Home > Just What I Needed (Need You #2)(2)

Just What I Needed (Need You #2)(2)
Author: Lorelei James

Please ignore me swilling cheap tequila as I lament the sad state of my life.

He seductively caressed the toothpick’s arm and murmured in her ear.

Her blond hair swung in a perfect arc as she turned her head to look at me.

I offered a smile and tiny wave—dismissive enough that I hoped it would keep them away from my little corner of doom.

No such luck. They started toward me.

Dammit. I should’ve worn Spanx. And combat boots. And boxing gloves.

I kept my smile in place as a string of lies formed in my head about why I was sitting alone in a dark corner.

Milo stopped a solid two feet away from me. “I thought it was you back here.”

“You caught me trying to have a quiet moment before my date arrives.” And there was a perfect example of random words spewing from my mouth.

“I wouldn’t think this was your kind of place,” Milo said.

Ooh, snap. In retrospect, it was shocking how little we knew each other.

The toothpick chirped out, “Hi. I’m Penelope,” as if I didn’t know exactly who she was.

Milo looked uncomfortable. “Well, I just wanted to come by and say—”

“Good-bye as you two crazy kids head out the door?” I supplied.

“Oh, we’re not leaving yet,” Penelope said. “This is our Tuesday tradition. Right, My-love?”

My-love instead of Milo? Eww. Didn’t this dim bulb realize it took a while before something became a tradition? But I played along. “Have you had this tradition long?”

When she said, “A little over three months,” I felt steam curling from my ears.

It’d been only two months since I’d told Milo’s cheating ass we were done.

Before I could ask Milo if his anal rash had cleared up, he was dragging Penelope away.

I scooted out of the booth and snagged my watered-down drink. As I maneuvered through the crowd, it didn’t escape my notice that several admiring looks were aimed my way, which buoyed my spirits. I spied an empty table close to the front door. Keeping my back to the room meant I got first dibs on any attractive single guys who walked in.

The bouncy waitress from the back section had followed me up front. “I was hoping you hadn’t disappeared since I let you run a tab.”

“I’m not wired to drink and dash.” I removed a credit card from my wallet and handed it over. “I’ll take another margarita.”

“You’ve got it.”

When you give off the vibe that you’re waiting for someone? Men always pick that time to hit on you.

Two guys, at least five years younger than me, approached. The one with the military buzz cut spoke first. “Hey. Weren’t you in the back room earlier with a redhead?”

“Yeah. Good memory.”

“Is she coming back?”

Ah. I saw where this was headed. Two of us; two of them. “No. She had a date.”

“That’s a shame she left you alone. But her loss is our gain, huh, Tommy?”

Tommy nodded.

“I’m Vance,” Buzz Cut said. “What’s your name?”

“Amelia.” It just slipped out. In college I’d given an altered name (and fake phone number) to guys I met in a bar that I had no interest in. Seemed that reflex still worked.

“Well, Amelia, do you mind if we join you?”

I gave them a regretful smile. “I’m sorry. My boyfriend is coming when he gets off work. He wouldn’t be happy seeing me making new male friends.”

“I wouldn’t like it either if you were my girl,” Vance said. “Seems it’s our night to strike out.”

“Did you see the ladies playing pool in the back room? A blonde and a brunette?”

“No. Don’t know how we missed them.” Vance grinned and saluted. “Thanks for the tip, Amelia.”

After that I was left alone. As I sipped my drink, I wished I’d remembered to grab my new phone. Then I could kill time and send hate texts to Genevieve for ditching me in my hour of need. But since I hadn’t shared the details of my monumentally craptastic day with her, she’d be mad that I’d let her leave in the first place.

Two men walked in. Neither was my type. A trio of guys showed up next and joined the people at a table somewhere behind me. Much back-slapping ensued. Then a couple, surrounded by half a dozen dudes, blocked the entryway as they argued whether to come in and have a drink or just go to another bar.

When the crowd cleared, he stood alone off to the side, his right hand on his hip as he scanned the room.

Good lord. There was no way to miss him with that massively tall body. And check out that gorgeous beard; as the light changed it seemed to range from golden blond to a creamy white. He angled his head, giving me a killer view of his strong jawline and high cheekbones. Then I caught a glimpse of his longish blond hair messily fastened at the base of his skull. Oh, hell yeah. That was some serious sexy right there—a guy confident enough to pull off a man bun.

He raised his left hand to his jaw and scratched his cheek. No wedding ring. He wasn’t acting as if he was meeting someone; he acted like he was looking for a place to sit.

How fortunate that I had a cozy table for two.

I slid out of my chair and right into his line of vision.

Immediately his focus homed in on me. Interest flared in his eyes.

Then something stronger than awareness flowed through me. An electric charge that gave me a sense of urgency. A magnetic need that pulled me. I floated to him practically in slow motion, my heart racing as I erased the distance between us. I said, “You’re finally here.” Then I stood on tiptoe, slipped my arms around his neck and pressed my mouth to his.

His warm, woodsy scent hit me like a drug. The softness of his lips and the brush of his beard against my chin had me parting my lips, letting my tongue trace the seam of his mouth.

His hands had been idle at his sides. But the instant our breath mingled and our tongues touched, he moved one hand to the back of my head and curled the other one around my hip.

The teasing thrust and retreat of our tongues seemed familiar, as if we’d been mouth-to-mouth a hundred times before. Yet this restrained passion was so damn hot I might combust on the spot. Every cell in my body screamed for more.

When I pressed my body closer to his, he released the deepest, sexiest groan before he retreated.

His eyes, an icy Nordic blue, locked to mine. He appeared to be as breathless and confused as I was. “Was that kiss part of a bachelorette party game?”

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