Waking up cuffed, p.1

Waking Up Cuffed, page 1

 part  #1 of  Highland County Heroes Series


Waking Up Cuffed

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Waking Up Cuffed

  Waking Up Cuffed

  Melissa Stevens


  Other Books by Melissa Stevens

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Other Books by Melissa Stevens

  Kitsune Series:





  The Kitsune Collection

  (with Change, Fight, Hunt and Live in one volume)

  WMC Series:


  Jade's Peace

  Risking Alex

  Demented Souls:



  City of Sin:

  Released by Desire

  Redeemed by Desire

  Revealed by Desire

  The Dragon Chronicles

  (with Released by Desire, Redeemed by Desire and Revealed by Desire)

  Diamond Bridal Agency:




  Diamond Bridal Agency


  Pelican Lake:

  Steamy Days

  Smoldering Sunsets

  Sultry Nights

  Pelican Lake Trilogy


  Robin’s Nest

  Choosing Happiness

  Double Booked

  Chapter 1

  Officer Warren Hathaway stepped into the station house break room and couldn’t help but admire the round ass snuggly wrapped in blue denim as its owner bent over digging for something in the fridge. He harbored no doubts who it belonged to and his hand itched to smack it or worse, grab it and squeeze, but the amazing ass’s owner wouldn’t appreciate it. In fact, she’d probably bring him up on charges for sexual harassment. While that would mean she was no longer his supervising officer, it would also mean he was out of a job, and after something like that she’d probably refused to date him anyway. Then he wouldn’t get the odd moment like this, where he walked into a room and had to hide how his body reacted to her. Instead, he’d get nothing at all. Besides, he loved his job, and was good at it. It was moments like this one that made him grateful that the rural New Mexico police department they both worked for, had an almost casual uniform. Their shirts were standard police uniform, the department had decided on black, but they’d relaxed on the pants and instead of those shitty, hot dress slacks, everyone wore blue jeans.

  “Damn.” The owner of the rear end that made his dick stand at attention and his mouth water to taste her, stood. Her long dark hair was pulled into a tight knot low on the back of her head. An encounter at the grocery store a few weeks ago was the only way Warren knew exactly how long her hair was. The knowledge haunted him. He’d fantasized about burying his hand in her hair and pulling it just hard enough to make her cry out as he buried —

  “Someone took my sandwich, again.” The anger in her voice brought him out of his imagination. It just didn’t fit the fantasy.

  “No clue, Sergeant. You put your name on it?” He shifted his duty belt to camouflage the swelling in his jeans. It was probably a good thing. If he’d continued with that train of thought, she might have spotted the hard-on he was having a hard time hiding. On second thought, it was common enough around her she might not notice. Maybe. The rest of the shift would though. He shook his head. “I don’t know who would be brave enough to steal from you, though.”

  Warren wondered, not for the first time, where his control went where she was concerned. He’d spent a while in Vice in Albuquerque. Back then, he’d had enough control over his bodily responses he could have a stripper grinding against his lap, waiting for her to solicit sex, and not even a twitch. Yet all Sergeant Hayley Moreno had to do was breathe and he was hard enough to hammer nails.

  “Son of a bitch,” she muttered under her breath. “Now I either have to go out or go hungry.”

  “Call for delivery.” He thought it was obvious, but she sent him a look that would have withered a lesser man.

  “Yeah, right. I call for delivery and ten minutes after it gets here I’ll find the empty box where you heathens have eaten it all.”

  “Not me, boss. I like my balls right where they are, thanks.”

  She shot him another scorching look then spun on the heel of her polished black loafers and left. Warren set his teeth and closed his eyes for a moment trying to make his body behave, but the vision of her bent over in front of him flashed before his eyes and he could only groan.

  “You all right?” the voice belonged to Warren’s partner Johnny.

  “Fine, just sore from my work out this morning.” It wasn’t an unreasonable excuse. Warren made a habit of hitting the gym for at least an hour every day, sometimes more. He wasn’t going to be the fool who failed to chase down a perp because of too many donuts and not enough miles on the treadmill. Johnny knew it and sometimes joined him.

  “You must have really pushed it to be sore, how long did you go?”

  “Too long apparently.” He didn’t have the energy to come up with a lie he wouldn’t remember and might get him caught up later. “I’ll pay more attention and not push so hard for a few days, until I’m not so sore.”

  “Man, you need to give it a break. There are better ways to get cardio.” Johnny laughed. It was a line he’d been giving Warren for a while now.

  “I know, I know.” Warren gave his head a little shake. “But I’m not as attractive as you. I have a hard time picking up a new chick every weekend.” The truth was, he hadn’t tried in months. There was only one person he wanted in his bed, but if he asked, she’d knock him down faster than he could get the words out. “I’m gonna hit the head then we can take off.”

  “I’ll be out in a minute.” His partner was filling a travel mug with awful station house coffee. How Johnny could drink that shit when he didn’t absolutely have to was beyond Warren. He walked away hoping he could get his hormones, and his body, under control before anyone noticed.

  Chapter 2

  Sergeant Hayley Moreno fumed as she made her way out to the car. Three times this week she’d gone to the trouble of packing a lunch only to find it missing when she went to retrieve it from the refrigerator. This shit was getting old. Then, when she was bitching to herself about it, Warren Hathaway had answered. It had taken all her self-control not to jump and smack her head against the top of the ancient refrigerator the department refused to replace when his deep voice had drawled out behind her.

  Damn, that man is sex on a stick. She wanted to eat him whole. But there was no way it could ever happen. She worked too hard to get where she was. In a position of a
uthority and to gain her men’s respect. Sleeping with one of the officers would blow all that hard work in one night.

  One hot and sweaty, extremely satisfying, night, she had no doubt. But it didn’t matter. No matter how much he got to her, how hot and bothered he made her, she had to ignore him. Or make him leave her alone. She did her best to keep things strictly business, strictly officer/sergeant, but damn if just the low rumble of his voice didn’t make heat and moisture pool between her thighs.

  What grated even more was the knowledge she wasn’t alone. There was no missing the bulge in his jeans or the way he shifted his duty belt only drew attention to it, though she was sure he didn’t realize she was aware of it.

  She got in the department issue squad car and started the engine, letting the engine run a minute to give the AC a chance to kick on. The oppressive heat today didn’t help her mood, nor did not having slept well for the past week. She was becoming sleep deprived and cranky. She’d been trying to ignore the irritating, yet somehow infuriatingly sexy man for a long time. Since he’d been rotated to her shift a week before, it had become nearly impossible. As had sleep. Imaginings of him, his cocky grin, his too-toned body, and his lippy mouth haunted her dreams, making what little sleep she managed to get only more frustrating. Her favorite fantasy was putting his smart mouth to use for something more than talking back. But every. Single. Time she woke before the job was finished. If this continued, she might have to find someone to give her some relief. Not that she was into one-night stands, but she was starting to see the draw.

  With a sigh, she put the car in reverse and backed out of her space before putting it in gear and pulling out of the station house lot. When Hathaway suggested she order delivery she’d had to bite back the urge to tell him why didn’t he go pick her something up, but she couldn’t use the force as her own personal delivery people, even the ones she wanted to be sure understood she was in charge. She didn’t bother to tell him she’d ordered delivery two days before and it had happened just as she’d said. She’d been waiting for it to arrive, only to discover it already eaten by the time she realized it had been delivered. She had lost her cool and chewed out every squad member in the room at the time, threatening to give them each the shittiest duties she could think of. She’d thought it was over, until her lunch turned up missing again today. Come to think of it, Hathaway had been off that day and hadn’t witnessed her melt down. Thank god for small favors. Though, maybe if he’d witnessed it, he’d quit needling her.

  Hayley pulled into the lot at Angie’s Diner, her favorite place in town, then used the radio to call in her lunch break. After letting the dispatcher know she wasn’t going to be in her car for a bit, she went inside.

  She stepped in the door and pulled off her sunglasses, tucking an ear piece into her shirt pocket right below her badge as she looked around for an empty table. There. Her favorite table near the window, was open. She wove her way in between tables, making sure nothing on her belt smacked into patrons as she made her way across the room.

  “Hey doll, you know what you want, or should I bring a menu?” Becky, the waitress, brought her a tall glass of ice water and set it on the table in front of her almost as soon as her butt hit the seat.

  “Hey Becks,” Hayley knew all the waitresses at Angie’s, lord knew she came in often enough. “How’s Mario?”

  “He’s good. Keeping busy, football camp starts next week and he’s trying to get everything ready for when the boys start showing up.”

  “That’s good.” Hayley thought about what she wanted for a moment. She should have a salad, it would be better for her waistline, but damn, she just didn’t have it in her today. “Bring me the chicken fried steak.”

  “Mashed potatoes and veggie? Or you want something else?”

  “What’s the veggie today?”

  “Steamed broccoli.”

  Hayley made a face. She’d eat broccoli, but it wasn’t her favorite and the noon cook tended overcook it. “Bring me a salad, dry.”

  “And mashed or fries?”

  “Mashed is fine, gravy on those too, please.” If she was gonna have a fattening meal, she might as well go all out and really enjoy it. She could go back to eating healthy for dinner. She hit the gym regularly, not as much for her figure as so she could keep up with anyone she might have to chase. The last thing she needed was her men to think she’d made rank and gotten soft. She might not be able to keep her ass from spreading as she spent more time in a chair than on her feet, but she could sure as hell make sure she maintained her eight-minute mile.

  “No problem. Water good or you want something else?”

  “Water’s good.”

  “All right. I’ll put this right in and bring you your salad.”

  “Thanks, Becks.” Part of the reason Hayley loved this place was the staff knew if she was in uniform, she had a limited amount of time and would put her to the head of the line. She knew they did it for all the force and she tried not to abuse it by coming in too often, at least when she was on duty. Today, though, she needed what comfort she could get. And a good meal might help keep her from strangling one or more of her officers before the end of the shift. Taking a long drink of her water, she sat back, stared out the window and thought about her week. So far, it left a lot to be desired. Missing meals was just the start of it. She’d also had reports turn up missing from her desk, some she knew she’d seen, others that officers swore they turned in, officers she trusted. Someone was messing with her, she didn’t yet know why, but she was determined to figure out who it was and why they were trying to make her look bad.

  Becky brought her salad and took off to check on her other customers. Hayley gazed unseeing out the window as she ate and considered some of the other things that had gone over the last week. Missing food didn’t make her look bad, it was just irritating. An officer under investigation for a car accident was a little worse, though it was only a fender bender and more of a headache than anything serious. Still, she suspected that the officer had been texting while driving, a real no-no that would make her look bad if it was confirmed. Though not as bad as it would make him look. He would be the one reprimanded, and if it happened again, he’d be fired.

  The more she thought about it, the more she realized that putting all this together and coming up with someone out to get her might be a little much. She was having a bad week. So what? What she needed to do was get through today, then maybe go out and have a drink. Unwind a little. Today was her Friday, even though it was Wednesday. There was no reason she shouldn’t or couldn’t take the chance to relax. Maybe she’d call her sister and see if Denni wanted to go out tonight.

  A quick check of her watch told her court was probably in session, likely making Denni unavailable. Denni usually spent Wednesdays in court, dealing with any number of clients. Not that she didn’t have court other days, but Denni’s position as a public defender meant she often spent Wednesdays in what Hayley thought of as petty crime court. It was a good bet that’s where she was now, so Hayley sent a text instead.

  Hayley: Hey, you busy tonight? Want to go out and have a few drinks?

  Becky brought out her lunch and Hayley set the phone aside. It would likely be hours before her sister found it and responded. That was okay, it would be hours before Hayley got off shift and could think much more about unwinding.

  She finished her lunch, paid and went out to her car where she radioed in that she was available again. Now she just needed to get through the rest of the day without killing or maiming anyone. Oh, and preferably, keep Warren Hathaway off her mind while she was at it. She wasn’t sure she’d manage that last one.

  “There is this one guy,” Hayley heard herself saying, “he’s built like a roman god and twice as full of himself. If I could guarantee no one would find out, ever, I’d totally take a night, or ten, with him.” Where had that come from? She set her half-full bottle of beer on the table and stared at it. It would be her last. Glancing up, she couldn’t help b
ut notice the wide-eyed look her sister gave her. She couldn’t believe she was telling her sister about Warren Hathaway but here she was, the words spilling out of her mouth as if they were a flood she couldn’t stop. She was still with it enough to make sure not to use his name, thank goodness for small blessings.

  Denni had come through. She had responded to Hayley’s text mid-afternoon letting her know that hell, yes, she was in for a drink after work, and that she would take care of the designated driver. All Hayley needed to do was show up and have a good time. And Hayley had. It turned out her sister wasn’t alone, she’d brought along her friend Marissa Todd, who was another attorney at the PD’s office. The three of them had had a few drinks, talked about men, who they’d dreamed about and who wasn’t worth the time. Hayley was about three drinks in, which made her loose and just barely starting to buzz when she spotted him. Stalking across the room as if he knew exactly where he was going and he wanted to get there. Fast.

  She couldn’t take her eyes off him as heat shot through her body. He was irritating and smart-assed, but she couldn’t forget how hot he was either. And tonight, in cowboy boots, tight jeans and an old-fashioned thin shirt she was sure would have pearl snaps down the front, it was even harder to forget how she wanted to either kiss his full, smart mouth or slap it. Both were equally tempting. As much as Hayley hated to admit it, she’d fantasized about both. Both had been equally satisfying.

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