Authors: Shelli Stevens
Published by Shelli Stevens
Copyright © 2014 by Shelli Stevens
Kati Rodriguez/Romance Wrangler
Special thanks to Kati for the awesome cover, Kim Linger Brooks for doing a fabulous beta reading for me, and to LK Campbell for being super sweet and fitting me into your schedule for formatting! Big hugs to you all.
This ebook was formally published as Tourist Attraction, but has been rewritten slightly and republished. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at [email protected]
All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.
“Mel, you dirty bitch!” a voice rang out, followed by a high-pitched giggle. “What the hell are you doing out here alone?”
Melanie took a sip of her Daiquiri and waited a moment to answer her friend. Taking a moment more to watch the Hawaiian sunset. The dramatic swirls of orange and purple clouds hypnotized her. Even after the sun melted into the water and the sky began filling with stars, the heat barely dissipated.
This was paradise. No doubt about it. Almost every item had been scratched off her To Do List. Parasailing, snorkeling, a helicopter tour, and ingesting enough alcohol to maintain a decent buzz throughout the entire trip. There was just one item left. The one with a big honking question mark by it. A symbol in itself an admission that she wasn’t sure she had the nerve to go through with it.
Melanie tossed back the rest of her drink before turning to face her approaching friend. Unlike her, Piper had absolutely no problem completing that last item. It showed in the glow in her face—not to mention the sexy Greek arm candy.
“You remember Nikolos, right?” Piper clutched the bulky arm of the man next to her.
“Mmm hmm.” Melanie glanced over the couple. God, they were disgustingly perfect people. Piper was tall, blonde, and gorgeous. Nikolos was taller, dark and just as pretty.
Piper leaned forward, and in a bad attempt at a stage whisper asked, “You find someone to have sex with yet?”
Melanie’s cheeks warmed. “Yeah, about that. I don’t know if I will.”
“Excuse me?” Piper’s eyebrows shot up, and then she turned to Nikolos. “Baby, will you please get me another Piña Colada?”
He nodded and gave her an intimate smile. “Of course.”
After the sexy Greek had left them alone, Piper spun back to face her. “We had a deal.”
“I know.” Melanie groaned and crossed her arms across her chest. She should’ve known it would come to this. “And I’ve been thinking about it, and well, I just don’t know if—”
“No,” Piper interrupted. “No, no and no. We booked this vacation from school with three intentions. One: to have fun. Two: to get a great tan. Three: we each have a fabulous fling that we remember when we’re old, shriveled, and surviving on hormone pills. Remember that whole Mai Tais and Island Guys bit? Operation Get Leid.”
“I know,” Melanie conceded. Piper had every right to be mad. They’d made a pact. A pact she was trying to weasel out of. “I just haven’t seen anyone worth flinging with.”
“Hello there, beautiful.”
Melanie turned to check out the beefy blond surfer who’d come up to hit on her. He was pretty cute, but probably more bronze than brains. “Not interested, thanks.”
After he’d wandered off, Piper shook her head, looking at her as if she’d gone crazy. “Seriously? You said no thanks to that? You’re too picky. He had a great ass.”
“I saw that, but I’m looking for more than a great ass.”
“For a fling? Why?”
Melanie shrugged. When they’d made the pact, it had sounded so exciting and spontaneous. But now that she was here and actually contemplating the idea of throwing herself into bed with some stranger—
“We have two days left, Melanie. Two days for you to find some yummy guy to hook up with.”
Melanie nodded, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth. What should she do? Just say screw it? That guy a minute ago would have been perfect to have a fling with. Hell, he’d been a walking sex symbol. Her gaze drifted back to the surfer who was now walking down the beach away from the resort.
“You’re going to back out on me.” Piper sighed. “I should have known. You’re way too straight-laced for this.”
“I’m not straight-laced,” Melanie protested.
Who was she trying to convince, though, Piper or herself? Tons of people had flings. There was no reason she shouldn’t do it too. Just as long as she took precautions and made sure it stayed purely sexual. Would it be so bad to let her hair down and have some fun? God, she was twenty-two and she’d been acting like some sex hating spinster lately.
“Go after the surfer, Mel. Come on, you’ve got to admit he was hot.”
“He was a little hot,” she admitted grudgingly.
Piper was right. She needed to loosen up. This wasn’t about finding a soul mate; this was about having some good vacation sex. “Okay. I’ll do it. I need to lose my born again virginity anyway.”
“Mel’s gonna get some,” Piper sang, and then squeezed her hand. “Hurry, before he’s gone.”
Piper’s excitement for her made Melanie’s enthusiasm kick up a notch.
“All right, here I go. Wait!” Melanie hesitated. “What if he says no?”
“To a cute, busty, redhead? Shut the fuck up and get going.”
“You’re just saying that so I’ll go have sex. But its okay, I expect no less from you.” Melanie grinned. “Wish me luck.”
“Good luck. I’ll stay with Nikolos tonight. You can have the room.”
Melanie barely heard her. She was too busy running.
She was actually doing it. Her blood pumped through her veins with the adrenaline rush.
“Hey,” she shouted, trying to catch up with the surfer.
She emerged from the palm trees onto the sandy beach and tried to pick up her pace, but her feet kept sinking and slipping in the sand.
“Hey!” she yelled again, gaining on him.
He started to turn around.
Bingo. He’s mine
her heel twisted in the sand and she yelped, flailed her arms, and fell flat on her face.
Of course. Of course I would fall. And why wouldn’t I?
When she looked up, the surfer had turned and walked away. How embarrassing. What the hell had she been doing? Chasing after a surfer to convince him to have sex with her? This was a whole new low. Screw the pact with Piper. The whole idea had been ridiculous anyway. She wasn’t that desperate for sex.
“Are you okay?”
Oh God, someone had actually witnessed her tumble to the ground? Melanie looked up.
“I’m...” she trailed off, dazed by the man who knelt beside her. He was... “Fine.”
Visually, he was male perfection. His shoulders were broad, and a well-defined six-pack rippled his abdomen. Lowering her gaze further she observed the muscular legs under the black board shorts.
He must have been out for a jog, because a slight sheen of sweat shone on his mocha-colored skin and his breathing was slightly labored.
“That was quite a fall,” he said. “Next time you go running on the beach, you might consider taking off your heels.”
Melanie’s face warmed with a blush. “I didn’t—what are you doing?”
The man had unfastened her sandal and was pulling it free from her foot.
“I’m checking to see if you broke anything or if it’s just a sprain.”
At the mention of something actually being wrong with her foot, she became aware of its painful throbbing. But the pain became secondary the moment he lightly traced his fingers over her swelling flesh.
It should’ve been weird. This stranger touching her so gently, but she was weirdly okay with it. Maybe a little more than okay. Tingles of awareness moved up her leg and her skin broke out in gooseflesh.
Trying to distract herself from becoming too aware of his touch, she joked, “Are you a doctor or something?”
“Actually, I’m just finishing up with my residency,” he replied, circling his thumb over her ankle.
Damn. Talk about a good guess.
“What’s your name?”
“Nice to meet you, Melanie. I’m Asher.” He lifted his gaze briefly, and she almost heard a click as their eyes met.
His mouth curved into a smile. The whiteness of his teeth showed bright against his tan skin and dark brown eyes. Her breath hitched at the immediate effect it had on her.
“Well, it looks like you’ve got yourself a minor sprain.”
“Oh,” was all she could say, because her mind was just thinking how damn attractive he was.
Not as bulky or blonde like the surfer, but handsome in another way and clearly leaned more on the brains more than the brawns. Though he had both.
“Why don’t we go get some ice on it?” He slid an arm around her waist and helped her stand.
“Okay.” The tingles spread to her waist. When was the last time she’d been so aware of guy’s touch? Had she ever?
“Unless,” Asher paused. “Were you meeting someone?”
Melanie thought briefly of the surfer and flushed again. Best not to bring up that moment of insanity.
“No. I’m...no. Ice would probably great.”
He gave her that smile again, and everything inside her turned liquid. With Asher supporting her, they moved slowly across the beach.
His hand rested on the side of her waist, lightly touching the bare patch between her sarong and bikini top, and burning the flesh underneath. She stumbled and his hand slid up her ribcage to just beneath her breast. Knowing how close his fingers were to the sensitive spots, her nipples tightened under her bikini top.
He glanced down at her. “How are you holding up?”
Asher’s gaze went from her face to the swell of her breasts. His eyes became an even darker shade of chocolate, and she had no doubt that he’d noticed her hardened nipples. Should’ve been embarrassing, but he didn’t look uncomfortable. He looked... more than a little interested. Maybe even effected.
“I’m okay.” She cleared her throat. “You know, my room’s pretty close if you want to just drop me off there.”
He helped her through the lobby. “What’s the room number?”
Melanie told him. If she were sensible, she’d just let him drop her off and go. If she were to keep her bargain with Piper, she’d try and convince him to stay.
“What do you do for a living, Melanie?”
“I just graduated with an Art degree and am about to start looking for a job. Hope to teach at the middle school level.”
“Really? I’m impressed.” A small smile tipped his sexy lips. “Do you have your key?”
She blinked. They were already standing outside her room and she was just chatting away.
See what this guy does to your head
“Oh, right. Hold on.” She grabbed the key card out of her wristlet purse and slid it into the lock.
Asher opened the door and went inside first, flipping on the lights.
“Thanks.” Melanie hobbled in after him. Now was the moment he either left her or...
“I’ll go grab some ice.” He snatched the ice bucket, took the key from her fingers, and then headed for the door. “Why don’t you sit down and stay off your foot?”
Watching him leave, Melanie realized he had a fabulous ass. Hmm. Had she actually diminished the importance of a great ass to Piper? She
been drunk. Only she hadn’t been. Maybe she was just loopy from the pain right now.
Melanie hobbled over to the bed and fell backwards onto it, throwing her arms above her head. She thought about sitting up, but the combination of a fruity alcoholic drink and a throbbing ankle made horizontal a much more appealing position.
A moment later the door clicked open. “Here’s your—wow.”
He came over to the bed, his feet barely making a sound on the plush carpet, and sat down beside her.
Maybe she should’ve sat up. Tried not to look like she was offering herself up like a buffet. But she couldn’t regret it as his gaze traveled over her body like a caress. A sensual caress that made all the tiny hairs rise on her body.
“You look like a sacrifice to the gods,” he murmured, his voice a bit thick.
She gave a throaty laugh. “Sounds kinky.”
Asher dropped his gaze, clearly struggling to stay in Good Samaritan/doctor mode, as he wrapped a few pieces of ice in a towel, and then set it against her ankle. He was going to be a great doctor. He had a gentle touch, and a friendliness that put strangers completely at ease.
The women patients would love him. She narrowed her eyes and moved her gaze to his naked chest. No hair, all smooth and defined. Solid.