Copyright © 2012 Cathryn Fox
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
As Haley negotiated her car through the narrow gravel road leading to Cole’s cabin, she thought more about the weekend ahead and all the bad-girl therapy she had planned for the gorgeous high school boy who had grown into one hell of a sexy man.
Her friends, Madison and Allison, had been urging her to come along for the weekend, but she didn’t want to just show up unannounced. Fortunately for her, Drake’s phone call had given her the perfect excuse to accompany her friends to the secluded cabin in the woods and to put her sexy plan into motion. Lord knew after all the stuffed shirts her parents had set her up with, boring men they were determined to marry her off to, a summer fling with a hot guy with an even hotter reputation was just the thing she needed.
Her car hit a bump, dragging her mind back. Off in the distance, through the thinning trees, she caught a glimpse of his cabin. It was small but quaint, and just beyond the structure she glimpsed a long wooden dock leading to the majestic Atlantic Ocean. The cool water called out to her, and thoughts of jumping in after the sun went down filled her with erotic sensations. After all, it was the perfect setting for her to begin her…therapy.
Even though she’d never been invited to Cole’s cabin—back in the day athletes didn’t associate with good girls on student council—she’d heard all about the wild parties he used to throw—parties that ended up with couples naked beneath the full moon.
Or so she’d been told.
While she’d hated hearing about those wild weekends secondhand, and hated that she’d never been invited to participate in any of his gatherings, this weekend she planned to make up for lost time, and to show the soccer star what he’d missed out on. That good girl Haley Jones really was naughty beneath the nice.
Then again, back in the day, with a socialite mother and a father in politics, her folks never would have allowed her to cross the tracks and go to Cole’s cabin anyway. She did, after all, have an image to uphold.
They all did.
But now—well, now she was all grown up, and she could make her own decisions. She blew out a long, slow breath and frowned. Hell, who was she kidding? Not only was she a professional physiotherapist who took her job very seriously, her father was the mayor, which meant she still had to keep her image squeaky clean for both their sakes.
Still, here at the cabin, with no one around for miles, she was hoping she could forget about reality for a while and just play by the Vegas rules.
She tapped her brakes, and as she eased her vehicle between two towering trees, she noticed the other vehicles already in the driveway. Pulling the key from the ignition, she climbed from the driver’s side, and that’s when she heard laughter coming from inside the cabin, a sign she was the last to arrive.
The fragrant scent of pine and moss filled the air, and despite the cut-off denims and the spaghetti-strap tank top she wore, warm heat washed over her and moistened her skin as she circled the car. She wiped her brow, thinking she might jump into that ocean sooner rather than later.
She popped her trunk and grabbed her overnight bag, as well as the camera equipment she promised Drake she’d bring along, and rounded the corner to the front door. But when she caught sight of Cole, heavy axe in hand as he chopped firewood, her breath caught in her throat and her legs nearly went out from beneath her.
Looking wild and rugged in a pair of old, worn jeans that hugged his body in all the right places, he swung the axe with practiced ease. When his thick muscles bunched with the movement, it had her heart doing a double beat and her womb clenching with raw need.
Her glance raked over him with acute awareness, taking pleasure in the sight of a sexy, half-naked man conquering a wood pile. Lord knew she’d seen shirtless men before, but she’d never seen this kind of shirtless. It made her breathless, excited, nervous and uneasy all at the same time.
A loud crack split the air and echoed around her. Cole lifted the axe again, but when he noticed her standing there, he straightened to his full height and lowered the blade. Moisture glistened on his body, and the second his dark, intense eyes locked on hers, sexual tension like she’d never before experienced arced between them. Flirting with him at the office had been one thing, but seeing him here, completely in his element as he split timber, was something else entirely.
He swiped his forehead with the back of his hand, and everything in the careful way he watched her had her insides quivering and her brain second-guessing her scintillating plan. Lord, if he could rattle her this much with just a simple look then what would he do to her when they were stripped bare beneath the full moon—when he was pushing deep inside her?
She sucked in air and took a moment to mull that over. Maybe she really was getting in over her head, playing a dangerous game with a guy like Cole Landon. Because a guy like that, a guy who looked right at her and not through her and was so completely different from the stuffed shirts she was used to, did something weird to her insides. Something that had her thinking a simple summer fling that ended with the changing leaves might be a little harder than she’d first anticipated.
But the thought of her parents’ loveless marriage had reality rushing back in a whoosh, and it instantly reminded her she didn’t do relationships. And from what she knew about Cole, he didn’t either.
Summoning her composure, she took another look at the sexy guy before her, and even though he affected her on some deeper level, one she couldn’t quite understand, she decided she’d come too far to back down now. She was simply here for a little fun, nothing more, nothing less.
“Cole,” she greeted, trying to keep the quiver from her voice as her glance went from his handsome face, to the sharp blade glinting in the sun, back to his face again.
Looking like sex incarnate, Cole leaned on his axe. His grin was slow, sexy. “I guess I’m busted.”
Haley planted one hand on her hip and admonished him. “You know you’re not supposed to be putting pressure on that leg.”
He gave a casual shrug as testosterone oozed off him in waves and curled around her body in the most provocative ways. “We needed firewood.”
With a nod, Haley gestured toward the cabin and worked to keep her voice steady. “You could have asked one of the guys.”
Cole dropped the axe and came toward her. As his presence and close proximity completely overwhelmed her, she felt a little breathless, a little disoriented.
“I could have,” he said, and dipped his head, his hair falling forward to shadow his eyes. He moved closer, and a tremor raced through her as his warm breath washed over her face. “But I like doing it.” She didn’t miss his sexual undertones when he added, “In fact, there are a lot of things I like doing out here at the cabin. Things you might or might not like.”
Her knees trembled in anticipation—she knew full well if he was doing it, then she was liking it.
“Fine,” she said for lack of anything else as she tried to conjure a modicum of composure. “I’ll let you off the hook this time, but from here on out you’ll be following my rules, and you’ll be doing everything I say.”
“And if I don’t, are you going to ride me all weekend?”
A shiver moved through her at his suggestive words. “You just do what I want, and we’ll get along fine.”
He stepped close, until his body was only inches from hers. “What exactly is it that you want me to do, Haley?”