She grabbed a bill from her purse and fed it into the jukebox. “Mind if I select a few?”

“By all means.” He spread his arms on either side of her, curving his hands around the sides of the machine.

She punched in the code of the album and song she knew by heart. Lime Light blared over the speakers.

He leaned forward. “You played a Rush song?”

“Yeah. Neil Peart is the best drummer and lyricist who ever lived,” she defended. After unburdening her soul, her feisty edge returned.

“Seriously. You like Rush.”

“Do you have a problem with my taste in music?”

“God, no.” He laughed. “They’re the greatest band on earth. I’ve just never met a woman who was into them.”

She lifted her chin. “I’m not your average woman.”

“I agree,” he murmured. His lips brushed her ear, creating a hot tingle that spread through her.

They selected as many songs as her five dollars afforded. The entire time Trey towered over her, their bodies sealed together, clothes offering a thin barrier. She wanted to turn in his arms and lock lips in front of everyone. She typically hated public displays of affection, but Trey was quickly changing her mind. She’d never wanted a man’s touch so badly.

After choosing their songs, they headed to the back room that was home to four pool tables. A server passed by to take their drink order.

Trey arched his eyebrow. “Another shot?”

She held up her hands. “Oh, no. I’ve reached my limit.” She ordered a beer, but he declined. She chalked the tip of her cue stick and slid him a teasing glance. “Are you trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”

He half-sat on the edge of the pool table beside her hip, folded his arms, and let his gaze travel slowly from her lips to her breasts and back again. “Is it working?”

“Guess you’ll have to wait and see.” She tossed her hair, indulging his flirtation with her own.

He sighed and shook his head, a spark of challenge in his dark eyes. “You’re going to wish you hadn’t tempted me.”

She threw her shoulders back. “You think I can’t handle you?”

He leaned in and murmured against her temple. “Like you said. We’ll have to wait and see.”

For such a big man, he moved with surprising grace. Like a huge, predatory panther circling the pool table, calculating his next move until he sank every ball except the eight.

Then he missed.

She rolled her eyes. “You’re being too obvious, letting me win. But I appreciate the gentlemanly gesture.”

He grinned. “I do what I can.” He lifted a shoulder casually. “It’s just a game.”

“So this is just a game to you?” she questioned.

He sent her a hard, heated look. “I only play the game when I plan to win.”

She leaned over the pool table suggestively and sank the eight ball. Then she approached him and patted his shoulder. “Sorry for your luck.”

He snaked his arm around her waist. “In this case, even when I lose, I win.”

“I like the way you play,” she said.

Desire crackled in the air like an electric current. “Good, because I’m just getting started.”

Slipping from his grasp, she returned her pool stick to the wall-mounted rack and he did the same. When the last song they’d chosen ended, the sound of guitar chords echoed through the small bar. She nodded toward the stage. “Let’s go watch the band.”

Without thinking, she took his hand. His fingers instantly locked with hers. A firm, unyielding grip that advertised exactly who she belonged to tonight.

They resumed their seats at the bar, and he braced his feet on the rungs of her stool. His thigh slid against hers. She swiveled to face the stage, and he draped his arm across the back of her seat.

Closing his eyes, Trey inhaled her scent of peppermint and peaches. It was all he could do not to lower his head and caress her bare shoulder with his mouth, then glide the back of his hand along her delicate collar bone where the thin strap of her top taunted him.

How easy it would be to twine his finger around that strap and lower it down her arm, baring the tight curve of her breast to him. But then, he’d bare her to everyone else, and the thought struck the territorial instinct deep inside him.

He needed to possess her. Completely.

As the band played, she sang to most of the songs. Slightly off-key and adorable.

He couldn’t stop staring at her, enjoying her pleasure, thrilled by her ease with him, her trust in him in spite of what had happened to her last year. His fists clenched involuntarily. If only he’d been here then. He would’ve knocked that bastard’s teeth into his throat. But, as he recalled, Logan had stepped up to that task.

When the band started a new song, she leaped up from her barstool. “I have to dance to this one.”

She joined four other women on the dance floor and stole the show, shaking her tight ass in those glued-on jeans.

Every man in the bar watched her, absorbed by her beauty and her red-lipped smile. Possessive resentment raged hotly inside him. They had no idea how incredible she was beyond the physical. He couldn’t take much more of these letches staring at his girl. Usually, he wasn’t like this, but Devon had a hold on him he couldn’t shake.

When a scruffy guy approached the dance floor, Trey’s blood pressure surged. He needed to get out of here and she was damn sure coming with him. He shot off of his barstool before the man came close enough to touch Devon.

Trey reached her in a few determined strides and grabbed her hand. “We’re out of here.”

“But the song’s not over,” she protested.

“I’ll buy you the album.”

He dragged her off the dance floor, threw another hundred on the counter, told the bartender to keep the change, and shoved her through the exit.

Outside in the warm summer night, Devon dug in her heels and slowed him down. “What was that about?”


“You’re scowling.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Now you’re arguing with me.”

“No, I’m—” He exhaled and ran a hand through his hair. “I saw the time and decided we needed to go.”

“Oh.” She folded her arms as they approached his car. “Why didn’t you say so, instead of dragging me off like a caveman?”

He unlocked the doors and opened the passenger side for her. “I’ll try to refrain myself next time.”

Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense