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Too God damned cold.
Sergeant Randy McCall blew warm air into his hands and waited for the heater to bring the temperature in the car to a liveable level. Damned force could’ve given him a car that had a working heater. He bounced his feet in a vain attempt to jumpstart his circulation. A break—he needed a fucking break and his Corvette. The ‘vette had a sweet heater, but like the rest of his life, it sat in storage. He’d been undercover for more than six months and still hadn’t made any headway.
“Slade, my man, you are so fucked,” he murmured to himself in the idling car. He glanced around the parking lot. The rest of the girls had gone home. Good. He hated to see them straggling. He’d been in the area long enough to know the Silver Steel Gentlemen’s Club was in the worst part of town. The worst. If he hadn’t been on the drug case, he’d more than likely be investigating the latest murder in the red light district—back doing the normal cop stuff.
Was there a normal anymore?
Randy shifted and twiddled with the radio knobs. It wasn’t much of a consolation, but his best friend, Drew Alwyn, had wandered through the club. Malsam probably had him preparing to go under, too. Randy shook his head. They should just close down the damned club.
He tipped his head back and ran his hand over his face as the warmth from the heater finally cut through the chill in the car. A vision of his dream girl formed in his mind. The honey blonde hair curling past her shoulders. Her creamy skin shimmering with glitter or a fine sheen of sweat. And then there were those eyes. The colour of good brandy as she stared up at him, taking him deep into her mouth. A knock on his window brought him out of his fantasy. Shit. Randy cleared his throat and reminded himself he wasn’t Randy, he was Slade McMann—bouncer and hard ass. He then chastised himself for slipping into a daydream. Too fucking close to getting himself into trouble.
I am Slade.
The knocking grew louder. “You okay?”
Slade turned. The eyes he’d been fantasising about stared back at him from the other side of the fogged glass. Part of him wanted to be irritated. The rest of him rejoiced silently. Astra Lee. He rolled the window down an inch, cursing that he’d fogged the glass.
“Are you okay? I thought you were dead.” Astra shivered. “Slade? I need you.”
Now those were words he hadn’t expected to hear. Sure, she winked at him all the time and gave him occasional free lap dances, but wasn’t that the job of the dancers—tantalise without getting too close?
He shook the thoughts from his head. “Get in. We can talk in the warmth.” He rolled his window back up, careful not to lose too much precious heat.
Astra slid into the passenger seat and rubbed her arms. “Colder than the Arctic, isn’t it?”
Slade glanced at her bare hands. “Where are your gloves, little girl?” He took both her hands in his. “You’re going to freeze.”
“My gloves grew legs and walked out while I was onstage.” She shivered next to him. “Sorry. The car died and I need a ride.”
“I didn’t see your car in the lot.” He squeezed her hands, working the circulation back into them. “Mine’s the only one here.”
“I know.” She averted her whisky gaze. “I walked here.”
“What?” Slade forced himself to remain calm. “You should’ve said something.” Astra danced as ‘Sexyback’ and had been in a relationship with the club owner, Salazar ‘Tiny’ Balthazar. He shouldn’t care who she fucked, but the thought of her lying down with the tattooed man churned his stomach.
Why it mattered to him, Slade didn’t know. Wasn’t like she’d sleep with him. He wasn’t even who he claimed to be.
“Because it’s at my brother-in-law’s garage. Wouldn’t start and my brother-in-law said it was the starter… I don’t know.”
“I can look at it tomorrow, if you want.” Slade clamped his lips together. If he talked to her much longer, he’d say something foolish.
“You can’t do any worse.” She laughed, a low, throaty laugh that sent sizzles through his veins. “How about you just take me home? I’m pooped and those damned heels hurt after an hour or two.”
“You got it.”
He wasn’t thrilled he’d have to let her go when then got there, but hell—if he said he thought about her late at night surely Astra would thank him…and take off. He put the car into gear. He missed her touch even though he barely knew her. He pulled out of the lot and into the street, careful not to skid on the freshly fallen snow.
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bestselling interracial/multicultural romance