Home > Loving Storm (Ashes & Embers #5)

Loving Storm (Ashes & Embers #5)
Author: Carian Cole

Chapter One

I’m cruising along the road, singing (badly) along with Lana Del Rey’s sultry voice, when suddenly disco lights are flashing behind my car.

I glance in my rearview mirror to see a cop car close behind me, lights strobing. I slow down and move toward the shoulder to let him pass, but he follows me.

Shit! He’s pulling me over.

I slow to a stop, turn down the music, and put my car in park just as a young, good-looking officer slowly approaches. I lower the window and smile up at him.

“Evening, ma’am. Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“Actually, no. I don’t think I was speeding.”

“You were driving erratically and swerving.”

I was? Eek. Maybe when I switched my playlist on my phone and accidentally dropped it between the seat and the console, I swerved when I reached for it. “I dropped my phone,” I admit. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to—”

“It’s against the law to use a cell phone while driving, ma’am,” he says sternly.

“I wasn’t using it really, just putting my playlist on.”

His lips are set in a firm line as he takes a step closer to the window. “I’m going to need your driver’s license and registration.”

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I grab my bag to dig out everything he needs and hand it to him with a sweet smile, hoping he’ll just let me go with a warning, but he takes everything from me and walks back to his patrol car without a word.

I resist the urge to send Storm a text message to let him know I’m running a few minutes late. I’m afraid to even look at my phone with the officer just a few feet away.

I watch my rearview mirror, waiting for him to return, and I breathe a sigh of relief when he finally comes back toward my car.

“I’m going to need you to step out of the vehicle, ma’am.”

A wave of surprise and nervousness ripples through me. “Oh…okay.” I open the car door and step out.

“Where are you heading?”

“To a restaurant. I’m meeting my fiancé for dinner. Please don’t give me a ticket. I promise not to touch my phone. My fiancé will kill me if I get a ticket.” I run my hand through my hair. “Well, not literally kill me, he’s not a murderer. But he’ll be mad. Not like domestic violence mad, but annoyed. He’s a total sweetheart really, but I’m not a good driver at all and it’s kind of a joke between us. That’s how we met actually, I got lost and crashed my car and then he saved me…” My voice fades as the officer shakes his head and blinks at me like I’m a lunatic.

“Have you been drinking, ma’am? Under the influence of anything?”

I gape at him. “Me? God no! I don’t drink or do drugs at all. I’m just sorta naturally anxious and weird.”

The man in blue is not amused.

“I’m going to ask you to walk in a straight line for me.”

Oh my God, is he kidding? Surely he can tell I’m just nervous and not drunk. I look from him to the ground and back at him. “Um… where?”

“Just walk in a straight line toward me, keep your eyes on me, one foot in front of the other.”

I let out a sigh, rivet my focus onto his nose, and take a few steps, wobbling slightly in my new three-inch heels, which I’ve only worn once before. They’re still a little stiff, and my legs are shaky from the one hundred squats I did earlier today. Damn Amy and her crazy monthly challenges!

“You seem a bit tipsy, ma’am.”

I stop walking. “I am not tipsy. These are new shoes, and my muscles are shaky from exercising this morning. Can’t you just give me a Breathalyzer test? That would be easier.”

“We don’t negotiate with perps, ma’am. Please come over here.”

Perps? I’m a perp now? My pulse speeds up as I walk over to the spot he’s pointing to in front of my car.

“I’ll need you to turn around and put your palms flat on the hood of your car, bend down, and put your right cheek to the hood.”

My eyes widen in disbelief.

“Officer, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but is this really necessary? I’ve never had to do any—”

“Ma’am, please do as I asked.”

My heart begins to pound as I lean over the hood as instructed, palms and head down. Something feels very wrong here. All I did was swerve a little. I didn’t hit anything or anyone. And it’s not my fault my legs are shaky and I can’t walk straight. I should have asked to see his badge to prove he’s an actual police officer. He could be some kind of criminal who stole a police car and uniform and is now kidnapping innocent women and—

“Please wait here and don’t move. I’m going to have my partner join us for backup.”

Backup?! “Officer, this doesn’t seem right to me, I’d like to call a lawyer or maybe someone at 911, I think.”

“You can discuss that with my partner. Please wait here, and do not move from the position or I’ll need to handcuff you.”

I tremble with nerves as he walks back to his car and, moments later, heavier footsteps approach, stopping directly behind me. I want to lift my head and talk to him, but I’m petrified of being handcuffed, arrested, and thrown into the back of the squad car. My brain spins as I try to think if I did something else wrong that the first officer didn’t make me aware of. Why else would he detain me and call for backup? Did I go into a road coma again and cause some kind of an accident?

The officer behind me takes a step closer and puts his hands next to mine on the hood of the car, his body leaning over me, his broad chest actually touching my back.

Oh my God. This can’t be normal or legal in any way. I should scream for help and try to flag down a car. But, as luck would have it, I am once again on a road that doesn’t get much traffic.

“Excuse me,” I say, my voice weak and squeaky. “I’m not quite sure what the problem is, but I would like to get back inside my car please.”

He leans down even further, pressing his entire body against mine, trapping me against the car. His breath is hot against my ear, the slight stubble of his cheek grazing my neck.

“You’ve been a very bad girl, Evie,” he whispers. “I’m taking you into custody.”

“Storm!” I try to turn but he holds me there, sinking his face into my hair to kiss and nibble on my neck. The cop car pulls away, leaving us on the side of the road.

What the hell?

I spin around to face him, and my anger immediately vanishes with just one look at him: that sexy grin, those bright green eyes glinting with mischief, that long, wavy hair wild around his face, and those broad shoulders straining against the thin black material of his shirt.

God, this man just turns me into a speechless, quivering mess at least five times a day.

Storm Valentine - crazy, sweet, sexy famous rock star and my fiancé.

He grabs my waist, pulls me tight against his body, and kisses me so hard that I can’t even be mad at him for scaring the heck out of me.

This is what life is like, loving and being loved by Storm.

Chapter Two

“You look beautiful.” I lean my forehead against hers and stare down into her eyes.

“How did…thank you…but—”

I kiss her lips, soft and slow, the way that calms and hushes her, and release my grip on her waist to cup her cheeks.

“What were you doing in a police car?” she asks when our lips part. “Did you plan all that?”

“Yeah. He’s an old high school friend of mine. I didn’t want us to be in separate cars, so I sent him a text and asked if he’d give me a ride to find you.”

Her expression is blank, and I know she’s stuck in that place right in the middle of being mad at me and being crazy about me.

I put her in that place a lot. And ya know what? I like it.

“We tracked you with the GPS app, and I asked him to play along.”

A smile curves across her lips, but she’s still got that shocked look in her eyes. “Isn’t that illegal?” she asks. “In like, twenty different ways?”

I shrug. “Probably.” Taking her hand, I lead her around to the passenger door, help her inside, and jog around the car to climb in behind the wheel. I have to move the seat back about a foot because she’s short and sits right on top of the steering wheel.

“Change of plans, baby.” I smile as I pull back onto the road.

“What are you up to?” She turns in her seat and eyes me suspiciously. I grab her hand and link our fingers together, loving the feel of her engagement ring pressed against my fingers as she squeezes my hand. Six months ago if I had pulled a stunt like this she would have had a major freak out. There would have been tears. I probably would have gotten smacked. Most chicks would have kneed me in the balls.

But my Evie’s come a long way from the high-strung girl I found in a ditch. It’s amazing what a lot of love can do.

And orgasms, lots of orgasms. They’re like a hidden reset button. Losing your shit? Have sex.


“We’re going to the cabin for the weekend.”

“Your cabin?”


“What about—”

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