Today’s Saturday Snippet is all about “In the still of the night.” So what better story to share a snippet from than Full Moon. After all, Josie, the heroine, is all about howling (sexually speaking) at the full moon! LOL
“What are you doing here, Josie?”
She hadn’t expected Jake’s question, but after he’d saved her from near-disaster, she felt as if she owed him the truth. “I was hoping to hook up with one of the men here tonight. An honest-to-God one-night stand with a stranger.”
Jake’s smile didn’t dim, but he shook his head. “I don’t know where the hell you came from, but I’m sure glad you came into my bar.”
“Why is that?”
He shrugged good-naturedly. “Let’s just say you’re a lot more entertaining than the regulars. So you really want a one-night stand?”
She rolled her eyes. “Because I’m horny. What do you mean why?”
Jake leaned forward, resting his elbows on the high counter in front of her. “You’re pretty, funny and smart. Why would you settle for a one-night stand when any guy would probably give his left nut to go out with you?”
“I’ve always preferred the right nut.”
He grinned, but didn’t let her dodge the question. Instead, he waited patiently for her answer.
“I’m not looking for forever. Just one night. But—” she glanced over her shoulder and sighed, “—it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen tonight.”
“I’m afraid I’ve lost my steam. And my head start. Most of the other promising candidates have been claimed.” The crowd was thinning out and she didn’t have the energy to try again. Plus she was terrified of picking up another married man like Greg. Apparently her bullshit meter only worked in regards to her ex-husband.
Jake didn’t bother looking around the bar to confirm her observation. “What about me?”
“You? Really?” Josie‘s heart began to race. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she’d questioned her success all evening. Now Jake was offering her exactly what she wanted.
He raised his eyebrow and she sensed she’d offended him. She raised her hand quickly. “I mean I just didn’t think you’d be interested.”
Meanwhile, lack of interest was certainly not her problem. She’d been attracted to him since the first moment she’d bellied up to the bar. Even so, could she really go through with this?
She licked her suddenly dry lips, studying his face. He had kind eyes. And full lips.
As her gaze descended, she added to her mental list of Oh my God, He’s Hot attributes. Jake had powerful hands and muscular arms. And he sure as hell knew how to fill out a pair of blue jeans.
Shit. She was seriously going to do this.
“A hot woman is sitting across from me looking for a hookup. There’s not a straight, single man on the planet who would turn that down.”
“Apparently it’s not just the single guys.”
“And you qualify, do you? Single and straight?” She really needed to hear Jake say he wasn’t married. Though she was questioning her judgment after the Greg fiasco, something told her she could trust Jake’s word.
He nodded and once again she was taken in by his smile, his handsome face. Where Greg had been a pretty boy, Jake was all man. His jaw was covered with a five o’clock shadow that was pushing the borderline to full-blown beard. She spotted tattoos peeking out beneath his T-shirt on both arms. He was about a month overdue for a haircut, but the shaggy brown mess made her long to run her fingers through it.
“I qualify on all counts. I’d love to go home with you tonight. I’m not drunk, I don’t have any diseases, I’m relatively well-mannered and I don’t snore. Plus, none of my past girlfriends have blamed sex for our break-ups.”
“What do they blame?”
He laughed. “I’m trying to talk you into sleeping with me. Not out of it.”
Jake was the answer to a prayer. It would be no hardship having sex with him. None. At. All. “Fine. We’ll do it. Two conditions, though.”
“Lay ’em on me.”
“We go to your place. And I’m not going to stick around afterwards to find out if you’re lying about the snoring.”
“Deal. Should we leave now?”
She frowned. “Don’t you have to stay around until closing?”
He shook his head. “Nope. One of the perks of owning the place is you can come and go as you please.”
“You own the bar?”
“Yep.” He turned to talk to the other bartender. “Sam, this is Josie.”
Sam shook her hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Josie.”
Jake took her empty glass and put it in the rack along with the other dirty dishes. “I’m going to take Josie home. You mind holding down the fort tonight?”
Sam shook his head. “No problem. I’ll lock up and take care of the deposit.”
“Thank, Sam.” Jake walked to the cash register for a moment, then handed Josie’s credit card back to her. “Here.”
“Don’t I need to sign a slip or something?”
“Drink is on me. Least I can do, considering.”
She slipped the card back in her purse as he grabbed some keys from a cabinet. He lifted the hinged part of the bar and walked over, grasping her hand. “Ready?”
She nodded. “So ready.”
When they got to the parking lot, Jake paused. “My apartment is a couple blocks that way, so I don’t drive to work. Your car will be fine here if you want to leave it.”
She nodded. “Any dark alleys between your place and here?”
He frowned. “You really don’t plan to spend the night?”
“I told you that.”
He sighed. “Yeah. I know. Dark alleys don’t matter. I’ll walk you back here afterwards. Come on.”
He led her home, neither of them speaking along the way. Josie noticed it wasn’t an awkward silence. In fact, she felt more at ease than she’d anticipated. She wasn’t suffering from the slightest bit of nervousness. If anything, she wished he’d walk faster.
“I haven’t had sex in three years.” Where the hell had that confession come from? She winced. “I mean—”
Jake squeezed her hand. “I think I understand that horniness now. Maybe we better hurry up.”
She laughed as he picked up the pace. Jake was funny and easygoing. As far as howling went, she couldn’t have chosen a better partner to help her check off the first item on her sex list.
Taking his keys out of his pocket, he opened the door to his second-floor apartment, flicking on the light switch as she entered.
Mercifully, Jake’s place wasn’t bachelor-pad gross. There were no soiled dishes piled up on every surface, no dirty-gym-sock odor in the air, and the furniture wasn’t stained, with stuffing coming out at the seams. Apart from some clothes and shoes scattered about, the place was actually quite clean.
“Nice,” she murmured as she looked around.
He shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s okay. Rent’s cheap, the neighbors are quiet and I have my own washer and dryer. It’s not a bad place to lay my head at night.”
“Having your own washer and dryer is huge. I have to lug my laundry across the commons and drag it down into this humid basement laundry room my landlord set up for all the tenants. Costs a quarter a load, so I’m forever digging for change.”
She wasn’t sure where all that had come from. Now that she was in Jake’s apartment she couldn’t figure out how to move things to the next level. While she’d initiated the invitation, she was clueless when it came to seduction. She’d been with one man in her life—Tony—and he’d always been the instigator when it came to sex.
It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy the act. It was just that Tony’s libido seemed to run on high all the time. She never had a chance to be the pursuer.
“So,” she said at last, “where’s your bedroom?”