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Cortland Kysenzki tipped back the beer and sighed in contentment as the chilled brew slid down his parched throat. The respite, although brief, was welcomed. The unforgiving Texas sun beat down on him and the others gathered for the party. Not that the heat seemed to slow the mood. Women in scant attire dashed to and fro along with shirtless men, laughing and having a great time. They were like a bunch of college kids having a blast.
This was the thirty-seventh birthday bash for his college friend, Benvolio ‘BB’ Gibson. His nickname derived from his name, Benvolio Benedict Gibson. Everyone called him BB, apparently from the time he’d been in diapers. It was how he’d always referred to him. He and BB had played football together and had shared some classes. He was thrilled he’d been in town when the call came for the party. It was nice to just hang out with some old college buddies and relax.
“Really, Cort, this is a party, man. A smile or two won’t kill you.” BB’s voice sneaked in and jerked him from his wandering.
He met the glance of his friend and smiled at the cockeyed birthday hat on BB’s shaved head. The brown eyes staring at him were full of twinkling mischief.
“Just lost for a moment, man.”
“I’m sure. The big bad federal agent doesn’t know how to take time off. Well, here you’re off the clock, so smile. Maybe you’ll even get laid if you do.” Cort chuckled and BB got a mock shocked look on his face. “Not from me, Cortland Kysenzki. I know we’re close but?uh, uh?not ever going to happen.”
Cort laughed even harder, not bothering to take offence. There was no reason. BB had a wild and crazy sense of humour. Nothing was off limits to say. Beer up to his lips he scanned the crowd again, this time paying a bit more attention to the women. There were some very attractive ones weaving in and out of the crowd.
“Perhaps,” he admitted.
BB smacked him on the back then headed off to mingle. Cort sought some shade and leant against a thick trunk. He mulled over BB’s words as he watched people dancing, some playing volleyball, and others standing around in groups talking.
How long had it been since he’d been with a woman? Damn, if I have to think on it like this, it’s been way too long. He frowned and thought harder. Had work taken over his life that much that he’d not allowed himself any time for fun?
He shrugged as the echoes of his two brothers’ “hell, yeah” rang through him. His brothers, who each had a woman in his life. Pete had been reunited with his wife of years back, which had been a shock to say the least to know his brother had even been married. And the middle brother, Taber, had recently got his woman. Now they, along with their parents, had begun looking at him like he needed to hurry up and get one.
Sighing, he dropped his gaze to the empty bottle he held and with an easy motion pushed away from the tree. He jogged inside the sprawling country house, moving through the foyer on to the kitchen. Dropping the bottle in the recycling bin, he walked to get some water from the fridge. Once the cup was full he turned to leave and paused when he heard a feminine voice. Husky and sultry. He didn’t recognise it, and so, glass in hand, he headed back to the living room that he’d passed.
Across the room, a woman stared out of the window while she talked on the phone. Cort dropped his gaze and ran it up her, mentally taking her stats. Five-seven, about a hundred and sixty pounds of mouth-watering firm curves, black shiny hair hanging loosely to the middle of her back. He licked his lips and took in the generous dips and swells she had. She stood barefoot, wore cropped, silvered ash coloured cargo pants—which cupped an ass made for a man to hold while he pounded into her—and a sleeveless top, which was a frosted green.
Her smooth, dark skin drew his attention and he stopped himself from moving closer to touch her and took a drink instead. She laughed and a tingle streaked up and down his spine. When she spoke again, it took him a moment to get past the husky tone of her voice to realise she wasn’t speaking English. Spanish? No, it was French.
He cleared his throat and she glanced over her shoulder at him, her eyes, big and brown, ran a quick gamut of him before she smiled slightly. A terse smile indicating she wasn’t entirely pleased with her conversation, but still he could feel his heart pounding out of control at that simple act. Her full lips begged to be kissed. She looked totally edible. For him.