My quest leads me closer to my target. Hadley peers up to meet my eyes with disapproval. “Go away,” she groans in warning.
Briggs fills her empty shot glass. “You two better get it together. We haven’t even hit the club yet or sung happy birthday. Call it my birthday wish that you two call a truce.”
“As the responsible one, he’s right, Hadley,” I say, sounding condescending.
“Spare me. Oh look, there’s a stripper pole in the room. Let me go experiment with my life choices.” She begins to walk, but I step in her way.
“Sure, we both know you love to make daddy proud,” I say, and I don’t know why.
Hadley shakes her head as she bites her bottom lip because she’s pissed and probably knows she’s drawing my sight straight to her delectable mouth. Briggs awkwardly stands there with his lips quirked out while he freezes and holds the bottle up.
“What planet did you wake up on? Your family’s Labrador has more manners than you,” she snipes.
“You two are at it again?” Isla intercepts as she arrives and rests her hand on Hadley’s shoulder. “I swear, I’m about to lock you two in a closet together.”
“Maybe we should give them an ultimatum,” Briggs ponders.
Isla throws her arms up. “Or just give them another shot. It will loosen them up eventually.”
“I don’t know, Hadley is already mentioning a career on the pole,” I comment dryly, but the image inside my head is driving me nuts.
Frustrated, Hadley abruptly hands her glass to Briggs. “One more. Obviously, Prince Charming isn’t going to arrive, throw me over his shoulder, and save me.”
“You shouldn’t have come, princess tippy-toes.” I hand my glass to Briggs, with my eyes drilling in on Hadley.
In the corner of my eye, Briggs looks at Isla to double-check this is a smooth plan. Isla responds with her eyes gawking, which causes Briggs to hold up the bottle. “You guys only get another shot if you give it to one another. Call it a truce,” he informs us with a smirk.
Well played, but fine.
I take the two filled glasses from Isla. “I’m sure Hadley can follow my lead, she has before.”
“That comment just made me not care how the hell I get my shot, as long as you become a blur,” she boils.
I grin, satisfied, as I step closer and hold up the glass. Our eyes lock before her lips press against the rim of the glass that I hold, and her fingers wrap around my wrist to keep me steady as I slowly tip back the liquid. The electric shock hits us both. I feel it in my bones, especially as our eyes linger for an extra second. When she swallows, I don’t release the glass. I enjoy this connection that doesn’t feel alcohol-infused, even though it must be. She doesn’t seem to be escaping either, and that’s of her own accord. Hot energy shoots down to below my navel because this woman is a curse.
When I finally bring the glass away, she instantly reestablishes contact by bringing my other hand with my shot glass up, and the corner of her mouth tugs, but she won’t commit to a smile, not for me.
Our eyes stay pierced as the shot comes to my lips. She stands on her toes as she guides the alcohol to me. The shot comes to my lips, and she slowly eases the liquid into my mouth, and my free arm wraps around her middle to keep her in a firm stance, causing our bodies to press together. We stand in this embrace longer than we should, the music in the background fading away as my attention is on Hadley.
I refuse to believe that anything less substantial is causing me to feel dizzy. My current state is her doing, purely from a spark in her hazel eyes. But whatever the reason, she gets her wish, because the night becomes a blur…
Until the next morning, that is, when I feel my favorite little vixen in bed next to me.