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Tempting Him: A Billionaire Beach Island Romance (Billionaires of Driftwood Island Book 3) by Sloane Meyers (1)

Chapter One

 

* ZACH *

 

There’s nothing quite like flying into Driftwood Island at sunset. And I should know—I’ve flown into a lot of exotic locations over the course of the last ten years or so. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places. But none of them have ever quite compared to the tropical island off the coast of Florida where one of my first resorts was built.

I could see that resort now as the small, single engine plane soared over the island and toward the local airport. The resort loomed large over the rest of the much smaller beach cottages and kitschy local businesses that dotted the island. I knew the locals hated the resort and called it an eyesore, but I still couldn’t understand why. For one thing, the resort buildings were all very tastefully done. It’s not like this was Vegas where I’d opted for showy, glittering buildings with flashing lights everywhere. This was just a collection of simple, albeit large, buildings dotting the coastline.

For another thing, the resort brought the locals of Driftwood Island a lot of much-needed tourist revenue. My resort was basically the only hotel on the island. It had become the vacation playground of choice for numerous wealthy tourists, bringing a constant flow of cash into the local economy. And yet the ungrateful locals always complained about the place, and even refused to allow me to expand the resort. Miles and miles of untouched beaches, and they couldn’t spare a few more of those miles to let me grow my resort, which would only make their economy grow.

People just didn’t know what was good for them.

Apparently, my own twin brother, Logan, didn’t know what was good for him either. He’d come here a little over a year ago to take care of some routine business at the resort, and he’d never left. He met a girl, had a baby, and now was a permanent resident of the island. He wanted to sell his fifty percent share of the resort to me, but I wouldn’t hear of it. He was going to wake up from this crazy fantasy life one day and realize that he missed being part of a fast-paced business world. In the meantime, at least he was helping me manage the Driftwood Island resort. He’d earned the locals’ trust somehow, and things here had been running smoother than they ever had. I hadn’t had to take the time to visit for a full year.

In fact, the only reason I was visiting now was because a business acquaintance of mine was getting married, and had decided to hold his wedding at the Driftwood Island resort. He’d invited me, and I figured it was a good business move to attend. It would strengthen the business relationship with the man, and besides, I needed to check on the resort in person at least occasionally. My brother’s business decisions tended to be too laidback for my tastes.

Oh, and then there was the small fact that I now had a niece whom I still hadn’t met. I winced at the thought. I was happy for Logan. He seemed really happy to have a daughter, and, as much as I complained about Logan’s lack of interest in expanding the resort, I would never begrudge him the happiness of a family. But I myself had no idea what to do around a baby. I was dreading meeting little Maisie and making a total fool of myself. Put me in a business meeting discussing million dollar deals and I didn’t break a sweat. Hand me a seven month old baby and I was liable to have a panic attack.

I took a deep, steadying breath as the plane came in for a quick, smooth landing at Driftwood Island’s airport. There was no need to panic just yet. I wouldn’t be seeing my brother tonight, since I was getting in fairly late. Tonight, all I would be doing was going to my suite at the resort and relaxing. I had plans to order an expensive steak dinner from room service and perhaps book a back massage through the resort’s spa. Work had been stressful lately, and I could use a good massage to work out all the knots in my back.

The car that would be taking me to the resort was already waiting, even though my flight had come in slightly early. The driver introduced himself as Joe, but then fell silent, seeming to intuitively understand that I wasn’t in the mood for small talk. Darkness had fallen completely by the time we arrived at the large, modern building with an “Evans Resort and Spa” sign on its front. I breathed out a sigh of relief. After a long day of travel I was home. Or at least, I was at one of my homes away from home.

I tipped Joe generously, then grabbed my own bag over the bellhop’s protests. I normally enjoyed being waited on, but tonight I felt restless and impatient for some reason. I just wanted to get up to my room and shut out the world.

But once I got up there, the restlessness didn’t go away. I stood in the expansive living room of my suite and stared at myself in the full length mirror, feeling a bit shocked at how tired I looked. Oh sure, I was put together as sharply as always, with my sleek black business suit and shiny leather dress shoes. I refused to dress down for travel like some of my other billionaire colleagues did. You never knew who you might run into in an airport, and you didn’t want to meet a future client or business partner looking like a slob.

But despite my suit, and despite the fact that my dark brown hair was still neatly combed and in place after a full day of travel, the dark circles under my eyes gave me away. I was dog tired. I’d been running a hundred miles an hour for the last several weeks, and it showed in my tired expression.

“I need to work out or something,” I said to my reflection as I reached to remove my suit jacket. I hadn’t been taking care of my health like I normally did. Maybe a week of only light business, punctuated with working out, relaxation, and some fun at a wedding, was exactly what I needed.

I dug in my suitcase for my Speedo and changed, putting on one of the resort’s plush robes over my bare chest. I grabbed my swim cap and goggles, and then headed to the resort’s indoor lap pool. There was an outdoor pool, too, but I could see it was quite crowded, and right now I didn’t feel like being crowded. Besides, the steamy air inside the indoor pool felt strangely refreshing. I breathed in deeply before diving in and beginning my laps.

Almost instantly, I relaxed. My muscles felt powerful as they sliced through the water, and the world went quiet as that same water drowned out all the noise from outside. This week had been a bit of a mess, and I didn’t like messes. I liked my world to be in order, and to run smoothly. But here, in the underwater quiet, all of the disorganized mess, all of the business problems, could no longer bother me. I was safe from the chaos.

Then I made the mistake of popping up above the surface for a minute of rest. Instead of looking out at a large empty room, as I had been when I first arrived here, I could now see that someone else had joined me at the indoor pool. And that someone was the most gorgeous women I’d ever seen. I felt my cock instantly starting to stiffen, and I was thankful that the water was likely to distort and hide the woman’s view of my erection if she happened to look.

What is wrong with me? I didn’t normally go hard at just the sight of a beautiful woman. I had pretty good control over my body, just like I had control over the rest of my life. But this woman was in a league of her own. I had never seen anyone so exquisite, and I couldn’t help being instantly turned on.

I couldn’t help but stare.

She was tall and slender, but she had some muscles, too. Her arms and legs gave away the fact that she worked out on a regular basis. But her swimsuit wasn’t exactly sporty, even though she was preparing to swim laps. She had on a simple black bikini that gave me a full view of her perfect stomach. Her breasts were the perfect size—they looked like they’d fit perfectly in my hands, a thought that made me go harder than I already was. Her curly dark brown hair was pulled up into a tight bun instead of being tamed underneath a swim cap, and I caught just a glimpse of her sea green eyes before she pulled her reflective swim goggles down and I could no longer see them.

I realized I was being a bit creepy by staring at her for so long, but I couldn’t stop myself. How could I be expected to look anywhere else when the most beautiful girl in the world was standing right in front of me? Besides, it didn’t look like she’d actually caught me gawking at her. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her, right?

She walked gracefully toward the edge of the pool, and just as gracefully dove in. She swam freestyle, her arms gliding across the top of the water. I couldn’t see much of her body anymore, but I found that watching her slicing back and forth across the pool turned me on just as much as staring at her half naked body. She was like some sort of beautiful machine, and I wanted to stand there on the edge of the pool forever, just watching her swim.

But reason got the better of me. I was the owner of the resort. It would never do for me to creepily stand here for one of the resort guest’s entire workouts. I needed to act professional. With a reluctant sigh, I heaved myself out of the pool and went to towel off. I’d had enough swimming for tonight. Now, I felt like relaxing with a beer in my suite.

But after I got back to my suite and changed into a pair of jeans and a casual button down, I still didn’t feel as relaxed as I’d hoped. I felt a strange pang of loneliness, which was unusual for me. I traveled a lot for work, so I was used to being by myself. But sometimes the empty suites did get to me, and when that happened, I found that heading down to have a drink at the resort’s bar around actual other human beings usually made me feel better.

I decided that’s what I would do. I needed to kick this sour mood to the curb. After all, I was here for a wedding. I didn’t want to ruin the happy couple’s celebration by having a frown on my face the entire week.

Besides, I’d be lying if I said that part of my motivation to get out of my suite wasn’t a hope that I might just happen to run into the woman from the pool again. She’d somehow gotten under my skin, and I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be able to shake that feeling anytime soon.

What can I say? One of the side effects of being a billionaire is being used to getting what you want, and right now, I wanted to find out more about the mystery woman staying at my resort.

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