Dangerous Secrets:Callaghan Brothers, Book 1(8)

By: Abbie Zanders

“Oi, Big John!” Jake barked. “A little help for my new barmaid, please.”

A huge, bearded man shifted next to her; plate-sized hands circled her waist and she was suddenly suspended over the bar. A host of cheers and catcalls went up in the immediate vicinity as Jake grabbed her out of the air and brought her down on the other side.

Jake was stricken by yet another strange sensation as his hands closed around her waist. It was like hitting the sweet spot on a baseball bat, or releasing the perfect three-point shot, knowing it was going to be a total swish without even having to look. And his thumbs didn’t skim the underside of her breasts. They didn’t. Because if they did, he’d have to think about how full and firm they were against his fingers, and that would be bad.

“What’s your name?”


“Taryn,” he repeated. He looked down at the Celtic cross strung around her neck. “A good Irish name. I’m Jake, that’s Ian.” He tilted his head over to the younger man, who inclined his head to her in an old-fashioned gesture.

“Any tips you make are yours to keep,” he said, relegating thoughts of small waists and firm breasts into the back of his mind as he took her leather jacket and backpack and hung them behind the bar.

“First order of business, take care of your ride,” he said, jerking his head toward the small mountain that had just heaved her over the bar. “Sam Adams draft.”

She smiled right back at him, an innocent-looking grin on her face. But he saw the fire flickering in her eyes. “How much head?” she asked so that only he could hear her.

“Impress me,” he said simply. Her grin widened. She grabbed a frosted mug and twirled it around her fingers like a six shooter before tipping it beneath the spigot, leveling out near the top with a thin layer of foam. He was impressed, but he’d be damned if he’d let her know that just yet. He wasn’t a total pushover for smoky, gray-purple eyes and the most delectable ass he’d ever seen. He gave her a brief nod. “It’ll do.”

“On the house, John,” Jake called as he moved to the far side of the bar.

“Fuck,” he heard the big man mumble. “I’ll do that for free any time.”

The rest of the night passed in a blur. After the first hour or so, Jake began to relax a little. This girl was good – really good. Only once did she have to ask how to make something – and that was a Jake’s original so he couldn’t really fault her for that. She was fast on her feet, and friendly with all the customers without overdoing it.

And she never once got in his way. Well, there was that one time she turned quickly with two pitchers and did a full frontal on him, but he could hardly complain about that, because he had deliberately hesitated behind her, his eyes drawn to her hips. She absorbed the blow well and hadn’t spilled a drop.

Oh, and there was the time he leaned over her to grab a twenty and she backed her ass in to his rock-hard erection, but again, he really couldn’t muster a valid complaint about that.

No, the biggest problem Jake had was trying to keep Ian away from her long enough to do his job, but even that worked to their advantage. She was a good sport, dancing with him, mixing drinks with him, putting on a good show. The customers ate it up. Even Jake found himself laughing and shaking his head at their antics a few times. But what really had Jake smiling was that despite everything, Taryn seemed to be resisting Ian’s charms. More than once he’d seen her sidestep smoothly to avoid contact, or duck beneath Ian’s arm to get around him.

He didn’t know why that pleased him so much, but it did. Taryn was gorgeous, and obviously skilled in avoiding unwanted contact with a laugh and a smile that got her point across without publicly humiliating herself or Ian.

Unfortunately, Ian loved a challenge. The more Taryn avoided his advances, the harder he tried. It became an obvious battle of wills. Jake knew who he was rooting for.

When last call came at two a.m., the bar was still packed. Jake finally escorted the last patron out at three-fifteen. He locked the doors and turned to find Taryn already wiping down the bar. She was a hard worker, he had to give her that. Ian was curiously absent.