Hard Justice(5)

By: Lori Foster

Her brows went up. “A shot?”

Justice gave her a long, heated look. “You know my meaning.”

Her dark eyes widened. “Oh.” Surprise, then embarrassment, had her ducking her face.

Damn it, why the hell was he flirting with her? “Sorry. I shouldn’t have...” He shook his head. “Ignore me.”

Appearing both amused and confused by his attitude, she started to speak, and instead lifted her arms out to her sides and turned her face up to the sky. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?”

Dark clouds rolled over one another and humidity hung thick in the air. He liked storms.

They made him horny.

Though this time, he wasn’t sure if it was the storm or the girl. “Sure.” Lengthening his stride, more than ready to get the show on the road, Justice opened the door to the backseat of the SUV. “You want to tell me where we’re going?”

“You mentioned a bar.” She bit her lip. A nice full lip, he couldn’t help but notice. “Is there one you’d recommend?”

Justice couldn’t figure her out. Was she a practiced flirt? Too naive to know how she affected him? For sure, she made him forget himself. He kept focusing on her mouth—plump lips and that shiny gloss... She waited for an answer, but he’d forgotten the topic. “One what?”

“A bar?” She grinned, putting dimples into those pink cheeks. “I’ve never been before.”

Justice took a step back. Naive then, and damn it, since when was that a turn-on? “You’ve never been to a bar?”

“No.” She leaned closer in a conspiratorial way, her face turned up to his, her tone teasing. “Is it fun?”

Could be, depending on her idea of fun. But if she’d never been before, why pick now, tonight, with him of all people?

Suspicion got the better of him. “What are you hoping to do at this bar?”

“Drink a little.” Her nose wrinkled again. “That’d be a first, too.”

Justice folded his arms over his chest. “You’ve never had a drink?”

“Wine a few times at galas, but that was long ago.” Though she still smiled, shadows suddenly saddened her expression.

Justice had the awful urge to comfort her. He resisted with stoic effort. “How can it have been long ago when you’re so young?”

“Twenty-four isn’t that young, and if you want me to be specific, I’ll say that I haven’t had wine since the night I turned nineteen. Besides, it isn’t wine I want to try.” The impish grin returned. “I want a beer.”

“Beer?” She made beer sound scandalous. Every girl he knew occasionally had a beer, even if she didn’t particularly like it.


Justice rubbed the back of his neck. “Okay, well, you can do that at every bar everywhere.”

She laughed. “Let’s see. I’d also like to dance. Maybe chat with new people. And I want to have fun.”

How the hell did she figure to do any of that when her daddy didn’t want anyone within spitting distance of her? A raindrop fell, then a few more...and Justice knew the skies would open up soon. He took her arm and tried to urge her into the backseat of the SUV.

She resisted. “I’ll ride up front.”

Taken by surprise, he did his parrot act and repeated, “Up front?” Clients never rode up front. Definitely not young female clients.

She stared at him with those big soul-sucking eyes. “Unless that’s a problem for you.”

The only problem, so far, was his reaction to her. But hell, as the client, she got to call the shots, so... “Suit yourself.” He switched direction, closing the back door and opening the front.

The raindrops began pelting the ground in earnest, so she hurriedly seated herself.

Jogging around the hood, Justice narrowly avoided the sudden deluge. He checked that Fallon had on her seat belt, then, instead of driving, he returned to her earlier question. “There are a bunch of bars in the area. I don’t know much about them, though.”

“Really? I thought most guys...that is...” Her cheeks pinked. “You don’t drink?”

“Sure. But usually I head back to Warfield to Rowdy’s when I want to drink and relax with friends.”

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