Page 11 of Burned (Ignite #1)

Listening to Jordan berate me and call me a heartless bitch almost makes me wish I would have dragged Collin into a dark, empty room at the bar and let him f**k me up against the wall. Hearing Jordan’s last voicemail announce in a threatening voice that he spoke to his attorney and I can’t keep him out of his house has me storming out of the conference room with my phone clutched so tightly in my hand that I’m surprised it doesn’t snap in half. The loud, high-pitched shriek of the building’s fire alarm starts to blare through the office right before I make it to my desk. I look around to see everyone grabbing his or her things and making a hasty exit towards the stairwell. Usually, we get some sort of notice from building management when we’re going to have a drill. The shocked look on everyone’s faces has me quickly snatching up my purse from the bottom drawer of my desk and following behind them, down four flights of stairs to join the few hundred other people out on the sidewalk from various companies throughout the building.

Moving away from the small group of work friends I usually hang out with, I find some shade under a tree down on the corner and lean my shoulder against the trunk. I knew Jordan would behave this way. I anticipated it and yet, it doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe it’s cruel of me to just want him gone from my life when he so obviously has a problem with addiction. Maybe I should be helping him instead of shutting him out completely. At this point though, I just can’t find it in myself to care. It’s been too many years of the same thing, too much time dealing with one addiction after another. All of my emotions where Jordan is concerned have long been dead and buried.

I make a conscious decision not to spend another second beating myself up over his failures and my guilt. As I close my eyes and take in a few breaths of fresh spring air, my thoughts immediately turn to the hallway at Slammers and the feel of Collin’s body against mine. I can still recall the sensation of his warm tongue gliding through my mouth and how it felt to have another man moving between my legs. Despite the warmth of the air blowing across my skin, a shiver races up in spine as I wonder just how much further things would have progressed in that dimly lit hallway with the music from the jukebox blaring all around us. If that woman hadn’t interrupted us, would he have slid his hands up the bare skin of my thigh wrapped around him? Would he have edged his fingers inside the hem of my shorts and slid them across the lacy edge of my thong to feel I how wet he’d made me with just one kiss? My ni**les harden through my white lace bra and the thin silk of my white blouse and I clench my thighs together beneath the black pencil skirt when I think about how exciting and illicit it would have been if he’d pushed his fingers inside me and brought me to orgasm just a few feet away from the crowds of people who could have seen us at any time.

“You’re thinking about me, aren’t you?”

I jerk away from the tree and my eyes fly open in shock at the sound of a deep masculine voice right by my ear.

Like some sort of twisted dream come true, the object of my current fantasy is standing right in front of me, one muscular arm extended above my head so that his hand is resting against the tree as he looks down at me and smiles.

“Collin! Wh-what are you doing here?” I stutter, trying to hide the quiver in my voice at the sight of him and hope the thoughts I was just having aren’t written all over my face.

He stares down at me, his eyes taking me in from head to toe, stopping briefly when he gets to my br**sts and I almost bring my arms up to cover my traitorous ni**les. Jordan’s voice calling me an uncaring bitch flashes through my head and I force myself to keep my hands down by my sides, my anger at his attitude pushing a newfound boldness through me.

“Small electrical fire in the basement of your building,” Collin finally answers, moving his body closer to mine. “I’m training the new captain for your town’s fire department so I’m going out on all their calls with them today. The men have it under control now, so you should be able to get back to work in a few minutes.”

I finally take the time to look him over myself. He’s got on a short-sleeved version of the shirt he was wearing at Slammers, the thin cotton material clinging to his skin and the cut of his biceps on full display. I watch the muscles in his upper arms tighten under my gaze as I check out the tattoo on his left bicep and it takes everything in me not to reach up and trace my fingers over the ink. My eyes wander down his abs to his tapered waist where his shirt is tucked in to a pair of belted cargo pants before moving back up to his face. The smirk that turns up the corner of his mouth should make me feel mortified that he’s standing here watching me ogle his body, but it doesn’t. It pushes my confidence up a few notches and makes me want to do whatever I can to wipe it off of his face and see if I can make him trip over his words.

Aside from that make-out session on Saturday night, he’s only ever known teenage Finnley, a girl who had no clue what she was doing when it came to pleasing a man. He’s definitely proven that his skills have matured over the years, and I feel like it’s only fair to reciprocate.

At this point, I don’t even care about his reasons for kissing me the other night. I don’t care if it’s some misplaced infatuation he’s had for me all these years (which is highly unlikely) or if it was just the excitement of seeing each other again after all that time. I want to watch his pupils dilate with desire and I want to see him try and hide his erection behind those cargo pants when he goes back to work. I’ve been in a near-constant state of arousal since Saturday night, unable to stop thinking about the feel of his lips or what it would be like to have any part of him inside my body.