Tell Me You Love Me(4)By: Julie Prestsater
“Hey, Jesse.” Rose hands him the water, her cheeks flushing all shades of red. She may not think she’s over that dick of an ex-fiancé of hers, but by the way she looks at the young firemen, I’d say she is definitely over him and dying to get under Jesse. She pushes her red-rimmed glasses up on her nose as she gazes at him, and I have to swallow the “awws” that form in my thoughts.
“Hey, Rose.” He smiles at her with his trademark lopsided grin and I almost swoon for her. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, with a boyish smile that could make your heart stop and your panties wet. I wonder when these two are going to quit beating around the bush and get a room already.
“What’s up, Boss?” I ask Owen, the biggest one of all of them. He’s this huge beefy guy, one you’d expect to see on the cover of a fitness magazine. Makes sense considering he is also a part-time personal trainer at a health center. He is a total dork too, but I love him. I just want to hug him like you would a teddy bear. I toss a water his way and he drops it. “You know you have the coordination of a teeballer. What’s up with that?” Owen is built like The Rock and clumsy as hell. “I can’t believe they trust you with a hose.”
“I can handle my hose just fine, Liz.” He winks at me and I can’t help but laugh.
“If you weren’t such a meathead, you might find someone to handle it for you,” I tease. I can think of someone who would like that job. Rachel has been crushing on him for months. Not only is he the biggest, but he’s also the oldest and, for some lame reason, he looks at Rachel like she’s a little sister. Once, I heard him whisper to Justin that she’s too young for him. Between him and Molly, I could go crazy with their outdated thoughts on relationships.
“Damn, Liz. I’m starting to get uncomfortable here. You seem to have a fascination with my dick. First you were talking about my hose and now my meat. What’s next?”
A snicker catches my attention, and that’s when I notice him. A new guy. And a hot one at that. Maybe the hottest of all four of them. A few inches shorter than Justin, maybe just a bit over six feet. His light brown hair looks finger combed back and his hazel eyes could melt my boy shorts off in a split second. There’s a gentle seriousness about him. He doesn’t smile with that gorgeous mouth of his. His full lips sit in a pout and I take it as a dare to get him to break.
“Would you prefer I talk about your cock?” I ask the newbie. It usually takes me a while to adjust to the surroundings of this crew of stunning firemen, but when I do, all bets are off. Call me Tootsie; I’m on a roll now.
He clears his throat and shakes his head. “Excuse me?” His eyes go wide. “No. No thank you. I’d prefer to get to know you better before we talk about my...cock.” His pause makes me smile inside.
Justin lets out a whooping holler of laughter, slapping his leg and everything. Seriously, it wasn’t that funny but he has all of us laughing now.
“Ladies, let me introduce you to the newest member of the book club.” Justin is crazy. Ever since he found out what we were doing, he has proclaimed himself and the other guys part of our group. “This is Ryan. He just transferred in and we wanted him to meet our favorite women on the hill. I’ve known him since we were kids, so be nice to him, ladies.”
Justin goes on to introduce Ryan to each of us. Ryan starts with Molly, taking her hand for a quick neighborly shake. Then, he moves on to Rachel and Rose before stopping in front of me. His gaze traces up and down my body, but he doesn’t look at me with disgust like Jace. It’s a completely different stare, making me feel hot and vulnerable at the same time.
I notice my heart beat faster at his appraisal of me...of my body. He doesn’t seem repulsed. If anything, he seems attracted. I actually experienced a moment of feeling attractive. Desired. I am sure that look of his is nothing, but this feeling of tingling skin and a warmed heart...I like it.
And I shouldn’t.
“Nice to meet you, Lizzy.” I know the other guys called her Liz, but with her sweet face, smile, and that sassy mouth, Liz doesn’t do her justice. Yeah, that mouth has me thinking all sorts of other things about her. I take her soft hand in mine and hold onto it a little bit longer than I should.
“Hey, Ryan. Welcome to the club.” Her eyes linger on mine for a few seconds. She’s the first to look away and I’m happy for it because I don’t know that I could have. I sure didn’t want to let go of her hand. I haven’t felt the stare of a woman in a long time, but I know when one is checking me out, and she definitely was. Not only that, but she likes that I’m looking at her, too. I can tell. I can sense it with her uneven breaths and the flush of her cheeks. That sort of thing does a lot for a man’s ego and I welcome it.