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The girl’s eyes are wide now and her body is rigid. I know I’ll feel guilty for this later, but right now I just feel the crushing disappointment numbing me to everything, even the stupidity of taking my anger out on this poor girl.

“You mean this case where you guys took my money weeks ago and now you’re telling me I can’t get what I paid for, but I also can’t get my money back? You mean that case?”

“There’s nothing I can do,” says the girl robotically.

I sigh, feeling all the anger drain out of me as suddenly as it came. “It’s fine. It’s not your fault,” I say. “I’ll figure something else out. Just put it on hold for now, okay?”

She nods, shifting her eyes to motion for the next in line to come to the counter.

I turn and walk away from the counter and find a bench to sit on. I curl my arms around the bag and hug it in my lap, resting my head on it like a big pillow and willing myself not to cry. There’s no point sitting here feeling sorry for myself.

Yeah, I worked my ass off for this vacation. Yeah, none of this is fair. But I’m not the kind of girl who wallows in self-pity. I just can’t seem to make myself get up yet, not now. I decide to allow myself to wallow for just a few minutes. At least taking a week off work means I have time to mope in the airport for a little while. I don’t let a single tear come, though I could cry a million in frustration and disappointment. I’m not going to cry over this. It’s just a crushed dream I spent months looking forward to. It’s only–

A deep voice draws my attention.

“Canceled?” asks the man.

My head pops up so I can see the speaker, but his back is to me. He wears a suit that looks expensive, but my eyes go straight past the material to the places where it hugs his fit body exceptionally well. Broad shoulders. Lean, athletic legs, and posture that says volumes about his confidence. His feet are wide, hands planted on the counter, and he leans in.

I listen to the girl tell him the same thing she told me, except this guy already had first-class tickets, so she tells him she can transfer his tickets over for tomorrow, no problem.

He sighs, turns away from the counter, and starts walking directly toward me.

I’ve heard the cliche before, but I think my heart actually stops when I see him coming for me. He’s tall, with the most arrestingly blue eyes I’ve ever seen. A couple days’ worth of scruff lines his crisp jawline and full lips. His hair is effortlessly pushed away from his face in a way that somehow speaks of rugged carelessness and yet polished at the same time. I’ve seen celebrities on the screen and magazines, but I’ve never seen a man so absolutely breathtaking in person before. Not even close.

He looks around the crowded benches, slowing a little as he scans for a place to sit. His eyes fall on me and I realize I’m not breathing, except right now I don’t think I could even if I tried.

The corner of his mouth pulls up so slightly I think I might be imagining it. Did he just smirk at me?

I can’t do anything but watch as this miracle of a man strides straight to the seat beside me and sits, giving me a full breath of his expensive cologne and something masculine and clean just beneath the scent. He practically towers over me, even sitting.

“Keep staring like you want to take a bite out of me and I might let you,” he says in a smooth voice with a deep, gravelly undertone. The sound alone has me pressing my legs together to suppress the growing warmth and wetness dampening my bikini.

Of all the times in my life I had to be rebellious and wear a freaking bikini with a revealing cover-up to the airport, it had to be when Mr. Model decides to strike a conversation with me? And since when does the sight, or sound, for that matter, of a guy get me wet?

“Excuse me?” I ask weakly. My body finally shivers a little, taking in the air I’ve been denying it for too long, giving me no choice but to awkwardly sit there, sucking in air like I just jogged a few laps while he watches me with a sparkle of amusement in those intense blue eyes.

“The way you’re looking at me,” he says, reaching a hand out and placing a surprisingly gentle finger at my cheek and dragging it down to my jaw. The innocent touch explodes through me like it’s electric until I feel breathless all over again. “Flushed cheeks. Slightly dilated pupils. Shortness of breath,” he notes, taking a longer-than-necessary look at my rising and falling chest. “You’re aroused,” he says simply.


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