Ladies Man (Manwhore #4)(2)By: Katy Evans
I inhale sharply and feel that frustration I always experience when I look at him. He’s infuriating. He’s annoying. He’s cocky. Selfish. Self-centered. Really, I don’t even know why we’re friends.
I stop a passing waiter and steal a tequila shot from his tray, toss it back in one gulp, then turn to where Tahoe is standing. And the tequila does nothing to soothe his effect on me.
He stands with a group of men. But Tahoe Roth is the only one I see.
Beneath the lights his blond hair gleams. His eyes are so blue they look electric. He’s rugged, imperfectly raw. He has a day’s growth of facial hair, and a primal, beastly look about him. Vikings is one of my favorite shows and I can’t help but notice that he bears a striking resemblance to Ragnar. I’m breathless.
And then…his smile, his smile is so contagious and comes so easily. I’ve never seen a guy smile as much as he does. It’s an irreverent smile, a mocking smile, because really, Tahoe never seems to respect anything.
My stomach twists up around my windpipe at the sight of him and that gorgeous, sometimes filthy mouth of his.
The two stalkers who wanted to undress him approach, and he curls his arms around each of them. Just like that, he’s standing with a woman in each arm, and I feel a pang in my chest. An awful pang of fear, the kind that strikes when you’re surrounded by hundreds of strangers, and they all keep dancing, and talking, and drinking…and you’re staring at the guy who’s been haunting your dreams, and you don’t know what to do about it.
What to do about him.
“Gina!” Wynn nudges me. “Get on with the plan. Dude, you know he’s a horny beast. He has a late-October birthday, which means he’s Scorpio, and Scorpio is the sign of sex. And you’re this sultry dark-haired Marilyn Monroe, screaming sex with that little dress and those crimson lips.”
I inhale, trying to summon courage but failing, half turning back the way we came—but unable to leave because Wynn stops me.
“I can’t, Wynn, I really don’t want him, I don’t even like him,” I protest.
Scowling and mad at myself, I avoid looking at HIM when I spot a guy staring at me. He’s short and looks harmless, so I flash him a small smile, praying that he’s not a close friend of Tahoe’s.
The guy grins back and starts walking toward me. I break our eye contact when I hear yells at the end of the room.
I turn as a girl calls from under the waterfall, and I can’t help but look at him again. Why can’t I just ignore him?
He’s standing with Callan Carmichael and two older men, and the two girls with him are stripping down to their bikinis. Carmichael and Tahoe are both just scorching hot. Callan is a copper-haired, tall athletic type, and then…Tahoe.
Tahoe, the beast.
He’s dressed in black from head to toe, his tan accentuated by the flashing lights; his hair appears blonder, his scruff seems darker. My nipples pucker, my thighs clench.
Tahoe Roth is…
Hot to the extreme. Six feet four, at least two hundred pounds of man. At Rachel and Saint’s wedding, even in a tux he looked raw. A power box of testosterone. The area around his eyes is a little crinkled from smiling too much, and maybe partying too hard, and not giving a shit about more than having a good time. His black jeans hang low on his narrow hips and give new meaning to sex-on-a-stick.
The two girls who are after Tahoe and the one who was just beneath the waterfall are tugging and whining and trying to cajole him into the pool.
Startled, I glance into the stranger’s kind brown eyes and absently say, “Hey,” as I hear a splash and squeals from the girls. I try to glance at the pool but a group that’s come over to cheer blocks me.
A guy in front of me shifts slightly, and I get a glimpse of the pool. And inside…Tahoe, slicking his hair back, his wet shirt plastered to his muscled chest. Then he makes a grab for the ankles of the girls who are standing at the edge of the pool, and they squeal and leap away.
“You three are going to get it,” Tahoe playfully teases them. His irreverent smile displays his dimple. As they giggle flirtatiously, he leaps out, scoops them up and tosses them in, one by one, and they fall into the pool with yelps of delight.
He dives in after them. One of the girls comes up to splash water in his face, but he’s able to splash back more with his big hands. The girls start splashing each other when he stops playing along. He signals for a pool waiter to bring him a drink as he peels off his shirt and tosses it aside. He stretches his arms out on the pool ledge like Roman royalty and then he skims his gaze across the pool as if deciding whether to get out or not.