Live Without Regret (A Touch of Fate)

By: K.L. Grayson

“I’m sorry,” I say sheepishly. “I, uhh…I must’ve zoned out. What was the question?”

“He asked if he could take you out on a date.” My head whips to the right at the familiar voice. Looks like the night just got a whole lot more interesting.

Connor’s blue eyes lock on mine. “I take it you haven’t told him yet.”

I have no idea what he’s up to, but I decide to take the bait. “I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.” Raising my eyebrows, I wrap my lips around the rim of my glass and take a sip. Connor cocks a brow, his gorgeous eyes dancing with mischief.

“She doesn’t date.” He directs his words at Brad. “She fucks.”

My eyes leave Connor’s long enough to see Brad perk up in his seat.

“You don’t date?” Brad asks.

“I don’t,” I tell him.

“She fucks,” Connor clarifies.

Brad nods, his brown eyes now thick with lust. “She fucks,” he says slowly as though he’s trying to understand what Connor just said.

Connor grins. “But not you.”

“Why not me?”

Shifting in my seat, I narrow my gaze on Connor. “Yeah, why not him?”

“Do you want to fuck him?” he fires back, tossing a thumb toward Brad.

“Now wait a minute,” Brad says as he slides off his chair. In one stealthy and incredibly sexy move, Connor pushes his way between Brad and me, effectively blocking out our third wheel. His hands land on either side of my chair and he bends down until we’re eye to eye. As his breath fans my face, I wonder if he tastes as good as he smells.

“Have a drink with me?” he asks.

Holding up my martini glass, I give a little wave. “I am having a drink.”

Connor pushes against my legs and I automatically part them, allowing him to step in between. Heaven help me, he feels good settled between my thighs. I just wish we could resume this position later sans clothes. “Have a drink with me over there,” he says, nodding toward a booth.

“Like a date?”

He shakes his head, a grin pulling at the corner of his mouth. “Well, since you don’t date, I know better than to ask you out on one. It’s just a drink. Two, if I’m lucky.”

“Excuse me.” Brad steps around Connor, who throws up a hand.

“We’re not done,” Connor says dismissively.

Brad’s eyes widen and flick to mine. I need to put the poor boy out of his misery. As much as I’d love to spend a few nights with him warming my bed, it’s probably a lost cause. He’s too young, and I’m not ready to be classified as a cougar. Not yet anyway.

Setting my drink on the bar, I push up from my seat. Connor’s face falls when he’s forced to move back. I smooth my hands down the front of my blouse and step up to Brad. This is the part I hate.

Rejection. Been there. Done that. I’ve got a broken heart to prove it.

And that’s exactly why I need to do this now. “Thank you for the drink,” I say, knowing that honesty is always the best policy. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Connor grin. “I think you’re a great guy, but this”—I wave a hand between the two of us—“isn’t going to happen.”

I don’t give Brad a chance to reply, because giving him that chance also gives him hope … and there is no hope. Spinning around, I come face-to-face with Connor. “I’m ready for that drink,” I say. His grin grows into a breathtaking smile, causing my heart to stutter inside my chest. “Or two.”

Connor grabs my hand, and I snag my drink from the bar. He leads us toward a booth tucked in a corner where we slide in opposite each other. I glance toward the bar, thankful when I see a busty blonde sidle up next to Brad. I knew it wouldn’t take him long.

“Hi.” Connor’s smooth voice rolls over me, wrapping me up like a warm blanket.

Turning my attention to Connor, I smile. “Hi.”

“I’m starting to think you’re stalking me.” He smirks before quickly adding, “Which, for the record, I’m totally cool with.”

“Funny, because I was just thinking the exact same thing.”

“That I’m stalking you or that you’d be totally cool with me stalking you?” Connor’s playful words, coupled with my alcohol-infused state, cause me to let down my guard.

“Both.” I lean forward, placing my elbows on the table, and Connor mimics my position. His woodsy scent floats through the air and I take a deep breath, trying to memorize the smell. “Have you changed your mind?” I ask.

“Funny, I was just thinking the exact same thing,” he says, tossing my words back at me.

Lifting my glass, I take a sip. It’s the only way to keep myself from smiling like a fucking idiot, which is exactly what I want to do. “So”—I set my glass down—“do you come here often?”

Connor blinks several times, the look on his face telling me he wasn’t expecting me to say that. Honestly, it isn’t what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was ‘hell yes, I’ve changed my mind,’ but I knew better. My heart remembers the sharp pain that lanced through it, effectively slicing it into thousands of tiny pieces. It remembers the sound of my cries as I begged Tyson to stay, to love me, to choose me. Worse yet, it knows I don’t have a heart left to give away.

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