Finally, I take a small drink, letting the rim of the glass linger near my lips afterwards. I glance over again to my left and sure enough the woman sees me as if she’s been waiting for me to look.

Far too easy.

She smiles inwardly and then looks at her light-haired friend. Words are passed between them, but I get the feeling they’re not close, probably just met tonight because the other woman seems more interested in the two men than their conversation. Soon, all four of them are looking my way, the two men with disappointment on their faces.

The dark-haired woman takes her small black purse up from the table in the corner and tucks it underneath her arm.

She walks toward me, swishing her shapely hips gently underneath her skirt.

“Hi,” she says shyly as she steps up, but I get the feeling there’s little shy about her. Perhaps she’s pretending to be the shy type, but I already sense that it’s not in her nature to turn a man like me away, one who she knows deep down inside of her somewhere is the kind of man who embodies sexual control.

“Good evening,” I return with a faint smile.

She blushes.

I stand halfway from my stool and gesture at the empty one next to me, indicating for her to sit down. She does, propping her boot on the spindle to push herself onto the seat. She sets her little purse on the bar.

She smells good, like perfumed powder lightly dusting her skin. Her hair has been freshly washed and even though she has been drinking, I can still faintly smell traces of her minty toothpaste.

I gesture for the bartender who comes over and waits.

“Would you like a drink?” I ask the woman.

She smiles and her brown eyes appear to twinkle.

“Sure, thanks,” she says. “Rum & Coke.”

As the bartender goes to make her drink, I take another sip of mine and push the glass out of my way. I turn around on the stool to face her, leaving my right elbow on the bar.

“It’s not often men like you come in here,” she says.

The bartender places her glass down and then leaves us alone again.

“Men like me?” I inquire casually.

She nods with a blush growing in her cheeks.

“Well, yeah,” she says, fingering the indentions in her glass as I had been doing. “A businessman of sorts by the looks of it. With an accent at that.” She glances at my watch peeking from beneath my jacket sleeve. “And men don’t usually come in here wearing Rolex’s.”

Interesting. She actually knows a Rolex when she sees one and doesn’t even need to get a closer look. Gold-digger? Wealthy herself? She could be a lot of different things, but one thing she isn’t is demure, and she has a deep relationship with money. But she’s far from being vulnerable. No, this one is good at a game of her own. She could easily fool a man into thinking she’s vulnerable. But I’m not a man who is easily fooled. I just wonder if she’s good enough to realize that.

“Gwen,” she introduces herself. “What brings you to a place like this? Needed to drown your sorrows? Trouble with the wife?” She glances at my bare ring finger.

“Fredrik,” I introduce with a dark, faint smile. “Fortunately I have no sorrows to drown. And certainly no wife.”

She grins and takes another sip. Then she slides the glass out of the way with the tips of her long, slender fingers, afterwards propping her elbow on the bar top. She crosses her legs and stealthily pulls the ends of her dress over the top of her knee by tugging the fabric in her lap with her free hand. She has sexy knees attached to long, flexible legs.

Gwen is a very confident woman hiding behind the guise of a shy Jane. She’s a hunter, like me. And she’s used to getting her way. She’s used to men who drool at the sight of her, who can’t get past staring at her br**sts long enough to see that they’re being played.

Tonight will be interesting for her, if not an eye-opener.

If this were any other night and finding my ex-wife wasn’t a priority, I might want to hunt this woman a little longer. Take my time. Feel her out to figure out her game. I’d play it just because I can, and because she’s not so unlike me and would probably enjoy it, too.

“What is that?” she asks. “The accent.”

Her eyes seem to light up with the possibilities, as though the thought of sleeping with a man with an accent excites her.

I incline toward her, closing the space between us and inhale her scent. My gaze scans the curvature of her neck and the plumpness of her mauve-colored lips. “Swedish,” I answer and let my eyes fall on hers. I lean in closer so that she can feel the heat of my breath on the side of her neck. “I should tell you, Gwen”—her body leans into mine eagerly—“I never waste time with the mating ritual, getting to know one another before we f**k by offering little spoonfuls of personal information to break the ice.” I sense her body tense up and her breathing begins to deepen, but she makes no effort to pull away from me. “If you want to leave with me, then let’s go. I can promise you one thing.”

I pull away and look at her, waiting for her answer. Her eyes are wide and that plump mouth of hers sits partially agape. She’s no longer the confident, game-playing woman she was when she walked over here. She’s stunned for probably the first time in her life.

She hesitates for a long, contemplative moment and finally asks, “What can you promise me, exactly?” Then she laughs nervously and adds, “That you won’t kill me and throw my body in a dumpster?” She seems only slightly concerned about that prospect.

I smile and curl my fingers around my glass before bringing it to my lips and taking a drink. “No, I won’t do that,” I say and set the glass back down. “But I will have my way with you—that is if you can handle it. I won’t lie to you, I’m not gentle.”

She bites down tenderly on the corner of her bottom lip.

Gwen pauses and then turns slowly on the stool, facing forward. She takes another small drink and sets the glass down letting her fingertips linger on the wet rim. I’ve seen that look of excitement and conflict in a woman before. It’s unmistakable, the look of a woman who wants to taste the darkness no matter the risks. Her cream-colored skin is flush with heat. Her long, slender fingers continue to dance around the rim of the glass in a slow, repetitive movement. The inner ridge of her bottom lip stays moist as the tip of her wet tongue carefully traces it.

Quietly reading her thoughts, which are as loud as the music playing in the background, I oblige and drop my right arm from the bar, slipping my hand between her thighs and carefully breaking them apart. Without looking at me—and without objection—her body relents and her legs come uncrossed on the stool.

Tags: J.A. Redmerski In the Company of Killers Book Series
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