Arm Candy

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{Hold the eggplant. 🍆}

GRACE

The spark in his eyes matches the thrum in the air between us. It’s the sexual tension I’ve always felt around him. It lingers because we have no outlet. Like an overfilled balloon, we’re in need of a release valve—or a sharp pin.

“Fine. I don’t mind easy money.” I lift my chin. He wants to play? I’ll play. Time for Davis to put his money where his contoured, firm mouth is. “I’ll bet you one hundred dollars you won’t ask out the next nonblonde who approaches you.”

He grunts, his eye roll suggesting he could do that in his sleep.

I grin, knowing I have him. “Two hundred if she’s a redhead.”

His cocky smile falls, which was the reaction I expected. What I don’t expect is for his hand to shoot out and grip my wrist, his thumb rubbing the soft skin there.

His voice is barely above a whisper when he says, “I win.”

It takes me a full count of three to understand his meaning. Much like the blonde who was standing in front of me a few minutes ago, I snatch my arm away. “Not me!”

“You approached. I asked.” He shrugs. “Those were the terms.”

“I-I didn’t approach you.” I don’t want to date Davis. I don’t like Davis.

“You leaned in and said, ‘Two hundred if she’s a redhead.’ Gracie, that is an approach.” He winks and that blush warming my neck burns into rage.

“I meant to challenge you,” I growl.

He gives me a curt nod and folds his hands like an executive at a desk. “Challenge accepted.”

His handsome face is scarily sincere.

“You have three Davis packages from which to choose.” He ticks them off using his fingers. “The Davis. The Davis Deluxe. The Platinum Davis.”

“You’re making this up.” Isn’t he?

“The Davis,” he continues, “is standard for any date save one detail.”

“Which is?” I fold my arms, still not buying it. What kind of guy offers dating packages, other than an escort?

“Hold the eggplant.”

He’s not laughing with me.

“Not literally. ‘Hold’ in this scenario means no holding. You can’t touch me below the belt.”

My gosh. He is an escort.

“You need to make that distinction, do you?” I hoist a brow and try and appear like I’m not thinking about what Davis’s . . . eggplant . . . might look like. Like I’m not thinking about how many women bypassed that option because they were glad to touch it. “Why an eggplant?”

“Well, it used to be ‘Hold the pickle,’ but then the eggplant emoji gained popularity. I had to update.”

“Ah, I see. So sexting is part of the basic package?”

“No, that’s the deluxe,” he says so sincerely that I’m beginning to believe him. “Sexting is a substantial time requirement.”

“You’re insane,” I titter on a nervous laugh. At least the heat is receding from my face now.

“I’m efficient. Which package would you prefer, Grace?” Something seductive slides into his voice. Even during this bizarre conversation, that same charge sizzles in the air.

“Unless you’re chicken,” he says, easing us onto familiar ground.

“I’m the one who issued the bet,” I remind him. “I’m certainly not afraid of you or your . . . packages.”

I kind of am, though. I just explained to Rox why I wasn’t dating. But maybe . . . I mean, there’s no way Davis will stick around for more than one date, so what’s the harm?

“Prove it,” he says. “When’s your next day off?”

 

I WANT IT