SOME GIRLS DO
“So what’s a guy like you doing in a place like this?” she asked.
He raised his gaze to her face and laughed. “I think that’s my line.”
Lacey shrugged. “Told you I was forward. And besides, if you don’t mind me saying, you’re kind of sucking at the pick-up lines.”
“You want a line?” His mouth quirked up at one side. “How about this? You have impressive ball skills.”
Lacey hadn’t been expecting something so blatant and she was stunned for a moment before she laughed. “Play your cards right and I’ll give you a personal demonstration.”
He laughed too and it vibrated through her belly with all the subtlety, finesse and potency of a jackhammer. Lacey squirmed against the stool as heat flooded her abdomen.
She’d never been this hot for a guy.
“Seriously,” he said, sobering and his intense blue gaze caught and held hers. “Where’d you learn to shoot a combo?”
The laughter from earlier dried up from the inside out. She shrugged. “A girl with brothers learns a lot of useless things. How to hook a worm and gut a fish … how to make cricket stumps out of just about anything … how to skip stones … light a fire …”
How to never ever cry lest they get that stricken helpless look and send you away.
“I imagine a girl with brothers would also learn not to let some guy pick her up in a bar,” he murmured.
Hell yeah, she’d learned that one too. It’d been drummed into her — by Ethan particularly — just before he’d driven her two hundred kilometres from the only home she’d ever known to the college they’d insisted she still attend, despite her overwhelming grief.
But they couldn’t have it both ways. They couldn’t send her away and expect her to still live by their rules.
“Hey,” he said as he pushed a stray lock of hair off her forehead with his index finger. “Where’d you go?”
Lacey blinked as his blue eyes searched hers, frightened he could see everything — her hurt, her pain, the nagging homesickness that never seemed to go away.
No. She would not think about home tonight.
Quickly, she tipped her head back and drained her beer in three swallows. “You want to get out of here?”
Lacey could tell Coop was deciding whether or not to push her further on the subject. When he, too, drained his beer she almost sagged in relief. “My place is three blocks away.”
She smiled at him. “Perfect.”
He was ushering her through the entrance doors to his apartment complex ten minutes later. Lacey had no recollection of the trip. Not with his hand in the small of her back, his thumb stroking a lazy pattern through her shirt and streaking heat like a fork of lightning up her spine.
He pushed the lift button and Lacey glanced at him. The urge to kiss him pulsed inside her.
“If you keep looking at me like that,” he said, his voice full of gravel, his gaze firmly fixed on her mouth, “we’re not going to make to the apartment.”
Lacey’s gut clenched as the rumble in his tone abraded the hairs at the back of her neck, rubbed like sandpaper against her nipples and tingled between her thighs. It was only the ding of the lift that saved them from making out on the parquetry floor.
But the second the doors closed and they were alone, he was pushing her against the wall and she was grabbing his shirt and nothing could have stopped her from accepting the full-frontal assault of his mouth as it slammed hot and hard onto hers.
Lacey moaned as his fingers tangled in her hair and his tongue tangoed with hers. He groaned against her mouth and her belly tightened.
Crap. If the man screwed like he kissed she was a goner.
The lift dinged again and Lacey whimpered as Coop dragged his lips away and pressed his forehead to hers. Their heavy breathing filled the lift as the door slid open. “Don’t plan on getting any sleep tonight.”