Risking his life to save others is part of the job for Jeff Taylor.
Risking the guy she's falling in love with on a daily basis is not what Lisa Matheson had in mind...
Falling in love wasn't supposed to be like this.
TO PROTECT &SERVE by Staci Stallings
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
“So what time did you finally make it home last night?” Dustin asked as he and Jeff sat on crates in Dustin’s kitchen carefully wrapping plates in newspaper.
Jeff shrugged. “Three or so.”
Dustin’s eyebrows arched. “Three or so? Hm. That could be good. So how was...”
“Lisa,” Jeff supplied although just saying the name knifed through his heart.
“She was good-looking.”
They wrapped and then wrapped again. After a few seconds Dustin looked at his friend. “So?”
In exasperation Dustin sighed. “So what happened?”
There were a myriad of reasons that Jeff didn’t want to divulge the whole story, and he wasn’t at all sure which one was the most relevant. “I took her to her car.”
The newspaper in Dustin’s hand crunched. “No kidding? Cool.”
“Yeah, well, except that I didn’t exactly get her number or anything.”
A scowl dropped onto Dustin’s features. “You didn’t? Why not?”
Because I was an idiot. Jeff shrugged. “I don’t know if she would’ve given it to me anyway.”
“So you didn’t even ask?” Slowly Dustin shook his head as Eve strode through the kitchen and ran her hand over the broad expanse of her husband’s shoulders. “You’re never going to believe this one.”
“What’s that?” she asked, spinning her long, dark hair over her shoulder as she turned.
“Romeo here didn’t get her number.”
Eve dropped her gaze on Jeff. “What? Why not?”
“He didn’t think she would give it to him,” Dustin said, filling in all the blanks so Jeff wouldn’t have to. “That’s great, huh?”
“But you talked to her, right?” Eve asked completely into the conversation.
Jeff stumbled on that one. “Well, yeah.”
“So then you’ve got to know something about her. Where she lives, where she works…”
“She owns her own business—an ad agency in the Travis Tower.”
“Well, hallelujah,” Dustin said with relief. “At least you’ve got a little bit of a lead.”
Focusing his attention on the newspaper and trying not to drop the plate, Jeff shrugged. “Yeah, but what am I going to do? Knock on every office door in the building until I find her?”
“If that’s what it takes, yes!” Dustin said. “For Pete’s sake Jeff, I’ve known you for what? Almost a year now, and she’s the first girl I’ve seen you so much as get a ‘Hi’ out while she was around.”
“Well, yeah, but it’s not like she really wanted to be there with me. We were just kind of prisoners of the situation.”
“Gee, thanks,” Dustin said.
“You know what I mean.”
“Yeah, but I’m not blind either. I saw how you were looking at her.” A small light sparked in the middle of Dustin’s eyes as he reached over to Eve and ran a hand down her arm. “It’s the same way I look at my baby.”
Eve’s eyes went soft as she looked down at him, and Jeff’s heart turned over. With one tug Eve sat on Dustin’s lap, and an anvil of envy dropped into the pit of Jeff’s gut. If he just hadn’t been so stupid… “You know, if you two keep that up, the movers are going to get to box this stuff up themselves.”
With the tip of her nose, Eve rubbed across Dustin’s, and Jeff could tell he could have been a wall decoration for as much as they knew he was in the room. Then Dustin looked over at him past the fall of wavy black hair that Eve trailed behind her as she laid her head on her husband’s shoulder.
“Find her office,” Dustin said seriously. “Trust me, it’s worth it.”
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1) I love to snowboard on the Wii.
2) I'm horrible at keeping plants. I can kill the plastic kind.
3) I play guitar and piano.
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5) I grew up on a dairy farm.
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