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If she hadn’t turned back to look at him, Oliver would have flipped Best off. I’m going to kick his ass.

Those big, beautiful eyes watched him with curiosity and some

thing else he couldn’t place. If the general was her father, had he told her who Oliver was?

“Sergeant Martinez, I believe you’re helping me out on this project,” she said.

Well, she doesn’t sound vindictive. But she did sound a little disappointed. Why, though?

“Yes, ma’am,” he said.

“Is there a place we can set up?” she asked.

“There is a conference room down the hall and to the right of the lobby,” Sparks said.

Hiking her shoulder bag higher, she said, “Shall we get started, Sergeant?”

Chapter Two

EVELYN REYNOLDS HAD been around military men all her life, and there was a very good reason why she didn’t get involved with them.

Actually, there were a buttload of reasons, but they all boiled down to her father. He had always been adamant about her not getting involved with a military man, but even if he had been okay with it, she’d have steered clear. She’d spent her childhood watching her mother worry and fret when her dad was gone, and she did not want that life.

However, that didn’t mean she couldn’t look and admire the hot piece of man in uniform standing in front of her. He was taller than her five feet four inches by almost a foot, with tan skin and eyes that looked like the ocean off of the Honolulu beach she’d loved to swim in when her father had been stationed there. This man’s shoulders were wide and tapered down into a V at his waist. His pants were slightly baggy, but she had a feeling he had an ass you could bounce a quarter off of.

If Evelyn had a weakness, it was a man with a great ass.

But it was her reaction to Sergeant Martinez that was making her uneasy. The man had said a total of four words to her, but his deep timbre had made her tingle all over, something that had never happened.

“How about we head out to this little café I know?” he said. “I’m starving.”

They had just left Sergeant Sparks’s office, and his suggestion surprised her. She’d thought maybe he was just taciturn, one of those strong silent types, but maybe he had been as thrown by her as she was by him.

The idea delighted her more than she liked.

“I already ate, thanks.” Actually, all she’d had was a protein bar and a bottle of water because she’d been too busy to stop and eat, but there was no way she was going to brunch or lunch or whatever with this man. It might give him the wrong impression.

“All due respect, but I can be a bit of a bear when I don’t eat. How about we eat and in return, I’ll do whatever you need me to for this shindig,” Oliver said.

His suggestion rankled Eve; it was the same kind of thing her father did, trying to manage her life. Like when he’d told her that he’d only pay for colleges within a ten-hour car ride. Or when she’d come back from her first semester with pink tips and he’d commanded that she stop dyeing her hair “strange” colors. The trouble with commanding her, which her dad still hadn’t learned, was that she was too much like him to bend over and take orders from any man. Which is why she’d gotten a scholarship to Hart University in Hart, Mississippi—four days of driving away—but there was little he could do once she’d accepted. And even less when she’d come back the next summer with fire-engine red hair.

When she’d graduated with her business degree, she’d lived in LA for a while, interning at a large PR firm, but when they’d offered her a position, she’d turned it down. It was an incredible opportunity, but she’d hated LA. So, she’d moved home and made a website, launching her own publicity management company, Reynolds Relations. Granted, it was a one-woman operation, but she was just getting started.

Eve knew she was lucky that her dad had called her about the Alpha Dog Training Program. If she could put together an amazing event for the US military, it would put her name on the map.

But fraternizing with Sergeant Martinez was not part of the plan, and that’s what would happen if they went to eat. They’d talk about things other than the project and she’d fall behind, all because she couldn’t say no to those beautiful blue eyes.

“As hungry as you might be, I think you can wait until our meeting is over to go grab something,” she said.

“Actually, I’m hypoglycemic. I have to eat every few hours or I could die.”

“Really? It’s amazing you’ve lasted in the armed forces so long. You know, since they’re usually not so accommodating to specific eating schedules.”

“What can I say? I’m special,” he said.

Eve bit back a smile. “I’m sure you are.”

“Now, I know you don’t mean that as a compliment, but I’m going to take it as one,” he said. “Come on, you can’t eat and work at the same time?”