I finally recognized the man. It was none other than Noah freaking McMurray, the father of my best friend and the man who’d been single-handedly responsible for my sexual awakening when I was a girl.
Granted, he had no idea about all that.
Judging by the look on his face, I could tell that he didn’t recognize me. That meant I had a choice to make ? tell him who I was, little Sadie Clarence ? or keep my identity a secret.
Nothing wrong with a little fun, I decided.
He flagged down one of the passing servers carrying a tray of high-end water bottles. Noah plucked one of the bottles off the tray, cracked it open, and handed it to me.
“Here, drink some of this.”
“Why?” I asked. “I was dealing with some prick I went on a date with, not walking through the desert.” I followed this up with a smile to let him know I was only messing around.
His expression stayed stony and serious. I could sense that he didn’t consider this a laughing matter.
Noah was keeping it cool. That’s how he’d always been – cool, calm, and collected. I could see, however, that the idea of a woman being in potential danger was enough to make the mask slip a bit – so to speak.
I sipped my water, wishing I had something stronger.
“Mind if I have a bit of that?” I asked, nodding to his whiskey. “I could use one of those after the conversation I just had.”
Without a word, he handed the drink over to me. “Of course. But tell me who that guy was. I want to make sure you’re safe.”
Another warm wave flowed through me. Noah was part of a generation where looking out for women was a little more common. I didn’t mind fighting my own battles, but it was nice all the same.
I sipped the whiskey, the warmth of the booze hitting just right. He placed his hand on the small of my back, leading me out of the crowd.
The sensation of his palm on my skin was enough to make my pussy clench. It’d been years since I’d seen him last, but the old attraction I’d had for Noah was returning with a vengeance.
I spoke as he led me over to a quiet corner. “Tyler was this guy I met on Hinge.”
Confusion took hold of his handsome face. “Hinge? What the hell is that?”
I smiled. “Not up to date on the latest dating apps?”
As far as I knew, Noah hadn’t been serious with anyone since his wife passed a long time ago.
He shook his head. “Never used one of those apps in my life.”
“Nothing,” I said, shaking my head. “Just the way you said it. Like it was dirty.”
Noah let out a snort. “They’re not my thing. Can’t believe people are meeting after looking at a couple of pictures and exchanging some texts. That’s not how we did things when I was—” he stopped himself.
“When what?” I asked with a smile.
He sighed, shaking his head as if he knew how silly it was what he’d been about to say.
“When I was your age. God, I can’t believe I just said that.” Noah chuckled, his stony expression breaking for the first time since the conversation had begun.
Mentioning the age gap between us did nothing to tamp down my attraction.
“So, Hinge. Is that a swipe thing?”