I’m sharing a short excerpt from Nerdy Thoughts, book two in Talk Nerdy to Me. One of the things I loved about writing this book was the juxtaposition of the innocent hero and experienced heroine, and I think that shows in the fun I had writing some scenes *winks*
Jamie Kurt is the most popular bartender at Nerdvana, the hottest bar in Cascade Falls. Her outlandish cosplay outfits, wicked wit, and flare for whipping up cocktails make her a target of one-sided crushes from the Nerdvana clientele. So when a customer named Les Wyatt captures her attention, she’s torn between wanting to know more and fighting the urge to stay away.
Les is a shy, sweet political cartoonist and larper. Jamie is vibrant, complicated, and allergic to commitment. He’s everything she shouldn’t want and Jamie’s convinced he shouldn’t get involved with her.
Despite their obvious differences, neither of them can deny their fiery attraction and combustible chemistry. Les asks Jamie to give him a chance to show her how good they can be together through a casual relationship. As they continue to date, and feelings grow, Jamie throws up every defense she has to try to push Les away.
But Les is determined to have Jamie any way he can and once he gets her, he has no intention of letting her go.
As soon as I saw Jamie exit the bar I hopped out of my SUV, I wanted to make sure she knew I was here. I walked toward the passenger door as she did.
“Hey, thanks again for doing this.” Jamie reached for the passenger door handle. I beat her to it and opened it for her, sweeping my arm wide, gesturing for her to get inside. “Do you need help? It’s kind of a tall vehicle and I’d hate for you to break your ankle in those.” I pointed to her heeled boots and offered my open palm to her, but she brushed it off.
“I think I got this, but thanks, my good knight.” She curtseyed and gave me one of her big, flirty smiles.
I knew she was capable of getting in by herself, but honestly, I just wanted an excuse to touch her. She’d placed her hand on my arm or over my hand more times than I could count, but that’d been different, I reasoned, as I closed the door behind her and walked around my vehicle to the driver’s side. She flirted with all the customers. Maybe I’d been stupid to fancy whatever I thought I’d read in her eyes before to be anything but her usual flirtation.
“So where am I headed?” I asked as I fastened my seatbelt.
“Uh, fuck it, just give me your number. I can text you the address and you can put it in your GPS. It’ll be easier than me trying to explain. My sense of direction sucks balls, which is why I take public transit.”
I bit back a smile and recited my number to her. God help me, but her potty mouth made my blood quicken. Screw the idea that women were supposed to be delicate flowers that didn’t utter a foul word. My tough as nails mom shattered that stereotype. My phone pinged. And now I had Jamie’s phone number. Hell yeah. I entered her address in my GPS and then anchored my phone on the cradle above the stereo. I glanced at the screen and listened as the robotic voice with the British accent told me where to go.
“That’s awesome. He totally sounds like Bruce Banner’s butler Alfred!”
“Um, I think you mean Bruce Wayne. Bruce Banner is the Incredible Hulk’s counterpart.” I made a tisking noise. “And here I thought you’d picked up a thing or two hanging out with us nerds every night at the bar.”
“Whatever,” she said with a dismissive wave. “Those damn comic book characters all start to run together after a while.”
“Ouch. You know comics are, like, my life, right?” I stole a glance at her, gesturing to the costume she wore beneath the coat. “And what the hell? You’re dressed like Harley Quinn. Are you telling me you’re not a fan, that it’s all just for show at the bar?”
“No, I like some of the movies based on comics. I’m just not that absorbed in the comic world, unlike some people I know who shall remain nameless.”
“Ah, that poor, nameless loser. Completely and totally absorbed in the fake comic world.”
“Hey, now, I didn’t say that. I didn’t even imply it. You’re no loser, Les.”
She reached over and stroked the top of my hand as I shifted into second gear. My pulse leapt. Christ, what was it about her touch that drove me insane? Maybe it was the fact that she was the hottest girl I’d ever met? Combined with the fact that she wasn’t stuck on her looks and she didn’t treat me like I was a leper, like so many good-looking women did.
“That’s pretty impressive, you know?”
“What is?” I asked and stole another glance at her. She treated me to a big grin. Her expression clearly said she was up to no good. Okay, that was exciting. What was going on in that pretty head of hers?
“The way you handle your…stick.”
My balls tightened at the innuendo. I knew she meant the gearshift, but the idea of Jamie thinking about me handling my other stick made the blood course through my body, hot and rushing. I had no idea how to respond to a woman making sexual innuendos toward me. It had never happened before, and hell, maybe it wasn’t even happening now. I didn’t want to misinterpret her and come off sounding like some horny perv.
“You mean my gearshift?”
“Yeah, but I prefer stick.” She let out a throaty giggle. Shit, was this beautiful, sexy woman flirting with me? Or just teasing me? “Double entendre aside, I am impressed. I mean, to drive a stick shift in Cascade Falls, with our hellish traffic and crazy ass hills downtown? Respect.” She thrust her fist toward me. I bumped it and felt warmth spread across my knuckles where our skin touched. Feeling like a complete fool, I roughly shifted into third as my vehicle picked up speed.
The GPS blarred, and I was happy for the interruption. I had no idea what to say or do next. The British voice let us know we were less than a quarter mile from our destination. My heart plummeted. She’d be out of my car soon. I wanted to stay near her. She smelled like spice and a floral scent I couldn’t pinpoint, but damn it, I wanted to bury my nose in her neck and try like hell to figure out what flower it was that smelled so delectable. Shit. My cock pulsed and started to thicken behind the fly of my jeans at the thought of me getting that close to her. I did not need to get a boner in front of Jamie.
“Here. This is my place. Don’t even worry about trying to find a spot and parallel park. I can just hop out here.”
I ignored her and kept driving until I found an open spot around the block.
“What the—?” She gave me a sideways glance, then let out a huff when she realized what I was doing. “I told you not to worry about parking. Really. It’s fine, Les.”
“It wouldn’t be right to just let you out here at this hour. I’ll see you safely inside.” I finished parking and hopped out of the car. She was already opening the door and making her way from the passenger side when I reached her. Damn it, I’d wanted to be the one to open her door for her. For a moment, we stood on the sidewalk, Jamie giving me the weirdest stare, like I was a puzzle she just couldn’t figure out.
“Look, I understand you can probably take care of yourself and you don’t need me around to defend your honor.” She let out a trill of laughter.
“Oh, sweetie. I am so flattered you think I have honor worth defending.”
“You do. And I realize you don’t need me. Honestly, you could probably kick my ass, but I’ll sleep a lot better tonight knowing that you got in your apartment safely. So, come on.” I offered her my arm.
“Ever the honorable knight, to the very end.” Jamie affected a British accent and took my arm. Electricity zinged through me and I tried to keep my composure as we walked arm in arm toward her building.
Jamie entered a code at the door and then looked at me, obviously trying to see if I’d give up or if I meant it when I said I wasn’t leaving until I saw her safely to her front door. I let go of her arm and settled behind her as we made our way up a narrow stairwell. Despite my best efforts, my gaze dropped and settled on the way her hips swayed and the roundness of her ass.
“Enjoying the view, my good knight?”
Damn, did she have eyes in the back of her head or was I that pathetic and predictable?
She stopped in front of a door with the number nine on it and jingled her keys. I shook my head. “The deal was that I would see you safely into your apartment.” I gestured to her to unlock her door.
“You know, Les, if you wanted to come up so badly, you could’ve just said so. I’d have gladly let you in. Still will. Just drop this bullshit chivalrous act.” She held her key poised above the deadbolt.
“It’s not a bullshit act. I mean, I never had a sister, but I—” Oh, hell. I stopped myself just short of mentioning my mother. No need to get into all that. Jamie looked at me expectantly, still not opening her door. “What I mean is, I know you’re suspicious that I’m trying to worm my way into your place for some ulterior motive. I’m not. I just think a single woman should have some protection when she’s entering an empty apartment at three-thirty in the morning,” I said, consulting the time on my phone.
“I’m fine, Les. Besides, I have a roommate. You’ve met her at the bar. Olivia? Brown curly hair, cute as a button, great rack, and bodacious booty.”
“I know who she is. She’s dating the owner of Nerdvana.”
“Shit, you picked up on that? And those two think they’re so damned slick.”
“Is your roommate home?”
She sawed her bottom lip with her teeth. I dropped my gaze to her plush lower lip and the bright red color.
“No,” she said in a whisper.
“See? I can’t let you enter an empty apartment alone. So…” I gestured to her keys.
“Fuck, you’re relentless.” She opened the door with jerky movements and flung it open. “It’s perfectly safe, but please, after you.”
“Annoyed would be a better word for it.”
“This is a pretty sweet setup for two college kids.” I noted, as I walked in and assessed the living room and open kitchen.
“I may be in college, but I’m hardly a kid. I’m almost twenty-five.”
“Are you a grad student?”
She shook her head at me. “Look, Les, if you insist on playing twenty questions can you at least let me take these boots off and grab a drink?”
I nodded. Jamie closed the door and peeled off her coat. She unzipped the sexy footwear, letting them drop on the hardwood with a thunk and plodded the few steps into the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water. I knew I should leave, that I was probably annoying her, but I just couldn’t go yet. She rested against the breakfast bar, one bare foot on the peg of a bar stool, the other on the hardwood floor.
“I’m sorry if I was pushy, insisting on following you up, but I just feel…protective of you.”
A flicker of something resembling pain and then what looked like surprise flashed across her face, then the expressions were gone. She parted her lips and looked up at me, her brown eyes round and soft.
“Come closer to me, Les.”
Her voice was barely a whisper. I eased closer, eliminating the few feet between us until I was standing in front of her. Without her heeled boots her head only came to the middle of my chest. She reached out and grabbed the lapels of my coat and pulled me against her.
“You’re so sweet and cute. You know that, right? You’re fucking adorable.”
Then her mouth was on mine and I was lost. Utterly lost in the warmth of her mouth, the swift glide of her tongue over my lips and into my mouth and the sweet taste of her. Her hands still fisted my coat and I wound my fingers through her hair.
“Get this off.” She demanded and started taking my coat off.
I helped her by shrugging out of my coat and held my breath as I awaited her next move. I wasn’t sure what she wanted. God knew what I wanted. I wanted her. Any way I could have her.
“Les, put your hands on me.”