Lyla’s cheeks flushed slightly, and Janie watched her closely. She saw the flash of pain sweep across her best friend’s gorgeous heart-shaped face before being neatly tucked away in the iron-clad box where her emotions choked and suffered but stayed put.
“I’m safe, Danny. Thanks for pointing out that I’m a slut though.” Lyla winked to imply that she was joking, even though Janie knew that she had taken Danny’s caring comment personally. Lyla was always the first to recognize the bad in herself, even if she didn’t publicly acknowledge it. Janie inserted herself into the conversation to take the attention off her friend.
“Okay, Danny, and my lecture is where?” Janie raised her eyebrows, her gaze focused on the man leaning comfortably on the end of the bar. Lyla reached over to Janie’s lap and squeezed her hand in thanks.
“Janie…” Danny paused, looking at her thoughtfully. “Janie, you deserve much better than fucking losers like Richard.”
“You mean Dick,” Lyla chimed in.
Danny chuckled. “Whatever his name, that guy was an ass. He had no respect for you. Since then, all I have heard about are the assholes and douche bags you dated before him and the pussies you’ve gone out with since.” With a softened glance, he said, “Wise up, girl.”
Janie nodded, properly scolded.
In that moment, Max’s brain finally lost the battle his body had been waging. Watching Janie step into the line of fire to protect Lyla and take on the unwanted attention herself broke the dam that had been holding back the want and need he’d so carefully secured. He could no longer deny the desire he felt for the kind, sexy woman who sat in front of him. And she had no idea how gorgeous she was and that naïveté just made her even hotter.
Staring at her thick, dark, shining hair his eyes grazed over her every feature. The thought of tangling his fingers through all that silk and pulling it as he stared into her big, bright eyes made his hands itch. His gaze traveled to the plump, pink lips that tilted up in a small smile every time she looked at him. Oh, how he wanted to kiss and nibble those lips. There were so many things he wanted to do with her.
As his focus traveled down the column of her long neck to the creamy, smooth skin of her chest and amply showing cleavage, his mouth began to water. Lyla was right: they looked delicious. His dick was as hard as granite. Thank God he was standing behind the bar. She was becoming a distraction he could no longer ignore. If he could have her just one night…maybe then he could finally get her out of his system. Then they could go back to being friends. He just had to mute the little voice in his head that screamed, “Yeah…good luck with that!”
Max didn’t realize he’d missed the end of Danny’s fatherly “talking to” until jarred out of his fantasy by his boss’s voice. “Max, get these girls a drink, on me.”
Max placed the unordered Cosmos in front of each woman. He knew exactly what each of them wanted to drink based on their moods. It was definitely Cosmo time.
Lyla smirked. “Which girls, Danny?”
Janie shimmied her breasts together. “Maybe he means these girls, Ly.”
A peal of laughter escaped the two women while Danny rolled his eyes. “They’re impossible, Max…impossible, I say.”
Max lifted one dirty-blond eyebrow in response while trying his best to avoid the perfect globes on display in front of him. The gruff sound of Danny’s chuckle couldn’t be missed, but Max swore he heard Danny mumble into his beer, “Keepin’ your eye on the prize, I see.”
And with that, any seriousness the moment had evaporated, and the mood went back to playful.
“So, that’s why I refuse to serve any one person more than eight shots of tequila!” Max grinned as he finished his story. Janie and Lyla wiped the tears of laughter from their eyes before they sipped their pink drinks again.
“And they really got that tattoo there and blamed you?!” Lyla asked through her hysterics. Max nodded, and Janie watched as he scrubbed his hand over his perpetual five o’clock shadow.
“My stomach actually hurts from laughing so hard!” Janie said, running her hands over her flat belly.
Lyla quirked a brow at Max when she saw the desire flare in his eyes as he watched Janie. He focused a trained gaze on Janie’s hands.
“All right, I have to pee. I’ll be right back,” Janie announced to everyone and no one. She slid off her bar stool and headed for the bathroom. Max watched her slim hips sway as she walked away, his eyes slowly drifting lower…
“Max! I totally saw that,” Lyla said, her voice husky, as soon as Janie was out of earshot.