Her shoulder length blond hair was slightly curled, and strands were pulled back from her face. Her skin was glowing and bright, and her lips were full and pink. Her green eyes landed on me, and I waved her over.
It was impossible not to notice the other men in the place looking at her as she wove through tables to get to me. She was stunning, by far the most beautiful woman in the room.
She was dressed simply in a pair of dark, tight-fitting jeans and strappy black heels that weren’t as high as the ones most women I dated wore. The effect of the hip-hugging denim and heels made her legs look lean and elegant. I itched to peel the pants off her and see what mysteries lay beneath the jeans. The floral print blouse she wore was loose but fitted enough to show her hourglass shape. Gold earrings winked at me as she drew closer, and I slid off my stool to greet her with a hug.
She smelled like lavender and mint.
Bloody fucking hell.
“Hey,” she said, nervously tugging at the sleeves of her blouse as she slid onto the stool beside me. “Sorry I’m late. Had a bit of a delay in getting here.”
“You should be sorry. Making me wait a whole extra two minutes. How important do you think you are?”
She gave me a sideways look and smiled. “Bite me.”
I laughed and caught the bartender’s eye. “What can I get you to drink?”
“Oh. Um. What are you drinking?”
Holly pursed her lips and scanned the shelves of liquor behind the bar. “A gimlet, please.”
The bartender stopped in front of us, and I was thankful she didn’t put her tits on display again. She kept it professional, respecting Holly, and took the drink order. “Shall I keep them coming?”
I glanced at Holly. She nodded. “Sure.”
When Holly had her drink, we finally had some time to ourselves. There was no hovering manager, no nosy bartender, just us and our drinks.
“This is a first,” I said.
“Yeah. A little strange. A good strange, though.” Holly swirled her straw around in her drink and the ice danced along the sides of the glass. “How have you been?”
A vague answer felt weak, but it was all I could offer. “Good. Keeping busy. I work in Axel’s shop now. Keeping my head down as best I can.”
The smile that pushed dimples into her cheeks made me suspect she didn’t quite believe me. Holly leaned forward to purse her lips around her straw. The sweet puckering of her mouth had my imagination running wild.
“Keeping your head down, huh? You’re still running with the same guys, I assume?”
Lying was tempting but pointless. I might as well lay it all out on the table now. “Yeah. They’re my family.”
Holly nodded like she understood. “I know.”
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