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Loving Storm (Ashes & Embers #5)
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(This is a sequel novella to Storm, book one – which must be read first!)
Falling in love in the back of a truck, just the two of us, was easy.
Loving Storm is a fast-paced SWEET (not erotica, not a lot of drama) novella that gives an extended look into Storm and Evie’s future. It is best read after reading Storm (and also Vandal, Lukas, and Talon, as those characters will have short cameos in this book).
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I’m cruising along the road, singing (badly) along with Lana Del Rey’s sultry voice, when suddenly disco lights are flashing behind my car.
I glance in my rearview mirror to see a cop car close behind me, lights strobing. I slow down and move toward the shoulder to let him pass, but he follows me.
Shit! He’s pulling me over.
I slow to a stop, turn down the music, and put my car in park just as a young, good-looking officer slowly approaches. I lower the window and smile up at him.
“Evening, ma’am. Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Actually, no. I don’t think I was speeding.”
“You were driving erratically and swerving.”
I was? Eek. Maybe when I switched my playlist on my phone and accidentally dropped it between the seat and the console, I swerved when I reached for it. “I dropped my phone,” I admit. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to—”
“It’s against the law to use a cell phone while driving, ma’am,” he says sternly.
“I wasn’t using it really, just putting my playlist on.”
His lips are set in a firm line as he takes a step closer to the window. “I’m going to need your driver’s license and registration.”
Damn. Damn. Damn.
I grab my bag to dig out everything he needs and hand it to him with a sweet smile, hoping he’ll just let me go with a warning, but he takes everything from me and walks back to his patrol car without a word.
I resist the urge to send Storm a text message to let him know I’m running a few minutes late. I’m afraid to even look at my phone with the officer just a few feet away.
I watch my rearview mirror, waiting for him to return, and I breathe a sigh of relief when he finally comes back toward my car.
“I’m going to need you to step out of the vehicle, ma’am.”
A wave of surprise and nervousness ripples through me. “Oh…okay.” I open the car door and step out.
“Where are you heading?”
“To a restaurant. I’m meeting my fiancé for dinner. Please don’t give me a ticket. I promise not to touch my phone. My fiancé will kill me if I get a ticket.” I run my hand through my hair. “Well, not literally kill me, he’s not a murderer. But he’ll be mad. Not like domestic violence mad, but annoyed. He’s a total sweetheart really, but I’m not a good driver at all and it’s kind of a joke between us. That’s how we met actually, I got lost and crashed my car and then he saved me…” My voice fades as the officer shakes his head and blinks at me like I’m a lunatic.
“Have you been drinking, ma’am? Under the influence of anything?”
I gape at him. “Me? God no! I don’t drink or do drugs at all. I’m just sorta naturally anxious and weird.”
The man in blue is not amused.
“I’m going to ask you to walk in a straight line for me.”
Oh my God, is he kidding? Surely he can tell I’m just nervous and not drunk. I look from him to the ground and back at him. “Um… where?”
“Just walk in a straight line toward me, keep your eyes on me, one foot in front of the other.”
I let out a sigh, rivet my focus onto his nose, and take a few steps, wobbling slightly in my new three-inch heels, which I’ve only worn once before. They’re still a little stiff, and my legs are shaky from the one hundred squats I did earlier today. Damn Amy and her crazy monthly challenges!
“You seem a bit tipsy, ma’am.”
I stop walking. “I am not tipsy. These are new shoes, and my muscles are shaky from exercising this morning. Can’t you just give me a Breathalyzer test? That would be easier.”
“We don’t negotiate with perps, ma’am. Please come over here.”
Perps? I’m a perp now? My pulse speeds up as I walk over to the spot he’s pointing to in front of my car.
“I’ll need you to turn around and put your palms flat on the hood of your car, bend down, and put your right cheek to the hood.”
My eyes widen in disbelief.
“Officer, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but is this really necessary? I’ve never had to do any—”
“Ma’am, please do as I asked.”
My heart begins to pound as I lean over the hood as instructed, palms and head down. Something feels very wrong here. All I did was swerve a little. I didn’t hit anything or anyone. And it’s not my fault my legs are shaky and I can’t walk straight. I should have asked to see his badge to prove he’s an actual police officer. He could be some kind of criminal who stole a police car and uniform and is now kidnapping innocent women and—