“So then Tucker hauls back and punches Jessica in the mouth.”
“Right in the fucking mouth! That’ll teach her to think before she uses that word again,” Mikah said with some satisfaction.
“Oh my God, that is EPIC. Also proves that just because a guy is gay, doesn’t mean he can’t have a good left hook,” I said.
I laughed again, maybe a little too loudly. A couple of people studying at the desks near the window shot me dirty looks but I didn’t really care. This was the best story I’d heard in weeks.
“Do you think she’ll – ”
“Excuse me, but you’ll need to keep it down if you want to stay here,” a deep voice murmured in my ear, so close I could feel the person’s breath on my cheek. I jumped and spun around, ready to give this intimate intruder a piece of my mind.
“I’ll what…I mean, what…I mean, pardon?” was all I managed because I was now looking into the vibrant, and somewhat pissed off, blue eyes of a veritable bear of a man.
The guy was huge, with a thick but neatly trimmed brown beard and soft brown curls peaking out from under a backwards baseball cap. My eyes flew to his huge biceps which were covered with tattoos.
I glanced over at Mikah, who was staring at the dude with an equally awed expression.
“This is the campus library, in case you weren’t already aware, and you need to keep it down.” His voice dripped like molasses over me.
I cleared my throat and let my eyes drift down over the dark jeans that encased muscular thighs and thick calves, to the pair of quality Vans on the guys’ big feet. I fleetingly wondered if – no, it was best not to go there right now.
“I’m sorry if I was disturbing you,” I said, “My friend was telling a funny story.”
Bear guy smiled, and if that smile didn’t light up his whole goddamn face so hard I started to hyperventilate…
“Are you all right?” he said, while Mikah moved toward me.
“Cam? You okay?” Mikah asked.
I nodded, embarrassed and aroused and freaking the fuck out. Who was this guy anyway and why was he busting my balls, and working them up as well?
“I’m fine. Name’s Cam,” I said holding out my hand.
Both Mikah and the bear guy looked at me like I was insane.
The bear guy took my hand and smiled again. I almost fainted.
“I’m Grady. And, as the campus librarian I need to ask you to be quieter.”
“The campus lib-” I stuttered. “You’re the campus librarian?”
I saw Mikah slice a hand across his own throat as if to say shut the fuck up right now. But did I? Fuck no.
“THE LIBRARIAN?” I said, more loudly than I’d been speaking before Grady had intervened.
Grady squeezed my hand and grimaced slightly, nodding. “Yes. Why is that so surprising?”
I gulped, gesturing at his beard and his arms and his tattoos. “Because. Well, because…because I’ve never seen a librarian like you before.”
He seemed to find that very amusing and gave me the neuron-killing megawatt smile once more. I swear the guy was going to kill me.
“Well, get used to it. I’m gonna be riding your ass for the next few months since I can now plainly see you’re a troublemaker.”
Mikah’s chin dropped at this blatant display of what appeared to be … interest? Was Grady flirting with me? In a really obvious and aggressive way? He didn’t seem to be mad so it was a logical assumption.
I squeaked out a meek, “Okay then. I’ll try to behave myself, sir.” as I saw his gaze drift over me.
He licked his lips. “Good.” Then he turned and walked away and I grabbed the nearby table for support.
The back of his t-shirt read:
Librarian – the hardest part of my job is being nice to people who think they know how to do my job.
I grabbed Mikah’s arm in a death grip. “Mikah?”
“I’m going to marry that man.”
Mikah’s chin dropped again.
“Or fucking die trying.”