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Authors: Kelly Jamieson

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Erotica, #Contemporary

Slammed (3 page)

BOOK: Slammed
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He took a seat too, on the chair adjacent, and gave her one of his most charming smiles. “So, I’m in trouble.”

She eyed him for a few seconds then jerked her chin. “Yes, Dylan. You’re in trouble.”

Great. Just fucking great. “Is Jackson Cole pulling the plug on me?” he asked bluntly. He leaned back, trying to appear casual, but his heart had started to beat a little faster.

“Not right now. But you have to turn this around or they will be. One more chance.”

He frowned. “What does that mean?”

“It means, they sent me here to get you and bring you back to San Amaro. Next stop on the tour, right?”

“Right.”

“Our PR team has some things lined up to keep you busy over the next few weeks. Some charity events and good causes for you to work at. We’ll make sure the media sees you at these events. We are going to polish your image all up and put a halo on your head. And then you are going to surf your ass off and win that competition.”

He studied her, sitting there with her hands on her knees, her spine straight. “Hey. Don’t I know you? Brooke Lowry!”

She tipped her head to one side, lips pursed. “Took you long enough.”

“Man! Pacific Heights High School! I can’t believe it. Now you work for Jackson Cole?”

“That’s right.”

“What a coincidence!”

He really only vaguely remembered her from high school. She’d hung out with a different crowd, the kind of crowd that had intimidated him—smart and yet not geeky, they were the kids who’d run the student council, the social committee and probably a dozen other things he didn’t remember. He’d never been that much into school. He hated sitting still for any length of time and the only thing that had gotten him through had been Matt’s tutoring. He couldn’t help but remember that with fond gratitude toward Matt, even though the bastard had ended up with Corey.

He wasn’t going to think about that right now.

“I guess it is,” she said, shifting on the couch and dropping her gaze. “Long time no see.”

“For sure!” Maybe being old friends would soften her toward him a bit. Except they’d never really been friends. And clearly she already knew who he was when she’d arrived there and she hadn’t exactly been…soft on him. Shit.

He kept his smile firmly in place. “So. Tell me what you’ve been doing for the last…uh…ten years.”

She waved a hand. “That’s not what I’m here for. We’re here to talk about you.”

“Oh. Yeah.” His smile faded. “Look, things can’t be that bad. I’ve been having a little fun celebrating my wins, that’s all. I’m a surfer, people expect us to do those things.”

She gave a heavy, long-suffering sigh. “Unfortunately, that’s true. That surfer counter-culture holds some appeal for certain people. However, your sponsors—or I suppose I can only speak for one right now—do not. Jackson Cole has been expanding our brands, trying to enhance our image. We don’t want a drunken stoner representing our products.”

“That’s not me!” He gaped at her, but heat washed over him as he recalled the wild parties over the last few days. Again, shit.

“We’re booking you on the next flight back to the States,” she said firmly. “With me. And then we have work to do.”

“The next flight.” He frowned. “Back to San Amaro.”

“That’s right.”

His gut cramped, but he pulled his mouth into a smile again and sat back, crossing one ankle over the other knee. “No can do, sweetheart.”

“What?” Now it was her turn to gape.

He shook his head and pushed his hair out of his eyes. “No can do. I can’t go back to San Amaro right now.”

Brooke’s fingers dug into her knees through the black pants that were still baking her alive. God, she envied Dylan’s loose, cool shorts. Or nudity. Although the sight of his naked body was doing alarming things to her pulse and respiration. And other parts of her.

Holy guacamole, he was gorgeous. His tanned, athletic body was honed to perfection, lean enough to show off every single one of those perfectly cut muscles. Ripped didn’t even begin to describe him. His chest was smooth and hairless, his abs mouth-wateringly defined, his arms strong. He walked around the small bungalow on long legs, his thick thighs and strong calf muscles flexing as he moved, his butt muscular and his back as defined as his abs. And geez Lord his package…she’d gulped at the sight of his thick, half-hard penis resting on his testicles, surrounded by a thatch of black hair.

There was something to be said for the athlete’s body. What would he be like in bed? The sex would no doubt be athletic too, and her mind started heading off down an inappropriate path. She had to give herself a mental slap to bring herself back to reality.

“What do you mean you can’t go back to San Amaro now?” she demanded. “Why not?”

His beautiful lips pressed together and he dropped his gaze. “I just can’t.”

He looked like a sullen little boy, which should have annoyed her but instead made her heart flutter. “Either you tell me a good reason why you can’t—and it better be a good business reason—or we’re on that plane tomorrow.”

“I can’t tell you.” He lifted his head and the pleading look in his silvery-gray eyes had her going soft inside. “Could you just take my word for it? It’s not a business reason, it’s personal.”

Oh for the love of cheese…she could only imagine the “personal” reasons that would make him not want to go back to San Amaro. A woman. Or women, no doubt. She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. “Somehow I knew this wasn’t going to be easy,” she muttered.

“I’m sorry, Brooke. It’s nothing personal against you.”

She met his eyes, softened even more by his apology. “I know. But I have a job to do.”

His mouth tightened and he nodded. “Sure. But I’m still not going.”

“You sound like a two-year-old. And you’ve been acting like one too.”

“I have not.” Their eyes met and he burst out laughing, then shook his head ruefully. She couldn’t help the smile that tugged at her lips. “I guess that didn’t convince you I’m not acting like a two-year-old. But seriously. Two? I don’t think so.” She caught the carnal gleam in his eye. “Sixteen, maybe,” he added, and she rolled her eyes and repressed another smile.

“Let me lay this out for you,” she said, leaning forward. “Do you know how much Jackson Cole is paying you? Or does your agent deal with all that for you?”

“I know,” he muttered.

“Good. Then you know what exactly is at stake here.”

He sighed.

“I know you have other sponsors,” she said. “But I’m still thinking that losing this one would be a hard hit. Am I right?”

He pursed his lips and gave her a baleful look.

“You know, you should be nicer to me,” she said. “I could turn around and go home alone and tell them I couldn’t convince you.”

He tipped his head to one side and regarded her thoughtfully. “Go right ahead.”

Shit! He’d called her bluff. She couldn’t do that because her own effing job was on the line. “I’m booking our flights,” she snapped, reaching for her purse. She dug her BlackBerry out of her purse as he glared at her, found the airline information and made the call. “We leave tomorrow night at eleven forty-five,” she told him when she hung up. She sat back in the chair. Okay. What were they going to do for the next…uh…twenty-nine hours? She rubbed her index finger over the ragged cuticle of her thumb.

“Great.” He slumped lower in the armchair. “I need another beer.”

“How many have you had today?”

He squinted at her. “Really? You’re going to monitor my alcohol intake?”

“You bet I am.”

“This is my second beer.”

“Bullshit.”

He sat forward, elbows on his knees and fixed her with an intense silvery look. “I may be acting immature and irresponsible and whatever else you want to accuse me of, but
never
call me a liar,” he said very softly.

A shiver worked its way down her spine. “I’m sorry.”

He held her gaze.

“Fine,” she said. “Have another beer. But you’re not leaving my sight until we’re on that plane tomorrow night.”

He smiled slowly. “Really. You’re moving in here with me then? There’s only one bed.” He cocked an eyebrow and let his gaze roam over her body. “I’m up for it though.”

Her fingers curled into her palms, nails digging into her flesh and she took in a long, deep breath. “No, I’m not moving in here. Okay, I didn’t mean I need to watch you sleep. I just meant, I’m keeping you out of trouble. So I’m sorry, but your friends will have to do without you. No more threesomes, no more partying.”

He dipped his chin and gave her a look through eyelashes. “Oh come on. Partying is fun. You can’t tell me you came all this way to spend one night here, and you’re going to pass the time sitting watching TV or something? Nuh-uh.”

“I’m sure there are other things to do that don’t involve getting drunk and taking our clothes off.”

“Well, sure,” he drawled. “But those don’t sound nearly as fun.” He lifted his chin, smiling. “Admit it.”

Her insides quivered and heat washed down over her. She glanced at her watch. “We’ll go have dinner,” she said. “In the hotel restaurant. After that we’ll see.”

“After that we’ll see if I can get you drunk and naked?”

She gritted her teeth. And it wasn’t just out of annoyance at him. She was annoyed at her own hot reaction to the idea of getting naked with him. Geez, what was wrong with her? He’d just rolled out of bed with two other women, two centerfold-worthy women with whom she could never compete. He was nothing but a…a…man slut. Why on earth was she even thinking about what sex with him would be like? “Dylan. You can’t talk to me like that. We’re…business colleagues.”

That sexy lift of his eyebrow had her melting a little bit. “No we’re not.”

“Yes. We are. I’m here to deliver a strong message to you and basically give you a choice. Either you shape up or you’re going to be in breach of your contract. Not only will you not get paid the remainder of the fees, it’s highly possible Jackson Cole would sue you.”

His smile disappeared. “I need to talk to Holden.”

His agent. “Go right ahead. We already talked to him. He would have come here himself if he and his wife hadn’t had a baby four days ago. He knows all about this and he’s on board with the plans. My team is working with him back home, while I’m here.”

“San Amaro isn’t home,” he muttered.

She wanted to roll her eyes, but his refusal to go back to San Amaro and now this comment triggered something inside her that made her curious about what was going on for him.

“Well you may not live there now, but you grew up there and everyone still thinks of you as the hometown boy who made it big. We’re going to capitalize on that in the media as soon as we get back.”

He dropped his head, looking at the floor between his knees and for a moment he looked so defeated and vulnerable, she wanted to go over to him, drop onto her knees beside him and rub his back, comfort him… Oh for God’s sake.
Get a grip, Brooke.

“Okay,” he muttered, rising. “Let me change and then we can go grab some dinner.”

Chapter Three

“I need to change too, before we go for dinner,” Brooke said, looking down at herself. “And shower.”

“Sure,” he said. “How about we meet in the restaurant in an hour? Is that enough time to beautify yourself?”

“I’m not going to beautify myself. I just want to wash the travel off me and change into something cooler.”

He eyed her clothing. “Yeah. Don’t blame you.”

She rolled her lips in. “Gee, thanks.”

“We can meet at La Terrasse,” Dylan said, and she blinked at his perfect French pronunciation. “Tonight there’s dancing—Tamure.”

“Tamure?”

“Tahiti’s national dance. You’ll enjoy it. And since you’re only here for a day you should see some Tahitian culture. Did I mention how insane that is to fly this far for one day?”

“No, you didn’t.” She hesitated before leaving. “You’ll stay out of trouble for the next hour?”

“I’m going to call Lexi and Suri back for a quickie,” he said with a shrug. Then he caught her eye. “Kidding! Jesus. I’ll be fine.”

“And you’ll show up at the restaurant?” She fixed her sternest gaze on him.

He sighed. “Yes.”

“Okay. One hour. See you then.”

She wasn’t sure if she entirely trusted him, but how much trouble could he get into in one hour? Although part of the trust issue was doubting that he’d actually show up. What would keep him from taking off across the island somewhere with his surfing buddies? She bit her lip.

“Brooke. I said I’ll be there.”

He held her gaze steadily and her doubts faded somewhat. He seemed sincere. “Okay.”

She hurried along the wooden deck that linked the thatched bungalows together. It was nearly six o’clock and the sun was setting already, tinting clouds that lined the horizon peach and lavender, turning the lagoon to liquid silver. She spared a glance for the beauty of it, her footsteps slowing as she paused beside a palm tree and let the low fronds frame the sunset. A sigh escaped her. This was a stunning place, and she had the next twenty-some hours to enjoy it. When she wasn’t arguing with Dylan Schell.

Frack, she’d walked in on him and two other women. How frickin’ embarrassing was that. He hadn’t seemed embarrassed. Oh no, not at all. Probably because he did things like that every day. God.

She let herself into her room, now dark, and flicked on the light. She hadn’t unpacked a thing, and she quickly unzipped her suitcase and found her toiletry bag. In the bathroom, the shower felt like paradise. She used some of the body wash provided by the hotel, scented with pineapple and papaya and passion fruit, inhaling the sweet fruity fragrance. She washed her hair with similarly scented shampoo, then stood there and let the water from the soaker head pour down over her like rainfall. God, that felt good.

Strangely she wasn’t as tired as she’d been earlier. Her little match with Dylan had given her a shot of adrenaline or something. After blow drying her hair, she wrapped a towel around her body and strolled into her room to find something to wear. She’d packed more than enough clothes for one day. She actually hadn’t been sure how long she’d be there, depending on how long it took her to track Dylan down and convince him to come back with her. She still wasn’t sure if he was going to be on that plane with her tomorrow night. He’d told her when he said he’d do something, he did it, and it was true, they’d never had any issues with unreliability. He did manage to show up for events that he was supposed to. But even though she’d booked the tickets, he still hadn’t said he’d come home to San Amaro with her.

BOOK: Slammed
8.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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