Wrong Question, Right Answer (The Bourbon Street Boys #3)By: Elle Casey
(The Bourbon Street Boys #3)
I’m the first one to show up at the pub. I order myself a Long Island iced tea and find a spot at the end of the bar where I won’t be bothered. I didn’t come here to hook up, and that should be obvious to anyone looking at me; I have my long, dark, straight hair up in a messy bun with a steel pin holding it in place—a pin that could be used to puncture a lung if necessary—tight jeans, a white tank top with a well-worn denim jacket over it, and my high-heeled, black leather work boots, zipped up to the knee. I’m off the clock, but I can kick ass and take names in between sucking down my cocktails if the need arises. I never go out unprepared.
The rest of the team is supposed to be here soon, and if I’d known they were going to be late, I would’ve delayed coming. I hate being in bars alone. Guys hit on me, and when I turn them down, they get offended and piss me off. It’s better if I avoid losing my shit. I don’t have the best temper in the world, and I’m woman enough to admit it.
The door opens and a big guy comes through. I perk up, thinking it’s my boss, but when I realize it’s not, I go back to nursing my drink. Checking my black Suunto military watch—a gift from the team—I frown. They’re ten minutes behind schedule. Assholes. Like I’ve got nothing better to do than hang around here and wait for them to show. After hissing out an annoyed breath, I take another long pull from my drink, glaring at the door over my highball glass. I swear I can hear the seconds ticking away inside my brain.
I sense someone coming up next to me and look over. It’s a guy in a button-down shirt, his hair gelled and styled to appear as if he hadn’t spent thirty minutes getting it just right. He’s got an expensive Citizen watch on his wrist, a leather belt that matches his loafers, and not a scruffy beard or scar in sight. I try really hard not to sneer. He is so not my type. I call him Skip in my mind.
“Hey. I haven’t seen you around here before.” Skip gestures at me with his beer bottle and smiles. His teeth could star in a Colgate commercial.
“Really? That’s funny, since I’ve been coming here for over ten years.” I take another sip of my drink, hoping my rude and completely unenthusiastic delivery will be enough to send him away. I’ve played this game enough times to know how it should work. Smart guys walk away to flirt another day; dumb ones leave with scars. But it’s not my fault. I send off all the right signals: Cold-hearted bitch here. Do not approach.
I used to let guys pick me up in bars when my ex, Charlie, and I would go through periods of being on the outs, but I don’t do it now that he’s gone. And if I were going to start doing that again, it wouldn’t be tonight. I’m not in the mood. This was supposed to be me meeting my team here so we could celebrate our latest victory and the bonus that came along with it, not me fending off guys who decided to take a walk on the wild side for a change. Hopefully Skip knows how to play the game too and he’ll beat it before things get awkward.
“Really? So, you’re a local girl. Cool. Love your accent, by the way.”
“It’s cute and sexy.” He winks.
Okay, so he definitely doesn’t know how the game is played. Maybe it’s because he rarely gets turned down. He has that vibe to him: confidence in spades, a cluelessness often suffered by the wealthy and attractive males in the area. Unfortunately, their complete lack of self-awareness is fully supported by many of the women here who’d just as soon flash their tits to earn a necklace as anything else.
I say nothing. I just stare at him as I take another sip of my drink. Can he not feel the icicles I’m launching into his soft body with my cold glare?
“I guess I should’ve figured from the accent you were New Orleans born and raised.”
I shrug lightly. “Maybe.” I have nothing to say to this guy, but I can’t just stare at him and watch him squirm. I do have some mercy in me. A very, very little smidge of it. Time served and two years’ probation will do that to a girl.
“You here with someone?” Skip looks around the room.
“I will be.”