They stared at Finn—still in only his jeans, still holding his shirt and shoes—with various degrees of surprise and shock.
Luis didn’t even blink, but then again the guy had lost a leg in Vietnam so not much rattled him. He just shook his head. “Some people never learn.”
Trudy had been married to Luis—three times. They’d recently celebrated their third divorce, which meant they were already sleeping together again and probably thinking about their fourth wedding. Trudy took in Finn’s state of dress—or in this case undress—and her cigar fell out of her mouth.
“Hot damn,” she said in a been-smoking-for-three-decades voice. “I didn’t even know they made real men that look like that!”
Joe, the youngest one here at twenty-four, who’d MMA-ed his way through college for cash, lifted up his shirt to look down at his eight-pack. “Hey, I’m made like that too.”
“You’re drooling,” Elle told Trudy and tossed some money into the pot without giving Finn a second glance.
Finn didn’t take this personally. Everyone knew Elle had a thing for Archer. Well, except for Elle herself. And also Archer . . .
Eddie looked at Finn and then pulled the cigar out of his mouth. “You got your wallet on ya somewhere, kid?”
“Yeah,” Finn said. Minus his emergency condom . . .
“Well then get over here,” Eddie said. “We’ll deal ya in on the next round.”
Finn looked down at himself. He thought about the night he’d had, how it had started out about as amazing as a night could get, how it’d ended up going south.
“I’m raising thirty,” Elle said, mind on the game. Not much distracted Elle from her poker game.
“You sure?” Spence asked her.
She narrowed her eyes. “Why wouldn’t I be sure?”
Spence just looked at her. He didn’t like to waste words but as one of the smartest guys Finn had ever met, he didn’t often need them.
Caleb didn’t mind using his words. “Do you remember the last time we played?”
Elle sighed. “Yeah, yeah, the last time I raised, I ended up signing over my firstborn to Spence. Good thing I’m not planning on having kids.” She blew out a breath and folded. “You’re right.”
“What?” Spence asked, a hand curved around his ear.
“I said you’re right!” Elle snapped.
Spence gave a slow smile. “I heard you. I just wanted to hear it again. Can I get it in writing for posterity?”
Elle flipped him off.
This only made Spence grin. “Sticks and stones . . .”
“How about a big, fat loss,” Elle griped. “Will that hurt you?” She looked around. “What the hell does a girl have to do to get a drink refill and to keep the game moving?”
Joe scrambled to pour her a drink, infatuation in his gaze. Elle absently patted him on the head and went back to her cards. “You coming or not?” she demanded of Finn.
That was Elle, always on a schedule. With a shrug, he tossed aside his shirt and shoes. What the hell. “Deal me in.”
It was three in the morning before Finn staggered home and into bed, where he lay staring at the ceiling.
He’d lost his ass in poker—damn Elle, she had balls of steel—and afterward he’d dragged himself to the pub to check in and help close. It’d been a busy night, too busy to keep one eye on the door for a certain brown-eyed beauty.
Not that she’d shown up.
Neither had Jake.
Which meant that Finn had ground his back teeth into powder wondering if he’d been played. Or if he was overreacting. Or if he was a complete idiot . . .
It’s just that he couldn’t stop thinking about how he’d felt buried deep inside Pru, so deep that he couldn’t feel regret or pain. Could feel nothing but her soft body wrapped around him, her wet heat milking him dry, her mouth clinging to his like she’d never had anyone like him, ever.
“Shit,” he muttered and flopped over, forcing his eyes closed. So she’d wanted to hide what they’d done. So what. He’d had a hell of an incredible time with her and that had been all he’d needed.
Now it was back to the real world.
He’d halfway convinced himself that he believed it when someone knocked on his door.
In Finn’s experience, a middle-of-the-night knock on the door never equaled anything good. In the past, it’d meant his dad was dead. Or Sean needed bail money. Or there was a kitchen fire at the pub.