Heath Black was standing in the kitchen of his best friend’s house, getting a drink of water from the sink, when he heard footsteps on the front porch. At first, he thought it might just be Mike coming back from his booty call, although it seemed a little early for that. His ex-girlfriend, Dana, had just called about an hour ago, begging him to come over. Initially, Mike had declined, saying he had company. But Heath would never wanted to be the reason for keeping his good friend from getting some, so he’d insisted that Mike go.

Heath took a swig of water, thinking he should call out to his friend to let him know he was in the kitchen, but then he realized the shoes didn’t sound right. If it was Mike returned home, he wouldn’t sound like he was wearing high heels, would he? And if it was the chick he’d gone off to meet, then where the hell was Mike?

Deciding he needed to go investigate, Heath set his glass on the counter and moved to the dining room. There, he saw a young woman coming into the house. It was clear by the way she swayed slightly as she closed the door behind her that she’d been drinking, although the high heeled shoes probably didn’t help any. She was gorgeous—in a tiny skirt and slinky, shimmery top. Her sandy blonde hair piled on top of her head. Even though it was obvious the heat had melted her makeup a little, and she was sweaty from just a few moments outside getting out of her vehicle, she was still one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen.

But she didn’t belong there.

She looked up at him, her face morphing from some sort of a pout to a startled expression. Was this one of Mike’s other ex-girlfriends? He stood in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room, his eyebrows raised, waiting for her to say something. The only words she produced were, “Holy shit,” and since he wasn’t sure that that was supposed to mean, Heath asked, “Can I help you, miss?

“Miss?” she repeated, staring at him, her blue eyes bulging. “Since when are you so formal?

“Excuse me?” He didn’t recognize her, but it was clear she recognized him, or at least thought she did. Maybe she was drunker than he thought and had accidentally gone into the wrong house. “Are you looking for Mike?

“Yeah. Is he here?” she asked, taking a few steps closer to him, fiddling with one of her earrings. “I have had the shittiest night.

“No, he’s not here right now.

“Damn,” she muttered. “I didn’t realize you were going to be here. Are you back from deployment for a while, Heath?

She knew his name. Who was this woman? “Uh… reassigned. Back at the fort now for a while. I’m going to be training some new recruits. I’m sorry—wh… who are you?” He felt embarrassed for asking, since she clearly knew who he was. But for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out who the beautiful, sexy woman staring back at him with those large, sparkling eyes could be.

“You don’t recognize me?” she said with a laugh. “Oh, Heath! Has it been that long?

“I… I guess…” he stammered, crossing his arms over his bare chest, wishing he’d thought to put a shirt on. He was on his way to the guest room to go to bed when he decided he needed a drink, and his shirt had been practically stuck to him from the heat when he’d arrived. “I’m sorry,” he said again. “Who are you?

She was still laughing, covering her mouth this time. “It’s me—Chelsea! Mike’s sister!

“What?” Heath’s mouth dropped open. The last time he’d seen her, she was a tiny, twig of a girl, with stringy hair and braces. Now… well, that girl was definitely gone. “Chelsea?” He shook his head. How had she transformed into such a gorgeous woman? Had it really been that long?

“Yep, it’s me,” she said, but she wasn’t laughing anymore. “I might look different, but you don’t,” she said, and there was something about the way the words formed on those luscious red lips that made Heath’s mind go to a place it shouldn’t, not when he was looking at his best friend’s little sister anyway.

“Well, little sis—you’re all grown up,” he said, his eyes dropping of their own accord as they traced the length of her body.

“Yes, yes, I am,” she replied, her eye lids heavy as they focused on his abs. Heath took a deep breath, not sure what to say, but in the back of his mind, he knew he was in big, big trouble.

Next chapter