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  • Home > Samantha Young > On Dublin Street Series > Before Jamaica Lane (Page 32)     
    Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(32) by Samantha Young
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    ‘That’s my purse. It’s not got my wallet in it,’ I lied.

    ‘I saw you put your wallet in there this morning, sweetheart,’ he reminded me through clenched teeth.

    ‘Well, now I don’t have it, sweetheart,’ I replied through my own clenched teeth.

    We glared at each other for a while. Until I won.

    Glowering at me the entire time, he took out his own wallet and pulled out his credit card. As the girl was putting my items into the shopping bag, I rested a hand against Nate’s chest and pressed a soft kiss to his cheek, then brushed my mouth along his ear. ‘Payback,’ I murmured, leaning away as he turned his head to meet my eyes. His own smoldered hotly, and for a moment I lost my breath. Ignoring the thrill of desire that pooled between my legs at his expression, I whispered, ‘My ass cheek is throbbing.’

    A smile cracked his taut demeanor. ‘Fair enough. We’ll just call this an early birthday present.’ He grabbed the bags and wrapped my hand around them.

    ‘No.’ I shook my head, following him out of the store. ‘It’s payback.’

    ‘Birthday present,’ he called over his shoulder.

    ‘Payback,’ I insisted adamantly, almost tripping over my own feet as I hurried to catch up with him out on the street. ‘Dude, that is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. You are not taking it away with some nonsense about a birthday present. It is payback.’ I lifted the bags to emphasize my point.

    Nate shook his head as he grinned. ‘Babe, it was the coolest thing you’d ever done until you admitted it was the coolest thing you’ve ever done.’ He laughed at my mulish expression. ‘Fine,’ he conceded. ‘It was payback.’

    As we headed down Princes Street we were quiet in the slowly thickening crowds of pedestrians, until finally my good manners got the better of me and I said softly, ‘Thank you for my early birthday present.’

    A lot of women turned their heads to watch Nate Sawyer laugh hard at me before throwing his arm around my shoulders to cuddle me into his side.

    I had to admit … it was a pretty good place to be.

    The bouncer at Club 39 drank me in from head to foot and then murmured a flirtatious ‘Evenin’, darlin’ ’ as he moved aside to let me through the door. I did my best not to flush at the appreciative gleam in his eyes. Instead my legs shook as my heels clacked against the stone floor of the entrance. I was such a nervous wreck about tonight I’d ended up running late and had to text Jo to let her know I’d just meet her, Ellie, and the guys at the bar. It was the bar that both Jo and Joss used to work in, and we often went there socially because they still knew most of the staff and we could almost always get a table.

    Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite place to hang out. It was dark and crowded, and because it was a basement bar it was a little claustrophobic. The furniture was sparse and uncomfortably modern, and the dance floor was the size of my tiny kitchen. There was a hint of pretention to Club 39 that turned me off, and frankly I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find someone here that I actually wanted to flirt with badly enough to pass Nate’s latest test and win myself a phone number.

    If the thought of this evening’s goal wasn’t enough to make me want to upchuck, what I was wearing and the admiring looks I was getting from guys definitely did.

    Nate was right. I did feel sexy in this outfit. I had a goodly amount of cle**age on show, my waist looked tiny, and my hips über curvy. The top and skirt accentuated all the positive aspects of my figure and hid the negative. I’d also spent a lot longer on my makeup than usual, highlighting my pale eyes with smoky eye shadow and plumping my lips with dewy lip gloss. My hair was easy because I actually had good hair. It fell down my back in sultry dark waves that were perfect for the outfit.

    Altogether I was feeling very Marilyn Monroe in it. That didn’t mean I knew how to handle going from conservative to super vixen.

    I ignored the attention my outfit was getting – something Nate would be pissed at, considering I was supposed to be throwing flirty smiles around – and my hand tightened on my new clutch as I searched the bar for my friends.

    I found them in the corner, already sitting on the strange leather cuboid that was supposed to be a couch. Ellie was her usual sophisticated chic in a pale pink shift and silver stilettos, and Jo was her usual sexy glamour in a figure-hugging electric blue dress and matching high-heeled sandals. They were sitting with their fiancés, laughing at something Nate was saying as he leaned his elbows on his knees, cradling a beer in his hands. Adam was wearing a designer suit that fit him perfectly, while Cam wore dark jeans and a Ramones T-shirt. Nate was wearing a blue dress shirt and black slacks.

    All three of them were droolworthy.

    As I approached the table I kept expecting them to look up and smile and welcome me. Instead, Ellie, Jo, and Cam looked up, stared right through me, and glanced away before sharply turning back to me with sudden recognition. Adam’s and Nate’s eyes soon followed.

    Jo’s stunning face broke into a massive grin. ‘Oh, my God, Olivia, you look … amazing.’

    I fidgeted, completely uncomfortable under their perusal. ‘Uh, thanks. Moving on.’ I grinned goofily and was about to make my way to Ellie’s side to sit down when Nate grabbed my hand and maneuvered me beside him. I smiled at him and then instantly shivered at the way he was checking me out. Finally our eyes met.

    ‘You look insanely f**kable.’

    I laughed, trying not to flush. ‘As always, I’m charmed by you, Nathaniel.’

    ‘You have such a way with words, Nate,’ Ellie agreed dryly.

    Adam grunted. ‘He’s worse than Braden.’

    Nate shrugged and took a swig of beer before replying lazily, ‘I say it how I see it.’

    Attempting to let Nate’s blunt compliment bolster my nerves, I began to search the bar for my victim.

    Target?

    Okay, that didn’t sound any better.

    I need a drink.

    I gestured to their glasses. ‘Another round?’

    Adam immediately stood up and edged past the small table we were crowded around. ‘I’m buying. Corona and lime?’

    Usually that was my drink, but tonight I decided I needed something a wee bit stronger. ‘Talisker and ginger ale. On the rocks.’

    He set off to the bar, and I felt Jo’s eyes on me.

    ‘You okay?’ I asked.

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