Body Check(3)

By: Elle Kennedy

Hayden didn’t answer. Instead, she mulled over Darcy’s suggestion. She’d never had a one-night stand in her life. For her, sex came with other things, relationship things, like going to dinner, spending a cozy night in, saying I love you for the first time.

But why did sex always have to be about love? Couldn’t it just be purely for pleasure? No dinner, no I-love-you’s, no expectations?

“I don’t know,” she said slowly. “Falling into bed with a man when last week I was still with Doug?”

“You asked for space for a reason,” Darcy said. “Might as well take advantage of it.”

“By going to bed with someone else.” She sipped her wine, thoughtful and hesitant at the same time.

“Why not?” Darcy said. “Look, you’ve spent years searching for a guy to build a life with—maybe you should try looking for one who jump-starts your libido instead. The way I see it, it’s time for you to have some fun, Hayden. I think you need fun.”

She sighed. “I think so, too.”

Darcy’s grin widened. “You’re seriously considering it, aren’t you?”

“If I see a guy I like, I just might.”

Her own words surprised her, but they made sense. What was so wrong with hooking up with a stranger in a bar? People did wild things like that all the time, and maybe right now she needed to be a little wild.

Darcy twirled the straw around in her daiquiri glass, looking pensive. “What’s your pseudonym going to be?”

“My pseudonym?” she echoed.

“Yeah. If you’re going to do this right, you need total anonymity. Be someone else for the night. Like Yolanda.”

“No way,” she objected with a laugh. “I’d rather just be myself.”

“Fine.” Darcy’s shoulders drooped.

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves, Darce. Shouldn’t I pick the guy first?”

Darcy’s enthusiasm returned. “Good point. Let’s spin the man wheel and see who it lands on.”

Stifling a laugh, Hayden followed her friend’s lead and swept her eyes around the crowded bar. Everywhere she looked, she saw men. Tall ones, short ones, cute ones, bald ones. None of them sparked her interest.

And then she saw him.

Standing at the counter with his back turned to them was the lucky winner of the man wheel. All she could see was a head of dark brown hair, a broad back clad in a navy-blue sweater and long legs encased in denim. Oh, and the butt. Hard not to notice that tight little butt.

“Excellent selection,” Darcy teased, following her gaze.

“I can’t see his face,” she complained, trying not to crane her neck.

“Patience, grasshopper.”

Holding her breath, Hayden watched the man drop a few bills on the sleek mahogany counter and accept a tall glass of beer from the bartender. When he turned around, she sucked in an impressed gasp. The guy had the face of a Greek god, chiseled, rugged, with intense blue eyes that caused her heart to pound and sensual lips that made her mouth tingle. And he was huge. With his back turned he hadn’t seemed this big, but now, face-to-face, she realized he stood well over six feet and had the kind of chest a woman wanted to rest her head on. She could see the muscular planes of his chest even through his sweater.

“Wow,” she muttered, more to herself than Darcy.

A shiver of anticipation danced through her as she imagined spending the night with him.

Beer in hand, the man strode toward one of the pool tables at the far end of the bar, and headed for the cue rack. Setting his glass on the small ledge along the wall, he grabbed a cue and proceeded to rack the balls on the green felt table. A second later, a tall, lanky college-age kid approached and they exchanged a few words. The kid snatched up a cue and joined Mr. Delicious at the table.

Hayden turned back to Darcy and saw her friend rolling her eyes. “What?” she said, feeling a bit defensive.

“What are you waiting for?” Darcy prompted.

She glanced at the dark-haired sex god again. “I should go over there?”

“If you’re serious about doing the nasty tonight, then, yeah, go over there.”

“And do what?”

“Shoot some pool. Talk. Flirt. You know, look under the hood before you commit to buying the car.”

“He’s not a car, Darce.”

“Yeah, but if he was, he’d be something dangerously hot, like a Hummer.”

Hayden burst out laughing. If there was one thing to be said about Darcy, it was that she truly was one of a kind.

“Come on, go over there,” Darcy repeated.

She swallowed. “Now?”

“No, next week.”