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and now, Part IV from Game On by Nicola Marsh!
We’d barely made it out the front door and onto a busy Chapel Street when she stopped. ‘I don’t even know your name.’
I wanted to tell her but I’d seen too many women react to it, and if she worked in a sports bar she may know my identity by reputation. I didn’t want to see her change. I liked her just the way she was, bold with a hint of susceptibility, embracing the sexual attraction between us but doubting its potency at the same time.
I didn’t want her to treat me any differently, so I settled for ‘Jack’.
‘Angelica,’ she said, with a proud tilt of her head, as if she expected me to make fun of her.
‘Angel …’ I tried the abbreviation on for size. It fit.
When she stared at me in wide-eyed surprise, like no one had ever called her that, I ducked down to nuzzle her neck, inhaling a unique scent reminiscent of roses mixed with jasmine. Refreshing, like her.
‘You don’t mind if I call you that?’
‘I don’t mind.’ The corners of her mouth twitched. ‘Though I have a feeling I’m about to become a fallen angel, with my halo around my ankles.’
I grinned, enjoying her sense of humour. I couldn’t spar with many women like this. It turned me on as much as her hot bod.
‘Good. It’ll be alongside your panties.’
She inhaled sharply, the flare of heat unmistakeable as she gripped my hand tighter. ‘You’re way too charming for your own good.’
‘Hey, you’re here, aren’t you?’ I swung our arms as we started walking, glad I’d chosen tonight to stop by Bobbie’s. I frequented the bar regularly because my clients liked it. Sportsmen flocked to the iconic bar in trendy South Yarra for three things. Live bands. Drink cards. Hot women.
I didn’t go in for the whole bar scene, especially at the end of a long day, but what my clients wanted I provided. It’s what made me the best manager in the country.
Besides, socialising with sports stars often led to referrals for new clients and I had enough elite footballers, basketballers, soccer players and swimmers on my books to keep me solvent forever.
‘Me being here has absolutely nothing to do with your dubious charm.’ She matched my lengthening stride with ease, her quirky smile alerting me to an incoming zinger. ‘I’m here for the free ice-cream.’
‘You’ve got a smart mouth.’ I stared at it, imagining all the naughty things she could do with it. Damn, I couldn’t wait to get her alone.
‘It usually gets me into trouble.’
A brief shadow flickered across her eyes as I inwardly cursed for saying the wrong thing. I wanted tonight to be about fun. Playful sex was the best.
‘Here’s hoping.’ I held up my free hand, fingers crossed, and she laughed as I’d intended.
‘Where do you live?’
‘Right here,’ I said, stopping outside the newest high-rise on the block.
‘Impressive.’ She craned her neck, looking skyward.
‘I try.’ I punched in my security code and the heavy glass door swung inward on a hydraulic hiss. We didn’t speak as we traversed the marble foyer, past a massive floral arrangement, to the private lift that serviced the penthouse only.
I swiped my card and the doors slid open, revealing more speckled Italian marble, shimmering gold and mirrored walls. I hadn’t lived here long, the bulk of my time spent in hotel rooms around the country, holding client’s hands, negotiating deals, cleaning up their messes.
I earned every cent of my exorbitant fees, because if there’s one thing I’d learned in this business it’s that young people who earned a shitload of money often ended up in trouble because of it.
As we stepped into the lift and the doors slid shut, I risked a glance at her. She looked calm, serene almost, but the death grip on my hand said otherwise.
She nodded, but still didn’t speak until the lift doors opened directly into my apartment.
‘Wowza.’She baulked as we took a few steps inside. ‘I’m not really interested in what work you do but whatever it is, it sure pays better than bar wench.’
I laughed as she flung back my earlier smart-arse remark. ‘I guess you can call me a hand-holder of sorts. I negotiate for celebrities, sporting personalities and models, but my official title is talent management.’
She stared at me with open speculation, as if trying to size me up, before stepping closer. She hadn’t lost the death grip on my hand and I hoped like hell she wasn’t about to ditch me before we’d begun.
‘Now that we know each other’s names and occupations, why don’t we get to the ice-cream?’
I breathed a sigh of relief. ‘I thought you’d never ask.’
We’d apologise for stopping there, but we just wanted to make Friday all the sweeter 😉
Angelica Bryant has a dream. The only child of a soccer legend, she pays her bills by working at her father’s bar while pursuing her goals: a role in sports management and a place in the newly established Women’s Aussie Rules league. Football is her passion, and she won’t let anything get in her way: including an ill-advised one-night-stand with one of Australia’s most successful agents.
Jaxon Flint thrives on success. His workaholic lifestyle keeps his agency and the athletes he represents at the top of their game – and all of his emotions at bay. Until he meets Angie, W.A.R.’s newest star, who undermines his carefully laid plans and gets under his skin. Is he willing to relinquish his careful control both in and out of the bedroom?
When Angie and Jaxon end up working together, it’s game on!
All three Women of W.A.R. titles release 20 February 2018!