The Exception(8)

By: Adriana Locke

My body heated at the influx of sensations and the feeling of his eyes on me.

A pair of dark boots was a few feet away from my chair, and as I moved my eyes up slowly, I found dark denim covering a set of muscular legs. A brown leather belt wrapped a trim waist. A blue button-up shirt was tucked in, hinting at the hardness that lay beneath the fabric. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled to his elbows, exposing an expensive-looking watch and a set of tanned, powerful forearms.

I nervously tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, trying to slow my heart that was threatening to pound out of my chest.

“Hey,” Max smirked, his eyes trained on his friend. A hint of mischief danced across his features. “I walked in and saw Kari and grabbed a seat. Wanna join us?”

I inhaled slowly, trying to get my bearings. I turned ever-so-slowly to my left.

When my eyes met his crystal blues, I froze. A smile lazily broke out across his face. Chills raced through my body and goose bumps broke out across my skin.

This man was nothing short of divine.

His eyes were the bluest I had ever seen—crystal clear pools of cerulean. They were wild, yet elegant, sort of calm, yet lively. They were the kind of eyes you could lose yourself in for hours on end.

The kind of eyes that could get a girl in trouble.

His face was sharp and angular; his jaw was strong and square. A slightly bent nose lent a bad boy look to his otherwise perfect face. His short blond hair was cropped close to his head. He was beautiful with a hint of rogue and it was all I could do not to stare.

I pulled my eyes away, feeling my cheeks heat. As I glanced down his solid body, I knew without a doubt that a guy that looked like this was nothing but trouble. He was too delicious for his own good.

Or my own good, anyway.

He gripped the chair in front of him and I imagined his strong hands gripping my hips.

I have to calm down!

I felt an urge to look back up and when I did, he was watching me intently. He held my eyes with his own and I was pinned in place, unable to tear my gaze from his. I felt defenseless, completely bared, like he was downloading everything from my brain. I wanted, needed, to pull my eyes away from him, but I couldn’t.

“Craving Mexican, huh?” He snickered as he sat down at the empty seat next to me, finally releasing my gaze.

Max laughed and shook his head.

“And how are you, Kari?”

“I’m great, Cane,” Kari cooed, batting her eyelashes.

Cane slowly turned to me, his grin turning wicked. My breath hitched in my throat as he leaned in. I cleared my throat, hoping it would distract him from the thumping of my heart that I was absolutely certain he could hear.

If there was ever a physical embodiment of sex—it was sitting next to me.

“Max has apparently forgotten his manners tonight. I am Cane Alexander. And who might you be?”

I smiled nervously. “I’m Jada Stanley, Kari’s sister.”

“I have to admit,” Cane said, looking up to Max, “that I was a little pissed about meeting you here. But, all things considered,” he said, giving the slightest nod to me, “I think this is going to work out just fine.”

I took a sip of my margarita as Cane turned to me.

“What do you do?” he asked casually.

I opened my mouth to respond when a set of red fingernails appeared on Cane’s shoulder. His head jerked to the side, taking my attention with it.

If the woman touching Cane could have gotten any closer, she would have been sitting on his lap. With big boobs popping out of the top of her short black dress, her long blonde hair floating in waves down her back, she definitely wanted attention. And, apparently, Cane was who she wanted it from.

“Cane,” she purred. “Long time no see.”

“Hey, Miriam,” Cane said, wearing a cocky grin.

I felt a little bubble of jealousy wash over me and I chastised myself. Guys like this were my weakness, my Achilles heel. A gorgeous bad boy type with a cocky flair had always drawn me in. But the fact of the matter was simple—I knew better. This was everything I didn’t need to be focusing on, all wrapped up in one hot package.

“What are you doing here?” Miriam asked.

“Oh, just meeting old friends. And making some new ones, I think.” Cane turned to me and flashed me a devilish smile.

“Oh. What are you doing later?” Miriam angled her cleavage to Cane’s eye level.

“I’m not sure yet. Why? Did you have something in mind?”

“Maybe. Do you wanna call me later?”

“Well, no. I don’t even have your number.” Cane shrugged and flagged Julio down. Miriam’s jaw dropped and I had to stifle a laugh, covering my mouth with my hand.

“You mean you don’t still have my number, baby?” She stuck out her bottom lip and batted her lashes again.