Tingling with a long-forgotten sense of naughtiness, Stacey slipped out of her clothes and eased herself into the hot, bubbling water. With a flick of her finger, she turned on the powerful jets and sank into their heavenly massaging currents.
It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
“Not tonight,” Johnny told the attractive brunette fluttering her fake eyelashes up at him. Her shiny crimson lips formed into a classic pout. Another time, that might have swayed him to take her up on her offer, but he just wasn’t feeling it. To soften the rejection, he gave her ass an encouraging pat and a little squeeze.
She went up on her toes and cupped his face with her long-nailed hands and crushed those pouty lips against his.
The woman had a damn fine ass, and that little flicking thing she did with her tongue promised a good time. He briefly reconsidered, but then her triumphant smirk completely turned him off. He gave her a gentle nudge instead and returned his focus to the game.
Johnny lined up his shot. He sank the two, then the six off a sweet bank into the corner pocket, slightly annoyed with himself. Since when had bold, confident women been a turn-off?
They weren’t. He loved women who knew what they wanted, women who grabbed life by the balls (especially when his balls were involved). So what the hell was his problem?
The cue ball just kissed the five, not enough to send it into the side pocket. He cursed.
“Tough break,” his older brother commented with a predatory grin. Johnny groaned; this was going to be the third game in a row Michael kicked his ass. As if the cocky bastard needed another reason to gloat. Johnny watched sullenly as Michael cleared the table, one ball at a time. Again.
“Had enough, pup?” Michael asked, flagging down the young waitress in the too-tight Tommy’s T-shirt.
“Want to shoot a few darts?”
“Nah. I think I’m done for the night.”
Michael looked pointedly at the beer in Johnny’s hand. The same beer he’d been nursing all night. “What crawled up your ass?”
Johnny scowled. He wished he knew. “Off night, I guess.”
Michael grunted. His green eyes discreetly scanned the room, just as they had a dozen times in as many minutes.
“What are you looking for?”
“Someone to adjust your attitude, little brother.” His visual scan stopped near the door and the latest arrival. “Bingo.”
Johnny followed his gaze to the flaming pixie cut. Yeah, his brother knew his weakness. She was cute, but not what he needed. He liked real redheads, the ones with fire in their souls, not the ones that came out of a bottle.
And women who had enough hair for him to wrap around his fist. “Pass.”
“Yeah, you’re right. What about that one?” Michael inclined his head toward another, this one a strawberry blonde with the curves of an old-fashioned pin-up girl. She turned and gave them a big, bleached-white smile. Johnny waited for the familiar tingle, some measure of interest from his groin, and came up empty.
“You’re starting to worry me.”
He was starting to get a little worried himself.
When the strawberry blonde started making her way over to them, Johnny made up his mind. “I’m just going to head out,” he told Michael, grabbing his jacket.
“You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah. Just need some space.” It was the one thing guaranteed to get his brother off his back, at least for now. As an Army Ranger (now inactive), Michael understood the need for personal space better than most.
“I hear you. You mind if I...?” Michael glanced toward the woman.
“Knock yourself out.”
Johnny grabbed his jacket and slipped out the private back entrance to where his Harley sat, waiting. The night had been a total bust; he was feeling agitated and more than a little revved up. All night long he’d refused one proposition after another, and it was pissing him off royally, because he had no idea why, except that it didn’t feel right. Since when did spending a few hot and heavy hours with a pretty, willing, young woman ever not feel right?
It was barely midnight and here he was, riding his cycle to nowhere in particular, alone. Being on his bike gave him some measure of peace, at least. The wind on his face, the rumble of his customized Harley beneath him, with nothing but the open road and the full moon as companions. The moon lit a silvery blue fire in his veins, fueled by the cool, crisp air across his overheated flesh. As soon as he passed the town limits, he opened up the throttle, riding the adrenaline rush like a wave junkie during an approaching storm.
Johnny found himself unconsciously heading toward the nearby mountain. The narrow, serpentine roads were exactly what he needed. Tight switchbacks, steep grades, and nothing but a few strips of thin, corrugated, galvanized steel to keep him from an unintentional freefall over the cliff-like edge.