Filthy English (English #2)(5)

by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Realization dawned. “You’re going to miss me when I leave, aren’t you? I’ve been making you tea all summer, screening your calls from old girlfriends, cleaning your flat, washing your Mercedes, plus I’ve been your wingman. I’m practically indispensable. What will you do without me?”

“I’ll learn to knit and make you a bloody hat. Just agree to the bet already.”

I laughed. “Nope.”

But I was already making my way over to her.

As soon as the barstool next to her was vacated, I took it. Spider took up the other side of me, an excited look on his face as he eyed the girl in the blue dress who was trying to wave down a bartender. I thought I heard an American accent, but with one of the club’s music speakers close to where we sat, I couldn’t catch what she was saying.

A cackle erupted from Spider. “I’m sensing a victory already. You’re gonna cock it up.”

“First off, you have a serious gambling problem, and second, I have never been turned down.”

“Shut your gob, Sex Lord. Woo her.”

Without her knowing, I watched her in the mirror across from the bar as she blatantly checked me out, her head tilted ever so slightly in my direction as her eyes went from the top of my head down to my Converse.

I bit back my grin and flicked a look at Spider. “She’s in the palm of my hand.”

“Uh-huh,” he sang.

Things went sideways when a hot redhead swayed her hips over to me. She giggled. “My friends dared me to come over here and ask you to dance. You wanna?” she asked, hands lingering on my arm.

I grinned. “Sorry, love, can’t.” Keeping my voice low, I nudged my head at the girl in the blue dress. “I’m already spoken for.”

She got the hint and stalked off while the girl in the blue dress watched it all. I smiled broadly and cocked an eyebrow at her—hey, babe, I want YOU.

She ignored my eye messages, seeming immune to my charm. Dammit. This mask was a hindrance.

As I watched, the bartender leaned over the bar to flirt with her, his eyes all over her chest. I stiffened, my hackles rising.

No way was he getting any of that.

This was the first girl I’d been remotely interested in all summer, and I wasn’t giving her up to a lumberjack wannabe. I distracted him by snapping at him and ordering a drink.

Then fate stepped in.

The girl in the blue dress stood, weaved around, teetered in her high heels, and whoosh! dropped right into my arms.

Wham, bam. Score.

I hadn’t had to do a damn thing.

MUSCLED ARMS CAUGHT me without hesitation, ensuring I didn’t crash to the floor. Thank God.

“Gotcha,” his husky voice said.

My free arm snaked around my rescuer’s neck and held on. “Hi,” I breathed as I gazed up at him. “Nice catch.”

A sexy grin crossed his chiseled face. “Is your name Angel and did you fall from heaven to be with me?”

“Most likely I came from hell.”

He tossed his head back and laughed.

Cool air met my lower body. Craning my neck, I saw that my dress had ridden up to my waist, giving him a crystal-clear view of my sprawled legs and blue lace garter set. Yet another pricey garment purchased for this trip. I groaned, feeling my face redden. “Oh great, now I’ve flashed my butt to the entire place.”

“Nice knickers,” he murmured, smoothing my dress down gently and not ogling me. Point for him. But then a guy as hot as him didn’t have to resort to sneak peeks. He could probably have anyone he wanted.

“Is everyone staring at me?” I covered my face with my hands. “I hate being the center of attention.”

“Meh. A few. Some are laughing.”

I peeked through my fingers to find him smiling down at me, flashing gorgeous white teeth.

“Come on now, it’s fine. I’m teasing you. No one in this hellhole cares,” he said. “Although your shoe sailed across the room. It might have clocked someone in the head.”

I sent a wish up, hoping it was the redhead.

Using my good arm, I reared myself up and rearranged myself until I was sitting up in his lap. His head still towered over me, his hands cradling my waist to make sure I stayed in place. I estimated he was at least six-five.

“Tall guys are my favorite,” I murmured, and then bit my lip self-consciously. “And clearly I’m thinking out loud. Sorry.”

“Good thing I’m tall then.” His eyes landed on my mouth. Lingered.

I swallowed.

Now what?

You’re a bomb-ass bitch with a brain the size of Texas is what! Use it!

Maybe I could mesmerize him with my random eighties trivia or tantalize him with tales of migrating bird patterns? Whatever. I didn’t have to be beautiful to have rebound sex with whomever I wanted. Yeah.

My thoughts drifted back to that big honeymoon suite. “Um, random question here—do you like beds with rose petals scattered everywhere?”

His eyes went low and heavy. “I’d say yes.”

My eyes skated over his broad shoulders. “Great answer.”

“Hmmm, are you offering me a place to crash tonight?” His hand tightened around my waist.

I paused, thinking.

Could I go through with this?

One-night stands were not my usual. I enjoyed more cautious fun, like filling out my yearly calendar, writing life goals, and typing up spreadsheets. I had every single detail of my existence planned, right down to my future kids’ names.

And the last time I’d had a spur-of-the-moment fling, it had nearly ruined—

“What’s this?” Concern crossed his face as he noticed my wrist attached to my dress. I’d completely forgotten about it. “What’s wrong with your arm?” A warm hand cupped my elbow, his fingers then traveling to my wrist.

“I snagged my bracelet on my dress.” Another blush rose up from my neck as I recalled the spectacle I’d made. “It belonged to my grandmother—an heirloom—and was a gift from my late father for my sixteenth birthday. I’m—I’m terrified I’ll break it or ruin the dress. Knowing my luck, I’d do both.” I looked down at the diamond-studded bracelet and grimaced. “It will kill me to break it, but I guess I can always have it repaired.”

“Here, let me see it,” he said, inspecting the fabric where my hand currently dangled.