I'm Only Here for the Beard(4)

By: Lani Lynn Vale

I walked into the door of the station, and my eyes immediately honed in on the heart-shaped ass in a pair of the company’s tactical pants swaying back and forth in front of the counter that divided the kitchen and the living area.

I closed the door a little harder than necessary in my surprise at seeing that ass, and winced when she turned around, her hand flying to her chest as if I’d startled her.

Which, I supposed that I did.

“Hi,” I murmured.

The woman was short. Really short. Though, that didn’t mean much when I was six foot four inches.

She had a head of blonde curly hair that was stuffed into a bun at the top of her head. A teal band was tied around her head to keep her curls out of her eyes—eyes that were so freakin’ captivating that I wanted to blurt out an ‘are they real?’ to her.

She looked very standoffish, though, so I decided to wait to bombard her with questions until she at least knew me.

I was an intimidating guy. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

People who knew me, though, knew that I wasn’t going to hurt them.

Unless they deserved otherwise.

The woman smiled at me, but didn’t offer me a ‘hello’ in return.

I walked inside and headed to my room, stopping when I saw that my room had already been taken.

“You’re gonna have to move your shit,” I told the woman over my shoulder. “This is my room.”

The swift inhalation of breath had me turning.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “That woman that just left, Randa, told me that this room was free.”

She had a husky voice. One that instantly had me wanting to hear her whispering dirty words to me in the darkness of my bedroom.

“Randa’s a bitch,” I growled. “She likes to fuck with people because she thinks she’s funny, but she’s not.”

The woman brushed past me, and I groaned at the smell of apples and cinnamon that wafted off of her.

Either she’d just eaten something or she had a lotion that smelled like heaven. Either way, I wanted to smell more.

She’d probably feel great…

Jesus fuck, that was the last thing I needed.

After Ellen had ripped my heart out three months ago, I couldn’t do the dating thing again. At least not yet. Not after all the shit she’d put me through.

My phone buzzed in my pocket and I winced.

It was either Memphis or Ellen, and I didn’t want to speak to either one of them at this point.

They were both concerned with my well-being. Whether I was coping well with the break up.

They were both good friends now, but I couldn’t complain to Memphis, my childhood best friend, without wondering whether Memphis would be on my side or not.

So I chose not to talk to either one of them.

“I knew someone was in here. I should’ve gone with my gut,” the woman muttered under her breath. “Thank you for not freakin’ out.”

My brows rose. “I wouldn’t freak out over something so trivial,” I informed her. “Now steal my cookies that I brought for dinner and I can’t make that same promise.”

She graced me with a smile and I forgot how to breathe.

She really was beautiful, even in the ugly white shirt that Allegiance made us wear.

It looked like it swallowed her whole, and I wondered if the one she was wearing was donated like my first one had been. At least her pants looked new.

The company was slowly transitioning to blue tops and blue bottoms with a white reflective stripe down the sides.

And fuck, but what looked butt ass ugly on most women, she filled out like a goddamned wet dream.

Even her little tactical boots were cute. I didn’t realize that women’s feet came in such a small size. Was she even in adult footwear?

“Can you even lift a person?” I found myself asking.

She froze, turned to face me and nodded her head. Her hands were wrapped around all of her things that she was hastily shoving back into her bag, and I nearly laughed at how pissy she looked.

“I’m sorry. It’s just that you’re tiny. I was curious.” I held my hands up, dropped my backpack to the ground and walked back to the living room where I parked my ass in my favorite chair right in front of the TV.

It took her ten more minutes of moving her things before she joined me, and by the time she sat on the couch I was curious if she had something against men. She kept staring at me like I was going to jump up and bite her.

I flipped to my favorite station and had just put my hands up behind my head when the tones dropped.

Every fucking time.

Get comfortable? Tones drop.

Taking a shit? Tones drop.

Getting gas? Tones drop.

Eating out? Tones drop.

Sighing, I slowly let the foot of the recliner down and walked behind the woman who was about ten steps in front of me.