"Don't get so cocky. It's not becoming of a woman to be so. That's a man's job." James counted out everyone's money and handed each person the right amount. James was always the banker when they played.
"You did not just say that." Melandra smirked at him then looked wide-eyed at Saul.
"Don't look at me. I didn't say it." Saul put his hands up in mock surrender.
"Aw, come on, Mel. You know how I love to ruffle your feathers." James gave her a warm smile.
Her blood heated a bit at the low, teasing tone of his voice and the sexy way his eyes tempted her from under half-closed, thick-as-sin lashes. "Yeah, I know. But remember. Paybacks are hell."
"Don't I know it?" Saul laughed. "I will never forget when we were freshmen how you put Super Glue® in my hair gel." Saul rubbed at his head with a grimace.
James laughed, and she made a show of pouting. "It was for your own good, you know? I told you not to go out with Jenna Madison. I had to keep you from going somehow, and knowing how you were with your hair, I was pretty certain there was no way you'd keep that date after such a sticky debacle."
"She was easy, and I was a horny teenage virgin." Saul grinned and wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
"Yeah, but she was also a liar, a cheater, and a manipulator. She wasn't good for you." She tossed the dice, and two sixes landed faceup.
"Geez, Mel. I didn't want to marry her. I just wanted to screw her." Saul grunted. "Now that I'm thinking on it, maybe you owe me one."
She laughed, moved the small metal dog twelve spaces, and picked up the dice to throw them again when she noticed the room had become dead quiet. She looked up at Saul.
"One what?" She watched Saul and licked her lips when he sat back in the chair, stretched his arms up, and linked his fingers behind his head. The move made the T-shirt he was wearing stretch tight over his wide chest.
"A roll in the hay, that's what." Saul gave her a predatory grin that made her stomach flutter.
Her blood boiled with excitement. She looked at James, who sat with his arms over his chest, one brow cocked up.
"What? Hmm? I think I might agree with him. Come to think of it, that little stunt cost me a date with Lori Laine that night. So I'm thinking maybe you owe both of us one." James's mouth quirked up at the corner.
She looked at Saul then James then back at Saul. Were they serious? She'd been friends with them for years and would have instantly thought they were joking if it hadn't been for those kisses earlier. She squirmed in her seat as they stared at her.
"All right. That's it." She did the only thing she could think of under the circumstances to relieve the tension pounding in her veins. She scooped a handful of trail mix up and tossed it at James. She laughed when his eyes widened and his mouth gaped open in shock.
"I can't believe you just did that." His eyes sparkled as he shook the trail mix from his hair. "You're going to pay for that one."
When she realized that James was going to make good on that threat at that very moment, she jumped up. She didn't get far before his arm snaked around her waist and jerked her off her feet. She squealed, and he tickled her ribs with his free hand. She laughed so hard tears streamed down her cheeks.
"Stop! Saul, help me," she cried out between laughs.
"I don't think so. In fact, I think I might help James." Saul stalked toward them slowly, and she kicked her feet playfully at him.
He caught her ankles, stepped between them, and in an instant, playful roughhousing turned into something altogether different. Saul stood between her legs, and James was pressed against her back. Saul's hand slowly slid along her thigh, higher, higher, and she swallowed hard when James's fingers stroked her tummy.