Home > Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(4)

Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(4)
Author: Katy Evans

He turns the chair and sits before me, arms draped over the chair back. “What’s the problem with the dress code? Looks to me you wear it very well.”

I roll my eyes.

He’s laughing at me.

“It’s boring, that’s what.” I signal to him and his don’t-give-a-shit attitude. “I just wish I had your balls.”

“Where exactly do you want them?”

I laugh, then flush. Oh god.

He laughs too. “I’m sorry, that was completely out of line,” he says shifting forward in the chair. “I couldn’t resist.”

“You know what? You really should,” I say with a little frown. “Does anyone fall for those antics?”

“You’d be surprised how many women fall for my . . . antics.”

I eye him dubiously. “If you say so.” He has his charm and that face does him plenty of favors but the guy seems to have a gargantuan ego already, I’m not about to feed it any more. “And I meant the balls to not wear . . . the required clothing. How do you get away with it?”

“My special antics include charming my way past reception.”

“It would help if the receptionists were male and maybe I could charm them.”

He eyes me. “I’d bet on it.”

“Seriously. It’s one thing to be a perfectionist and another to be anal. Come on!” I sigh. “I don’t want to disappoint my brother, though. He got me this job. But I intend to be the one to keep it.”

He lifts his brows, scrutinizing me suddenly.

As if he just realized something life-altering.

I wonder if he has any ambitions other than being the mail guy. He’s not putting out the vibes of someone desperate to climb the ladder of success.

I’m so busy wondering that I don’t realize he’s frowning thoughtfully as he stares down at his cigarette. He laughs softly, as if to himself, and then he rises from his chair, takes a step back and says, “Good night.”

He grabs a jacket and his phone and keys, and walks out.

Did I say something wrong?

The next day, I spot him in the elevator.

The coworker who boards with us spots him too, and the instant she sees him, her spine shoots up straight. I’m surprised she’s not fluffing her hair, though I don’t blame her one bit. I suppress the urge to primp myself too. She nods politely at him as we ride to our floors. Hot Smoker Guy nods back, then looks at me. He doesn’t nod. Just stares. I smile. We’re left alone.

I’m impressed that my unambitious mail guy broke out the best suit he owns, dark black, and a tie that’s just killer. Nobody would wear a red tie here unless they’re interviewing, it would need to be silver or black.

“Look at you! Are you here for an interview?” I ask when we’re alone. “You broke out your best suit.”

He starts to laugh, then rubs his face with one hand and shakes his head.

“We’re matching.” I point to the red scarf I’m wearing as a hair band, my one small rebellion against the dress code.

“Yeah, I’ll have to do something about that,” he says as he reaches out and tugs the scarf loose, tucking it into his pocket. Just like that. He crosses his arms in a nonchalant stance and stares at the climbing numbers.

He tilts his head to eye me, and I can’t miss the way his gaze runs to my shoulders and to the fall of my hair. I become breathless.

I glance at my reflection in the elevator doors. Blonde and blue-eyed, fair-skinned, I look small and weak and he looks big and hot in that stupid suit.

“Will you be at the terrace this afternoon?” I blurt out.

His brows rise in surprise, and then his eyes run over my hair again, slowly and thoroughly.

It feels like forever before he speaks, his voice smooth and calm in a way that his stare is not. “I’ll leave you my cigarettes, how’s that?”

“Oh no, it’s not the cigarettes. I don’t even smoke, not really. I just . . . well, I don’t have a lot of friends here, really. I like it when we share a cigarette on the terrace.”

His eyes look a little tender, but that gorgeous mouth of his doesn’t speak.

Thank god that finally my floor is up.

“Well, bye.” I wave, smiling, and I step out awkwardly and force myself not to look back. Shit. Fuck. Shitfuck! I’m cursing to myself, feeling a flush creep up my cheeks, wondering why I care so much that he didn’t say yes.

I still end up showing upstairs.

Still wondering why I even care. The last thing I want is a guy. In fact, I’m even wearing the small diamond ring my parents gave me on my fifteenth birthday on the fourth finger of my left hand, so the guys will leave me alone in case I ever go to a club or out with some of the other interns.

I suppose I just want a friend. And I like his energy. All easy confidence and male strength. It’s something I adore about my brother. He makes me feel safe. But this guy is a stranger, so I don’t understand, exactly, why I crave talking to him except that maybe I’m curious, and I feel a buzz of excitement when he’s near.

He’s standing by the ledge when I step out of the elevator. My heart leaps a little, and I have to take a deep breath in order to act cool when I join him.

He looks at me as if challenging me to walk close to the ledge.

I stop a few feet away and finger the hem of my black jacket. His eyes snag on the ring I’m wearing.

“Who’s the guy?” he asks, casually, frowning down at the ring.

I laugh and glare at him. “Wow. What happened to your antics? Not ‘who’s the lucky guy’? I didn’t miss the omission.”

“I’m not sure if he’s lucky, or terribly, terribly unlucky,” he says.

I want to say a name out of the blue.

I sigh.

“It’s a gift from my parents and the ultimate commitment to giving my goals my all.”

“Really.”

“Really.”

He moves and I step back.

“So it’s a phony.”

“It’s not a phony, it’s a real diamond!”

“It’s a phony engagement ring.”

“It’s not. I’m engaged to myself.”

He shoves his hands into his pockets and rocks back on his heels. “Ahh, surely because nobody else would want you?” he asks, looking deathly somber.

I nod, also deathly somber. “Actually, that’s precisely why. I’ve got clusters of freckles on every part of my body and a personality that’s even worse.”

“Worse than freckles.” He scratches his chin.

“Clusters of freckles.”

“You might find someone one day,” he eyes the ring and then eyes me, “with a freckle fetish,” he draws out, laughing. “And he’ll see exactly why you’re special. But that ring could deter him from even trying to discover all those clusters of freckles underneath.”

I wonder what that would feel like. To be loved like that. In the way my brother loves Regina. My dad and mom love each other. “If he can’t take a little competition and would let something like hardware prevent him from knowing me then I’m not interested. He gets none of my freckles.”

He smiles quietly, and I wonder about him.

If he’s ever loved, if he’s ever been loved, if he even wants to be. But don’t we all want to? Even when you think you don’t want to, there’s this feeling of waiting in the back of your head. Of waiting for that to happen. To know what it’s like and to be swept away.

“I think I’ll have a cigarette now,” I say, flushing.

I can’t believe I opened my big mouth, but I’m desperate for some real conversation and some silly conversation and to just be me, to talk with someone who won’t judge me or look at me like the lowly little intern whose brother got her the job.

He lights up, and this time when I set the cigarette to my lips, there’s a low throb deep in my stomach just knowing my lips are on the exact spot his were.

The wind tosses his lovely brown hair about recklessly. He gives the impression of control but in a way that makes you wonder what happens when all that power is unleashed.

“So. You have a brother,” he says.

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