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“Would either of you like a glass of champagne?” a female voice nearly whispers behind me.
“I’m good,” Graham mutters, looking at me out of the corner of his eye. “How about you, Barrett?”
I ignore him and let my eyes feast on the curves of the woman in front of me. Her black pants are belted at the waist, her white shirt hugging the bends of her body. She’s not overly thin or overly heavy, just a damn-near perfect vision of what a woman should look like.
She has creamy skin and a spattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. She tucks a strand of her straw-colored hair behind her ear and takes a deep breath. I think she’s going to laugh, but she doesn’t. Instead, a faint smile ghosts her full lips and she lifts her chin like she has a secret she won’t tell.
Her gaze remains on Graham, almost like she’s afraid to look my way. Finally, she turns to me, and when she does, a slight rise in her chest is noticeable as she sucks in a shaky breath.
Her eyes are a deep blue. The color is stormy, swirling, moving like a shield between us.
“Would you, sir?” she asks, taking a half a step backwards.
“Would I what?” I press, enjoying the way her cheeks turn pink in the most real way. She’s not reacting to me as part of a calculated plan or trying to endear herself to me for a gain in some way. It’s an experience I haven’t had for a long time and I want to live in it a moment longer.
“Would you like a drink?”
The words topple out of her lips, like she wants to say them and scoot away.
I take a step towards her, watching her beautiful eyes widen. This girl is naturally gorgeous, her features not hidden by a thick layer of make-up. “That depends on what you’re offering.”
I shouldn’t be toying with her, but I can’t help it. I want to keep her talking, to watch her reactions.
She wants to get away from me, I can feel it, and I can’t help but wonder why. Most women clamor over each other, ready to knife anyone they need to in order to get to me, but this one is trying to run.
“I don’t have much to offer,” she says, a hint of nervousness in her voice. “Unless you like champagne.”
“I like all sorts of things.” I keep my gaze heavy against hers, not allowing her to look away. She fidgets with her tray and swallows hard, but never takes her eyes off mine like she’s too defiant to look away. The longer our gazes match, the hotter my body becomes.
She licks her bottom lip slowly, her heated gaze boring into mine. “Is that so?”
Graham chuckles beside me and I watch her jump, like she forgot he was there. She clears her throat and glances around the room.
She turns back to us again, this time a practiced smile on her face. The easy grin and whispery laugh are both gone. This is the reaction I’m used to seeing on everyone, giving me what I want to see, and I hate it on her.
“Gentlemen …” With a nod, she walks away as fast as she can. She doesn’t look back, but I watch her until she’s out of sight.
“You’re the fucking mayor,” Graham snickers, loosening his green silk tie.
“I bet she’d like to be fucking the mayor.” I raise my eyebrows, and my brother laughs louder.
“Do you have any class whatsoever?”
“What? I like the look of her.”
“Which ones do you not like the look of?”
“I’ll let you know when I find one.”
He quirks a brow. “Aren’t you supposed to be playing the role of the good candidate, being serious about all the things that matter?”
“Now, Graham,” I chide teasingly, “are you saying her vote is less important than anyone else’s?”
He shakes his head and pulls out his ringing phone. “You should be worried about her vote, not the way your balls sound bouncing off her ass. Now, if you’ll excuse me …”
I laugh as he exits through a side door and leaves me standing alone. Looking around the bustling room, I search for the blonde beauty.
My phone buzzes in my pocket, and I know without looking that it’s Daphne, offering herself up again for the night. She may even dip as far as playing the lonely princess card. I don’t even bother looking, just stick my hand in my pocket and push buttons on the side until I’m sure it’s off. She’ll keep calling, but I won’t be answering. On a good day she’s borderline clingy after a fuck. When she’s drunk, it’s only worse.
I scan the room again, but only see the usual faces. Paulina, a friend of my mother’s that I’ve slept with a handful of times, gives me a blatant smile. I pretend like I don’t see her. All I want to see is the waitress that wants nothing to do with me. And she’s nowhere to be seen.