Cristian Bianco has two things against him—he’s a police officer and he’s a police officer in the 18th District…meaning my dad is his boss.
Growing up as the Commander’s daughter and having his magnifying glass focused on everything I did was more than I could handle.
Now, I’m out on my own, living by my own rules. Well, mostly. The ‘job’ I created for myself has me in some hot water and my exit strategy isn’t exactly working out how I’d hoped.
Which is why when my best friend bids on Cristian for me at a charity bachelor auction, I’m not having it. A man in blue is only going to be one thing for me—a problem.
Except after his brother starts dating my best friend he becomes harder to ignore. The eight-pack abs. The sense of style only a girl like me can appreciate. The way he puts his family first. It all adds up to make him one irresistible prospect and has me wondering if he knows how to use those handcuffs the right way—by locking my wrists to his headboard.
“Not on duty tonight, officer?” I insert sarcasm into my tone because being a bitch will make it easier for him to keep his distance.
“Well, Miss Flanagan, I’m off for two days if you’re wondering.”
I step away from the keg allowing the lingering guys who are talking about hockey a chance to fill their cups.
“That leaves me open for that date.” He cocks an eyebrow.
My head falls back in defeat. “There is no date. You have a pass. Most guys would love the chance to get out of a date with the person who wins them at an auction.”
He sips his beer. “I’m not most guys.”
I sip my beer and don’t respond. He’s right. He’s not most guys. Most guys don’t look like he does. That or I’ve been hanging around the wrong places.
“Some might say that most women would love to go on a date with a police officer.”
“I’m not most women.”
He laughs. One that heats my insides and makes him even more attractive. I know I’m going to be visualizing him the next time I pull out my Unicorn Cock vibrator, but I’ll deal like I always do.
“I agree,” he says when he finishes laughing.
“Perfect. Then it’s a deal. No date.” I smile and turn on my heel heading toward the bonfire.
“Whoa.” His hand gently grabs my arm.
I spin back around.
“You know that’s not what I was saying. Come on, Vanessa. I need your dad off my back. One date. It’s not going to kill anyone.”
I purse my lips, trying to figure out how I’m going to get him to let this topic go. I’ve had one police officer dictating my entire life already, I don’t need another.
“Just lie,” I say with a shrug.
His strong shoulders sag a bit and he shoots me a look like ‘give me a break.’ His eyes are those of an innocent man who probably always does the right thing. I’m doing him a favor keeping him at arm’s length.
“Fine,” I say when the silence stretches out.
I hold a finger up into the air. “You do one thing tonight that you’d never normally do and I’ll go out with you.” I smirk. Let’s see Mr. Squeaky Clean take me up on that offer. I’m picturing my victory already.
“What?” He screws his face up then sips his beer.
I cross my arms around my middle, waiting for him to say no way so that I can move on. “You heard me. One spontaneous thing. Here. Tonight.”
“Like what?” he asks, his eyes scanning the area around us that I now realize is quickly emptying out. Half these people probably have babysitters to get home to.
I shrug. “That’s for you to decide.”
His forehead bunches. “What do you want me to do? Jump over the fire or some shit like that?”
“I’d prefer if you didn’t end up in the emergency room, so no, I don’t expect you to jump over a roaring fire. That would ruin Maddie and Mauro’s night.”
A pissed off look crosses his face and he downs most of his beer.
“That’s it, let’s go, Cris. It’s two against two and I need a guy.” Luca, Cristian’s little brother, twirls a soccer ball on his finger as he steps up to us. Lauren follows behind with a girl I don’t recognize.
“What?” Cristian glares over at his brother. “I’m not playing soccer tonight in the pitch dark.”
He has a point.
“Come on Cris. Lauren says she can score five goals on me.” Luca glances over to Lauren who has a shit-eating grin on her face, and he rolls his eyes.
Cristian blows out a breath. Lauren saddles up to my side, kicking the soccer ball from Luca’s hands. She does some fancy footwork then kicks the ball in the air before catching it. That girl has coordination I do not.
“The answer is no. Find Bentley, he’s over there.” He points toward the bonfire.
Luca must know his brother never does something he doesn’t want to do because he barrels away from us without a word.
“What’s going on over here?” Lauren asks, walking backward, twirling the soccer ball on one finger like Luca was moments ago.
“Nothing,” I say.
“Lauren, what’s the craziest thing I can do tonight?” Cristian hollers out and Lauren’s feet stop, staring at me over his shoulder.
She knows this game. We play it often. Well, not since college when guys tend to think they can say hello and you’ll be falling all over them. There’s nothing wrong with making them work to impress you a little. It builds character. LOL.
Lauren being Lauren pretends to think about it. In the past, we’ve had guys shave their heads or their eyebrows, dress in girl’s clothing, striptease with a pair of girl’s panties on. God knows what Lauren’s going to recommend.
“You’re a smart boy, Bianco. Turn the tables,” she says. “What’s the worst thing you could do to Vanessa tonight?”
I flip her off. Nice friend I got there. Who wants her?
A devilish smile creeps onto Cristian’s lips. “Anyone tell you, you’re a fucking genius, Lauren?”
She laughs. “All the time. Tell your brother for me though.”
Luca comes over, stealing the soccer ball from her hands, while a guy tripping over his own feet follows behind. The girl and guy standing on the sidelines watching Lauren and Luca argue about who goes first.
“So, Officer Bianco, what will it be?” I cock a hip and a brow.
“Maybe a date with you isn’t worth the embarrassment?” He steps closer and I back up an inch, unease setting in as his demeanor grows more confident and sure.
I shrug. “That’s fine. I’m happy to split ways now.”
He takes another giant step forward and sips the remaining beer from his cup, tossing it down to the grass, his gaze intense and set on whatever he’s about to do.
“What are you doing?” I ask, my voice weaker than I’d prefer.
We’re chest to chest now because he’s taken me by surprise and I forgot to flee with his approach. Okay and maybe his eyes mesmerized me. A little. Not much.
“I’m going to do the one thing I didn’t think I’d do tonight.” His voice has dropped an octave and we’re alone in the darkness of the forest now where the warmth of the bonfire has disappeared. A cold chill runs across my cheeks until Cristian’s hands land on either side of my face. “I’m going to kiss you.”
His lips fall to mine. Did I say it was cold? It’s not. It’s warm. Cristian’s mouth on mine steals the chill from my body. I should knee him in the balls or at least push him away, but I don’t. Instead, my lips betray me and move in time with his. I wrap my arms around his neck and I rise to my tiptoes, kissing him back.
His arms cradle me flush against his body, his tongue exploring mine and under the canopy of the forest, away from any prying eyes, Cristian Bianco sets my body on fire.
I love breaking other people’s rules, but I’m not sure about breaking my own.
Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have "Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle" (okay...you caught us, that's our tagline). A little about us... We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We're both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We're both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.