Ryan looked over his shoulder at the pool table while the bartender filled the pitcher. What was a smokin’ hot woman like her doing alone on a Friday night? He noticed her the moment she walked into the bar with her friends. Her grey eyes glistened under the lights like unshed tears filled them, and she stubbornly refused to be pulled out on the dance floor. On one hand, he was dying to know why she seemed so sad and wanted to cling to the fringes; on the other hand, her isolation made it easier for him to get the nerve up to approach her.

Her dark hair tumbled past her shoulders, and he wondered if it felt as soft as it looked. Maybe he’d find out when he went back to the table. He didn’t miss the way her nipples peaked under the flimsy silver tank top when she looked him over. She found him attractive, and he hoped she would stay for more than one game of pool.

“Who’s the new lady?” the bartender asked.

Ryan laughed. “I didn’t get her name, Paul. Thanks for reminding me.”

“It’s good to see you talking to women again. You’ve been moping around here like a zombie since Kelly divorced you last year.”

Ryan’s jaw tightened at the mention of his ex. He hung out here because he knew she hated this place. She always complained it was too loud, too crowded, and too dark. In other words, not a place where she could be the center of attention. Why had he wasted nearly four years with a stuck-up princess like her? “It’s time to get back in the saddle.”

“And I bet she’d be a fun ride,” Paul replied with a wink and nodded to the woman.

She leaned over the table and racked the balls up with comfortable familiarity. Her jeans clung to her curves, and he caught a glimpse of a red throng above their low cut waistline. A matching bra peeked out from under her top. His cock stiffened. He imagined laying her on the pool table and fucking her until she cried his name when she came.

“We’ll see where the night takes us.” He grabbed the pitcher and two glasses.

She leaned against the cue like a walking stick. “That was quick. The bar looks pretty crowded.”

“It helps that I’m friends with the bartender.” He poured her a glass and gave it to her before pouring his own.

She drank nearly a third of it in one long gulp. “Sorry, I needed to get a little in me, or I won’t have a decent shot all night.”

He sipped his own. “No worries. So, should we make a small wager?”

“What do you suggest?”

His mind swirled with erotic thoughts. His gaze settled on her lips. “How about if I win, you give me a kiss?”

Her cheeks flushed pink, but she didn’t miss a beat in responding. “And if I win?”

Ryan closed the space between them. The floral scent of her shampoo wafted up from her hair, and he tucked a stray lock behind her ear. Yes, it was as soft as he thought it would be. “I’m sure you can think of something.”

Her nipples tightened again, forming tight nubs under the sheer fabric. He longed to brush his thumb across them. Would she moan in pleasure if he did?

“Yeah, I’m sure I could,” she replied in a low voice.

His erection stained against his zipper. A woman hadn’t turned him on like this in years. There was no way he could play a decent game if he stayed this close to her. He backed away and turned so she couldn’t see the growing bulge in his pants. “Ladies first.”


* * * *


Danni bit her bottom lip when she lined up her shot. The balls shot out in every direction with a loud crack, but none fell in a pocket. “Damn,” she whispered under her breath. She wanted to win this game. Crap, she didn’t even get his name.

He knocked two balls in with a flick of his cue. “I’m stripes.”

She hung back and chugged her beer. More alcohol was needed if she was going to compete with him. Not that she minded losing the first game; she wanted to taste his sensual lips.

He cleared the table of his balls before she finished her first glass. A cocky smile lit up his face when he approached her. “I think we had a wager.”

She didn’t miss the way his eyes flickered to her cleavage. Thank God. He definitely was straight. She set her glass down. “I do ask one thing before you collect your winnings. Your name, please?”


She gave him a quick peck on his cheek. Disappointment darkened his features. “Nice to meet you, Ryan. I’m Danni.”

He refilled her glass. “Would you like to play again?”

“Sure. Same wager?”

“Yeah, only this time, I want a real kiss.” His eyes smoldered as if he was undressing her with his eyes.

She laughed, already feeling slightly giddy from the beer and his attention. She had forgotten how much fun it was to tease a man. “If you win, I’ll give you a kiss that will make your toes curl.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”

Her skin warmed. She knew he would, and part of her didn’t mind one bit. “Rack ‘em up, Ryan.”

He watched her while he placed all the balls inside the plastic triangle, and the music faded from her ears. Just the two of them existed in her mind, and the tiny bit of fabric that constituted her underwear dampened. If she suggested they go back to her place and have hot rebound sex, would he turn her down? Lord knows it had been months since she’d had an earth-shattering orgasm, and the way her pussy ached right now, he’d have an easy time making her come.

This time, when she broke the balls, one slipped into the far corner pocket. Her heart fluttered, maybe she’d win this time. “I’m stripes.”


* * * *


Ryan leaned against the wall and sipped his beer while Danni cleared the table of three more balls. He almost felt cheated by the chaste kiss she gave him. Maybe he read her wrong. She was probably like the other girls in here, all dressed up to flirt and get free drinks only to leave the guys blue-balled by the end of the night.

Her fifth shot missed, and her bottom lip jutted out in a small pout. “Drat.”

He wanted to suck on that full lip until she smiled again. “My turn.”

The solid balls disappeared off the table one by one, and when he lined up his shot for the eight ball, she leaned closer to him. The heat from her body warmed his skin, and her hair draped across his arm. How the hell was he supposed to think with her this close?

“That looks like a hard shot.”

“I’ll make it.” He tore his eyes off her and stared down the tip of his cue. He wanted that damn kiss now. The black ball sunk into the side pocket with a loud clunk.

“I guess it’s time for me to give you that toe-curling kiss I promised,” she said with a playful grin. She crooked her finger and beckoned him closer.

Ryan wrapped his hands around her waist and lowered his head. She pressed her lips against his, and he tasted the sweetness of her lip gloss before she opened her mouth and allowed him access to it. Her tongue danced around his before flickering deeper into his mouth, teasing him, coaxing him to take it further. His erection brushed against her lower stomach, and she pressed her hips closer to him. He stifled a moan. Damn, she was right about the toe-curling part.

She nibbled on his bottom lip for a second before she ended the kiss. “Did that live up to your expectations?”

“Almost.” In truth, she surpassed them, but he hoped he could get a third kiss out of her. “Maybe we should try that again.”

“I aim to please.”

He angled his head to kiss her again, but a voice called her name behind them.

A blonde stood a few feet away with crossed arms, her foot tapped on the floor faster than the tempo of the music. “Can I have a word with you?”

“My friend, Kari,” she whispered. Her fingers traced along his jaw, and she stepped away.

He leaned against the table and tried to catch his breath. What was he going to do with her when she came back? Would it be rude to invite her back to his bed so he could remove the clothes that separated their bodies? He laughed at himself. Danni had his mind lost in a lust-filled fog. All he knew was that he wanted her.