An all-new angsty standalone is out now from author Rachel Blaufeld, and I have an excerpt for you.
Except for the girl behind the bar. Who was definitely more than just willing-and-able snatch. Way fucking more. Yep, I knew this from our few minutes together. She was one tough nugget, curious mind and eyes, bold and timid at the same time.
Make no mistake, I’d have her number and her story after tonight. There was something about that one—she was different from the others, and she didn’t seem to know it. I’d noticed a slight shadow of pain behind those sea-green eyes, and while I didn’t like the way it made me feel—like I wanted to take it away—it drew me in anyway.
“Oh, I love this song! Dance with me.” Monica tugged on my arm, bouncing to the techno beat. She was up and out of her seat in no time, teetering on her heels. “Let’s go,” she whined, and I begrudgingly accepted.
I was barely moving in place, obliging Monica with the full-body rubdown she was attempting to choreograph, when I looked up and caught her gaze. Her being the girl—young woman—whose name I didn’t even know yet. She was watching from behind the far end of the bar, her eyes lasered in on me and the woman trying to paint me with her scent.
I shook Monica’s arm, trying to get her out of her reverie, and said, “I gotta go to the bar.” It was lame, but so were her trite pickup lines and unoriginal moves. I wasn’t just some dumb farm boy.
As soon as I was on the move, the girl pretended to get busy. Real busy, stuffing glassware on and off the automatic wash machine. She kept her gaze down behind the bar and continued to slam, soak, rinse, and shove each glass onto the drying rack.
“Hey, can I get a drink?” I played it cool despite the fact that I’d been sweating about this mysterious girl all week.
Her head lifted, along with her right eyebrow—cute as hell. “Can you? Or is it time for you to return to the senior citizens’ home?”
I felt a smile tugging at my lips. “Soon, but not before you get tucked in for the night. You still need one of those, right? Do you like milk and cookies with your tuck-in?”
“Touché. What can I get you? No—let’s see if I can guess. Scotch on the rocks for the returning adult student? Or maybe high-end vodka and soda for his distinguished palate?” Her gaze did a quick trip to my chest and back up. “By the way, what’s with the flannel? You trying out various ‘I’m not really a rich New Yorker hipster looks,’ or are you just slumming it?”
Her messy bun flopped backward with her giggle and air quotes. It made me want to reach over the bar, snag her damn hair, pull her over to me, and show her just how not hipster I was.
“You’re awfully judgy tonight,” I said. “Skip dinner? Forget your vitamins?”
“Nah, I just call it like it is. Had stuff shoved down my throat for way too long. Turning over a new leaf, and all that jazz.” She waved her jazz hands, mocking her own words.
“Got it. So you’ve been had, and now you’ll have anyone in your way.”
“Scotch or vodka, pretty boy? Leave the analysis to the paid help.”
“Beer, whatever’s your special. Cheap and easy’s actually my drink of choice.”
She bent down and pulled a bottle of the same brand I’d had earlier out of the cooler and popped the top. “Here ya go, Price.”
I can’t even get into what my name on her tongue did to me. It was inappropriate in forty-nine states.
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