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Copyright © 2017 by Laura Mc Kenzie
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Phoebe pushed the door to the club open and walked in, taking a moment to stop at the entrance and take a look inside. The club was filled up, people drinking at the bar, some sitting at tables in the middle of the room and a crowd dancing in the middle of the room to some nineties pop song she had heard somewhere but couldn’t remember where and who the singer was. As she walked into the room, she felt more than a dozen eyes on her and smiled inwardly at the interest. After all, it was one of the reasons why she had come here. Put back a little bit of pop and color into her otherwise dreary life. It had been too long since she had gone out socially, and the fact that her two best friends were backpacking across Brazil while she stayed back and tried to build a semblance of a career hadn’t helped at all. Unfortunately, the best a major in English lit could give her was work as a temp worker. Currently, she was supposed to start work as a personal assistant in a big corporate financial firm or something like that. She was not really listening to the details when Betsy was reading it out, just happy to finally get work.
The plan was to make herself so indispensable to whoever her new boss was and hope he would consider retaining her for far longer than the three weeks the work was supposed to be for. So today, she was going to party a little since she knew she was not going to get much personal time for herself today. From her look around the bar, she had also seen a few people she wouldn’t mind taking home to scratch what was now extending towards a four-month itch. Sophie would have been shocked to learn someone could exist for four months without sex and then more shocked if she heard that Phoebe was planning on having a one night stand. Probably shocked enough to make the trip back home and give her pointers. The truth was that Phoebe had never been a one-night stand person. All her past lovers had been people she had been in relationships with. But she had no time or energy for a relationship in her life right now and the itch was becoming more than her showerhead and vibrator could scratch.
So, maybe today she would get a drink at the bar, flirt a bit. And if she met someone who interests her enough, she would consider allowing him to invite her back to his place. Surreptitiously tugging the silver mini-dress she had gotten on sale down, she made her way through the crowd.
Taking an empty seat at the bar, she raised a hand to catch the attention of the bartender. Then turned around on her stool to look out at the club. A guy caught her eye and smiled. Phoebe smiled back, a flirty look on her face. Suddenly a blonde woman standing beside the man gave her a dirty look, then grabbed his hand and pulled him away. Phoebe was shocked that a man would attempt to make a move on another woman while his partner stood next to him. Seems she had been away from the social scene for so long that she had forgotten that men could be pigs.
“So,” the bartender said, standing in front her. “What would you be having?”
Phoebe turned around and smiled at him. “Why not surprise me. But be careful, this is my first time out in months so I think my introduction into libation imbibing should be gradual.”
“I have just the thing,” he said with an easy smile as he turned towards the bottles at the back of the bar. “Well, congratulations. Seems like you won’t be paying for your drink after all.”
“What?” Phoebe asked, looking confused.
“I’m betting he is coming here to offer to pay for your drink,” the bartender said with a nod behind Phoebe. “Really cute too. I definitely wouldn’t mind drinking anything he put in front of me.”
Phoebe chuckled as she turned around to see just who Steve, as written on the tag on his chest, was talking about. Then she saw him and immediately stopped chuckling to…just stare. He was tall, well over six feet. The t-shirt he wore looked like a second skin as it, molding itself to his impressive frame and not even the dim light in the club could hide the fact that he was fit. Lean fit, not steroid freak fit. Muscled that curved just so finely and broad chest she wanted to reach out and grab. It was also clear she was his target, his eyes on her as he walked through the crowd and towards the bar. Phoebe was sure there was a poetic line to describe the way the crowd seemed to just make way for him. But her brain was incapable of a single coherent thought.
She quickly turned around in her seat and grabbed the glass Steve dropped in front of her.
“Please tell me this is a very strong drink?” she implored as she lifted the glass.
“Well, someone said I should go easy on her since she was just returning to the club scene after a long time. So it only has a little kick.” He smiled at the sight of nerves she was showing. “Come on, hand it over let me add a little vodka to it.”
But Phoebe could feel the stranger standing right behind her. Lifting the glass, she took a drink.
“Hi,” she heard him say, his deep voice just another thing to add to the plus column of reasons why he was the sexiest man she had probably seen in her life. The minus column was still empty as of yet and Phoebe was hoping he had a bad habit, like eating chips in bed. Her cheeks turned red as she realized she was already thinking about him and a bed.
Turning around with what she hoped was a flirty and confident smile like Sophie would give, she opened her mouth to reply him. Then fell forward and launched into a coughing fit, cheeks red in embarrassment as she pats her back to stop the fit. By the time she lifted red-rimmed eyes, he was holding a glass of water for her.
“Never knew I looked that bad,” he said with a smile as he handed the cup to her.
Phoebe took the cup and drank. From the corner of her eyes, she watched him take the seat beside her and give Simon his order. For a moment, Phoebe considered dropping the cup and just making a beeline for the door, sure she could find another club where she could proceed to drink her embarrassment away. In the end, she timidly lifted up her head, cheeks tinged red with embarrassment and gave him a small smile.
“Hi…” she said, then stopped, no idea what to say next.
“I guess the next time I step out, I should wear a plastic bag over my head. Save people the headache of seeing my ugly face.” The confident smile with which he made this statement showed he knew exactly how handsome he was.
“Yeah right,” Phoebe couldn’t resist rolling her eyes. “You are probably the sexiest man in this club and you know it.”
For a second, Phoebe was shocked she had made such a statement, and so brazenly too. Then she remembered what she was here to do. Get loose and have a good time for one night. One night where she was free to be and do whatever she wanted to do without listening to the sensible cute angel dressed in white and sitting on her right. Right now, that angel was tsking and shaking her head at her. But Phoebe decided to go with the other one, the little black angel urging her to let loose and flirt a bit.
“Don’t know about that. But I guess it is kinda fitting since I am talking to the sexiest girl in this club.”
Phoebe spluttered, then burst into laughter. “Either you have problems with your sight or that is the worst pickup line I ever heard.”
He was smiling when he replied her. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and trust me when I say you are one of the sexiest women in this club.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Phoebe replied, bowing mockingly.
“Hi, I’m Rick.” He stretched out a hand, and Phoebe took it, shaking him lightly before letting go.
“I’m Phoebe,” she replied.
Simon dropped Rick’s drink in front of him, smiling at Phoebe as he did and wagging his brows teasingly. Phoebe just smiled and ignored him.
She turned back to Rick. “So, Friday night and I’m guessing you looking to score tonight?” She leaned back in her seat, shamelessly admiring his form.
Rick smiled, dropping the glass he had raised to his laps back on the bar. “Actually was planning to sit alone in a corner and drink away my sorrows and loneliness. Then I saw you and my legs just started moving in your direction. Weird hunh?”