When Griff asked her whether, to cut costs, she’d like to room with him at their friends’ wedding, Natalie should have said no. But now as they sip margaritas on a white sand beach, Natalie finds flirting with her long time crush a little too easy. And finds sleeping next to him, night after night, to be too much temptation.
Natalie now knew what an utter mistake she’d made by agreeing to room with Griff.
Over the top of her book, she watched him walk out of the pool at the resort. Water cascaded down his body, shimmering in the sunlight as it trickled down his abs. His biceps swelled when he reached up to smooth wet hair out of his eyes. If touched, Natalie expected those circular bumps would have absolutely no give.
Smiling at her, he stretched out on the neighboring lounge chair. He didn’t bother to use the towel he’d left hanging on the back. Instead, he let the hot sun evaporate the clingy droplets. Raising one arm, he used that impressive bicep to cushion his head. In a state of relaxed bliss, he closed his eyes.
Natalie’s heart skipped a beat. The masculine tuft of hair beneath his arm curled from lingering moisture. Retaining some of the chlorinated water, the hair on his forearms and legs was plastered to his skin. On his smooth chest, the only place water had pooled was beneath the gold cross pendant that sat between his pecs.
Forcing her attention back to the book, she attempted to make sense of the words on the page, but with her mind turned to mush she ended up reading the same sentence over and over.
“You should join me.”
“What do you mean?” Considering they were sharing a room at the resort, they’d spent much of the last few days together.
“In the pool.” Opening his eyes, he focused his bright blue gaze at her. “We’ve been here two days already, and I’ve yet to see you get into the water. In the ocean or the pool.” He eyed her outfit. “Ditch the cover-up and join me.”
Their group of friends had flown down to the Bahamas to celebrate Sabrina and Mark’s wedding. Between family, friends, and significant others, they totaled sixteen. They would spend one week enjoying the sand and surf, watch their friends get married, and then fly home again, leaving Sabrina and Mark to revel in a second week at the resort, for their honeymoon.
“I’m plain Jane remember?” Natalie shook her book. In high school, they’d all teased her for being a bookworm. “It’ll take a lot of coercion to get me into the water.”
“Nat, you’re anything but plain.” The way Griff looked at her, as though he was mentally undressing her, made her shiver. “I think I’m up to that challenge.” He looked toward the bar. “In the meantime, how about a drink? My treat.”
Because the resort was all inclusive, she laughed.
Coming from an abusive, alcoholic family, Natalie didn’t often overindulge, but one drink might prove a nice distraction, so she agreed.
“What do you drink?”
Besides the occasional glass of wine, she didn’t know much about alcohol. She shrugged. “Something fruity, maybe?”
He swung his long legs over the side of the lounger, resting his bare feet on the patio slabs. “Something fruity coming up.”
Natalie admired the swimming trunks he wore, a silhouetted palm tree down one side cast in the glow of a deep red sunset. She snorted. Sure, it was the bathing suit she was admiring.
Putting her nose back between the pages of her book, she again tried to focus on the story, but her brain wouldn’t cooperate.
Six months earlier, Griff had come into the coffee shop where she worked. He’d asked her whether as a way to cut costs, she’d like to share a room when they went to the wedding. She should have said no.
She’d had a major crush on him since they were in high school. Each time he posted a picture on Facebook of his latest adventure—touring Europe, building houses in Chile, or swimming with great white sharks off the coast of Australia—she’d pictured herself right there with him, exploring new places and indulging in his wonderful body.
But having lived in foster homes as a teenager, adventure for her came in the form of paying her way through university and being able to afford her own apartment. The biggest risk she’d ever taken had been when she started up her blog. Online, she’d connected with another avid romance reader, and together they had started up a review site. The closest she got to adventure was in the pages of her books. And that was the way she preferred to keep it.