Always On My Mind

Another firefighter stepped up to the griddle to relieve Jack who loaded a plate for himself and stepped over to Kevin. He flipped the dog a sausage, which Kevin caught in midair with one snap of his huge jaws. The sausage instantly vanished, and Kevin licked his lips, staring intently at Jack’s plate as if he could make more sausage fly into his mouth by wish alone.

Jack laughed and crouched down to talk to the dog, a movement that had his shirt riding up, revealing low-riding BDUs – his uniform pants – a strip of taut, tantalizing male skin, and just the hint of a perfect ass.

On either side of Leah, both Ali and Aubrey gave lusty sighs. Leah completely understood. She could feel her own lusty sigh catching in her throat but she squelched it. They were in the F-zone, she and Jack. Friends. Friends didn’t do lust, or if they did, they also did the smart, logical thing and ignored it. Still, she felt a smile escape her at the contagious sound of Jack’s laughter. Truth was, he’d been making her smile since the sixth grade, when she’d first moved to Lucky Harbor.

As if sensing her appraisal, Jack lifted his head. His dark mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes, but she knew he was looking right at her because he arched a dark brow.

And on either side of her, Ali and Aubrey sighed again.

“Really?” Leah asked them.

“Well look at him,” Aubrey said unapologetically. “He’s hot, he’s got rhythm, and not just the fake white-boy kind either. He’s also funny as hell. And for a bonus, he’s gainfully employed. It’s just too bad I’m off men forever.”

“Forever’s a long time,” Ali said, and Leah’s gut cramped at the thought of the beautiful, blonde Aubrey going after Jack.

But Jack was still looking at Leah. Those glasses were still in the way but she knew his dark eyes were framed by thick, black lashes and the straight, dark lines of his eyebrows. And the right brow was sliced through by a thin scar, which he’d gotten at age fourteen when he and his cousin Ben had stolen his mom’s car and driven it into a fence.

“Forever,” Aubrey repeated emphatically. “I’m off men forever,” and Leah felt herself relax a little.

Which was silly. Jack could date whomever he wanted, and did. Often.