Where I Belong (Alabama Summer #1) - Page 20

He laughs behind his drink. “I could totally live there. I’m a sucker for girls in uniforms and military planes. My grandfather was a pilot and used to take me to the air shows when I was younger.” The door to the shop chimes open and I watch Reed’s eyes react to whoever walks in. “What the hell are the odds,” he mumbles before fixating his gaze on me.

I turn in my chair and nearly fall out of it. Sweet mother of all that’s holy. Ben stands frozen just inside the shop door, his eyes shifting between mine and what I’m going to assume are Reed’s. But I can’t turn around to be sure. I can’t do anything besides stare at the glorious sight of him in a cop uniform. He’s a cop? I had no freaking idea. What the hell else is Tessa keeping from me? My chatterbox best friend seems oddly tight lipped on everything involving her brother.

“Well look who it is.” I’m broken out of my trance and glance up to see Luke’s amused grin. “How are you, Mia?”

Movement comes from my left and I turn to see Ben walking over. Oh, Good God. He’s right next to me. He’s right next to me and he’s got handcuffs. I swallow heavily and pry my eyes from his to look at Luke. “I’m good. Great. I’m… I’m good. Or great. Both. I’m both.” And I’ve apparently forgotten how to hold a conversation. Luke muffles his laugh.

“Hey,” Ben greets me with a smile. I’d usually be able to react like a normal human being and say something, anything in response, but considering the fact that he paired that knock me on my ass grin with the uniform he’s rocking, I’m pooling in my chair and unable to do anything but continue breathing. He shoots a glare at Reed, one that I wouldn’t ever want directed toward me. “Reed,” he practically growls and I think Reed says something in return, but at the moment, my entire body is completely focused on Ben’s, including my ears. He looks back down at me and grips the back of my chair. “Are we still on for Saturday?”

“Hmm?” His lips move, parting sensually, but I’ve no idea what words if any just came out of them. I know exactly what those lips are capable of and that’s the only thing filtering through my mind at the moment. My God. Those lips are orgasmic. “I’m sorry, what?”

He laughs and looks over at Luke quickly before returning to my stunned face. “I asked if we’re still on for Saturday.”

I nod. A lot. My head might have fallen off if I hadn’t forced myself to stop. “Yup. I made reservations for the five o’clock show.” I clear my throat and take a sip of my water before continuing. Christ. It feels like I swallowed super glue. “Um, we have to be there fifteen minutes before show time. I arranged for Nolan to get his picture taken with the King.”

His eyes light up and his cheeks hollow out with his dimples. “Oh man. He’s going to freak out over that.” We smile at each other and the other two guys could probably catch on fire and I doubt either one of us would notice. I definitely won’t notice. “Good idea, Princess Mia.”

“Yeah, I can be pretty awesome sometimes.”

Luke slaps Ben’s back and the sound snaps me out of my obsessive gazing. “Well, as much as I’d love to stand here and listen to you two not flirt with each other, I’m starving and we need to get back out there.” He smirks at me. “You know, bad guys to catch and all. Protect and serve. That whole thing.” He turns his head toward Reed. “Sorry to interrupt your date.”

“It’s not a date,” I blurt out, immediately regretting the hidden implication that I’d never actually be on a date with Reed. I look over at him, silently pleading for him to agree with my statement and not make this anymore awkward than I’ve just made it.

Help a girl out. Don’t leave me hanging here.

He cocks an eyebrow at me. “Well, that’s the last time I service you with my free hand underneath the table. You’ve broken my heart, Mia.”

My jaw hits the table I definitely was not recently serviced under. Is he nuts? “What?” I manage to choke out.

“What the fuck did you just say?” Ben questions with a tone that no man in his right mind should challenge. “Say it again, asshole, and see what happens.” He moves closer to Reed but Luke steps between the two.

“I’m gonna let him punch you if you say something stupid like that again,” Luke states, straining his head over his own shoulder to connect with Reed. Ben and Luke are roughly the same size, so Luke doesn’t have any difficulty in holding him back. Reed, on the other hand, is more leaned out than muscular and probably wouldn’t stand a chance against Ben. Luke turns back toward Ben who is still looking ready to kill. “Not a date, man. Just relax.” His words are barely audible, but I hear them. And Ben seems to calm down as he processes them himself.

Reed holds up his hands in surrender. “Kidding. Jesus Christ. You used to have a sense of humor, Ben. What the hell happened?”

Ben places his hand on the back of my chair again, hovering over me in a very possessive way. If I’m not mistaken, it’s as if he’s staking his claim in front of Reed, just like he did the other day on the pier. But this time, I don’t object to it. This time, the very thought of being Ben’s doesn’t infuriate me. It intrigues me. I want to know what that feels like. But he asked me out for Saturday as friends, and friends don’t act like that with each other. So that can’t possibly be what he’s doing right now. He’s probably just looking out for me. So I push those thoughts to the back of my mind and watch his eyes shift back to mine. He hasn’t said anything else to Reed but I don’t think he needs to. His actions and demeanor are speaking loud enough for him. “I’ll pick you up at four o’clock. I figured we’d surprise Nolan so I’m not going to tell him where we’re going.” His tone is friendly, all edginess and agitation gone as if he didn’t just have a pissing contest with the guy that I am not on a date with.

I tuck my hair back behind my ear. “Make sure he brings his sword. He’s gonna need it.” I feel his thumb brush along my back and that slight bit of contact sends my lower half into a frenzy.

“Ben. Get over here and order,” Luke calls out, having moved to the counter. He must have thought it was safe to leave his friend alone with Reed. That or he was too hungry to care anymore.

Ben lets go of my chair with a grin and brushes against my shoulder with his hand. These tiny touches are going to kill me. “See you Saturday.”

“Okay,” I choke out with a shaky voice.

He turns, shooting Reed a scowl before walking over to the counter. And now his back is to me. His shoulders in that shirt. His ass in those pants. Someone may have to scrap me off the floor.

“You’re hilarious.” I glare at Reed, accomplishing the difficult task of prying my eyes off the glorious body standing no more than fifteen feet away from me. “I think I’d remember getting fingered underneath a table, ass.”

“I’d hope so.” Reed grins before shrugging. “It’s all good. I’ve never seen Ben get all I’m caveman, this my woman before. He’s fun to rile up.”

I roll my eyes before giving in to the temptation standing at the counter. I don’t want to stare, but given the fact that Ben’s back is to me and he’d never know I’m drooling down the front of my shirt, I allow it. I hear Reed’s voice as it enters my ear and it would be rude of me not to answer him. Besides, I’m perfectly capable of answering one person while I’m glued to someone else. I’m a woman for Christ’s sake. We can multi-task the shit out of stuff.

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