Lex examined the busty barkeep as her delicate fingers with nails bitten down to the quick gripped the bottle. Her thin frame spoke to the possibility of an eating disorder or drugs. Lex stole a glance at her inner arms; spying track marks, he marked her off the list. Fuck, his list got shorter every day. Love of his life? Axed. His hand? Axed. Junkie bartender? Axed. He glanced back at the hooker as another man pushed her away. Hooker? Maybe.
“For now,” he answered. Lex would take her … he didn’t want to, per se, but hell if his dick wasn’t commanding him to find something to fuck, and soon. He licked his lips in anticipation. If he closed his eyes, he might be able to trick his mind into seeing Thea. Maybe. He could only imagine the hot, wet slide of a woman. Shit, two years for some may not seem like particularly long, but Lex was about to implode, and it didn’t escape his notice that Irina’s curls reminded him of the honey-eyed beauty he’d left behind.
“Ah,” her voice deepened, “Irina. She’s a good choice.” Picking up a rag from the bar, blondie wiped up some shit he’d spilled earlier.
Lex turned back to her. “Is she?” After a few more shots, he wouldn’t care if she were an alien from outer space, but damned if Lex was going to admit that. The fact that he was in Blackies paying to play made him sick to his stomach, but he would take nausea over heartache any day. “Hell, every man in Blackies is passing up on it. Why would I be any different?” Another shot of liquid heat then he pushed the glass back to her. “More.”
She lifted a blonde brow. “You drinking up the courage to talk to her?” She chuckled, pouring him another shot.
“By the looks of it,” he threw back the shot, “I won’t have to do the talking.” He slid the shot glass to her again. “Since not a damned man in here wants her.”
The barkeep nodded. “Seems that way, doesn’t it?” She shrugged. “I’d hate to see her walk out of here without at least her off the hook money, but it’s looking like that’ll be the case tonight.” She poured another. Setting the bottle down, she leaned forward and propped herself up on the bar top. “Damn, even Scottie, a Blackie regular, turned her away.” She tisked and lifted up. Pointing to the shot glass, she asked, “Imma make my rounds, you good for now, honey?”
Nodding, Lex picked up the glass and thrust it forward. “Cheers.” He threw it back. She was gone in the next second, tending the other patrons seated at the bar. Lex had nothing to do but wait. He wasn’t sure what off the hook money was, but he knew for damned sure this Irina chick would make her way to him soon enough. While hot water and soap would do his ass good, he felt as though he were far from the ugliest fucker in the bar. She’d most likely head over to him far before some of the other men, and while his cock didn’t want to wait, his head told him he had all the time in the world. He possessed everything a hooker wanted … cash and that soulless black gaze. He spared her another glance and her eyes met his for the briefest of moments. Lex held contact as long as she let him. Offering a grin, he watched as the twinkle of possible money earned spark to life, before she turned his way and headed straight for him.
“Here.” The blonde barkeep placed a couple shots in front of him and winked. She headed away again, leaving Lex with Irina.
“Is this for me?” Her Russian accent took him by surprise.
Picking up the shot glass, Lex handed it to her. “You like tequila?”
She smiled, pink lips revealing pearly white teeth. “My favorite.” Lex had needed her closer to see for himself that there were no track marks in her arms, no missing teeth, or that I haven’t washed in weeks because I’m a crackhead scent exuding from her.
“Good.” He threw back his own shot as he watched her take hers like a damned champ. “Didn’t know there were Russians this far South.” Warmth spread throughout him as the liquid settled in his gut, mingling with all the beer and tequila he downed earlier.
Irina slid onto the barstool next to him, her glass in hand. Crossing her legs, the short leather mini skirt rode up just enough to give him a peek at tiny pink panties.
Lex reached out, taking a hold of her barstool in a firm grip, and yanked until their seats were mere inches apart, causing her to squeak in surprise. He’d expected to talk price next … what he hadn't expected was the coquettish smile and timid demeanor from the woman. Maybe it was the fact she’d been turned down cold by the last few men she’d propositioned, or maybe it was because he’d come in the bar looking like a damned mountain man from the damned swamps. Didn’t matter, he’d ease her concern. Pulling another hundred from his pocket, Lex motioned for the busty barkeep. Not missing the gleam in Irina’s eyes as they followed the bill to the sticky surface of the bar, Lex grinned. “Keep ’em coming.” He spoke to the blonde without taking his eyes off Irina.
“What’s your name?” Though he already knew, he thought to make conversation—to keep her from running scared from a man in dirty dickies and a stained-up T-shirt. He looked fucking worse for wear, but if he were to be honest, his dick and pissed off heart had done all the planning, making his brain take a backseat right along with common sense. Even a hooker would be hard pressed to want to take his ass out back for a fifty-dollar quickie. But here sat Irina, waiting for him to ask the age-old question pertaining to pussy for money.