The Gift of a Lifetime
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The Billionaire's Christmas Cruise
by; Brynn Paulin and Dakota Rebel
I see. I want. I take. That’s my mantra, but it’s always been applied to business deals. Never in my life have I thought about using it in regard to a woman. At least, not until I met her. Emerson Blake. The woman of my dreams, who I spied across a crowded bar. I spent ten minutes with her, yet I immediately knew I’d spend the rest of my life loving. She lives on the other side of the country, way too far from my bed and my life in Las Vegas, but I’ve overcome worse obstacles.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she’d about to get the Christmas surprise of a lifetime.
Three months ago, we had ten perfect minutes together. That’s all it took for him to impact my life. Everything shifted, and I didn’t even realize it. But my thoughts returned to him over and over. I obsessed over a guy who you barely met and will never see again, longed for him. So the cruise I unexpectedly won seems like a good way to get my head on straight again.
Then in walks Mr. Obsession, and my plans for fun and sun and forgetting him go out the porthole. All I can imagine is spending hours in his arms.
This time, we don’t have ten minutes. We have seven days. Will it be enough to last a lifetime?
Yeah. I doubt it, too.
iTunes: coming soon
My heart slammed against my chest wall, and I could barely breathe as I stared at the man who’d consumed my thoughts, over and over, during the past three months.
“Our room,” Chase corrected.
My head tilted, and I’m sure I looked like a confused puppy. “What?”
“I don’t think so. I won this…” I trailed off as he grinned and things started clicking into place. Like spotting an error hidden deep in a line of code, I realized the situation was not what I had first believed. “What do you have to do with this?”
He shrugged. “I wanted more time with you, so…I arranged more time with you.”
I glanced at the king-sized bed then looked pointedly at him. My hand flung out toward the offending item of furniture that had looked so comfy just moments ago. “I’m not sleeping with you.”
Not that I didn’t really, really want to. I wanted to kiss him and have him follow through on that all too-brief-caress of my cheek. I needed to feel his lips against mine, his weight on me, all those hard—
And I needed to get a grip, that’s what I needed. And not on Chase, even though I really wanted to touch him. He stepped closer to me, and I nearly got weak-kneed from his scent, undiluted by all the other bodies as it had been in the club. Dear God, how had I forgotten how good he smelled? He smelled like…Christmas and fantasies. Not overpowering but just right.
He glanced toward the sleeping area and frowned. “Yeah, that’s a mistake.”
“I’d say. That was quite an assumption to make—”
“I meant that it’s a mistake that there’s only one bed. It was supposed to be two. The ship only has single bedroom suites, but this one was supposed to have two beds in it. Let me call the porter.”
That disappointed me. Look, I never claimed my inner self made sense. I wanted him, and sleeping with him so soon would be wrong. Propriety and all that.
I crossed my arms over my chest, squashing the bit of hopefulness inside me. “What? He’s going to just wheel this one out and wheel in two different beds? I don’t see that happening. We’re adults. We can figure this out, I guess.”
“As tempting as that offer is, I don’t want to push you into anything.”
Again, I looked around. “Um, I’d say you’re a little late on that count. You manipulated me into taking a cruise with you. I mean…serious manipulation involving other people.”
“I was being romantic.”
Swoon. “Or a stalker.”
“That’s what my brother said.”
All amusement left his face. “You’re not frightened, are you? Grand gestures aside, I just wanted us to have time to get to know each other. I promise you’re completely safe with me. I just used my connections to find out things about you.”
I coughed into my fist, saying, “Stalker.”
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