She spotted a man sitting on a stool at the bar, a long-necked beer bottle in his right hand. And oh, my, my, my. He would photograph well. She could have used him in this year's charity calendar arranged by her friend, Neena. A brunette with flowing long hair headed for him. She wore a tight white T-shirt, butt-skimming mini-skirt and teeter-totter screw-me shoes. She clasped his forearm and leaned close to whisper.
She saw his eyes go wide for a half second, then laughter burst over his face. A low, deep toe-curling laugh that sent sensual vibrations all through Lucy. Holy macaroni. The man shook his head and said something to the woman. The woman's body language held regret as she pouted and sauntered away, looking stinking drunk and ready to fall off her too-tall shoes.
Lucy's mouth went dry as she took a closer look at the guy. He seemed familiar somehow, but she didn't know from where. The room seemed twice as loud and her vision twice as clear. Though he sat at a slight angle away from her, she could see the breadth of his wide shoulders stretching an emerald green sweater that looked soft and touchable. The sweater managed to enhance his muscles without appearing too tight. He cupped his hands behind his neck. Muscles rippled. His biceps and forearms bunched with sculpted muscles, but he wasn't a body builder in an overdone way. No. He was perfectly symmetrical. Powerful. The man screamed of sex and that primitive, knee-buckling, unable-to-control attraction that hammered a female over the head and made everything inside her return to the cave. This was the kind of man a woman could get crazy with, lose inhibitions and forget her own name.
Jeans curved over long legs consisting of hard thighs and calves and ending in sensible all-weather black boots. She'd bet on a stack of bibles he had a world-class butt. She'd love to photograph him with or without clothes.
Her active imagine went into overdrive. Without clothes. Oh, yeah. Would his chest have a hint of hair, or would it be smooth? She liked chests with hair and never understood the trend toward a man waxing his chest.
Instinct drew her forward one step. Two. Soon her boots moved across the room with confident strides. She sensed a couple of men at the bar checking her out, and she worked it, allowing their blatant appreciation to expand her confidence as she walked. She moved with major attitude. Tough and with the slightest swagger.
The man she'd ogled swiveled the bar stool and looked straight at her. Her breath caught. Thick, dark lashes framed piercing brown eyes. Black hair cut short waved close against his head. His features were cut sharply, as if heaven had designed him with a rough hand. He had a long nose, broad but well-sculpted mouth and an almost cruel look that probably scared the hell out of the enemy. He was so--well, he was so not beautiful. Just all...man. Primal female response stood up and noticed. Her body flushed, heated with total awareness of him as a male. Her hormones screamed for attention.
His face lit up with recognition. The dark eyes softened with warmth, the mouth curved into a smile. "Lucy? Lucy Creed?"
His voice was deep, mellow, with an underlying edge of steel.
She blinked. "I'm sorry. I don't..."
He stood, and her five foot six inches had nothing on over six feet of hard muscle. The sweater stretched over his chest a little and his front looked as fantastic as his back had.
He sauntered toward her, beer bottle forgotten on the counter. When he stood near, his woodsy, leather scent caught her attention. A brown bomber jacket was slung over the back of the barstool. Mmmm. Leather.
"You don't remember me, do you?" That damned voice had mellow qualities, a deceiving softness with an underlying rumble of pure passion.
There was a familiar something about him she couldn't put her finger upon. "No. Should I?"
He grinned and her body responded with a flash of heat. "Last time you saw me I was at our senior party. At Jennifer Calvin's house over on Ridgeway."
"I still don't remember."
His grin widened. "I sat next to you in chemistry and we had English lit together."
She frowned, embarrassed that she couldn't remember him.
"I was short." He tilted his head to the side. "Skinny. Ugly as sin. I hear I'm still ugly, but at least I took care of the short and skinny."
Oh. Holy. God. Recognition slammed her at the same time as embarrassment. "You're not Victor Moore? No way."
"Way." He grinned again. "People call me Vic now."
Her heart thumped in her breast, bouncing around like a caged beast. "You've grown up."
Duh. That was an understatement.
The breathless sound in her voice couldn't be helped. She was more than pleasantly surprised by the way he'd filled out. The man had ripped and totally lip-smacking good attitude all over him. Some women liked pretty boys, but she didn't. There was nothing pretty about Victor. He was one hundred percent prime male cut. Masculine. Rough. She felt it on a feral level she couldn't control and hadn't even known she possessed until this moment.
"Don't worry about not recognizing me. No one does." Once more his gaze traveled the length of her, and a heat wave followed. "You, on the other hand, are unforgettable."
While there was nothing insulting about his perusal, the heat in his eyes couldn't be missed. That no-holds-barred admiration set off a fire alarm of arousal low in her stomach.