.

“Okay, fine.” She closed her eyes and held out her wrists waiting for him to cuff them.

His warm hands covered hers, and she realized she had started shaking again. “Don’t worry. You don’t have to be afraid. I’m not going to arrest you or cuff you.”

Her eyes popped open. “Really?”

“Really. Let’s go.”

He waited while she grabbed her suitcase and locked up the car. They walked to his car, and she expected him to tuck her in the back, but he held open the front door instead. Toya stepped in and straightened her skirt. When the cop came around and folded into his seat, she couldn’t miss the glance he gave to her legs.

Their gazes locked, and he smiled revealing straight, white teeth. His face transformed, going from the not to be played with cop to a more friendly air. She’d put him at mid-thirties, a couple years older than her.

“Okay, I admit I like what I see.” He threw the car into gear and called in for a tow truck to pick hers up. When he was done, he focused on her again. “Now tell me, what’s a woman like you doing related to a…” He cleared his throat. “To Lorn?”

Her brows went up. “A woman like me?”

“Smart, successful by the look of you,” he supplied.

She blushed. “Thanks.”

“Still you’re a study in contrasts. One minute you seem very confident. The next, you’re shy and sweet. I’ve seen it all on these highways, but you, you’re different.”

She crossed one leg over the other, effectively removing his warm eyes from her face. “I’m sure you tell that to all the law breakers you come across. But no, I am what I seem. Like I said, Lorn and I don’t have the same mother. I grew up with mine after my father left her for his. She worked to put me through college. I did everything I could to make her proud. We didn’t have much contact with Lorn. I tried a few years ago when my mother passed, but well since you know him, you get why that wasn’t going to work.”

He nodded. “I know of your brother only because he had trouble respecting the law.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” she quipped. “The last time I was down here, he stole all the money I had in my wallet, and only because I caught him at it did I not lose my credit cards.”

The officer frowned. “You didn’t confront him did you?”

“I did. He slapped me, and I was done.”

Toya was surprised how his big hands gripped the steering wheel until they turned red. “A man hitting a woman is unacceptable.”

She grinned. “Thanks. But as you can see, I love heels. I tried to take his toe off with one. He let go of my wallet real fast. Anyway, I wrote him off. He had no family feeling, and since he reminded me of my no-good father, who I hated at the time, I didn’t want any more to do with Lorn.”

“So why are you here?”

She shrugged. “With death, I feel like you should let go of everything you’re holding against people and just say your good-byes. I guess you think that’s weird, huh?”

“No, you would see things that way.”

She rolled her eyes and laughed. “You don’t know me.”

He eyed her between watching the road. “Let me guess. You’re sure about yourself in situations you control. You use whatever means necessary to get the upper hand, but when things get tricky and you can’t predict the outcome, you remember you’re only human.”

He hit the nail on the head, but it wasn’t like she kept her real self hidden or anything. Toya liked shooting from the hip. She told it like it was about herself and her situation. That’s how her mama raised her, and she wasn’t about to play games now.

“What about you?” she said, not denying or confirming his thoughts about her. “I don’t even know your name, officer.”

“Jeremiah Tripp. You can call me Tripp. Everyone does. I’d like to get to know you a lot better.”

 

Chapter Two

Tripp stood at the back of the room watching the proceedings. He shouldn’t have come. There was no open case here. Lorn Foster’s death was labeled an accidental overdose. He’d taken too many pills, prescription meds. No one suspected foul play. Lorn had been a petty thief with a rap sheet a mile long. Small stuff, nobody special. But to tell the truth, he’d wanted to see her again.

Damn, she was beautiful. A sweet face with wide, brown eyes, and a knockout body. Those long, shapely legs had given him a hard-on when her skirt rose. He’d had to try extra hard to remain professional, but in the end it had been impossible. He had unbent enough to come on to her, and she’d been interested.

BOOK: Tripp in Love
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