“Dance with me.” I hear a deep voice purr in my ear. I look back and see the guy that was watching me from the VIP section. My god, he’s even more beautiful up close, and his eyes are so green, clever and curious, glittering like two emeralds, like every hue of the forest. Their brightness reminds me of summertime. I turn and face him, craning my neck to look up at him. He’s tall, well over six-foot, light brown hair, cut short on the sides and longer on the top, styled perfectly. My fingers itch to reach out and touch it to see if it’s as soft as it seems. His features are strong, chiselled, and so very masculine.
“Was that a demand or a request?” I reply, narrowing my eyes at him.
His soft, full lips curl up into a smirk.
He licks his lips slowly, “Whichever one gets you to dance with me.” He drawls confidently. Someone tries to pass by him, so he takes a step closer to me.
I lift my eyes and smile at the handsome stranger whose strong arms lock around my waist, drawing me against him. We sway together to the music. His movement matches mine, and we move together smoothly. He can dance. I like that. He bows his head, and his lips brush against the shell of my ear as he speaks lowly, and I visibly quiver at the roguish tone of his voice.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?”
“Shayla. Yours?” I ask, and I could swear a look of surprise flashes across his handsome face before he grins sexily, and two deep dimples form on his cheeks making me swoon.
He has dimples! Two of them!
“Cole.” I smile up at him, and he drags his tongue along his bottom lip and squints his eyes a little while he looks over my face. We dance together, heatedly, for a while. Grinding, hands exploring. The heat between us is immense, the way his hands wander over my body, squeezing, caressing. Everything else fizzles away like it’s just the two of us. His eyes staring into mine fixedly.
I laugh and nod, “Starving.” He smiles and brushes a strand of my hair stuck to my sweaty face and tucks it delicately behind my ear.
“How about we go someplace and get something to eat?” I nod without hesitation, and he grins, taking my hand in his larger one, he pulls me through the crowd of people. I manage to catch Jo on my way out and gesture to her that I was leaving. She waves me off with a thumbs up. The girl is more smashed than I am.
We finally walk outside, and my head spins when fresh air hits me. Cole wraps his arm around my waist, steadying me. I follow him as we both stumble toward a silver Rolls Royce Phantom. The driver, an older gentleman, opens the door, and Cole places his hand on the small of my back and guides me in. I sink into the plush white leather seats once I slide over as Cole gets in beside me. “Wow. This car is bigger than my apartment.” I state with a drunken giggle as Cole pours us two glasses of champagne.
“What’s your stance on sushi? I know a great place.” I blink up at him, and he smiles at me charmingly.
“Sushi?” I wrinkle my nose in distaste. “Who in their right mind eats sushi when they’re drunk?” Cole laughs heartily. “Listen, I love sushi as much as the next person, but I’m not one of those girls who eat pretentious crap like caviar and sips Cristal. I can’t think of anything worse, especially right now.” I lean over and tap the driver on his shoulder. He glances back at me through his rear-view mirror. “Take us to Old Street, please, good sir.” He chuckles and nods his head.
I giggle, “Ma’am?” What am I fifty?
Cole tugs me back and shifts so he could face me properly. “What’s in Old Street?” I grin at him impishly and finish off my drink.
“The best food ever! No offence, but you strike me as one of those stuffy rich kids that think a good night out is sipping on Don Perignon and chewing on fish babies. I’m going to show you a night you’ll remember when you’re sitting in your rocking chair at eighty years old, Mr Cole.”
Cole chuckles and bites his lip, his green eyes alight with glee. “Oh? And will you be sitting beside me in that rocking chair?” He drawls, brushing his thumb along my jaw.
“That depends...” I whisper, smiling as he runs his fingers through my hair. “On what?” He whispers back, his eyes flickering down to my lips before they meet mine again.
“You’ll have to marry me to find out.” I tease, and he laughs before he draws my lips to his and kisses me softly. I moan when his tongue runs along my bottom lip silently requesting access, which I joyfully grant him; parting my lips, he seeks out my tongue and expertly deepens the kiss. If my mind was hazy before, it’s turned to complete mush after his kiss. As far as first kisses go, this makes the top of my list.
We spent the better half of the car journey kissing until his driver alerted us that we had arrived at our destination. “What is this place?” He asks as I pull him to the entrance of ‘The Breakfast Bar.’
“Oh, you poor, poor child. You haven’t lived until you’ve had their pancakes.” I say as we sit down, and he looks at the menu. I pluck the menu out of his hands, and he looks at me bemused. “You don’t need that,” I tell him, and he smiles and shakes his head. “We’ll have the sharers stack of pancakes, please, and two salted caramel lattes,” I order, and the girl smiles before taking the menus and disappearing.
Twenty minutes later, Cole licks his fork clean and slumps back in his chair with a delightful groan. “My god, that was heaven on a plate.” I nod triumphally, chewing on my last bite of pancakes.
“Mm, I know, right.” I moan, licking the cream off my finger. “You can thank me later,” I say with a wink, and Cole grins, reaching over and taking my right hand in his, gazing into my eyes for a long moment.
“You are the polar opposite to what I’m used to, but I don’t remember having this much fun with someone I just met. Ever.” He affirms, stroking his fingers over my knuckles gently. I feel my cheeks burn under his gaze and avert my eyes to my cup of coffee.
The rest of the night went by in a blur. We had a couple more cocktails with shots before we somehow wound up on a private airstrip. We clamber out of a private jet, laughing hard. We’d been playing a drinking game the entire flight, which wasn’t a good idea. “Vegas, baby!” I slur, throwing my hands up in the air and almost toppling over. I look around the dark airstrip and pout. “Wait. There’s no chapel here?”
I hear Cole laugh behind me before he wraps his arm around my neck from behind and kisses my cheek. “We can’t land in the middle of the Vegas strip, sweetheart,” He murmurs drunkenly. “We need to drive there.”
I giggle, “Hokay! Driver! Take us to Evlis to be wed.” I slur drunkenly. Cole and I stumble into the back of the black limo, and we head to the Las Vegas strip. I think we gambled for a while, drank delicious cocktails, and the last thing I remember was Cole carrying me out of a chapel, kissing like two lust- crazed adolescents.
Many hours later, I stir in my sleep with the blinding sunlight shining in my face. I groan and roll over, burying my face in the plush pillows. “Mm so soft,” I snuggle into the pillows further until I suddenly remember I don’t have plush soft pillows. My pillow is hard and lumpy. I peel my eyes open and groan at the sudden ache in my head.
Ow, water…I need water and possibly a new brain.
I force my eyes open and blink, looking up to the ceiling, I frown when I see a reflection of myself staring back at me in the bed, naked, wrapped in the sheets.
What on God’s green earth…
I sit up in the bed, and when I take in my surroundings it finally hits me. I’m not in my bedroom. I’m naked in a strange place with a hangover I’m sure is about to put me into an early grave. I lift the bedsheet and stare down at my very naked body under it. Yep, definitely naked. I groan and cover my face with my hand, freezing when I feel something cold and hard pressed against my nose. I pull my hand back slowly and stare at the enormous diamond ring sitting on my finger.
What the fuck… I wrap the sheet around my body as I clamber out of bed and take in the clothes scattered haphazardly all over the room. My heads whirls. “Oh my god, where the hell am I?” I pick up the black shirt off the floor and look at it before dropping it again. I walk over to the window and look out at the view, shielding my eyes from the brightness of the early sun. “This isn’t London.”
“Good morning,” I squeal and spin around when I hear a deep voice behind me. I look at the half-naked man standing before me in a pair of Dior boxers. I wrap the sheet around me tighter as I throw myself back up against the window. “You’re finally up.”
“Oh, good God.” I mutter stunned, and he winces, rubbing his forehead gingerly. He looks as rough as I feel, although a very beautiful man. Amidst my mini panic attack, I try desperately not to think about how God awful I must look to him right now. My hair is a tousled mess, and my make up from the night before is smeared, eyes rimmed red, lips still tinted red from the lipstick I wore.
“Actually, it’s just Cole.”
“Cole. Where the hell are we?”
“Vegas, I believe...”
Oh, sweet Jesus.The ache in my head rouses me from my very peaceful slumber: that and the distinct smell of coconut and passionfruit. I shift to roll onto my side and frown when I feel a heaviness on my chest. I force my eyes open and wince from the sheer brightness of the sun beaming on my face. I glance down at the head of silky brown hair and get another waft of the coconut, passionfruit concoction. It’s her. I shift my head to the side and study the face of the girl currently sprawled across my chest. Not bad. I’ve woken up with worse. Her lips soft and pink, long dark lashes, perfectly shaped eyebrows.What the hell happened last night? I can’t remember a damn thing. Who is this girl? I peel her arm away from my chest gently, detangle our legs, and she moans as I roll her off me, and she snuggles into the pillow with a sigh. I let my eyes wander over her naked body, half wrapped in the sheets while she’s sprawled out on her front, her long
“You…you said you didn’t remember anything.” She says, pointing a finger in my face. I look at her finger and back at her again and roll my eyes.“I don’t. But the state of the room when I woke up this morning was a clear indication of a good night,” I take a step closer to her, and she cranes her neck to look up at me. “There was a trail of clothes from the door to the bed, which means we were completely lost in our passion to not give a damn about anyone’s type,” I state matter-of-factly and wink at her. “Not to mention you’re sporting my signature ‘fucked out’ look.”Shayla’s green eyes grow wide, she huffs and takes a big step back putting some space between us. She rakes her fingers through her hair clearly frustrated.“Wow. I’m not even going to dignify that remark with a response.” She stops pacing and looks at me again. “What are we do
I jump awake when I hear my alarm chirping away on the bedside table next to me. I reach over and feel around for my phone; eyes still closed, I managed to find it and snooze the alarm. Ahh silence. Just as I’m about to doze off again, I remember it's my first day at my new job, and I jump out of bed excited. It was seven-forty-five, and I had to be there at nine o’clock. Satisfied I had enough time I drag myself to the bathroom to shower and get ready.I stare at my reflection in the mirror as I brush my teeth. Eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep and a weekend of heavy drinking had me looking like something out of the night of the living dead. After a steaming hot shower and two mugs of strong coffee, I was feeling a little better. I was trying to convince myself the fluttering around in my stomach wasn’t nerves. Why would I be nervous? I can do this job in my sleep. Ugh, butterflies explode in my stomach again at the thought of work.I was applying my
“You?” I shake my head and look over at Heather and back at the six-foot-something man standing in front of me. “No. No, my boss was an older guy, you’re-”Cole nods slowly. “You must have met my Father. Tony Hoult. He was interviewing for me whilst I was out of town on business.”I stare at Cole and curse the fate that keeps screwing with me. “So, you’re my boss?”Cole nods and fiddles with his cufflinks, his brows fused tightly. “It sure looks that way.”“You’ve already met each other-”“Heather, leave us.” He commands, his eyes never leaving mine and Heather scampers out of the office leaving us alone.“This is a joke, right? Because this can’t be happening,” I mutter, pacing back and forth. “It can’t be.”Cole rubs the back of his neck, watching me pace frantically, mumbling incoherently to myse
“Tristan, we’ve had this conversation before. I’ve had it with your philandering ways. If you want me and your grandfather to take you seriously and pass on our shares to you, you need to prove you’re responsible enough to run a multi-million corporation. You’ll be thirty soon, the time for you to settle down has come. I let you have your fun and sow your wild oats so that you’ll get it out of your system before you settle down.” My father scolds me whilst cutting into his fillet mignon steak. “Hollie comes from a respectable family who has been our dearest friends for generations. She’s a beautiful young lady, and she shares the same passion for architecture as you do. What more could you ask for in a life partner?” He adds, lifting his green eyes to look at me.I clench and unclench my fist under the table. I feel my annoyance grow more by the minute. “Well, I would like to be attracted to my future wife for
“You’re married, you idiot!” He shouts, throwing his hands up in the air. “You can’t marry Hollie if you’re already married. Take Shayla to your grandfather, introduce her as your wife, problem solved.”Oh. Why didn’t I think of this? I am married.I frown. “You mean, we stay married?” Josh nods, widening his blue eyes. “She wouldn’t agree, why would she want to stay married?”Josh throws a cushion at me. “Because you’re Tristan Cole Hoult, that’s why. You’re the most sought-after bachelor in the country—after me, of course.” He says in jest, and I throw the cushion back at him.I roll my eyes exasperated. “Fuck you, arsehole.” Josh catches the cushion and rests his elbow on it, grinning. “She doesn’t care about any of that. She’s nothing like the rest; my fame and money didn’t deter her one bit.”
God? What the hell did I do in my past life for you to be punishing me like this?As I stand there looking at Coles father, utterly humiliated—might I add, he’s just staring back at me confused. “Your wife?” He repeats, averting his gaze to his son. “I don’t understand.”I open my mouth to speak but Cole pipes in, “We’re married, what’s not to understand.” I look up at him, and he pulls me closer against him, and I have the sudden urge to punch the kid in his throat.“I should give you both some privacy,” I say and turn to leave the room.“Stay right there, young lady!” He shouts, and I jump startled at his sudden outburst. I nod and hang my head in silence, shrinking back beside Cole. “Tristan, I hired this girl a few days ago to be your assistant. What do you mean you’re married?” He questions, his green eyes, identical to Coles darting between us waiting for an answer. “What? Did it just slip your mind that you’re married to the CEO of the company?” He ask
“Thank you, Shayla. You have no idea how much this means to me. Honestly.” I nod and pull my hand back. “Well, nobody should be forced to marry someone they don’t love. Even entitled rich boys like yourself ought to have a happily ever after.” I tease, and he scoffs and pokes my side. “I am not an entitled rich boy.” He defends feigning annoyance, but I see the corner of his lips curl. “I work really hard okay.” He says and chuckles when I give him a pointed look. “Ok fine, I work hard.” “Whatever you say champ. Can we please discuss what we are going to tell you, parents, because I’m kind of terrified here?” I question, and he nods. “We just need to get our stories straight. My parents know me very well, especially my mother, so if we are going to convince them that we are in love, we have to act the part.” I shake my head and hold my hand up. “Hold up –define ‘in love’ because, if by that you mean you’re going to be shoving your tongue down