He’s always had a way with the ladies
She won’t give him the time of day
Sparks fly when two hearts in motion collide.
Florist Joey Reeves is working overtime to stay away from Lou Cortez, the ace mechanic with a reputation for irresistible charm. She’s a single mom with enough on her plate—the last thing she needs is entanglement with the hottest guy in town…
“Well, hello there.”
Joey glanced up and froze. The man who’d been haunting her sleep looked even better in the hard light of day.
“H-hello.” She coughed. The guys who worked at Webster’s Garage all looked larger than life, covered in tattoos, muscles, and that indefinable sense of danger they wore like a second skin. But this guy, the tall, Latin lover with dark-brown eyes and lips made for kissing, had ensnared her.
Ten minutes and a text later, Joey drove to Becky’s house and planned to indulge in some girl time. Maybe Becky could help her understand her fascination for Lou.
She arrived at Becky’s soon enough. Her friend shared a condo with a teacher friend. As Joey entered, said teacher left with a smile.
“She’s got a date tonight.” Becky motioned to the coffee table, laden with wine, crackers, and cheese. “And apparently now so do I. Dig in.” Becky lowered her voice and said, suggestively, “Welcome to my pad, sweetness. Boom chicka bow bow.”
Joey laughed. “Stop. That only works when I’m the plumber or the delivery guy.”
Becky sighed. “Guess I’ll have to save that for Trent, who’s out of town this weekend. How the hell am I supposed to seduce him when he’s helping his grandmother move?”
“Aw, that’s so nice.”
“Nice ain’t sexy. Gah.” Becky munched on a cracker. “But I’m excited to hang with you. I can’t believe you finally got paroled. So Brandon the criminal is hanging with the other hooligans, eh? Way to dodge that bullet, Joey.”
“Funny.” Joey paused. “Ah, there’s one thing. I can’t stay past eight. I have a…date.”
Becky stared. “Not with sexy Lou again.”
Joey’s silence answered for her.
“Oh my God. Dinner must have gone well the other night. Tell me.”
Joey swallowed. “He was polite, charming. He looked amazing. He’s really built.” She flushed, feeling that “built” inside her all over again. “We talked then walked after dinner. He paid too. And he was so nice, so sweet. We held hands.”
“Romantic.” Becky sighed.
And then last night he bent me over the flower table and made me see stars. Yeah, romantic.
Becky hugged a pillow to her chest, her expression dreamy until her eyes narrowed on Joey’s face. “Why are you blushing so hard? I mean, your face is really pink.” Her eyes widened. “Holy crap. You had sex with him, didn’t you?”
“N-no.” She cleared her throat. “That’s a little personal, don’t you think?”
“Oh my God, you did. You did! Joey Reeves got some lovin’. Hot damn. It’s about friggin’ time!”
Still feeling overheated, Joey glanced up at her friend. “You can’t tell anyone.” She swore. “I can’t believe it happened. It just…I’m still trying to process it.”
“What’s to process? You fell for the magic in his man-wand.” Becky shrugged, as if it was no big thing. “Happens to the best of us. Well, except for me and Trent the Boy Scout,” she grumbled.
Joey was stuck on man-wand. “What did you call it?”
Becky burst out laughing. “If you could see your face. Hey, you should hear half the things they call it. Fuckstick, staff of life, lady’s lollipop. I could go on.”
“Please, don’t.” Joey grimaced.
“I know, right? Man-wand is so much better.” Becky paused. “Is it, Joey? Is it better? Or did you lollipop him? You know, like what we in the know call it—the hand and blow.”
Joey’s face threatened to melt clean off. She had a feeling she could fry eggs on her cheeks. “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.”
“Me neither.” Becky grinned. “You’re like beet-red right now. Or fire-engine red, maybe. Hey, did you guys remember to wear a ‘raincoat’?” Becky snickered.
“Stop talking, please.”
“Just tell me this. Do you want to do it again? As in, was it any good? Tell me, and I’ll shut up.”
“It was amazing, okay?” Joey growled. “So great I can’t stop thinking about doing it again. And I don’t tend to do well with men and sex.”
“That’s because you live like a nun in the Church of Reeves, presided over by Father Andrew and Sister Amy. God, it’s a wonder you have a kid with all the guilt your parents keep throwing on you. And after eight—”
“—years you’d think they’d let it go.”
“So maybe I was just desperate. It was a one-shot deal, right?” So why am I thinking of being with him again when I know it’s a mistake?
Becky shrugged and ate more crackers and cheese. “I think you should be desperate again. If you want him, have him. You have a right to be happy. Take joy in his man parts. Go forth, just don’t prosper.”
Joey choked on a laugh. “Yes, Mom.”
“Don’t worry. We were safe.” Rather, he was safe. She’d been so far gone she hadn’t thought about protection until it was almost too late, which was just stupid. Granted, she wouldn’t have babies with Lou while on birth control. But she could always chance a disease with an unknown. She’d been so wrapped up in the moment, lost to her body’s needs.
But Lou had thought ahead.
Which put his actions in a different light. Had he expected to have sex with her?
“What’s that look?” Becky asked.
“He was ready for it. Us, I mean.”
Becky looked confused.
“He was prepared.”
“Jesus, Joey. You can say condom and not burn in hell. So he was prepared. Good for him.”
“Who cares why he had the condom? He had it, you had fun. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have more fun tonight.” Becky poured herself some wine. “Have some for me, would you? Because I’m clearly not getting any.” She cocked her head, considering something. “Unless Will’s home.”
Becky laughed. “Nah. Will’s in Italy this month.” She chuckled. “Kidding, kidding. I’m wanting Trent. I am. Really.”
They laughed some more, and when Joey excused herself for the bathroom, a new text popped up. Lou had decided on the place. An address in Rainier Valley, where he’d mentioned he lived.
She didn’t know what to think, so she took care of business and blanked her mind.
She returned to the living room. “He invited me to his place.”
Becky blinked. “You were gone maybe five minutes.”
“He just texted me.”
“To his place?”
“Why not? Is he rapey or something?”
“No.” He’d been a perfect gentleman since she’d known him. And even after sending her to heaven, twice, he’d ended their impromptu session at the flower shop with a hug and by walking her to her car. “No. He’s nice. Sexy. Too—”
“He’s exactly what you need.” Becky nodded. “Give me your phone.”