Falling for the Guy Next Door(5)

By: Claire Robyns

Wine spluttered from Lucy’s mouth. She lowered her glass and narrowed her eyes on Megan. “Let me guess, he’s been celibate for a decade?”

“No need to sound so cynical.”

“You have a warped idea of real life, honey. No man is going to wither a decade away over the love of one woman.”

“I don’t write real life,” Megan muttered. “I write fiction.”

“And in both, men are just as human as women. They hurt, they love, they get confused, they make mistakes, and sex is always the dark smudge left behind.”

Megan knew where this going and didn’t like it. She’d never put Jack on a pedestal. She’d never expected or wanted perfect. She had expected more than a one-night stand and the abrupt dismissal, as if they’d been nothing more than strangers passing in the night. It didn’t help that she was just as mad with herself as she was at him. She really should have known better.

And now he was back, sexy as sin and sizzling her blood with those heated looks. Charming his arrogant features with that lop-sided grin and taunting her with the familiar banter of their once-upon-a-time friendship.

The last time around, he’d stripped her ego and nipped her heart. She couldn’t afford to give him anything more to walk away with this time.

Megan jumped up to fetch the bottle of wine and steered the conversation determinedly toward the hen party she was organising for Isobel next month.

Isobel was more Finn’s friend than theirs. Finn was another guy they’d known forever, a close friend, and he’d taken the new, slightly gawky, somewhat aloof, girl under his wing when Isobel had arrived in Corkscrew Bay with her dad halfway through their final year of school. Megan had been a little surprised to be appointed chief bridesmaid, but then again, Finn would have looked ridiculous in pink satin.

Hours later, wrapped in slinky black silk and seated at a table of twelve beneath fairy lights twinkling from the ceiling, Megan finally responded to Jack’s message.

You know what they say about a man’s ego being indirectly proportional to his— She reconsidered the word she’d been about to use and substituted –shoe size. I didn’t run from you. I’m at a writing conference that I attend every year without fail.

There were two erotica writers, a poet and the lead scriptwriter for a TV comedy show at the table with Megan, which made for a colourful conversation indeed. Megan relaxed into the laughter that was sparked with naughty context, drank too much wine and table-hopped to catch up with friends she seldom saw face-to-face except at events such as this.

When she returned to her seat for the final round of speeches, there was a new message notification. She ignored her phone. For exactly five seconds.

Never heard that saying, but knowing that you’re thinking about my *shoe size* has me hard and throbbing.

Heat rushed up her throat. Her eyes flashed around the table, but no one was looking her way. Her fingers tightened around the phone. She should just leave it. Really leave it. But phone-sex? Seriously? What the hell was wrong with the man?

Her fingers tapped furiously. Nothing to get excited about. I was thinking how very small it is.

She lifted her glass to her lips and took a deep sip. And maybe she should be asking what was wrong with her, because now she was definitely thinking about a lot more than how deeply, fully he filled her. The feel of his strong hands caressing her skin. The taste of his mouth on hers, the pressure of those firm lips slanting kisses with increasing urgency until his tongue dipped inside to claim her senses, the gentle scrape of his shadowed jaw as those kisses trailed down her throat and fluttered butterflies to her…

Your memory is fuzzy. I’d be happy to give you a private tour to refresh it.

She blinked. Released her lower lip from where it had caught between her teeth. Her blood was hot, and it wasn’t all anger.

Yes, Jack. Oh, yes. The chemistry between them was explosive. One night had never been enough to sate the desire that had slowly built over more than a year and then rocked her world off-tilt.

And maybe, despite how far and fast he’d run, one night hadn’t been enough for Jack either. Not if the flirting and innuendos and blatant invitation was any indication.

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