A new lover, an old flame, sultry moonlit nights. Why let inhibitions stand in the way?
Bandicoot Cove: The Wedding, Book 3
Two years ago, Hayley Bryant left Australia on a round-the-world odyssey that changed her life, and her attitude. After that, coming face to face with the man whose rejection sent her packing shouldn’t affect her at all, right?
Except there’s one thing that hasn’t changed—her former boss Mitchell Wood makes her burn as hot as ever. The difference is, Hayley’s now a grown woman who knows how to get what she wants, and she wants Mitch. Trouble is, she hasn’t come to her friend’s wedding alone. Her very sexy friend with benefits, Ty Butler, might pose a problem.
Business was always Mitch’s first love…at least until he hired his little sister’s friend as an intern. Pushing her away was the right thing to do, but now his sister’s wedding has Hayley re-entering his life—and the empty place in his heart. Soon he’s acting less like the consummate workaholic and more like a man crazy in love. But Hayley’s “plus one” is an unexpected obstacle.
Fortunately, Mitch has never been one to shy away from a little competition…
Product WarningsBilby Island’s sensual spell strikes again. Book contains hot lovin’ made in beautiful tropical surrounds, some exhibitionism, voyeurism and bondage. Best read with a margarita in hand and the fan switched to high.
Copyright © 2012 Sami Lee
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Something in Mitch’s gut clenched and the muscles around his heart squeezed tight. There goes walking and talking and generally acting like I have it all together. “Hales? Hayley Bryant?”
“Yes, Hayley Bryant, you doofus. Little Hayley, the girl I begged you to hire when she finished her degree so she could get some business experience.” Mack squinted at him. “She worked for you for over a year, remember?”
Remember he did, in vivid detail. That year wasn’t one Mitch had ever managed to forget, no matter how hard he’d tried over the past twenty-two months. Hayley Bryant. The sickening sense of loss that always swirled in his stomach at the thought of her made the strong rum-based cocktail nearly come back up the way it went down.
“She arrived just this afternoon, after you,” Mack went on, apparently unaware that Mitch’s throat had closed over, preventing him from contributing to the conversation. “She looks amazing. So different you’ll hardly recognize her.”
A picture of bouncy pale blonde curls framing a cherubic face and green eyes that sparkled with intelligence flashed in Mitch’s mind. He wasn’t sure he liked the idea of Hayley looking in any way different.
“She’s back for a visit?” he finally managed to choke out. His voice sounded raspy, so he took a swig of the drink he’d forgotten he didn’t like.
“For good, I think.” For good. Mitch’s heart started to palpitate. “It’ll be great to have her on home soil. I always worried a little about her traveling the world on her own—force of habit to worry about Hales, I suppose. I still remember her as the shy twelve-year-old I mentored through her first year of high school when I was a senior. There is one thing I will miss though, and that’s her postcards.”
Mitch had never received a postcard. Not one in twenty-two months—but who was counting? She sent some to Mitch’s headquarters in the Gold Coast because she’d made several friends there. The mementos came from America, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia, but none had ever been addressed to him personally.
Not that he expected any, after what happened.
Memories raced through his mind before he could prepare for the effect they’d have on his body or his conscience. A sultry December night, a late meeting, boxes of Chinese takeaway laid out next to blueprints, and Hayley. Oh God, Hayley. Full of enthusiasm to impress the boss, and him behaving like every bad cliché about company CEOs and their cute, eager-to-please interns.
In his pocket, the electronic beep of Mitch’s phone sounded, shattering his dark thoughts and drawing a scowl from Mack. “Don’t. You. Dare. No business. Give me the phone.”
Mitch froze with his hand halfway to his pocket. “You’ve got to be joking, Mack.”
Brother and sister stared each other down, neither willing to back off. Mitch was reminded of Mack’s fearlessness, conditioned through years of fending off the teasing delivered by six brothers. She wouldn’t hesitate to tackle him just as though they were in their parents’ backyard playing football instead of at a swanky resort.
Mitch’s competitive streak reared. He might be five years his sister’s senior, but he wasn’t quite over the hill yet. No way can she catch me.
Mitch feinted left, then darted to the right. Mack wasn’t fooled, nor was she on her own in this battle. She called to someone behind Mitch and a moment later Mitch’s shoulder connected with something hard, and two arms banded his to his sides.
“Aidan.” No one else Mitch knew had arms the size and firmness of tree trunks. “Let me go.”
Mack pointed a finger at her fiancé. “Don’t.”
Mitch kept himself fit, but an insanely strong fireman who’d do anything for the woman he loved he could not match on physical terms. So he started doing what he did best—negotiating. “Aidan, think about what you’re doing. I’m about to become your brother-in-law.”
“Thinking tends to go out the window where your sister’s concerned,” Aidan drawled. “What exactly am I supposed to do with him, Mack?”
“Take the phone out of his pocket.”
“I am not putting my hand in your brother’s pocket. You do it.”
“Eww. I’m not putting my hand in there either, certainly not while it’s vibrating.” Mack glared at Mitch. “Take the phone out and give it to me.”
Mitch grinned. “In your dreams.”
“Fine,” Mack huffed. “I’ll get backup.”
Scanning the nearby crowd, Mack waved at someone and gestured for them to come over.
“Mack, this is ridiculous. It might not even be the office calling.”
“Sure, and you wouldn’t have that thing surgically attached to your body if you had the chance. They never leave you alone, Mitch.”
“That’s because I’m the boss.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
Mitch’s heart, which had already accelerated during the matchup against his sister and Aidan, moved into triple time. He knew that voice. It was a little richer than the last time he’d heard it, with a sardonic lilt that hadn’t been there before. But the sound of Hayley Bryant’s honeyed tones had haunted his sleep enough nights that he would have recognized them anywhere. With an unsettling mixture of reluctance and bone-deep anticipation, Mitch turned his head.
What he saw stopped his heart altogether.
She’d let her golden hair grow long, so long the ends curled over the very tips of her breasts, which looked absolutely dynamite in a low-cut green dress that perfectly matched the emerald sparkle of her eyes. Wedge heels made her slender frame appear taller than what Mitch knew was only five-foot-four. Hayley’s head barely reached his collarbones. He remembered because she’d opened his shirt and placed a kiss right there that night almost two years ago, before she’d released every other button on the garment and…
Mitch slammed his mind down on that memory because it made his cock twitch inside his pants. Aroused was not a state he wanted to find himself in with a six-foot-plus fireman plastered to his back. It would be better if Hayley Bryant got out of his sight right now so Mack wouldn’t guess the impact her friend had on him.
But right now, drinking in the long-missed sight of her, Mitch couldn’t have asked Hayley to walk away even if he still possessed the power of speech. He felt as though some maniacal hand had curled punishing fingers around his heart and squeezed. Love was not only a damned inconvenient emotion, it was an absolute killer. Oh, Hayley, how did I let you walk away from me? Why did you stay away so long?
Mitch’s heart raced so fast when he heard his sister’s next words, he thought he might suffer an infarction.
“Hales, I need you to frisk my brother.”