“If you touch me you’ll be sorry! I’ve heard about strip
“Strip searches?” Paul’s tone was filled with shocked surprise.
“We don’t do that kind of thing here, ma’am.”
“I want a woman officer,” she demanded.
“We don’t have one.”
“Why, so you can get away with molesting women prisoners? Are you the sheriff?”
“I want to see the sheriff.”
“I’ll take it from here, Paul.” Matt heard Maggie gasp but he ignored her. Paul swung around with a look of relief in his eyes. Matt tried not to smile. He’d never seen the happy-go-lucky Paul look so out of sorts before. “Why don’t you hit the road now and check out the trouble spots? I’ll handle,” Matt made a show of looking down at the report in his hands, “Mrs. Myers.”
“Good luck, Sheriff.” Paul couldn’t leave the cell quick enough.
Matt pinned his gaze on the surprised Maggie. He slowly began to shake his head, sighing deeply. Arrested on various charges, and giving his deputy a hard time.
“I didn’t know you were the sheriff here,” she said quietly, breaking the silence stretching between them. Matt could understand that. He didn’t wear a uniform like his deputies, preferring khakis and a matching shirt when he was working. He liked the element of surprise it afforded him. “This is all a mistake.”
Didn’t they all say that? Someone had made a mistake all right but at the moment Matt wasn’t sure. He glanced down at the report in his hands, skimming over Don’s comments. Without identification and under the circumstances it appeared he’d followed the book. His gaze returned to Maggie, moving over her slowly.
Matt knew what he had to do. He might not like it but he still had a job to do and this was serious business. He couldn’t let his feelings rule his actions and until he got to the bottom of this mess Maggie was a prisoner. That meant she had to be treated like one.
She looked at him with confusion, wetting her lips. “Which one what?”
He arched an eyebrow. “Which one are you innocent of?” He stepped further into the cell.
“Well, someone apparently stole my license tag. You know my car isn’t stolen.” She backed up when he stepped closer to her. A shaky smile formed on her luscious mouth yet it was clear in her eyes she was a little more than nervous.
“What about the speeding and running a stop sign?” Damn she was sexy. And from where he stood Matt caught the subtle fragrance of her perfume. He purposely hardened his gaze, and his determination to keep things impersonal. He wanted Maggie to understand this was a grave situation and their relationship wouldn’t enter into it.
“I think those are legit,” she replied reluctantly, dropping her lids.
“You think?” Matt crossed his arms and halted before Maggie, once he saw she’d backed up against the cot with nowhere to go. Where was the sass he was usually faced with? “Well, I cleaned out my purse and car the other day and forgot to put them back. No reason to throw me in jail though,” she added in her defense. She was trapped against the bed; the only place to go was up.
“Am I in big trouble?”
For a change Matt had the upper hand where she was concerned. She wasn’t in trouble; she was trouble. “You’re in jail, honey, what do you think?” Damn! He’d called her honey. He had to watch himself.
“But I told you…”
“Save your breath, Maggie. If I had a nickel for every prisoner who said they were innocent…”
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Annoyance laced her words.
For the first time Matt felt a slight smile move over his expression. The fire in Maggie’s eyes challenged him. Making him think about her, the woman and not the prisoner, making him forget about his duty. That didn’t sit well with Matt. He prided himself on his work ethics. That was why he was going to force down his attraction for Maggie and do what he should have done the minute he’d heard her giving Paul a hard time. He reached for her, grasped her arms and whipped her around before forcing her away from the cot and against the cold, stone wall.
She gasped at his sudden action. “Matt…you’re not going to frisk me, are you?” There was total disbelief in her tone, and a little humor.
That’s precisely what he was going to do. It was his job, or at least he tried to convince himself of that. Only Matt knew it wasn’t exactly necessary. He realized he was willing to use any excuse to put his hands on Maggie. And he wanted to make her squirm for a change, like she’d been doing to him ever since he met her. It wasn’t very professional. So much for not letting their relationship enter into it.
“It’s my duty,” he reminded her, struggling to ignore the flowery fragrance of her soft hair. But how was he supposed to do that when his nose was practically buried in it?
He knew the routine. He forced her arms high above her head and flattened her palms against the wall, spreading her legs by nudging them apart at her ankles until she was spread eagle. His mouth went dry when it placed her buttocks in close proximity to a part of his anatomy that was showing signs of wanting her as more time went by. It was all Matt could do not to take her by the hips and grind his aching cock against her.
“You can’t be serious,” she breathed, making an attempt to turn and face him. But just as quickly Matt flipped her back around and arranged her into position again. “You know this isn’t necessary.”
That’s what she thought. It was very necessary if Matt was going to keep his sanity. “All prisoners are patted down for weapons.” Only in this case Matt was pretty certain the only weapons Maggie had on her were the dangerous curves beneath her clothes.
He started with her hair. Both hands moved beneath the heavy fall and he ran his fingers through the long strands. Was that her breath catching? She shivered violently. Silky water cascading through his fingertips, that’s what it felt like. He spent more time then he needed to there, but Maggie had a lot of hair. “Did Don read you your rights?”
“Yes,” she whispered, trembling when his hands glided to her shoulders in a smooth move. They continued down the outside of her arms, before repeating the journey on the underside. “Find anything yet?” There was a faint tremor in her voice, the words barely audible.
His breath stirred Maggie’s hair where it fell at her ear. “I’ll let you know when I’ve found anything.” He was just beginning. His hands moved from under her arms, gliding in a thorough caress over her crown tipped breasts, lingering because he couldn’t help it, perhaps pressing a little harder than he should. He continued over her flat stomach and down the sides of her legs. By the time Matt was done he was out of breath and about to have heart failure.
“Is this really necessary, Ma—Sheriff?” Her voice was low and throaty, teasing Matt’s senses.
He didn’t know how much longer he could remain in control. His pat down had somehow veered way off course and into a danger zone. Matt grinned in spite of himself. “Very.” He moved his hands from her ankles up the insides of her legs, wondering at his own good judgment as he neared the top of her thighs. Heavy breathing filled the cell and it took a moment to comprehend he was the one out of breath. It was his own damn fault; he shouldn’t have touched Maggie in the first place.
“Even if you know your prisoner is innocent?”
Every nerve ending in his body awakened to what he was doing to her. A live wire couldn’t have carried the amount of current traveling through his hungry body. He was close to saying to hell with his job and tossing Maggie on the cot and taking her. “Until I determine exactly what you’re innocent of, I’m not taking any chances. A resourceful woman can find the most unusual places to hide a weapon.” Like his heart. With that sobering thought Matt finished abruptly and stepped away from her.
“This is silly, you know me.”
“I know a lot of things about you, Red.” He could hear his heart pounding in his chest and wondered if she could hear it too. “I know you’re reckless and have a knack for getting into trouble.” His hands moved to her hips. “I know you need a few lessons in self-preservation.”
Matt stepped away from Maggie before he couldn’t. But when she swung around to face him he realized he was still too close to her for his own peace of mind. The only reason he grabbed her wrists and pinned her back against the wall was because he wanted to touch her again. For any reason. It became painfully apparent that he wasn’t as in control of the situation as he thought he was. Maggie wasn’t stupid and in their position she had to know he was aroused. Their eyes clung, and a crazy thought crossed Matt’s mind about kissing her. She wanted him too; he could see the truth in her half-closed eyes. She wet her lips, intensifying the lust eating him up.
“You’re trouble,” he grumbled, slowly closing the distance between them.