Embrace: Evolve Series, Book Two(7)

By: S.E. Hall


“Not a problem. I didn’t ask the other night, but you’ve got an ID just in case, right?”

I nod in affirmation.

“Just making sure. Dane’s place and all, wouldn’t want to jeopardize it for him.”

Dane owns this bar? Of course Dane owns this bar. And a mansion. And now he’s got Laney too. For the love of crap—could he be more impressive? More lucky? There’s nothing wrong with hating the guy, and boy, do I. So yes, I will gladly sit here and drink all of his free fucking beer I can stomach.

Yeah, you really got him there, Evan.

The faint smell of sweet musk drags my attention away from Sawyer’s bottle-flipping skills, and out of the corner of my eye, I see the blonde who’s scooted up to the bar. Oh what the hell—I lean back, running my eyes up and down her body. Not bad at all.

“Hey, Sawyer,” she says loudly over the music. “Can I get a couple of lemon drops?”

Sawyer gives her a look, not sure what kind exactly, and starts to make her drinks. As though she can feel my curious gaze, she turns to me, big blue eyes assessing quickly before turning back to Sawyer, brows raised in question.

“Whitley, this is Evan. Evan, Whitley,” he introduces us. Behind her back, he runs his finger across his throat, vigorously shaking his head.

I bite back a laugh, extending my hand to her. “Nice to meet you, Whitley.”

“You too, Evan,” she responds coquettishly, not releasing my hand. “How do you know Sawyer?”

I shrug a shoulder. “By default. I met him through a girl I know here.”

Her brows crease at this, her bottom lip pouting out just a bit. She looks back to Sawyer, again silently asking him to fill in the gaps.

He waves her off. “Go dance, Whit. We’ll catch up with ya later.”

Not happy about being dismissed, she grabs her drinks with a “hmmpf” and walks away.

“Don’t go there man, trust me.”

I’m not “going” anywhere, but now he’s piqued my curiosity, so I engage. “Why’s that?”

“First of all, she’s a bat-shit crazy clinger. Second of all, Laney hates her.”

I try not to show any signs of reaction, but he’s got me full-blown intrigued now. “Why does Laney hate her?” I ask entirely too eagerly.

He waits on another customer, letting me simmer. He knows damn well that his silence is killing me. Bastard.

“I’ll tell ya,” he throws over his shoulder as he reaches down in a cooler for a new order, “but it’ll cost ya.”

“How much?”

“A trifecta.”

A triwhatta? I think Sawyer’s been nipping a little from the well back there. “Come again?” I glare at the shot he just passed me, knowing it’s a terrible idea after starting with beer. How many times have I heard the “beer before liquor, never been sicker” adage? Against my better judgment, I down it, highly suspecting I’m gonna need it if I continue to patronize this crazy place.

“Trifecta. Dance with a brunette, a blonde that’s not Whitley, and a redhead. When you’re done, I’ll tell ya why Laney hates her. Get one of their numbers and I’ll throw in the story about Laney threatening to beat her ass the first time they met.”

I see what you’re doing here, Sawyer. Single and ready to mingle? Not really, but any Laney stories I can get out of him are worth it—maybe the information will help me. And if it doesn’t, it will at least give me an idea of what she’d been doing all those long months we were apart; how she went from my sweet, innocent Laney to…not my Laney. His Laney. Sawyer’s info may be all I ever get.

“I’m not much of a dancer,” I mutter, flabbergasted that I’m even considering this dumbass plan.

“Katie!” Sawyer screams and immediately a knockout redhead slinks saucily up to the bar, lifting her torso across it to jab her tongue down Sawyer’s throat. “Teach my boy how to dance, sexy?” he fake asks her when he comes up for air.

She turns her attention to me as though Sawyer is running her with a remote control and grabs my hand, pulling me from my stool. “Come on handsome. Mama’ll teach ya a few tricks.”

Two songs later, I’ve decided Katie deserves a certificate, because she taught me plenty. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I knew how to dance, that I’d just been making an excuse to Sawyer, though once she got started, I didn’t want to tell her. That girl’s got no shame and she dances with her entire body—tongue, hands, you name it. It was fun, my mind welcomingly distracted for a while, but I was about over it now. Girls like Katie are a dime a dozen; she’d shoved her tongue down Sawyer’s throat five minutes before grinding her ass into my crotch—that kind of looseness just doesn’t do it for me.

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