Copyright ©2011 by Patricia Jager
Tessa leaned against the bar, giving her feet a break. The room was still packed and it didn't look like the bunch would leave any time soon. Marge and Vi had gone up and down the stairs so often they started serving drinks to keep from being dragged up there again. Which had brought Floyd's attention to her.
He gripped her arm tight and leaned across the counter, breathing his nasty air into her face. "You could help take up the slack with some of these boys lookin’ for a good time."
She jerked her arm from his grasp. "I told you. I don't do that."
"If you want to keep this job, you better start."
She whirled away from the bar as a man stepped through the door. He was a good six feet, broad shoulders, dressed better than a cowhand but not so flashy as a dandy. Standing just inside the door, he scanned the room. His gaze rested on her long enough to bring heat to her neck. She grabbed the whiskey bottle Wesley ordered and crossed to the gaming table.
"Tessa, darlin' sure you wouldn't want to run your hands over my winnings to bring me good luck?" Wesley drawled. He'd been matching the unsuspecting mark drink for drink, which was unusual. He usually pretended to drink, duping his mark into thinking he was just as drunk then taking him for everything he had.
She leaned down next to his ear and whispered. "Wesley, you shouldn't be playing cards in this state."
"You're right darlin'. In this state I should be showing you a good time."
Before she could gain her senses, he'd pulled her down onto his lap and covered her mouth with his. She shoved at his face, and he captured her hands holding them down between them as he continued to try and kiss her. He rubbed the backs of her hands against the bulge in his lap.
"No! Get! Let me go!" she screeched. Laughter erupted at the table. Rage and embarrassment heated her face and flamed her actions. She shoved her hands into his crotch, and he let go with an oath.
Tessa shot to her feet putting space between her and Wesley.
An iron grip shot pain up her arm and swung her around. "You don’t treat customers like that!" Floyd's hand shot in front of her face. She scrunched her eyes shut, waiting for the blow.
"No!" growled out a deep voice.