“Afraid to dance?” she added, ordering an apple martini and tapping her manicured nails on the bar.
A nightclub drink, he noted. Wonder if she’s ever tried a beer?
“I know I am,” she told him, never giving him a chance to answer.
She swallowed down the contents in a few gulps and ordered another drink. He watched her as she guzzled them down, appearing nervous and out of sorts. Maybe she had an issue with crowds and gatherings. Then again, he always pictured her as uptight and snobby as they came. Perhaps getting drunk was the only way she could hang with average people now that she was living large in corporate success.
“Liquid courage?” he asked, sipping his beer.
She gripped the edge of the bar as if to use it to keep her from falling over, before picking up her new drink. “You could say that.”
He leaned against the counter, eying her curiously. She looked at him from over the rim of her glass. “What?” she asked, returning the empty glass to the bar. “I’m thirsty. Surely, a bar owner has served thirsty people before.”
He wanted to laugh. Hard. There was no doubt that he’d served plenty of people, but none quite like her. What he wouldn’t give to see her drunk just once. He’d love to see the real her pour out. There was probably a slim chance he might actually like the girl hiding away inside.
“Yep,” he said, quirking a brow. “But not you. Why is that?”
“I work a lot,” she replied as if that was her programmed answer.
He figured it would be. Shit, he’d used that answer, too. He had plenty of experience being a workaholic. He owned Iron Horse and was about to open another one. But he still managed to find time to grab a cold beer and visit with his friends. It helped that those closest to him worked for him. But those were just details.
“What’s that got to do with coming by the bar for a drink? I’m sure Layla would tell you all about how great it is.”
“No conceit from you, I see,” she jabbed.
He shot her a lopsided grin. “I’m not conceited just honest,” he clarified. “I’d like to think that the family we have at Iron Horse is the reason it's the best watering hole in Dallas.”
“I travel a lot.” Another programmed answer. He wasn’t buying it. There was something else going on. He could sense it in the way she avoided eye contact with him.
“So?” He stressed the word.
She frowned, glaring at him.
“Admit it, Liza, you’re a snob. You don’t want to visit my bar because you’d feel so uncomfortable mixing it up with normal people.” He placed his hands on his cheeks as he feigned a shocked gasp. “Oh, that greasy man covered in tattoos and leather just touched me. I’ll have to burn my clothing now.” He chuckled, finding himself quite humorous. “Does that sound about right?”
She gaped at him. “That’s a horrible thing to say to me.”
The muscles in his face tingled as he fought a smile. He looked her over thoroughly, drinking in her tight black business suit, white collared blouse, and heels. “Look at yourself. Is that a name brand outfit you’re wearing? What about the heels? If you took them off, would some jackass’s name be plastered all over them, giving you the feeling of recognition?”
She scoffed. “Well aren’t you the ballsy one? You don’t know anything about me.”
He shrugged. “Just calling it like I see it.”
She sipped her drink and faced the bar. “I’m assuming this sparkling personality of yours is why you’re holding up the bar instead of enjoying yourself with a date.” She laughed, as if feeling she’d actually poked him with a remark that burned. It did. A little. “I’m sure you normally have a line out the door waiting to spend time with you.”
He steeled himself, and his voice was calm, as he replied, “I bet your line’s longer.”
The menacing glare in her eyes told him he’d struck a nerve. She didn’t like that he’d called her out, but he had to admit, she looked good pissed off. All she needed to do was loosen up a few buttons on her blouse, kick off her shoes, remove the stick from her ass, and he bet she’d be a helluva a good time.
Not that I’ll ever find out.
When she didn’t say a word, he assumed she’d storm away and pout, like the little princess he imagined her to be. But as he finished his beer and returned it to the bar, he caught her staring at him with her teeth dug into her lip like she was sizing him up.
He looked down to see if he’d left his fly open. “What?” he finally asked, a sense of foreboding washing over him.
She moved closer to him, her eyes heavy with interest. He swallowed hard as his cock noticed the hunger in her eyes way before his brain had.
“Isn’t there some kind of saying about going to a wedding is a sure way to get laid?” She reached up and played with a button on his shirt.
Heat rose up from his belly and filled his chest. His eyes rounded as he replayed her words. Was she really asking him what he thought she was asking him? He looked around to see if he was about to get punk’d by Luke or Reid. No one was near them except the bartender.
Fuck me. She was hitting on him.
“Don’t look so nervous, Jason,” Liza said, tapping the bar for another martini. “I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind at least once.”
Jason wasn’t sure what overcame him, but he knew he had to have Liza even if it meant they could only be together in secret. He didn’t care. His thoughts were on the prize he was getting, the nights filled with passion and lust. The pleading eyes that lit up each time she looked at him. He couldn’t remember a time when that had happened to him before, when someone seemed elated to be with him.
We want the same things. No strings. Just sex.
When she reached up to touch his face, everything else faded into nothingness, and he kissed her, held her against him, and craved her like a man starved. In that moment, she was the fire in his soul, the breath in his lungs, and the beat in his heart. Liza was everything he’d ever wanted and never knew he needed.
The raw emotions churning inside him were unfamiliar and addictive. He wanted Liza more than he’d ever wanted another. It was strange to him to feel so connected to someone he’d spent little time with. They’d shared an incredible night and bonded over common interests, but even with those minor details between them they still shared a vast difference in the daily lives.
I’m not fucking her job.
He could live with the secret and feed off the excitement of knowing she belonged to him. Sneaking around would bring a spark to his life that had been missing and fill the void of loneliness that had crept its ugly head in as he watched everyone around him falling in love.
He didn’t love Liza. She didn’t love him. They simply needed one another.
He pressed her up against the door to her apartment, ravaging her mouth with his own, and tasting just how sweet she was. She clawed at him, pulling herself up to wrap her legs around his waist. He fumbled for the door, but it was locked. She handed him the key and he did his best to keep her anchored to him while he tried to put the key into the keyhole. After several tries and lots of laughter, he finally did it.
Her eyes sparkled with humor. “I could’ve gotten down, you know?”
“What fun would that have been?”
He shoved open the door and closed it with his boot, locking it behind him. Kissing her once more, he carried her up the stairs and right toward the bed.
“Wait,” she asked hurriedly, pressing her hands to his chest. “I need to shower first.”
“Not for me you don’t.”
She grimaced as if in pain. “I’ve been working all day and its freaking Texas ball-busting hot outside. I. Want. A. Shower. First.”
The woman meant business. He lowered her enough to let her feet touch the floor. “Okay. Fine,” he agreed, raising his hands in an attempt to ward off any potential assault.
He watched her as she began undressing, slowly, almost teasingly. He liked that she wasn’t shy about her body. Her confidence was sexy as hell. He yanked his shirt up over his head and tossed it to the floor. She did the same with her own, taking a slow step backward as he approached her. He unbuttoned his jeans and tugged the zipper down. She bent over to unzip the side of her ankle high boots. Then she leaned against the bed as he closed the distance. She placed a heel on his chest, stopping him from moving.
Tsking under her tongue, she reminded him, “Shower first.”
Fire ignited his blood as the uptight, confidant woman turned ultra-sexy. He pulled each boot free and then moved to ease her jeans from her hips and down her legs. His breath caught in his lungs as he spotted the skimpy black lacy panties she wore.
A grin played at his lips. “Did you wear these for me?” She smiled, her eyes warm with the answer. “I like them.”
He slipped his finger under the elastic band and hooked the material with his finger, drawing it up between the folds of her sex. She moaned as he teased her.
“You have the prettiest pussy I’ve ever seen, Liza.”
Her gaze locked on his, her cheeks reddening with his praise. He couldn’t help but tell her his thoughts, share just how gorgeous she was to him.
He unhooked his finger. “Roll over,” he ordered, standing up to kick out of his boots, and removed his jeans, briefs, and socks.
“But I want a shower,” she repeated.
He arched a determined brow. “Don’t make me ask again. Roll. Over.”
She bit her lower lip and did as he asked. “You aren’t one of those freaky dudes are you?” she asked, a teasing tone in her voice. “Don’t get me wrong, a little freak is good. But I do have a line I won’t cross.”
He grabbed her panties and she instantly arched her hips to allow him access to remove them. “And what do you consider a little freak?”
She pushed back on her knees, bringing her ass to his crotch. “I like most things.” She wiggled over him, making his cock jump with the idea of fucking her. “I have many fantasies.”
She purred like a kitten before moving up to her knees and unfastening her bra, she crawled off the other side of the bed and tossed the material at him. He caught it and added it to the collection of gathered clothing on the floor.
“I’ve never said my fantasies aloud.” She released a girlish giggle. “I don’t know if I can.”