Lowlander Silverback(4)

By: T. S. Joyce

He stared at her passively. Dark eyes steady, cheekbones sharp as ever, and those sexy lips that lifted easily into a smile for everyone but her. He stood straighter with an irritated sigh and clasped his hands behind his back. “It’s fine.”

“Hi,” she said lamely.

He took a step back and angled his face away, eyes never leaving her. His gaze dipped once to her chest, then back to her face, but he didn’t respond to her greeting. She was supposed to do something with Kong. Think! Talk to him about something. Her head was spinning from being so close to him. He was tall and strong with wide shoulders and arms that stretched the thin material of his black V-neck T-shirt. A curl of ink peeked out from under the sleeve. She wanted to lick him. Lick him. Shit. Flyer! “I need to talk to you about something.”

A single eyebrow arched even higher. Why did he only ever look annoyed around her? “About what?”

“Kong,” one of his crew members barked out from the corner.

The behemoth slid an agitated glance over his shoulder, then back to her. “Sorry, not interested in anything you have to say.”

“Pussy!” Layla clapped her hand over her mouth as her cheeks lit on fire.

“What?” Kong asked in a low rumble.

“I want to talk to you about pussy.” And now she also wanted to melt into the cracks between the floorboards beneath her shoes and possibly die.

His eyes dipped to her boobs again, but when he lifted his gaze to her face, he looked pissed. “Not. Interested.”

He turned and walked away, his work boots making hollow sounds across the floor as he strode away from her.

“Oh, my gosh,” she whispered, mortified as she escaped to the bar. Other than to take drink orders, she’d never talked to him for that long, and her first sentence involved the word pussy? Really? She wanted to curl into a ball under the sink behind the bar.

“Thirty bucks,” Jake sang as he poured a wells beer into a tall glass.

From their table, one of Kong’s crew lifted his hand to flag her down, and she bit back the urge to beg Jake to serve their table tonight. Because really, this couldn’t get any worse. But she grabbed the crumpled flyers and made her way back to their table. Kong suddenly looked really interested in Brighton and Denison’s sound check.

A blond man with bright blue eyes ordered them a round of beers. “Do you need to write this down?” he asked when she stood there nodding.

Narrowing her eyes at his rude ass, she said, “I think I can remember three beers.” She slapped the flyers down on the table. “My boss wants me to talk to you about Shifter Night at Sammy’s. We’re going to do it on either Thursday or Friday every week, and shifters will be able to drink free—”

“We ain’t shifters,” Blondie said through an empty smile.

Her eyes lingered on Kong, who was now frowning down at a napkin he was shredding. With a sigh, she said, “Be that as it may, if you were shifters and if you showed some interest in the shifter groupies around here, you would be able to drink for free on those nights.”

“You mean,” Kong said, lifting one of the flyers, “if we fuck groupies, we can drink for free?”

“Yes.” Her voice cracked on the word, so she cleared her throat and tried again. “Yes. Or not f-fucked exactly, but maybe an occasional finger bang or make-out session or give some tourist a hickey or even flirted or…something.”

“Hard pass,” Blondie said, his eyes narrowed to dangerous-looking slits as he shoved the flyers back to her. “We don’t stick our dicks in humans.” The way he said the last word was like a curse.

“But you aren’t shifters,” she said sarcastically, anger blasting up her spine.

“You stupid bitch. Shut your fucking mouth and bring us our drinks!” Blondie yelled, slamming his palm against the table.

She jumped, and the bar grew quiet. Kong’s eyes tightened as he leveled the blond-haired man with a look that raised chills up her arms. “Rhett, enough.”

She swallowed hard and picked up the flyers. “It wasn’t my idea.” She apologized before she turned and jogged back to the bar, hoping her stupid tears would stay in her eyes until then. “I’m taking a break,” she gritted out to Jake as she passed.

“Sorry!” her boss called out as she flew down the hallway toward his office.

Such bull crap. That guy, Rhett, didn’t have to be so rude. They were always mean to her for some reason she couldn’t understand. Short and clipped when they ordered their drinks, but when they talked to other people in the bar, they were sweet as punch, laughing and joking. She didn’t get it. Was it because she was human?

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