Maybe she “needs” me to beat the shit out of someone.
And hell, I can do that.
My background as a security guard gave me those necessary skills. Owning a bar in New York City requires a decent amount of muscle, too, and if I find out she’s in trouble or scared of someone, she can rest assured I’ll put it to good use. Matter of fact, the possibility of anyone doing harm to this sweet, beautiful, self-admitted virgin makes my blood boil.
“Need me to do what?” I ask, leaning a forearm on the bar. “Someone hurt you?” A lump in my throat catches me off guard. “Scare you?”
“What?” Frowning, she shakes her head. “No. Nothing like that. I need you for something else.”
My cock grows stiff and achy, even though I know she can’t be needing me for sex. This girl could date anyone. Take her pick. She didn’t walk into this bar and decide a scarred up, big-boned thirty-three-year-old bar owner should be the one to fuck her first.
Life just doesn’t work that way.
But tell that to my dick.
“What is it?”
She licks her lips and now I have to adjust myself. “Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but please hear me out.” Her tits heave a few times. “Actually, do you mind if I have a drink first? I think I need some courage before I ask.”
I almost laugh before I realize she’s serious.
She thinks she’ll ask me for something—anything—and I’ll say no?
“How about a glass of wine?”
Her relief that I’ve made the decision for her is palpable. “Yes. Yes, please.”
On my way to take the good wine out of the refrigerator, I glare at every man at the bar, letting them know to stay right where they are. I’m not good enough for her, but none of them are, either. As soon as I pour her a half glass of wine—she’s only a tiny thing—I make my way back and set it down in front of her. “Have a few sips. I’ll fill some orders and be right back.”
She smiles, and I swear I hear angels singing. “Thank you, Daws.”
I grunt, rubbing at the area below my neck. I did not see this coming tonight.
What the hell is wrong with my chest?
A few minutes later, I’m back in front of her and she’s drained the whole glass of wine. “All right. Here it is.” She squares her shoulders, leans toward me and lowers her voice. “I need you to be my model.”
Again, I wonder if I’m dreaming. “Model? For what? A tractor advertisement?”
Her laugh is cheerful as hell. I want to tuck the sound into my pocket and pull it out on rainy days. “No. I’m a fashion designer. You might have seen me on a reality show called The Fashion Game?” I stare at her blankly and she waves a hand. “Never mind. I won, though, and I’m officially launching at Fashion Week tomorrow afternoon and…I can’t seem to be inspired by the model I hired.”
It takes me a few ticks to realize how I fit into this explanation. “You…” I point at her. “Want me.” I jab my finger into the center of my belly. “To be your model.”
“That is correct.”
“After only a half a glass of wine?”
Her mouth drops open. “I’m not drunk. This is serious.”
“Come on, Nebraska. I’m the opposite of a model. I’m an anti-model.”
“That’s exactly why I need you. You’re real.” She stutters adorably for a moment, regrouping, I’m guessing. “I can’t exactly call you the everyday man, because, well, you’re built like a big ol’ tank. Most men are not. You’re just so unique and…” She ducks her head, hiding her eyes with that fall of blonde bangs. “Look, I have plus-sized female models in my show. Why not men, you know? Bottom line, I just want to make clothes for you. I want you to…wear my clothes. I’ve been blocked for weeks on my menswear line, but I can already see a hundred different options for you. I don’t think I came in here by accident.” She takes a deep breath and blows it out, sending her bangs in a hundred directions. “Wow, that wine really did the trick.”
I’m still not sure if she’s serious.
Me? A male model?
The only manscaping I do is beard-related, I wear a 3XL and I’ve been known to rip through dress shirts if they’re too tight. “You sure this isn’t a joke?” I jerk a thumb over my shoulder. “None of these idiots put you up to this?”
She seems genuinely offended. Hurt, even. And I wish I hadn’t asked her that. “I would never do something that mean. I really want you.” She blushes. “A-as a model. Of course.”
“Of course.” I ignore the sinking disappointment. It’s pointless. She’s light years outside of my league. I already knew that. All she did was confirm it. “What would I have to do?”