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Another murmur of high spirits erupted from the group of men clustered around the end of the table, and James' curious eyes found the source of the low, pleasant voice. Standing between two T-shirted, leather vested, ponytailed bikers was a tall, broad-shouldered, sandy-haired man dressed in denim and cowboy boots. Even from his seat at the bar, James could see the jeans, denim jacket and faded, blue shirt all matched the pale blue of the big man's eyes. James' jeans got a little bit tighter.
The cowboy chalked the end of his cue and moved into place at the end of the table, leaning down to take his shot. Sinking the five-ball in the middle pocket, the man smiled, and glanced up from his conquest, laser blue eyes locking unerringly on James' hungry, unprepared stare. He took his time standing back up, holding James in his sights the entire time, his expression unreadable.
Unable to break away from the mesmerizing stare, James blushed, squirming a little on his stool. Eyes still locked with the stranger's, James watched as the man snagged his beer off the edge of the table and took a drink, arching his neck and swallowing in long, drawn out gulps that made his throat move in an all too-seductive fashion for James' rising libido. After lowering the bottle, the stranger smiled at him, breaking the stare.
James gulped down half his beer and got up to move closer. Taking up a spot by a rough wooden post, he leaned against the support and took another sip of his beer, playing the part of just another interested spectator in the room.
The cowboy rounded the table, studying the lie of the balls, intent on his next move. Picking a tight angle from James' side of the table,the large man bent over to line up his shot, his hip making contact with James as he suddenly pulled back for the shot. James shifted to one side, startled by the unexpected touch. The stranger held the shot, straightened up and stepped in close to him, inhaling deeply.
James' breath turned to soft, little pants at the stranger's abrupt nearness. The man smelt of sweat and leather, a faint, pleasant scent that made James harden against the rough fabric of his jeans. The slight, abrasive rub of the front seam was a relief to the portion of his body seeking more immediate attention.
James stepped back to give the man room and found himself brought up short against the support beam. The stranger stepped closer, trapping James between himself and the post, a position James wouldn't have minded if they hadn't been in a room full of people. Likely, no one was close enough to overhear any conversation that might take place. The big man was free to flirt or threaten, as the mood struck him. James wasn't sure which, if either, would happen, but he was definitely interested in the tall, hard body currently blocking his view of the room.
James looked up from under his lashes to see an amused, self-assured smile on the man's handsome face. He dropped his gaze, feeling self-conscious and nervous. Did the guy know what he'd been thinking? Could he see the lust in his face, read the willingness in his eyes? Was the smile genuine or just a preamble to punching him out? The same pleasant rumble from earlier drew his gaze back up to the tanned and weathered face in front of him.
"Excuse me. Need a little room to make my move." The cowboy swayed his weight from one foot to the other, his thigh grazing James' hip on the forward motion. He slid the pool cue through his hands, drawing James' gaze down to watch as the cowboy's long fingers stroked over the rod.
James glanced at the few poorly placed balls left on the table. "Doesn't look like you've got much of a shot left."
The big man smiled and glanced over his shoulder at the set up. "Seven ball center pocket." His gaze narrowed, appraising James from head to toe, settling on his clean-face. "After I win, how about I buy you a beer?"
Cowboy snorted a dry chuckle. "Which? The shot or buying you a drink?"
James swallowed and huffed out a shaky breath. His nervous habit of biting at his lower lip made the man's eyes flicker down to look at his mouth. James released his lip and licked over the abused flesh, his mouth suddenly dry.
"The shot. No way you can sink the seven-ball in the center pocket. You can't get the angle right." James shook his head, regretting the fact the man was going to lose the game and he would lose the opening for a drink with him. "I know about angles. It's part of my job."
"I like a challenge." One blue eye winked at him. "Decide what kind of beer you want."
There was something possessive and demanding in the soft, gravel tones that made James shiver. He covered his reaction by shrugging his shoulders and relaxing onto the uneven surface of the post at his back.
He nodded. "Okay. If you want to." The stranger held his gaze for a moment longer before smiling and stepping away.
"Oh, I want to." His voice was pitched low, rich and filled with a seductive promise. "This'll just take a minute."