“Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.” The light clicked on again and turned away. “You two carry on.”
He didn’t even sound mortified at catching them. At finding Audrey with Reese. He sounded . . . amused. And that hurt. It hurt a lot. If he’d even cared a bit about her in any way other than as friends, he’d have been upset or jealous. Instead, he was just amused at catching them.
Reese continued to rub her arm, protectively hiding her behind him. After a long minute, he murmured, “He’s gone.”
Audrey flung him away, gulping down the tears of shame in her throat. She swam away from Reese, heading for the shore. Half of her expected him to argue, but he didn’t and simply swam after her. When she made it to the shore, she ran for her towel and wrapped it around her body, grabbing her clothes and running for the house.
“Audrey, wait!” Reese called after her. “Do you want to talk about this?”
“No!” she said, and ran before he could say anything else.
Well, damn. He could kill Cade for having such shitty timing.
Reese wrapped the towel around his hips and picked up his clothes, heading back toward the house. Audrey had ran away moments ago, and he was pretty sure she was crying. And Reese was pretty sure that bothered him on levels he hadn’t expected it to bother him on.
Cade didn’t love her. If she ever got over her blind infatuation with the man and stopped to use her eyes, she’d realize it. But she only saw what she wanted to see, and it frustrated him.
Audrey was gorgeous. Not in the flashy way of the women he normally dated. Those women were perfectly tanned, perfectly toned, and had nothing going on between their ears except for when their next nail salon appointment would be. Those women bored him. Audrey, meanwhile, seemed to constantly keep him on his toes. He liked that she was unafraid to snipe back at him. He liked that she was constantly thinking, even if her thoughts did seem to be focused on either Cade or her sister.
And he really liked that fiery girl he kept coaxing to the surface. There was a lot of hidden spark inside of Audrey, and he had no idea why she worked so hard to clamp it down, hiding behind dull clothes and a skin-tight bun of hair. It was why he kept pushing at her. He wanted to see the woman break through the rigid surface.
And that Audrey? She was an animal. He grinned and rubbed his earlobe as he headed to the house, thinking of the way she’d come on to him. No coaxing from him this time. She’d made out with his ear and then kissed him back with a ferocious intensity. She’d wrapped her legs around him and bounced against his cock with fearless abandon, pressing those big breasts against his chest. And God, if that hadn’t been the sexiest thing he’d seen in a long damn time. She’d been close to coming—he could tell in the way she’d bitten and licked at his skin like she wanted to crawl inside him.
Except Cade and his shitty, shitty timing had ruined it. Reese re-entered the lodge and shut the door quietly behind him. The living room was silent, and all parties were likely in their rooms and pretending to be asleep once more. Reese headed up to his room and discarded the towel as soon as he shut the door behind him. He was a bit chilled but it could wait. Instead, he walked up to the large mirror on the wall and turned on the lamp on the nearby dresser.
And grinned. His shoulder was covered in red welts from where her mouth had left hickies on him. He flexed and turned, glancing at his back. There were dozens of red scores from her nails.
Audrey was a little demon, wasn’t she? He liked that. He turned the lamp off and slid into bed, under the covers.
His cock was hard and aching, and his hand absently stroked it as he thought of Audrey on the dock, her pearly skin gleaming in the moonlight. Her body was fuller than most women he’d dated, her hips thick. But she’d been soft and delicious in his arms, and those curvy hips tapered into an hourglass waist before curving back out again for that wonderful pair of large breasts she had. He was a breast man, and she had a magnificent set—full and heavy, tipped with tight pink nipples. She clearly didn’t find herself attractive but, God, she was gorgeous. Sexier than Camilla. Definitely sexier than Audrey’s sickly, famous sister that Cade seemed so infatuated with.
Maybe it was a good thing that Cade had caught them. Maybe she’d wake up and realize that Cade had zero interest in her . . . and she’d move on to someone like, say, Reese.
He’d be happy to have that lush redhead clinging to him in bed. Just thinking about that made his hand pump faster on his cock. She deserved better than Cade. No, scratch that, he thought with a frown. Cade was the best guy that Reese knew. He was kind and generous and always thinking of others. But Audrey was so contained and careful around him. That Audrey didn’t need to be around twenty-four seven. She needed someone who would make the fiery girl come out. Someone like him.
Running a hand over his shoulder again, he grinned and thought of the hickies on his skin. Tomorrow he’d have to wear a wife-beater to show off the marks. He couldn’t wait to see the angry flush on her cheeks at the sight. He continued to stroke himself, his hand tighter and moving faster on his cock, imagining Audrey’s flushed cheeks, lush breasts, and that tight bun that never even let a tendril of hair escape. How she kept everything so tightly wound and neat that when she exploded, it was like a volcano.
His orgasm took him by surprise. He grunted, still working his cock as he spilled over his hand. Great. He’d just come imagining a woman’s prissy bun coming undone. And for some reason, Reese couldn’t stop grinning.
Audrey trembled in bed, bundled in a new set of pajamas, alternating between fury and shame.
Fury because she wondered if Reese had set up the skinny-dipping rendezvous deliberately so Cade would catch them. He knew how she felt about Cade. Knew she loved him, and he had nothing but derision for her feelings. He’d made that very clear. She wouldn’t put it past him to have set up the situation with Cade.
Except she knew Cade wouldn’t go along with something like that just to humiliate her. Cade was too . . . well, Cade was too nice.
And she was the one who had started it when she’d kissed Reese.
Horror coiled through her and she wanted to hide under the blankets and never come out. She’d come on to Reese Durham. She’d been unable to resist pressing up against him and she was the one who had attacked him like a starving woman. He’d simply been following her lead.
Why was she so attracted to the man? She should have been focused entirely on Cade, but instead she was hyper-aware of Reese’s every motion, right down to the way his ass flexed when he bent over.
It bothered her that this was the opportunity she’d been waiting for—some alone time with Cade. And she was spending it all bickering with Reese and groping him every time Cade’s back was turned.
And Cade had caught them tonight. And he’d thought nothing of the two of them making out together. No jealousy, nothing.
And she should be utterly devastated. She should be. But she was embarrassed and ashamed. Her hand slid between her legs and she sighed. And she was still a little horny, which sucked.
The next morning at dawn, Reese dressed in a wife-beater and a pair of sweatpants he found in one of Cade’s drawers and made a pot of coffee before heading out to chop more wood. Audrey seemed to like a fire going all day and he liked pleasing her with something that simple.
He’d chopped two logs before the back door opened and Cade slipped out in a warm sweater and jeans, carrying two mugs of coffee. He moved down the steps and approached Reese, then offered one to him. “Can we talk for a minute?”
“This about last night?” Reese asked, taking the mug.
Reese grunted and moved to sit on the chopping log.
Cade sat nearby on the steps, cradling the mug of coffee in his hands. He studied it for a minute and then glanced over at Reese, squinting into the rising sun. “So. You and Audrey. You want to tell me what that’s all about?”
“Just a little bit of harmless flirtation,” Reese said easily. “Why do you want to know? You’re not interested in her, are you?”
Cade gave him an impatient look. “You know she’s like a sister to me. I don’t want to see her get hurt by you.”
“I’m not going to hurt her. Jesus, Cade. When did you turn into my dad?”
“You two were naked in the water last night. Wrapped around each other. It’s normal for me to have concerns. We both know you’re a player, Reese.”
So he was. They each had their different strengths. Logan was a leader of men. Cade’s strength was his generosity of heart and open minded thinking. Reese’s strength lay in people—specifically using them for his own needs. He didn’t do it out of meanness; most women knew what they were getting when they got together with him. His tabloid moniker of “playboy billionaire” was well earned.
But for some reason, it irritated him that Cade automatically assumed he was using Audrey. “I’m not going to hurt her, Cade. We’re just having a bit of fun. Lay off.”
“The girls said you were here with someone else when I arrived. Camilla, was it?”
Reese sighed. “Camilla’s a good girl, but she’s just business. Her dad owns the hotel chain that’s thinking about investing in the cruise line.”
“And so you’re going to sleep with her?”
Reese shrugged. “We were just having fun, too.”
“That’s your problem, Reese. You don’t take anything seriously when it comes to women. Audrey’s not a girl you can use and discard.” Cade’s brows pulled together and for a moment he looked rather unhappy. “She deserves better.”
“Better than me? You’re wounding me, man.”
“I know you’re just bored—”
“Oh, fuck off with that,” Reese interrupted, his temper coming to the front. “I’m not fucking around with her because I’m bored. Now you’re insulting me and her.”
“I just want to know if you really like her, Reese. That’s all. She’s not your normal type.” Cade’s voice smoothed out. “I wasn’t trying to piss you off.”
“I know. She’s like a sister to you.” Reese rubbed at his forehead and then chugged the coffee before tossing the rest of the mug’s contents to the ground. “I get that. I just . . . I don’t know. She’s different. I like making her get all fiery and pissed off, because then she comes at me like a tigress.”
Cade chuckled and grimaced. “It’s weird to hear that about Audrey. I’ve known her since we were children and I don’t think anyone’s ever described her as a tigress.”
“She’s not bland or boring,” Reese said, feeling the need to defend her. “She just wants everyone to think that. It’s all an act she puts on so people will appreciate her or some shit.”
“I never said she was bland or boring.” Cade looked surprised at the thought. “I’ve known the twins since grade school. They’re both too smart for their own good. That’s why I had to ask you what your intentions were.”
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