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About That Night (FBI.US Attorney #3)

By:Julie James

ter deal."

The voice belonged to their friend Shane, who, like everyone else at the table, had a drink in his hand and a good-humored glow about him. Rylann could guess the reason for the glow. In addition to being done with finals, summer break meant that Shane got to return home to Des Moines and see his girlfriend, with whom he was adorably smitten-although being a guy, he naturally tried to conceal that fact.

"It's not the place that matters, Shane," Rylann said. "It's how good you are when you get there."

"Nicely said." Rae laughed, high-fiving her.

"Scoff if you want," Shane replied. "But my car is packed, gassed up, and stocked with snacks for the road. At seven a.m. tomorrow, come rain or shine, I'm blowing this popsicle joint."

"Seven a.m.?" Rae looked pointedly at the drink in Shane's hand, his third so far that evening. "I'm thinking that's not going to happen."

He waved this off, the drink spilling slightly. "Please. Like a little hangover's going to get in the way of a man in love."

"Aw. That's very romantic," Rylann said.

"Plus, I haven't gotten laid in two months, and the reunion sex is awesome."

"And there's the Shane we know and love." Rylann took the last sip of her drink and shook the ice in her glass. "Speaking of hangovers, I think the next round is mine." She collected orders from the group, then scooted around the crowded table and headed over to the bar.

"Three Amstel Lights, one rum and Diet Coke, one gin and tonic, and a Corona with two limes," she told the bartender.

A voice, low and masculine, came from her right.

"Sounds like a party."

Rylann turned in the direction of the voice, and-


Guys like the one leaning against the bar next to her did not exist in Champaign-Urbana. Actually, guys like the one next to her didn't exist anyplace she knew of.

His dark blond hair was thick and slightly on the longer side, just brushing against the collar of his navy flannel shirt. He was tall, with piercing blue eyes and an angular jaw that was slightly scruffy, as if he hadn't shaved for a couple days, and had a leanly muscular body. He wore dark jeans and well-worn construction-type boots and, together with the flannel, looked ruggedly masculine and wholly, undeniably sexy.

Undoubtedly, she was not the first woman to blink twice at the sight of him, nor would she be the last. And he appeared to be fully aware of this fact. His blue eyes sparkled with amusement as he rested one elbow against the bar, all confidence as he waited for her response.


It was the first thought that popped into Rylann's head.

Her second thought was that her first thought was ridiculous, and she nearly laughed out loud at herself. Run. Really? He was just some guy in a bar; having spent five years in a college town that allowed people to enter bars at the age of nineteen, she'd seen plenty of those.

She gestured to the crowd around them. It was after eleven o'clock, and the place was packed to the gills. "Last day of finals. It's a party for everybody."

He looked her over with assessing eyes. "Let me guess. You're graduating this weekend. You just took your last exam, and tonight you're celebrating your entry into the real world." He cocked his head. "I'd say … advertising major. You scored a job with Leo Burnett and are about to move into your first apartment in Chicago, a quaint and overpriced two bedroom in Wrigleyville that you'll share with your roommate over there." He nodded in the direction of Rae, obviously having noticed which table Rylann had been sitting at.

She rested her arm on the bar. "Is this 'guess my major' routine your typical opening line or something you break out only on graduation weekend, hoping most women are too drunk to notice how generic it is?"

He looked offended. "Generic? I was going for confident and perceptive."

"You ended up somewhere around cliched and smug."

He grinned, revealing two small dimples that added a hint of mischief to his angular jaw. "Or maybe I was just so dead-on perceptive that it scared you."

The bartender pushed the six drinks Rylann had ordered in front of her. She handed over two twenties and waited for her change. "Not even close," she said to Smug Dimples, happy to prove him wrong. "I'm a grad student. Law school."

"Ah. You're putting off the real world for another three years, then." He casually took a swig of his beer.

Rylann fought the urge to roll her eyes. "I see. Now you're going for cliched and condescending."

Smug Dimples looked her over slyly. "I didn't say there was anything wrong with putting off the real world, counselor. You inferred that part."

Rylann opened her mouth to respond, then shut it. Okay, fair enough. But he wasn't the only one who could make quick assessments, and she'd bet that hers would be a lot more accurate than his had been. She knew his type-every woman knew his type. Blessed by an abundance of good looks and a corresponding amount of overconfidence, guys like him typically compensated by being short on personality. It was nature's way of keeping things fair.

The bartender handed back her change, and Rylann grabbed two drinks to make her first trip back to the table. She was about to throw out a sassy parting remark to Smug Dimples when Rae suddenly appeared at her side.

"I'll help you out with those, Rylann." With a wink, Rae skillfully grabbed four drinks with both hands. "Wouldn't want you to interrupt your conversation on our account."

Before Rylann could utter a word in protest, Rae had already begun to ease her way through the crowd back to their table.

Smug Dimples leaned in closer. "I think your friend likes me."

"She's known for her exceptionally poor taste in men."

He laughed. "Tell me how you really feel, counselor."

Rylann glanced at him sideways. "It's not 'counselor' until I graduate and pass the bar, you know."

Smug D