She froze, glancing over her shoulder, and saw Con staring back at her. He handed his pool cue to Rangeley and walked over.
She wanted to pretend to look away but didn’t. He’d looked good at the beach this morning in his swim trunks and tee shirt that fit like a second skin, but in jeans, he made her heart race. He moved with the kind of feral grace she’d seen in predators on the nature shows her father used to watch. Other men took a step back as he advanced.
The side of his mouth lifted in an almost-smile. “Now that we’ve established with know each other’s names. Can I buy you a drink?”
She shook her head.
“I’m meeting someone.”
“Pedro,” she said.
She glanced to the darkened booth where Pedro sat. She should have kept on walking.
“We’ve got business,’ she said. “It was nice seeing you.”
“Hold it,” he said, grabbing her by the arm and drawing her back against him.
She gasped as his body pressed against her.
“I forgot about your wrist. Sorry,” he said, his voice was coarse.
“It’s my other wrist.”
“Then why’d you gasp?”
“You feel good,” she said. “And that’s about the dumbest thing I could say right now. My life is a mess, Con. Please, let me go.”
“I’m here, Mia. You don’t have to go to someone like Pedro to help you,” he said.
Her resolved melted a little. Okay, a lot since he rubbed his finger back and forth against her inner arm. She was lucky to be able to string together two words. But it did strengthen her resolve to handle the problem herself. Con wasn’t going to just meekly sit in the car and keep an eye out for her. Pedro would.
“I know. This is street business, Con.”
“I’m from the street.” He reminded her. “Come on, let me help you.”
She wanted to. Not just because when he touched her she felt like maybe she had something to live for. A future that had been snuffed out suddenly seemed like it was alive again. Maybe.
“You’re a military guy now, right?”
“Retired, Mia. And I live by my own code. Talk to me, tell me what’s going on,” he said, slowly pulling her away from Pedro and toward the hallway that led back downstairs.
He stopped, too, even though he could easily have pulled her along behind him.
“I’m trying to do the right thing here. I just need backup and Pedro is the kind of guy—”
“I’ll do it,” Con said. “Whatever it is.”
“You’ll do what I say?”
“Depends? What the hell kind of answer is that?”
“The only kind you’re going to get. You know me, Mia. You can trust me.”
She could. She always had, but the truth was, she no longer trusted herself. Unsure of herself and what to do next, she never should have come to Preach’s.
I’m having a give-away today on my FB page where you can be entered to win a copy of Crushed.