Melanie Donner has certain…urges. Bad urges. Urges she knows she needs to get control of, or she’s going to end up either in prison or dead. When her two best friends decide to make a pact to each pick up a guy to spend the night with on every major holiday, she figures it’s a good way to set a few boundaries for her little “hobby”.
But right from the start, things get weird when a would-be student of her work shows up and won’t take no for an answer…
“Hey there, handsome,” she greeted him as he drew closer. Better to open the conversation herself than have him ruin it with some cheesy over-used line. “Buy a girl a drink?”
“Absolutely, beautiful. Whatcha drinking?” He smiled, revealing a set of teeth so perfect they could only have been achieved through thousands of dollars of dental work.
Damn it. She couldn’t take someone who clearly had a well-documented dental history, no matter how well he filled out that black tee. Shame, really. All that lovely skin.
“Um, whatever you’re having,” Melanie said, already scanning the room for another suitable candidate. The leather jackets and boots by the pool table were out – too many tattoos, as a general rule. Skinny guys wouldn’t work either – not enough space and often less supple tissues due to the lower body fat.
Then she spotted a loner staring at a laptop in a corner booth. Slightly overweight but still in good shape, he looked a little uncomfortable and unapproachable.
She rose from the barstool with a sheepish smile. “I’m sorry, but I see an old friend over there. I really should go say hi.”
The look he gave her as she moved away was confusion mixed with anger, but he’d get over it. Putting him out of her mind, she walked quickly across the room and slid into the booth across from her new target. Leaning forward, she kept her voice low.
“I’m sorry for disturbing you, but I just can’t seem to shake that guy at the bar. It would really help me a lot if I could just sit here for awhile and pretend to be talking to you. Do you mind?”
The man shrugged, not bothering to look up. “Suit yourself,” he said, his tone unfriendly. Probably not the best target, considering she doubted he’d agree to come home with her, but someone with his attitude was unlikely to be missed, at least not for long.
Thinking fast, she decided an appeal to his protective side might work. If he had one, anyway.
“Actually, I should probably just get out of your hair. It’s obvious that you’re busy, and I apologize for bothering you. I just need to find someone who will walk me to my car. Just in case, you know.”
He looked up then, eyebrows raised. “You’re scared to walk out alone?”
The way he looked at her gave her the chills. His eyes were cold, hard. Unfeeling. He looked like he wanted to eat her, and not in the pleasurable way.
Well, no matter. Protective or predatory, whatever got him out to her car of his own accord. She could handle him from there.
Melanie rolled her eyes. “Oh. No. Well…of course not. You’re right. He wouldn’t be that stupid, would he?” She gave a nervous little laugh and slid out of the booth. “Have a good evening, and thanks for helping me out.”
“Sure,” he said as she walked away. She could feel his stare between her shoulder blades, and she intentionally walked slow enough that he could easily follow.