Home > Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(7)

Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(7)
Author: Katy Evans


I push at his chest, and he laughs and catches my wrist, and then my laughter traps in my throat and I can’t breathe, because his touch zips down my body like a bolt of lightning.

“So, you wanted to know about my crushes,” he says. “You were curious too. Do you have any lives left?”

“Only one, I think.” I grimace and then grin.

“One’s enough if you make the most of it, isn’t it?” he asks softly, then passes me his cigarette, which is about done.

I thank him, but shake my head, declining, touched he was saving the last drag for me.

I want to ask him if he’s doing anything this weekend. I want to see the sights, but I don’t want to go alone and I don’t want to be a constant burden to Tahoe and Gina, or the few interns I’ve met who seem about as lost as I am. But I don’t. Instead I say, “Well, I guess I’d better get home.”

It’s only until I’m riding down the elevator that I realize I didn’t ask him about his interview, or call him names because he stole my red hairband.

I suppose I wanted to have an excuse to talk to him again.

 

 

That weekend, Gina takes me out to lunch to meet her friends, Rachel and Wynn. They all ask about me, how I’m doing at Carma, and whether I’ve met Callan.

“No, but I’m happy I haven’t. I warned Tahoe I wanted to do this on my own,” I tell them.

“It’s funny. Callan is such a good guy, but in business he’s very intense. He’s like an apocalypse,” Wynn says.

It makes me a little nervous just at the prospect of meeting him.

The conversation turns to them forcing me to eat a Chicago-style hot dog—no ketchup, they say. I chow down on one, the best hot dog I’ve ever had, and they insist I also must try a deep-dish pizza soon.

Gina confides in me she has a bet going on with my brother.

“Livvy, don’t go to any clubs. I have a bet with him that if you go, as he suspects you will, he’ll shave his beard. And I don’t want him to shave it.”

“I really don’t care what my brother does with his beard, but I promise you if I go, he’ll be the last to know.”

That evening, when I get to my apartment, I get a call on my cell phone from Wynn—whose contact I just added while we were at lunch.

“It’s Wynn, Livvy, I need to ask for a favor. About that club thing . . . the no-going-clubbing rule Tahoe set for you. Is that set in stone?”

I ask her why.

“My ex is at this club. I want to see him. I want him to see me looking amazing. And I want to see if we can talk, but I can’t go alone, and Rachel and Gina would kill me. Please come, nobody will know. I’m renting nearby; you can sleep over at my place so you’re not on your own late at night.”

It’s 9 p.m. and I’m already in my PJs, but I really liked Wynn, and I want to enjoy the city, so I tell her I’ll be ready in twenty minutes.

I slip on a pair of tight jeans, a cropped sequined top, high heels, and pull my hair back in a ponytail. I add a red pearl necklace simply because I miss using color at work, and then Wynn texts me that she’s in a cab downstairs, and I grab my keys, a small clutch purse, and head out, feeling a little guilty and sending a quick prayer for my brother to be blissfully ignorant about my escapade.

Thirty minutes later, I’m at a noisy club littered with booths, a huge dance floor, flashing lights, and music. Wynn is in a booth with a handsome blond guy, having a heated argument, and I’m people-watching when my eyes snag on a figure with lovely copper hair and a face to die for at the very end of the room.

Hot Smoker Guy?

When a couple of dancers obstruct my line of sight, I shift in my seat and stare disbelievingly. He’s with another guy, deep in conversation, and I can hear his rumbling laugh through the music.

A girl sits on his lap, looking dotingly up at his face with eager puppy-dog eyes that beg for him to pet her.

He talks to his friend while the girl’s fingers wander over his chest. Still, he ignores her.

I feel sorry for her, but it looks so comfortable on his lap that I’m sorry for me too.

I’m scowling when he absently scans the room and catches me staring.

His smile fades a bit as his gold eyes hold mine—and he gives me a look that rivals vaginal penetration. He uncurls his hand from the woman’s waist and inches her off his thigh, leans forward, elbows on his knees, as if he wants to talk to me and only me.

I tilt my head up to hold his gaze, and the hunger/worry stomach pangs double in force. I give him a haughty look because I expect him to say something crass. He looks at my mouth, then lifts his drink and toasts.

He takes a sip, wetting his lips, and stretches his arm out over the woman again.

He smiles and watches me probingly. He seems to be waiting for me to walk up to him, but I’m trembling a little and I will die before he notices, so I stay in my seat.

I turn around and look at Wynn, and Hot Smoker Guy’s gaze seems to follow.

Wynn seems to be trying to get to her feet, wiping tears from her eyes.

Hot Smoker Guy appears and helps her up by the elbow. He asks her something and nods.

Hot Smoker Guy looks up and sees me.

I smile at him, grateful for the help with Wynn, but he doesn’t smile at me.

My stomach sinks and I look hastily away as he brings her over.

“I’ll take her home.” It’s a statement, not a question.

“Wait. She’s coming, too,” Wynn protests.

There is a prickle of heat against my fingers; his hand engulfing mine totally. He’s smirking, his gold eyes laughing as he scans me thoroughly, head to toe, and his lips—slightly warm in a way that makes my stomach lose control—brush against the shell of my ear, his voice all dark chocolate, wine, and foreplay as he says, “You really don’t go here.”

I scowl at him, then let him drag us both out of the club. We help Wynn into a cab, and he follows her in before tugging me inside, reaching over me to close the door.

My thigh brushes against his thigh. My throat feels tight.

“Just say the word and he’ll be so swollen tomorrow he won’t be able to open his eyes.” His words swallow the silence of the cab.

His voice, clear without the Chicago wind around us, pulses through my body. I stiffen to try to ignore its effect on me.

“Stop, no way. But thanks.” She laughs mournfully.

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