Copyright © 2011 Jess Dee
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“Josh?” Sienna asked tentatively.
He nodded. “In the flesh.”
And, oh, dear Lord, what flesh it was. If the teenage Josh had made her blush like a fool, the very adult version made every nerve ending stand to attention. At sixteen, he’d been cute. At thirty, he was full-blown sex on a stick.
He sat with a thunk on the deck chair Kylie had just vacated and shook his head in wonder. “If you weren’t the star feature in every wet dream I ever had…”
Her eyes popped open. “If I wasn’t what?”
“My wet dream every night for years,” he said, his gaze roaming over her face. “How are you, Si?”
She blinked several times, processing his words, his presence leaving her staggered.
Josh was here. On the island. Josh Lye. Or, as she, Mack and Kylie had called him, Josh Lie-With-Me. Hmm, nope, hang on. She was the only one who’d called him that, and only when he wasn’t anywhere near. Ky and Mack had called him Josh Lie-With-Si.
Sienna had only had a crush on him the entire way through high school. She’d have shed her good-girl image in a second if even once he’d shown her any interest. Hell, she’d have tossed her much-cherished virginity aside in a heartbeat for just five minutes with him.
God, she hadn’t seen him in…twelve years.
“I…I’m okay.” She finally found the presence of mind to answer his question. “You?”
His gaze dropped to her chest and then slowly made its way down to her thighs. A grin tugged at his lips. “Good. Never better.”
Sienna frowned. “You know, you have some kind of cheek, mister.”
He cast her a questioning look. “I do?”
“Where do you get off making me the center of your wet dreams, anyway?”
“Where do I get off?” His lips twitched, as though he tried to repress a bark of laughter. “Uh, you really need me to answer?”
Sienna resisted the urge to drop her head in her hands and cover the blush she knew blossomed on her cheeks. Darn, that was so not what she’d meant. “Listen up, mate, I haven’t seen you in forever, and you greet me with an explicit insight into your teenage fantasies. Nice. Real nice.” Oh, yeah, real nice. It would have been nicer to know when she was a teenager too. When he’d been the main feature of every one of her adolescent dreams.
Josh’s gaze dropped to her chest again, the exact place where her cleavage spilled over the top, and he let out a low wolf whistle. “Not just a teenage fantasy. I strongly suspect you’re gonna be the center of a full-blown adult wet dream tonight as well. Mine.”
She gaped at him. “You didn’t just say that.”
His eyes twinkled as he winked. “I always did like the way you blushed in school. How quickly those cheeks filled with color. Seems like nothing’s changed.”
Apparently nothing had changed. She’d blushed as a teenager every time Josh had walked into a room, and she was blushing again now. It was like her body couldn’t deny her attraction to him.
Josh eyed her sexily. “I still like how you look when you blush. Like a mixture of a Penthouse centerfold and an innocent kid.”
She snorted. “I’m thirty years old. Hardly an innocent kid.”
“Which leaves just the Penthouse centerfold.”
She opened her mouth to retort and realized she was struck speechless.
A rumble of laughter filled the air. “There it is again. The trademark Sienna James blush.”
“Damn it, you’re doing this on purpose. You haven’t changed one bit, have you?”
Josh shook his head. “Nope, I was crazy about you in school, and after spending two minutes with you now, I’m crazy about you all over again.”
“Pffft.” She dismissed his comment with a flick of her wrist, although she couldn’t hide her smile. Or deny the tug of awareness that flickered through her belly and lower. It was the first tug she’d felt for anyone other than Ben in a seriously long time. “What are you doing on the island?”
“Time.” He grimaced. “Two months hard labor.”
“You work here?” Would surprises never cease?
He nodded. “It’s been hell, I tell you. Hell. I’m forced to swim every morning, sail a cat at sunset, dive on weekends and run barefoot along the beach every lunch hour. It’s killing me.”
She gave him a commiserative nod. “I can see the toll it’s taken. You look awful.” Awful good. He looked downright lickable. Sienna could only thank her lucky stars the waitress arrived with her daiquiri at that moment. Otherwise, she would, without a doubt, have licked him.
Not all over. Just a little sample of his neck. And maybe his lips. And, if she could just get that T-shirt out of the way, then maybe a nipple as well.
She took a very long sip of daiquiri and shoved all thoughts of licks, lips and nipples aside. “So, what hard labor have you been sentenced to?”
“Installing the computer network.” He shook his head and scowled. “Wanna know the worst part of all? They may make it a life sentence. The hotel needs a permanent IT person on staff, twenty-four seven.”
He grinned then. An outrageously sexy grin. A grin that made her want to lick him all over again. Everywhere.
“What did I do to deserve this kind of punishment?” he asked her. “What?”
“I’m sorry. You must have been a very bad boy.” She laid her hand over his in mock comfort and jerked as a jolt of heat shot through her palm.
“I was a very bad boy.” His eyes danced. “And I grew into a very bad man. Want to see proof?”
Yes! Every instinct she possessed yelled in her head. She’d wanted proof when she was a teenager, and she wanted proof now. Hell, proof with Josh would be a fantastic way of taking that final step away from Ben.
She suppressed her base needs and clung to her common sense instead, taking another sip of her drink for fortification. “I’d rather see proof of your sailing skills,” she told him. “I saw the cats out on the beach earlier. I’d have taken one out on my own, but since I have no idea how to sail and would probably flip the Hobie and drown myself, I figured I’d better not take a chance.”
“Fair dinkum? You wanna go sailing with me?” He turned his hand palm up, and Sienna belatedly realized she’d forgotten to move her arm away. Before she could motivate herself to do just that, Josh clasped her hand in his.
She bit her cheek, refusing to focus on the warmth of his skin as it wrapped around her hand. “That depends.”
He raised an eyebrow. “On what?”
“You gonna talk any more about those wet dreams you used to have?”