“Not that one,” a voice announced behind Alex.
She jumped, dropping the lapel pin she’d been checking out. It clattered onto the asphalt. “Shit!” Alex scrambled to retrieve it. “Why not?” There seemed to be a million and one different pins; what made this one any different than the others?
Turning to the speaker, Alex froze. Holy fucking Rao!
A pair of dimples flashed as the woman grinned at Alex’s reaction. A domino mask decorated in rainbow-colored sequins covered most of her face while similarly hued feathers extended from the top of the mask over her hair. “I don’t get the impression you fangirl over big, hairy men.” The woman took the pin from Alex’s hand and put it back on the revolving display.
Alex marshalled all of her self-control but couldn’t avoid gaping at the play of muscles on display from the tight (sinfully tight) sleeveless shirt the woman wore. The woman noticed, of course, and Alex yanked her gaze away. Her face heated so quickly it was like Kara had hit Alex with her heat vision. “No. Right. Um, sorry.”
The dimpled smile faded, and the woman cocked her head. “Ah. Baby gay.”
It wasn’t the first time Alex had heard the phrase that day. Each time accompanied with a pitying look. Nothing pissed her off like being pitied.
Before Alex could snap back, the woman held up her hands. “Ignore me. Guess I’ve been out so long I’m jaded.”
A little of Alex’s confidence returned. “That makes you a lesbian cougar? Or is there a special term for older women on the make?” Crossing her arms, she used her slight height advantage to loom into the woman’s personal space. “I bet you have a lot you could teach a poor baby like me,” she whispered.
“It might be too much for you,” the woman fired back. She took a step forward, so close to Alex that her body heat added to the sweltering National City summer.
Alex shivered at the words. At the inherent promise in the woman’s proximity. “Not a chance. I’m a fast learner, and I never back away from a challenge.” Her mind screamed warnings that her body ignored. It wanted whatever this woman with her dimples and muscles and drugging brown eyes had to offer. Dropping her head, Alex leaned down until their lips almost touched.
“Maybe you should get that bear pin.” The woman’s breath puffed against Alex’s lips. “A baby lesbian cub, hmm?”
The moment shattered. “Sawyer!”
The woman – Sawyer, apparently – stepped back, cursing under her breath.
“The city ain’t paying you to hookup!” Sawyer’s friend was persistent.
“I’m sorry,” Sawyer grumbled. “I’ve got to go.”
Alex wasn’t ready to give up the opportunity. “Any chance I’ll see you later, pretty lady?”
Those killer dimples were out and proud again. “You do learn fast.” Sawyer reached passed Alex and pulled a pin from the display.
A double-headed axe. “Not very colorful,” Alex playfully lamented.
“But it definitely suits you.” Sawyer turned away then stopped. “If you think you’re ready for the next lesson, I’ll be at Pug Mahone’s around six.” With a wink and a wave, she spun on one sneaker-clad foot and trotted away.
Alex absolutely did not stare at Sawyer’s ass as she disappeared into the crowd.