Reckless:A Red Hot Summer story

By: Maya Banks

Chapter One

It was sweltering. Hotter than hell. At ten p.m. you could still fry an egg on the sidewalk. Hell, you could fry one on his desk. There was so much humidity, you practically had to swim anywhere you wanted to go.

J.T. Summers reclined in his rickety chair then braced his knee underneath his desk, because if he leaned back too far, he’d end up on his ass. He cast a mournful stare in the direction of the struggling window unit and damned the fact that once again, central air conditioning had not made it into the city’s budget.

A bead of sweat trickled down his neck, further dampening his shirt collar. He could be at home with the air turned down to sixty. Or he could be out at Seth and Zane’s doing a few laps in their pool and enjoying good company. Instead he was sitting here in a two-jail-cell department sweating his ass off.

Because he was a huge chicken shit, and he knew if he went home that she’d find him there.

He was so fucked.

He glanced down at the paperwork he’d been shuffling for the last two hours and ignored the growling of his stomach. He was turning into a fucking pussy. Wouldn’t even venture down to the café because she’d ambushed him there two nights ago.

A mournful groan escaped his chest, and he was even gladder that no one was around to see him cower like a goddamn sissy behind his desk. Mr. Bad-Ass Sheriff.

Protector of the citizens of Barley. Hiding from a woman.

Yep, all that was left was for someone to cut off his balls and tie a ribbon in his hair.


J.T. looked up to see Toby March standing in the door with a slightly queasy look on his face.

“What is it?” he asked his deputy.



“Uhm, you need to come out here and see this.”

J.T.’s eyes narrowed. “Just tell me what’s wrong.”

Toby glanced over his shoulder then back at J.T. “Ah, well, I’m not sure…that is, it would be better if you come out here. I have a…prisoner who insists on seeing you.”

J.T. surged to his feet. “What the fuck? Why isn’t he in lock-up?”

Toby’s shoulders sagged, and he gave J.T. a look that could only be described as haggard. “Maybe because I don’t want her brother to kick my ass for locking up his baby sister?”

Oh hell. Oh no, no, no. Fuck it all.

He stalked by Toby and into the small reception area. He came to a dead halt, and Toby ran into his back.

There, standing defiantly by Sandra’s desk, handcuffed, was one Nikki Durant. Their eyes met, and her expression positively smoldered. Nikki didn’t look at all affected by the heat. No, she appeared cool and composed, and damn if he didn’t want to lick her from her pretty polished toes to that delectable, fuckable mouth.

“Jesus Christ, Toby, get those goddamn cuffs off her,” J.T. snarled.

“Uh, I would, man, but uhm, she sorta insisted they stay on.”

J.T. rounded on his friend. “Why the hell was she cuffed to begin with?”

“Because if he’s going to arrest me, he needs to do it right,” Nikki said in her husky, sexy-as -hell voice.

J.T. closed his eyes and prayed for deliverance. Then he slowly turned around and gave her a very pained stare.

“I’m afraid to ask. I really don’t even want to know. But since you’re standing in my jail in handcuffs, I feel compelled to ask what you did.”

She gave him an innocent smile. His entire body tightened into one vicious knot.

That smile could mow down an entire army. Her gorgeous blue eyes widened, and that perfect mouth curved upward. 5

Maya Banks

He mentally traced a line around those plump lips with his tongue. Then he pictured that perfect bow around his dick. More sweat rolled down his back, and he had to shift his position to disguise an erection from hell.

“Maybe you should ask your deputy?” she suggested. “I was merely minding my business.”

If it were possible, her eyes widened even further until they shone with an angelic light.

J.T. snatched the keys from Toby and stalked over to where Nikki stood.

“Cut the crap, Nikki.” He turned her around and jammed the keys into the cuffs. In another second, he had her free and tossed the cuffs back to Toby. He made a jerking motion with his thumb, and Toby was only too happy to scram.

Nikki turned around and cupped one wrist in her palm, rubbing absently.

“Not too fun, huh?”

Her expression didn’t falter.

“Now, want to tell me why the hell my deputy brought you in with cuffs on?”

She lifted one shoulder in a delicate shrug, and it sent her long dark hair sliding forward. The inch-wide pink streak, the one that drove him insane, glared in the fluorescent overhead lighting.

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