“Yeah, man. The new chick. Don’t tell me you weren’t feeling her. You made her a virgin version of our special. You don’t do that for anyone else ever.”
True. Also true was that he’d been drawn in by Pru’s warm, shiny brown eyes. They matched her warm, shiny brown tumble of long hair, and then there was her laugh that always seemed to prove Pavlov’s theory. Except Finn’s reaction wasn’t to drool when he heard it.
“Did you know she’s a ship captain?” Sean asked. “I mean that’s pretty badass.”
Yeah, it was. She drove one of the fleet ships out of Pier 39 for SF Bay Tours, a tough job to say the least. Finn’s favorite part was her uniform. Snug, fitted white Captain’s button-down shirt, dark blue trousers that fit her sweet ass perfectly, and kickass work boots, all of which had fueled more than a few dirty-as-fuck daydreams over the past three weeks.
He’d never forget his first glimpse of her. She’d been moving in, striding across the courtyard with a heavy box, her long legs churning up the distance, that willowy body with those sweet curves making his mouth water. She had her mass of wavy hair piled on top of her head—not that this had tamed the beast because strands had fallen into her face.
Yeah, he’d felt her from day one, and though she often sat at the end of the bar he reserved for his close-knit friends, he hadn’t spoken much to her until two nights ago.
“She offered to show you a good time and you turned her down,” Sean said, shaking his head in mock sadness. “And you call yourself the older brother. But yeah, you were probably right to turn her down. Would’ve been a waste of her efforts, seeing as you have no interest in anything remotely resembling a good time.”
“I didn’t turn her down.”
Finn hoped like hell Pru hadn’t taken it that way, because he sure hadn’t meant it like that. “I was working.”
“Always are,” Sean said. “Whelp”—he stood and stretched again—“this has been fun, but gotta run. The gang’s hiking Twin Peaks today. First to the top gets number one draft pick in our fantasy football league. You should come.”
“I won the league last year,” Finn said.
“Uh huh. Which means we’d totally try to push you off the trail and sabotage your ascent. So you should definitely come.”
“Wow, sounds like a real good time,” Finn said. “But there’s this . . .” He pointed to his desk and the mountain of work waiting on him.
Sean rolled his eyes. “You know what all work and no play makes you, right?”
“Ha-ha. I was going to say not laid.”
This was unfortunately true but Finn turned back to his desk. “Kick ass out there.”
Hours later, Finn was still at his desk when Sean sauntered back in, hot, sweaty, and grinning. He helped himself to Finn’s iced soda, downing it in three gulps. “Asses have been kicked,” he said.
“No way did you beat Archer,” Finn said. No one beat Archer at anything physical. The man was a machine.
“Nah, but I got second draft pick.”
Annie, one of the three servers coming on shift for the night, stuck her head in. “Already filling up out front,” she told them both.
“Got your back, darlin’,” Sean said and set Finn’s now empty glass back onto his desk. “Always.”
Annie smiled dreamily at him.
Sean winked at her and slid out of the office before Finn could remind him of their no sleeping with the hired help policy. Swearing to himself, Finn grabbed his iPad and followed. He intended to go over inventory, but was immediately waved to the far end of the bar.
Sitting at it were some of his closest friends, most of them having been linked together in one way or another for years.
Archer lifted his beer in a silent toast. The ex-cop worked on the second floor of the building running a private security and investigation firm. He and Finn went back as far as middle school. They’d gone to college together. It’d been Archer who’d been with him in their shared, tiny frat boy apartment the night the cops had come to the door—not because Finn had been caught doing something stupid, but because his dad had just died.
Next to Archer sat Willa. Bossy as hell, nosy as hell, and loyal as hell, Willa would give a perfect stranger the shirt off her back if Finn and Archer didn’t watch her like a hawk.
Spencer was there too. The mechanical engineer didn’t say much, but when he did it was often so profound the rest of them just stared at him in shock and awe. Quiet, although not particularly shy or introverted, he’d recently sold his start-up for an undisclosed sum and hadn’t decided on his next step. All Finn knew was that he was clearly unhappy.