Page 6

“Friends leave you?”

My head snapped up at the sound of the deep voice. The motion threw off my balance. I staggered sideways.

Hot Biker Boy reached out as though to steady me, but I slid farther away, determined that he not touch me. He held up his hand, palm face out, as though to proclaim himself unarmed.

My stare moved from his palm to his face. A face too pretty to be in this bar where it looked like you needed an injection of penicillin if you just brushed up against one of its patrons.

Except he was one of them. A pretty-boy biker just seemed like an oxymoron. A giggle started to slip past my lips, but I quickly pressed my fingers to my mouth to kill the sound.

I gave my head a small shake, trying to clear it from the effects of alcohol.

He leaned against the wall just a few inches beside me. “You okay?” he asked.

“Y-yes. Fine. You? How are you? Oh, wait. Me?” I frowned. “Why? Why do you ask? Don’t I look okay?”

One corner of his mouth lifted in a sexy half grin. I could have kicked myself for babbling so much. A simple yes would have sufficed.

He angled his head, his deeply set eyes focusing on me with an intensity that I wasn’t accustomed to. Like he was really looking past the clothes and makeup and hair to the girl beneath. I squinted. Were those his lashes? Ridiculous. They were longer than lashes ought to be on a guy.

“You look drunk,” he replied.

I winced. Was it that obvious? “Not really. I’ve had a few.”

He gave me a skeptical look. In turn, I gave him what I hoped was my most sober look.

Shaking his head, he looked out at the bar that was growing just as rowdy as the women in the bathroom had predicted. It seemed like our fight had kicked things off for the night and now things were really hopping.

“You stranded here?”

I looked back at him and lied again. “No.” Stranded made me sound so . . . helpless. Even if it was true, that wasn’t me. I wasn’t helpless.

“Where’d your friends go?”

“They had to go somewhere,” I answered, not caring if that wasn’t really an answer at all.

“Without you?”

I exhaled. It was a difficult lie to maintain when I stood here alone. Cold. Wet. And more inebriated than I should be considering my designated driver had flaked out on me. I dragged a hand down one side of my face.

He buried one hand in his jacket pocket but didn’t add anything else. We leaned against the wall in silence, staring straight ahead, several inches separating us. The heat from his body radiated toward me. I rotated my phone in my hand nervously, waiting for him to go away, unwilling to call Georgia in front of him and reveal just how desperate and alone I was.

One of the women from the bathroom was dancing on top of a table now, waving her arms above her head as she gyrated her h*ps to the shouts and cheers of men below her.

He spoke up beside me, his voice a rich, deep rumble over the din. “I know you’re not stranded or anything.” Was that mockery in his voice? “But I could give you a ride home. If you want.”

If you want.

I turned to survey him, propping a shoulder against the wall. I looked him up and down, considering every Hot Biker Boy inch of him. He really was beautiful. Dark haired, with eyes not quite as dark, a chocolaty brown. Deep and mesmerizing. Too bad he was everything I could never have. “I’m not going to f**k you.”

He swung around to fully face me, his shoulder leaning against the wall. His brown eyes glinted as he looked me up and down, deliberately thorough. In the same manner I had evaluated him. “I don’t remember asking,” he answered.

I felt my face go hot. His words were as dismissive as I’m sure he meant them to be and my temper flared. “So what? You’re offering to drive me home because you’re just a Good Samaritan? Right. I believe that.”

My gaze skimmed the long length of him in his leather jacket and biker boots. He was a walking fantasy. If I was into the idea of losing control and having hot sex with a bad boy, he would be an ideal candidate.

One of his eyebrows winged high. “It’s just a ride.”

Nothing about him screamed safe and yet what he was offering meant I needed to trust him.

“It’s never just a ride.” I tucked a damp strand of short hair behind my ear. No, when I went home with a guy, a hell of a lot more happened than a simple drive from point A to point B.

“Look, princess,” he began, all mockery gone, his tone indicating that he had finished playing.

Princess? Affronted, I squared back my shoulders.

“You’re alone and drunk in a place you have no business being,” he went on to say. “Right now there’s a dozen guys watching you, trying to figure out the easiest way to get you on your back.”

I blinked, my stomach rebelling. I looked out at the room again, seeing the faces, the eyes. He was right. Several were looking our way. Assessing me.

He added, “You’re like a lamb in a pack of wolves in this place.”

Yeah. That pretty much summed up how I felt. Not an alien feeling. I’d felt that way before. And I’d vowed never to feel that vulnerable again.

And yet here I was.

“And you’re not a wolf, right?”

“Don’t worry. I’m not into princesses. Drunk or sober.”

I bit back denying that I was a princess. It would be like pleading for him to like me. And I didn’t beg for any guy to like me.

“You really want to stay here?” his expression reflected his doubt.

I looked back out at the room. Walt chose that moment to blow me a kiss . . . followed up by an obscene gesture. I quickly tore my gaze away. How did I end up in a place like this all by myself?

Clearly I had gotten too comfortable, too cocky, too accustomed to always being in control. One phone call with Mom and I flew off the handle and let myself get into a situation where I was no longer in control.

All this thinking, and too much beer, did not make for a good combination. My stomach couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m going to be sick.” Whirling around, I pushed out the door. I moved several steps and settled my hands on my hips, throwing my head back and breathing in the frigid air, letting it brace me. The nausea subsided.

I heard him behind me, his solid steps thudding over the slush of snow and ice.

“I’m okay.” For some reason the words felt more like an assurance to myself. I glanced back at him. His forehead creased as he watched me, clearly unconvinced.