“Thank you so much. Everything is on the house tonight. Enjoy. I really must get back to the ovens.”
“I totally understand. If you send me that picture, I will put it on my social media,” I say shaking the man’s hand.
“That would be amazing,” Harley says. We exchange information and my phone goes off with the pic. I sit back down to a shell shocked Emmerich. “All right, you wanted the IPA and for you sir?” she asks.
“Anything domestic on tap will be fine,” he says.
“Coming right up,” she says before walking away.
“So, what was that all about?” he asks me. I smile.
“I am a TV chef. I have two shows on the American Food Club Channel currently. I’ve done other shows as well.”
“Were you on Dance Stars?” he asks rubbing his chin.
“Oh God. I was last year. Are you a fan?”
“No, but my mom is. She was sick last year, and my brother and I took turns spending the evening with her. I watched every episode of that season.”
“Is she doing better?”
“Yes, much. Her cancer is in remission, thank God.” He looks so sad when he says that, so I reach out and touch his hand, taking it into mine.
“That is so good to hear.”
“Yeah. It was touch and go there for a while, but she seems to be in better health than she was before, so there’s that.” I nod, blinking away unshed tears. Why am I crying for a woman I don’t even know?
“Here’s your drinks,” Harley says setting them down. “Have you decided what you want to eat yet?”
“Oh, um. You order,” I tell him.
“You sure?” he asks quirking an eyebrow at me. I just nod. “Alright, we will do a large pepperoni and mushroom pie with extra cheese,” he says, and I giggle. “What?” he asks.
“That is what I always order.”
“Great minds think alike.”
“I’ll put this in now and bring out as soon as it’s ready,” Harley says looking back and forth between us. My phone rings and I look over at him sheepishly.
“Take it,” he says grinning.
“It’s just my sister,” I say for some reason. We have a quick conversation about not being able to hang out and I tell her I’ll make it up to her another night. She laughs and says she wants all the details later. I giggle and tell her to fuck off. I catch a glimpse of the picture Harley sent me and I don’t hate it. I thought for sure I would. The wet bathing suit and hair look kinda looks great on me.
“Sorry about that,” I say turning back to him.”
“No worries,” he says taking my hand again. I have to take a sip of my beer because my throat is suddenly dry.
“So, tell me more about you,” I say after wiping my mouth.
I could listen to the timbre of his voice all damn day.
This bachelor party was a mistake from the word go. My cousin, Yuri is dumbass. Who asks a woman to marry them and then fucks a stripper and a random less than twenty minutes from home? I don’t condone it at any distance from home, but could he be any stupider? I am enraged. Tarah is a nice girl and doesn’t deserve the shitstorm Yuri will rain down on her. My younger brother, Friedrich, feels the same way I do. We needed air. He went his own way about ten minutes ago and I went straight for the boardwalk. I wasn’t there five minutes when I saw her from the bench I was sitting on.
At first sight of her, I almost choked on my tongue. She came up out of the water like a fucking mermaid on legs. Long, tan, legs that should be wrapped around my waist. Her curvy body called out to me on a primal level. My eyes trailed down her body. I growled as I realized if I was clearly able to see her suckable nipples then every other swinging dick on the beach could as well. Fuck that shit. That alone spurred me into action. Before I knew it, I was already in motion. Off that boardwalk and striding toward her with purpose. Then I was standing over her. She pushed her sunglasses up onto the top of her head and looked up at me. Her vivid green eyes shocked me to the core. She looked so fucking familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Now, as I sit across from her, I knew who she was the second the waitress said she was on TV. The last season of Dance Stars is my obsession, not that I’d ever tell a soul about that shit. It’s a secret obsession. Her hair is shorter now, but I should have recognized her and her name. With the amount of time I’ve spent jerking my cock to the mental image of her dancing for me, there’s no excuse. I should have known her. Stifling a groan, I shift my legs under the table to try to manage the hard on she is causing. Sure, I grumbled about it when my mom wanted to watch it, but as soon as she came out on that stage I was hooked. I hated that she danced in that fucking professional dancers’ arms. Intimate dances. Dances that made my mind race. Dances that should have been just for me. I was, and still am fucking insane for her. Her outfits on the show were over the top and fit her like a second skin. While I loved them on her, I hated that others were seeing her in it. I had no idea I had a jealous streak, let alone be capable of jealousy over a woman I had never met. Now that I have, I know it’s a feeling that will never go away.