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Kara hadn’t anticipated this turn in her career, and she definitely hadn’t anticipated that she’d love it so much.

Stepping through the archway into the boutique space, she was pleased to see that the progress reports they’d received seemed to have been accurate. The place was looking pretty shipshape; shelving already on the walls, velvet mannequins ready to be dressed in wisps of lace and silk, and boxes of stock lining the walls, all ready to be opened. Leaning down, she peeled the tape back on the nearest box and delved within it.

“Pretty as your ass is, sweetheart, you have thirty seconds to get out of here before I remove you myself.”

Kara jumped up and twirled around in shock at the sound of the drawling Californian voice behind her. Lucien had specifically told her that the club was empty of workmen, and her heart banged hard with both panic and indignant annoyance. She had the right to be here, and this guy didn’t.

“Who the hell are you?” She planted one hand on her hip and jutted her chin at the stranger. He glanced down at her other hand.

“It looks as if you got what you came for.” He crossed his arms and leaned on the wall of the archway.

Kara swallowed hard and closed her eyes for a second to gather her thoughts. Problem. She was gesticulating at him with a vibrator. This seriously weakened her stance. She had two choices, and Kara was a woman who always came out fighting.

“This?” She held the classic vibrator up in front of her. “Oh, I don’t think so. This is a beginner’s tool. If I’d come here to steal sex toys I’d go for something bigger. More functions. Something like the Thor, or maybe the brand new Thor Deluxe. It's, umm, waterproof.”

He raised one eyebrow. “Your encyclopedic knowledge of vibrators tells me a lot about the state of your sex life, lady.”

Kara fought the urge to shove the vibrator somewhere that would shut this guy up for a very long time.

“Managing a string of adult boutiques does that to a girl.” Her voice dripped with cool sarcasm, and by the look on his face she’d made her point because he dropped the attitude and his face cleared.

“Gee, I’m sorry. You must be Sophie.”

Kara shook her head. “Sophie would have been much politer. I’m Kara Brookes, Sophie’s business partner. And you are?”

He paused for a beat. “Dylan Day.”


He shrugged.

“Well, we’ve established I have a right to be here. How about I give you thirty seconds to explain yourself?”

He had the audacity to laugh. “Or else?”

She could hardly remove him bodily. He was at least six foot, and by the looks of him, all muscle. Not that she’d checked him out, nor had she noticed the way his T-shirt outlined the definition of his body. Nope, definitely not. She especially hadn’t noticed the tanned band of skin beneath it that had made a brief appearance when he’d pushed his hand through his too long, sandy hair a few minutes ago.

“Or else I’ll…”

“Shoot me with your vibrator gun?” he suggested helpfully.

Kara sincerely wished she’d had the forethought to put the vibrator down rather than brandishing it at him some more. She was losing all the ground she’d gained.

“Or maybe you’d like to upgrade your weapon to that Thor Deluxe, given its power and all?”

Oh, he was cute. “Believe me, surf-boy, if this thing had bullets, I wouldn’t think twice about shooting you right now.”

He held up his hands with a disarming smile. “Don’t shoot. Lucien Knight hired me yesterday. I’m the new club manager.”

Kara was aware that Lucien had been having problems filling the management vacancy. So it could very well be true. She gave him a sharp look. Dylan Day’s eyes were clear of any deception. They were also piercingly green, not that Kara would confess to having noticed.

“Fine.” Kara nodded, gathering herself together. “Fine. But just so you know? You’re not the manager of this place.” She gestured around the boutique with the vibrator. “I am.”

He cracked a killer smile. “Suits me, darlin’. You stick to selling panties and sex toys, and leave the rest of the show to me.” And with a knowing lift of his eyebrows, he turned and sauntered away.

The urge to throw the vibrator at the back of his head was tempered only by the fear that she might miss and give him the upper hand.

“I’m English!” she hurled after him instead. “They’re fucking knickers!”

Dylan laughed under his breath as he walked back to his office. English. She was that all right, he’d almost sliced himself open on her cut glass vowels.

The girl was a firecracker in frayed denim hot pants, cowboy boots and a pink T-shirt that clung alarmingly to her every curve. Move over Daisy Duke. Her ponytail had swished like an angry cat’s tail as she’d waved that goddamn vibrator around like a grade A weapon, and every word that had left that full, wide mouth had dripped sass. She was going to be a handful to work with, that much was for sure.

Closing his office door thoughtfully, Dylan realised that even though the sparks flying between them had been enough to set the club alight, the one spark he hadn’t picked up on from Kara was sexual interest. He breathed a sigh of relief mingled with regret. Working relationships were best kept that way. For sure.

He’d found it pretty easy over the last few days not to react to the interest from the air hostess or the pretty waitress back at the bar.

But Kara Brookes was a whole different ball game.

Back at the villa, Lucien scooped Sophie up and carried her downstairs to the master suite.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and let him. Every now and again he needed to release his inner caveman, and she was more than happy to be in his arms.

“You decided on the bedroom rather than the front door then,” she murmured, brushing her mouth over the smooth skin just below his ear.

“Call me conventional,” Lucien muttered, tugging on the ties of her bikini behind her neck.

Sophie laughed softly. “That I'll never do, and you know it.” Lucien was the most unconventional man she’d ever known; his unpredictability was just one of the many things she loved about him.

He lowered her onto their bed, already shedding his clothes. Sophie lay back and enjoyed the view as he peeled his T-shirt over his head and threw it aside, then moved his hands down to unbutton his jeans. He paused for a second, his eyes on her, then smiled, a slow, barely there intimacy that said my girl. And then he dropped his jeans, and his proud, enlarged cock told her a whole lot more about his feelings for her.

Sophie reached behind her body and finished the job he’d started with her bikini top, peeling it from her body as Lucien settled alongside her.

When he reached for her, a million sensations crowded in at once. Lust. Need. Relief. Love. Big, overwhelming, heart-scorching love. She sighed with pleasure as he loosened the hip ties of her bikini bottoms, his big body enfolding hers. He tugged the material slowly, letting it glide between her legs as his tongue explored her mouth. When he rolled on top of her in one fluid movement, his cock nestled between her thighs; hard, familiar, and all the more sexy for it. The bunched muscles of his back were warm beneath her fingers as his hands slid into her hair, pinning her in position beneath him.

“Sophie.” Her name was the only word he said as he pushed his cock all the way into her with a deep groan of satisfaction that reverberated through his chest. He stilled for a moment and looked down into her eyes, and fierce, sudden emotion made her wrap her legs around him and pull his face down to hers. They didn’t speak again. There was no need.

He kissed away the tears that gathered in her eyes as his hips started to thrust, slow and hypnotic. The deliberate, steady rhythm of his cock over her clitoris was in direct contrast with the fast, shallow beat of Sophie’s heart. She arched, murmuring “I love you” against his neck as her orgasm snaked towards her core like quick-silver through her veins. Lucien groaned and switched from measured to forceful, demanding her all, giving her all of him in return. He was home, and therefore so was she.