Home > Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(6)

Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(6)
Author: Katy Evans

I’m scowling when he absently scans the room and catches me staring.

His smile fades a bit as his gold eyes hold mine—and he gives me a look that rivals vaginal penetration. He uncurls his hand from the woman’s waist and inches her off his thigh, leans forward, elbows on his knees, as if he wants to talk to me and only me.

I tilt my head up to hold his gaze, and the hunger/worry stomach pangs double in force. I give him a haughty look because I expect him to say something crass. He looks at my mouth, then lifts his drink and toasts.

He takes a sip, wetting his lips, and stretches his arm out over the woman again.

He smiles and watches me probingly. He seems to be waiting for me to walk up to him, but I’m trembling a little and I will die before he notices, so I stay in my seat.

I turn around and look at Wynn, and Hot Smoker Guy’s gaze seems to follow.

Wynn seems to be trying to get to her feet, wiping tears from her eyes.

Hot Smoker Guy appears and helps her up by the elbow. He asks her something and nods.

Hot Smoker Guy looks up and sees me.

I smile at him, grateful for the help with Wynn, but he doesn’t smile at me.

My stomach sinks and I look hastily away as he brings her over.

“I’ll take her home.” It’s a statement, not a question.

“Wait. She’s coming, too,” Wynn protests.

There is a prickle of heat against my fingers; his hand engulfing mine totally. He’s smirking, his gold eyes laughing as he scans me thoroughly, head to toe, and his lips—slightly warm in a way that makes my stomach lose control—brush against the shell of my ear, his voice all dark chocolate, wine, and foreplay as he says, “You really don’t go here.”

I scowl at him, then let him drag us both out of the club. We help Wynn into a cab, and he follows her in before tugging me inside, reaching over me to close the door.

My thigh brushes against his thigh. My throat feels tight.

“Just say the word and he’ll be so swollen tomorrow he won’t be able to open his eyes.” His words swallow the silence of the cab.

His voice, clear without the Chicago wind around us, pulses through my body. I stiffen to try to ignore its effect on me.

“Stop, no way. But thanks.” She laughs mournfully.

He takes her hand and squeezes it and cups her face with the other. “Hey. You’re good. You don’t need some asshole who doesn’t need you back.”

She takes his hand and squeezes, says, “Thank you,” and hugs him. He wraps one arm around her, and I want to vomit. I realize he’s looking at me as he strokes his hand down her back, his stare so intense that it feels as if he’s stroking his hand down my back.

I miss home so much right now I want to cry.

I don’t know why I want to cry, but I edge my thigh away from his and move to stare out the window.

I hear him ask Wynn something about what happened, and Wynn tell him it’s a long story, that they just won’t work out.

He says he’s sorry.

And he sounds genuinely sorry.

I feel like a third wheel all of a sudden, and I want to call my brother so I can have a guy’s arms around me, telling me it’ll just take one second, and it’ll be over.

It takes a gazillion seconds before I leap out of the cab, avoiding his gaze even as he helps her out. I take one of her arms while he takes the other, and we head upstairs to the apartment and settle her on a living room sofa.

“Thanks,” I say as I take off Wynn’s shoes, and he looks at me with a frown.

“You okay?”

“Fine. Thank you. Now you know where she lives in case you want to . . . visit her when I’m not here or whatever . . .”

He lifts his brows, then I tell Wynn, “I’ll get you coffee.”

“You know where to find me,” he tells Wynn.

“At the club?” I want to shout when the door closes behind him.

I exhale and inhale as I make coffee and try to push the odd homesickness away as I come back to Wynn.

“You okay?” I ask.

“Yeah. It was just difficult to talk to him. Emmett and I used to be so easy together, but now that he’s my ex, it’s like there’s this whole wedge between us.”

She seems better now. I take a couch opposite hers and curl my feet up under me. “How did you two meet?”

She sighs and stares into space. “He seduced me with food and that smile he has.”

“I’m sorry, Wynn. Should I call Gina or Rachel?”

“Don’t even think about it! They’ll kill me, and they’ll absolutely kill you for being there.” She looks at me and her expression softens. “Thank you, Livvy. I promise nobody will know.”

I won’t ask, I won’t ask, I won’t ask, I repeat like the mantra. Then I ask. “Hey, the guy who brought you home—”

She waves a hand. “Oh, I totally warned him not to say a word.”

I bite down on my lower lip, still aching to know. “Who is he?”

She quirks an eyebrow at the anxiousness in my voice, and her big blue eyes widen even more.

“He works where I work, so . . .” I hasten to explain.

“Hell, I know.” She eyes me in amusement, then scowls in puzzlement. “Ask him.”

Now I’m thinking: I am not going to ask her, it’s really not my business. And then, “Did he and you . . .”

“What? Ohmigod, never! He’s a one-way ticket to Broken Heartsville, even worse than Emmett.”

So they’re just friends? Thank you, god. Though I thought he and I were friends too but he doesn’t cozy up to me in that way. He tried to touch my hair and I moved it back before he could and that was the extent of it.

“He’s single, if that’s what you want to know,” Wynn says. Then her eyes go a little wider in concern as she says, like this is crucial for me to know, “He’s like the testament to singleness. All his friends are taken, so now he’s the last man standing. Please don’t tell me you like him. He’s the last man Tahoe would like to see you with. Trust me.”

“I don’t like him. Not at all. I’m not . . . interested in anything like that. This is why I have this fake engagement ring, see?” I show her my hand. “This’ll keep all the guys away, even at clubs. This year is all about work for me. I want to go back to Texas and get some more experience, then open my own investment firm, helping struggling businesses.”

“Good for you.” She looks wistfully past her shoulder, out to the window. “Love is an illusion. The more you want it, the more it hides.”

“You’ll get back together with him. Your ex, I mean. I saw the way he looked at you. When you stood up crying, he wanted to come after you but held himself back.”

“Emmett?” She turns her attention back to me, looking sad again. “I don’t think so. He flat out said he didn’t want marriage. I thought after I moved in, it would be in the cards. We just don’t want the same things.” She sounds wistful, and then she frowns and waves it away. “Anyway. Guard your heart, Livvy, you’re too young, and I’ve seen too many men steal hearts without giving anything back.”

I should have listened.

But the next day when I’m done with Mr. Lincoln and the preparations for his presentation with Callan Carmichael, which will take place the following day, I feel compelled to ride the elevator up to the terrace again. I tell myself I’ll just thank him for looking out for Wynn. It was gentlemanly, I suppose.

Though maybe his reasons for helping her were just to seduce her because, apparently, he’s an expert at that.

He’s not there.

I ride up to the terrace on Tuesday, then on Wednesday.

He isn’t there.

It isn’t until Friday that I step out of the elevator, already expecting him not to be there, when I see him seated in a lounge chair at the far end, a cigarette dangling from his lips as he types something on his phone, frowning in concentration.

I don’t want to feel the rush of happiness. But I do. It comes with a tangle of pain in my stomach, and that I cannot explain, but I blame it on the terrace railing and the fact that I’m . . . well, not happy at high altitudes.

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