And it sucks.
“When exactly are you going to make your move?”
I frown. “Make my move? What are you talking about?”
“When are you going to get her laptop? That’s the entire reason for you being there, you know. I’m not paying you to have a nice little Hawaiian vacation. You have a job to do,” she reminds me ever so kindly.
“I know I have a job to do,” I say, my voice tight. “And like I said only a couple of minutes ago, you need to trust me and let me do it. This isn’t a smash-and-grab job. I have to work my way up to it.” I’ll need to earn Lily’s trust. And then go in for the laptop. It’s the only way.
“We’re running out of time, Mr. Coleman.” I really don’t like it when she calls me that and I think she knows it. “Every minute that passes is another minute wasted.”
“Ma’am, we only just arrived yesterday. She hasn’t even been on this damn island for twenty-four hours yet,” I say, my voice firm. I’m not going to explain myself and she needs to realize that. “Let me do my fucking job.”
Another gasp. Like I could shock her with my language. Give me a break. “Don’t give me that ma’am shit. We’re practically the same age.”
Christ. So that’s what gets to her? And I’d bet money she’s a solid ten years older than me. “I’m trying to be respectful.” My mama raised me right, but this woman … she makes it hard to show her even an ounce of respect. “You’ll hear from me later tonight,” I tell her just before I end the call.
I swear I hear her sputter in protest right before the phone goes silent, and I wait for a return call or text but nothing comes.
I go back to my hotel room and order room service, a hamburger and a boatload of fries along with a beer. With a thirty-minute wait ahead of me, I kick back on the bed and scroll through the photos on my phone.
The photos I snapped of Lily.
There are a few covert shots of her on the plane. The photos are bad. Out of focus, quickly taken in the hopes no one would notice me. I tap my phone’s screen and zoom in on her profile, studying it. The slant of her forehead, the shape of her nose, those sexy full lips. She looks on edge, a little nervous.
I swipe my finger again and again, passing through the photos, stopping at the one I caught of her in her cabana. She’s sitting up, staring out at the ocean. Her lips are parted, the giant sunglasses she’s wearing shading most of her pretty face, her shoulders straight, the strings of her bright pink bikini curling around her neck. I zoom in on this photo, too, checking out her breasts like some sort of pervert, admiring how they strain against the triangles of her top. My skin tightens, my dick twitches, and everything within me goes hot.
Tossing my phone onto the bed, I run a hand through my hair, irritated. I need to get over this … woman. She’s a distraction. I have a job to do. I can’t afford to let lust get in the way of it. My client … she’s a bitch on wheels. She’d have zero qualms about ruining me if I fail in my mission. She basically told me so when we first met. She’d tried to flirt and when I didn’t respond, she went cold as ice.
A total viper.
Not that I’d let this woman scare me, but … fuck. I don’t want to risk it. I need this job. I’ve lost everything once already. I threw my military career away all because of my fucked-up issues. I can’t afford to do something like that again.
I grab my phone once more and look at the last photo I took of Lily. Of her walking down the beach, headed into the water. Her hair blows in the breeze like golden silk. She’s wearing hardly anything and I can’t help but admire the graceful curve of her back, the perfection of her ass. Pert and round, each cheek an ample handful. Within days, that ass will be mine.
Just not in the way I really want it to be.
“WELL, WELL, YOU’RE ALIVE,” Rose greets me, sounding extra grumpy. “I hope you know I’ve been worried sick. In fact—”
I cut her off before she can get another word in. “I need you to promise you won’t tell anyone that you talked to me.”
She pauses, and I can hear her suck in a harsh breath. “Why?”
“No questions. Promise me, Rose.” My voice is as firm as my resolve. If she can’t promise, I’m ending this call. And I won’t call her again until I’m back in Manhattan.
Not sure when that’s going to happen, though.
“I can’t tell Violet?” she asks. “She’s worried, too. I don’t want to keep secrets from her.”
“Especially not Violet.” She’d have no problem continually calling me, wearing me down until I have to answer. And then she’d most likely heap on the guilt, and that’s the last thing I want to deal with. “No one else can know where I am.”
“But why? Are you in hiding or what? The gossip sites have been wondering where you’ve disappeared to.” Another pause. “And what about Caden? I tell him everything. He’s the last person I can keep a secret from.”
I want to roll my eyes but don’t. Besides, the effort would be wasted because no one can see me. Of course she tells her husband everything. They’re so close, so madly in love and wrapped up in their own little world.
And I’m all alone in my hotel suite, my hand patched up and wrapped tightly, a little high on pain medication. Talk about a shitty start to my so-called vacation. “Not even Caden. I’m trusting you, baby sister. Only you, so I need you to promise.”