Home > Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(15)

Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)(15)
Author: K.F. Breene

“Is that the guy you were talking about?” I asked Mick softly, unable to tear my eyes away from that steady gaze.

Mick grunted, which meant yes.

“That guy is anything but fat, Mick. You’d make a terrible eyewitness. Has he been here for a while?”

“Fer feck’s sake. What am I, his fecking nursemaid?” Mick growled. “I don’t feckin’ know.”

“It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Mick, as always.”

Mick grunted and took a swig of his beer.

I let out a slow, trembling breath as Liam, the ancient, non-magical bartender who had been there forever, slowly made his way down the bar.

“Guinness?” he asked when he reached me.

I shook my head quickly, but then stopped myself. Why would I pretend not to drink Guinness just because the stranger liked it?

And why would I run? This wasn’t a normal day for me to be here, and he couldn’t have possibly known I’d show up. I hadn’t even known until a couple of hours ago. I usually popped into the bar on Friday or Saturday evenings when it was busy and I knew Miles would make an appearance. I liked to give him the opportunity to not-so-subtly congratulate himself on doing better than me. It was the least I could do in exchange for the freebies.

Anyway, running would only make me seem guilty of something, and this time I didn’t even have anything to apologize for. This guy was on my turf, in my chosen place of degradation, and I had every right to dig in my heels and stand my ground. If anything, this was my territory.

Besides, I had a blanket to return.

“I should act normally, shouldn’t I?” I asked Mick, still working up the courage to approach the guy. I had every right to be here, but that commanding, authoritative gaze gave a girl pause. “I’ve been coming here long enough to have earned a spot. He can’t do anything to me.”

“What da feck?” Mick leaned away as though I’d slapped him. “What are you on about? I’m here to enjoy a few quiet fecking pints.”

Usually I liked that Mick kept to himself and didn’t want to chat idly. Small talk was draining. But now, when I needed a sounding board, it was damn unfortunate.

“Alexis?” Liam said, waiting for my order.

“Yes. Please. A Guinness. Hey, Liam, how long has that guy been here?” The stranger’s eyes were burning into mine, sending tingles through my body. If he was shocked or delighted that I’d happened into the bar, he didn’t show it.

Liam glanced behind him and back again. “That’s his second pint.” Without another word, he moved off toward the glasses.

It was an entire bar of unsociable people. Which, again, was usually a good thing.

But I didn’t usually need answers!

If he was on his second pint, he’d shown up here before I’d even left the house. Whatever had happened yesterday, he definitely wasn’t stalking me today.

The muscles in my shoulders minutely relaxed. That was good news.

“Well, this chair will never do.” I patted the misshapen back of it. “And I need to talk to him so I can return a blanket.”

Mick ignored me. The tanned guy on the other side of the broken chair glanced over, but his gaze didn’t stick.

“Right.” I nodded in determination and forced my feet to move. I needed to nip this situation in the bud.

Ignoring the butterflies in my belly, I moved behind the row of patrons at the bar. The stranger’s eyes tracked me, the intensity of his focus acting like a solid weight coating my body. I breathed through the strange reaction, not sure if it was the effect of his magical power or his stellar looks.

The stranger leaned back, dropping a hand down to his thigh as I made my approach.

“Hey,” I said, coming to a stop behind a grizzled old man with a hunched back and the rosy cheeks of a habitual drinker.

The stranger stared at me without comment or a glimmer of recognition.

Suddenly unsure, I lightly touched my fingertips to my chest. “Remember me? From yesterday? I’m the chick that you tried to mow down with your fancy Ferrari?”

The smile accompanying my jest wasn’t returned.

“Yes,” he said, and that rough, gravelly, though strangely entrancing voice washed over me.

I blew out a breath, then tensed as a thread of heat wormed through my middle.

This wasn’t normal. He might’ve been hot enough to scorch the eyes, but I was a girl who liked to look. I usually didn’t have a desire to sample the goods.

But as I stood there, the kindling heat inside me turned into fire, setting my core to aching. That aching turned into pounding, and something yanked at my gut, urging me to step forward and touch the origin of this delicious feeling.

It had to be his magic. Within this guy’s bag of tricks, he must possess the ability to force desire or lust. I could usually withstand that little scam (which had annoyed Miles to no end), but I’d never felt someone put this much power behind it. It threatened to sweep me away.

“Great, I can see you’re not going to make this easy.” I blew out a breath and forcefully ignored the dull pounding sensation. “So, listen, that blanket that you dropped off…” A glimmer of recognition finally lit his eyes. It had definitely been him. “Thanks for that. It was really nice of you. But I’m afraid I—we—can’t accept it. It’s just too much. If you’re going to be here for a while, I can run and get it. Or…do you live around here? I can drop it off…”

“You keep the blanket,” he said. Heat sparked in his eyes. “I’d rather get you into mine.”

His voice dripped with sex. Images of glistening muscles and twisted sheets invaded my thoughts and stole my breath. Furious shivers warred with the blazing fire inside me, and the butterflies from earlier turned into a swarm. His delving stare tickled areas deep and wet, which suddenly demanded satisfaction.

God, I hoped I didn’t give in to the craving for satisfaction.



A look of confusion flashed across the guy’s expression—almost like he couldn’t believe he’d just said something so forward. But I couldn’t summon the focus to interpret that look, not through the delicious desire swimming through me.

Oh yes, this man had the ability to inspire lust, all right. Lust, passion, intense yearning… I loved the feeling of it, pushing and pulling and pounding and aching. It was like sex without the contact.

But there was a serious downside to this type of magic. The men who possessed it relied on their magic rather than prowess. A lot of flashy bells and whistles without anything solid and real to back them up. The end result was always a letdown. It was one of life’s real cruelties, I was certain. At twenty-five, I’d learned my lesson.

Dream small.

I opened my eyes, smiling. “Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass. Anyway, as I was saying, I need to know where to drop off that blanket. I’d offer to mail it back, but shipping prices would be outrageous. Also, I don’t want to.”

His eyebrows pinched together, and this time, I had no trouble reading his expression. Surprised. Confused. “Women don’t say no to me, Alexis,” he said, his tone smooth and decadent, like rich chocolate. “They say please.”

My breath hitched, and not from hearing my name in that luscious voice. From him knowing my name at all.

But of course he knew my name. He’d looked up my address, hadn’t he? It wasn’t like my car was registered to Jane Doe.

“Are you sure they aren’t really trying to say, ‘Please pass the pepper spray’?” I asked with a flare of annoyance.

The glorious shivers and sparks of passion I’d felt moments before had morphed into warning tremors and unease. The blanket gesture had been a kind one (possibly), but all of his intrusiveness and arrogance set me on edge. He’d ruined my high, and with it, my mood.

I sighed, entirely put out. “You’re in my seat. Get out.”

“Sit.” He gestured at the chair holding the grizzled old man.

“It’s taken.” I pointed at the chair. Surely bluntness would work to get that fine ass off my seat. “Look, the chair you’re sitting on has special value for me. It’s important that you return it to the spot you took it from, next to that extremely grumpy paddy.” His face could give a stone a run for its money in the expressiveness department. “No compute?”

“It has your magic,” he said without inflection.

“Good guess. It does. Which is why I’m partial to it.”

“It wasn’t a guess. I felt it as soon as I walked into the bar. Why do you think I grabbed this chair in particular?”

Goosebumps covered my skin, and I stilled for a moment.

Only supremely powerful magical beings could feel magic left on an item like a barstool. And of those supremely powerful beings, none of them were usually the sexy-times magical type.

What was I dealing with here, and why wasn’t I walking away from this potential car wreck?

“I don’t know why you grabbed it,” I said. “Here’s what else I don’t know. Why are you here? Why’d you follow me around yesterday? Why’d you go to the trouble of looking me up just to give me a blanket, and then not even sign your name? And why did you give me that blanket in the first place?” I put up a hand. “Take your time. That was a lot of questions.”

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