4th of July With Dad's Best Friend - Page 2

Two days. Alone with Alex. Which means I’m going to have to entertain him. That could be tricky given as I’m not sure I will even be able to string a coherent sentence together.

Maybe I won’t like him anymore, I try to convince myself. After all it’s been a few years since I have seen him. Perhaps the reality no longer matches the fantasy that I’ve built up in my mind. Maybe he will have let himself go.

I drive the rest of the way to the beach house practically bouncing in my seat, full of restless energy. I park, let myself in and disable the alarm and then haul my bags to my room. The housekeeper has been in and there are fresh flowers in the kitchen and my room and the place smells lovely. Still, being here alone is weird. I don’t just want to sit around waiting for Alex to turn up as it’s still only mid morning, so I decide to head down to the main beach, grab an ice cream and watch the surfers.

I change into a pale pink bikini, a white mesh cover over and jeweled flip-flops, checking my appearance in the mirror. I wonder if Alex will even register how different I look now. My frizzy, mousy hair is long, dark and silky, my skin is clear and tanned, my teeth even and figure slender where it was once, to be polite, definitely on the chubby side. I grab my handbag and take off, intending to kill an hour or two before I have to come back and wait for Alex. Perhaps the sea, sand and sun will soothe my nerves.

Chapter Two

Alex

I cut the call and sigh to myself as I take the turn off. I’m a few hours earlier than expected, but now Jeff has just let me know he won’t be turning up for another day or so. Which means I’m stuck babysitting his teenage daughter. I vaguely remember her as a chubby, shy kid. She was quiet, so she shouldn’t be any hassle, unless she’s turned into a complete brat in the intervening years and Jeff just hasn’t mentioned it. That would be all I need.

Honestly, I knew this trip was going to be a bad idea. I don’t know how I let Jeff talk me into taking a week off work. I own my own construction business, and while technically I am the boss and can do what I like, I don’t like to be away for long. I know how things need to be run, and I like to run them myself. But it was good of Jeff to ask and part of me thinks he might be right…it will be my first 4th of July since my parents died and being as I usually spent the day with them, it will be nice to not be alone and spend it with Jeff instead. Except now that might not happen and I appear to be on babysitting duty. Still, these things can’t be helped, I suppose.

The kid – Jan, or something – won’t be expecting me for a while, so I decide to hit the beach first and kill a little time. Try and relax and soak up the rays. Of course I’m itching to check my business phone, but I’ll try and refrain. I know I’m in danger of turning into a workaholic, but work has always been my passion. It isn’t like I have any family to go and see anymore. And I’m single, a perennial bachelor if ever there was one.

It’s not that I ever planned to be alone. Part of me quite likes the idea of finding a life partner and having a couple of kids. I’ve just never met a woman I want to do that with. And I don’t believe it’s something you should do for the sake of it, it should be right. Perhaps I’m a secret romantic at heart but I grew up with parents who were still deeply in love after a lifetime together, and I don’t want to settle for less.

I never do. I didn’t build a multi-million dollar business from scratch by being prepared to compromise. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy.

I park and walk to the main beach. It’s busy, but still too early to be completely crowded. I head for the deck chairs.

And then I see her. Standing a few yards away, staring out at sea, is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. She’s exquisite. Long dark hair falls down a slender, tanned body that while petite is all woman. I’m not a man who goes around ogling women like a caveman, but as my eyes drift over her body I’m struggling to tear my eyes away, lingering over the curve of her hips and the generous cheeks of her ass. She’s half-turned towards me and I can see an exquisite profile, with full lips and wide eyes the color of the ocean in front of us.

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