Rules of Protection (Tangled in Texas)(4)

By: Alison Bliss

“Because I’m mad at you.”

“You don’t even know me. Do you have a split personality disorder or something?”

I gritted my teeth and narrowed my eyes. “You’re a weasel and a jerk!”

My outburst made him laugh. A lot. When he finally got himself under control, he grinned. “Look, I get that you have this head-turning ability and like to stand out in a crowd, but I don’t.”

“You think I turn heads?”

“Sweetheart, a man would have to be blind or stupid not to look.” He smiled again. Damn, I wished he’d stop doing that. “Definitely a looker, but that makes you trouble. I don’t need the unwanted attention you crave.”

“I’d swear there’s an insult somewhere in there.”

“Darlin’, if I insult you, you’ll be the first to know. Now point out your friends. I’ll see to it you get to them safely.”

I scanned the room and found Gina and Dale sitting at a small, round table near the bar. No one could miss either of them in a crowd.

Gina had flaming red hair, bright blue eyes, and a spectacular chest barely covered by a low-cut top. Her boobs were a statement piece; I’m talking breasts for days. She was highly skilled in the sex department and didn’t care who knew it.

Dale was Gina’s roommate. He had blond hair with spiky tips, honey-colored eyes, and dressed ridiculously well for a man—designer jeans, expensive silk shirts, and Italian leather shoes. One look and you knew his sexual preference without a doubt. But he didn’t care, either.

It’s what I loved about them. Neither pretended to be something they weren’t. They were sexually profound individuals who enjoyed sharing stories of their lively bedroom adventures with me. Even if I didn’t have much to offer on the matter.

I wasn’t a prude, but compared to the two of them, I may as well have been a nun.

I pointed out Gina and Dale and, without hesitating, the weasel grasped my elbow and led me across the room, not stopping until we stood before them. They stopped talking the moment we walked up.

The weasel plopped me into the empty chair. He leaned down, brushing his lips across my ear, and whispered, “The name’s Jake.” Then he smiled and walked away.

Gina barely waited for him to get away from the table before fanning herself. “Who the hell was that?”

“That’s Jake,” I said nonchalantly.

Gina and Dale traded questioning glances and then Dale added, “Hellooo, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Yummy!”

“Was he the guy who gave you the eyes earlier?” Gina asked.

I shook my head. “No, that was Sergio. Jake helped me get rid of him.”

“What’s wrong with Sergio? Ugly?”

“No, but it’s too bad about his personality. Not really the kind of guy a girl could fall in love with. He’s already in a relationship…with himself.”

Gina and Dale both laughed.

“Oh, and he has tiny girl hands,” I said, figuring they would draw the same conclusion I had. Weird, girly hands probably said a lot about the size of his package.

Gina wore a wicked grin. “If you were a virgin and slept with Sergio, then you’d probably have to sleep with someone else after him just to make it count.”

Dale and I laughed, but he still looked confused. “So how did Boy Wonder come into the mix?”

“You mean…uh, Jake?” Damn. I still wanted to call him the weasel. “He pretended to be my boyfriend to deflect Sergio.” I wasn’t going to go into specifics about the flirty encounter in the hallway. I needed something to tell them about later. It was all I had.

“He can be my boyfriend any time,” Gina said, fanning herself again.

“He doesn’t look like the type who’d use the ‘take-a-number’ dispenser next to your bed, Gina.” Dale grinned playfully and then motioned to me. “He’s probably available on a first-come, first-served basis, which means our little vixen here has already hired him. I hope it’s for a permanent position.”

“And what position would that be?” I asked.

Gina offered a mischievous grin. “Boyfriend, lover, missionary, sixty-nine…”

“Doggy-style,” Dale added, giggling as he gave Gina a high five.

“Oh, stop it. He didn’t ask me to go home with him. Besides, even if he had, I wouldn’t have gone.”

The two of them gave me a “yeah, right” look.

“Okay, I’d like to think I wouldn’t have,” I amended. “I’m not that kind of girl.”

Dale smiled. “Honey, when it comes to a man like that, we’re all that kind of girl.” Then he shrugged. “Besides, every girl needs to get laid on her birthday.”

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