No strings. No mess. No complications. It was supposed to be just a month of fun.
KATE BEARD: Kindergarten teacher. Tequila connoisseur. Expert in finding Mr. WRONG. Ever since Kate discovered the man she thought she’d marry macking on his boyfriend, she has had nothing but bad luck in love. What she needs is a fresh start. When MURPHY and his damn LAW drop the perfect man right in front of her, it’s just her luck that he’s only there temporarily.
WYATT JACKSON: Captain, Special Forces. Confirmed bachelor. In the running for uncle of the year. One month stateside to enjoy top-shelf tequila, lose himself in a gorgeous woman, and to try and forget the desert. What he needed was a reset. What he got, was a sassy southern woman hellbent on bringing him to his knees. Neither thought they’d find forever between tragedy and tombstones.
I startle Martha laying a hand on her back as she’s gunning for my class table. “Little Mr. Triplett needs a write-up to the office, Miss Beard. In fact, I was just about to take him down there and get things back in order here,” she huffs at me. Martha is the elementary school equivalent of the SWAT. She runs a tight ship, and nobody messes with that.
“Yeah, Jake’s had a rough morning, but let’s give him a hot minute and just see if he can pull himself out of whatever this is. What’s he been doing?” I ask glancing over my shoulder toward the table reserved for my students.
That is most definitely not one of my kindergartners.
Making a show of fanning myself, I tease, “Miss Martha, you sure you don’t just want to go over there and flirt with that fine specimen of man sitting next to Jake?” Because holy fuck is he ever?
Martha pauses and looks at the tall man folded awkwardly into the bench and table combo that perfectly fits our smallest students. “Miss Beard,” she says exasperatedly. “I’m old enough to be his mother.” She flutters her hand at her throat, clutching at the neck of the candy cane printed turtleneck that complements her black sweater vest, presents and bows appliqued festively down the front.
“Doesn’t mean you can’t look.” I hit her with a wink and lean in conspiratorially. “You calling dibs on him? Or can I go see what has Jake all riled up?”
“Dear Lord, you’re just terrible,” she mutters.
The man sitting smack dab in the middle of the bench is obviously a source of great interest to my kids. Jake alternates between sitting so close to the man a piece of tissue paper would feel squished, and standing, holding court with his tall, muscly friend. Probably his dad. He did mention that his father was home earlier. He’s got all the tell-tale patience of a father visiting his excited kiddo at school. Helping each child open whatever container or snack bag they hand him. Chatting with each of them in turn.
Chloe Triplett is a very lucky woman if that man is warming her bed at night—when he’s in town, anyway. His broad shoulders test the tensile strength of the fabric of his plaid shirt, molding almost poetically around a muscular back, tapering in that perfect V to a well-formed ass. God forgive me for lusting after my student’s father-please and thank you. I pray silently.
Closely cropped dark brown hair fades into maybe two-day scruff that peppers a strong jawline. Plump lips hitch up when the question of the moment is interrupted by Amelia telling him he’s got pretty eyes. His shoulders shake ever so slightly as he rumbles out a “thank you, and so do you.” Be still my heart.
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