I smile in return and shake my head. “Thank you, but I’m fine. I’m supposed to meet a friend in the lobby.”
A knowing look crosses his face. “Ah, are you Lily?”
I blink at him in surprise, wondering how he knew who I was. “Um, yes. I am.”
He offers his arm. “Follow me. Your friend requested that I go in search of you. He’s waiting for you outside.”
Taking the man’s arm, I let him guide me through the grand double doors that lead to the front of the hotel. I glance around the circular drive, watching as a group of people wearing jeans and sweaters and looking like they traveled a great distance unload from a shuttle van. A line of taxis sits on the other side of the drive, eager to take tourists wherever they need to go.
But there’s no Max to be found anywhere.
The hotel employee releases my arm and I turn to him. “I, uh, don’t see my friend anywhere …”
He points behind me. “There he is. Have a good afternoon, miss.”
I whip back around to find a shiny black Jeep parked in front of me, the engine idling, Max sitting in the driver’s seat and watching me with a smile on his face. The passenger-side window rolls down and he ducks his head to meet my gaze. “Wanna go for a ride?” His flirtatious, sexy tone sets a thousand butterflies alight in my stomach.
“I was always told not to take rides from strangers,” I call to him, sending him an innocent look when he scowls at me.
Max exits the car and comes around the back of the Jeep, his long-legged stride eating up the ground until he’s standing directly in front of me. Wearing a dark gray T-shirt and black cargo shorts, he smells fresh and clean, as if he just got out of the shower. I want to say something clever, something funny, but my throat has gone dry, all because he’s so close. My hands literally itch to touch him and my lips tingle, I want to feel his mouth on mine so bad.
He grabs hold of my hands in both of his, as if he has to restrain himself and me so we don’t grab at each other like oversexed freaks. He leans in close, his mouth at my ear, his breath warm as it caresses my skin, making me tremble. “Considering I had my mouth on your pussy and made you come with my tongue only a few hours ago, I definitely wouldn’t classify us as strangers, princess,” he murmurs just before he softly kisses my cheek.
Thank God he has a hold of me because my knees go weak at his blunt choice of words. “Max,” I breathe, unable to say anything else, my cheeks growing hot.
With a grin he leads me to the Jeep and opens the passenger door, giving me a boost with his hand on my ass since the tires are oversized and the entire vehicle is lifted. A typical man car, something I would never consider driving, not that I have my driver’s license. When would I ever need it?
“Where are we going?” I ask when he climbs back into the Jeep.
He flashes me a mysterious smile and throws the vehicle into drive. “You’ll have to wait and see.”
“I hope I’m dressed all right.” I glance down at myself. I’m wearing a green tank top and white shorts, my skin golden from all the sun I’ve been getting.
“You got a swimsuit on under there?” he asks as he makes a left onto the main road.
“No.” I bite my lower lip, regretting that I didn’t put one on. What was I thinking? Maybe he’s going to take me to a secluded beach.
“That’s too bad. Guess you’ll have to go swimming naked,” he suggests, that sexy Texan drawl back in his voice.
“I’m sure you’d like that,” I say, my panties growing wet when he shoots me a hot look out of the corner of his eye.
“I’d love it,” he agrees.
We make idle small talk on the drive, commenting on the beauty of the island, the fabulous views of the ocean, how much it must cost to live there. Max is not only easy on the eyes, but he’s also easy to talk to, a great conversationalist who knows how to fill a quiet moment without making it seem like a bunch of endless chatter.
He’s confident behind the wheel and as I watch him drive, I become aroused. Everything he touches he does so with such command. His every movement is controlled and efficient. He doesn’t waste words or energy, and I can’t help but sit and watch in quiet admiration.
The men I’ve been with in the past pale in comparison. I can’t even consider them as real men. Boys playing at being a grown-up is a more apt description.
But Max? He’s all man. Mature and responsible and sexy, with just a touch of cocky self-assuredness I find incredibly attractive.
“You’re quiet,” he accuses after a few minutes of silence. “Makes me think you’re scheming.”
“Who, me?” The man is also incredibly perceptive. Not that I’m necessarily scheming, but I have been known to do just that more often than not.
“Yes, you.” He sends me a look. “Mad that I won’t tell you where we’re going?”
“I figure you’re taking me to some remote tropical rain forest or something along those lines,” I tease him. We keep climbing and climbing, the road becoming narrower, the view more and more beautiful the higher we go.
“You’re not too far off the mark,” he says as he slows down and turns left, onto what looks like a private and rarely used road. “Hold on to the ‘oh shit’ handle, princess. The ride’s about to get bumpy.”
I do as he asks, reaching up to grab the handle that’s right above the door, a little squeal escaping me when we go over a particularly large bump. He stops the vehicle and hits a button, switching it into four-wheel drive. Shooting me a wicked grin, he lets out a whoop like he’s about to ride a bull out into the center of a rodeo ring and presses hard on the gas, sending the Jeep flying down the narrow, bumpy road and making me scream.