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Isabelle Ballantine sucked in a breath as the man she'd been lusting after for weeks walked into the bar. It was hard to think straight with Adam Marcellus anywhere in the vicinity. To keep her hands busyand to keep from staringshe ran her rag over the mahogany bar one last time before tucking it into the back of her pants. It was Saturday night, but Mad Dog's Bar & Grille hadn't picked up yet. Seven was still too early, but in an hour, they'd be three deep at the bar and she'd be working her tail off.
And hopefully making enough to cover this month's rent and groceries. It was hard to think about bills though when Adam, with his impossibly broad shoulders, was headed her way. He definitely had that tall, dark and handsome thing going on. She wasn't positive, but she guessed he was six foot two at least. She was five eight and he stood a little taller than her even when she wore heels. Something she enjoyed immensely.
"Hey, Izzy." Adam ducked under the bar hatch.
"Hey yourself." She wiped sweaty palms on her black pants as he scooted behind her.
He opened and checked the lower beer coolers. It was impossible to ignore what his nearness did to her nerves. When he bent over to rearrange some of the bottles, she shifted to the side and leaned against the bar. From this angle she had a perfect view of his sculpted backside. She almost felt guilty staring at him, but it seemed a sin not to enjoy something so perfect.
He glanced up, and she could feel her cheeks heat up at the intense gaze from his startling green eyes. "Need me to stock anything for you, darlin'?" His deep accent sent shivers straight to her toes. She guessed it was Cajun, but wasn't quite sure. He rarely talked about himself.
She swallowed hard. "No, I've only had a couple sales. In an hour I'll be calling on you though."
"I don't doubt it." He chuckled before ducking back out.
Once he'd disappeared into the kitchen, her heart rate slowed back to normal. No man had ever had such a ridiculous effect on her before. Maybe it had something to do with his smooth accent, or the way his dark hair always seemed a bit too shaggy, but still looked sexy as sin. Or maybe it was the way he filled out a T-shirt. Or maybe it was all of the above. The man had tight, corded muscles to die for, but not the kind from a gym.
He'd started working with her less than a month ago. She wasn't sure how she'd define his position, but he was somewhere between a bar back and a bouncer. He was sort of a jack of all trades. She'd even seen him in the back helping put up shelves and doing other small construction jobs, but so far he hadn't said much about himself.
They'd hung out a few times, but only in a group. He always made it a point to sit next to her in staff meetings or when a bunch of them shared drinks after work. And she'd noticed she was the only one he called darlin', but the man hadn't so much as hinted that he wanted anything more. She'd love to go out on a date with him, but she certainly wasn't going to ask.
There were some things her southern heritage simply wouldn't allow.
She still didn't know what he was doing working at Mad Dog's. It wasn't something tangible, but somehow he didn't belong. Like he'd be happier doing something else. Of course, she was a multi-millionaire's daughter and she was tending bar so what the hell did she know anyway? According to her overbearing father, she didn't belong here either.