Give In To Me
A H.O.T. Cops Novel
- eBook - ePub eBook: $12.99
The H.O.T. Cops: Trained to impose the law, but naturally skilled at enforcing pleasure.
Rogan Wolfe is a bad boy cop—the lone wolf on the force and in need of something new to excite him. Now he’s transferred to sexy South Beach in Miami—working undercover and looking for a fresh start.
April Pediston is the epitome of responsible—overworked and under pressure as a high-powered attorney. Then one night, unwinding at an oceanside club she’s never frequented before, she locks eyes with a stranger.
Rogan and April don’t seem a natural match. She’s a total professional. He’s rough around the edges and ready for anything—making April feel totally out of control. And, to her surprise, exhilarated. But stripped of her starched suit, can she really succumb to his every demand? They’re headed to a place of desire and reawakening that’s about to change both their lives.
April Pediston regretted her business suit the moment she stepped into the Café Tropico, which, she instantly realized, was less a café and more your garden variety bar and dance club. Not nearly as trendy—or classy—as most Ocean Drive establishments, the Café Tropico had clearly been here a while, though she got the idea its heyday had long since passed.
“Table for two,” she told the skinny twenty-something hostess clad in a baby doll tank and ultrashort cutoff jeans. She couldn’t help noticing the girl hadn’t bothered with a bra, and her nipples jutted prominently against the snug fabric. And the slightly perplexed look on the girl’s face as she led April to a table assured her that she appeared just as out of place as she felt. But she’d come straight from work and she was here on business, so she hadn’t given it a thought. Meetings outside the office were generally held at places where . . . well, where she wasn’t usually greeted by someone wearing so little.
Warm night air—punctuated with just the hint of a soft breeze blowing in from South Beach—permeated the partially open-air restaurant and reminded April that summer was descending on Miami. She’d always meant to move away—to someplace cooler, calmer. However, the feeling was vague and her fate long since accepted. She couldn’t really ever leave—too many people here depended on her. And still, despite being raised here, she’d never felt she fit in in Miami any more than she fit in at the Café Tropico.
Across the room, intimidating guys with tattoos and goatees drank beer and shot pool, the clack of the balls cutting through her thoughts, while a band set up instruments and sound equipment at a small stage in the distance. She was just beginning to wonder whether the Café Tropico actually served food—she hadn’t eaten, assuming this was a dinner meeting—when the braless hostess returned with a menu and a glass of water, informing her a waitress would be with her in a minute.
“I’m meeting someone,” she replied, “so . . . oh, here she is now.”
She’d just looked up to see Kayla Gonzalez crossing the floor toward her, passing by one of several potted palm trees that actually gave the place a little tropical ambience. Kayla wore jeans and a tight tank top, her gaze—and entire countenance—as haggard as the last time April had seen her two years ago. Hair that had been black the last time April had worked with Kayla was now long and platinum blond with dark brown roots an inch long.
As April greeted her, the other woman tried to smile, but the gesture didn’t reach her eyes.
“Shall we order dinner before we talk business?” April suggested. She’d been on the run today and had eaten only a granola bar for lunch.
When Kayla looked hesitant, though, April realized that indeed dinner hadn’t been on this evening’s agenda for the other woman. “I . . . probably shouldn’t.”
Thinking maybe it was a matter of money, April smiled and said, “My treat.”
As Kayla blinked, April saw remnants of youthful beauty pass through her eyes. Whereas April was thirty-three, Kayla probably wasn’t yet thirty, but she looked far older. “That’s awful nice of you, but . . . I was hopin’ we could get right down to business. I don’t have much time.”
April held back her sigh. Dinner would wait—whatever legal matter Kayla had called her here to discuss was clearly weighing on her. “Sure,” April said. “What can I do for you?”
Kayla tossed quick, furtive glances back and forth across the room as if to make sure no one was watching as she leaned across the small table and said, just loud enough to be heard above the other noise in the room, “I want a divorce.”
April wasn’t entirely surprised at this news, and in fact, she suspected it would be the smartest move Kayla would ever make. The last time she’d represented Kayla—connecting via a women-helping-women group through which she did pro bono work—Kayla had been accused of stealing valuable equipment from the warehouse where she’d worked as a receptionist. April had built a case proving that Kayla couldn’t have done it—not only because she’d had an alibi, but she was physically too small to have lifted and transported the generators and other heavy items taken. And though Kayla had maintained her innocence throughout, April had been torn between believing Kayla had just been a convenient target and worrying that Kayla’s husband had been involved in the theft. She’d met Juan Gonzalez only once, but he’d made a terrible impression, striking April as mentally and possibly physically abusive.
Even so, April had to inform her, “Kayla, I wish I could help you, but I’m not a divorce lawyer. That’s not the kind of work I do. Though I can connect you with someone else through Women Helping Women.”
Kayla’s eyes clouded over so darkly that April felt it in her gut. “But . . . I wanted you. That’s why I called you on my own and didn’t go through the service—I didn’t want nobody else. You were so nice to me before. And you don’t make me feel like . . . trash.” She whispered the last word as if it were an obscenity.
As a pang of empathy shot through April’s core, she reached out to touch Kayla’s hand on the table. “Kayla, you shouldn’t ever let anyone make you feel like trash.”
Yet Kayla’s expression stayed downcast, and even as April thought of a colleague, Ellen, who handled divorces for disenfranchised women for free, she knew the other attorney did sometimes intimidate her less-confident clients. She never stopped to remember how fragile some of them were. And April couldn’t forget how difficult it had seemed for Kayla to even look her in the eye when they’d first met two years ago. If Kayla was comfortable with her but wouldn’t have that luxury with someone else . . . well, she didn’t want to be responsible for the poor woman postponing her divorce, especially if her husband was abusive.
“Please,” Kayla added then. “I really need your help.”
April let out a breath and said, “I’ll need to get some guidance from my colleague.” Though hopefully it would be a simple thing, something cut-and-dried and easy for all involved. “But I’ll see what I can do.”
“You’ll be my lawyer again?” Kayla asked, her eyes suddenly brightening.
April nodded reluctantly. “Sure.”
After which Kayla thanked her profusely, reaching out to squeeze her hand. “That’s such a relief,” she went on. “I’m strung out enough over this without havin’ to get to know somebody new. And like I said, you’ve always been so nice.”
I really don’t need something like this added to my plate. But if it will get you away from your scumbag of a husband a little faster, how can I say no?
“I’m glad to help,” she said instead. “Now, does your husband know you want a divorce?”
Fresh panic seemed to seize Kayla’s body—she tensed visibly. “God, no. He’ll kill me.”
April knew enough about women like Kayla to realize she wasn’t exaggerating. So she spoke calmly, hoping to calm Kayla as well. “We’ll come up with a plan for telling him, preferably on the phone, after you have someplace else to stay. But first, as I said, I’ll need to speak with my colleague— then we’ll talk about how to move forward. Does that sound okay?”
And April began to feel a little relaxed, perhaps for both of them. Or maybe she was just tired. And hungry. And now that she felt their business had officially concluded . . . “You know,” she said, “I’m really starving, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to order dinner. You’re more than welcome to join me if you’d like.”
As before, Kayla glanced nervously around the bar, which April realized had begun to get more crowded just in the few minutes since they’d started talking. Why was Kayla so paranoid? Did people here know her? Or her husband? Maybe it hadn’t occurred to Kayla that April would stand out in the crowd so much in her professional attire, possibly drawing more attention to them than Kayla had bargained for.
“Or if you need to leave,” April added, wanting to give her an easy out, “that’s no problem at all.”
Kayla glanced to a clock behind the bar before she said, “Um, I guess I can hang out for a few more minutes.”
Rogan Wolfe sat at the bar nursing a beer. The pretty girl behind the bar—who couldn’t have been a day over twenty-two—was making conversation, asking him questions about his job as a police officer, but she was too young for him. He’d never used to pay attention to things like that, but he guessed things had changed lately.
Maybe he was finally growing up.
Or maybe it was about Mira.
Mira was an old girlfriend whose heart he’d once broken— and she’d returned the favor last summer. It hadn’t been her fault, and though he’d never really talked to anyone about it, the truth was that he’d spent quite a bit of time after that pining for her. Another first: Rogan Wolfe, pining for a woman. He’d pined, in fact, until he’d realized he needed to make a change— a big one. He’d needed to get out of Charlevoix, Michigan, the same small lakeside town where they’d both lived—and he’d needed something exciting to take his mind off her. So he’d come down to Miami to visit his friend Colt, and he’d applied for a job at the Miami Police Department while he was here. A month later, he’d turned in his Charlevoix badge and started patrolling South Beach.
And the change had been exactly what he needed. Miami was hot sun, hot music, hot girls—and action, action, action. Around the time he’d last seen Mira, he’d begun to think that the point had finally arrived in his life when he needed more than just a pretty face and a smokin’ body; he’d started thinking he actually wanted a little substance in a relationship, someone he could envision a real future with. But thanks to how things had ended with her, that notion had been short-lived.
He’d tried to commit emotionally to Mira—and he’d ended up feeling kicked in the teeth by the experience. So it had been easy to decide he’d been doing things right in the first place—right for him anyway—by keeping things light and hot and fun when it came to women. And that’s what he intended to do from now on. And Miami Beach was the perfect place for light and hot and fun.
Though the truth was . . . women, dating, fucking—they hadn’t been high on his priority list since he’d come south. Sure, he’d found someone to hook up with a few times—God knew his sex drive hadn’t faded after Mira—but mostly he’d thrown himself into his job. Which was why he was here tonight, working undercover. Undercover and not officially on the clock. And maybe it was why—even if he was up for good times with fun women—he was no longer interested in twenty-two-year-olds.
Remembering why he was here, he pushed the beer aside, not wanting to let alcohol dull his senses. He might not always play by the rules, but that didn’t equal being sloppy.
In fact, since hitting South Beach, Rogan had felt more inspired by his work than ever before. After spending the first dozen years of his career in small-town Michigan, he’d found his calling in Miami. In Miami, things were happening: crimes were being committed and there were true bad guys who needed to be taken down. A place like Miami, Rogan now knew, had a lot to do with why he took satisfaction in being a cop.
A few minutes ago, the Café Tropico had been mostly empty and he’d been keeping a low profile at the bar, but now that it was filling up and the band was getting ready to play, he felt safe to casually shift on his stool and take a look around the open-air room. He was hoping Junior Martinez and his sidekick, Juan Gonzalez, would show up tonight.
The bar’s owner, Dennis Isaacs, whom Rogan had gotten casually friendly with since working this area and sometimes stopping by for a meal when he was on duty, suspected the two of selling drugs out of a back room. Dennis had let them know they weren’t welcome here, more than once, but he was an older man and the two thugs were comfortable pushing their weight around. The pretty bartender was Dennis’s niece and though she was far from being as pure as the driven snow, she and some other workers at the café knew he was trying to help Dennis out and had been instructed to keep things on the down-low if anyone, like Martinez or Gonzalez, came asking any questions about him.
The Café Tropico wasn’t fancy and had certainly seen better days, but it was a decent place. Besides possessing tidbits of old Miami charm if you looked hard enough, it was also one of the few spots on Ocean Drive where you could walk in and get a burger without busting your wallet. And Rogan wanted it to stay a decent place.
Coming to Miami had lit a fresh fire under him, sharpened the edges on what had almost become a dull occupation. And so now he found himself going unofficially undercover, taking a special interest in this situation off the clock in hopes of bringing down a couple of dealers, even if they were low level. Best case scenario—he could end up getting promoted to detective. Worst? Well, even if he wasn’t completely playing by the rules, if he was successful in taking some drugs and a couple of losers off the streets and helped out a local business owner at the same time, he just didn’t think his captain would come down on him too hard.
The room was filled with the same people he would expect—a few tourists in shorts ate burritos or cheeseburgers while they waited for the classic rock cover band to start. Some club hoppers—younger and more slickly dressed—had stopped in for an early drink before moving on to the trendier establishments up the block. A middle-aged couple Rogan thought he’d seen here before did some salsa dancing to the Latin music that had just begun to play over the loudspeakers a few minutes ago, warming people up for the band. So what if the Latin tunes would clash with the band’s songs? It was that kinda place—more about easy grub and alcohol than about sticking to a theme.
The only unpleasant sight was the group of guys at the pool table in the corner. Some Latino, some white, they sported too many bald heads, muscle shirts, and tattoos for Rogan’s liking as a cop—they just looked like trouble. And he knew he’d seen at least a couple of them hanging with Martinez and Gonzalez here before.
That’s when his eyes fell on the lady in the navy blue suit. Damn, talk about out of place. What on earth was some uptight professional chick doing here, dressed like that, on a Friday night? Not like it was against the law or anything, but . . . well, she just looked sort of silly. Not to mention far too stiff, even as she lifted a sandwich to her heart-shaped lips.
That was when he realized she was pretty. Almost hard to notice given the way she was dressed, and with her coppery red hair all pulled back tight in a bun like a librarian would wear. But she had damn attractive lips, that was for sure— and as his eyes traveled downward, he caught a glimpse of shapely legs ending in a pair of pumps that would have been more sexy than professional if they weren’t the exact same shade of navy as her tailored suit. You should let your hair down, honey. She just looked . . . buttoned up too tight. Didn’t she know this was the tropics?
Just then, his cell phone vibrated and he pulled it from his pocket to find a text from Colt. They were getting together tomorrow night.
It was then that the shouting started.
Rogan looked up to see none other than Juan Gonzalez yelling at a tacky-looking white woman—who happened to be sitting at the same table with the buttoned-up chick. He hadn’t even noticed her before, too busy—for some insane reason—checking out the suit. But now Gonzalez was saying, “What the hell you doin’ with her, here?” Though he barely deigned to toss a glance in the suit chick’s direction as he yanked the woman up by her arm, toppling her chair in the process with a thud that would’ve sounded louder in a room where there wasn’t already so much noise.
Rogan tensed, knowing that if things escalated, he’d have to get involved—but damn, he really hated to blow his cover here. Even if he managed to defuse the situation without flashing his badge, getting in Gonzalez’s face would mean he’d be remembered. Which would mean he’d have no chance of accomplishing what he was here to do.
Now the woman, who seemed to be Gonzalez’s wife or girlfriend, was yelling back, jerking her arm away, telling him to get his grimy hands off her. And—shit—that was when the chick in the suit stood up. “I don’t know what’s going on here,” she said to him, loud and clear enough to be heard above the din, “but I was in the neighborhood on business and stopped in for something to eat when I ran into your wife. I have no idea what you think was happening, but we were only saying hello. So what’s the problem?”
Oh hell—now Gonzalez turned to the suit. He towered over her, tall and lean, as he stared her down, stepping up close enough that it made Rogan uncomfortable. Much more uncomfortable, in fact, than when he’d grabbed the other woman, but Rogan didn’t know why.
“The problem,” Gonzalez said, “is that I don’t like bitch lawyers talkin’ to my bitch wife. Got it, bitch?”
Rogan couldn’t quite see the woman’s reaction—she faced slightly away from him—but she didn’t cower or back down in any way. And when Gonzalez turned again to his wife to begin yelling at her some more, commanding her to get her ass home, then going so far as to give her a push in the direction of the door—the suit chick shoved her way in between the two of them, saying, “Don’t you touch her or I’ll call the police!”
Great. Just great.
And when Juan Gonzalez put his hands on the suit chick—clamping down on her upper arms—Rogan reacted, his instincts taking over. He bolted to his feet and began moving in that direction.
Of course, now other men who’d caught wind of the scuffle were stepping forward to help, too, but that didn’t stop Rogan. It was more a compulsion than a decision at this point—he’d already mentally committed, driven to protect the out-of-place woman in the suit. Even if she didn’t seem exactly helpless, still arguing with Gonzalez, and the way Rogan saw it, just digging herself into still-deeper shit.
Rogan was the first person to reach them, and he quickly drew a conclusion on what his best move would be, on all counts—he pulled back his fist and landed a hard right to Juan Gonzalez’s jaw.
Clearly not as tough as he looked—and liked to act— Gonzalez dropped like a stone to the floor of the Café Tropico.
But that didn’t even begin to quiet the situation. Now the dudes from the pool table were looking over, dropping their cues as they decided to get involved—and, oh hell, one of them held on to his cue stick, reminding Rogan of something he’d learned from bar brawls in younger days: they made good weapons.
At the same time, the other mixed bag of men who’d been ready to come to the suit’s rescue were still on the scene, a couple of them asking the tacky wife if she was okay, others starting to catch wind of the scary-looking dudes headed their way—and from the corner of his eye, Rogan realized one of them was Martinez.
Gut instinct: Get out. Quick. No one, including Gonzalez, had gotten a good look at him yet—his cover wasn’t blown.
His second gut instinct? Take the buttoned-up chick with you.
He wasn’t sure where that part had come from—she seemed better able to defend herself than Gonzalez’s wife, who he’d been happy to leave in other people’s care. Maybe it was because she still looked so ridiculously misplaced; maybe he feared it would make her the easy target of Martinez’s thugs. He wasn’t sure, but he didn’t stop to examine it— he just found his hand clamped tight to one navy blue sleeve and the slender arm underneath as he tugged her toward an out-of-the-way side entrance, at the same time calling to Dennis’s niece behind the bar, “Might wanna call nine-one-one, honey."
Upon leading the woman out into a narrow old alley, the south Florida balminess hit him like a brick. They didn’t have weather like this in Michigan and he was still getting used to it. Though large, open windows to the Café Tropico were but a stone’s throw away, stucco walls surrounded them on both sides, and shutting the door behind them reduced the ruckus to a low, steady racket.
Now that they were alone, the woman stared down at where he still held on to her, then shifted her glaring gaze to his. Her eyes were blue. And her hair looked more auburn than copper now. “Who are you and what on earth do you think you’re doing?” she snapped. “Unhand me this instant.”
Rogan just blinked, not sure if he was amused or irritated. “Unhand you? Who are you? The fucking queen of England?”
She appeared aghast, her eyes widening. “How dare you drag me out of there like that!”
Rogan lowered his chin matter-of-factly. “Hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but I saved your fish-out-of-water ass in there. Dragging you out was an act of mercy.”
Through the windows up the alley, sounds of the brawl inside—women shrieking, guys yelling, things breaking— could be heard. And then the shrill but distant wail of a siren sounded, putting Rogan’s mind at ease. The disturbance inside would be over soon. Which meant he could resume concentrating on what was happening out here.
Namely that despite her belligerence—something he hadn’t expected—the woman in the suit was even more attractive than he’d realized. He liked the warm shade of her hair and the way it shone when light hit it, like moonlight on the water—and damn, he really wanted to see it down now, falling around her face. Her eyes were bright, determined— even if also combative at the moment. And her lips looked made to be kissed. And . . . well, like they might be good for something else that came to mind, too. Only now did he see how her suit hugged her body, highlighting the curves and making her look far less frumpy than he’d originally thought. In fact, despite her attitude, the lady lawyer was beginning to seem downright sexy to him.
“I need to get back in there, check on Kayla,” she told him, attempting to pull her arm away.
He held firm. For more than one reason. His groin had begun to tighten. “She’s fine, sweet cheeks. There are plenty of people looking after her by now. And she’s not the same kind of target as you.”
She flinched within his grasp. “Sweet cheeks?”
A short laugh escaped him. “Sorry—I made an assumption.” That her ass was sweet, he meant.
And when her face turned nearly as red as her hair, he knew she understood. Even if he shouldn’t have said it. But something about her made it too easy, too tempting to resist. Already he could feel how hard she worked at being prim and proper and professional. And already he could sense something much more interesting bubbling just beneath the surface.
Even as she blushed and went quiet, he took in more about her. A complexion too ivory for a place like Miami. Long lashes that framed those eyes. They were a deep, dark blue here in the alleyway beneath a dim bulb by the door, but he had a feeling that in the sunlight they’d be electric.
Something dusky drew his gaze unwittingly down to find a tantalizing hint of cleavage peeking from beneath a simple white silk blouse—enough delectable curve and shadow that he knew a button had to have come undone somewhere between the moment she’d stood up to face Juan Gonzalez and now. Like it or not, she wasn’t buttoned up so tight anymore.
And eyes that had gone from angry to embarrassed now grew . . . more sultry. A soft blush still burned on her cheeks, but that, too, now felt like something that was more about a slow heat building between them than anything like embarrassment. Her lips were slightly parted, making something in him needful, hungry.
He still hadn’t let go of her arm. But she’d quit asking him to. She’d quit pulling away at all. He liked having hold of her. Despite himself, he liked knowing she couldn’t really get away if he didn’t want her to. But just as much, he liked that she no longer seemed so bent on fleeing.
Their gazes locked, held. In his peripheral vision, he took in the subtle shift of her blouse, sensed her chest heave slightly. He let out a breath, aware of the desire palpitating between them suddenly like a living, breathing thing.
That’s when her lips began to tremble, just a little. And a bit of fear snuck into her eyes as she lifted her free hand to point toward the metal door they’d come through. “I . . . um . . . she’s my client.” Her voice came softer than before.
“I got that,” he said deeply.
“But . . .” Now it was she who expelled a heavy breath, as if she’d been holding it without quite meaning to. And she shook her head, her eyes dropping uncomfortably toward his chest. “Lord—when she suggested meeting here I never dreamed it would be someplace her husband hangs out. What was she thinking? She wants to divorce him,” she added, seeming to feel the need to explain. Then she crushed her eyes shut for just a second and spoke under her breath. “Damn it, I shouldn’t have told you that—it’s none of your business.” She seemed to be talking nervously now, and he knew, even more than before, that they both remained very aware of the fact that he still held her arm in his grip.
And that was when Rogan stopped trying to hold back and gave in to the urges pulsing through his body. Still clamping tightly to her wrist, he lifted his other hand to firmly cup the back of her neck and leaned in to kiss her. There was nothing gentle about it—and though he hadn’t weighed it, he supposed he hadn’t meant for there to be. He wanted to kiss her hard, and even though he fully expected her resistance, he wanted to make it difficult for her to fight the kiss, difficult to push him away without giving herself a chance to sink into it.
And that’s exactly what happened. At first she shoved against his chest with her free hand, trying futilely to withdraw, the back of her head retreating against his hand, and a small squeal of protest left her. But he kept kissing her, hard, and as he moved his mouth powerfully over her soft lips, he realized to his surprise that pretty soon the palm against his chest relaxed and her mouth was meeting his with complete and utter abandon.
A thick satisfaction poured warmly through his body as he stood kissing her in the hot alley, keenly aware that the buttoned-up chick in the business suit wasn’t resisting one little bit.
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