Claiming Christmas

Page 5

She’s been flirting and dropping less-than-subtle hints that she’s available and willing for weeks now. I’ve tried to keep my distance, not make a big deal of it, but she’s turned up the heat in the last few days, and I’m done humoring her.
“Sorry, Adeline, but I’m on call tonight. I’ll be at the station all night.”
“Oh! Well, then, maybe I can keep you company?” she says.
I curse myself for having walked straight into that one, and I’m trying to formulate a suitable reply when Jessica appears behind Adeline.
“Sorry, Adeline, but Drayton has already signed off on my overtime to stay and help Connor tonight,” she tells Adeline with a bright smile.
I stare at Jessica in shock, but her attention is on the other woman. Is she telling the truth, or is she bailing me out of an awkward situation with Adeline? I’m hoping it’s both.
“In that case, I’ll stay, too. More hands at the pumps, so to speak,” Adeline says, giving Jessica a saccharine sweet smile.
“Afraid not,” Jessica says, shaking her head sadly. “Drayton doesn’t want anyone else in the building. Health and safety, or something.”
Adeline’s mouth tightens. “I see.” She deliberately turns her back on Jessica. “My offer of dinner stands once the storm has passed.”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass,” I reply with a tight smile.
“I see,” Adeline says again. She gives Jessica a final glare before turning on her heel and stomping off.
“Well, that wasn’t awkward,” I say sarcastically. “Thanks for stepping in,” I add, turning my gaze on Jessica.
She smiles. “You looked like a squirrel caught in headlights.”
I chuckle. “It’s a deer caught in headlights.”
Jessica laughs, and the husky sounds shoots straight to my dick.
“Deer. Squirrel. Adeline. All the same,” she says with a cheeky wink. “It’s hard to turn down a woman without looking like a complete cockwomble.”
I burst out laughing. “Cockwomble?”
“Isn’t it a great word? It’s British slang for an obnoxious person,” she says enthusiastically.
“Right. Well, thanks for saving me from being a…cockwomble,” I grin. Jessica has a way of making me forget my troubles. When I’m with her, I feel…peaceful. “So, did you mean what you said? About staying here tonight?”
“Yeah. I thought I could help on the phones or, you know, whatever,” she says. “You okay with that?”
I capture her warm brown gaze with mine. “More than okay, Jess. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather spend the night with.”
“Right. Good. Okay, then. I’ll, um, I’ll see you later.” She lifts a hand in an awkward wave, her cheeks flushed with color.
I catch hold of her hand before she can move away. The sensation of her soft skin against mine has my balls tightening behind my zipper. “Just to be clear, if that had been you earlier, offering me soup and an indoor picnic, my answer would’ve been a resounding yes.”
“I, uh—”
“Connor, can you come take a look at this before I leave?” Officer Shaw asks, holding up a report.
Jessica slips away, almost tripping over her own feet in the process, and I smile. Yeah, she’s feeling the same things I am. We’re going to be the only two people in the station tonight, and I’m not sure how I’m going to keep my hands off her.
The temperatures outside may be dropping rapidly, but the heat inside is ramping up to melting point.