Black and Blue (Page 23)

Black and Blue (Otherworld Assassin #2)(23)
Author: Gena Showalter

This was it! Unable to contain her excitement, Evie clapped her hands and bounced in her seat. Sometimes agenting had its perks.

The curtain at the back of the stage parted and out strode Blue, wearing nothing but a scowl and a pair of black leather underpants.

Blimey. She lost her breath. She’d expected to be amused by his situation, but she was inexplicably aroused. He had muscle stacked upon muscle. His skin was pale, like all Arcadians’, and yet, there was a shimmery golden undertone, as if he’d showered in fallen angel dust. He looked wild. Dangerous.

And, okay, quite livid.

The waitress arrived with the beer, and Evie waved her away. “You’re blocking my view.”

As always, power radiated from him. Did anyone else feel it?

He stood still as a statue as the music played. Someone booed. Someone else threw a chip at him. Gonna blow his cover.

“Let’s see your best moves, Mr. Hammer!” Evie put her fingers in her mouth and whistled. “Yeah, baby. Yeah! Show Momma what the good Lord gave you!”

Somehow he found her in the dark and glared. Then, from one moment to the next, the tone of the glare changed. From anger to anticipation.

Uh-oh. What just happened?

He sauntered in her direction, and her hands began to sweat. At the edge of the stage, he tugged a bill from the waist of the underpants—if some skank backstage put it there, I’m going to . . . nothing—and stuffed it in the hot box, lowering the shield.

He hopped off the stage. The crowd watched, awed.

Surely he wouldn’t close the distance between them.

He did.

Leaning into her, he braced his hands on the arms of her chair. “How about a lap dance, sugar plum?”

Bloody hell. Shivers cascaded down her spine.

“Your ni**les just beaded for me. I’ll take that as a yes.”

No way he could tell. Her bra was far too thick.

“I can,” he said, as though reading her thoughts. “I can feel your reaction.”

Her eyes widened, and her response died as his hands encircled her waist. He lifted her to the tabletop, better aligning their bodies. He forced her legs to part and the apex of her thighs to cradle his—

Oh, bless me. His massive erection.

Then he danced. Slow and steady, grinding against her sweet spot. Ratcheting her desire to an earth-shattering level. A place where fires raged. She couldn’t stop her hands. They roamed over his chest, glided over the scar on his face, tangled in his hair.

If the patrons cheered or booed, she didn’t know it. She was utterly focused on the man in front of her, hyperaware of his every move. Of his power, stroking her with the mastery of a thousand hands. Of his scent in her nose, champagne and strawberries. Of his gaze, boring deep into hers—perhaps seeing into her soul. Of his erection, pressing where she needed him most, retreating, pressing again, and—oh, keep going, please. A moan escaped her. The pleasure . . . too much . . . not enough . . . Give me more. Give me everything. Eden was right. The day had come. Evie wanted some guy to give it to her good and hard.

Press, retreat. Press, retreat. Liquid heat pooled between her legs, the crease in her jeans just making everything worse. Press, retreat. Or better. Press, retreat. No, definitely worse.

Her head swam with the force of her arousal. A dangerous pressure built inside her, coiling, readying. If he kept going, he was going to make her come. Right there. In front of everyone.

Dismayed by the thought, she dug her nails into his bare chest. Felt the heat of his skin, and gave another moan.

“Don’t,” she whispered, panicked. “Please.”

Just like that, he stopped.

He was panting, his lips thinned and pulled taut against his perfect teeth.

He turned away from her and returned to the stage, quickly disappearing behind the curtain.

This is being more careful around him? her good sense screamed. Really? Stop threatening that lobotomy and actually do it!

Evie tore the cap from the beer and drained the contents. Then she signaled for another and drained it, too.

Once her body had calmed, she pretended to have a nice buzz going and tripped her way to a table of older gents who looked to be regulars, very familiar with the lay of the land. Over the next hour they hit on her and teased her about the we-swear-you-were-having-sex dance Jack Hammer had done with her. Trying not to blush like a stupid schoolgirl, she bought them several lap dances—not from Blue, because he was still backstage, probably searching the offices and cursing Evie’s very existence—and they finally stopped hitting on her, instead treating her like one of the guys. That’s when she paid for a round of drinks for everyone in the club.

Eventually, all of the patrons came over to thank her and ended up staying to talk. She learned far more than she’d hoped.

Mr. Gregory Star and his entourage visited the club at least twice a month, and they always migrated to the back to speak with Timothy Mercer, who had worked at the Lucky Horn for three years. Two weeks ago, Timothy just up and vanished. No one had seen or heard from him since, or had any idea what might have happened to him.

Star, thrown into the mix once again. No question, the man was involved in her father’s disappearance. It was just as certain that Timothy was the man who’d set Blue on fire.

Eager to verify this news with hard evidence, Evie excused herself under the guise of having to pee and stumbled away as though snockered, heading toward the backstage entrance. The moment she cleared the corner, out of everyone’s view, she dug a shielder out of her purse and threw it behind her, the tiny black device creating an invisible wall upon landing. Until she disabled it, only she and Blue would be able to bypass it, since they were the only ones with a scrambler on their phones, an app designed to disrupt the shielder’s signal.

She tripped her way toward the armed guard at the end of the hallway.

Frowning, he gripped the handle of his gun. “I suggest you turn around, ma’am. No one’s allowed in this section of the building.”

Ma’am? Did she really look like a ma’am?

Ma’ams had at least sixteen robo-cats, wore muumuus, and never took the rollers out of their hair.

Did he want to die?

She stopped in front of him, a familiar surge of excitement hitting her. Don’t you dare get used to this kind of work. It was a onetime gig. As soon as her father and his boys were found, as soon as Star was taken down, she was going back to her nice, normal life.

But honestly, the last time she’d experienced anything this high octane, she’d been on her last mission, and Claire had—