“Will you please tone down on the language?” My mom squeaked. “This isn’t a prison yard, you know.”
“I’ve got to go.” I pulled into the coffee shop parking lot and turned off my engine. The cop car stopped behind my back bumper, though the lights stayed flashing.
Why did cops do that? As if it weren’t humiliating enough to be pulled over right in front of the very place I was heading. Now we had to advertise it for the whole world to see.
“What? We’re in the middle of a conversation.”
“I’m sorry. I have to go.”
I heard her suck in a sharp breath. “Don’t hang up on me. I—”
I pressed end and dropped the phone in the seat next to me. “Sorry, Mom,” I whispered as the officer appeared in the window next to my face. When his knuckle tapped on the glass quietly, I pressed the button and looked up as my window rattled its way down. “Um, good morning officer, what—”
The breath in my lungs eked out slowly. It was Mason.
“Good morning yourself,” he said with a smile. Though he was wearing sunglasses, I could see crinkles at the corners of his eyes peeking out from either side of the lenses. “In a hurry today, Candace?”
“As a matter of fact, yes.” A few people stared at me through the coffee shop window, and I glanced away. I wouldn’t be joining the writing class today. As soon as I got my ticket, I was heading back home to hide—and wallow—for a while. “I was trying to get to a class here.”
Mason glanced up. “They have classes here?”
“A writing group.” I shifted in my seat, trying to make myself disappear. “They meet once a week. I was late for my first meeting.”
“You’re a writer?” He put a hand against my door and leaned down casually. The smell of cinnamon and aftershave wafted in, and my heart skittered in response. I couldn’t be sure if it was because I was on the verge of getting my first speeding ticket in six years, or because Mason looked so freaking good in his uniform.
“Uh huh,” I said quickly. “Don’t you work nights?”
Wincing, I looked down at my hands. I’d just given it away that I watched his car coming and going from his house. Awesome.
He chuckled. “Usually I do, but we’re short-staffed and I like to pick up some extra cash. Sometimes I like to fight crime in the daylight.”
I glanced up at him. “Fight crime?”
“Okay. Pull people over. So, what do you write?”
I blinked at him, the morning sunlight shining in my eyes. “Aren’t you supposed to ask me for my license and registration?”
“No small talk. Got it.” He stood back upright. “I’m gonna need to see your license and registration, please.”
I should have just chatted it up about writing. Maybe flashed some cleavage. Marisol had shocked us with stories of the obscene things she used to do to get out of tickets. She was the only person I knew who’d gotten out of trouble after going fifty in a fifteen zone just because she discussed felatio with the policeman. There was no way in hell I was stooping to that. And besides, I thought, I was wearing a full coverage tee shirt.
I was going to get a ticket for sure. Groaning, I reached for my wallet and dug out my information. “Here,” I muttered, shoving it at him. This was humiliating. This kid was young enough for me to have baby-sat him when I was in high school, and he was writing me a ticket. “Friggin’ whippersnapper.”
He stopped walking and looked at me over his shoulder. “Did you just call me a whippersnapper?”
I forced a fake grin. “Of course not. That would be disrespectful.”
Watching him as he sauntered to his car—and trying not to notice how lovely his tush looked in his uniform pants—I released a long sigh. This just figured. Now he was not only privy to my birthdate, but my weight as well. What else would he know by the end of this little debacle? My bra size?
A PG13-rated scene in the back of his cop car cropped up in my head.
Ok, R rated.
Wait. Scratch that.
Clearly, I was a bit lonely.