Sunday, September 30, 2012
"Last Call" - Chapter 1, Part 2
Here's the rest of Chapter One. "Last Call" will be available Tuesday, 10/2!!
Bartender Sunny Black had her head down in the beer chiller, her arm buried to the elbow in ice, when she heard, “Can I get a blowjob, sex on the beach, and a screaming orgasm, please?”
She rolled her eyes and continued to shift bottles in the cooler without responding. She really needed a better system for taking inventory.
Bent over like this, her ass stuck straight up in the air, which seemed to be an open invitation for assholes to hit on her by ordering the raunchiest drink names they could think of. Hard to believe these guys thought she hadn’t heard it all before.
She’d been hoping for a quiet night, so she could close up early. But Mr. Hardy-har-har undoubtedly had a posse—jerks always traveled in packs—and they always stayed until last call, using every available minute to get as drunk and obnoxious as possible. She’d be lucky if she got out of here before midnight.
She shifted the Budweisers to the side and resumed counting. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.
“Ma’am, did you hear me?”
With her free hand, she pulled the Dum-Dum out of her mouth and licked the sticky from her lips. “Look, Romeo,” she said, tilting her head so her voice carried to him, rather than echoing around the cooler. “I’ll give you five points for a nice, smooth voice. But you lose ten for being a tad overzealous.”
She jammed the sucker back into her mouth and resumed counting. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.
“What the hell are you talking…” His voice trailed off, and then roaring laughter settled over her like thick, heavy honey drizzled on a piping hot biscuit.
He seemed genuinely amused, and she grew curious enough about the man behind the laugh to risk an encouraging look. She leaned back and lifted her head so she could see over the bar.
Holy cow. Even while slurping on a saliva-inducing butterscotch sucker, her mouth went bone dry.
The guy’s features were amazing. The Great Sculptor had pressed her thumbs into the flesh of his cheeks, then pulled an upward stroke, leaving behind a slight indention, while at the same time creating high, rugged cheekbones. His square jaw led to a square chin that projected a strong, confident individual. His eyes were like brilliant sapphires, topped by severe dark brows.
His features were sharp, and if not smiling, he would appear harsh, hostile even. But softened by that grin, she found him utterly—and literally—breathtaking.
“I think you misunderstood my request.” His eyes twinkled with amusement.
As a bartender, Sunny met good-looking men on a regular basis. Sometimes they tripped her trigger. Most of the time, they didn't. What she felt now catapulted beyond mild interest and ranked more like an internal explosion capable of launching a rocket.
Her flirting game had been packed away so long she wasn’t sure she still had it. And if so, she doubted she could find all the pieces. But this guy… he made her want to sort through the game drawer and find as much as possible.
The biting sting of ice—in which her arm was still buried to the elbow—cut through the lustful haze, and her muscle jerked involuntarily. She glanced down, trying to remember what she was doing prior to having her motherboard fried.
Her cheeks blazed with the embarrassment of her obvious attraction, and she could only imagine the glow they were putting off. She bit down on the sucker, then tossed the empty stick in the trashcan by her feet. “Sorry for being a smart-ass. Let me finish this and”—she smiled, and searched for a flirty tone—“I’ll take care of you.”
His blue eyes darkened, and his eyelids relaxed. A slow, rakish smile crept across his full lips, causing the tiny cleft in the center of his chin to deepen. “I look forward to that.”
Damn. If they weren’t talking drinks, this would be the opportunity of a lifetime.
When she finished counting the beers, she patted her arm dry and grabbed three shot glasses off the shelf. She sensed him watching her every move, and her skin heated under his scrutiny. He wasn’t excessively tall, maybe six feet, but his presence seemed to dominate her five-foot-four frame.
She wasn’t easily intimidated, but the confidence and power he emanated, combined with the raw sexuality she’d glimpsed a moment ago, made her knees weak.
Just once, I want to have sex with a man like that.
God, how she longed for a wild, tumultuous fling that would knock her world off its axis.
Her bracelets jingled and her mouth watered as she shook the canister of whipped cream. What a waste to put it on the drink when she could squirt it on him… then spend an hour or two slowly and deliberately licking it off.
“What’s your name?” His voice was huskier than it had been before, and when she met his gaze, the sparks radiating from his blue eyes shot liquid fire straight to her crotch.
“Oh, crap. Was I thinking out loud?”
A smile crawled across his mouth, and her heart stopped. “Nope.”
She blew out a breath, then clenched her eyes shut. Even if she hadn’t spoken, she was sure she’d broadcast her thoughts like an idiot. This was why she never flirted. She stunk at it. She opened her eyes and cleared her throat. “Sunny. My name’s Sunny.”
He looked up to the ceiling and said her name a few times, as if trying it on for size. He cocked his head to the side and looked in her eyes. “That’s nice.”
The charged attraction between them made her jittery as hell. Because of her job, she got hit on often, but she rarely took the bait. At least, nothing more than a little harmless bantering here and there. She had little to no experience in playing sexual games, and it was beyond obvious this man was way out of her league.
She topped the blowjob off with a shot of whipped cream, and then, careful not to let the tremble in her fingers show, set the drinks on a small serving tray. “Sorry you have to carry that yourself. During the winter things are slow, so we don’t have wait staff on hand. Well, other than me.”
He grinned and reached into his back pocket for his wallet. “I think I can handle the tray.” He slid a credit card across the counter, letting go of it only after her fingers brushed his. “Can I run a tab?”
Prickles of awareness and desire wrapped around her fingers and danced up her arm. She knew he’d asked, “Can I run a tab?” but her body heard, “Can I run my hands all over you?”
Lord, she could only imagine what it would be like to have him stroking her skin. The pulsating current ripping through her system would probably cause a meltdown. “Sure. You can…” Do anything you like.
Her desire to close up early had evaporated. She’d be more than happy to stick around for as long as he wanted to stay.
She glanced across the bar to where three well-dressed women, two blondes and a brunette, sat. Everyone else in the bar was a local, so they must be the women he’d ordered the drinks for. Sunny made eye contact with the brunette, who, in turn, shot her a what-the-hell-is-taking-so-long glare.
Sunny grinned and cut her eyes to—she glanced at the card in her hand—Gavin McLeod. “You have your hands full with those three.”
Okay, had that sounded like she was on a fishing expedition? She hadn’t meant it that way, but it would be nice if he volunteered some information regarding his relationship with them. They couldn’t all be sisters, could they?
He blew out a harsh breath and pushed his fingers through his thick, black hair. “You have no idea.”
A few rebellious locks broke rank and slipped back over his brow, adding a boyish charm to his otherwise severe profile. The impulse to brush the strands off of his forehead was so strong she had to clench her fists at her sides to resist.
Picking up the drink tray, he said, “I’ll be right back for my drink. A double shot of Crown.” He turned, then stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “Make it a Budweiser, instead.” Sunny didn’t understand the humor behind his drink request, but based on the glint in his eye and the lopsided grin, the thought of drinking a beer amused him.
As he strode across the hardwood floor toward the waiting women, Sunny stood on tiptoes to get a better view of the full package. An off-white, form-fitting shirt stretched across his broad shoulders and hugged thick biceps, while black, tailor-made slacks hung from a trim waist and encased a nice, tight ass.
Yowzer. She snagged a piece of ice from the cooler and swept it down the side of her neck and across the sharp ridge of her collarbone.
“Damn, girlie. Didn’t take much for that fella to get you all hot and bothered.”
Sunny scrunched her eyes shut, hunched her shoulders, and hunkered down her head. She’d been so caught up in Gavin, she hadn’t thought about Joe and Ed sitting at the end of the bar. Those two old geezers never missed a thing, and they’d be milking this cow forever.
She laughed at the mental image she had of Gavin, stripped, lying on the sacrificial altar of her bar, doused in whipped cream. If she were going to get grief for her actions, wouldn’t it be fun to give them something truly amazing to talk about?