Fool Me Once (Codie Snow #1) - Jade C. Jamison

Chapter One

CODIE SNOW CHOMPED on the ragged thumbnail that had been bothering her the better part of an hour. She was on a ride-along with five-year veteran cop Pete Olsen, the former star quarterback from her hometown high school.

A guy she’d dated in high school.

That hadn’t stopped him from pursuing her once in a while since when he was sans girlfriend, but Codie’s on-again, off-again boyfriend put the stop to a good many advances from Pete. Right now, she and Slade Sheppard, said boyfriend, were once more off-again, and she was considering the cop.

She could see Pete approaching the glass door from inside Dalton’s one and only McDonald’s, paperboard tray in hand, two cups of nuclear hot coffee coming right up. He also held a brown paper bag, even though he hadn’t mentioned food when he’d gone in.

Damn. He looked good in that uniform.

Codie would have spent the last five minutes on her phone, either checking out Instagram or Facebook or even just taking a selfie in the squad car, but Pete had told her no phones. They weren’t allowed on ride-alongs.

“Why?” Codie had asked, even while she’d been handing it over to the desk lady.

“Because, Codie,” he said in a firm voice, but his dimples belied the seriousness of it all, “if something serious happens, something you shouldn’t be privy to, I can’t have you spreading it all over the internet before we’ve had a chance to do our jobs.”

“But you have dashcams, don’t you?”

He’d raised his eyebrows in mock irritation. “Yeah, our dashcams. Look, do you wanna go on the ride-along or not?”

She’d reluctantly handed over her phone, but Pete had been right. She’d been wanting to do this for a while. Now that she was a quarter of a century old, it was time to get serious about her life. No more messing around. No more waiting for something cool to happen to her. She needed to take control of her own destiny.

Through her open window, Pete asked, “Can you grab that?” Without waiting for her answer, he handed her the tray with the two coffees.

“Oh, yeah, sure.” She rested it on her lap while Pete walked around the front of the car toward the driver’s side. Yeah…her mind was definitely going there, checking out his ass, his broad shoulders, his—

Popping open the door on his side, he said, “One of them’s for you.” Codie was mesmerized for a couple of seconds as she took him all in—drop-dead dimples, light brown hair, sparkling green eyes that seemed to say, I know all the bad things you’ve done. Question is if I approve of them or not. She wondered if he’d be agreeable to using his handcuffs for off-duty activities.

Codie sucked in a breath, hoping her thoughts weren’t apparent on her face. “Thanks.”

“Caffeine’s okay, right?”

Codie stifled a giggle. “Um, yeah. It should be illegal to serve coffee without it.”

“Couldn’t agree with you more.” He pulled open the bag. “You still like cherry pie?”

Oh…with its evilly decadent sweet crust and wicked flavoring? All that shit was bad for her. Then again, Pete probably was too. “Yeah. Why not?”

“Why not? A girl after my own heart.” He handed her a hot rectangular box and asked, “Mind putting two packets of sugar and a couple of those creamers in my coffee?”

“Sure.”

She doctored his java while he turned on the car and began backing out. His radio that seemed to have a constant white noise pouring out of it started blabbering more coherently again. Codie wondered how Pete could identify which calls were for him and which he could ignore, but she had to admit that, deep down, she was impressed.

And she apparently had missed something, because Pete said, “Hang on.” He grabbed the mike and said, “Eighteen on route.” Codie heard a boop but no full-on sirens, even though she could see the reflection of flashing blue-and-red hitting buildings and cars as they whizzed by. She felt her body sway to the right as Pete maneuvered a turn and the seatbelt cinched her torso tightly.

And the coffee she’d been doctoring sloshed over the side, though the tray, and onto her lap. She muttered an Ouch! but knew that if someone was in trouble or danger, Pete didn’t need to worry about the girl with the burning legs in his car. She placed the lid on top of the cup and made sure it was snug and then clenched the tray as Pete made another turn.

Part of her felt nervous as they whizzed