The low vibration of his voice made her tingle everywhere. And he just kept smiling into her eyes, as if he really saw her. Saw beneath her looks, her attitude, all her smoke and mirrors. Her throat tightened.
She’d been operating under the one-night-stand-only guideline for years, and that safety net worked for her. But she didn’t throw friends into the pool of possible sex partners. She only had to remember the hearts she’d damaged to remind herself she either did friendship or sex—not both. Never both.
Narrowing her eyes, she met his gaze again. “You’re extra playful today.”
He leaned forward, still braced on the helmet, bringing him closer. So close the outer gray-blue ring of his irises contrasted with the lighter center and his spiky golden lashes. “Have dinner with me tonight. Just us. No Jax. No Lexi.” He paused, and Rubi felt the grip of his intent stare at the center of her chest. “You and me, Rubi.”
His mouth was saying dinner. But his eyes were saying the best, eye-crossing, beg-for-mercy sex of your life.
And her body screamed yes with a flare of dizzying heat. But equally dizzying apprehension raised a wall that cooled her down. “Where’s this coming from?” She crossed her arms. “You know I’m not into the dating scene.”
Vulnerability hinted in his eyes and tugged at Rubi’s heart. “Then don’t call it a date. I’d just like to get you alone.”
Oh dear God.
The battle of the Titans warred inside her, and she had to look away to find the strength to do the right thing. She sucked at letting guys down easy. She wasn’t one of his typical nice girls, but she wasn’t the type to use friends either.
“No, Wes, that’s not my game. And I like what we have.” Rubi forced her mouth into a smile, slipping into the flighty, careless cover she’d perfected. “Get to work, Lawson. I’ve got information to gather, and a lunch date with Lexi.”
“I’ll be watching, taking notes, putting it all together for those apps you can’t wait to get your hands on.” She turned toward the camera where Jax bullshitted with the crew, and shot Wes one last grin over her shoulder. “Remember—no major injuries.”
Wes leaned forward, revved the Ducati, and shot toward the bridge, pushing the bike to ridiculous speeds just to burn out this new streak of frustration.
Between the sun, the suit, and running the stunt three times already, he was sweating from every pore. That all would have been manageable if Rubi hadn’t shown up looking like a goddamn Penthouse centerfold. Now his cock rubbed in all the wrong places.
He was done with this all-flirtation-no-action shit. They’d been building up to this for two months. Yeah, it had taken him a while to realize she was exactly the kind of woman he should have been dating for years. And, yeah, he’d been easing closer to her because he also knew she was skittish about dating one guy. But he either had to get her into bed or out of his head.
And both had about the same chance of happening—nil.
He’d pulled every trick, every tactic in his arsenal to tug Rubi over the friendship-only threshold she’d created between them, but she wouldn’t budge. He knew she wanted to cross over. He saw it in her eyes when she looked at him. Heard it in her voice in those rare private moments when they found themselves out of earshot of Jax and Lexi.
And he was no quitter. He wouldn’t give up on her without one hell of a battle of wills. Which meant it looked like he had a real challenge on his hands, because no one challenged him like Rubi.
Slowing the bike, he circled back to face the wreckage, pausing beneath the shadow of the condemned bridge for some heat relief. He dropped one foot to the cement and reached up to wipe sweat from his eyes through the opening in his helmet. When he glanced toward Jax and the crew, he found Rubi standing nearby. She had an ear bent toward Troy, one of Wes’s fellow Renegades, and her gaze on the pile of metal Wes planned to annihilate.
If Troy was flirting with her again, it was subtle. His hands gestured as he described the upcoming stunt so Rubi could get all the information she needed to program the apps she was developing for Jax. Her pen moved quickly over the page as she noted Troy’s information.
Wes’s mind flipped back to the way she’d laughed at something he’d said the night before. She’d been sitting next to him at dinner with Lexi and Jax, leaning forward, elbows on the table, chin in one hand, twirling her drink with a straw. But those gorgeous green eyes had been on his, twinkling with happiness. Her smile had been wide and breathtaking. Her light-cocoa cheeks blushed with color.