“Don’t wanna be a dick, lady,” he warned softly, “but bitches say that shit all the time. Then, in the morning, they expect breakfast, coffee, and to come home from work to roses with a note sayin’ the guy never had better. You got a man who thinks to buy you roses, says he’s never had better, big chances are he’s lyin’. He just wants it regular and he’ll take it as it comes.”
He knew every word out of his mouth made him the dick he told her he didn’t want to be but she needed to move on. If she was in the mood to get laid, she needed to find herself some not on Chaos. Tack’s woman Cherry had chosen Chaos but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t lose her mind if her best girl hooked up with a brother. She would. Hop knew it. But if that shit happened anyway, Cherry would want to handpick the brother who got in there and Hop also knew that brother would absolutely not be him.
“Then take it as it comes,” she shot back, not appearing offended in the slightest, her words coming out almost like a dare.
“Lanie—” he started but she leaned in and, fuck, if he moved his mouth a quarter of an inch, it’d be on hers. She was all he could see, all he could smell, and all he could think was that she was also all he wanted to feel.
“You know my story,” she whispered. “You think I want another guy?” She paused then finished with emphasis, “Ever?”
He got her. Her dead old man was a moron and she’d paid for his shit in the worst way she could. Her loyalty had bought her nothing but pain, bullet wounds, and heartache. Not to mention, her man might have been good at what he did for a living, the computer geek to end all computer geeks, but he was nothing to look at. So she not only gave love and loyalty but she stepped out of a zone no woman who looked like her had to step out of in order to give it.
So, yeah, Belova was a moron and she chose that. He could see her wanting to get back in the saddle but being skittish about buying the horse.
She just wasn’t going to get back in the saddle with him.
Hop started to lift his hands to curl them around her upper arms and set her away but she moved fast, lifting her hands to curl them around the sides of his neck. They felt warm. Her perfume assaulted him straight on and he stilled.
“I do not want that,” she carried on. “What I want is… you. For one night. Just one night.”
“Lady,” he muttered but before he could say more, she kept talking.
“It was… I know you know where I was back then and who I was with and I know you had a woman then too, Hop, but still, that night I met you, I couldn’t help but notice you were good-looking. But you’re not with anyone anymore and I’m seriously not with anyone anymore and I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, just too scared to do anything about it. Now I’ve decided I’m doing something about it.”
“I gotta say, I like that you’re into me, babe,” he returned gently. “Already told you that you’re beautiful and under any other circumstances, I would not hesitate to take you up on an offer this sweet. So you gotta know it’s killin’ me even as you gotta trust me when I say this is not a good idea.”
“I’ve had no one since him,” she whispered and, acting on their own, Hop’s hands came up and settled on her waist, giving it a squeeze. The move was intimate but comforting. The news that this woman, this crazy-gorgeous woman and all that she was hadn’t had a man between her legs in fucking years moved him even as it troubled him.
“Lanie, honey,” he muttered, not having the first fucking clue what else to say.
“I’ve thought on it and decided it’s you.” Her hands at his neck gave him a squeeze and fuck him, fuck him, that moved him even more. “I understand why you don’t want to but I promise, Hop, I swear, no kidding, seriously, no strings. No expectations. Just us. One night. Tomorrow, it will be like it’s always been. Like it didn’t even happen. I promise.”
Her hands slid down to his chest but she didn’t move away as she finished laying it out.
“Now, I’m going to your room and I’m going to wait there for fifteen minutes. If you don’t show, no harm, no foul. I promise that, too. Nothing changes between us. No one knows anything.” She sucked in a breath and took a half step back, her hands falling away when she concluded in a quiet voice, “But,” she took a deep breath, “I really hope you show.”
With that, not giving him a chance to say another word, she turned and strutted her narrow ass back through the loud, rowdy, drunk bikers and their bitches, her hair swaying, her arms moving gracefully, her scent still in his nostrils.