The Zephyre Corporation’s annual convention may be designed to let colleagues kick back in the Florida sun, but Riley McGuire doesn’t plan to let anything interfere with her chance to shine for corporate management. Not even the devastatingly sexy guy playing air guitar—naked—in her hotel suite.
Oliver Wilson expected to share a deluxe suite with what he assumed was an amiable Irish-American beer drinker, not an acid-tongued Boston beauty who can’t hold her liquor.
Their agreement to muddle through is shot to hell by a tug of attraction that, in the convention’s decadent atmosphere, grows too strong to resist. Oliver discovers there’s more going on under Riley’s suits than good marketing ideas. And Oliver’s gentlemanly teasing gets under Riley’s skin…in a sexy way.
Behind closed doors, lust explodes between the sheets. But is a pair of vibrating panties a temporary pleasure, or the start of something that doesn’t require batteries?
Please check with your hotel concierge to ask if the handsome naked man playing air guitar comes with the room. There may be an extra surcharge not covered under federal business reimbursement regulations. Be sure to tip the bellboy.
“Who the heck are you?” He grabbed the nearest thing to cover himself and smacked his nuts with a bottle of Pepsi. His eyes watered as the blurry, dark-haired figure spoke.
“Well, I’m not a dance critic, but that little number would’ve gotten you thrown out of any dance contest the first round.” She folded her arms and leaned against the jamb. “And if you’re practicing for a spot in a Pepsi ad, all I can say is don’t quit your day job. Red Bull’s out too. If Viagra comes out with a soda, then maybe…”
Oliver swallowed as she eyed him up and down. “I—um—”
A smaller woman peered around his dance critic, and two gazes landed directly on the soda bottle. “Hey, Riley. Found your room I see.”
“Hey, Carla. Yeah, I did. Got a small problem though.”
Carla tipped her head. “Hmmm, it’s probably because the bottle is cold or it might be a much bigger problem.”
The one called Riley lifted an eyebrow. “You think?”
“I dunno.” Carla shrugged. “Whoa—I wonder if there’s one of these in every room?” She grinned and nudged her friend. “Maybe the company arranged them for us.”
Riley snorted. “Don’t get your hopes up. But you can have this one if you want.”
“Hey.” Oliver said, getting pissed at being discussed like he wasn’t there. And even more upset that they were criticizing his best friend. Don’t worry, big guy, he thought, they probably don’t fully understand shrinkage.
Riley, or whatever her name was, straightened. “Hey what? Get dressed and then get your ass out of here. This is my room, and I haven’t called room service for Chippendale dancer dropouts. And for the record—if you were dancing to anything by Van Halen, you’ve got the chord progression all wrong.”
Oliver managed to move next to the chair and grab a pillow off it to replace the bottle. He’d realized a few seconds ago that he probably shouldn’t have swigged down half of it, since there was now a good portion that was totally transparent, but then again he’d had no clue it was going to do double duty as a fig leaf. He was embarrassed and getting angrier by the second.
“Look, I don’t know who you are, but this is my room, and I’d really appreciate your respecting my privacy. Walking in on a guy like this is just rude. Not to mention making personal comments as well. You don’t see me making comments on your—um, uh—well there’s nothing actually wrong with you and those long legs, shapely, um…” Oliver stuttered to a halt because his best friend woke up while he was analyzing the woman’s legs and coincidentally picturing her naked.
Carla snickered. “I’ll leave you two to work this out. I gotta go check out my little bit of this heavenly hotel. If he’s not a mistake and I’ve got one too, I’ll let ya know, sweetie.”
“’Kay, Carla. See you later.” Riley picked up a suitcase that perfectly matched the large briefcase over her shoulder, stalked into the room and let the door slam behind her.
Oliver glared as angrily as a naked man can glare at an attractive woman while blushing and covering himself with a rather rough cushion. It wasn’t the fiercest glare but if it got the job done, he’d be happy.
She sighed. “Look, there’s obviously been some mistake. This is my suite. I’m sharing with a—” She pulled her registration slip from her briefcase and scanned down to the bottom of the page. “Here it is. I’m sharing with O. Wilson. Olga Willsson from Divisional Headquarters in D.C.” She frowned. “Although they’ve spelled her last name wrong.”
He shook his head. “No, they didn’t. I’m O. Wilson. Oliver Wilson.” He ran a hand through his hair and blew out an exasperated breath. “This is a royal clusterf—er—mix up.”
Riley frowned. “You’re O. Wilson?”
“Yes. I’d show you my driver’s license, but as you so loudly pointed out to half the damn world, I’m not wearing my pants at the moment.”
“That’s true.” She paused. “But the pillow is an interesting fashion statement.”
“Okay. I’m sorry. This must be as awkward for you as it is for me. Why don’t you go put some clothes on while I try and figure this mess out and get you another room?”
“Or you could take your clothes off and we’d be on a level playing field.” He let his gaze do a bit of leering. Fair was fair.
“I was here first,” Oliver pointed out mildly. “Possession’s nine-tenths of the law. Perhaps you should move?”
“We’ll see.” She walked to the desk and stared at the phone, looking for the hotel desk number. “One of us clearly has to.” She nodded at the open door. “Your clothes in there?”
He glanced down at the cushion. “I was getting quite fond of this pillow.”
“Blue would be better on you.” She had the phone to her ear. “Yes, hello…” She turned away as the voice on the other end of the line drew her attention.
He mumbled as he walked toward his door. “Blue would be better on you…like she’d know loincloth fashion, damn smart aleck…” He shut it firmly.
Fifteen frustrating minutes later, blue wasn’t a color anyone would use to describe Riley. Red would have been a much better fit. There were strands of fire in her brunette hair and a strong dose of Irish warrior in her heritage, both of which were combining to stoke a furnace of fury inside her brain.
When Oliver walked back in, fresh from a quick shower and neatly dressed, she spun on her heel and faced him, ready to explode. “They’re idiots. Absolutely stupid idiots.”
“No rooms. That’s what. Not one room available. ‘Full to capacity, madam,’ he said. ‘Not another room to be had because of the convention, madam.’ Nearest one is five miles away at the next hotel. Which means renting a car. It’s—unacceptable. The only other option is barging in on someone who has a single and tripping over each other all week. I refuse to even think about doing that.” She paced. “Now what the hell are we going to do?”
“Anybody want to switch?” Oliver watched her.
“Apparently we’re the only two…” She struggled for words. “The only two gender mismatches. Everyone else has a roommate or a suitemate of the right sex.”
“For now, anyway. Actually, is there ever wrong sex?” He grinned.
She shrugged. “Yeah, well…time will tell, I suppose. It’s a convention and all that. But whatever other people do, that’s their concern. This is ours.” She bit her lip, then turned to face him. “I owe you an apology. I was rude.”
“Yep. You were.”
“Well, then. I’m sorry, okay?”
“That was gracious.”
Her temper simmered, coloring her cheeks. “I apologize for insinuating that you had a tiny dick. But you did get the chords wrong.”
“Oh yeah? It wasn’t Van Halen, Ms. Smartmouth. It was Tool.”
“Oh, Christ. Not only do I get stuck with a wrong-sex roomie, she has to be the only woman in the world who’s never heard of Tool.”
Riley sank into the chair and put her head in her hands. “Look, this is an important convention for me, Mr. Wilson. I’m Riley McGuire. From Marketing in Boston. We’ve got the bones for a new campaign laid out. I’m presenting it to a seminar in a day or so. I can’t afford any—” she waved her hands at him, “—distractions.”
He chuckled. “I’m distracting?” He ran through some Wrestlemania poses, flexing invisible muscles and stretching.
“Not if you keep your clothes on.” She snapped the words back before she realized what she’d said. “I mean…oh shit.” The head went back into the hands.
“Look, Ms. McGuire. We’re gonna have to make the best of a bad deal here, I’m thinking. We’re both adults, right? We have our own bedrooms. All we’re doing is sharing this living space. And the TV. I’m a quiet sort of guy.” He held out his hand. “Oliver Wilson, Art Division. San Jose.”
Riley shook it without thinking. “Hi. Nice to meet you. I think my office works with your group now and again.”
“Probably. So I figure two mature adults like us can manage to figure out this arrangement enough to make it work?”
“No more naked dancing?” She peered at him from under her eyelashes.
“Not unless you have special requests.”
“No makeup in here on the desk? No stuff lying around?”
“I’m tidy. I never leave my stuff lying around.” Riley glared indignantly. “And it’s a blessing we have our own bathrooms. I never leave the seat up, either.”
“You watch sports?”
“I’m from Boston. What do you think?”
“That you hate the Yankees.” He sounded hopeful.
“Of course. Goes without saying.”
“So who’d you pick for the Series this year?”
“For the what?”
Riley had no clue why he groaned and closed his eyes as if he was in pain. Men were odd creatures, as far as she was concerned, which was why she didn’t have one in her life at the moment and hadn’t for a year or so.
She didn’t have the time or the energy to figure them out. Especially this one. No matter how nice he’d looked wearing nothing but a half-empty bottle of soda.