Fallon O’Connor shoved her hands in her jacket pockets as she stepped out of Yuletide Spirits, one of the local bars in Holly, North Carolina, a picturesque mountain town where it was Christmas year-round. Something she adored.
Right about now, however, she wanted to go home, get out of the icy weather and feel sorry for herself. Which was freaking pathetic. She’d been offered a coveted spot in a culinary school across the country. Something she should be thrilled about.
But the thought of leaving her family, the unique town she loved, her friends… It just wasn’t as appealing as it should be. No matter how hard she tried to convince herself it was what she wanted.
A flash of blue lights reflected against the bank of windows along Main Street. The sight made her jump, and even before she’d turned around, instinct told her exactly who she’d see. Not one of the many deputies of Holly, but the sheriff himself.
Sexy Brad Fulton, who she’d been avoiding for a month and a half—ever since the Christmas Eve party when she’d made a fool of herself and kissed him. Okay, maybe not exactly a fool, since he’d been into it at the time But what had she been thinking dragging him into the privacy of the pantry at her parents’ house and attacking his mouth with hers?
Mr. Boy Scout was not for her. He was exactly the type of man her family would expect her to settle down with. Freaking perfect.
She didn’t want perfect. She already didn’t live up to her mother’s standards; she didn’t want to end up with a man who was so perfect that she’d always be compared to him. The kind of man where people would tell her that she was “lucky” someone so perfect was with her.
“Fallon.” That deep, sexy voice rolled over her like the sweetest aphrodisiac.
She felt it all the way to her core, even if she wanted to deny the effect he had on her. Kind of impossible when heat rushed between her legs just looking at him. It didn’t matter that there was a light layer of snow dusting everything—that voice warmed her up from the inside out. Swallowing hard, she half-turned to see his window rolled down, but kept walking. Her vehicle wasn’t that much farther. Just another block. “Hey, Boy Scout.”
His jaw tightened at her use of the nickname. “You been drinking?” he asked through the open window as he slowly cruised down the street alongside her.
She stopped in her heeled ankle boots and turned fully to him as she placed her hands on her hips. “Seriously? That’s what you want to ask me?” It was after eleven and she had been leaving a bar, but still. The question annoyed her.
“No.” He put the patrol car in park and turned off the engine.
Before she could blink he was out and in front of her in full uniform. The uniform was what gave him that sexy, strong vibe. Yeah, right. She couldn’t even lie to herself. Yes, the uniform on him made her think bad, bad things, but Brad was like a pillar of strength and hotness even without it.
“I want to ask why you’ve been ignoring me since Christmas.”
“Christmas Eve.” The two words popped out.
“Technically Christmas, since we kissed again after midnight.”