Ladies Man (Manwhore #4)(4)By: Katy Evans
He eases back then crooks a finger and signals for the floozies and the two stalker girls to follow him up a spiral staircase.
I grit my teeth and stare after him with an aching knot in my stomach, hating myself for putting myself in such a vulnerable position, hating that I didn’t work him out of my system when I had the chance. Hating that I’m wet, that he ruined my dress and my evening.
Wynn is waving, standing with Emmett, her eyes filled with concern.
I smile a fake smile at her.
Tahoe is right, it’s better that I rejected him, better to stay away from him. I’ve been hurt before, and knowing I’d have to see Tahoe again because of Saint and Rachel would make having sex an awkward mistake we would have to endure forever.
I just want to drink and forget him—how hard his chiseled muscles felt, forget the way he smelled, all wet and warm.
I’m ready to go home, but Wynn and Emmett are snuggled close together in a booth and I realize I still need sex, a one-night stand, a reminder that I’m human and alive and female.
As I turn to leave the pool room, I bump into the guy who’d been staring at me earlier in the night.
“Hey, you okay?” he asks, concerned.
“Oh, I’m perfect. Do you want to get a drink?”
“Hell yeah,” he says.
I ask the guy for his name, and after a few drinks, I take him—Trent—back home.
* * *
We’re in my bed. Hot lips on my neck, hands over my bare flesh. I removed my top but I’m still wearing my damp underwear. I tilt my neck to the side, and I’m transported to Rachel and Saint’s wedding…
After the church ceremony, after a couple of drinks, I steal away from the party and walk for a few minutes toward the beach. I sit and stare at the waves, trying not to think about how much I’m going to miss living with Rachel.
Suddenly, I sense something on the back of my neck, and I know I’m not alone. I know who’s sharing this moment with me.
Of all the people in the world I wouldn’t like to see me weak, he is at the top of that list.
We’re friends. I guess.
Otherwise I can’t account for why he sits quietly beside me and puts his jacket over my shoulders.
“Thanks,” I say, tugging at it. I feel like he’s hugging me. It smells like him and I realize I’ve never touched something that he’s touched. My skin tingles and my heart aches.
“Why are you crying?” he asks, staring ahead. We both do, as if eye contact would be too intimate.
He leans closer, puts his arm around me, and I feel guarded.
“What are you up to, Tahoe?”
“I’m up to many things.”
I rest my head tentatively on his chest. It feels so nice. Nicer than you’d expect a wall of muscle to feel. “Then go…do them or something,” I grumble.
His voice tickles the hair at my temple. “Do them? In the order I want them?”
My toes curl when he grins.
“I don’t…” I shake my head.
I’m not sure if I’m shaking my head at him, or at the dull throb he’s causing between my legs. He smells of expensive cologne.
I glance up at him as he watches me patiently. “Saint wants me to stay away from you.”
All my hesitations flee when he gives me his wickedly devious smirk, and says, “I don’t think I will.”
His embrace tightens a little too noticeably around me, and he lifts my face. “My first priority is to look at you. Then I’m going to touch, and then I’m going to taste.”
His eyes darken. He studies me for a reaction, and his smile fades as if he’s seen something that he doesn’t want to see. He wipes the tear from my cheek and then edges back. His nostrils flare, and he’s frowning, deep in thought.
I groan in frustration. “Let’s do something other than watch me cry. Any ideas?”
He smirks as he pops open the top button of his shirt. My heart stops as he continues down the line, one by one.
“I was joking.”
“I’m not. Come on, you’ll look gorgeous naked.”
“Close your eyes or it’s not happening.”
I ease off my dress. He pretended to turn away but I can feel him looking at me. I avoid his gaze. Oh god. Please, moonlight, be nice to me!
Why do I care what he thinks?
I walk to the water as fast as I can and notice his head tilt—he is looking at me fully. Completely. I feel his stare.
I dive in, and I gasp at the freezing water.
I rise to the surface to see him wading in, his eyes glimmering in the moonlight. I can feel his hunger calling out to me. I expect him to reach out and do something wicked. I’m prepared to stop him but I still want him to try.