Ladies Man (Manwhore #4)(3)By: Katy Evans
He pulls himself up, wraps a towel around his waist, and drops his jeans. He steps out of them, and—our eyes meet. Beads of water drip down his torso. He’s cut and golden—cut and golden everywhere; his six-pack, his flat pecs, his muscular arms, even the sides of his calves peeking from under the towel.
He looks at me, his eyes sparkling with recognition, then he looks to the guy standing next to me. He stares at him, then at me, and one of his brows rises in question.
I stand here, amped up and nervous. He steps away from the pool in my direction, radiating heat. His smile quirks, and I see amusement in his eyes at my speechlessness.
I struggle with what to do next. Hug him? Oh god.
Just say happy birthday, Gina!
“Get over here,” he growls under his breath.
“I said come here.”
“No,” I say, scowling.
He smiles and cocks his head back, tilting it to the side just a little. “They’re coming for you.”
“What?” I ask. My nerves are making me shiver.
He signals at two men in swimsuits coming over with mischief in their eyes.
He steps over, grabs me by the waist, and says, “I got her.” He lifts me up over his shoulder like a sack of rice, carries me to the edge of the pool, and then looks past his shoulder and shoots me a grin.
No. He is not going to do what I think he’s going to do.
“Don’t. You. Dare,” I warn, clinging to his wet torso.
Before I know it, he throws me in. I don’t have time to hold my breath. One moment I’m dry, the next I’m falling in an ungraceful splash, sinking.
Sputtering, I surface, and he just stands there, smirking at me.
He then drops his towel and dives in, a perfect dive. His head pops up out of the water and I splash him. I’m so mad I can’t see straight.
“This was my favorite dress, you—”
He dips half of his face under the water as he floats in front of me, only his eyes and nose above the surface. His eyes reflect the water, luminescent.
Frustration is eating at me.
I want to grab his wet hair and kiss him.
I want to pull him underwater and kiss him.
I want to take him home and kiss him.
I want him to take me home and kiss me.
And then I want to forget I ever kissed him, and ever wanted to.
“Roth!” one of the girls calls from the pool steps. The moment Tahoe glances in her direction, she ceremoniously takes off her top.
“Very nice, baby,” he says, smirking, getting a long look at her boobs.
Disgusted, I start to swim to the edge of the pool.
With one powerful stroke, he reaches it first.
He lifts his brows as both our hands curl on the ledge and again, our eyes meet.
His expression is unreadable.
“Fine, so you got me wet,” I finally say, releasing my anger. “I know how you can make it up to me.”
He lunges out of the pool. I pull myself up and he hands me a towel.
“I’m not a one-night-stand kind of girl, which is why I’m giving you the chance only a few others have ever had. One night with me. Happy birthday.”
He scowls as he towels off his chest. “Is this some sort of joke?”
He straightens as he wraps the towel around his hips, his lips quirking sardonically. “How many?”
“What? How many guys?”
“I…well, two, and my ex, Paul. But that wasn’t a one-night stand; we were together for two years.”
“In either case, that’s nowhere near enough for you to recover after a night with me.”
I blink in disbelief. “Oh wow, you’re so full of yourself.”
“Hey.” He takes my chin and forces me to stare deeply—painfully—into those blue eyes. “You were vulnerable at Saint’s wedding, and I held you in my arms, and I liked it, but you were right to deny me. You were right and I was wrong.”
I scowl and follow him. “You think I can’t handle you?”
He stops and stands over me. I exhale.
His eyes darken a little.
I’m nervous and vulnerable, wondering if I completely misread him before.
But as we stand there, everything falls away until all I see are those blue eyes. Amusement is gone; something dark and watchful lurks in his gaze.
“Thanks for coming, Regina,” he says.
His words pierce like an arrow through my chest.
“You’re declining my birthday present…?”
He looks away, his jaw tight as he exhales. He draws me away from the crowd, and I see a flash of raw regret in his gaze. “I’ve got nothing good to offer you, Regina.” His gaze holds mine, and he leans forward. He smiles against my ear, my knees turn to rubber. “Seeing you wet was gift enough for me.”