Page 6

Tanner sat at one of the tall, round tables. Kyler and Syd were with him, but their heads were bent toward each other, gazes fastened together. Tanner…he was staring at me. His blue eyes weren’t lazy-looking. They were narrowed and he looked angry—furious actually. Heat traveled across my cheeks, and I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t.

A girl approached their table. I recognized her. I think. She was pretty, blonde with pink streaks in her hair, and it was obvious she worked hard to fit into those skinny jeans she wore. She went straight for Tanner, angling her body toward him. He looked up and the irritated look faded from his handsome face, replaced by an easy and welcoming smile—the kind of smile I was so rarely on the receiving end of.

“I need another drink,” I said, looking away. But it was too late. I couldn’t get that smile out of my mind. It was cute, a crooked type of grin, as if he hadn’t fully committed to a smile yet, but was happy.

“Yeah?” What’s-his-name hauled me against him, my back to his front. “I can get you a drink.”

That sounded perfect for several reasons, mainly because I wanted another drink, but I also wanted my personal space back more. Except that’s not what the guy did. He didn’t let go. Dry lips brushed my cheek as his hips grinded against my rear, and I could feel him, like really feel him.

Okay. I was done with this. I wasn’t that drunk yet.

Stepping forward, I yanked myself free—or at least tried to. I got a couple of inches between us before he pulled me back. I bounced off his chest, almost dropping my glass. “Where do you think you’re going? We’re having fun.”

“I am not having fun.” I twisted, grabbing his hand with my free one. I dug my nails in. “Let go.”

“What?” Spittle flew from his mouth, and my stomach turned a little more. “We’re just dancing. Come on. Let’s have fun.”

“I don’t even know your name,” I heard myself say, which sounded stupid to my own ears, because a handful of moments earlier, I hadn’t cared if I knew his name or not. “And you don’t even know my name.”

“Do I need to?”

I jerked to the side as someone—another couple—knocked into us, but his words held me immobile, recycling around in my head. For some reason, I suddenly wanted him to say something different. That he wanted to know my name—know me. I bet Tanner knew the name of the girl who was talking to him.


This was so dumb.


My foot tapped off the sticky-ass floor at rocket speed. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be expected to sit here and watch Andrea do whatever the fuck she was doing.

Andrea had been in a weird mood when she showed up at the bar. Quiet—almost shy in the way she had kept stealing quick glances at me. Part of me wondered if she’d been drinking before she arrived, but I really wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that she wasn’t stupid enough to drink and drive. Yeah, she liked to party and could get wild, but she wasn’t dangerously stupid or irresponsible. However, she had started drinking the moment she’d gotten here, and she hadn’t stopped. I’d lost count of how many empty glasses she had racked up.

It was going to be one of those nights.

Skin prickling like an army of fire ants was crawling all over me, I’d sat back and done nothing when she announced she wanted to dance. Syd had joined her for a while, but she had returned sans Andrea, who was turning the dance floor into her own personal showcase.

Jesus H. Christ, every pair of male eyes that weren’t on their own girls was fastened on Andrea. We were like fucking heat-seeking missiles when it came to hot chicks, and she was one hell of a flesh-and-blood target.

Those deep-red curls swung in every direction as she raised her arms above her head and swayed her hips to some rock song. Her cheeks flushed prettily and glowed with a fine sheen of sweat. The black shirt she wore rode up, revealing a quick glimpse of pale skin above the band of her jeans—and those damn jeans…they were like a glove made perfectly for her heart-shaped ass. And I still sat there, doing nothing—unable to move or look away, just like the other guys in the bar couldn’t look away. My jeans felt about five times tighter.

When some tall, goofy-looking son-of-a-bitch started grinding all up on her, I’d stayed in my chair, but I’d leaned forward and my attention had shifted. In that moment, I realized that the whole time I’d been sitting here, I’d been hardcore lusting after the girl who’d likely punch me in the nuts instead of grabbing them in a fun way. A different kind of feeling brewed inside of me. It had nothing to do with desire—more with the need to piss around Andrea like some kind of caveman. I had never, in my entire life, felt the need to do that, and I had no idea why I wanted to do it now.

Goofy SOB grabbed her hips.

My eyes narrowed as an irrational anger surfaced. Why in the fuck was she letting this guy climb all over her? He looked like a dumb motherfucker, and she deserved way better than that.

Something moved to my right, and I looked, surprised to see Lea Nacker walking toward me. She smiled as her gaze flickered over to Kyler and Sydney. “Hey,” she said, her voice carrying the soft southern drawl that announced she was not local. “I haven’t seen you all summer. I thought you’d left the city.”

“Nah. Just busy working. You?”

She tucked a long strand of pink-and-blonde hair behind her ear. “Same here. I’ve got one more semester left at UMD. You graduated, right?”