Brad "Thor" Zeller is getting out of the military and he's looking for a little peace and quiet.
When he becomes an officer in the county of Claremont a hellion named Liza Wright begins to disturb his peace of mind. She's sexy, sassy and a distraction that he can't resist.
One night at the bar turns heated when they find themselves in a game of pool that goes against all the rules and neither of them can walk away from. When a serious accident lays him up for weeks, he comes to discover that there's more to this princess than he first imagined.
As they grow closer, his world is tilted on its axle when he discovers that Liza's life is in danger. Once he rescues her, Thor realizes Liza has stolen his heart and there's nothing left for him to do, but apprehend her.
Thor could hear the Carrie Underwood song blaring a quarter of a mile away. Even with the distance, the candy apple red shine of the car was vaguely identifiable as it barreled down the road’s flat terrain leading to the main gate of Moody Air Force Base.
Here comes trouble. The words echoed through Thor’s mind, only slightly comprehended above the car’s radio.
When the red Corvette finally pulled up beside him, the chorus of Before He Cheats was playing. He watched the blonde driver as she conversed with the brunette beside her and flipped her dependent identification toward him.
Things like that always pissed him off. “Excuse me, ma’am. I need you—”
Thor cut his own words off. Blondie still wasn’t giving him the benefit of eye contact.
On any other day, he would have repeated his order. But, not today. Today was his last day of work and he classified that as ‘taking no shit day’. Reaching across her body, he twisted the radio’s dial quickly, feeling it snap into the off position. Nice legs. He noted the fact that the skirt of her sundress was riding high on her thighs, whether by the wind or her instigation, it was a sight worth appreciating.
He returned to his authoritative stance beside the car.
Finally, the blonde turned with her brow pinched and pierced him with an angry glare, barely visible through the tint of her glasses. “Hey, where in the hell do you get off—”
“Sorry, ma’am,” he began “but it’s base policy—”
“I can care less about base policy. But, a little courtesy would’ve been nice.” The blonde woman pushed her sunshades on top of her head, allowing it to double as a headband holding her windblown shoulder length hair away from her face.
She had nice eyes. Hazel eyes. He hadn’t expected that color. Blue maybe or even brown, but the striking gold-green color of her irises emphasized by her mascara thickened lashes gave him pause.
Reigning himself in, he brought his focus back to the subject at hand. “When you pulled up, I requested you lower your music, but I guess you couldn’t hear me with the volume up so loud.” He purposely gave her a cocky smile.
The brunette leaned toward the driver’s side of the car with a snide smirk on her face. “Evidently, Technical Sergeant Zeller, you don’t realize who you’re talking to.”
Taking his sights off the driver, he glanced at her passenger for a moment. “Doesn’t matter, ma’am, the rules apply to anyone entering the base.”
The brunette hooted with laughter. “Your little security force’s handbook of rules doesn’t apply to Major General Michael Wright’s daughter.”
“Stephanie, don’t—” the blonde driver attempted to stop her friend.
Ignoring her, Stephanie, the brunette, went on, “I’m sure you know who he is.” She beamed a superior smile at him. “He’s here from the Pentagon to retire in his hometown. Our hometown. Claremont is a neighbor of Lowndes.”
Just great. I had to be the one to get the town princess.
The driver jumped in again. “Steph, leave it alone. It’s not worth it.”
He was sure the General’s daughter probably meant that he wasn’t worth the time.
“Well, when you get there, tell him I said congrats,” he commanded. Looking back at the driver, he placed an additional amount of authority in his voice. “Identification, please.”
Opening her hand, the blonde presented him with her card.
Collecting it from her for review, his fingers brushed the soft, supple skin of her palm and heat raced up through his fingertips. Lifting the picture, he scanned the name on the card. Liza Wright. Purposely, he held it longer than was necessary before he passed it back to her awaiting hand.
“Enjoy the ceremony, ma’am,” Thor told her.
Slipping the card into the inside handle grip of the driver’s side door, she looked back at him. For a moment, her eyes traveled down the length of his body as if assessing his worth. When they returned back to his face, she flipped her glasses down and said, “I plan to. The party is at Claremont Wright Country Club if you care to stop by when you get off.”
Like hell I will. It wasn’t that she was not beautiful. She was damn hot. Every fiber in his being had reacted to the view of her golden thighs. And in any other situation he would have taken her up on the offer with big hopes for the end of the night. However, his every instinct told him she was trouble.
“No thank you, ma’am.”
Shrugging off his reply, she floored the gas and peeled through the gate, turning her music back up.
As he watched her pull off, he was tempted to call it in, but disregarded it. Instead, he looked down at his watch and checked the time. He was relieved to note that in four hours and ten minutes he would be off duty and by tomorrow morning he would be out of the Air Force.
* * * *
Few parking spaces were available when Thor arrived at Sonny’s. He’d learned quickly that food and business were how they did things in the south, in that order. A month after he left the military, he’d received a call from Robert Dennison, the Claremont police chief, asking him to meet him for the final interview to join the local force.
Thor was happy for the time off to relax but now he was becoming restless and antsy. It was time for him to get back in the cops and robbers game. Stepping out of his car, he paused. Leaving the barbeque establishment was the town princess he’d had the pleasure of meeting during his last day of duty. Just like four weeks ago, she wore a dress and sunshades, the only difference this time was instead of a mouthy brunette accompanying her, she held a large bag of takeout. He admitted to himself she was a knockout. A visual treat. Even with her regal attitude. It just made him want to tame her even more.
Leaning back against his car, he took a moment to observe the General’s daughter. Watching the sway of her hips as she strolled with confidence to her convertible two rows over from his, a smile played on his lips. The miniscule amount of wind in the air wasn’t an adequate amount to cool the rising summer heat from his skin; however, it was more than enough to flirt with the hem of her dress, allowing him a glimpse of her sexy tanned legs. As she padded across the ground in her sandals, he noted how nice her calves were. The kind of calves a man loved to cup in his hands or feel over his shoulders. He was slightly heartbroken when the parked cars in her row blocked his view of them.
She disappeared from his line of sight as she passed two vans parked next to her car. When she arrived at her car, she leaned over the driver’s side door and situated her burden in the back seat. Just like sweet iced tea to a hot and thirsty man, the town princess satisfied him with a view of her sweet round ass. The thought of wanting to see her naked in the same position didn’t shock him as much as it turned him on. Quick and fierce.
Attempting to clear his mind of images that wouldn’t lead him to employment, but more than likely run out of town if anyone found out, he brushed his hand across the back of his neck and pushed away from his car. Chief Dennison was inside waiting on him and he needed to mind his own business concerns. The princess definitely wasn’t his business, nor his concern. Matter of fact, Princess Wright would probably have been pissed if she’d known he’d been observing her royal hiney. Nevertheless, as he walked away, he couldn’t stop himself from glancing back over his shoulder and watching her pull out of the parking lot. The wind now teased her hair and made his finger itch to do the same.
Running his hands through his hair, now grown out from the short standard military cut, he headed toward the front of the wooden restaurant, which resembled a big red barn, to meet the Claremont chief of police. Dust from the unpaved parking lot trailed in the wake of his footsteps as he moved to the entrance.
“Brad ‘Thor’ Zeller.” A tall, thin black man in a suit with basketball palming hands grabbed his hand and patted Thor on the back. “I recognize you from your file photo.”
Thor added his own strength to the handshake. “Then you better be Chief Dennison.”
The black man smiled.
“The one and only.” A greeter standing by the welcome podium chimed in with a wink.
“I hope you brought your appetite,” Chief Dennison commented as he ended the handshake.
“I sure did.” Thor rubbed his abdomen for effect. He’d heard from his friend Jack that this was one of the best barbeque restaurants in town.
“Great.” Dennison headed toward the woman. “A booth, please, Rachel.”
“You got it, shuga’bear.” Grabbing two menus from beside her stand, Rachel, the greeter, sashayed into the dining area. “This way.”
“During lunch we’ll talk about the position I have open and you can tell me how you got your nickname. Or should I just believe I’m eating with a legend?”
It was Thor’s turn to laugh. Business and food, the southern way.