They were finishing their beers when Chris's luck ran out. A shadow fell over his shoulder. When Chris looked up, he saw the beefy, no-necked man who'd given him the eye earlier standing there. The man gave him a wink, and said, "I sure do like a woman with an appetite. Mind if I buy you a drink?"
Chris held in his snort, but just barely. That was truly one of the worst pick-up lines he'd ever heard. Not wanting to start a fight, especially since the man had been sitting with three other males who all looked like they could bench press him and his friends, Chris smiled sweetly and replied, "I'm flattered, but have to say, no. I'm here with someone, tonight." To add credence to his words, Chris smiled at Remy and took his hand.
Remy smiled back at Chris. His friends always had each other's backs.
The stranger scoffed. "Awe, he ain't man enough to take care of you, sweetheart," the stranger said. He even had the nerve to settle a hand on Chris's shoulder and squeeze.
Damn, how can I diffuse this? He forced a smile and looked at no-neck. "Look, I'm flattered. I really am, but I'm not interested. I'm sorry."
The grip on his shoulder tightened, and he bit his lip to hold back the cringe of pain. Fear spiked through his system. Oh, this was going to get ugly. Chris just knew it. "Come now, sweetheart. Just give me a chance. I'll take good care of you," the man said, his cool smile no longer reaching his eyes.
"Chris said, no, dude. Get lost," Remy snapped, rising from the table.
"Stay out of this, string-bean, before I wipe the floor with you," no-neck snapped.
Chris rose, too, though the guy didn't release him. He lifted his hands in a placating gesture. "Please, we don't want any trouble," he said. "We'll just leave."
From the corner of his eye, he could see Daren and Eric also standing. Daren pulled out his wallet, retrieving bills to toss on the table.
"One dance, sweetheart," the stranger insisted.
Chris felt trapped. He didn't like it.
Suddenly, another form appeared at his shoulder. "Cherie say she no' interested, Frankie. Why you not head back to your friends, hmm?"
"Stay out of this, Cajun," Frankie snapped.
"When a woman say, no, you listen, Frankie," the Cajun said.
Chris wanted to moan. He'd heard Cajuns speak on TV, but never in real life. The accent was even better in person. The Cajun gripped Frankie's wrist above where the man held Chris's shoulder. "You let go or I break it," the sexy red-head promised.
Frankie glared, but did as instructed. The Cajun released his wrist. "You need to learn to keep your nose out of what doesn't concern you, Manon," Frankie snapped.
"A pretty lady in trouble is always my concern," Manon stated.
Up until then, Chris had been content to just sit and listen to his knight in shining ... jeans fight his battle. The fact that Manon thought he was a woman was like a splash of cold water to the face. Chris was a grown man. Not a woman. If either of these men found that out, he'd be facing the wrath of both of them.
"I appreciate the help, sir," he murmured, smiling demurely. "But I think I'm just going to be going."
Manon turned and looked down at Chris. Now that he was so close, it was tough for Chris to keep from drooling. His eyes really were coal black, staring down from his six foot two inch height. "Allow me to walk you to your car, cherie."
"My name is Chris ... Chris Richards--Richardson," he got out. Being pinned by that gaze was certainly a heady experience. The man stared down with intensity, sweeping his gaze over his face as if trying to memorize every feature.
"And I am Manon Lemelle," the man replied. "It be my pleasure." He grinned, showing off straight white teeth and a killer smile. "Cherie be a term of endearment, Chris. I mean no offense."
"Oh," Chris replied, not knowing what else to say.
Eric touched his elbow. "We should go. Daren paid so..."
Chris nodded. Turning to Manon, he said softly, "I appreciate the help. We'll go now."
Manon looked at Frankie, and that was when Chris noticed the man's narrowed eyes and flushed face. His would-be suitor was angry.
"I walk you out," Manon said suddenly. "Was leaving anyway."
Chris felt certain that was utter bullshit, but it was a nice gesture. He couldn't stop his smile and slight blush to his pale features. "Okay."
"Too bad, sweetheart. We could have had fun together, tonight," Frankie snapped. "Instead, you want to be just another conquest for this asshole."
"You need to learn some manners around a lady," Manon scolded.
Remy snorted, and Chris knew it was because he wasn't a lady, and could curse worse than a sailor could if it was in the right situation. "Let's go," Daren urged. Chris's friend's lips twitched and he knew Daren fought a smirk.
The group trouped outside, and Chris had to focus on walking in the damn heels. No need to trip in front of the sexy man, even if he knew he couldn't pursue the hottie. To his surprise, Manon followed them. When they reached Eric's jeep, Manon touched Chris's arm, drawing his attention.
"I know this guy not your man," Manon said, a smile quirking his lips. "He not defend you right for dat."
Chris blushed slightly. "Yeah, well, that's true. He's not my date. We're just friends and were just out for some fun."
"You not been in dat bar before," Manon stated. "I'd know."
That had him smiling. He couldn't help it. Chris's knight was hot, and he was looking at him as if he was a lollipop he wanted to unwrap and lick in the worst way. "Will you give me your number?" Manon asked, holding up his phone ready to enter the number into the device.
The man touched Chris's shoulder and slid his hand down his arm, scraping his calloused hand over his skin. Good-bumps erupted over Chris's flesh. His breathing sped up and his dick began to thicken. Knowing it wouldn't be long until he could no longer hide the fact that he had a penis, Chris nodded quickly and rattled off his number.
Manon smiled and punched it in one-handed. Once done, he gently touched Chris's cheek. "I will call you," he promised.
Then he turned and headed across the parking lot. Chris found himself helpless to do anything but stand and watch the man's sexy ass as he strode confidently away.
"Hey, Chris. Get in the jeep."
He rolled his eyes at Damen's order, but did as told. From the looks his friends were giving him, he knew he would get an earful from them. Chris figured he had it coming. After all, what the hell was he going to do if Manon actually called?