That there was one mighty fine piece of prime real estate. Bar none, the sweetest ass he’d ever seen.
Logan watched in mesmerized fascination as the mouth-watering backside in question shimmied and undulated to the heavy beat of the dance music blaring through the bar’s sound system. He’d always been an ass man and that one right there was enough to make a grown man cry.
It was a pure bonus that she had red hair. He loved fiery redheads.
He didn’t recognize this one though. She had to be a newcomer because he never would have missed spotting her before this. No way. Not with that ass, or with how often he came to PJ’s Bar.
He took a swig of his beer. Without taking his eyes off the visual feast before him, he absently enjoyed the slightly bitter taste of the cold brew as it trickled past his tongue and cooled his throat.
He was trying to get a good look at Red’s face, but with the flickering lights and strobes he hadn’t had much success. But that first-class ass was enough to make him want to get to know her better anyway. A lot better.
The music finally switched to a slow tune. That was his cue. Time to make his move.
Putting down his beer, he stood and then made his way over to his quarry. Her current dance partner put his arms around her and pulled her into his embrace, settling in to enjoy holding her close for the dance. But that didn’t deter Logan.
He tapped the guy on the shoulder. “I’m cutting in.”
Without looking up, the guy snarled at Logan to get lost, but he wasn’t put off. He tapped him again. “I guess you didn’t hear me. It’s my turn.”
The guy pulled back, and shot Logan a look meant to intimidate and chase him off. It might have worked too, except the moment the guy caught sight of Logan, his eyes widened, he dropped his arms and quickly backed away from the girl. “Okay, sure thing. No problem.”
Logan hid a smile. He was used to this kind of reaction. He was a big guy. Taller than most, not to mention the fact that he worked out. People were often intimated by his size, and he wasn’t averse to using it to his advantage.
Logan nodded. “Thanks.”
With the testosterone war over, Logan could finally direct his attention to the tasty female treat in front of him. “Name’s Logan. And you are?”
With frustration, he realized even though he was now facing the woman of his dreams, he still couldn’t get a good look at her. Not with her standing there with her hand clapped over her mouth as if she was in shock or something.
Fighting the urge to make sure he hadn’t left his fly open, he tried smiling to put her at ease. This was a damned strange reaction. He was a decent-looking guy but he’d never affected a woman like this.
He tried again. “I’m Logan. And you are…”
She blinked a couple of times before finally dropping her hand. “Logan.”
Her name is Logan?
And then he realized there was something very familiar about this woman. He looked closer. He knew her. Sort of. Didn’t he? He scanned her face again. He did know her. But something was different. So different he couldn’t quite place her.
All of a sudden the penny dropped.
Damn! It’s… “Nica. I didn’t recognize you. What happened to you?” Okay, that didn’t come out right. “I mean, you look different.”
That was an understatement.
He looked her up and down, still not quite believing his eyes. Could this really be his best friend’s kid sister? Hell, she was as good as his kid sister. He’d watched her grow up and he’d never seen any sign that this little siren lay hidden beneath the shapeless clothes she usually wore.
Nica blushed. For a moment she looked flustered, but then something in her expression changed. Almost seemed to firm up. She smiled and started to preen. “I do, don’t I.” She peeped up at him. “Do you like it?”
Hell yeah. He’d be mortified if he liked it any better. Damn, the fantasies he’d been running through his head before he knew it was her were more than a little X-rated.
Completely thrown by both the shock of finding out the woman he’d just been lusting after was Nica and… Well, there was no and. That was enough. More than enough.
Disappointment speared through him as it sank in this was Nica and he’d just been wondering how he could get into her pants. “Uh…you look great.”
She smiled coquettishly. “Thanks.”
“What brought on the dramatic change?”
She shrugged and he noticed how the movement did interesting things to her breasts.
“Oh, I just thought it was time to do something different.”
She was different all right. And he wasn’t at all sure it was for the better. He glared at several guys who were staring at her, not liking the speculative look in their eyes. “I can see that.”
She blushed and looked down, then seemed to come to some decision. He watched fascinated as she tossed her head back and straightened her shoulders “I’m still trying to get used to it myself.”
Was this the same girl he’d watched grow up from a plain child? Just yesterday she’d been the same old Nica. Reliable. Trustworthy. People like her didn’t change overnight. What had happened to cause this radical transformation? Because it was for damn sure something had.
“What’s this really all about, Nica? You’re not the type to do something so drastic.”
Her eyes flashed sizzling blue fire at him. “How would you know what type I am?”
That struck a nerve. “I’ve known you since we were kids. I think I know you pretty well.”
She looked him right in the eyes, and he saw a flash of temper there he’d never noticed before.
“You don’t know squat about me. Not the real me inside. You just think you know me.”
He took in her flushed cheeks and flashing eyes, her stance screaming her readiness to take him on. Maybe she was right. He certainly didn’t recognize the spitfire in front of him right now.
Taking in her sparkling eyes and heaving chest, he fought back a grin. Damned if he didn’t like her this way too.
The grin finally won out.
She scowled and planted her fists on her hips. “Don’t you laugh at me, Logan Donovan.”
Oh look. She’s even trying to look tough.
It was too much. He burst out laughing. “I can’t help it. You’re just so damn cute like this. I think I’m going to like the new you.” Maybe a little too much.
Just like that her anger dissipated. “Really?”
“It’ll take some getting used to, but yeah.”
The smile she graced him with was like sunshine breaking through storm clouds. It lit up her entire face and accentuated the beauty he’d never noticed before. Had it always been there and he’d just not seen it?
Still busy trying to take in the radical change, he jumped when she put her hands on his shoulders. “What are you doing?”
Looking confused, she said, “I thought you wanted to dance with me.”
Damn. He’d forgotten that was why he’d come over here. If he tried to back out now it would hurt her feelings. “Oh right. Of course.”
Smooth, Logan. Real smooth. He all but rolled his eyes at himself.
Feeling more than a little awkward and probably looking worse, he hesitated while trying to decide what to do. He knew he should put his hands on her waist, but the fact that he wanted to so much sort of made him feel like a perv.
She was practically his little sister for crying out loud. Okay, so she wasn’t, but he’d always viewed her that way. Until now.
Damn it. He couldn’t believe this was Nica. And that she looked so fucking hot.
He shook the thought out of his head, told himself to snap out of it, reached over and put his hands on her waist. There, that wasn’t so hard. At least not yet. He strove to keep as much distance between their bodies as he could manage without looking too obvious.
Nica had ideas of her own though, because the next thing he knew she’d draped her arms over his shoulders and clasped her hands behind his neck. In the process she’d pressed her sweet breasts up against his chest until their bodies were so flush against each other a microbe couldn’t have squeezed in if its survival depended on it.
His groin started to tingle.