Rules of Protection (Tangled in Texas) (Volume 1)(2)

By: Alison Bliss

When I didn’t answer, he asked again. “Are you okay, ma’am?”

“Um, I… I’m fine.”

“Let me guess, avoiding someone?”

My sluggish brain finally caught up, and I recalled hiding from Sergio. “You could say that.”

“I just did,” he responded, a hint of southern twang fortifying his voice. “Pull the boyfriend card. It usually works on us clowns.”

“I tried, but this guy is more persistent than most. My friends are somewhere on the other side of the bar, and I’m tired of hiding in the bathroom.”

The man glanced at his watch. “Tell you what, if you’re still here when I come out, I’ll escort you across the room.”

“Best offer I’ve had all night.”

His eyes scanned my black miniskirt, stopping on my bare legs. “Somehow I doubt that.” He turned and walked toward the men’s bathroom.

I blew out the large breath I’d been holding and resisted the urge to loosen a button on my blouse. Sergio or no Sergio, I planned to stay put until he came back.

Okay, so I’m a hypocrite.

Sergio’s remarks and lingering looks came off way more threatening than the new guy’s did. Tall, Dark, and Delicious was virtually harmless and particularly flattering. It helped that he hadn’t approached me with a line; he was more interested in helping… Ah, damn. Men are such weasels.

The guy played me. Of course.

He knew if he showed concern for my well-being, I’d drop my guard. That’s why he did it. Sadly enough, it almost worked. After all, he was no threat; just a gentleman trying to help out a lady. Well, screw him! He could pull the hero crap on some other unsuspecting girl. I waited for him to come out to tell him to his face. But Sergio rounded the corner first.

“There you are, sugar. I wondered if you’d fallen in.” Sergio handed me a shot glass filled with a pink liquid. “I got your Pepto, but I had to talk to three bartenders before I could get your order filled.”

Seriously? Bartenders make a shot called Pepto Bismol?

I hadn’t known it at the time, but what a lucky stroke of genius that was. Sergio must’ve thought it was a drink all along and hadn’t realized I was a smartass.

The men’s bathroom door opened behind me, and heavy footsteps approached. I was still irritated the douchebag had used a diversion tactic to hit on me, but the last thing I wanted was him to stroll up and ask me what I was drinking. It was one thing to let Sergio think I had an upset stomach, but it was a whole other thing to share that false information with the hunky weasel.

I threw my head back, downed the shot in one large gulp, and handed the empty glass back to Sergio. “Wait a minute,” I said. “That wasn’t—”

Two large hands captured my waist, spinning me sideways with dizzying speed, and a sharp, assertive mouth sheared the rest of the words from my lips. The stupid weasel was kissing me. I hadn’t expected it, and it only furthered my irritation. I’d have to play along to make it look good. Either that or I’d be stuck with Sergio the rest of the night.

Damn. I hate weasels.

Begrudgingly, I kissed him back, but only to make it believable. At least that’s what I told myself. If he wanted a show, then that’s exactly what he was going to get. I leaned into him, curled my arms around the back of his neck, and moaned softly.

Immediately, his lips stopped moving against mine, and his body became rigid. I thought it was the end of the match, and we would each return to our respective corners. With me being the winner and all.

Boy, was I wrong!

The moment I began to back away, he firmed his grip on my waist and parted my lips with his tongue, deepening the kiss. No, actually, it wasn’t a kiss, more like a molestation of my mouth. Who was I to complain, though? It was good. Really good.

My fingers slid through his hair. His tongue touched mine, and a fiery sensation rocketed through my entire body. Involuntarily, I shivered, and it set him off. His thumbs dug into my hips as he pulled me tighter against his growing erection. I gasped at his hardness and, remembering where we were, fought the urge to touch it.

A bathroom hallway in a packed nightclub wasn’t where I wanted to partake in a public display of heavy petting. I must’ve surprised him when I responded to his kiss, but it all happened so fast I didn’t have time to contemplate his motivation. Nor did I care to. Sergio had to be standing there with wide eyes and an open mouth, but I didn’t want to stop long enough to check.

When I finally pushed the weasel away, he grunted in protest, but didn’t stop me. Panting softly, I glanced around and noted the empty hallway. Sergio had disappeared.

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