He easily sinks two striped balls before missing one and passing the turn to me. He steps back, studying me. “So what have you been doing all this time? When you’re not showing up to rescue people.”

“Graphic design,” I say, studying the table. “The firm I work with is letting me work remotely for the next month.”

Thomas’s eyebrows pop up in surprise. “Not what I would have guessed.”


“Nope,” he grins. “Weren’t you on the math team in high school? I thought you might have some sort of accounting job.”

I don’t try to hide my eye roll. “Yeah, I was on the math team. But I don’t actually like math and wanted to do something that I like and am good at.” I try for an ambitious shot and miss.

“Fair enough,” he says, quickly taking a shot that he misses. It’s so fast that it seems intentional.

I look him up and down as I come around the table toward him. “Doesn’t seem like you’re that good with your stick after all.”

His face is entirely serious. “I am. Don’t worry.” Turning my back to him, I line up a shot. “You won’t make that,” he says. And then his hands are on my waist. I can feel the heat of his fingers through my clothes, and for just a second it takes my breath away. The way his fingers curve around my hips has me seeing different images than what’s actually in front of me. Again the pictures of the dark and the moonlight, this time with his strong fingers doing things to me that make me moan…He moves me an inch to the left and I’m snapped back into reality. “There.”

“We’re competing. How do I know you’re not trying to screw me?”

I can hear the smile in his voice, and his chest brushes my back as he leans in to whisper in my ear. “I am most definitely trying to screw you, but I’m one ahead and don’t want to leave you in the dust.”

Heat and desire roll through me, and I’m suddenly wet even though I shouldn’t be. He’s a Logan. God, this isn’t the way I usually play pool. I’m getting distracted. I force my eyes open and focus. I take the shot, and it’s perfect, damn him. I turn to move to my next shot, but Thomas doesn’t. The moment is suspended, neither us are breathing, our bodies pressed up against each other suggestively. The thought crosses my mind that even after I win, I might let him take me home anyway.

“Excuse me,” I say.

He leans close, and for a second I think that he’s going to kiss me. And for a second I think that I’m going to let him. “My pleasure,” he says as he steps back. He leans on the table as I set up my next shot, and I miss. I’m distracted by his forearms. Because he’s rolled up his sleeves and I didn’t even notice. But now I can’t stop staring at them, the corded muscle, the strength that’s obvious. My mouth starts to water.

We trade shots, both missing and sinking the balls at an even pace. He’s not nearly as drunk I thought he was, and he’s also better than I thought he would be. I’ve completely underestimated him.

The times we brush against each other is more than it should be, given we’re alone at the back of the bar, but I don’t mind. I like the goosebumps that rise along my skin and I like the way he’s looking at me with that fire behind his eyes.

It’s down to the final few. I have two balls plus the eight ball left, and Thomas has three. “So what happens if I do win?” I ask.

“I’ll take care of it,” he says.

“If you can take care of it for a bet, why can’t you take care of it without one?”

He shakes his head. “I never said it would be easy. It might be possible if played the right way, but it’s not going to win me any favors. My father is not a man who appreciates losing money or letting people off the hook. So, given the fact that taking care of it will undoubtedly impact my life negatively, and possibly affect my standing at the company, I’m not willing to risk it otherwise.”

I raise an eyebrow. “But you’ll do it for the chance to sleep with me?”

“I’d do a lot of things for the chance to sleep with you,” he says.

I shake my head, laughing. “We haven’t seen each other in almost ten years, and it’s only been a few hours. Why?”

“Beside the fact that you’re incredibly hot?” he says. “I don’t like unfinished business. You and I have some. I thought that we were both enjoying that night…before you disappeared and never spoke to me again.”

Tags: Penny Wylder Dirty Brothers Billionaire Romance
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