I had no idea when I purchased my dream home that it would come with the woman straight out of my fantasies.
As I stare down at the brunette reclined on a chaise by my pool, a smile spreads across my face. I have no idea who she is, but I stare. And I stare some more. I can’t stop. In fact, I can barely keep my tongue in my mouth. Holy shit.
A floppy hat covers the top half of her face. A fat paperback lies by her side. I’m guessing she fell asleep in the sun, but that only gives me an opportunity to appreciate the hell out of her uninterrupted.
Inky hair flows down her shoulders to a truly spectacular pair of breasts and banging curves. Even her navel is somehow sexy. I’m sure I’ve seen her tiny screaming-red bikini in a dirty dream or two. Would she notice if I ran my tongue up her fair, now slightly pink skin? Yeah, I’ve always had a thing for that. My mom’s family is from Hawaii with ancestors from Samoa. And there’s nothing I love more than seeing my darker hand glide across the silk of a pale woman’s skin. I can’t see this stranger’s eyes, but her lips… Rosy. Bee-stung. Wide. They would look great wrapped around my cock.
Now I just have to figure out who she is and why she’s squatting at the very private estate I recently bought. In fact, this is the first time I’m seeing it in person. It’s everything I wanted. My rep, Lian, was spot on. Sick views of the Pacific. Beach, swaying palms, infinity edge pool that goes on forever, all on incredibly secluded grounds. It’s perfect.
But all I want right now is to stare at my unexpected guest.
“Are you just going to stand there and block my sun or will you explain why the hell you’re trespassing on private property?” She lifts the brim of her hat to peer up at me, her expression somewhere between curious and annoyed.
Her green eyes nearly knock me over.
I want to fuck her. With the kind of urgency I haven’t felt since I was twenty-two, new to the NFL, and discovered a sea of pussy eager to get down and dirty with a newly minted pro athlete.
“Funny, I was going to ask you the same question. I’m here because I own this place as of yesterday. But I have no idea who you are or why you’re on my property.”
That made her sit up. “Shit. You’re the buyer? Noah…” She snaps her fingers like she can’t remember my name. “Noah…”
After being the star quarterback of one of the NFL’s highest-profile teams for the last twelve years, having someone not recognize me is a fairly novel experience. And a little humbling. I almost laugh. “Weston.”
“Noah Weston. That’s it.” She plops her book on the small table beside her lounger and stands, sticking out her hand.
She’s tiny. The top of her head barely reaches the middle of my chest. Another turn-on for me.
I put my hand in hers to shake it. The cursory touch feels anything but casual. My blood scalds, turning to lava in my veins, which rushes, hot and thick, to my cock. If my T-shirt wasn’t so long and loose, she would know exactly what I’m thinking.
“And you are…?”
“Sorry. Harlow, your house sitter. No one expected you for another few days.”
I give my Realtors props. They have damn fine taste in house sitters—and women. Have they set her up at my place and used it as a temporary love shack? Gotta say, I wouldn’t blame them. She’s raging hot.
I’ve only ever spoken to Maxon and Griffin Reed over the phone, when we finalized the sale of this twenty-five-million-dollar pad. The price is steep, I know. But I wanted the privacy. And the islands aren’t cheap. Hey, it’s paradise. More importantly, it’s home. My roots. It feels so damn good to be back in Hawaii while I figure out what comes next in life.
“I decided to come early, Harlow the house sitter. Nice to meet you.”
“You, too. I’ll…um, gather my things. I’ve been here for nearly a month, so I’ve made myself at home. It will just take me a couple of hours to get out of your hair.”
“No rush,” I assure. “I thought I’d grab a little pool time myself. If you’re not in a hurry, I wouldn’t mind the company.”
Actually, when I walked in the door ten minutes ago to set down my luggage, I was thinking more like nap and solitude after my long flight from Dallas. Now I’m wide awake and attuned to this woman. Maybe some flirtation in the water will convince her to get horizontal with me. The view of the crystal ocean and tropical scenery is pretty damn romantic, after all.
“Really? You don’t mind?” At my nod, she breathes a sigh of relief. “Thanks. It will take me a while to arrange a ride. I don’t have a car on the island since I’m just visiting.”
So if I want to tap that, I’ll have to work quick. “Where’s home?”
I nod. “What’s waiting back there? Job? Boyfriend?”
She wrinkles her nose. “No boyfriend. I finished my master’s program earlier this year. I have a job offer close to my apartment. I’m taking some time off to ponder if that’s what I really want. You’re…um, a football player, right?”
“Just retired.” I peer at her. I’d suspect her non-response to my name and occupation was disingenuous if I wasn’t already convinced she’s for real. “Not into sports, huh?”
“I grew up with brothers. When I was little I tried to keep up. Then I got older and discovered shoes were more fun.”
I laugh. In her defense, I’ll bet she looks good in sexy, strappy platforms. Hell, she probably looks good in dollar-store flip-flops…or nothing at all. How on earth does she not have a boyfriend? Too busy with school to bother? That’s the only explanation that makes sense, because there’s no way men haven’t noticed her.
“I have a sister who feels the same way about anything requiring a ball,” I explain. “At least I have my brother, Trace, to talk pigskin with.”
“Lucky you. I’m the only girl, so I’m outnumbered. My brothers won’t debate with me whether Choo or Louboutin makes a better shoe. I don’t understand why.” With a facetious sigh, she sits again, then sprawls her shapely legs out on the lounger, ankles crossed.
I smile and look for something to keep the conversation rolling. She’s more interesting than the usual jock groupie I meet. I kind of want to know this woman. Of course I want to get her bikini off. But laying the verbal groundwork for that is a little tougher than I expected. I can’t remember the last time I had to do more to attract a woman’s attention than walk into a room and crook my finger.
“How long will you be staying in Maui?” I ask.
“I haven’t decided.”
Harlow doesn’t say more, but her reticence suggests there’s more going on than simple school fatigue or job avoidance. If she’s got a master’s degree, she’s a smart, probably ambitious girl. She didn’t accomplish that by being lazy. I wonder what’s up.
“Want to talk about it?” I offer. “An impartial ear is sometimes best, and I’ve got nothing but time for a few months.”
“Thanks but…” She shakes her head. “No.”
That’s all she says. No niceties. No explanations. No apologies.
She’s hard to read. I’m surprised by how much that intrigues me.
Harlow cocks her head at me. “So what are you going to do with the rest of your life since you’re obviously way too young to sit in your front-porch rocker and watch the grass grow?”
Isn’t that a great question? “Like you, I’m pondering my options.”
It’s another reason I’m hanging out in Maui now. I left the NFL after my last injury. As I played my final game, I knew I would never suit up on a Sunday again. Everything I’d devoted my life to since age six…suddenly gone. To take the field any more would risk my long-term quality of life. Already I have side effects—but I don’t talk about that. The team’s doctors refused to clear me to play next season. My agent absolutely threw a shit fit when I even suggested rehabbing to get back in the game. Truth is, no franchise will gamble the huge salary I command under their cap since they seem to think I have one foot out the door and the other in the old folks’ home. I always promised myself I’d go out on top, so I did—with a really tough press conference and a slammin’ after party.
But now, I have no idea what to do. At thirty-four, I’m old by pro football standards. Endorsement deals are lucrative but not a career. I’m a man used to doing, not sitting back and counting my money. That’s never been why I worked my ass off. I need purpose.
That only makes the offer recently extended my way so hard to resist…but impossible to accept. Still, I can’t bring myself to turn it down.
“You know, I’ll just go.” She gathers her book and makes to stand. “It sounds like you’ve got heavy stuff on your mind and you bought this place for privacy, so I should let you have it.”
“Stay.” I look her way, hold her gaze. “It’s been a long-ass flight, and I’d rather not be alone. You’re…interesting. I wouldn’t mind getting to know you better.”
She hesitates, and I see her weighing her options. Something that looks like regret crosses her face, and I know I have to act fast. My name doesn’t entice her. I get the sense money doesn’t, either. I have to try something else. I don’t know if my conversation is sparkling, but I know damn well how much time I spend pumping iron. I’ve been snapped a few times for both bodybuilding mags and GQ.
I whip off my shirt. And I see her eyes go wide. Bingo.
Finally, I’ve impressed her.
With her eyes glued to my pecs, she nods. “I-I guess I could do that.”