Noel sees me and quickly looks away but not before I see the flush on her cheeks.She glances at me quickly, and I wonder if by some chance she’s experiencing the same emotions.Impossible.She has no idea who I am or what I’m doing here.To her I’m probably just another tourist, even though I’m the only tourist wearing all black.
I can’t hear what the man in front of me is saying so I inch closer, desperate to remove the distance between us.
“So yeah, I think you should come out with me tonight.You can watch me study.”
My feet freeze as I glare down at his casual form practically leaning over the counter to get close to Noel.Is he blind?Everything about her body language is saying to back the fuck off.Her shoulders are hunched, her arms are crossed, and if that wasn’t enough, the look on her face is close to secondhand embarrassment.Is this the asshole from last night?Is he so fucking full of himself that he’s here demanding shewatch him study?
“I, um, think I’ve got some things to do at home tonight,” she says, and an idiot could see she’s lying.
“Perfect.I’ll come over and—”
Oh hell no.I’m more irritated than I have any right to be, but I’m here to make contact with Noel and figure out what the fuck I’m going to do about her.Well, that and other things I’m not ready to admit even to myself.
“Excuse me.”My deep voice is pitched low, but it’s like gravel on silk in a place like this, and everyone nearby turns to look at me.Even Pretty Boy on the counter.
When Noel’s eyes meet mine, this time she doesn’t look away.Oh no, she stares her fill as her eyes travel down my body and back up.Go ahead and look, dollface, I’m doing the same.
She’s got on a navy blue dress that’s tight across her chest and waist.The little white sweater she’s got on with it has snowflakes for buttons, and they sparkle in the light.Her red hair is down today, and her curls are unruly, yet somehow they look silky soft.I want to put my hands in it and hold her close, but even as my mind conjures up those images, I push them to the side.One thing at a time.
“Can I help you?”Noel’s voice is like caramel, and I want to pour it all over me.
“I need a book,” I say, and then Pretty Boy snorts.
“Yeah, I think they have a few,” he’s quick to say before turning back to Noel.“So like I was saying.How about seven—”
“What kind of book?”Noel talks over him, and I take all the pleasure out of his annoyance as I smugly step up to the counter beside him.
“It’s a romance,” I say without the slightest hesitation or hint of embarrassment.And once again Pretty Boy snorts.What is he, a pig?
“Who the hell reads that trash?”Noel and I turn our glare on him simultaneously, and he realizes his mistake with her.“I mean, other than women.”
I open my mouth ready to tell him the exact hole he can go fuck himself in, but Noel takes the high road and ignores his stupidity.
“I’d be happy to show you.It’s a little tricky to find it in the stacks.”Her smile to me is a little forced as she turns back to Pretty Boy.“Sorry, Mark, I can’t tonight.See you around.”
“Thanks,” I say as I walk over and join her before giving Pretty Boy one last look.
His brows are furrowed as he glares at the back of Noel, and deciding I don’t fucking like it, I step behind her to block his view.To my benefit, I get to see the big round ass she’s got in that dress, and I have to hold back a groan.Fuck, I have to look away because although her tits are perfect, that ass is quickly becoming my favorite thing about Troping.
“So are you picking up a book for someone in town?I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.”
She looks back and almost catches me staring at her butt before I quickly look up at the ceiling.Yeah, Gabriel, that's real natural.
“Um, no, it’s for me.I’m visiting.”
“Oh.”She stops and then looks confused.“We only lend to residents.I’m sorry—”
“It’s an extended visit,” I hurry to say.“I’m staying at the inn for a while, and I need a new book.Could I just come in and read while I’m here and not check it out?”
“You know that’s actually not a bad idea.”She grins and shrugs.“I don’t see why not, and as a fellow romance reader, I’d be willing to bend the rules a little.”
The way she says it is so cute, and it’s like she’s telling me a secret.Only when she winks, it must somehow throw her feet off balance because she starts to tumble over in the process.
“Careful,” I say as I reach out for her and grab her around the waist.
The moment my hands touch her lush hips, I want to dig my fingers in and hold on.All the blood in my body goes straight to my cock, and where it was excited before, it’s demanding now.I’m throbbing for her like I’m fifteen and not a fully grown man that’s always in control.Her bright eyes meet mine, and although I should have dropped my hands by now, my body stopped listening to me the second I walked in this building.
“Thank you.”Is it my imagination, or is she flushed and out of breath?