Sam set the beer in front of Tessa and then finally turned to Gibson. She kept her smile poised, but it took everything she had to keep her composure when Gib looked up. He’d let his jaw go a little scruffy, and the dark shadow of a beard only made him more edible. But the look in his eyes was what sucked the air right out of her. So this was what a gazelle must feel like when a starved lion caught site of her. Hunger had flared in that deep blue gaze—open, naked, and without apology.
God. A jolt of desire went straight downward, like a rope being tugged. Hello. Lady parts officially engaged.
She must’ve reacted, showed some chink in her expression. Because as soon as that look was there, he shuttered it, glancing away and offering a flat, “Hey, Sam.”
Everything inside her deflated—the pin of reality popping the balloon of hope. Ugh. Stupid, stupid man. She wanted to grab that thick dark hair and make him hold the gaze, force him to show her the truth. To be real with her. But of course, she couldn’t touch him anymore. And well, that would look a little weird in the bar. Sexually frustrated manager grabs customer by the hair, makes demands. She swallowed past the tightness in her throat, completely forgetting her plan to look seductive and so over him. “Crown and water.”
She plunked the glass on the table without grace, causing some of it to slosh over the top.
“Thanks,” he said gruffly.
Silence ensued and Tessa cleared her throat. “Um, do y’all still have those potato things with the bacon? I’m starving.”
Sam snapped out of her daze and turned to Tessa. “Potato skins. You bet. I’ll tell Angie to put in an order. She’ll be handling your table. I just wanted to come over and say hi.”
Gibson took a long gulp from his glass and then brushed a hand over his wavy hair, trying to smooth the unsmoothable. A move she’d learned was his sign of discomfort. God, this was so ridiculous.
And she was done with it. So things had gotten a little out of hand during that last training session. He’d been helping her out, bottoming for her so she could learn how to use a whip. They’d been through a few weeks of lessons and everything had gone well. All had been done under the assumption that he was a fellow dominant who would be guiding her from the bottom—a friendly exchange. He wasn’t supposed to get hard when she whipped him. And she wasn’t supposed to get so turned on at the sight of him. And they weren’t supposed to kiss. And she definitely wasn’t supposed to let him push her against a wall and put his hand beneath her skirt to get her off.
But all that had happened, and when she’d tried to wrest control back and take him to bed as her submissive, everything had exploded in her face. He’d snapped out of whatever spell he’d been in from the whipping and had told her that nothing could happen between them because they were both dominants. That he had a masochistic streak not a submissive one. The training had ended right there. And she might’ve been able to let it go, to buy that he was just a dominant with a taste for pain, but her instincts were telling her it was far more than that. Not that it mattered what she thought. For whatever reason, he wasn’t going to take the submissive role. Period. End of sentence.
She wasn’t worth the risk to him.
“Is there anything else I can get y’all for now?” she asked, her voice coming out a little too bright, too twangy. Damn, she was going Dolly Parton on their asses. Usually that only happened when customers pushed her to her politeness breaking point. Of course I’ll get your hamburger recooked a third time, sugar. I should’ve known when you said medium you meant fossilized.
Tessa’s brow went up, seeing right through Sam’s act.
“No, I think we’re good, Sam.” Kate cut an annoyed look his brother’s way.
Sam hustled back to the safety of the bar, cringing at how easily she’d gotten knocked off her plan. Damn that man.
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Hope you enjoyed it! Have a great Tuesday! I'll be starting chapter one, page one, word one of a new book today. Always terrifying. :)