He eyed the empty glass in my hands, then me, and blinked as if seeing me for the first time tonight. For a hot second I was glad that Stephanie had picked out the most flattering cocktail-type bridesmaids dress from Anthropologie. Then I had to remind myself, once again, that I didn’t care what he thought of me.
“What?” I asked, my skin prickling at the fact that his gaze was skirting over my body for just a little too long.
“Why are you out here alone and sober?”
I twirled the stem of the wine glass between my fingers. “I’m not sober.”
“I suppose you’re not alone either,” he said. “Can I get you another drink?”
“You’re offering?” I don’t know why that surprised me but it did.
He stared at for me for a moment, his dark brows knit together. Then he relaxed, his grin widening lazily. It reminded me of a cat stretching after a nap.
“I never let a beautiful woman pay for a drink,” he said.
Though part of me (a small part) thrilled at the fact that he called me beautiful, especially after how rough my dating life had been lately and how the only person that called me beautiful lately was Ava (okay, and Steph before the wedding, once I was magically transformed through hair and makeup), I wasn’t about to let his slick words charm me.
I gave him a steady look. “Do you really think I’m going to fall for that pick-up line?”
He let out a laugh, eyes twinkling in the dark. “Pick-up line? The best man can’t get the best woman a drink? You know, I heard you were no fun, I just didn’t believe it. Not with that body.”
I was stunned. My face flushed hot and somehow I found my words. “Who told you I was no fun?”
His smile was softer now but it still looked like he was having the time of his life toying with me. “It doesn’t matter. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but I guess they were right after all.”
“Was it Linden?” I asked, feeling nauseous. I liked Linden a lot, and though his own personal opinion of me didn’t really matter, I hated the idea that I was known for something negative, especially if it was something I feared. I used to be fun at some point, I swear to God, but when life gets hard, fun becomes something that gets swept under the rug along with manicures, one-night stands and eating at nice restaurants.
Bram didn’t say anything to that, so I knew it was his brother.
“It’s hard to tell, is your face going red?” he asked, peering at me closely. The mellow scent of cigars wafted to me again.
“I am fun,” I told him, inching myself away from him. It was pointless but I still had to defend myself.
“And that’s why you’re out here alone with an empty drink?”
“Just because I’m not getting shitfaced and spreading my legs in your bed, doesn’t make me a square.”
Oh geez, a square? Now I was talking like I was from the 50’s.
“No,” he said slowly and leaned in closer. “But that does sound like fun, doesn’t it?” His breath was hot on my cheek and I resisted the urge to turn and look at him. There was something about his eyes that felt vaguely X-Ray-ish, like he could see right through you. Already, I knew he was probably imagining what I looked like naked under this dress. I didn’t need him to look any deeper and see what kind of no-fun mess I really was.
“I like it when you look embarrassed,” he said, voice lower, that accent roughing up each syllable. “I bet you look the same when you’re about to come. Caught off-guard and exposed.”
And again, I was speechless. My eyes bugged out and I almost slapped him in the face and ran away, because that’s what I’ve been taught to do with men like him. Deflect them. Let them know what they’ll never have, what they’ll never deserve.