Home > The Feel Good Factor (Lucky in Love)

The Feel Good Factor (Lucky in Love)
Author: Lauren Blakely

1

Derek

There are lies, damn lies, and then there’s love at first sight.

That’s the kind of storybook bullshit that gets people in trouble. I can find my own way there, thank you very much.

Besides, a detour of that sort is the last thing I need now that I’ve packed up all my shit and moved to a new town.

I’m not running away, even though it looks like it, thanks to the bike and the lack of stuff I own. I’m running to, and my goal when I arrive in town is singular.

Do what I came here to do.

Problem is, sometimes I go too fast.

Like today, as I’m riding down a side street on the way to my sister’s house, a little speedier than the limit. But hey, I have places to be, people to see. What’s the big deal if I go five miles over? I’m safe as fuck and always have been.

A siren blares.

“Ah, hell.”

I pull over to the curb, turn off the engine, and remove my helmet, ready to pull my “hey, we’re all in this together” card with the guy I didn’t see running traffic duty.

But there’s no guy stopping me.

The officer in blue strolling down the sidewalk is certified 100 percent babe, and I do believe this is the best view I’ve seen in days. Wait, make that years.

Because holy redheaded lady-cop fantasy.

Even that uniform can’t hide those curves, nor can the ruler-straight line between her lips hide their lushness. The cinched ponytail of auburn only makes me want to untie it, get my hands in those locks, then run my lips all over her neck.

“Hey, officer. Was I going too fast?” I ask with a gee, I couldn’t have been speeding grin.

“What do you think, Lightning McQueen?”

“Maybe a little.”

“Yeah, just a little,” she says dryly. “How about your license and registration?”

I grab my wallet and hand her my license, then the bike’s registration. She runs a quick check, nods since it’s all clear, and gives them back to me. “Let me guess. You either didn’t realize how fast you were going, or you have someplace real important to be?”

I flash her a grin, hoping the crooked kind is her favorite. “I do, and I sure hope you’ll forgive me.”

She parks her hands on her hips. “You’re aiming for full forgiveness?”

“Complete absolution. What’ll it take to get there?”

She scoffs, but it has the hint of a laugh in it. “Let’s hear your story. Tell me where you’re going, Mr. Speedy.”

I raise a finger to correct her. “I’m not Mr. Speedy. I’m Mr. Take My Time.”

She stares at me. “Yes, Mr. McBride,” she says, emphasizing my name. “And I’m Ms. I Don’t Have Time for Flirty Bikers.” Her lips quirk up though, like she’s trying to fight off a smile.

“I’ll give you the SparkNotes version.” I heave a sigh, drag a hand through my hair, then tell her where I’m off to, hoping the story of a man looking out for his sister and her kids will win over her black heart.

She shakes her head like she doesn’t quite believe me, but doesn’t quite disbelieve me either. She whips off her shades, revealing green eyes with flecks of gold—eyes that study me, that roam over my beard, my inked arms, and maybe, just maybe, all the way down.

Oh yes, keep the eye tour going, because I’m giving you one too, officer.

Exhaling deeply, she glances down the road then back at me. “Listen, it’s quiet today. I haven’t seen a lot of cars or kids or pedestrians. I’m going to let you off with a warning this time, Mr. Lawbreaker.”

I bow my head deferentially. “And I’m going to thank you from the bottom of my law-abiding soul.”

She chuckles. “Is it though? Is it a truly law-abiding soul?”

I grin, meeting her gaze again. “Right about now I can’t decide if I want to break laws or follow them. Would breaking them mean I could see you again?”

She flubs her lips and waves me off. “If I had a nickel for every time . . .”

Well, that’s no surprise. I bet each man she’s stopped has flirted with her. I’ll need to up my game. “Let me revise that. I can see that the way to your heart is through the law, so allow me to follow the rules.”

I kick down the stand and step off the bike. As I walk down the sidewalk, I look back at her, smirking, till I reach a stray paper cup keeping court with an empty Doritos bag. I pick up both, carry them to my bike, and tuck the trash into the side compartment. “I hate litterbugs.”

“So do I.”

I point to a sign along the sidewalk. “And littering is against the law. But hey, look at me, obeying like a good citizen.”

She fights off a laugh. “Thank you for handling trash patrol. Now, you need to go.”

I mount the bike and tug on my helmet. “You might be sending me off, but don’t think you’ll be out of my mind.”

“I won’t be thinking a thing about you.”

“But I’ll be thinking of you, officer.”

“Do us all a favor and obey the law. Can you do that?”

I wink. “Anything for you.”

She points at the pavement. “Hit the road. Before I decide to stop being the nice cop and write you a ticket instead.”

“Nice cop,” I say with a rasp. “I like the sound of that. Maybe I’ll see you around, nice cop.”

“Hopefully you won’t.”

“But a man can dream.”

And that’s exactly what I do that night, because I can’t get her out of my mind.

Insta-love? No effing way.

But insta-lust?

Oh, hell yeah.

There’s no greater truth than how much I want to see the redheaded officer again.

The only question is whether I’ll have to break the law to get her attention.

2

Perri

His tongue is seriously down her throat.

Well, I’m speculating on the exact location.

But based on the vise-like grip his lips have on hers and the way she seems to wriggle underneath him on the park bench, esophagus might even be a good bet.

The blond guy and the blonder gal have been going at it for close to five minutes.

Granted, that’s not necessarily a long time for PDA. But let’s be honest—how often does one see this level of PDA in the town square?

In my nine years working the streets, this has to be the most make-out-y of make-out sessions I’ve ever witnessed.

“Are we approaching public indecency levels yet?” Vanessa whispers, nudging me as we pass the gazebo on the way to her work.

“Nah. We’d have to have boobs out or wands on display for me to slap them with indecency.”

She snaps her fingers in an aw-shucks gesture. “Dammit. I was hoping I’d get to see you go badass cop.”

“You’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned public flashing just so I can make an arrest?”

Her brown eyes sparkle. “Oh yes. I can picture it now. A trench coat, a belt, a quick peek at some sculpted body.”

“Maybe it’s not an arrest you want. Perhaps you’re a Peeping Tom.”

“For the right Tom . . .”

“You do realize flashers don’t have Magic Mike bodies?”

“They don’t? Darn,” she deadpans. “But it’s still exciting. The idea of having a flasher. Well, if they looked like The Rock or something.”

“Maybe you should write a fairy tale starring your very own Dwayne Johnson–style flasher.”

She sighs contentedly as if daydreaming. “The thought is almost as delightful as the idea of watching you haul someone away to the pokey.”

Laughing, I pat her shoulder. “I’ll be sure to give you a heads-up before I make a lewd behavior or public indecency arrest in our exceedingly civilized town,” I say, waving at the classy assortment of establishments right here on Main Street—a wine bar, an artisan ice cream shop, a trendy jewelry boutique, an olive-tasting room, and a bookstore run by our other best friend, Arden. I’ve patrolled this block countless times, and the most trouble I’ve seen with my two eyes is too much toking up now and then. But that’s hardly a crime anymore in this state.

We reach the edge of the square, stopping at the statue of an old dude riding a horse.

Some fourth graders scurry past me in khaki skirts and polo shirts, their matching school uniforms. “Hi, Officer Keating,” they say in unison.

“Hey, Hayden, Becca and Madison. Are you rushing home to do your homework?”

“Of course we are,” Becca shouts for the trio.

“Good job.”

I return my focus to Vanessa, but my gaze catches on the tangled-up couple again. Going at it still. “Sheesh. It’s close to eight minutes now. Don’t they need to come up for air?”

“Are you actually timing their PDA?”

“Hell yeah. This is impressive. I’m dying to know how long they can last. We’re talking serious stamina display right now.”

She laughs, flicking her chestnut hair off her shoulder. “I’ll require a full update later. I need to get back to the bowling alley.”

“Have fun with your balls.”

“You will literally never not enjoy saying that.”

I stare at the sky as if deep in thought then nod. “You’re right. I will never not.”

She turns on her heel, her cute polka-dot swing dress swishing as she heads off to the bowling alley. I resume my patrol around the center of Lucky Falls, strolling past the olive-tasting room where a peppy Trudy Lafferty waves and asks if I want to try the new kalamatas. “When I’m off duty, I’ll be buying a whole bucket,” I tell her, since I have a savory tooth the likes of which can rival any sweet one.

“You know your money’s no good here, Perri.”

“And you know I don’t take payola, even in the delectable form of kalamatas. You’re still going to have to pay your parking tickets.”

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