Getting called into work on karaoke night sucked ass. But Lowe decided he had better things to do than bartend, so Pick asked me to fill in for him.
I’d been planning on spending most of the evening in bed with my woman. Ever since Lake Tahoe, I just couldn’t get enough of her. Each stolen moment felt as if our time together was just getting shorter and shorter. I couldn’t wait to pin her brother down and have that talk already.
As luck would have it, I had to work with him on karaoke night. I was watching him from the other end of the bar, debating how to broach the subject when Hart sidled up next to me and slugged me companionably on the back.
“So, how’s Tenoline these days?” He arched a curious brow my way. “Or do you guys go by Caroten? I wasn’t sure exactly how you were shipping it.”
I snorted and rolled my eyes. “It’s Oreline, motherfucker. And we’re awesome. Why do you ask?” I scowled at him. “You wanting to make a go for my woman?”
He laughed and shook his hands. “No. No, no, no. I mean, if I really wanted her, I would’ve taken her already.”
“Oh, you wish, douchebag. You wouldn’t have stood a chance.”
“I don’t know,” he murmured thoughtfully. “Caroline and I have always...”
I narrowed my eyes as his voice faded. Jealousy slithered through me, and I just wanted to knock his head against the nearest wall, but a new song started on the Karaoke. I groaned because I was getting burned out by Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass.” But then one of the two girls on stage began to sing and even I had to lift my eyebrows, impressed. It wasn’t often that someone who actually had musical talent sang on our karaoke machine.
I turned back to Hart. “Damn, she’s not...” But my words faded, because he wasn’t listening to me. The guy had that look in his eye. The same look Gamble got when he talked about his wife, or Ham got when Blondie walked into a room. The same look I knew I probably had when Caroline was around.
I glanced back and forth between Hart and the dark-headed girl on stage who had captured his attention, as she wowed the crowd with her husky vocals. The redhead with her finally leaned in and sang along with the chorus, but she was nowhere near as good as her friend. The ladies did a little dance together, wiggling their asses out at the crowd, and I glanced at Hart for his reaction only to break out grinning when his eyes flared and he grabbed the bar for support. A thin trail of sweat slid down his temple.
“Hey, bud. You okay?” I had to ask, unable to stop my smart-ass grin. But seriously, I loved this. He’d gotten such a big, annoying kick out of my obsession for Caroline. It was fucking awesome to see the tables turned and watch him squirm in the presence of some chick.
Hart blew out a breath before giving me his attention. His eyes were glazed with shock. “I think...” He paused to lick his lips and transfer his gaze back to the stage where the two girls were finishing up the song. “I think I just met the girl I’m going to marry. Right there.” He pointed toward the stage. “That one. Yeah, she’s going to have my babies.”
I snorted at his overdramatic proclamation and had to tease. “Who? The redhead?” I actually knew that one’s name. We’d made out a few times back in the dark ages.
But Hart scowled before I could add that part. “No. The tall, beautiful Latina.” He sent me an incredulous glance. “I mean, did you not just hear her voice? Or see that perfect ass?”
I started to snicker, but the hugging girls on stage let go of each other just as some guy approached them. Hart’s dream girl leapt off the stage at him, and he caught her around the waist before lowering her enough that she could lean her face in and kiss him. With tongue. Lots of tongue. When they didn’t come up for air within thirty seconds, I had to check Hart’s reaction.
I nudged my elbow at him. “I think that dude might have a problem with all your marrying and baby-making plans with her.”
Horror lit Hart’s face as his mouth dropped open and his eyes bulged. Then he glanced at me, absolutely crushed. “That was not supposed to happen.”
I threw back my head and laughed. I couldn’t help myself. It was about damn time some chick caused him a little misery.
“Shut it.” He punched his fist into my shoulder, but that only made me laugh louder.
“Oh, damn.” I had to hold my belly because I was laughing so hard it hurt. “Shit, man. You should’ve seen the look on your face when she kissed some other guy.”
“Whatever.” He turned his back to the stage so he was facing the back of the bar. “I can’t believe she’s already taken. She has on an Incubus shirt and everything. Seriously, how many women out there are fans of Incubus?”