Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers)By: Marissa Clarke
And as the world came back into focus, punctuated by clinks of glasses and nineties music, the buzzing in her body receded, and she took a reluctant step back. The cool air swirled where his hot body had just been, making her shudder. What should she do now? Was she supposed to say thank you? Or maybe, “Holy shit, buddy, you can kiss!”
Was there a protocol for addressing a stranger she’d walked up to and kissed? Probably not, so she simply cut her losses and walked away, heading straight back in the direction from which she’d come.
She stopped dead in her tracks, pulse hammering in her ears. No one called her that. At least not in the last ten years. She swallowed hard. No. It couldn’t possibly be… His face was too angular and he was too tall and muscular to be… Chance Anderson. Just saying the name in her head made gooseflesh rise on her arms.
He’d been only seventeen back then, still just a boy. This was a man.
And he smelled nothing like Chance, who had been cloaked in cigarette smoke and suntan lotion, and reeked of adventure and freedom.
This guy, with all his sharp angles and hard planes, smelled of toothpaste and clean clothes. His scent was refined, but his kisses certainly weren’t. She raised her fingers to her lips. God. Had she just kissed her big brother’s best friend? Surely not…
“Genny,” he said again in his rich, nuanced saxophone voice, and as he moved within reach, recognition funneled through her in a sickening trickle all the way down to her toes. The voice was almost the same. She’d know it anywhere.
How could this have happened? Of the thousands of people she could have randomly kissed in this city, it had to be Chance.
And as instinctively as her body had responded to his kiss, her mind and heart reacted to his voice. She reached out and laid her palm on his cheek, and then, with no prelude, she drew back and slapped him as hard as she could.
It had taken all of Chance’s self-control to not block her strike, and then even more restraint to remain perfectly still as Genny, brow furrowed, flapped her hand. As bad as it had stung his face, it was no surprise it had hurt her—which brought him no joy whatsoever.
Her mahogany-brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail that reached her shoulder blades, with a fringe of bangs framing her face. He could see the outline of her lace bra through the pale pink V-neck T-shirt under a blazer the same rich chocolate color as her eyes. That, in combination with her tight jeans with designer holes at the knees, made her all kinds of casual sexy.
Without a word, she walked toward her friend with the short skirt and spiked black hair, who helped her gather her things and led her out the door while he stood there dumbfounded.
He had no idea what had set her off. Honestly, right up until the moment she slapped the shit out of him, he thought she’d known who he was. If he’d had a shred of common sense or decency, he’d have slipped out of reach before she kissed him in the first place. Clearly, he had neither of those attributes.
And what the fuck was that about anyway? Who did she think she was kissing if not him?
He touched a finger to his lips. She’d tasted of beer, and salt, and…
Holy shit, shit, shit. He’d kissed Genny—the most taboo woman in the world. Genevieve Elizabeth Richards—his best friend’s little sister. His stomach plummeted to his feet. Walter would kill him for this if he found out.
It was imperative his friend never found out. Which meant he had to talk to Genny before she got to her brother.
“Hey, buddy. Hold on a minute,” the bartender called as he strode toward the door. “I need to talk to you.”
Not nearly as badly as Chance needed to talk to Genny. Not even slowing, he continued toward the exit hoping he could catch her before she got too far away.
“If you don’t stop, I’m calling the cops and telling them you’re a creeper stalking a blind girl.”
Son of a bitch. Just short of the door, he turned and faced the guy. The cops wouldn’t believe that for a second, but the last thing he needed was a scene. He’d broken his promise to Walter and he’d fucked up—again. He needed to keep things low-key and make this right. He held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “We’re cool. No need for that.”