Melt For Him(5)

By: Lauren Blakely



But Megan’s directness in asking him questions had an unexpected appeal. She seemed truly interested in knowing more, without needing to know everything.

“For now, you just escape from crowds?”

“Sometimes. It helps if there’s a gorgeous woman who stumbles upon my back porch,” he said, laying it out for her. To hell with holding back. He held so much inside, kept so many of his thoughts locked tight in his head. This was one he could set free.

“Lucky you,” she said drily, but with a sexy glint in her eyes.

“Am I? Lucky?” he asked, leaning closer, eager for her response.

She scoffed, but her expression was still playful. So was her body, as she crossed her legs, angling them nearer to him. Exactly where he wanted them to be. “Are you asking if you’re getting lucky? ’Cause that’s a bold question for so early in the evening,” she said, her words seeming to suggest there would be a later to their evening.

“Trust me, I would never use a line like that and definitely not on a woman like you.” He paused, looked her straight in the eyes, then added, “Unless it’s later in the night.”

“What would you use on a woman like me, then?” she asked, tracing her finger around the edge of her glass.

“I wouldn’t use lines,” he said confidently, never taking his eyes off her. He liked walls, but he didn’t like games. “I would use words. All sorts of words. For now, I’d use direct ones. Tell me something about yourself, Megan.”

“What do you want to know?”

As much as he was contemplating how she’d feel pressed up against him, he was curious about who she was beyond the owl tattoo and leather bracelet. He didn’t need to know her plans for the future—hell, future was a four-letter word—but he wanted to know more about what mattered to her. Since she’d already mentioned her art, he’d go with that. “You’re a freelance artist. What kind of art?”

“Want me to show you?” she asked, arching an eyebrow suggestively.

He had no clue what she was going to show him, but he liked her boldness. Heat rushed through his blood as she inched closer. “Yes,” he said, swallowing thickly.

She reached inside her purse, rooting around till she grabbed a blue ballpoint pen. “Give me your hand, please.”

He went along with it, offering her his open palm. She wrapped her slender fingers around his hand. Her touch was something he could get used to.

“I like to draw illustrations of animals, and I’m going to take your request now, sir,” she said playfully.

He crinkled his brow, as if he were in deep thought. Truth was, he needed to devise a clever answer. If he said dog or cat, she’d probably thank him for the beer and be on her way. She liked to tango, to play, so he needed his request to be a good one. He wasn’t going to ask for a snake or a lion. Nothing too obvious or tacky. He needed an animal that threw her off, made her think, made her laugh. Maybe an ostrich? How about a giraffe? Then he hit on it.

“I’ve always thought it a shame that they’re not terribly domesticated because their masks are damn cute. So I choose raccoon,” he pronounced.

“Raccoon masks are awesome,” she said, then bent over his open hand. Her long hair inched dangerously close to his arm, the sweet, citrus scent of her shampoo permeating his senses. He toyed momentarily with the image of her head dropping farther and the things she could do in that position, but then he forced that thought away or else he’d be hard as a rock the rest of the night. Though he had been since he first saw her—he probably would be the whole night anyway.

She stopped drawing, wrapped his fingers into a fist to hide the graffiti, raised her head, and declared, “Done.”

He opened his hand and burst out laughing. She’d drawn a cartoonish face of a raccoon, bandit mask and all, but then had circled him and penned a slash mark across the creature. The words “Anti-Crowd Raccoon” were written underneath in bubbly ink.

“Our mascot,” he quipped. “Maybe someday I can convince you to take it to the next level with the raccoon. Give him a proper body, turn him into a tattoo for me.”

“Any time you’re ready for a raccoon tattoo, you let me know.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he said, as he tapped her almost-empty glass. “Want more?”

“One’s my limit. My ex was a total party boy. That’s why I’m not into crowds.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. He was an internet start-up guy. Entrepreneur type, but he basically blew all his money on—” She stopped and tapped the side of her nose.

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