Series: SEALs of Roseville # 2
It was supposed to be a no-strings, harmless, shortlived, get-the-SEAL-out-of-her-system fling.
The men in Jillian’s life don’t stick around and she’s come to grips with that. Yet, when one week turns to two and Teo shows no signs of moving on, she can’t help but get her hopes up.
Teo just got out of long, committed relationship with the military. He has no intention of settling down, no matter how delicious Jillian tastes.
Except… maybe it’s his retirement or perhaps the holiday cheer, but he can’t get the curvy, brunette coffee shop owner out of his head. And he did promise her a fling…
Lucky for her, a SEAL never does anything half-assed, especially when it comes to making a woman scream with pleasure.
Toying With Her SEAL first appeared in the Seven Naughty SEALs bundle in 2015.
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Accolades & Reviews
“You’ve been coming in here three times a week for months.”
Teo recognized Jillian Moore’s voice and glanced up from his computer screen. The gorgeous coffee shop owner had a wide smile that kicked him in the gut and an ass that wouldn’t quit.
Right now she stared at him with electric green eyes that he was reasonably sure were aided by contacts…not that he’d ever ask. A delicate brow was raised in silent question.
“You keep track of all your customers?” he asked, secretly pleased that she’d been paying so much attention to him and his habits. Weeks ago she’d stopped asking what he wanted.
He’d step through the door, the bell would ring, she’d glance up from behind the counter and greet him with a sincere hello and a warm smile. That smile was his favorite part of the day. Then, even if there were other customers to be waited on, she’d fit in his cup of coffee and pop a muffin in the toaster oven.
Between taking care of her other customers, she’d stop by his table, drop off his coffee, ask how he was and then move along. Always smiling, sometimes humming, and looking cute as hell in her vintage pinup dresses.
“Only the cute ones.”
Her bald honesty caught him by surprise. It seemed that so many people were cagey or evasive these days. A straight shooter was refreshing and the fact that she looked like a Hollywood starlet from the fifties certainly didn’t hurt.
“You must really like my muffins.”
His eyes widened. Did she really expect him to admit that?
The smirk curving her lips said she knew precisely what he was thinking.
“What can I say? I love a good blueberry muffin.”
Her lips twitched. Damn he loved that ruby red lipstick. Would she taste as good as she looked? Suddenly it was damn important to find out. He was tempted to tug her onto his lap and do just that. But the bell over the door rang, pulling her attention away.
“Glad to hear it,” she said before greeting the newcomer, a regular named Lester. Then she was back at it, making her rounds, offering everyone a smile and making their day a little brighter.
“What are you going to ask Santa for this year, young lady?” Lester, who had to be pushing eighty, asked Jill as he waited for his coffee.
Teo leaned closer, eager for her answer.
Jill laughed. Damn, Teo loved that sound. So light and effervescent, it went straight through him every time, warming him from the inside out.
“Same thing I wish for every year, Lester. A white Christmas.”
Her answer seemed to surprise the old man.
“Really? You want snow?”
“I want snow,” Jill said simply.
“Not jewelry or clothes?”
“Nope. Just snow.”
Teo, and it seemed Lester too, was charmed by her answer. As Lester made his way to the door, Jill caught Teo’s eye. She sent him a warm smile and then turned her attention back to her work.
Lust sizzled through him. Well, if that didn’t beat all. The sexual tension was thick enough to cut with a knife, just the way he liked it. His attraction to the sassy brunette had been instant, but his sister had warned him away from the lovely coffee shop owner.
He hadn’t asked her out, but that hadn’t stopped him from claiming a table several times a week and getting to know her. Reya’d been right on two accounts. Jill was dedicated to her young business, something he’d come to admire and three months ago he hadn’t been in the right headspace to act on his attraction.
Now that he felt like he had his shit together, he wasn’t about to blow his chance to accept the invitation in her eyes.
Leaving the SEALs had been tough, just as he’d expected. But readjusting to civilian life had been different, harder, and noisier. Hanging out with his sister and Dylan was an absolute delight. The normalcy of Sunday afternoon cookouts with family and friends was a dream, but the nightmares always came at night.
He hated feeling like he wasn’t doing his duty; but honestly, his sanity had been close to snapping. He’d been running at full tilt for well over a decade and a half. Dylan had told him to learn to enjoy the quiet time; they’d earned it. His friend was right, of course. But going from a hard, demanding training schedule and life or death situations to a coffee shop in the burbs was well…weird.
Jill’s smile wasn’t the least bit weird; it was charming and welcome, open and sunny. He craved that mouth, that smile, her sweet voice greeting him.
Sure, he had a coffee maker at home and he could buy four hundred muffins for ten bucks at a wholesale store, but what she offered was more than good food. He liked the routine of coming here. He enjoyed being a regular and getting to know other regulars. There was something soothing about having a table that felt like his own, a place that he was always welcome, somewhere he didn’t worry about getting shot.
“Can I get you anything else?” Jill asked.
Teo’d learned long ago to trust his gut and right now, as he stared into Jill’s crystal green eyes, his gut was telling him to make his move or he’d regret it forever.
“I don’t want to sound clichéd,” he answered.
Those twin dark brows lifted.
He leaned forward, bracing his forearms on the small round table. Her gaze shifted, tracing his muscles.
That’s right sweetheart, have a good long look.
He’d worked damn hard to be strong mentally and physically. He wasn’t above showing off to get what he wanted and right now, he wanted her, straddling his lap, feeding him muffins.
Maybe that was a bad idea and a little voice asked if it was too soon. He wasn’t ready to start dating.
Another voice asked, “Who’s talking about dating?” He was reasonably sure that the voice belonged to his cock. Naughty bastard.
“Would you like to have dinner one night, Teo?” she asked, her eyes full of mirth. Holy shit she was ballsy. He almost swallowed his tongue as he tried to form an answer. There was really only one answer.
He glanced down at the watch on his right wrist. “What time do you get off?”
There went that sexy eyebrow again. He retraced his words.
“Work,” he amended. Her mind seemed to be as dirty as his. But he had a damned good excuse. Being surrounded by so much testosterone since turning eighteen meant there weren’t many curse words he didn’t know and at this point, he had a filthy mind.
“I’m busy tonight. Hosting a party—”
“Invite me,” he said, deciding that where she was concerned, it paid to be as bold as she was.
In the past, he’d played it fast and loose as young guys tended to do. But he’d learned to dial himself back a notch. Women worth keeping around weren’t used to his zero to sixty lifestyle.
But this one…she was something else. Like no one he’d ever met before and even though he knew promise in a woman’s eyes, he wanted to know more about her.
What made her tick? Why had she decided out of all the jobs in the world to open a coffee shop? Was she ticklish? How did she take her coffee? And why did she always wish for snow for Christmas?
“Girls only, hot stuff.” She actually looked disappointed to tell him that. Her gaze dipped to his forearms again and then traced his fingers. Without missing a beat, she took out the old-fashioned pad and paper that she kept around as more of an accessory than a practical device. He’d never seen her write anything down before; orders went from a customer’s lips straight to her memory and then the computer behind the counter.
She slid a slip of paper across the table and placed the container of sugars on top of it. “It’s on the house today.”
Then she was back at it, making her rounds, smiling at her customers, refilling coffee while laughing with Tracy and Celeste.
Teo played it cool and watched her for a moment longer before laying his hand on the paper and sliding it toward himself.
Her note, as he’d come to expect, was short and sweet.
Call me. Followed by her phone number.
He hid his smirk behind his coffee cup, which he drained. So she was busy tonight; that gave him time to plan. And if there was one thing a SEAL was good at, it was planning.