“Is it always this dead around here?” I ask the bartender, glancing at the empty restaurant as I take another sip of my bubbly strawberry drink. Maybe I should’ve gone to the Italian place instead, but this one is supposed to be the best restaurant at the resort. Looking around at all the empty chairs, it makes me think maybe the website lied.
“Just a slow week,” he says, drawing my eyes back to him. Just like everyone else around here he has an incredible tan, making his bright blue eyes seem even brighter in the dimly lit restaurant.
I guess working on an island would give anyone a tan. I had lain by the pool half the day and just turned red, but luckily it faded fast and I wasn’t burnt. I never tan. I go from pale white to cherry red and then back to pale again.
“I noticed the pool was empty, too,” I tell him. In fact, everything has been kind of dead. I’d only got in this morning, but there doesn’t really seem to be anyone around except for people who work here. Maybe that’s why they’re giving out free trips to anyone who would participate in a free survey--a survey that had taken me twenty minutes to fill out. It had the silliest and most ridiculous questions, but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The resort might be deserted, but it’s beautiful.
“No one to keep you company?” he teases, leaning over the bar and shooting me a crooked smile.
A little pink hits my cheeks when I realize he’s flirting with me.
“Unless you count my book or the poolside server, then no.” I smile back.
I’m not used to being flirted with. I’d gone to an all-girls liberal arts college in New York, graduating only three months ago. Afterwards, my brothers forced me back home. The four of them own a private security firm together, and men aren’t allowed within ten feet of me. Normally it’s not a problem because my brothers look kind of scary unless you know them. All of them have been in some form of service at one time or another. They’re probably losing their shit right now after finding out I’m not tucked away at home. I can’t help but giggle internally as I think about how I gave them the slip. Finally, a point for the little sister.
“Well I’m off tomorrow so if you--”
“She’s busy,” I hear an all-too-familiar voice say from behind me, making my heart skip a beat. Turning my head slowly, I see the man who stars in my dreams every night. He’s been there for the last three months, since I first met his arrogant, handsome self at a fundraiser. It was a charity event one of my brothers had taken me to. They had an extra ticket since their firm was covering the security.
The event’s honorary guest was none other than Kenton Monroe, one of the richest men in New York. No, scratch that, one of the richest men in the world. I’d only known that because of my brothers. I don’t pay much attention to people of wealth or the society pages in New York. It isn’t my scene, but in all fairness, I don’t really have a scene. And now that I’ve graduated, I feel even more adrift.
It didn’t take much to realize how powerful he was. Everyone in the room seemed to notice him. Then his eyes had trained on me with a look of distaste and his jaw had hardened. His eyes narrowed--exactly like the look he’s giving me right now. Only this time, his eyes are on the bartender.
“Mr. Monroe. I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t know she was one of yours.”
One of his? How many does the man have? Probably a lot with how many women fell all over him the night of the fundraiser. Those women looked nothing like me. They actually looked like they belonged there and hadn’t pulled a discount dress out of the back of their closet. Worse, they didn’t get the look that I’d gotten.
“I’m not his,” I finally protest, catching my bearings. I’m so far from his. I will never be his, no matter what my body wants, regardless of that fact that my brain keeps pulling him to the surface every time I close my eyes.
“Keep telling yourself that, sweets,” Kenton says smoothly as he finally pulls his dark blue eyes to mine. I freeze as he leans in and kisses my bare shoulder. I move away slightly, pretending I don’t like it, even though my body wants to lean in to the soft touch.
“Stop calling me that,” I grit out as he slides onto the bar stool next to mine, casually throwing one of his arms along the back of my seat. His other arm rests on the bar in front of me. It’s as if he’s trying to cage me in. If anyone walked into this area of the restaurant, I don’t think they’d even be able to see me. His size and his position block me from view.
“I’ll eat whatever she’s having, and I’ll take my normal drink,” he tells the bartender, ignoring what I just said.
I hate that stupid name. It makes me feel young, and that’s not why I came here. I came to have a little adventure and to maybe finally lose my virginity. I don’t want to be sweet. I want to be sexy. Maybe even sinful. Or any other “S” word that makes me feel more like a woman. Not just the Caldwell brothers’ sweet little sister.
“What are you doing here? Did my brothers send you? What did they say?” I fire off the questions in agitation. They can’t make me leave. “I can’t believe them. I’m 22 years old, for God’s sake. Oh, just wait until I get back. I’m getting my own place. See how much they like that,” I huff out.
A slow smile starts to spread across Kenton’s face, making him look even more stupidly handsome. A man should not get to look that good, and look good he does. From his short black hair and dark blue eyes, to his large, muscular frame, he looks like Adonis come to life. Isn’t he supposed to be, like, sitting behind a desk, not lifting weights or whatever men do to look like that? Oh God, I bet he doesn’t even have to try. He’s just built like that.