Click, click, click, click.
“Stop that or you’re going to flood the engine.” I stare over at the Sheriff through his windshield as he tries to start his cruiser. I swear, everywhere I go in this town, there he is. Today it was the diner. I ate lunch there before I needed to get back to the shop, and there he popped up. Like always, he just stared at me, and it confused the ever-loving shit out of me. He’s never spoken to me before, even with all the staring, but then again, I give him a wide berth when I see him. He makes me feel things, things I’ve never felt before, and it would just be better for everyone if those feelings stayed buried.
“Just can’t seem to get the damn thing to start.” His deep voice rolls over my skin, making goose bumps break out, even though it’s a good ninety degrees right now.
“Hmm. Pop the hood.” I stumble over my words, and he shoots me a smirk. Prick. Probably used to women falling all over him. Not that I can blame them. I’d probably fall all over him, too, if I thought I was his type. Which I’m definitely not.
He’s clean-cut in a hard, pretty-boy kind of way. Blond hair, blue eyes, and a thousand-watt smile that comes out easy. He couldn’t be more of a good ol’ boy if he tried. Unfolding himself from his cruiser, he reaches down and pops the hood. I don’t wait for an invitation as I step off the sidewalk and lift the hood.
It’s an easy fix if it’s what I think it is. Retrieving my wrench out of my back pocket, I grab the battery cable, giving it a wiggle. It’s loose, just like I thought, so I screw it back on to the battery terminal tightly.
“Give that a try.” I straighten and turn around, knocking straight into a wall of chest. The badge clipped to his chest shines bright in my face. “Whoa there, Sheriff. I don’t need you up my ass.”
I snap the words, trying to take a step back as his masculine smell invades my senses. God, he smells good. I didn’t know a man could smell that good. Probably because he doesn’t work in an auto shop full of sweaty men all day. Jesus, his smell has me feeling those goose bumps again.
“I don’t bite, Josephine.”
The use of my name has me glaring at him. No one calls me ‘Josephine.’ Only my mother ever did, and that name died when she did. It’s too intimate for him to be using that name, and I hate how I felt when he said it. It made me feel all feminine and shit. Nope. Not touching that.
“Name’s Joey,” I correct him, trying to put a firmness behind my tone. I want him to know I’m not fucking around. But he just shoots me that stupid perfect smile, making my heart flutter. I should take a step back, but I don’t want to seem like I’m intimidated by him. That, and I’m still rather enjoying the smell of him. I grew up with three older brothers who are all in the Air Force now. Surely I can handle one sexy, muscle-bound sheriff. I think.
“I like ‘Josephine’ better. Fits you.” His hand goes to my shoulder, picking up the end of my ponytail as he twirls the black strands around his finger.
I don’t think I’ve ever twirled my hair, and the fact that I like him touching me bothers me. I bat his hand away, pretending to be annoyed. “How do you even know that name? Everyone calls me ‘Joey.’” I give my best stink-eye, which seems to have no effect on him, either. Normally, men scurry off when I give it, but I don’t think Sheriff Law has scurried from anything in his entire life.
“I know a lot of things about you.” His tone makes it sound like we’ve been intimate, like he knows every part of my body. It’s completely untrue, unless he can see through my clothes with all that staring he’s been doing.
“You stalking me?” I push my shoulders back, trying to make myself bigger, but my stature is dwarfed by his broad frame. I take a step into him, thinking he’ll retreat at my aggression, but he doesn’t. In fact he leans in a little more, making me feel the heat of his body.
“If stalking you is thinking about you every night while I stroke my cock and cumming with the sweet name ‘Josephine’ on my lips, then yeah, I’ve been stalking. I’ve been stalking the fuck out of you since I moved back here.”
All the blood rushes to my face, and I can feel it turning bright red. I’ve been around men my whole life who say the nastiest shit, and never once have I blushed. I’m used to it, and sometimes I even add a few jokes of my own. Being around my older brothers and working in an auto shop, there probably isn’t a thing I haven’t heard. What I’ve never heard is that filthy talk directed at me.