By then, four or five men were standing in my vicinity, looking at me like I was a celebrity. And dear God, did I enjoy the attention. Except, of course, I couldn’t help but notice that the Kiss of Death was preoccupied with his cell phone. Beth’s words of warning repeated in my mind, but they only serve to increase the urge to get his attention.
“So you came here with Beth,” asked Kirk. “You in town visiting?”
“Oh no. I’m here permanently. Just moved from Telluride.”
Eyebrows rose all around.
“That’s a bit of a haul,” said the older guy I’d given the beer too. He stepped forward and offered his hand. “Welcome. Name is Travis.”
I shook his hand.
“What brings you all the way out here?”
I gave them a sly look and promptly changed the subject. “What did all of you come out here for?”
Another bald guy standing nearby snorted. “Wee what I was saying, boys? It’s the same every time: either a money whore or a ring whore.”
I pulled my head back. “First of all, you came here for the money too. Second of all, what the fuck is a ring whore?”
I could feel Kirk’s interest increase. “She’s a sprite one, Tom. You’d better watch out.”
Tom began speaking animatedly, his eyes wide and crazy. I backed up a step. “Of course we all came here for the money. But this is men’s work, so we deserve to be here. All the rest a ya ladies is just out here to prove somethin’. Some damn feminist bullshit. And a ring whore is a woman who comes out here lookin’ for an engagement ring. She wants a man who can provide for her. So basically she’s in it for the money too – you’re all just money whores in a different form.”
Kirk gave me a gentle elbow. “Don’t listen to his bullshit. He’s just teed off because his old lady left him and he hasn’t gotten laid since.”
Travis took another gulp of beer. “The world doesn’t work like that no more, Tom. You keep talking like that and nice girls like this won’t want to be around you anymore.”
Tom huffed. “I don’t need no money whores. When I get enough money doing dust in the oil field, I’m getting out of this place and find me a real woman.”
Travis rolled his eyes. “Here we go again.”
I inched closer to Kirk as the arguing continued. I was in the midst of examining his biceps when those stern brown eyes behind him caught my attention again. Once again, they regarded me with deep interest but also a certain distain I couldn’t quite put my finger on. This time, I didn’t turn away. I stared back, meeting his intensity, daring him to intimidate me.
He didn’t flinch, but instead raise an eyebrow, our gaze locked as he lifted a Heineken to his lips.
A guy sitting next to him nudged him and forced his attention away from mine. I took full advantage of the opportunity to crawl across him from head to toe.
Once again, I was struck by how average she was. He had beautiful eyes, and a nice dusting of hair across his chin and cheeks that always whispered erotic word straight to my loins, but he didn’t have Kirk’s body. I mean, he was lean and in good shape, but no bulging biceps and he didn’t appear to be in the kind of shape to have washboard abs. So what was the big fucking deal with this guy? Did he use Chapstick made from Kenny Chesney’s cum or something?
“What do you think, Ches?”
I frowned and reluctantly returned my intention to Kirk. “What was that, hon?” I gave him a quick once over, attempting to fight the desire to return my eyes to the deep brown ones lingering behind him.
Kirk followed my line of sight, rolling his eyes as he turned back around to face me. He shook his head. “Ah, Jax, always a good one with the ladies.” His chuckle was tainted with self-deprecation.
My instinct was to reassure him that I was interested in him, not his death lipped friend, but my mind lingered on one of his words. Jax? Was that this mysterious man’s name?
Travis his eyes carried the same look of defeat as Kirk’s. “It’s OK, Ches,” he teased. “We are used to it. You want an introduction?”
I immediately flushed. No, I did not want an introduction. I knew of two girls I could potentially piss off with that action and I didn’t want to start my life here with enemies amongst people I needed as friends. I vigorously shook my head and try to find another topic to engage them on.
“Aw, come on, Ches, he doesn’t bite!” Travis turned and waved in the Kiss of Death’s direction.
I panicked, turned around, and plowed my way through the crowd to the dance floor where the girls were giggling and getting drunker by the minute.
I threw myself into them and danced with the vigor that I hoped would shake off the awkward but tantalizing feelings creeping across my skin. The other girls were drunk enough that they seemed to forget that they barely knew me and, before I knew it, we were all grinding it up real good, putting on a bit of a show for the men to a soundtrack of cheers and whoops.
I stepped away to work some of my own moves, my fourth beer making its way into my system, when a pair of hands lightly grabbed my waist. Too drunk to realize how large they were, I mistakenly assumed it was one of the girls. I placed my hands on top of them and melted into the movement of the body behind me. It wasn’t until I laced my fingers into theirs, and pulled those two hands around my waist that I realize the arms were hairy.
My jaw dropped as I turned to get a glance of my suitor – hoping it was Kyle but secretly hoping it wasn’t. He hugged my back against him so it was difficult to get a good view of his face. I saw the dark brown hair from the corner of my eye, but it took some major gymnastics to pull myself around enough to see into those deep brown eyes.
Run away run away, the voice in my head kept saying. Instead, I reach back to wrap my arms around his neck, pushed into the feel of his body behind me, and enjoyed the feel of his hot breath on my skin. He ran his nose along my shoulder, nudged it under the strap of my tank top.
The potential reactions of the girls officially condemned from my mind, I turned around and threw my hands in to that wavy brown hair. He pulled me close, his knee nudging between my legs. I ran my hands down his face to his shoulders. Chin to forehead, he held me as we moved sensually against each other. God damn. Kiss of Death, indeed. I had plans to get me some of that ASAP.