Sheriff Chase Lowell has never been more scared in his life than when he discovers the diner where Hannah Porter works has been robbed at gunpoint. He’s been in love with her for as long as he can remember, but has kept his feelings in check because she’s his best friend’s little sister.
Hannah has had a crush on Chase since she was in the third grade. He’s kind, compassionate, and as handsome as they come. They’ve known each other forever, which seems to be the problem—he thinks of her more as a kid sister rather than a romantic interest.
But something changes the night he races into the diner and crushes her in his arms. When he makes her safety his personal mission, Hannah decides to make it her mission to get him to see her in a different light.
Hannah’s loved Chase forever, but she’s his best friend’s kid sister…
“I don’t want to hurt you, Hannah. I think the world of you; I always have. But I…I don’t think about you that way. I mean, hell, you’re beautiful and sexy and any man would be lucky to have you, but—”
“Any man but you?” she countered, her chest tight with repressed hurt and confusion.
He reached out as if to clasp her hand, but she stepped back out of his reach.
“You’re like a little sister to me, dammit,” he all but choked out. “I would hate to ruin what we have by jumping into bed together.”
Hannah could only stare at him, no cohesive thoughts forming in her brain. She’d known the truth about this man, yet she’d thrown caution—and her good sense—right out the window at the first sign he might be interested. Only she’d misinterpreted those signs and made a complete frickin’ fool of herself. Well, lesson learned.
She gave a decisive nod. “You’re right. And let’s be honest, most of the blame falls to me. I’ve been lonely, I’m still a little freaked out over what happened last night, and I drank a lot more wine than I should have. You’re as comfortable as an old pair of shoes, so I turned to you for comfort. The wrong kind. If anything, I’m the one who owes you an apology.”
“If you plan to follow me to work tomorrow, I’ll be leaving the house at five-thirty. ‘Night, Sheriff.”
With as much dignity as she could muster, Hannah strode into the house and headed up to bed. Somehow, she managed to hold the tears at bay until safely ensconced in her room.
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