His Fantasy Girl (Things To Do Before You Die)

By: Nina Croft

The question dragged him from his thoughts, and he frowned. He realized he’d been staring at the toes of his boots where they rested on the chair opposite, when he should have been watching the woman on the stage. But it had taken him all of about five seconds to decide she wasn’t suitable. They were a classy nightclub not a seedy strip joint. The dancers were there to provide a little glamour not a service for the customers.

He glanced at Jerry, his artistic manager, who sat beside him, in a crisp business suit. “No, not bored, just a little preoccupied.” With Ms. Prim and Proper.

Still the question made him think. This had once been one of his favorite jobs—interviewing dancers for the clubs. Christ, what man wouldn’t enjoy the show?

He studied the woman gyrating on the stage. She had impossibly red hair and impossibly huge tits only marginally covered by a sequined bikini top. Classy she was not. Nor was she prim and proper. She saw she had his attention and increased her efforts, gyrating to the low throb of the music. Reaching behind her, she tugged at the ties of her bikini top. Normally, at this stage he’d stop her and point out the whole classy nightclub thing, but he was worried.

What the hell was wrong with him?

Shouldn’t he be feeling something right now? Something other than pissed off at a woman he hadn’t seen in eleven years, and who wasn’t even here, and probably never would be.

The dancer was doing this clever move, which made her nipples sort of rotate. Very impressive. But somehow he wasn’t impressed. He looked down and contemplated the bulge in his jeans—not even a twitch. Once he would have taken the dancer up on the very clear invitation in her big brown eyes, just because he could, and because he loved women, all sorts of women, the more variety the better. And they would have both had a good time. Women liked him.

But the thought made him want to yawn.

Shit, he was only thirty-two. Wasn’t that too young for a midlife crisis?

He loved running the nightclubs and had been doing it for ten years, ever since he’d gotten out of prison. His father, Rory, had believed he needed to keep busy to stay out of trouble. Though it wasn’t needed; Logan had already decided he was never getting into trouble again. No way. But he’d loved the nightclub business from the start—the challenge, always something different going on, and an inexhaustible supply of gorgeous women to fuck. When had that lost its appeal? He couldn’t remember the last woman he’d—

“I take it this one is a no,” Jerry said, interrupting his thoughts. “Pity. I like her. Looks like a nice girl.”

Logan snorted, watching as Jerry got to his feet and crossed the room. He spoke quietly with the woman, who flashed Logan a look of abject disappointment, as though he’d broken her heart or something. She picked up her top, clutching it to her bosom, and spoke again. Jerry flashed him a look of amusement but nodded and helped the woman down from the stage. She tottered over to Logan, hovered in front of him. Actually, she did look like a nice girl; there was a hint of sweetness beneath the heavy makeup.

Across the room, the door opened and a woman slipped inside. Logan glanced over and did a double take. Abigail Parker. He almost laughed out loud, and suddenly he had an urge to high five.

Not cool.

Still, he couldn’t keep the grin from his face.

The nearly-naked dancer must have thought the smile was for her. She took a step closer. “I thought we might go for a drink,” she said, halting in front of him.

“Sorry, sweetheart, no can do.” She’d probably heard he was a sure thing. And maybe once he would have been.

He peered past her to make sure Abigail was still there. She stood inside the door, looking around as if unsure of her next move.

The dancer shuffled her feet. “I really need this job. I have a baby and a dog and…”

There was a hint of desperation in her voice and he glanced back at her. He hated that. He looked from her to Jerry, who shrugged. “Okay,” Logan muttered. “Take her on. But a week’s trial only.”

“Oh, thank you.” She leaned down, dropped the top and kissed him on the lips, squashing her breasts against him. Nope, still no reaction from his dick. He glanced over her shoulder to where Abigail stood. She’d finally spotted him, and an expression of… He couldn’t really define it. Pained horror, maybe, was stamped on her face. She caught him watching her and the expression was wiped clean. Then her tongue came out, swiping across her lips in a nervous gesture, and he felt a definite twitch.

And there was that urge to high five again.

He’d almost forgotten the nearly-naked woman clinging to him, but was grateful when Jerry took pity on him and tugged her free. “Go get dressed and I’ll go through the terms and conditions of the job.”

She smiled and hurried away.

Jerry crossed the room and flicked on the main lights. In the sudden brightness, Logan got his first good look at Abigail, a complete contrast from the dancer.

While she held herself with a certain confidence, as though used to difficult situations, there was an uneasiness in her face, a little line between her eyes. But she was here. That was all that mattered. Logan relaxed in his seat, put his feet back on the chair opposite, took a sip of scotch, and studied her some more.

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