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Neva Mathews It was a dark and stormy night. Not really. More like a bright and muggy afternoon in a grocery store parking lot that I met him. He was larger than the sun at that moment. It could be because he stood at six glorious feet and five extra inches. Or it could be because I’d just fallen to earth after slamming into him, allowing his big body to eclipse the sun. I didn’t know it at the time, but this beast of a man would take me out of my peaceful life and catapult me onto the roller coaster of a lifetime. I never saw myself falling in love again, having lost my childhood love five years before. I mean, I come as a package deal with my best friend Shelly and my handsome son Drew. But meeting Grant softened my heart and made me fall for him. Too bad he didn’t come with a warning label. Jason Grant I had one mission. There’s a reason I’m one of Miami’s best detectives; I always accomplish my mission. But then I met her, and my world suddenly shifted on its axis. I watched her from afar for several months. Watching and waiting for the right moment to make my move. Yet being around her has changed things. My blackened heart is beating again, craving this woman, making me want for things I’d given up on long ago. She reminds me of a porcelain doll. The only difference is the vivid colorful tattoos along each arm. She’s so small. If I’m not careful, I may be the reason she breaks.
In the corner of my eye, I see a strong tan hand being held out to me, I'm assuming, to help me stand as well. I stare at that hand longer than is necessary. He has big hands, and a thick dark brown watch encompassing his wrist, which causes my own wrist to cringe in sympathy at the offensive gadget. After what feels like forever, I finally take him up on his offer and let him help me off the ground. He pulls me up so fast my head spins, and my hand squeezes his to keep from falling back down again. Vertical once again, and no longer spinning, it becomes apparent why my first thought was that I’d slammed into a wall. Taking in all that is before me, my eyes grow wide at the sight of him. Holy hotness Batman. The man before me is huge. It's not hard to feel small when you are on the bottom side of 5 feet, but this man would make anyone feel small. I’m guessing he has to be at least six and a half feet tall, but I’d definitely need a tape measure to be sure. My eyes are level with a hard stomach covered in a white dress shirt, and his grey suit jacket looks like it was specially made for those broad shoulders. The tiny buttons reflect the light as he moves, keeping my eyes from traveling north like my brain begs me to. Even though he’s fully clothed there is no missing the fact that this man is built…everywhere. From his big leather shoes, up along sturdy legs fitting nicely inside grey slacks, and up to his massive arms that pull the material of his jacket. It’s a nice combination. I applaud his tailor. Just looking at those arms make things south go a little tingly. Am I purring? I continue up with my visual assessment and finally land on his face. Oh…sure, ok. I'm pretty sure I had been holding my breath, because right then, I suck in an audible gulp of air and let my hungry eyes have their fun with the visual feast. His face is absolutely gorgeous. It’s all sharp angles, strong jaw and a prominent nose that suits his face perfectly. But what I’m drawn to are his eyes. As someone whose eyes are remarked upon a lot, I can understand the allure as I gaze into his. They are a stunning shade of hazel, and right now the green is making a big statement. Reluctantly, I leave his eyes to take in the whole picture. His skin has an olive tone to it and I don't think I have ever seen skin so smooth before. This guy is so sexy it’s causing my mouth to water. I’m either really thirsty or really horny.
"You ok?" he asks..
His deep voice startles me out of my perusal, making my plummeting thoughts halt mid fall, so it takes me a few agonizing seconds to answer. “Yes, um…sorry about that. I guess I need to watch where I'm walking.” I finally get my brain to work correctly, and start to walk around him, but his deep voice stops my legs from continuing any further. "Excuse me, Ma'am?"
I turn back to the rich sound and notice him holding my purse and my bags out to me, in his big hand. Well duh! This really hasn’t been one of my finest of moments. "Thanks." I reach for my bags, just as the clouds shift, and the ray of sun hints at something under his jacket. With a quick glance down, I notice the gun attached at his waist. Oh, I hate guns. Like, loath guns, with a passion so strong I immediately feel the shiver race up along my spine. I try and keep the creeped-out look off my face, while I take my bags from his hand, then calmly walk over to my car as fast as my little legs will take me, without making it obvious I’m attempting to escape. My hands are shaking so bad it takes three tries to get the key into the lock, before I can get inside and away from him. I understand that many people own guns, know how to use them, and not all of them are scary. But that doesn’t mean I want to be around them. As I pull out of the lot, I look back and see the giant, still standing where I left him, with hands on his hips. I have a brief moment to feel bad for my rude behavior. Then it's gone as quick as it came and I am on my way, pulling onto the congested street.
Em Perna is a sarcastic thirty-five-year-old with a penchant for hot pink hair. She was born in sunny Florida. She’s moved several times to many different states, while following her husband as he advances in his career, and is currently residing in Maryland. She’s a wife and mother to three active boys that keep her feeling young and old at the same time. She has four dogs that drive her to distraction, and one sassy bearded dragon. When she’s not busy writing, she’s kept quite busy as a boo-boo kisser, a football-team mom, a dog walker, a teacher of ABCs, a home chef, a superhero’s personal assistant, and a chauffeur in her big pickup truck. She’s been blessed with an overactive imagination, and sometimes has trouble breaking out of her made-up worlds of damsels and alpha knights coming to their rescue. She discovered the land of books many years ago, and now isn’t seen without her Kindle attached to her hand. She has a million and one things on her bucket list that she’s promised herself will get done—eventually. Number one on that list is to someday be able to join a storm chasing team and race across the middle of the nation taking pictures of Mother Nature’s phenomenons. Her favorite sound is a toss up between her children’s laughter and the clap of thunder.
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