Ladies Man (Manwhore #4)(9)By: Katy Evans
So I sit at a nice little round table at a well-known little restaurant, but I don’t see Trent.
I rub my palms over my black jeans. I’m nervous. You’d think I’ve never gone on a date before. And really I haven’t. I’ve had one boyfriend and yeah, that went well.
“Anything to drink while you wait?”
I look up. Even the waitress is looking at me with pity. I’m having one of those crazy klutzy hair days, where my curly hair is reacting to the rain outside. I tried my best to flat-iron it into submission but I can feel the edges starting to curl already. Please, Universe. Let me have a decent first date since Paul.
“Do you have cabernet by the glass?”
“We absolutely do.”
“Great. I’ll have one. And if he’s not here in five minutes, bring me the tab.”
I try to distract myself. Across the table from mine, a man is twiddling his feet. Someone is eating a cinnamon-laced dessert and the scent teases my nostrils.
“See, you don’t listen to me anymore. But if a man talks, you listen,” a woman is complaining, three tables away to her partner. Behind me, another woman is saying she had to buy her shirts extra big so she didn’t pop a button. The man she’s with is assuring her she doesn’t need to diet.
I feel a pang for her. Isn’t that the way it always is? Spending our lives trying to improve, never quite happy with who we are?
“Sorry I’m late,” Trent, in tan slacks and a pastel yellow shirt, says as he plops down. He waves a waiter over. “Bring us the house specialty, make them doubles, and keep those drinks coming.” He looks around the restaurant then, narrowing his eyes. “Who’s here, anyway? A couple girls were looking through the window.”
That’s when I see Tahoe.
I see him.
As if neon lights were flashing around him, as if every light in the restaurant were aimed at him.
My Tyrannosaurus rex, in the flesh, in the restaurant, heading toward a booth at the end with a candle, a candle reflecting very attractive shadows on his chiseled face.
His hair is in a state of subdued bed-head sexy. But it’s the cocksure fucking smile that suddenly curls his lovely lips as he answers the waitress that gives me a little uncomfortable pinch between my legs.
He’s with a group of guys. They’re all wearing jeans and comfortable shirts, Tahoe in a white polo.
His lacrosse team?
“…well they all seem to be looking in that direction…” I hear Trent say, shifting to take a look. “Ah, thank you!” He’s distracted by the incoming alcohol and delightedly watches the server pour.
Tahoe keeps flashing his beautiful smile, and when our eyes meet, his smile changes to a smirk as he glances meaningfully at Trent, then at me with a raised eyebrow.
He lifts his wine glass in a toast.
I can’t help but feel my body respond, as if something or someone flipped the on switch.
“Alright, so…” Trent says. “Tell me about you. Gina.”
I was going to ask him the same question. But with Tahoe in the restaurant, watching me with my awkward hair on an awkward first date, it’s like I can’t get my brain cells to cooperate.
I realize our eyes lock every time I glance in his direction. It’s like he knows when I’m looking and catches me. He frowns every time he glances at Trent.
I toss back my cabernet and then smile at Trent. He sits there, with his red hair and kind face, and this time, at least, he’s sober. He’s still the nice guy I met at Tahoe’s party, one of the only guys who wasn’t totally wasted—at least he could still walk without stumbling. He’s the kind of guy you could have a home and a dog with, not a threesome…like with Tahoe Roth.
“Excuse me, I’ll be right back,” I tell Trent, all the while staring at Tahoe.
I have to pass Tahoe’s table as I head to the restroom at the end of a long hall, and I try to keep my eyes off him as I do.
I exhale when I finally turn around the corner, three steps away from the ladies’ room, when I’m grabbed from behind.
“Where are you going?” a low voice whispers near my ear.
I freeze and squeeze my eyes shut in dread. My wrist feels tiny in his grip.
Please let it not be true. I’m not standing in a liquefying state with Tahoe Roth’s body an inch from touching mine. I crack my eyes open and twist my body a little bit toward his. And it is Tahoe.
“Meet me outside,” he says, looking at me with a smirky smile, then a puzzled frown. He walks away—and I stare at his back.
I follow my curiosity and head after him.
Parked seven feet away from the restaurant entrance is a vintage yellow Hummer. I can’t see past the tinted windows but the passenger door flings open and T-Rex waits for me inside, behind the wheel.