Blades of Sass(9)By: Robbie Cox
She smiled, feeling the blush warm her neck. “Pleased to meet you,” she said. “I’m Eve Hartlow.”
“Sorry for the intrusion there,” Arlin said, enjoying the way she felt in his arms and especially against his growing cock. “However, the situation appeared to be getting a little tense for this place. Besides, you really looked like you needed a dance.”
Her arms stiffened a little, as she pushed back on him in a feeble attempt to put some distance between them, but he didn’t allow it, keeping a firm grip on her waist as he pressed her against him. Her frustration was quite evident on her face, but Arlin just smiled at her. “Do you always insert yourself into people’s lives like this?” she asked, giving up the struggle with a frustrated sigh. “First at my cabin and now here.”
“Insert? I didn’t insert myself anywhere. At your cabin, I wanted to make sure someone didn’t run you over due to the way you carelessly walked in the middle of the road.” She started to make a smartass comment, but he talked right over her. “And as for this dance, I’ll be more than happy to let you return to your table and whoever that is making a nuisance of himself if you’d like, just say the word.” He twirled her as she opened her mouth, and then jerked her back against him, his hand sliding lower down her back. He knew he wouldn’t let her go back to that table even if she wanted. His tiger would rip out of him and tear the place apart if he did, and that didn’t work out so well in Blue Creek. As it was, his tiger was hard to contain just witnessing the scene. It would only have made things worse for him and probably for her as well if he lost control. “Some people would think I was being chivalrous,” he said, smiling.
She rolled her eyes, the gesture triggering his tiger’s urge to take her outside and have his way with her. Did she really not know how he felt about her? The mate call was instant and powerful, but she was clueless, even after living with shifters for however long. “Do I look like I need someone to be chivalrous for me?” Her body stiffened again in his arms, her frustration shifting to irritation. “Do all men insist on portraying the white knight of sappy romances? Women aren’t fragile creatures, you know. We can take care of ourselves.” Just then two guys helped a drunk female across the floor and toward the front door, the sagging woman blubbering about wanting just one more drink and how she could drive herself home. Eve blew out a disgusted breath. “Well, most of us can, at least.”
“A man being chivalrous has nothing to do with a woman being weak, and everything to do with him being a gentleman. It’s about respect and giving the lady honor.” He shrugged as they danced. “If anything, I think it elevates the woman in everyone’s eyes, especially his, not diminish her.”
A scuffle jerked their attention to the side and Arlin watched as the man at the ladies’ table snatched his arm out of the deputy’s grip. The man turned and glared, first at Eve, and then at Arlin, who only smiled back, giving the man a wink as he did. “When a man doesn’t treat a woman with chivalry, then that’s what you get.”
“That’s what you get when the man is a class-A asshole.” She shook her head. “I need to get back there. They shouldn’t have to put up with him.”
“Looks like they can handle things pretty well,” he said, wanting to keep her in his arms. Of course, he would much rather have her in his bed, but he was willing to take what he could get for now. “Care to tell me what his problem is?”
“Outside of being a douche,” she said with a sigh, and he knew then he’d do whatever it took to keep that man away from her. He wasn’t sure what the deal with the guy was, but he was damned sure going to protect her from it. She turned away from the scene at the table. “Kyle’s just someone from my past who doesn’t want to go away. He thinks me leaving somehow is a personal affront and can’t handle it. He lost and he despises losing.”
They heard a crash and watched as Wes’s bouncer, a burly man with arms the size of Arlin’s thighs, grabbed Kyle by the arms and shoved him toward the front door. Kyle tried to turn back around, but the other man was taller, thicker, and quite a bit stronger. Even Arlin wouldn’t have wanted to go up against him. The man’s size didn’t seem to be deterrent enough for Kyle, however. He snarled some nasty comment Arlin couldn’t make out and then took a swing at the man. The bouncer ducked to the side, Kyle’s swing going wide and missing its target, causing Kyle to spin and fall into the man’s arms. People watching cheered, as the bouncer grabbed Kyle by the nape of his neck and strong-armed him out the front door, shoving him into the parking lot. While it was fun to watch, Arlin knew it would just bring more trouble to Eve’s front doorstep eventually. Arlin needed to know more about this Kyle guy, so he could keep catastrophe from chasing her.