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The lanky teen working the counter set Jinx’s order down. “That’ll be thirteen-sixty-four.”

He handed over a twenty. “Thanks, man. Keep it all.”

The kid’s eyes bugged. “Wow, thank you, sir.”

Chuckling, Jinx shook his head. “Here’s a second tip. Do not call someone who looks like me, sir. Gives us hives.” He scooped up his ice cream cups and nodded. “Have a good one, kid.”

“Y-you too, sir, uh… dude.”

The best ice cream shop in Florida happened to be three stores down from Tracker’s tattoo shop, which meant it was two doors away from the flower shop Harper lived above. He strolled her way, ignoring the wide-eyed attention he drew everywhere he went.

At twenty-four, he’d been dealing with it since he hit his teen growth spurt almost a decade ago. What could he say? People liked gawking at a big, intimidating dude.

The strangest fucking thing happened as he climbed the steps behind the flower shop. His stomach flipped. What the actual fuck? He couldn’t be nervous. He hadn’t gotten nervous around a woman since he’d been eighteen and fucked his landlord, a thirty-four-year-old vixen who taught him some things.

Women didn’t make him nervous. Sex was easy and something he excelled at.

Yet, there he was, standing outside Harper’s door with some weird fucking quiver in his gut.

Maybe he shouldn’t have had that fourth cup of coffee.

He knocked and stood, ice cream in hand, waiting.

A few seconds later, he heard a tentative, “Uh… yeah? Who is it?”

Good girl, not answering without knowing who darkened her doorstep. “Hey, Prickles, it’s Jinx.”

The locks disengaged, and she pulled the door open with the frown he was coming to love. “I hate that name.”

He grinned. “Why? It fits you so well. My prickly little cactus.” Damn, she was smoking hot in short cotton shorts and a cropped tank top that revealed a swatch of silky skin along her stomach. Forget the ice cream. He found something else to lick.

“Ugh,” she said, rolling her eyes. “What are you doing here? Wait, did you bring me ice cream?” Her face lit up like a damn Christmas tree.

“I did.”

Her eyes widened. “From Frost Bitten?”

“Yes, ma’am, I know where to get the good stuff.”

Her smile broadened so wide it made her eyes sparkle, and he’d swear under oath she let out a little squeak of delight before schooling her expression. A range of emotions passed through her eyes in a matter of seconds—reluctance, uncertainty, and a measure of fear.

Would she let him in or kick him out on his sorry ass?

He’d never tell a soul, but he held his breath, waiting for her decision.

Finally, he saw acceptance in her expression.

She reached for the cup he held out. “Thank you. Uh… did you want to come in? It’s nothing special in here.”

“I’d love to.”

He entered her small apartment to find the truth in her words. A simple twin bed without a headboard rested against the far wall, while a love seat sat to the left. To the right, a tiny kitchenette with a two-burner stove, a mini fridge, and a microwave was pristine. She had a small television mounted on the wall opposite the couch with a four-drawer chest beneath it. That was it. No other furniture, no decorations, knickknacks, or photos. It might as well have been a hotel room for all the personalizing she’d done.

“How long have you been here?” he asked as he took in the bare walls.

Her cheeks pinked. “Uh… a few weeks. I know I haven’t done much to it. I just don’t really have anything since I was in… well, you know.”

Right. Since she’d been in prison. Fuck, he was an ass. Of course, she didn’t have tons of personal belongings. She’d been locked up for seven years. The last time she owned anything for herself, she’d been eighteen and a kid.

He cleared his throat to dislodge the golf ball wedged in it. “You should have the ol’ ladies take you shopping. Trust me when I tell you they are Olympic-level shoppers, especially Liv.” He made a mental note to mention it to them.

She snickered. “Yeah, I could see that, but I’m pretty sure her tastes exceed my budget.”

With a grunt, he nodded. “Her tastes exceed all our budgets combined. But you’d be surprised how down-to-earth she really is. She’d never put you in an uncomfortable position you couldn’t afford.”

“Hmm… I’ll think about it. Now shut up so I can eat.”

He chuckled, then stared, transfixed, as she dug into the ice cream and slid the spoon between her gloss-free lips. It was a very short leap to imagine his cock taking the same journey. It would be so damn hot.

An involuntary groan escaped as said cock plumped. Christ, this woman did it for him. Thankfully, she didn’t notice his slip since she was busy making her own obscene noises.