Read Last Call for Love Online

Authors: Maggie Marr

Tags: #FIC027020 FICTION / Romance / Contemporary; FIC044000 FICTION / Contemporary Women

Last Call for Love (17 page)

BOOK: Last Call for Love
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“Pop, I promise I’m not that bad of a traveling companion. You’ll love Hong Kong, Trevor style.”

Poppy forced a smile to her face. She probably would. She loved everything about Trevor. Hong Kong would have been another memory to add to her list of memories. Unfortunately she would never find out how brilliant Hong Kong Trevor style could be. Because Poppy couldn’t wait the three days for Trevor. Waiting would be to surrender her heart, and while she loved Trevor, her heart was a piece of herself she was unwilling to give.

 

Chapter 19

 

The crowd milling around the staff beach was larger than the crowd at Coquille had been earlier this evening. Whoever had planned this party for Poppy had done the event right. Tables lined the bonfire area. There were tiki torches and chairs. Even food. Mesquale’s policy on bonfires at the staff beach must have changed, because everything here had come from the resort.

“So, you just can’t keep a secret.”

Charla turned toward the playful voice and was greeted with Liam’s bright smile.

“Liam!” Charla hugged her former workmate. “I’m sorry. I know I betrayed your confidence.”

“But for a much greater good. I owe you a thank you.” He handed her a Foster’s. “Thank you, and here’s a beer.”

“You’re welcome. It’s going well then?”

“Better than well. Lily loves it here. Mesquale opened an English school, did you know? For staff families, and when there’s room, any other kids on the island.”

“I had no idea.”

“Made Lily’s transition super easy. That and the house and the childcare.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Charla said. “Back up. Is this the same Mesquale Resort I left three months ago?”

“It is. But under new management.” Liam took a drink of his beer. “Very thoughtful and excellent new management.”

Heat flushed Charla’s cheeks. Ryan. He was turning Mesquale into not only the premiere resort at which to vacation, but also the premiere resort at which to work.

“I’m …” She shook her head. “I’m not surprised really. He said this was what he intended to do. The reason he fooled all of us for so long.”

“I say cheers to that. He and Antigua completely understand Mesquale. When he said open-door policy, he meant it. He’s gotten rid of a layer of managers that weren’t doing much but impeding staff. He and Antigua are constantly upgrading and providing incentives for employees who do well. Really, if this is the way Mesquale continues, I’ll never leave the island again. Unless, of course, Lily wants to go.”

“You have a picture then, of Lily?”

Liam pulled out his phone and scrolled through his photos. A gap-toothed, chubby-cheeked, darling girl with her father’s eyes smiled out from the screen.

“Liam, she’s a doll.” Charla took the phone from him. “A precious, precious doll.” Charla’s heart hurt for the briefest moment, knowing that Lily was motherless. “Wait? And a phone?” Charla turned Liam’s cellular over in her hands. “When’d that start?”

“New confidentiality agreement and honor program. Of course, you get caught taking pictures of guests, you’re out on your ass.” Liam slipped the phone into his back pocket. “Mesquale’s become such a good place to work, nobody wants to risk their retirement, pension, and healthcare. Plus there’s tuition reimbursement too.”

“Wow,” Charla said. “This is a great place to work.”

“Yes, yes it is.” Liam glanced past Charla. “And it’s all because of him.”

Charla’s heart dropped to her toes. Her fingertips tingled, and her stomach … well, her stomach did things like flipping and tilting. She closed her eyes. He was right behind her. Ryan was right behind her. His entire body called to hers, and she knew that when she turned, she couldn’t hide the emotions on her face.

“Think I need to go check on Poppy.” Liam smiled at Charla and then at Ryan and walked away from them both.

She still hadn’t turned. How could she face him? Ryan would know that she believed she’d made the biggest mistake of her life when she’d walked away from him. That she should have trusted him, she should have believed him, she should have stayed here, on Mesquale with him. What if his love for her was gone? What if she looked into his eyes and saw anger, or worse yet, no emotion? Could she bear it? Would it be better to walk away than not see the loss of his love?

“Charla.”

Her heart nearly burst from her chest. She heard … love in his voice. Love whispered over her skin with just her name. His fingers grasped hers from behind, and a wave of emotion crashed over her, splitting her wide, twisting and turning and spinning. She looked into his eyes. Those beautiful eyes. A smile spread over his face. Everything sparkled around her. He knew. She knew. He stepped closer. She tilted her head up to him.

“You’ll stay with me now,” Ryan said.

“Yes. I’m never leaving again.”

He wrapped his arm around her waist and together they walked away from the bonfire, the party, the food, and the drink, and toward their future.

 

*

 

Ryan pushed open the door to his suite. Not the owner’s penthouse—he’d given that prime real estate to the resort to help finance the employee benefits he’d put in place. The bottom line was paramount. One of the ways he could take care of the Mesquale family he was building was to allow that prime penthouse to be rented out at thirty thousand a night. Ten nights financed the new school. Twenty nights all the upgrades to the staff dorms. A year and they’d have over ten million to kick into the employee pension fund.

Instead Ryan had opted for a smaller, and he thought cozier, spot on the top floor, with a bedroom, a den, a kitchen, and as with every room at Mesquale, an amazing view of the ocean.

“I love it.” She walked toward the wall of windows. In the distance, through the trees and the plants, a glimmer of the bonfire shone through the darkness of the night. What felt like a lifetime had passed since a similar bonfire, on their first night together, when she’d thought him to be a bartender and she’d just been fired. On that night he’d discovered his heart had room for another true love.

“You’ll stay here with me? You’ll make Mesquale your home?”

Charla’s eyes sparkled. He wanted to look into those eyes for the rest of his days. Wake up to that smile and that button nose.

“I was scared you wouldn’t love me anymore,” she said on a whispered breath.

He pulled her into his arms. Impossible. Unfathomable. “I will love you for the rest of my life.”

Her warmth, the pulses of his attraction to her, ignited the heat deep inside him. He grew hard. He hungered for her, an all-encompassing desire that night after night, as he dreamt of making love to Charla, hadn’t been fed. He kissed her. A warm, languorous kiss. Her lips held a promise, forgiveness, a permanent place for him, if such things could be measured by the press of one’s lips.

He slipped his hand down the front of her dress and held her waist. A gasp escaped her lips. She clutched him through the fabric of his pants. She unbuttoned them, and they dropped to the floor. Her hands twisted into the fabric of his shirt and pulled it up over his head. Now he was naked before her, she stroked the hard length of his shaft. His lips kissed her neck, and his hands slid over the fabric of her dress. He clutched her ass and lifted her, stepped out of his boxers and carried her to his room, their room, and what would now be their bed.

He set her feet on the floor. Through the windows, the moonlight filled the room. In one motion he lifted her dress up over her head. Blue panties trimmed in black lace greeted him. Mounds of flesh escaped from the top of her bra, and her taut nipples pressed against the fabric.

His mouth found hers. His lips were greedy with want. He reached around and unclasped the lace concoction that kept her breasts from him. Her fingers wove through his hair.

“Ryan.” His name curled from between her lips, followed by a tiny moan. Patience fleeting. Pleasure. To watch her come. To be inside her. No other thought entered his mind. His hand trailed across her skin, her belly, to the lace that covered her sex. He tugged the slip of cloth down and over her hips and his fingers parted her cleft.  She was wet and slick for him. Her legs dropped open. Wanton. Needing his touch. Wanting him to press his fingers to her clit and provide her with pleasure.

Charla’s hands grasped his cock. “Please, oh my God, Ryan, please.”

He released her nipple and kissed along her belly to her thigh. His lips slid along the soft, silken flesh. Her hips keened up to him. Her sex glistened in the moonlight. He spread her with his fingers and dragged one finger down the molten center of her sex.

“Please,” she gasped out.

Oh how he wanted her. Ryan leaned forward and pressed his lips to the slick flesh between her legs. He sucked, teasing the hard button with swift licks. He brought her close to the edge, then released the tiny pleasure spot and thrust his tongue into her. His fingertip brushed against her clit. Rimming his tongue around her sex. Watching her body arch and thrash with the pleasure of his mouth. Her breast naked in the moonlight. Those mounds heaving up and down with her breathlessness.

“Please, Ryan, I need to come. Please.”

He pushed her to the edge of her pleasure and then removed his mouth from her sex, placing tiny little kisses where her thigh met her torso.

“No, no, no.” She thrust her hips.

He leaned forward and lapped the tip of his tongue to her now-throbbing clit. His fingers pushed inside her, and her body clamped down around him. Sucking rhythmically the tiny spot between her legs. Her muscles tightened, and a high shriek tore from Charla’s mouth. He pressed his lips to her flesh and she careened over the edge into that sweet spot of pleasure.

He pulled his mouth from her. A light sheen of sweat glistened across her glorious body. He would make her come over and over and over tonight. She would never leave him again, too besotted with pleasure to ever consider that she could be free of him.

“I want you inside me.” Her eyelids were heavy with lust as she stared at him. He reached for the drawer in the nightstand beside his bed. She grasped his arm. “No. I don’t want that.”

His heart swelled. The head of his cock aligned with her wet entrance. The heat of her caused every muscle in his body to tense. He pushed forward ever so gently, to feel every inch. His eyes locked with Charla’s. Love shone out from her face. He pressed into her. Tight and hot and wet. Spreading the taut muscles that took his shaft.

“Harder,” she whispered, and raked her nails down his back.

Restraint gone, he thrust hard into her, balls deep, needing to forever claim her for his own.

“Charla, oh my God, Charla.” His fingers wove through hers as he pressed her hands flat above her head. Charla’s hips moved and tilted, and again her body tightened around him. The heat of come gathered in his balls, a quicksilver feeling of imminent explosion.

“I love you, Ryan.” Charla let out the words.

His body lost all sense of anything but his desire to explode into her body. Skin slapped skin. He watched his cock move back and forth into her body. His love. He would forever be with his love. Heat overwhelmed him, and come shot from his cock. Hot and fast. Every muscle in his body tensed as he hung in that timeless spot and looked at Charla, knowing that this woman was his entire life. 

 

*

 

She was his. Charla opened her eyes to the sunlight streaming through the windows. Her body ached with a pleasurable soreness of a night well spent. She rolled to her side. Ryan’s spot was cool. She sat up and looked around the room. He stood at the window with a coffee cup in hand. Near the bed was a tiny table with coffee and fruit and something that smelled incredibly sweet and good.

“You’re awake.” His smile warmed her heart.

She was awake. Completely and fully awake. Her life was full, and her heart was his.

“I’m afraid, my love, if you want to see Poppy, you’re going to have to eat and get ready. We’ve only a couple hours until the midmorning flight.”

Charla picked up her phone and flipped it over. “Not necessary.” Her lips firmed into a thin line. “Poppy is being Poppy.”

Ryan walked to the bed and sat beside her. “What’s that mean?”

“She didn’t want a scene at the airport. She left on the eight a.m.”

“She left? She truly left?”

Charla tilted her head and looked at Ryan. “Yes, why?”

Ryan shook his head. “I had hoped … I thought maybe Trevor could convince her to stay. Go home with him for a while. Maybe let him go to Hong Kong.”

“This is Poppy we’re talking about. She’s the first to say that she won’t do commitment.” Charla sighed and put her phone back on the nightstand. “I had the same hope. I wonder how Trevor is?”

“I’m sure not good.” Sadness filtered through Ryan’s eyes. “We men don’t do so well when we truly fall in love and then you abandon us.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to her nose. “Please don’t ever leave me again.”

Charla’s heart flipped. Was this real? Was this true? Had she just surrendered to the most wonderful man in the world? She put her arms around his neck. “You don’t have to worry about losing your love again.”

A smile spread across Ryan’s face. “I’m pleased that you say so, because I have something for you.” He pulled his hand from his pocket. His eyes met hers. He slid from the bed and onto his knee.

Charla’s throat tightened, and her heart felt as though it might explode. Her hands flew to her lips.

There. In Ryan’s palm lay a box as blue as the Mesquale sky.

“Charla Duvall, you are my other half. The woman who makes me whole. The person I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Ryan opened the top of the box. “Will you be my wife?”

“Yes.” Charla dropped to the floor beside Ryan and threw her arms around her neck. “Oh my God, Ryan, absolutely yes.”

 

Chapter 20

 

Trevor opened his eyes. His head throbbed. Thank God Poppy had agreed to wait two more days so that they could go to Hong Kong together. He rolled to his left and stretched out his arm.

Empty bed.

The sheets were cold. He sat up and looked about the room. Army-green backpack? Gone. Red suitcase? Gone.

BOOK: Last Call for Love
8.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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