If there was one thing I hated the most about managing the bar, it was going to the bank.
Waiting in line. Dealing with apathetic and sometimes downright surly tellers. And, of course, because we had so many pure cash bills to deposit, explaining to the supervisors that, no, this wasn’t drug money and yes, we were a legitimate business.
Good thing I’d learned to have patience over the years. When you were friends with someone like Connor it was pretty much a given. You either learned patience or you ended up strangling him with his own guitar strings.
When I finally managed to deposit the money and get a receipt slip, I hurried out of the bank as fast as I could. I was half worried they’d change their mind and continue harassing me over the wads of bills I came with every week.
Working at a bar meant we dealt with lots of cash. Most of it went to Lizzy and Grant in tips, but a lot of the high ballers liked to order rounds for their entire table and throw fifties around like they were nothing.
Sin and Tonic drew an odd crowd. We got a lot of hipsters because of our local craft beers and up-and-coming indie bands. We also saw a lot of suits because our reputation for stellar drinks made it a great place to take clients. And ever since we started doing trivia nights we’d attracted a geeky sort of bunch.
Trivia nights. The thought made my mind flash back to the last time we’d had one. I remembered the girl who’d contested the results. I remembered offering her a drink as a consolation prize.
I remembered the amazing sex I’d had with that girl when I took her home.
Goddamn, but that night had been amazing. Somehow she’d been sexy and cute at the same time. Alluring and adorable. Her sweet face, her pink lips, her amazing boobs, and the noise she made when when I slid inside her—
My phoned pinged with an email. I blinked down at it in my hand, my thoughts clearing. My cock was already threatening to grow stiff in my jeans.
This wasn’t the first time I’d gotten lost in thought thinking about her.
Yeah, that girl had been kinda awesome, but so had most girls I’d been with. Why did I keep thinking about her? What made this one so different?
Sure, that coy, sexy smile had done something to my insides, but was that really all it was? The way her light blue eyes lit up with desire made the primal caveman in me want to drag her off to bed, but was that enough to make her invade my every thought?
Bree. Her name was Bree. Short for Breanna.
Bree’s face hadn’t left my mind ever since she’d turned her back on me and walked out that door.
I looked up from my phone after quickly scanning the email — boring spam — and nearly tripped over my own feet.
It was bad enough this girl wouldn’t leave my thoughts alone. Now I was starting to see her face everywhere. Because the girl coming up the sidewalk with three dogs on leashes looked just like her.
No. She didn’t look like her. It was her.
Bree was right in front of me.
And she looked like she was three seconds from running away.
That should have been kind of insulting, but I totally got it. After the way we’d left things — after she’d left me, still tangled up in the bedsheets — crossing paths was going to be awkward.
Luckily, I had a lot of practice interacting with one-night-stands. After all, the music industry was pretty incestuous. There was a good chance of running into someone at one party that you’d slept with at another.
The best plan of action was to play it cool.
Bree lifted her hand in a small wave, and I returned it. She didn’t run away, just continued walking down the sidewalk toward me. The three dogs tugged and yanked at their leashes, but she looked like she had everything under control by using treats as a bribe.
“They’re energetic little guys, are they?” I said as an opener. Best to use the dogs as a conversation starter. I sure as hell wasn’t going to start with, Hey, so how about that amazing sex we had?
“I’ve got a handle on it,” she said, panting for breath.
I nodded to the treat bag.
“Bribery?” I asked.
“If it works, it works,” she replied.
I took a moment to scan her up and down. Her hair was messy and a little frazzled, probably from fighting with the dogs. I wanted to grab it in my fist and pull her head to the side to give me access to her neck. That long, graceful neck and collarbone were exposed by her shirt. I got the urge to plant my mouth on that sweet skin again and bite down possessively.
Her cheeks were flushed as she bit her lip. I wanted it to be my teeth nibbling on that soft mouth.
When I brought my eyes back up to hers, that light blue was glimmering with an equal amount of interest.
Maybe there was a chance…
But I had to play it cool.
“I didn’t know you lived in this neighborhood,” I said, leaving the question open for her to answer.
We managed to make some small talk, about the dogs, about our jobs. Things got a little tense when I was reminded of my parents, but I forced those feelings down and concentrated on Bree’s sweet bell-like voice and vivid blue eyes. The way the sunlight hit them made them look like shiny, precious gems. They sparkled in a way I’d rarely seen before, as if she knew a secret I didn’t. As if she was seeing something I wasn’t.
What exactly was Bree seeing when she looked at me?
I knew what I saw when I looked at her. A hot girl, for sure. Someone who made my cock stir. She was a gorgeous woman, and I’d been given the honor to see her naked.
But I also saw something else. There was something dark lurking in those light-colored eyes. There was something about the curve of her lips that made me think she was unused to smiling. She was good at small talk, but I got the sense there was something deeper behind every word that left her mouth.
Maybe that was why I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her.
There was something more to this girl than she showed on the surface.
And, as much as it surprised me to feel this way, I wanted to know what that was.
Bree mentioned going to the dog park and a part of me felt disappointed that our conversation had to end.
Then she said something that shocked the hell out of me.
“Do you want to come with me?” she asked.
I tried not to look taken aback.
Bree had just asked if I wanted to come to the dog park with her.
Maybe my first instinct hadn’t been as out-there as I’d thought. Maybe this one-night-stand thing didn’t have to be only one night.
“I’d love to come, if you think they won’t mind me tagging along,” I said, nodding to the dogs circling and pawing at my legs.
“I think they’d be happy to spend more time with you,” she replied.
We met each other’s eyes. Our lips both curled into smiles.
We both knew she wasn’t only talking about the dogs.
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