An Excerpt From: UNREQUITED
© Copyright KIMBERLY DEAN, 2006.
It had been a hot, sweaty, bitch of a week. Ty took a long pull on his beer and savored the cool breeze coming from the air conditioning vent overhead. The shower he’d taken to get rid of the dust and the grime hadn’t cooled his internal body temperature. Working outside in this heat wave had been like working in the fires of hell. By the time he and his men had knocked off earlier tonight, they’d all been more than ready for the weekend.
Kicking back in his chair, he grabbed a few peanuts from the bowl in the center of the table. He could use that steak he’d ordered right about now.
“You’re up,” Frank said. He handed him the darts and reached for his own half-finished beer.
Ty dropped his peanut shells onto the table and wiped his hands. A Lynyrd Skynyrd song starting ripping through the airwaves as he found the spot marked on the floor. He eyed the board carefully. He needed seventeens.
He was taking aim when the door to the bar opened and new customers walked in. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the flash of a figure. And by that, he meant a figure. Long, dark hair. Sleek curves in high heels.
In a word – his type.
For a moment, his concentration was distracted. It was blown to bits, though, when he saw the way she moved. There was something about the tilt of her head… the sway of her hips… The dart flew out of his hand and embedded itself firmly in the pock marked wall behind the board.
Frank let out a snort. “That’s a first,” he laughed.
Ty looked straight over his friend’s head and felt the air get knocked right out of his lungs. The woman wasn’t just his type.
It was The One.
And she was with someone.
Frank swiveled around in his chair. When he saw the beautiful brunette, he did what came naturally to construction workers. He let out a whistle. Ty’s free hand whipped out and clapped his buddy across the back of the head.
“Ow,” Frank said, reaching up to rub the spot. “What’s up with you? Just because you saw her first doesn’t mean I can’t look, too.”
“Put your eyes back in your head,” Ty growled.
He felt his fingers curl into a fist around the remaining two darts. Men around the bar were eyeing her like fresh meat. Just because he couldn’t stop staring didn’t mean that they shouldn’t. The fucking cavemen.
“Ooo, baby!” A howl erupted from the table of bricklayers beside him, and he’d had enough. Turning, he jabbed his darts halfway up their tips into the men’s table. The laughing stopped pretty damn quickly.
“Give the lady some respect,” he ordered.
“Sorry, Ty,” one of the guys mumbled. He held up his hands defensively. “We didn’t hear you call dibs.”
“Just back off.”
Frank was eyeing him carefully when he turned back around, ready for whomever he had to take on next. “I take it you know her?” his friend said.
Ty’s teeth ground together. “Yeah.”
He knew her. Hell, he’d been silently obsessed with her for nearly three years.
“She was married to Denny.”
Frank perked up in surprise, and he looked over his shoulder again. “That’s your sister-in-law?”
She wasn’t his sister.
Not even close.
Trista was a free woman. She and Denny’s divorce had gone through eight months ago. Eight months and ten days, to be precise. She was single now, but this was the first time he’d ever seen her out with another man.
He found he didn’t much like it.
He watched in disbelief as her “date” ushered her to a booth at the back. He used the term loosely. After the way she’d been disrespected, a real date would have turned her around and walked her right out of this dive. Instead this… this weenie had his hand at the small of her back. He was pushing her out in front of him almost as if he liked putting her on display. Or, more likely, because he got off on the attention it was bringing him.
Ty’s eyes narrowed as he watched that hand at her lower back. If it dropped so much as a quarter-of-an-inch, the guy was going to lose it.
Serena finally showed up with the food. She strode through the swinging doors to the kitchen with a huge platter lifted to shoulder level. “Here are your steaks, boys,” she said as she propped the tray on the back of a free chair.
Frank eagerly reached out to help her. The steaks, baked potatoes and corn-on-the cob took up most of the table. Their waitress set the bottles of ketchup and steak sauce in the two open spots she could find and let the tray drop to her side. “Anything else I can get you?”
“A gun,” Ty bit out.
Both Frank and Serena jumped. Frank was the first to recover. A smile slipped onto his face as he looked at the barmaid. “Why don’t you just start with another beer?”
Serena caught on quickly. She followed Ty’s gaze and her blonde eyebrows lifted. “She’s gorgeous. I’ll bring you a pitcher.”
Ty had a feeling he was going to need something more than that.
Trista was gorgeous – and that dress. God damn! She looked like sex. He felt his gut tighten. What was she trying to do? Bring him to his knees? It wasn’t as if she was showing a lot of skin. The dress just… clung. He didn’t blame it. With that body she had, he’d want to cling, too.
He always had.
He reached for his beer. Unable to stop himself, he let his gaze slide down her back to her tight little ass. Watching it sway was his favorite pastime, and tonight was no different. As always, his cock went on alert.
She was sending out vibes she shouldn’t, not here in the bar. His gaze drifted lower to her long legs. He’d had dreams about those legs. Fascinating dreams where they’d been wrapped around his waist… draped across his shoulders…
His beer mug hit the table with a thump when her dress hitched up as she sat down. Was that a thigh-high he’d just seen?
Shit. How much was a guy supposed to stand?
His pulse began to pound as he looked at her face. The lighting in the bar wasn’t the best, but he could swear that dots of pink were coloring her cheeks. The flutter at the base of her throat told him her heart was beating as fast as his was. And her lips… He felt his groin get heavy. She’d chewed off half her lipstick.
She was acting edgy. Adrenalized.
Her gaze suddenly swung up and locked with his.
His dick nearly jumped out of his pants.
She was aroused. He could see it from halfway across the room. She’d felt his stare, and she was responding to him. As a woman. A freight train started rumbling inside his chest.
Her mouth parted halfway when she recognized him and all he could think about was kissing her. Touching her. Lying down with her the way he’d always wanted. He took a step forward, ready to throw tables aside and knock people out of his way in order to get to her. Her “date” suddenly turned in his seat, though, and he was stopped cold.
She was here with someone else.
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