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The guy didn’t have to brag. A body like that was a flashing neon sign. He was a ridiculously good looking guy who wanted her. And tonight that felt good. Too good to pass up. Too good to listen to her wiser angels.
“Oh yeah?” She shot him her most dazzling smile. “Can you guess what I’m thinking right now?”
The beer stilled enroute to his mouth. His gaze locked with hers once again. He regarded her for a moment or two, a smile playing with his mouth. “Probably not what I hope your thinking.”
He was flirting but casual with it and Val liked that he wasn’t going in for the hard sell with her. Needled along by a perfect shit storm of baggage and something else she didn’t really understand, she followed suit.
“You might be surprised.” Her pulse fluttered at her temples and her scalp prickled.
Val didn’t go for one night stands. She lost her virginity at nineteen to a guy at uni she’d been seeing for a few months and had a series of short term boyfriends since. She’d even let a few of them into her body, but none close enough to see all the broken, damaged parts caused by the echoes of a long dead sibling and an aloof, guilt ridden father.
Rage, hot and fast lashed at her insides. She’d tried so hard. Tried to be good, not to cause any further ripples in his life. She’d only ever wanted him to love her, damn it.
Val drained her martini to quell the rising storm.
“You’re thinking you want another drink?” he said.
She sucked the olives off the toothpick one at a time with suppressed fury rather than subtle flirtation. “Nope.”
His gaze dropped to her mouth as she licked the glistening residue from her lips and muscles deep inside her belly heated, melted. He lifted his eyes to hers. “You want to order something to eat?”
“You…want to get out of here?”
Val smiled. “Warmer.”
“To another bar?
She huffed out a small laugh. “Colder.”
They may not have been saying very much but their eyes were carrying on a full conversation. His busily assessing her signals, dancing around the question. Hers, daring him not to, expressing her interest.
“Hot,” she murmured. “Very hot.”
Hell yeah, she wanted to go to his place. Because she couldn’t think of a better way to forget this shitty day. And because it was the biggest fuck you to her father she could think of. Which probably made her a terrible human being at the moment but being good and trying to always do the right thing had only gotten her heart ache.
Maybe revenge would feel better? The fact that the vehicle for her defiance came wrapped in such a sexy package was an added bonus.
Not that she has any intention of telling her father. It’d bring all kinds of crap down on Kyle’s head and she had no desire to trash his career. But she’d know. She’d know she’d deliberately flouted Griffin King’s unspoken rule – coach’s daughter is off limits.
The irony was gutting. Her father didn’t want her but no one else could have her either.
“To…see my harbour view?”
Val gave him more brownie points for attempting to clarify her expectations. “You live on the harbour?”
“I live a few streets back but yeah…you can see a little water.”
He could have lived in a tent that looked out onto a brick wall and she wouldn’t have cared less. “I hope you’re not offended if I say no to the view.”
He grinned. “Not even a little bit.”
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