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I don’t know anything about my future husband, just like I don’t know how badly he wants what should’ve been his in the first place, and it’s not just my company, it’s me.


“Do I know you?”

“You will.” His lips quirk and, God, what lips they are. They have an arrogant tilt that feels like it isn’t a false promise. He’s everything on a checkoff list I didn’t know I had for a potential mate. Strong. Virile. With a lot of stamina. 

My eyes narrow. Who is he? I hate to admit that I’m intrigued. It might be the Sunrise Surprises behind the curiosity. 

I glance at the first man, my look almost apologetic. His eyes twinkle and he dips his head. “G’day.”

The man saunters away. My chance is ruined. 

Back to the new arrival. Since jumping into men’s arms and telling them to take me now isn’t how I roll, I take a leisurely sip of my drink. I study him, and he lets me. His muscles are more impressive than I initially thought. He’s half sitting on the stool with one foot kicked up on the footrest and the other hanging back like he could leave at any moment but he’s only staying with my permission.

Finally, I’m ready to speak. Instead of being suave—why start now?—I ask, “Why do you think I’d want to know you?”

When his gaze hits me, I gulp. Intense. It would be easy to write off the deep brown of his eyes as being too dark to see anything, but instead, it’s like they hold the mysteries of the world. This man has secrets.

“I saw you arrive,” he says casually as if he didn’t cock-block me. “I was debating when it would be a good time to make my move, then Romeo swooped in. Now or never.”

“Romeo? Do you know him?”

The corner of the man’s mouth tips up. “No.”

“No you don’t know his name, or no you don’t know him?”


I snort as I take another sip. “That’s really helpful.” 

Those dark eyes watch my throat work as I swallow. I take a deeper drink, slurping the bottom. One look from him packs more power than three of these drinks.

“Since you’re sucking those down like you’ve been wandering the desert for a week, I know that they’re either really good or something’s bothering you.”

“Yes.” Two can play at that game.

“Jake.” He says the one word and waits, like he doesn’t know what kind of reaction to expect from me. 

“Well, you heard my name, so…”

“So we can get to the really interesting portion of the conversation.”

I swallow hard, releasing the empty glass on the countertop. Like a drowning woman searching for a life raft, my hand closes around the fourth Sunrise Surprise. This should be the last one. It has to be the last one. My vision goes wonky again, and this time it takes more than a second to come back online.

“I found the conversation kind of interesting up to this point.” I almost say I find him interesting, but I’m not quite drunk enough yet. Or did I say that? I can’t recall what I just said.

“I thought we could skip the introductions, or just streamline them. I work in IT, I’m from a big generic city in the US, and I’m here on vacation. Your turn.”

He cut to the chase. Getting all the small chitchat out of the way. My mind works over what he assumes would be the interesting part of the conversation. 

“London, also from a generic big city in the US. I’m getting married to someone I don’t like and I came here to ruin myself first.” Oh, the alcohol knocked down some verbal filters. How much can I say without violating the NDA?

The muscles on each side of his jaw flex. Will my introduction be a deal breaker? Apparently, I cleared this guy and put him on my acceptable one-night-stand list. 

Who am I kidding? I did that as soon as I saw him. 

“But don’t worry, I’m still technically single.” I lift a shoulder as if it’s that simple. And it is. I’m still single, and The Dick Dixon doesn’t have anything to say about it.

“Single,” he says flatly.

“And ready to mingle.” The world spins again. Or am I moving?

He watches me as steadily as a lion on the Serengeti tracks a baby gazelle trying to catch up to its mama. “How long are you going to mingle for?”

“Two weeks and I need to get laid a lot. Can you help with that?” I don’t know what I expected. For him to jump up and say fuck yeah. To be hauled caveman-style to his room? Or for us to outline both sides of a contract just like my marriage was outlined to me two days ago?

“I can help with that.” 

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