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TYPO – Take Your Pants Off
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A typo in a text brought us together.
Aylee is scared of a couple things: Being in the water for one and being with a man for another.
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“If you two have nothing better to do but stand around, mind helping me with this gear?” I mutter, seeing Terrance and Pax standing by the entrance of the hangar, chuckling at something.
I just finished a six-hour advanced rafting trip and my muscles are aching. I toss the wet life jackets out of the back of my Jeep, ready to call it a day.
“She’s leaving,” Pax says, ignoring me and slapping Terrance on the back. “You owe me twenty bucks.”
“Bullshit,” Terrance mutters, a grin stretching across his face as he points toward the old pink Beetle that moves a few feet then stops. “It’s not a done deal until she actually leaves the parking lot.”
I shake my head at them, squinting to see if I can see who’s driving the car, but all I can catch a glimpse of is a mess of brown hair, and two fists white-knuckling the steering wheel. Most likely a potential client who hasn’t made up their mind if jumping out of an airplane or bungee jumping from a hundred feet over the Colorado River is fun or just plain stupid.
“Have either of you two assholes tried talking to her?” I ask.
Pax and Terrance just shrug, stupid-ass grins stretching across their faces like they’re enjoying watching the woman squirm with her decision to get out of the car.
At Adrenaline Rush, we specialize in fear. Overcoming them, more specifically. We take people to the edge of what they think they can ever do and push them one step farther.
It’s not just about overcoming physical fears, it’s also about overcoming those emotional and psychological fears that hold people back from taking real risks in their lives. Which is why Terrance and Pax making a bet on the girl really pisses me off.
“You,” I tell Pax, who’s one of our part-time skydiving instructors. “Go dry out this equipment. Now,” I growl out when he starts to argue. “Or I’ll take your name off the next two jumps.”
Pax grumbles, but he walks toward the pile of lifejackets and starts to sort through them.
“That was a bit harsh,” Terrance says, one dark brow raised, gray eyes dancing with humor. “We’re just having a bit of fun. It’s been slow today. And Pax is right, she’s not coming in. She’s been sitting out there for twenty minutes. And—” His eyes widen when he glances over my shoulder. “Shit. That’s Aylee Grant.”
I turn, following his gaze, my breath hitching when I see the beautiful brunette that’s just gotten out of the pink Beetle. The woman fidgets with her keys looking toward the hangar where we’re standing, but I know the shadows keep us hidden from her view. And I’m glad, because it gives me a moment to take her in.
The woman is wearing a bright yellow sundress that shows off her sun-kissed shoulders, long legs, and beige, strappy sandals that are completely inappropriate for any of the activities we do here. Oversized sunglasses hide most of her face, but the way she worries her bottom lip between her teeth, I know she’s thinking about getting back in her car and taking off.
“You know her?” I ask, something possessive stirring in my chest.
“Yeah, she’s one of Joanne’s friends.”
“Luca’s Jo?” I ask, my gaze still trained on the woman who hasn’t taken a step away from her car.
Terrance nods. Luca, one of three guys I opened Adrenaline Rush with, is one of the luckiest bastards I know. Not only is he married to his best friend, but they’re already expecting their first kid together.
Sure, most guys my age wouldn’t be jealous of that. But I want to settle down, eventually. I want the whole family thing. The kids. The house. Maybe a dog, or two.
I want all the things I never had growing up.
You’d think that being brought into the world by a junkie mother, growing up never knowing who my father was, then being tossed into the system at the age of four, would have hardened me. And maybe in a way it did. But it also made me realize what I truly want in life.
Love. Acceptance. A woman I can share all my hopes and dreams with.
I rub the back of my neck, knowing if the guys ever heard me talk like that, they’d never let me live it down. But it’s the truth.
I just haven’t found the right woman yet.
Not that I’ve been actively looking. Shit, I can’t remember the last time I had a chick in my bed. And not because there haven’t been offers. There are always offers. Especially after the billboard advertisements that are all over town, displaying the four of us, Terrance, Nash, Luca, and myself – shirtless.
Whatever brings the customers in, right?
But the customer I’m most interested in, the gorgeous brunette in the parking lot, looks ready to bolt. She’s already turning back to her car and opening the door.