He was a dead man.
No, not dead. The hard-on in his pants proved his heart was still pumping blood.
Jeez, how did a woman barely over five feet have legs that long? Thank god Mercy-Life’s uniform pants didn’t show Mazey’s spectacular limbs as well as those . . .
What were those things clinging to her ass? Shorts? Panties?
Christ. Was she only wearing panties to answer the door?
And what was with the stuff all over her shirt. The one that did nothing to hide the fact she wasn’t wearing a bra!
His mouth watered, and he didn’t know if it was from seeing Mazey in what amounted to nothing or the smell assaulting his nostrils.
He smelled pie.
She smelled like pie.
No. He took a deep breath. The house smelled like pie.
Stepping inside, he closed the door behind him and followed his nose. He found the source of the delicious aroma in a box on the kitchen counter.
He poked around a little.
Four. He counted four pies. And the scents in the air told him there was cherry, apple, and pumpkin in there. Were they mixed, or was it one of each and an extra?
Rylan was about to lift the plastic cover on the top of the pile of pies when Mazey came up beside him and slapped his hand away.
“Hands off. They’re for the barbecue.”
He whimpered. He loved pie.
“No touching. If you want some before we go, I can cut you a piece from one in the fridge.”
Okay, now he was going to cry. “There’s more pie?”
“Cherry or apple?”
“Is that a trick question?”
Laughing, Mazey pulled a knife from the block on the counter, a plate from the cupboard next to his leg, and then a pie from the fridge. “Cherry it is then.”
Oh god, he really was going to cry. The aroma filling the air intensified as she cut into the pastry. When she’d sliced a decent wedge and placed it on the plate, he all but dove on the offering.
Flavor exploded on his tongue with the first bite, and he shoved a second chunk in his mouth and muttered, “Marry me,” around the sweetest, most delicious pie he’d ever eaten.
She laughed at him. “That’s two proposals in one day.”
The pie turned to sawdust on his tongue. He swallowed, the lump of pastry and fruit scraping down his throat. “What?” He glanced at her left hand. She wasn’t wearing a ring.
“You and Alyssa.”
He wanted to cry in relief now. Obviously, their coworker had had the same reaction as him to Mazey’s pies. “Oh? And did you accept?”
“No.” She sighed, giving the action a dramatic flair by slumping against the counter and pressing her hand over her heart. “Alas, it seems neither of my suitors is serious. How could they be without the necessary proposal accessory.”
“Huh.” He spooned another piece of pie into his mouth.
“A ring. Neither of you thought me worthy of a ring.”
“Here.” He reached beneath his shirt for the dog tags he couldn’t seem to stop wearing. “These are just as good.”
“I can’t take those,” she argued as he pulled them over his head.
“Sure you can.” He put down his plate so he had both hands free. “You’d be doing me a favor. I can’t seem to stop wearing them, and I should, so if I give them to you for safekeeping, I won’t be tempted to put them on.”
“Then when I’ve broken the habit, I’ll get them back,” he added as he slipped the chain over her head, making sure he didn’t get it tangled in her ponytail. He grinned when the tags came to rest between her breasts. Breasts he noticed were now confined in a bra. “There. You get those. I get pie.”
Saving lives is what brings Mazey and Rylan together. Making a life together might just break them apart.
For Rylan Conners, flying for Mercy-Life is a haven after twenty years in the military and the breakup of his marriage. Helping others has helped him heal from his ex-wife’s betrayal and the devastation of learning he’s not the father of the child he thought was his.
Mazey Novak took the flight nurse job at Mercy-Life to escape the horror show her life had become when she discovered her fiancé of four years was already married with children. With her dreams in tatters she’s looking for a new start—a new life—one that doesn’t include lies and betrayal.
Neither is looking for a relationship, but they can’t ignore their chemistry, and after a rescue with a tragic outcome, they seek solace in each other’s arms. The explosive encounter draws them together in a way they never expected.
A surprise pregnancy isn’t what the doctor ordered, but it’s an opportunity to build a life together until a flashback from the past threatens to tear down everything they’re building.
Can Rylan and Mazey become a real family or are their past lives set to ground them forever?
Rhian Cahill’s Flashback is a sexy, workplace, friends to lovers, contemporary romance written in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes Worlds project.