Ruthless: Chapter 3
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As I step into the alley, I’m assaulted by the smell of wet pavement from an earlier rainstorm that had blown out just as fast as it’d blown in. Typical Chicago. If you don’t like the weather, stick around; it’ll change in another five minutes.
Only one of the security lamps above the door is working, bathing the immediate area in a pool of dim light thanks to the dirt and grime caked on the bulb. I turn to the left, away from where the alley opens to the cross street, and head for the place where light gives way to the shadows.
“Shit, babe, where’s the fire?” Tim—Tom? Todd? I don’t remember—says behind me.
“Guess I’m just anxious.” Truth, but not about anything that has to do with him.
He laughs. “It’s not like you can start the party without me.”
That’s what you think, numbnuts. Tim-Tom-Todd has a severely inflated, and highly misinformed, ego if he thinks I need him to start any sort of party. I’ve become an expert on hosting the single-guest (moi) soiree, and while I can still bring the house down all by myself, it’s always more fun with company.
Just not his company. Triple-T’s eyes zero in on my ample rack like he just found the Promised Land, and he crowds me against the wall when I put my back to it, as though he’s afraid I’ll bolt. My guess is he’s had it happen before. He’s not unattractive—sandy blond hair, hazel eyes, and a preppy “perpetual frat boy” appearance—but he gives off a pushy vibe that makes me think he’s probably had experience getting kneed in the nuts.
No matter. I can take care of myself just fine, and he’s merely bait to get what I’m really after. If the plan fails, I’ll leave him behind—balls intact or not; depends on him—and try a more direct approach.
Frat Boy lowers his head, but I turn my face to avoid locking lips with him. It’s at that moment that the back door we used moments before shoves open and Roman steps outside. He immediately homes in on us, his gaze grabbing mine, and I’m temporarily paralyzed by my body’s reaction to him.
Heat washes through me and gathers deep in my center. My lips tingle as though begging to be ravaged by his mouth, for surely that’s what it would be like. The strength and commanding nature of his beauty are intimidating and inviting all at the same time. His snug-fitting, all-black attire of motorcycle boots, jeans, and wife-beater tank make the colorful tattoos covering his arms and shoulders practically glow in comparison.
But for as plain as his clothes are, he makes up for it in shiny accessories. Diamond earrings, a silver necklace, and a matching wallet chain hanging in a low arc on his right leg all wink in the light with each breath he draws.
Everything about this man screams don’t fuck with me, and yet that’s all I can think about—fucking with, above, under, around—I don’t care as long as he’s involved. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want the man called Ruthless.
“Hey, man, do you mind?” Triple-T says. “This isn’t a peep show.”
Roman doesn’t even spare him a glance. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
I arch a brow at him. “I’d think it would be obvious. But if you must know, I’m planning on working out a little tension with Tim here.”
“Ben,” Tim says with a tinge of annoyance.
“Right,” I say, still staring at Roman. “That’s what I meant.”
Like a dark angel, Roman stalks forward until he’s close enough for me to catch his scent. I don’t know if it’s his soap or cologne or a combination, but it’s smooth and intoxicating and makes me want to lick his skin to find out if he tastes just as good as he smells.
“You want to work out your tension, then you go back inside and work it out on the dance floor like everyone else.”
That’s all Tim-Ben gets out when Roman finally nails him with an icy glare and steals whatever else he planned to tack onto that comment. Roman’s voice is low, his words clipped. “Get lost before I make you choke on your own teeth.”
Hazel eyes widen in shock—I have to admit, as far as threats go, it does conjure a graphic and unpleasant image—before he recovers with a huff of indifference and tosses a derisive glance in my direction. “Whatever,” Tim-Ben says, taking a step back. “The slut’s all yours, big man.”
Oh, he’s going to regret that.
* * *
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