Filthy English (English #2)(4)

by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Normally, I’d be all over a random one-night stand—even in a bathroom stall—but no one had felt right in a while. But, if the perfect girl came along, I’d ditch my celibacy in a heartbeat.

“You sure? You are the self-proclaimed Sex Lord of Whitman. Hmmm?”

I arched a brow. “You’re really going there—you’re throwing down the gauntlet?”

“Yeah. You’re a pansy who needs to get laid. You’re not gay are ya?” He squinted at me. “You are a tad pretty if I say so myself, plus all those bulging muscles.”

I snorted. With Declan’s encouragement for me to stay busy, I’d worked out this summer at the local gym, let my hair grow longer than normal, and had gotten my first tattoo. Spider was covered in them, the main one a black widow on his neck, and seeing his had given me the bug for ink.

“Not gay,” I said.

“But you have to admit, you like to moisturize and exfoliate. Plus there’s the hair products and clothes—oh, and we can’t forget the man-bag.”

“It’s a messenger bag.”

“Bollocks!” He slapped me on the back. “I love teasing you. But seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?”

“Nothing, arsehole. Maybe I’m setting my standards higher.”

“Tosser,” he chuckled. “Come on, pick a wager already.” He tapped his fingers against his legs—a sign that he was antsy.

“Give me a minute,” I said as I surveyed the bodies gyrating on the dance floor, then scanned the bar area. Nothing interesting. Same music. Same girls we saw every time we came here.

Wait, wait. Except for her. The tall girl in the blue dress.

Nice. My eyes stopped and roamed over the curvy brunette with long, glossy hair.

Sitting on a barstool with her arms crossed and a snarl on her face, she radiated banked anger—with a dash of sexy. Her lips were carmine red, full, and heart-shaped . . .

Tingles of awareness rolled over me. My cock twitched.

But she wasn’t my type. I preferred them blonde, petite, and less angry. And if I ever wavered from that stereotype, inevitably I’d be punched in the heart with a sledgehammer.

Remember Remi?

I shoved thoughts of her where I put things that made me crazy—down deep in my gut.

I exhaled heavily. By now she was married to Hartford Wilcox, who also happened to be an Omega—my fraternity’s biggest rivalry. Bunch of wankers.

I’d been president of the Tau frat at the same time he’d been president of the Omegas, and our two houses hated each other. Omegas were the preps who dressed like Ralph Lauren models and played golf. Taus were the bad boys, a mixed bunch of mongrels who did whatever the fuck they wanted. We battled for top spots in everything on campus from who won the most intramural games to who had the hottest girls as “little sisters.” It wasn’t unusual for fights to break out at a mixer or after a tense game of football.

Moving on, I surveyed the rest of the club, but before long my gaze went right back to the mystery girl. Roving. Checking her out. Lingering on her hair that flashed under the strobe lights. Even with her arms crossed and a belligerent expression on her face, she was, well, interesting.

My fingers itched to take her mask off.

Did I know her?

Not likely anyone from my childhood. It had been twelve years since I’d lived in London. I briefly considered it might be a student from Whitman, but that seemed highly unlikely considering Raleigh was across the Atlantic.

Spider followed my eyes. “Ah, wonder what’s got her knickers in a twist?”

I shrugged, sussing her out as we moved closer to the bar area. “Guy problems?”

“Probably a real man-hater. Nice tits, though. I’d do her.”

I rolled my eyes. “Perhaps she just needs a drink. I do.”

“Admit it, you’d at least give her a poke,” he said. “You fancy her—I can see it in your eyes. She’s putting out something you like, I say. Maybe you like angry sex? There’s something to be said for really going at it and tearing into each other like animals.” A wistful expression crossed his face.

I laughed. Dude was a freak. “TMI, mate.”

He shrugged. “Hmmm, perhaps she’s looking for her rebound guy. Could be you.” Nodding his head in a way that told me he’d come to a decision, he said, “Which is why I’m making a bet that you can’t make that angry woman fall in love with you tonight. Annnd”—he drew the word out—“I’ll sweeten the pot—at ten thousand pounds.”

“What?” I sputtered. “I’m no rock star like you.”

“You have money.”

True. When my mum had passed, I’d inherited life insurance money, plus my father had bestowed an early graduation gift a few months back.

I shook my head. I might be a carefree kind of guy, but I wasn’t delusional. I had to save every penny if I wanted to be on my own someday and not depend on Father. “I’m keeping that for a rainy day.”

Which would be here in two weeks when school started.

He pursed his lips. “When did you become such a fucking boy scout?”

“I’m not a boy scout. I do whatever I want, when I want. I’m a party animal.”

He studied me, clearly not buying what I was selling. “Okay, fine. Let’s do this: ten thousand pounds if you win her heart, and if you lose, you give me the usual—one pound.”

I stopped in my tracks. “What’s in it for you?”

“The thrill, baby, the rush, that feeling that makes me high as the fucking sky.” He grinned crookedly. “So? You in?”

“I don’t know . . . one night is tough, even for a sexy guy like me.” I sent him an arched eyebrow. “Give me more time. I’m rusty.”

“You’re such a pussy. Nope. It has to be tonight . . . you in?”

I shrugged, knowing it drove him nuts when I didn’t commit to his bets.

He groaned. “You’re being a big girl’s blouse. Come on. Do it. Do it.”

“You’re annoying.”

“Thank you,” he smirked.

“You’re a dick who thinks blue hair is cool.”

“It is cool or I wouldn’t have it.”

“And a nutter.”

“Meh. Not the first time I’ve been called that. Admit it, you’ve had a good time babysitting me this summer. It’s given you time to gain perspective, yes?”