“It’s always a pleasure,” he says, standing and moving his own chair out a little so I can easily get by.

“Goodnight, Mr. Monroe.”

Chapter Two

Kenton

I watch Madeline walk away, and I have to grip the bar of the chair to keep from going after her. Glancing back at the bartender, I give him a look, and he takes off, mumbling something about taking inventory in the back.

I drop my head in my hands and try to shake off the feelings, but after months of trying, it’s no use. That’s why she’s here, isn’t it? Because I’ve been unable to control anything when it comes to her. My Madeline.

Caldwell security has worked for my company for a few years. They are the best in the business, and that’s all I employ. The best. When the hospital needed security for the fundraiser, I suggested their team. I’d even made sure they had extra tickets in case one of the men wanted to bring anyone from their staff along. I never thought about them having a sister. A sister who was so fucking gorgeous I couldn’t tear my eyes off of her.

I’d embarrassed myself that night with the way I acted towards her. I was so overcome with emotions, I didn’t know how to behave. Emotions I’d never felt before. One look at their baby sister and I was a goner. The times her eldest brother Mark had mentioned her, I thought he was referring to a teenager. But one look at Madeline would ensure no man would ever get it wrong. She’s short with fair skin and dark brown hair. As I looked in her brown eyes, it seemed she had some innocence there, but her body was anything but. Her curves were sinful and spilling out of the black dress she had on. It may have been a few years old, because her breasts had grown beyond what that dress was prepared to hold. The sight of her was obscene, and I felt anger flash through me all night. Every time a man caught sight of her ample cleavage, I felt my fists tighten. Seeing the sway of her big ass and wide hips did things to my cock, and I was ashamed of the images that flashed through my mind. I got so hard I nearly embarrassed myself in front of hundreds of people.

When I finally worked up the courage to talk to her, she brushed me off. I tried to say hello, but I stumbled over my words and made an ass of myself. One of her brothers had stepped in to see if I needed anything, mistaking my talking to Madeline as being related to work. But nothing about my feelings for Madeline was professional. Oh no, I wanted to do indecent things to her that night and every night since.

I come from a long line of famous Monroes. The men before me had their hands in every kind of business, making money since the dawn of time. I’ve done my part to grow our holdings, and as the only surviving heir, I’m what most refer to as filthy rich. But money can only buy so much shit before you start thinking that there’s more beyond it. I’ve never slowed down to think about love before, and what it would be like to settle down. I’ve worked most of my life, and that’s always been the priority. I’ve never thought about anything other than my career, but all that changed that night. The night I laid eyes on Madeline, I understood what I’d been missing. As if she’d flipped a switch to turn on the light, I suddenly realized I was in darkness. And when she walked away, I was thrown into the shadows once again. That night, I knew that I had to have her. I had to have the light.

Normally I’d contract Caldwell for a project like this, but seeing as how this was their baby sister, I didn’t see the four of them giving up any information. And getting around them would be tricky. It took me two agonizingly long days to find out any sort of intel on Madeline. And even then it was just a scrap. I got her email address from a friend who could do some cyber-stalking for me. That was all I had, so I needed to make it good.

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After a few more failed attempts at trying to get her near me again, tripping over my own feet and looking like an ass, I knew I needed to try something different. I needed something that would get her near me without her being able to give me the slip. And I needed to ensure her brothers wouldn’t butt in. I’d come up with a two-hundred-word survey for her under the pretense of a free vacation. I was going to get her on the island if it killed me. Away from her family, away from prying eyes. I was going to have her all alone.

I cleared out any guests who had plans to visit, stating a hurricane had made their vacation impossible. I didn’t care if it reeked of bullshit. I wanted this that bad. People didn’t seem too upset when I refunded double their vacation expenses and then told them they could rebook any time after this week. All I needed was a week. I could make her fall for me in that amount of time. Right?

The staff was unaware of what was going on. They were informed there would be improvements to the island resort and it would be closed to the public. They would receive a paid vacation and only minimal personnel would be asked to come in.

So far it’s been a day and I haven’t been able to make any progress. Nothing about me seems to affect her in any way. Madeline is unfazed by my status and what I could potentially do for her. Almost every woman I come in contact with is always looking for an angle to get to me. I think they see me as either an opportunity for them to become rich, or as a challenge to be conquered. I’m not often seen with women for a reason. It’s been a long time since I felt any sort of inclination to be with a woman, and even longer than that since I’ve been physical with someone.

But the night I saw Madeline, all of that changed. I no longer want to avoid being photographed with a woman on my arm. I want the world to see she’s mine, that I’m not up for grabs anymore, but she keeps sidestepping me. Like tonight. I came down hoping to have dinner with her. I’d been watching her all day. She lay by the pool, and I sat hidden away like a lecher, just watching her. I could hear myself growl every time the waiter approached her, but what was I going to do? Put on a cabana shirt and take her order? I doubt she would have wanted that if her behavior tonight was any indication.