Heat of the Moment Page 1

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Out of Uniform #1

Genres: Romance

Chapter One

Why was it that heat waves always made her want to have sex? Shelby Harper wasn’t certain, but she suspected it had something to do with the spike of body temperature and the constant sheen of sweat that coated her body, clinging to her br**sts, sticking to her legs. It made her want to rip her clothes off and wander around naked until the end of time. And thinking about being naked logically led to thoughts of sex, right?

Or hell, maybe it wasn’t the heat wave at all. Maybe she really shouldn’t have taken the tequila shot that cute Navy lieutenant had tempted her into. But she’d never been able to say no to a man in uniform…

Too bad the guy was married. He really had been pretty appealing, with that clean-shaven jaw and those playful green eyes.

Fighting a smile, Shelby reached for another ice cube from the plastic cup sitting on the smooth countertop. Though most of the ice had already melted, she managed to find one cube still intact, and slowly ran it over her collarbone. The ice felt heavenly against her fevered skin. A cold shower might have felt even nicer, but she’d already taken one this morning and she was trying to conserve energy.

“Jesus, Shel, turn on the air conditioning. I’m dying of heat here,” a sexy male voice drawled.

The ice cube slid out of her fingers and down her shirt, landing directly in the left cup of her lacy pink bra. Her nipple instantly hardened, though it was hard to tell if it was a result of the ice or the sight of John Garrett standing in front of the bakery counter.

When had he come in here? Her shop was divided into a bakery and a café area, the latter being where most of the customers had holed up all evening. She hadn’t even noticed John—no, he liked to be called Garrett, she reminded herself—she hadn’t noticed Garrett walk into the bakery. Not surprising, since he was a SEAL with the Navy and possessed the eerie ability to make himself invisible until he decided to materialize out of nowhere.

At the moment, however, he was the furthest thing from invisible. Wearing a pair of olive green cargo pants that hugged his long, muscular legs and a white T-shirt that was pasted to his rock-hard abs thanks to the heat, he was really, really visible. He shot her a grin that was even sexier than that husky voice of his, adding, “I’m hot.”

Oh yes you are…

She quickly silenced the naughty voice inside her head. Yes, Garrett was hot—he was the walking, talking and breathing definition of tall, dark and handsome. And yes, his body was to die for, with all those perfectly sculpted muscles that didn’t come from a gym but from swimming with sharks and hanging off helicopters—or whatever it was he did as a SEAL. But no matter how good he looked, she knew fantasizing about this man would get her nowhere.

Truth was, Garrett wasn’t interested in her. A year of flirting and that one pathetic attempt she’d made at asking him out to dinner confirmed this sad truth. Whether she liked it or not, he’d apparently tucked her away in friend territory long ago. Which was probably a good thing, because did she really want to hook up with Garrett anyway?

She’d played the part of military girlfriend before, and look how well that turned out. Not only had Matthew, her ex, been away for months at a time, but apparently he’d been doing more than playing GI Joe when he was gone—he’d been f**king every female he happened to encounter.

“Earth to Shelby.”

She lifted her head and saw Garrett was still standing there, still staring at her. Jeez, this heat was making her space out.

“Sorry, what did you want?”

“Air conditioning,” he prompted.

“Forget it.”

“Come on,” he said with another grin, and then a wink. Man, how did he get away with winking? Most men looked like complete idiots when they tried to wink. “Give me five minutes in front of the air conditioner, full blast, just to cool off.”

“Increased use of air conditioning during heat waves causes power outages,” she reminded him. “Which is why half the city is experiencing a blackout. I’d rather be all sweaty than without power for five days.”

She was pretty grateful, actually, that her bakery was the only place in a ten-mile radius that had power, all thanks to the backup generator she’d decided to switch on. No way was she going to put a strain on the generator by cranking the A/C. She hated using it as it was, but she had an entire refrigerator full of cakes that needed to be delivered tomorrow morning and she’d be damned if all those cakes spoiled because John Garrett wanted a little bit of cold air. She’d already done him and his Navy buddies a favor by opening the café on a Sunday evening. The lit-up front window drew the men like flies to honey. To them, electricity meant television, and television meant the ability to see the big game between the Padres and the Dodgers.

He lifted a brow. “You’re all sweaty, huh?”

Figured that he’d latch onto that one teeny part of her response.

“Yes, Garrett, I’m sweaty. It’s a billion degrees out there, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“Which only supports my idea about the air conditioning.”

“Forget it.” She set her jaw and crossed her arms over her chest to show she meant business. “Find another way to cool off.”

A loud cheer came from the adjoining room, followed by the sound of palms slapping against palms in high-fives. The Padres had obviously scored another run.

“The game’s almost done. You could take a quick dip in the ocean after you leave here,” she said, trying to be helpful.

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