Just as she thought those needy words, her gaze landed on a hunk of man at the end of the bar. And hunk was definitely the word. In fact, she wouldn’t be surprised if his face appeared by the noun in the dictionary. He was brooding over a mug of beer, his dark hair a bit tousled as it hung just past his collar, the ends curling softly. His profile was harsh and genuine, with high cheekbones, a nicely sloped nose, and a hard, stubborn jaw line. He looked like he hadn’t shaved in a day or two, and his dark, wrinkled T-shirt and frayed jeans screamed that he didn’t give a damn about fashion. She wished he would look her way so she could see his eyes; better yet, if he stood up so she could take the measure of his body.
Like some sort of psychic magic, his head lifted and his gaze met hers. She didn’t move, she didn’t so much as breathe, as he studied her. Then he did exactly what she’d been hoping for -- he stood up. As he moved towards her, she took in his height and breadth and was duly impressed. He had wide shoulders, the kind that would block out the light in a doorway, a narrow waist, and long, thick legs. She’d bet his ass was perfectly tight, just like the rest of him. His eyes, she realized as he came closer, were a deep, mesmerizing brown, nearly black in color. His nose was just slightly bent, as if he’d broken it in a fight and hadn’t bothered to have it reset. On anyone else it might have been an imperfection; on this man, it was a badge of honor.
When he stopped in front of her she nearly fell off her seat.
“Nick.” He leaned down close and stared.
“Grace,” she replied, shocked that she sounded so collected.
His eyes flared for a moment before he shifted his weight.
“You don’t mind if I dispense with the lame lines, do you?” His lips lifted into a tantalizing smile.
Dear Lord, he had a dimple, just in the crease of his right cheek. She thought her heart might stop.
She was too intrigued to do anything but be honest. “I’d be insulted if you did.”
He gave her an appreciative look and slid against the bar, propping himself between her stool and the empty one beside her. Vaguely, she thought she should recognize him, as if she’d seen his face eons before but couldn’t quite remember it.
“You’re boyfriend let you out of the house like that?”
She glanced down at the silver triangle that barely passed as a shirt and the black mini-skirt she’d let Melina talk her into wearing. Lifting an eyebrow, she met his gaze head-on.
“I thought you weren’t going to use any lame lines.”
“That wasn’t lame,” he said, his dark eyes beginning to smolder, “and it wasn’t a line. It was a question.”
She stared at him, her pulse thrumming thickly. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“Thank God,” he breathed, and leaned close to her ear. “I’m glad you finally looked at me.”
“What ... what do you mean?”
“I’ve been watching you since you walked in with your friend three hours ago. I couldn’t stop staring.”
“So why didn’t you say anything before?”
“I was just waiting for the other men to stop sniffing around you -- and for you to give me some sort of signal.” His voice was husky, the timber sending shivers down her spine.
“You always wait for a signal?” she tried to tease, failing miserably as the words slipped like hot liquid from her mouth.
“What can I say? I’m a gentleman.”
Absently, she ran her tongue over her suddenly dry lips. His hiss of appreciation sent a bolt of lust straight to her core.
“Dance?” He held his hand out to her, his dark eyes seeming to dare her.
She could’ve told him no, but at the moment she just didn’t want to. How could a red-blooded, sexually frustrated female turn down such an incredible male specimen? She slipped her hand into his and got a delicious jolt all the way to her toes. As he led her to the dance floor she took a moment to examine his very nice rear; it was tight, just like she’d thought, the well-defined cup of his cheeks hard against the faded denim.
The moment they were on the floor the strobe lights blinded her, the bright greens, reds, and silvers dancing across the bodies that gyrated around them. He pulled her against him, bringing his image into sharp, unforgiving focus. His hard muscles pressed against her, a solid wall filled with ruthless heat as she collided with him. He lifted an eyebrow, a gesture that made his face look even more wickedly seductive. Grace had the fleeting mental image of a sexy, languorous pirate as his eyes held hers prisoner. She gave him a slow catty smile of her own, standing still until her body caught the rhythm of the music. She took a deliberate step back, giving herself space to move, space to breathe. And yet she still felt the incredible heat his body had left behind on her skin.
Sound pulsated around them, beating into her limbs as her insides throbbed in time to the heavy base. She felt herself falling into the sound, her body becoming fluid as she moved and shimmied. She waited for the man to shift along with her, but instead he simply stood in front of her, his hands resting lightly on her sides as she danced. His fingers slid like erotic butterflies over her contours, his arms held perfectly still as she rubbed herself against his palms and fingers.
Nick watched her with a deep intensity, his face a mask of harsh lines as she let the pounding beat lead her. Her hips twisted, swung, and his hands were there, not quite touching, but somehow branding her. Strange that she’d never realized how blatantly sensual the song about never getting enough was.
His fingers flexed against her top, just grazing the bare skin over her ribs. A shiver crawled, lazy and intentional, into her blood and over her limbs. Grace saw his eyes flare in the garish light, and she felt a lick of feminine power rip through her. Suddenly it seemed like the most natural thing, the most vital thing, to dance for him, to perform for him. To draw out his desire and savor his reaction.
She wiggled lower, her face coming all the way down to his crotch. She felt his hands slip into her hair as she moved, tangling together as she lingered for a long moment over his expanding zipper. When she writhed her way back up, she let her breasts lightly touch the rough denim, her body softening to hot wax as his jaw clenched and tightened.
By the time she was face to face with him again she could see the raw need glowing uninhibitedly in his burning gaze.
He leaned into her, his lips brushing the delicate lobe of her ear. “It’s too crowded in here; why don’t we step outside.”