Getting Hotter Page 1

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Out of Uniform #8

Genres: Romance

Chapter One

“C’mon, girl, don’t be hatin’. Just gimme your digits. I promise you won’t regret it.”

Miranda Breslin slammed a bottle of Coors on the counter and flashed a polite smile at the very young, very cocky guy who’d been hitting on her for the past twenty minutes. “Sorry, not interested,” she shouted over the techno beat blaring out of the club’s speakers.

Her persistent suitor rested his elbows on the counter and leaned in close. “Aw, don’t be like that, girl.”

Thanks to the seizure-inducing strobe lights zigging and zagging from every direction, she could only make out bits and pieces of the guy’s appearance—African-American, shaved head, impressive body. But great abs aside, the guy couldn’t have been a day older than twenty-one, and his vocabulary was abysmal. Her six-year-old twins spoke more eloquently than this dude.

“Enjoy the rest of your night,” she said. And then she promptly extricated herself from the situation, untying her short black apron as she moved away.

She was due for a break, but when she saw the crowd gathered at the other end of the counter, she stifled a groan. Alex, the other bartender on duty, clearly had his hands full with a group of inebriated women decked out in shiny clubbing outfits.

When he noticed her retying her apron, he gave a firm shake of the head. “I’ve got this, hon!” he yelled over the deafening music. “Take your break!”

Sidling up to him, she moved her lips close to his ear and said, “You sure you can handle this rush?”

Alex gestured for her to go, his unruffled expression telling her he’d be fine. No surprise—absolutely nothing fazed the guy. She’d only been working at OMG for four months, not long enough to get overly chummy with any of the other bartenders, but she did have a soft spot for Alex, with his spiky blond hair and perpetual laugher.

Rounding the counter, she stepped into the throng of bodies filling every square inch of the dark nightclub. There was a small employee break room past the restrooms, but getting there required some effort. Since it was Friday night, the club was packed, and she had to push and wiggle her way through the crowd like she was playing an annoying game of Twister. By the time she made it to the back, she was sweaty, annoyed and reeking of the awful cologne one of the men out there must have bathed in.

She’d just neared the break room when someone grabbed her from behind.

“Where you rushing off to, girl? I thought we were connecting.”

Miranda’s shoulders stiffened. She slapped the intrusive hand off her arm and turned to scowl at the guy from the bar. “I told you, I’m not interested.”

“But I am,” he protested, the glazed look in his eyes leaving nothing ambiguous about his level of sobriety.

His gaze rested on the cle**age spilling from her low-cut red tank, then traveled down the length of her legs, bare beneath her black miniskirt. The tank-skirt combo was her “uniform”, and as the intoxicated guy leered at her, she mentally composed a letter to the club’s owner stating all the reasons why female employees should not be asked to dress like ho-bags.

“C’mon, just gimme your digits,” he pleaded.

Jeez, again with the digits? This kid was relentless. Might be time to dust off the old Erin Brockovich speech.

“Look,” she said through clenched teeth, “I’m not—”

A raspy male voice cut in. “Beat it, buddy.”

One second the flirty kid was in front of her, the next he was gone, scurrying away like he was being chased by the cops.

Miranda didn’t need to turn around to know who was standing behind her. While other women might have been overflowing with gratitude, she was just mildly irritated.

“I’m not going to say thank you,” she grumbled. “I already told you I can take care of myself.”

Seth Masterson stepped into view, his metallic gray eyes filled with that mocking glint she’d come to expect. “I know you can.”

She arched her brows. “Yeah? So then why’d you interfere?”

He shrugged. “My way got rid of that moron quicker.”

Despite herself, Miranda found it hard not to laugh. Yep, Seth’s “way” was extremely efficient. All he had to do was level some poor dude with that lethal stare of his, and—poof—the unwanted admirer disappeared. Seth had been pulling this same magician’s act for more than three months now, scaring off any man who dared to flirt with her. What started out as a quick stop-by a couple times a week, just to “check how she was doing”, had become almost a nightly routine. Now when she worked a shift, she was surprised if Seth didn’t show up.

Any other woman might have swooned from all the attention, but Miranda wasn’t one of them. Having her own personal bouncer was more aggravating than comforting. Oh no, Seth Masterson didn’t provide her with even an ounce of comfort. If anything, he achieved the opposite effect, unsettling her with his commanding presence. He had bad boy radiating from every sexy, muscular inch of him, from the perpetual beard growth on his face, to his scruffy dark hair, to the piercing gray eyes that were forever undressing her.

“Like I said, I could’ve handled it. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my dinner break.” She brushed past him and strode into the break room.

Seth, of course, followed her right in. One thing she’d discovered about him? He didn’t play by any rules, a trait she found ironic considering he was in the military, where rules were a way of life.

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