**Today’s prompt: pulled over for speeding by a cop who was once his boyfriend, but cheated on him ten years before. Enjoy!**
I saw the flashing lights in my rear view mirror, so I immediately slowed down and pulled to the side so the cop car could zoom by me in pursuit of whoever they were after. I was so focused on that, it took me a moment to realize the car was not passing me by, but instead, pulling in behind me. The lights still going, the officer in his dark blue uniform pushed open his door and stepped out.
I put down the window, and then sat stock still, both hands on the steering wheel, gaze fixed straight ahead. When the cop came close, he bent down to peer inside my car, and didn’t say anything for a long moment.
“License and registration.”
I took a deep breath, then slowly lifted my hands off the wheel. “I’m going to reach into the glove box for the registration, then into my back pocket for my license.”
“It seems I taught you well.”
My gaze snapped to the officer, whose eyes were hidden behind mirrored sunglasses. There was something in his voice, the way he held himself, that gave me pause. I studied what I could see of his face, then moved my attention to his chest. The name tag said it all. Reyes.
“Angel.” I said, my voice cold. I knew he couldn’t mistake the tone, and the tiny jolt that went through his body let me know he had heard it. And that he knew exactly why I’d used it.
“License and registration, please, Cooper.”
I did as he asked, purposefully keeping my gaze averted. Officer Reyes took them and sauntered back to his car. I watched his ass in my side mirror. It was still the most perfect ass I’d ever seen. Even if I hadn’t laid eyes, or hands, on it in ten years. But back then, I hadn’t been the only one touching him, which is why I’d walked away without a backward glance. If he’d been honest about the others, that would have been one thing. But he’d told me he was all for monogamy, that he wanted that with me, and then screwed around on the side.
I was still stewing, all that hurt and anger from so long ago making a resurgence even though I’d been sure I put it behind me, when he handed back my license, registration, and a ticket.
“Really?” I squinted at him.
He shrugged one shoulder. “You were going fifty in a thirty, Cooper. I can’t just let that go.”
“Fine.” I tucked the registration back into the glove box, and tossed the ticket and license with my wallet on the passenger seat. “Am I free to go, officer?”
Angel opened his mouth, shut it, shook his head, and then nodded. “Yeah. Be careful.”
I pulled away and made sure I drove exactly the speed limit all the way home.
I called my brother about the ticket, because he was a lawyer and I wanted him to handle it. Or, at least get it reduced. I was pretty sure twenty miles over the speed limit would carry a hefty fine. After that was done, I settled in front of the couch with a local micro brew, and flicked on the TV.
The knock on the door was unexpected, and I took my beer with me to answer it. Maybe it was girl scouts. Was it cookie season? I pulled open the door with a smile on my face. Which promptly fell off when I saw who was standing there.
“What are you doing here?” I hissed at Angel.
He’d grown up, that was for sure. Ten years ago, he’d been twenty-two to my twenty-four, fresh out of the academy, and arrogant as hell. I’d adored him. Until I found out about the cheating, that was. But in the intervening years he packed on more than twenty pounds of muscle, I could swear he was at least two inches taller, and filled out. His face was older too, with tiny creases around his mouth and eyes, but in the good way. The way that made him look distinguished and worldly. He looked amazing, actually. But I would not dwell on that.
“I got your address from your license.” His grin was unapologetic.
“Isn’t that illegal? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.” I squinted at him. “Lachlan is a lawyer now. I can call him with a push of a button.”
Angel’s smile didn’t falter. “I just need a minute of your time.”
I crossed my arms and leaned against the doorjamb. No way I was letting him into my house. He stared me down, or tried to, but when I wouldn’t budge, he sighed.
“I was a stupid, arrogant fool. Back then. I want to apologize for the way I treated you. For the the things I did and the way I lied.” His smile turned rueful. “You leaving, disappearing, was a wake up call for me. It took me a little while, but I’m not the asshole I was back then. At least not about relationships. So I wanted to apologize. And say thank you.”
The sincerity poured off him in waves, and it was clear to see he meant it. Whether he’d actually changed or not, I couldn’t say. But it was big of him to apologize, and that was something the Angel of ten years ago never would have done. He was making the gesture, and the least I could do was accept the overture for what it was.
I held up the bottle in my hand. “Want to come in for a beer?”
He went still, and his smile slipped a tiny fraction. I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t been staring so intently.
“Won’t your boyfriend…or partner or husband…mind?”
I sighed and turned, leaving the door open. “I don’t have one of those.”
I heard the door shut behind me, then Angel’s footsteps as he followed me into the kitchen.
“Excellent,” he murmured.
I handed him a beer, then gestured to the couch. “Just sit. Drink your beer. Tell me what’s been going on with you.”
His grin was radiant. “I’d be happy to.”