Jack Quinn propped his elbow on the polished wood bar of the lower downtown pub and drank deeply from the pint of stout as he watched the petite and smoking hot Sinead O'Malley move into action for a solo.
He'd seen pictures of her--his sworn enemy--online. His luggage contained a folder full of information about her.
He'd chased her across two continents and through half a dozen cities in the United States. He thought he knew everything about her yet nothing had prepared him for the first in-person sight of her.
He'd known she was an Irish step dancer, but the dossier provided by his grandmother's people hadn't mentioned that the talented Ms O'Malley also played three different types of drums as well as the bagpipes.
Seeing a good-looking woman, enemy or not, in snapshots was one thing, but he'd had no idea he'd have such an immediate, raw, unwanted masculine reaction to seeing her athletic body.
Her cutoff white T-shirt was too tight across the swell of her breasts and left part of her toned midriff bare. If she was wearing a bra, it wasn't very serviceable. He imagined he could see her nipples all the way from here.
Her kilt was way too fecking short. It barely covered her well-shaped arse. And when she danced he saw a pair of sexy black knickers. At least she wasn't commando beneath the skirt.
Her muscular legs were bare, and her socks had pooled around her ankles.
Even though he watched her squeeze the pipes from halfway across the pub, his cock hardened.
Noise in the room diminished as gazes turned towards the stage. Every man in the place was likely sporting an erection. Lust was palpable. If she were his woman, he wouldn't stand for her being dressed that way in public and he'd want her wearing a whole lot less in private.
He took another long drink from the glass. He'd be needing another pint in only minutes. A man needed fortification to manage the likes of Sinead O'Malley and manage her he would.
He wouldn't be leaving Denver without her in tow. He intended to possess her. Ride her. Claim her. Dominate her. Make her his submissive. Claim her as his.
The eight-hundred-year feud between their clans ended now even if he had to tie her to his bed and spank the sass out of her.
Since it wouldn't be seemly to drag her off the stage, bend her over, yank down her knickers, make her call him Sir as he fucked her ragged on top of a table, he bided his time.
She'd started dancing with the group a few years ago as a way to pick up a little extra cash. He hadn't taken the time to listen to the CD provided of her music and he was surprised by how much he enjoyed the sound of the Celtic-infused rock band that pulled from all nations. Or maybe he was just intrigued by the lass and wasn't really hearing the music.
All the other band members fell silent as she worked the pipes.
A spotlight hit her. He recognised the Kelly tartan...from her mother's side of the family. The Kellys were one of the few Irish clans entitled to wear a tartan--the same as the royal house of Stewart.
Because of the distance and the way she held the bagpipes, he couldn't quite read the writing on her white T-shirt. The distance and dim lighting made it impossible to see her eyes, even though the information he had on her said they were green.
Then again, the file said she had blonde hair. It hadn't mentioned the fiery highlights that seemed to ignite in the overhead lighting. It hadn't mentioned that the lengths fell in bedroom-like disarray across her forehead and around her face and shoulders.
It looked the way it might after a good, long, hard screw.
"Got your eye on that one, have you, mate?" the barkeep asked, pocketing the tip Jack had left on the bar. "She's been in here half a dozen times in the past year. A right handful, she is. Won't be having none of the likes of you." He glanced at her then back at Jack. "She won't be having any of us for that matter."
"We'll be seeing about that."