"Badass? I don't think that's one I've ever been called before."
"You're going to be working for the Carolina Reapers," Paul said, finishing his drink. "If you weren't a badass before, you better be one now. Half the players on that team look like they could break you in two."
I barked out a laugh, and London's cheeks went entirely red at Paul's innuendo.
"There will be no breaking," London said, shaking her head a little too quickly. "I'm a professional. The last thing I'm going to do is fall for a hockey player. Trust me on that."
"Oh, we trust you," I said a little teasingly as I hooked my elbow through hers. "Trust you to dance your ass off in a minute," I said as I walked her through the main dance floor and toward the grand iron spiral staircase that led to the rooftop bar.
I couldn't stop my eyes from scanning the interior of the building as we climbed the stairs, this vantage point giving me a complete view of the club. I hated the disappointment that made my chest tight, made my stomach sink at the pair of blue eyes that I didn't lock onto.
What had I been thinking? That he would just magically be here and decide to give me an answer? I was behaving like a little girl with a crush.
I pushed open the door, holding it open for London and Paul as they passed through. The warm night air greeted us as we made our way onto the rooftop of the building, the sky almost a royal midnight blue. The old architectural buildings of downtown peppered the skyline. A more modest dance floor took up the left side of the rooftop, and a smaller bar took up the right. Small round-top tables were scattered strategically along the railed off edge of the building, and I couldn't help but deeply breathe in the sights. It was elegant, just this side of wild, and with a hint of danger. Totally a club that Hendrix would frequent. No wonder he talked about it constantly.
His favorite haunt, if I remembered correctly.
But as my heart sank even further at no sight of Hollywood showing his face, I shook off the disappointment and squared my shoulders.
Tonight was about celebrating London's achievements, and I was going to make sure she had one hell of a time.
So while Paul headed for the bar, I dragged London onto the dance floor, swishing our hips to the beat and spinning her until we were both hoarse with laughter.
“Are you going to be okay over there?” Roman asked, arching a brow.
“Yeah? Why wouldn’t I be?” I asked, my eyes scanning over the rooftop crowd at Tricks. The hum of nervous energy was with me no matter what I was up to.
Throwing with Weston? Yep.
Working out in my home gym? You bet.
Brushing my teeth, showering…any moment my mind had the slightest hint of downtime, I was a fidgeting mess.
It had been a week since Savannah dropped her little proposition on me, and for every minute I spent telling myself that it was asinine to even think of agreeing, there was a devil on my shoulder telling me all the ways it could work.
We could be careful…quiet—at least when it came to keeping us a secret. As for noise, I’d make sure she screamed my name loud enough for all of Raleigh to hear.
The thought turned my lips upward.
“Seriously.” Roman lifted his eyebrows, giving a pointed look to my knee as I bounced it up and down.
“Oh. Right.” I stilled my knee and leaned forward as we sat on the leather sofas that made up the VIP section of Tricks. I liked it up here. The pergola was covered on two sides, with thick canvas, and sheer curtains in front of us, blocking us from the sight of the majority of the crowd while giving us stellar views of downtown.
“Something on your mind?” Teagan asked from where she was curled into Roman’s side.
“He needs to get laid,” Roman said with a smirk. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen you this jumpy.”
“Stop,” Teagan lectured, rolling her eyes. “I think it’s hot that you’ve been holding out for someone who could be more than an awkward morning after.” She offered me a smile. “Now, if you’d just let me fix you up with someone…”
“Okay, that’s enough chatter about my sex life.” I shook my head and gazed through the sheer material that turned the crowd hazy.
“Hey, I’m talking romance, not sex.” She tilted her head. “I mean, I’m sure there would eventually be sex, but it’s not like you have to choose one or the other.”
“Thank God,” Roman muttered.
I snorted. “Remind me why we’re here again?” I leaned toward the gossamer curtain, seeing a flash of red on the floor on the terrace below. We were up on the terrace, only a half-dozen feet above the dance floor, but it was more than enough to give us the full view of the floor—sans details.