The big black-and-chrome Harley that’s smashed into my poor front fence is proof enough of some wealth. Fucker tore the hell out of my lawn on its way down. But it isn’t the bike’s fault.
I glare at the bum. Not that he’d notice.
He’s sprawled on his back, arms akimbo and clearly down for the count. I might wonder if he’s dead, but his chest lifts and falls in the steady pattern of deep sleep. Maybe I should worry about his health, but I’ve seen this before. Too many times.
God, he stinks. The cause of his stench is obvious. Sweat soaks his skin. Vomit trails down his black T-shirt.
My lip curls in disgust, and I swallow rapidly to keep from gagging. A snarl of long, dark brown hair covers his face, but I’m guessing the dude is youngish. His body is big but lean, the skin on his arms firm. Which somehow makes him all the more depressing. Prime of his life, and he’s fall-down drunk. Lovely.
I pick my way around him, muttering about drunk-driving assholes, and then march back with hose in hand, taking careful aim. Water shoots out at high speed, hitting its target with a satisfying hiss and splatter.
The bum jerks and rears up, sputtering and flailing around, searching for the source of his torment. I don’t let up. I want that stench gone.
“Get off my lawn.” Because he’s filthy all over, I aim lower, drenching his pants and crotch.
“Mother fucker!” He has a deep voice, and it’s raw. “Would you fucking stop?”
“Yeah…no. You smell like shit. And I sincerely hope you did not actually shit yourself, bud, because that is a seriously low point to come to.”
I draw the jet of water up his lean body to his head. Long, dark hair whips in all directions as he sputters again.
And then he roars. The sound rings my ears, and really ought to put the fear of God in me. But he’s too weak to stand. One muscled forearm swings up, though, slapping the wet hanks of hair back from his face.
I get a glimpse of dark eyes blazing with confused rage. Time to wrap this up. Letting go of the spray nozzle, I lower my weapon. “Like I said, get off my lawn.”
His jaw ticks. “Are you fucking insane?”
“I’m not the one covered in vomit and laid out on a stranger’s property.”
My lawn bum glances around like he’s just realized he’s on the ground. He doesn’t spare his clothes notice. Seeing as they’re soaked to his skin, he’s probably well aware of their state.
“Here’s a tip,” I say, tossing down my hose. “Don’t be such a cliché.”
This gives him visible pause, and he blinks up at me, water running in rivulets over his cheeks and into his thick beard. “You don’t know me enough to slap a label on me.”
I snort. “Literally fall-down drunk, crashing your bike—which I somehow doubt you actually ride other than on weekends. Over-long hair, a face that hasn’t seen the business end of a razor in weeks—again, probably because you want the world to believe you’re a badass.” I glance at his arms. Strong, ropy with muscles. “The only thing I don’t see are tattoos, but maybe you’ve got ‘Mom’ plastered on your butt for color.”
An indignant sound leaves him. Almost a laugh but too full of anger to fully get there. “Who are you?”
It’s impressive, the layers of disdain he manages to get into that one question. Especially given the state I found him in. Humility certainly doesn’t stick to this guy. Unlike his smell, unfortunately.
“The person whose land you fucked up. I’d slap you with a bill, but I don’t want to come too close to the stench.” Wiping my wet hands on my jeans, I give him one last glare. “Now go on and get before I call the police.”
It’s safe to say I’m worked up now. I march back up the long drive to my house instead of walking with quiet dignity as I’d planned. But it feels good; my pace is freeing. I’ve been so quiet these past few months. So contained.
So maybe I have something to thank Mr. Arrogant Drunk for.
However, my charity does not extend to him following me. Which he does. I see him rise in my peripheral vision. He wobbles, then steadies before peeling off his shirt and slapping it to the ground.
A strip show. Great.
I pick up my pace, cursing that my driveway is so long—at least two hundred feet from curb to doormat.
Another movement and he’s flung a boot my way. I glance back, slightly alarmed. And there go his pants. Six-feet-something of sinewy, pissed off, naked male starts stalking up behind me. There are the tattoos I’d guessed at. Or rather, one massive one of swooping, intersecting lines that covers his upper left arm and torso.
I concentrate on that instead of the heavy length of his dick hanging between his legs, swaying like a pendulum with each step he takes toward me.
I glare over my shoulder. “You come any farther up my drive and I’ll shoot you.”
“You would have a shotgun, wouldn’t you, Elly May,” he snaps back. “Talk about a cliché. All you need is a pair of overalls and a piece of straw to chew on.”
I can’t help myself, I spin around. “Are you calling me a country bumpkin?”
He halts too. Hands low on his hips, utterly unashamed of his nakedness, my lawn bum stands there, glaring at me like he owns the world. “Are you saying you aren’t, Huckleberry Pie?”
Heat swims over my skin. I stride right up to him—well, not too near; I’m still afraid of the stench. Up close, I can admit that he isn’t bad looking. Past all the scruff, bloodshot onyx eyes, and pasty morning-after complexion, he has blunt but even features, and lashes long enough to make a girl envious. This just makes me angrier.
“Listen, buddy, stalking a woman while naked can be construed as an act of sexual intimidation.”
He snorts. “That speaks volumes for your sex life, Elly May. But don’t you worry. Even if I had the slightest interest in doing you, I have a nice case of whisky dick working, so nothing’s getting up right now.”
“Happens a lot, does it?” I wrinkle my nose, refusing to look down. “And you talk about my sexual deficiencies.”
A glint comes into his eyes, and I could swear he wants to laugh. But he smirks instead, his lip curling in annoyance. “Give me an hour and some coffee, and then we can talk about it all you want.”
“Next thing you know, you’ll be demanding breakfast too.”