PURCHASE YOUR COPY TODAY
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I open the door for Ren, help her down, then fold her seat forward and grab my hiking gear from the back. I’ve got a couple GPS devices, bottles of water, bug spray, power bars, first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, multipurpose tool, and matches. I went for the smaller backpack knowing we wouldn’t be doing any major hiking today. I’ll go easy on her, I want there to be a second date.
Before shouldering the pack, I unzip it and pull out a can of bug spray. Remembering the subtle wafts of Ren’s tropical perfume and baby powder scent back at her apartment, I toss her the can. “You’re going to need this. Being this close to the river, the area is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
Ren catches the can and pops the lid off. “Thanks.” She sighs and extends her left arm, making several passes. A heavy mist coats her skin and she repeats the process over her other arm, her long, slender legs, neck, and then turns the can and showers her clothes and hair.
I chuckle at her excessiveness. “Hopefully it’s just the bugs you’re trying to keep away.”
A sheepish smile tugs at the corner of her bow-shaped mouth. She wrinkles her nose and my heart skips a beat. “I hate to admit this, but I’m terrified of bugs. And…” She hesitates. “I’m not really the outdoorsy type.”
I step closer and wrap my hands around her fingers that are still clinging to the can of Off! like it’s a cross, warding away vampires. “Stay close, I’ll keep you safe,” I say, slowly lifting the can free from her grip.
She no longer smells of citrus, but like she bathed in DEET. She may repel every six- and eight-legged critter in a hundred-mile radius, but I’m more attracted to her than ever. Off!, bug repellant and aphrodisiac. I know it’s too soon to kiss her, but damn if I don’t want to.
She lets out a breath. “Lucky for me.”
“Mind if I use this?” I hold up the can between us.
I don’t take my eyes off her, while I give my arms and legs a quick spray. “Glad you saved me some.” I wink and stuff the can back in my bag.
“Oh, I bet you have another can in there somewhere, Boy Scout.”
She isn’t wrong, I do have more, but I can’t help but tease her.
“Boy Scout? Try Marine.”
“You’re a Marine and a cop?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marie Meyer is a teacher who spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt romances. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and bingeing on weeks of DVR'd television with her husband.
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