House Rules(5)By: Rebecca Brooke
Something told me this wouldn’t be the same monotonous ride I’d been on every time I brought a woman home. This woman had spark and I knew that if I could get her to let her guard down, she’d willingly climb into my bed before the night was through.
“Thank you, babe. I will make this up to you. I swear.” Wasden, ever the pathetic fool, whimpered at her feet, his tear-streaked face bloated and blotchy. How he had ever hooked this one was a mystery.
“You,” she snarled, “will never come near me again.” Her foot shot out fast, no one in the room expecting it, and connected with its target—right between Wasden’s legs.
Every man in the room twisted their bodies in a way that would protect their nuts, just in case she should she decide to continue her rampage. Wasden clutched at his groin with his good hand. I’d be surprised if the man was capable of ever getting his dick to stand up again after a shot like that.
She picked up her purse from where it had dropped to the floor and turned to face me. “Let’s get this over with. Just don’t make me stay here.”
I glanced at my watch. Still time for dinner. I wasn’t in the business of raping women and if I wanted to slide between her legs, I needed to wine and dine her a little bit. I held my arm out. “Let’s go.”
By the end of the night, she’d be mine.
Ignoring the groans of pain that echoed around the room, I looked at the arm being offered to me. This man had just won a night with me in a poker game. Never in my life could I have imagined those words would run through my brain. It was fair to say my life had been colorful thus far, but this was all very Indecent Proposal, but without the Hollywood cast and with a healthy dose of WTF.
The man who’d won a night with me in a poker game.
How in the hell did I let myself get into these situations? I was about to leave with the man who just had his man break Ray’s arm. And I knew it had to be broken because not one person in that room could have missed the sound of it snapping. My stomach lurched. I had to be certifiable if I thought this was a good idea.
Glancing at his proffered arm one last time, I swallowed back the bile that had risen up my throat and looped my arm through his, my fear of what would happen if I didn’t go much greater than my fear of what might happen if I did.
The man exuded power; from his tailored suit to the grace with which he carried himself. And yet, that was all a façade. There, below the surface, if one looked hard enough, you could see the flicker in his eyes, the danger simmering there. Behind all of his carefully erected borders was a man who was used to getting his way and I’d stake my life that when he didn’t, he was a force to be reckoned with.
He glanced down at my arm, then back up to my eyes. “Dinner?”
With no choice but to agree, I nodded, unwilling to chance talking in case my voice cracked. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he scared the hell out of me with his cold, calculating manner. The thought alone made my knees tremble. Thankfully, I was holding onto him.
He led us through the door and into the front of the bar. Once the door was firmly closed behind us, we made our way down the narrow hallway until we reached the end where we stepped out into an average looking nightclub. The dance floor took up the majority of the space, with a stage for the DJ to one side. A bar surrounded the other three sides of the dance floor. All the walls were black, letting the lights moving through room reflect off the paint. In one corner there was a stairwell, blocked by a rope and a bouncer. It led to a balcony that looked over the dance floor.
The people in the place were completely oblivious to the fact that illegal gambling tournaments happened right under their noses, every day. Ray had to have a special key to get into the room, not to mention the money to afford the buy-in at the table. How he had gotten it was beyond me. Apparently tonight hadn’t been his first night, but it was the first time he’d taken me along.
He’d promised drinks at a nice bar, which, in fairness, they’d had in the back, and dinner at a fancy restaurant, which I hadn’t had. None of his promises included a night with an absolute stranger.
My stomach growled at the thought of food and I clenched my abdominals, praying he wouldn’t hear it. He maneuvered me through the crowds, his arm dropping to my waist, his fingers pressing in slightly as if to hold me in place. Not that I was going anywhere; I was far too terrified.
As our pathway narrowed, he placed me behind him, using his body as a shield. Just as we reached the doors he stopped suddenly, and I almost walked straight into the back of him, only just managing to save myself the embarrassment. While I rocked back on my heels, he turned and pulled us into a small alcove off to the side, lit by a small wall lamp. In the low light I was able to see his sharp features for the first time and was struck by how classically handsome he was.