Bobbi wanted to be anywhere but here. She hated SEALs. They were all a bunch of arrogant pricks who though they really could walk on water. The only reason she had agreed to tag along was because she knew sooner or later, Maria, who was supposed to be the designated driver, would start drinking. If that girl didn’t watch herself she was going to wind up in DAPA.
It was supposed to have been a fun night out. It had started out that way anyway. Until Carmen got the idea to come to Coronado to pick up some SEALs. It was a challenge to her. Supposedly, SEALs didn’t date regular old Navy women. They went for the prissy perfect California girl type. None of them could honestly claim to be that. There wasn’t a blonde among them. There wasn’t a white girl among them honestly. The closest was Trina, who was half. The called themselves the International Girls Club, each hailing from some exotic locale.
Each expect for her. She was from Jacksonville, a Navy brat born and raised. Bobbi had lost her only parent, her father, when she was eighteen. Lost and alone, she had joined the Navy herself, though being a female she couldn’t follow in her father’s exact footsteps. He was a submariner, there were no women on submarines. Something about close quarters and women’s cycles kept that option closed. Because the job required that he be away from home so much, Bobbi had pretty much raised herself.
That was neither here or there right now. At this second, all she wanted to do was to get the hell out of here. She’d call the girls in the morning. It looked like they had a ride home tonight so they didn’t her. She’d quietly lifted Maria’s keys, though she would probably leave the car here anyway. They could come back for it tomorrow. She just didn’t want the crazy ass girl thinking she could drive anywhere.
Easing back, Bobbi made her way from the table headed toward the bar. She would get the bartender to call her a cab. Thankfully, there weren’t many people in this little hellhole. With a little luck she would be well away before her friends noticed she was no longer at the table. No one was paying much attention to her, so more than likely no one would notice the little black chick sneaking out. She wasn’t exactly the type of woman the men here was into.
Making her way to the bar, she leaned over to speak to the bartender as quietly as she could. “Excuse me? Can I use you phone?”
“Why don’t you drink your beer first, then I’ll take you home.”
Bobbi jumped at the deep, definitively southern drawl by her side. Turning quickly she gasped at the man by her side.
He wasn’t a bear of a man, but there was something darkly dangerous about him. Every inch of his wiry frame screamed Special Forces, from those piercing blue eyes to the jagged one inch scar that graced the left side of his face. He was tall, well over six feet by about four or five inches, his dark hair close cropped so that it was impossible to tell whether it was naturally curly or straight. She couldn’t really tell if it was black or just dark brown from the weak, muted light.
“I didn’t order a beer.” She felt like an idiot as soon as she said it. Thankfully, he didn’t comment, just set a cold beer in front of her.
“I ordered one for you.”
He didn’t smile, didn’t come up with any corny pick up lines. He just stood there, crowding her space, waiting. But for whatever reason, she was neither annoyed or uncomfortable. Bobbi wasn’t the touchy feely type, so the fact he was standing so close should have unnerved her. It didn’t. Maybe because he was actually cute, in a dangerous, bad boy kind of way.
She should have politely refused; she had no idea why she didn’t. Instead she simply picked up the bottle and took a swig. She didn’t bother to wonder how he knew what she was drinking. He was a SEAL, after all, it was his job to notice things. Why the hell hadn’t she noticed him standing there?
“Are you gonna tell me your name, or should I guess?”
Well, hell, he was being playful. One could probably never tell by the seemingly perpetual serious expression, but there was something in the subtle shift in his stance thst clued her in. His eyes never left her face, like he was looking for something. Bobbi shivered under his scrutiny. This man was asking for a hell of lot more than her name. She wasn’t all together sure she was prepared to give him any of it.
“My name is Bobbi.”
“Bobbi as in Barbara or Roberta?”
“Bobbi as in Bobbi.”
When he cracked a smile, Bobbi actually got goose bumps.
“Well, Bobbi I’m, Grayson Calhoun.” He didn’t offer his hand or anything, just a wicked little half smile. “My friends call me Gray. Are you almost done with that beer?”
He was serious; he wanted to take her home. She was no dummy, she knew damned well why. It shocked her. She didn’t usually attract guys like him. Not that she was a dog or anything. She knew she was above average and there wasn’t a thing in the world wrong with knowing you looked decent. But she was just above average. This dude was a one hundred on the scale from one to ten. Plus he was a SEAL. She hated SEALs.
But she was going to go with him. Stupid beyond measure letting some guy she just met take her home, but Bobbi was not one to ever lie to herself. The physical attraction was immediate and hella strong. Even though he wasn’t touching her, she could feel his body heat bathing her skin in its warmth. His scent made her want to bury her face in his neck and let him protect her from the world. A woman knew within a few minutes whether or not she was going to sleep with a man, she just had to decide when. There was no doubt she was going to sleep with him, and he looked none to patient.
Bobbi was a mature modern woman. She was not one for one night stands often, but she’d had a few. Hell, she was a sailor in the United States Navy! It was in the contract or something. She knew enough to be careful and to how to protect herself. She might regret this, but she doubted it. Dude looked far too intense to be a dud. Plus he never took his eyes off of her, she liked that. Right now she was the center of his universe. Yeah, she could handle that-for tonight.
“I’m done with the beer,” she declared setting the half full bottle on the counter and turning to face the hottie she would ever see again after tonight. Crazy, stupid, dangerous, and she was so going to do it.
“After you.” He moved around her, waving his hand toward the front door and effectively blocking the view so her friends wouldn’t see her leaving. Nice move.
He was right behind her the entire way. It wasn’t until they were out the doors that he reached out and touched her.
It was nothing really, just his very large, very warm hand on the small of her back. She could feel the heat through the light cotton of her dress. It wasn’t remotely sexual, yet her juices started to flow with a vengeance. The goose bumps on her arms had nothing to do with the breeze from the nearby ocean. She almost groaned at the loss of contact when he opened the door of his jeep.
“Do you want to go straight home?”
It was a casual question, but the voice held a promise she wanted kept. Licking he lips nervously, she gathered her courage to reply. “No.”
There she said it. It was on. The sardonic smiles sent another chill down her spine. Had she made the right decision? Her eyes traveled across his profile and down his body to rest in his lap. She could make out a thick ridge outlined down the right side of his jeans. Oh, hell yeah. Just as she licked her lips once more, the damned thing twitched, as if basking in her perusal.
Bobbi swung her eyes upward and to her mortification found him watching her surreptitiously. Her face flamed as she quickly averted her gaze to the passing scenery. They had already gone over the Coronado Bridge and was heading towards downtown on the 5 Freeway. She hoped like hell he wasn’t taking her to one of those pretentious clubs downtown. She held her breath when he got off on First Street, but instead of taking one of the many side streets off of Broadway, he headed straight toward the wharf. A moonlight walk?
She was nervous as a virgin on her first date by the time he pulled over to park near the Waterfront. There were a smattering of small boutiques and shops overlooking the bay, most were closed now, but there were a couple of restaurants and an arcade still open. She sincerely hoped he wasn’t going to suggest one of the restaurants; there were so many knots in her stomach there was no way she could keep any food down.
“Walk a while with me?”
There was nothing guileless about those baby blues of his. They twinkled with mischief and a slice of danger that sent a shock of a thrill right up her spine. Did he even know her didn’t have to plot, plan or even try that hard. Hell, they could’ve gone straight to her apartment.