Walking up the twisting staircase, we head into Coach Bartley’s home full of men accompanied by beautiful women drinking and talking over loud music. Theo’s hand finds the small of my back as he weaves us under the dim lighting through the foyer and into the kitchen.
“You look great tonight, Quinn.” His words are soft and warm as he brushes past me, leading the way. “That purple dress you have on really makes your eyes pop.”
“Thanks,” I reply.
I glance at my reflection in the floor to ceiling windows and admire my strappy nude heels and purple bustier dress. I love the way the padded bust and structured silhouette flatters my body in all the right places.
My entire body stiffens, when his familiar warmth surrounds me, his hands finding my hips. “Nice dress.”
Theo turns around with a scowl on his face and stares Cash up and down. He holds out his hand and they embrace in a firm shake. “Great game tonight, Brooks. Can I get you something? Like a drink?”
“Soda water and lime,” Cash says, his finger creeping along the back of my thigh and up to the hem of my dress. “Would you like anything, Quinn?” The calm possession in his voice alarms the hell out of me. I can barely let out a breath, never mind speak with his hand cupped around my ass.
Theo locks eyes with me and waits for my response, oblivious to Cash’s wandering hands.
“Sure,” I say, letting out the breath I’ve been holding.
“Tell him what you want,” Cash whispers against my ear.
My body trembles from the warmth of his breath. “A water, please.”
Theo nods. “Quinn, come with me to get the drinks?” But his tone is all off. It’s not really a question, it more like he’s insisting.
“No, she’ll stay here, with me.” Cash is insisting too.
“Quinn?” Theo repeats.
“I’m fine, Theo. I’ll wait here.”
Theo looks at me one last time, lets out a deep breath, and then heads over to the makeshift bar set up in the great room.
When he is out of sight, I whip around. “Are you crazy? This place is crawling with my colleagues.”
“You like it and you know it,” Cash says, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear.
A flicker of intensity flashes in his eyes, nostrils flaring. Moving closer, his scent—honey and cinnamon—washes over me. “Don’t pretend you didn’t feel something in that locker room, Mittens.”
“Yeah, I felt my dignity being ripped right out of me. And I don’t understand why you even care? I can already see that you’re onto the next,” I nod over at a group of girls staring us down from the corner.
“Would that bother you?” He glances at the blonde girl he bench-pressed earlier today. “If I fucked her tonight instead of you?”
We stand there, eyeing each other up as I try not to let my real feelings for this arrogant son-of-a–bitch seep in.
My chest twists tightly, painfully. “Alright, Brooks, I see what you’re trying to do here. But here’s the thing, I don’t give a shit what you do. Women throw themselves at you constantly and you gladly fuck them. Good for you. I bet you’ve already nailed a whole bunch since the locker room, so what’s another?”
He shakes his head and loosens his tie. “Nope. Not one.”
“Aw, how sweet. I must have made quite the impression”
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