This Man

Page 12


‘Oh, she mentioned me?’ he asks softly. I don’t have to look at him to know he’s displaying a smug, satisfied face at this news. ‘I wonder what else she’s mentioned.’

‘Oh, this and that,’ Kate flips casually, but it’s too late to back track on her previous statement. I throw her my filthiest look.

‘This and that.’ he counters softly.

‘Yes, this and that.’ Kate affirms.

Fed up of the pointless little exchange that they both seem to be enjoying, I take the situation into my own hands, turning my eyes onto him. ‘It was nice to see you, goodbye.’

Our eyes latch immediately, and I’m ruined by his sludgy green eyes, all hooded, dark and demanding. I can feel his breath waver and it draws my eyes away from his, but only to his mouth. His lips are moist, slightly parted, and his tongue slowly creeps out of his mouth, running a leisurely path across his bottom lip. I can’t take my eyes off him. Without any encouragement at all, my own tongue responds with a happy little adventure across my bottom lip. It betrays my effort to appear emotionless…unaffected. I’m so affected.

This is crazy. This…whatever this is…it’s just crazy. He’s over confident and arrogant, but probably has the right to be. I desperately do not want to be affected by this man.

‘Nice?’ He leans forward, grasping my thigh, causing hot liquid lava to flood my groin. I shift my legs, squeezing my thighs together to restrict the pulsation that threatens to break out into a full, hard throb. ‘I could think of lots of words, Ava. Nice is not one of them. I’ll leave you to consider my question.’

Oh, good Lord! I gulp as he leans into me at half height, pressing his damp lips against my cheek, holding his kiss forever. I clench my teeth in an effort not to turn into him.

‘Soon.’ he whispers. It’s a promise. He releases my tense thigh and rises. ‘It was nice to meet you, Kate.’

‘Hmmm, you too.’ she responds thoughtfully.

He strides off towards the back of the bar. Good God, he walks with purpose and it’s sexy as hell. I close my eyes to mentally gather my wits, which are currently dispersed all over the bar floor. It’s completely hopeless. I turn back to Kate, finding accusing bright blues gawking at me like I’ve just sprouted fangs.

Her eyebrows hit her hairline. ‘Fuck me, that was intense!’ she spits across the table.

‘Was it?’ I start pushing my sandwich around my plate.

‘You better stop with the blah-fucking-zay shit now, or I’ll shove this fork so far up your arse, you’ll be chewing metal. What question are you considering?’ Her tone is fierce.

‘I don’t know,’ I brush her off. ‘He’s attractive, arrogant and has a girlfriend.’ I try for vague.

Kate lets out a long, over amplified whistle. ‘I’ve never experienced that before. I’ve heard of it but never witnessed it.’

‘What are you on about?’ I snap.

She leans across the table, all serious. ‘Ava, the sexual tension batting between you and that man was so f**king super charged, even I was horny!’ She laughs. ‘He wants you bad. He couldn’t have made it any clearer if he’d have spread you on that pool table.’ She points, and I actually look.

‘You’re imagining things.’ I snort. I know she’s not, but what can I say?

‘I’ve seen the text, and now I’ve seen the man in the flesh. He’s hot…for an older guy.’ She shrugs.

‘I’m not interested.’

‘Ha! You keep telling yourself that.’

I scowl across the table at my best friend. ‘I will.’

‘Let me know how that works out for you.’ she shoots back, rather flippantly.

***

I return to the office and spend the rest of the day achieving absolutely nothing. I twiddle my pen, visit the toilet a dozen times and pretend to listen to Tom harp on about Gay Pride and all things camp. My phone has rung four times – all Jesse Ward – and I’ve rejected each and every call. I’m staggered by this man’s persistence and confidence.

How loud?

I’m stunned!

I’m happy and enjoying my new found freedom, and I have no intention of derailing my plans to be single and carefree. I’m not getting caught up with a handsome stranger, no matter how handsome he is. And oh, is he mind meltingly delicious. Anyway, he’s way too old for me. And more importantly, he’s obviously taken. And that only reinforces the fact that he’s an ultimate player. This is not the sort of man I need to be attracted to, damn me, especially after Matt and his infidelities. I need a man, eventually, who’ll be faithful, protective and look after me – preferably a bit nearer my age too. How old is he?

My phone declares a text, making me jump and snapping me from my wandering thoughts. I already know who it is before I look.

Being rejected isn’t very nice. Why won’t you answer my calls? Jx

I laugh to myself, drawing the attention of Victoria, who’s rummaging through the filing cabinet near my desk. Her perfectly plucked eyebrow arches. I don’t suppose he is use to rejection. ‘Kate.’ I offer, by way of an explanation. It seems to work, as she returns to sifting through the cabinet.

It should be obvious why I’m not answering my bloody phone. I don’t want to talk to him. He unnerves me, triggering too many reactions. And, quite frankly, I don’t trust my body around him. It seems to respond to his presence with no prompt from me or my brain, and that could be very dangerous indeed.


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