Those thoughts, and the jealousy that stabbed in the vicinity of Talia’s chest whenever she thought about Amit’s happiness, caused her to flinch. Looking around at the club, the pounding lights and the inebriated patrons, Talia sighed. This wasn’t her. She wasn’t the daring and adventurous type. Talia hated nightclubs. She hated the overwhelming music that never seemed to change and she wasn’t a heavy drinker, so not even alcohol could make this night worthwhile. She might have enjoyed this scene when she was younger, but she’d moved on. She’d grown up!
Looking around with disdain at the other patrons, Talia needed to accept that she was the boring, unadventurous type. The responsible one. Already, it was past eleven o’clock and she had meetings scheduled for eight o’clock the next morning. Plus, she’d been up early this morning, sitting in meetings for most of the day. So why was she still here? Why had she agreed to come out with her college friends tonight?
Because her friends had called and convinced her that it would be fun. They’d convinced her that she needed to relax and “let loose” for a while. They’d guilted her into coming tonight, whining that Talia had abandoned them too often.
This kind of scene wasn’t fun. With a shock of clarity, Talia realized that this had never been fun. She’d enjoyed being included and had tried to fit in. But in reality, she simply wasn’t this kind of a person.
Setting her half-finished martini down on the low table in front of her, she stood up, catching her friends’ attention. “I have to go, ladies,” she announced.
“No!” Cary whined, standing up with a slight wobble on her five inch stiletto shoes. “You can’t leave now! We haven’t even started dancing!”
“Seriously, Talia, you can’t go,” Jessica chimed in, standing as well, although with better balance than Cary. “Why don’t you look around and check out some of the men? There are tons here. Surely one might tempt you into staying for a bit longer.”
The group giggled and Talia got the impression that they’d been laughing at her single status. That suspicion only cemented her desire to leave.
“No, I just…”
“Ooh!” Desiree interrupted, pointing her drink across the dance floor. “Look at him! He looks…dangerous!”
All four turned to look in the direction Desiree drunkenly pointed. That’s when Talia gasped as her gaze collided with dark, dangerous eyes. How did she know that the man’s eyes were dark when the whole room was dark? Because she’d seen him before. Talia had been thinking of her mystery man ever since that moment in the hotel. The moment had been so brief, just a glimpse through a doorway, but she hadn’t been able to get him out of her mind.
Now he was here?
He turned in that moment and their eyes locked. Talia’s heart thudded as she watched him, her body sparkling with tension and awareness. He was surrounded by dancers, although there seemed to be a bubble around him. Even so, Talia could see that he was taller than everyone else by at least several inches, his shoulders broad and powerful. Still, it wasn’t his height or his shoulders that caught her attention and interest. It was that look, the searing power in his gaze that whispered softly, enticingly, that this man was dangerous.
That elemental spark she’d felt earlier today was now a flame. And it felt as if it might be throbbing inside of her, telling her to go to him, to speak with him. She stared. He stared back, his eyes telling her…? Talia couldn’t interpret his message! What was he saying?
Before she could translate, a woman in a sparkly, hot pink dress, that barely covered her butt, stepped up, sensuously pressing her body against his. He glanced down at the woman and…that hurt! A savage, almost violent stab of jealousy hit her and she frowned, startled by the unexpected sensation. Unfortunately, Talia couldn’t deny that pain. She seriously didn’t like that woman touching him!
But he wasn’t hers, Talia reminded herself firmly. She had no right to be upset that another woman was doing exactly what she wanted to do.
“Oh well,” Cary sighed, apparently noticing the pink, barely clad woman who had moved in on their target. “There are plenty more!”
Talia looked at her friends, noticed the bright eyes and the skimpy dresses. In contrast, Talia wore a champagne colored cocktail dress that might show a bit more cleavage than normal, but wasn’t anywhere near as revealing as what her friends wore. Talia’s outfit came down almost to her knees. Her heels were only three inches, compared to Theresa’s five inch, platform shoes that made Talia think of a pole dancer.
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