Series: Seattle Steam
Madison Phillips is focused on making her new coffee shop a success. She also wouldn’t mind if the sexiest cop in Seattle, Gabriel Martinez, would start seeing her as more than just his best friend’s little sister. When her shop gets robbed and she’s the only one who can identify the increasingly violent Espresso Bandit, Gabe’s there to keep her safe. Having Gabe act as her personal bodyguard is certainly no hardship, and Maddy’s ready to try anything to tempt him into providing some hands-on protection.
*This title was previously published. It’s been significantly revised with new scenes added.
“I was just about to head back inside. Nice to see you again, Maddie.” Gabe stepped toward the door.
Tell him to stop, she ordered herself. Ask him out to dinner.
“Nobody calls me Maddie anymore.” She winced. Okay, totally blew that one.
“Gotcha.” He gave a slight smile and opened the sliding glass door to the house. He sounded almost disappointed when he murmured, “You sure have grown up, haven’t you?”
Madison darted forward in her Valentino heels, trying not to trip as she intercepted him at the door.
“I don’t know if Eric told you,” she began, “but I’m opening up my own espresso shop. The grand opening is Monday morning.”
His eyes held the faintest flicker of surprise, “Really? Hmm. Maddie Phillips, the newest coffee entrepreneur.”
“Madison. I know, isn’t it great?” She laughed, and her attention caught on his hard chest outlined through his Seahawks T-shirt. Swallowing hard as her pulse skipped, she tore her gaze away and fumbled in her purse for a business card and pen.
She scrawled a hurried note on it and handed it to him. “Here’s my card. I wrote you a coupon for a free drink. I’ll be getting things set up all weekend, so if you drop by, I can make you a practice mocha.”
“Ooo La Latté. Nice name.” He glanced up from the card and started to hand it back to her. “But I’m not big on coffee—”
“We also have tea,” she interrupted, a little more forcefully than necessary. “And hot chocolate. In any case, it’s a free beverage. You can’t pass that up.”
He remained quiet for a moment, then nodded. “You’re right, I can’t. I’ll see if I can drop by.”
He tucked the card into the back pocket of his jeans.
“I’m going to need a big, faithful customer base, so I hope you come by often.” She touched his arm and felt the bulge of his biceps.
This time, she didn’t miss the flicker of sexual awareness in his eyes, and her pulse sped up. This was pretty forward, even for her.
“After all,” she continued, her voice husky. “You really should support your best friend’s little sister.”
His eyes narrowed, and she knew she’d made a massive mistake. Great, Madison. She ground her teeth together. Remind him that you’re Eric’s little sister.
“You know what? I’m going to grab some of that crab quiche. So yummy. See you this weekend, Gabe.” She slid past him, smothering a gasp when her hip brushed his thigh as she opened the door and went back into the house.