Home > The Hot Shot (Game On #4)(4)

The Hot Shot (Game On #4)(4)
Author: Kristen Callihan


All the air sucks out of the room, and I hear a distinctive pop in my ears. My guys stiffen as well, their eyes going wide with obvious shock.

“Oiled up?” I can barely get the words out from between my clenched teeth. This is just fucking peachy. PR failed to mention anything about stripping. “You fucking with us?”

Her expression is bland as ever. “When I fuck with someone, he knows it, Mr. Mannus.”

Oh, I bet they do. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s left claw marks on some poor chump’s balls. My own balls tighten in sympathy.

Jake, who has never been one for self-preservation, laughs. “I love this chick.”

Green eyes flash beneath severe brows of justice. “I am not a chick, Mr. Ryder. I am a woman.”

Rolondo makes a faint, mock crowd-roar, and Dex elbows his side to shut him up.

“With a job to do,” she adds with such disdain that I can’t keep quiet.

“Let me guess,” I drawl. “You’re obsessed with finally finding One-Eyed Willie.”

Jake chokes on a smothered laugh, and Dex runs a hand over his beard, clearly hiding a smile.

“Man,” Rolondo mutters. “You’ve gone and done it now.”

I’m pretty sure I have. A hint of warning trickles down my spine, but I’m too irritated to heed it. We’ve been played and now we’re expected to strip like good little boys? I don’t think so.

Chess slowly walks my way. I’ve had offensive coaches stare me down with less intensity. But they’ve never made my heart rate speed up. It’s unnerving, but damn if I’m going to let it show. I set my hands low on my hips and wait for the inevitable explosion.

She stops in front of me, close enough that I catch a faint whiff of sunshine and earth, as if she’s been sitting in a garden, soaking up the light. Our gazes lock. I expect her to rip into me, and maybe she’s going to—her lips part as if she’s taking a breath. But she doesn’t speak. She just stands there, looking up at me as if frozen in place.

A weird shift pushes through the room. I don’t know what the fuck is happening. My focus narrows down to just her, nothing else. The warmth of her body radiates outward and buffets mine. And it’s as if she’s easing a hot hand down my abs. The sensation is so intense, my balls lift and my dick grows weighty and full.

What the actual fuck?

I can’t move. All my brainpower has gone south to take orders from my rising dick. And said dick is insisting that we get closer. He wants a formal introduction.

No, no, no. Not happening.

I pull in a deep breath, and my brain gets further scrambled by her scent. I’m in serious trouble here.

I’m almost grateful when she finally speaks, but her bedroom voice doesn’t help matters much. “Let’s be clear, Mr. Mannus. You’re in my house now. We have a job to do. I’ll do my part, and you do yours.” Her dark eyes search mine. “Make all the dick jokes you want. They won’t save you.”

No, I suspect they won’t. Like an inevitable collision with a charging linebacker, I suspect Ms. Chess Copper is going to take me down and make me feel it. Bitch of it is, I’m not sure if I hate the idea or kind of like it.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Chess

 

* * *

 

Work flows as it always does. I cajole the shy, quiet big guy, Dex into relaxing. I manage the flirty one, Jake until he settles down. And the showboat Rolondo, I simply shoot as much as I can while he poses as much as he can. It’s fun, all of it.

Maeve, my part-time assistant, shows up and helps me with lighting while James gets each guy ready. And, yes, he is a stammering, blushing mess the whole time. The guys take it in stride. It’s clear they’re used to walking around naked, and they view their bodies as machines, for the most part. Disrobing doesn’t seem to bother them in the least.

Dicks, however remain a sensitive issue. Surprisingly, the flirt, Jake Ryder is particularly worried.

“Shit,” he mutters as he drops his robe and a fine blush tints his cheeks. “What if I get wood? I mean, I’m not turned on or anything. Not, that you aren’t really cute…Shit. I didn’t mean that.” He shuffles his feet, his hands moving to cover his penis before they jerk away as if he doesn’t want to hide either. “I’m just saying, I’m naked and you’re going to be looking. That usually tends to make him stand at attention.”

The mere fact that he’s not hiding his fear is admirable to me. I keep my expression neutral and take a shot to check the light. “If he decides to give us a wave, we ignore him. Just like I do whenever that happens.”

“Happens often?” he asks, brightening.

“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Ryder, that penises can have minds of their own.”

“Or lack of,” he agrees with a little laugh.

He relaxes, and we get through just fine. But all the while, there’s a burr under my skin, an annoying thud of my heart against my ribs. Because, unlike Jake, I am not at ease. Not one bit. And I know who is to blame.

The Asshat. Mannus.

I could pretend I don’t know why he affects me when the others don’t. But it would be a lie. I’m attracted to him. And it is horrifying.

Usually, I need to like a man in order to feel a spark. Asshats who clearly think they’re hot shit do not get a more than a passing glance from me. And why should they? I’m around good-looking men all the time. Physical beauty is nothing more than an appealing package to gaze on. What’s below the surface is so much more interesting.

The fact that Finn Mannus, who annoys the hell out of me, has been tickling the edges of my thoughts since I’ve set eyes on him is not a welcome experience. That he’s up next and I’m going to have to see him naked, that I’ll need to keep my composure and photograph him, is messing with my head. A lot.

My insides are stupidly fluttering and swooping. My fingers are cold, but my skin is hot. I’m so annoyed with myself, I want to take five and slap my own face. At this rate, I’m going to need James to give me a “bitch, be cool” lecture.

I just need to get through the day, and soon it will all be a hazy memory. I’ll drink a glass of chilled white wine—or maybe an icy shot of vodka at this rate—and get ready for my date with…Shit, what was the guy’s name? I blink, unable to remember.

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