becoming the norm. They even had a waiting list for weeks not considered as prime time. The man she had chosen to succeed her as a manager, Simon Tillman, was doing an excellent job, and now she was able to concentrate on doing other things, such as expanding her business in various ways.

She had received a call from her accountant that profits for the hotel were surging. Once it had become official that she was the owner of the Garrison Grand-Bahamas, she had begun implementing the changes she had submitted to her father in a proposal just a month before his death. Over the last dinner they had shared together, he had given his blessing to move ahead with her plans. Today after meeting with her staff, she had a lot to be happy about, for the first time in months.

“May I play?”

Cassie lowered her leg as she swung around at the sound of the deep, masculine voice, angry at the intrusion. She narrowed her eyes, at first not seeing anyone, but then she watched as a man seemed to materialize out of the darkness.

She recognized him immediately. He was the man she had seen earlier today when he had checked into the hotel. He was the man every woman in the hotel had been watching, and a man who even now was taking her breath away.


Brandon stared at the woman standing a few feet from him. He had been watching her, barely seeing her features in the shadows, and now with her standing so close, he thought she had to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He immediately wanted to know everything about her.

He glanced at her left hand, didn’t see a ring and inwardly let out a relieved breath. But that didn’t necessarily mean she didn’t have a significant other, even perhaps a boyfriend. What were the chances of her spending time at this hotel, one known for rest, relaxation and romance, alone?

But still, that didn’t stop his hormones from going into overdrive when he stared into her face, seeing the cocoa color of her complexion, the dark curly brown hair that fell to her shoulders, the darkness of her brown eyes and the shape of her curves in the outfit she was wearing.

Disgusted, he was reminded of why he was there, which was not to concentrate on a woman whose looks were so striking they could almost blind him, but to get close to a woman who was causing problems to his biggest client-a woman he had yet to meet, although he’d hung around the hotel the majority of the day hoping that he would. When he had discreetly asked about her, he’d been told that Cassie Sinclair-Garrison had been in meetings all day and chances were she had already left for her home, which was on the other side of the island.

In that case, since it wasn’t likely he would be running into Ms. Garrison anytime tonight, why not spend time with this beauty…if she was free and available.

He watched how she tilted up her chin and narrowed her eyes at him. “You intrude on my privacy.”

Her Bahamian accent was rich, just as rich as the curly brown hair that flowed around her shoulders, he thought. With the lifting of her chin he zeroed in on more of her features. In addition to her creamy brown skin, she had high cheekbones, a cute dimple in her chin, a straight nose and lips so full and generous they were downright sexy. There was something so feminine about her it actually made him ache.

“And I apologize,” he said quietly, accepting what she felt was her need to take him to task. “I was out for a walk and couldn’t help but notice the game you were playing. “

“You could have said something to let me know you were there,” she said directly, eyeing him.

“And you’re right, but again, I got so caught up in watching you that I didn’t want to interrupt, at least not for a while. If I upset you, I’m sorry.”

Cassie realized she really shouldn’t make such a big deal out of it. After all it wasn’t just her section of private beach, but belonged to anyone who was staying at Diamond Keys, and evidently he was. “Since there hasn’t been any harm done,” she said in a muffled voice, “I will accept your apology.”

He smiled. “Thank you. And I hope you will let me make it up to you.”

“And how do you pose to do that?”

“By asking you to be my guest at dinner tonight,” he said lightly, watching the look of surprise skim her features at his request.

She shook her head. “That’s not necessary.”

“I think it is. I offended you and want to make it up to you.”

“You didn’t offend me. You just caught me off guard.”

“Still, I’d like to make it up to you.”

Cassie bent her head, trying to hide the smile that suddenly touched her lips. If nothing else, he was persistent. Shouldn’t she be as persistent, as well, in turning down his offer?

She lifted her head and met his gaze and for a period of time she was rendered speechless. He had moved into into her line of vision and she thought he was so incredibly handsome, she could actually feel a rush of blood flow through her veins. She doubted that very few women turned down anything coming from him.

“Maybe we should introduce ourselves,” he said, taking a step forward and smiling. He extended his hand out to her. “I’m Brandon Jarrett.”

“And I’m Cassie Sinclair-Garrison.”

It took everything Brandon had to keep the shock that rocked his body from showing in his face. This was Cassie Garrison? The woman who was causing Garrison, Inc., all kinds of trouble? The woman who had been giving Parker heartburn for the past four months? The woman who was a sibling to the Miami Garrisons whether she wanted to acknowledge them or not? The woman who was the main reason he was here on the island?

“Hello, Cassie Sinclair-Garrison,” he said, forcing the words out of his mouth and hesitantly releasing her hand. It had felt good in his, as if it had actually belonged there. He had looked forward to meeting Cassie, but without this element of surprise. He didn’t like surprises and this one was a biggie.

“Hello, Brandon Jarrett,” she said, smiling. “I hope you’re enjoying your stay here.”

“I am. Are you?” he asked, not wanting to give anything away that he recognized her name or knew who she was, although she carried the same last name as the hotel.

“Yes, I’m enjoying myself.”

No doubt at my expense, he thought, when he saw she had no intention of mentioning that she was the hotel’s owner. “I think you might enjoy it even more if you have dinner with me.”

A feeling of uneasiness crept over Cassie. The moment her fingers had slid into the warmth of his when they had shaken hands, she had felt a surge of sensations that settled in the middle of stomach. This guy was smooth and the problem was that she wasn’t used to smooth guys. She dated, but not frequently, and definitely not someone like Brandon Jarrett. It was quite obvious he knew how to work it and it was also quite obvious that he thought he had a chance of working her. That realization didn’t repulse her like it should have. Instead it had her curious. He wouldn’t be the first man who’d tried hitting on her, but he was the first who had remotely triggered her interest in over a year or so.

“We’re back to that, are we?” she asked, chuckling, feeling a little more relaxed than she had earlier.

“Yes, I’m afraid we’re back to that, and I hope you don’t disappoint me. We can dine here at the hotel or go someplace else that’s close by. It will be your choice.”

She knew if would be crazy to suggest to a perfect stranger to take her someplace other than here, but the last thing she wanted was to become the topic of conversation of her employees. Some of them hadn’t yet gotten over the shock that John Garrison was her biological father and that he had left the hotel to her. Making a decision she hoped that she didn’t later regret she said, “I prefer going someplace else that’s close by.”

She could tell her response pleased him. “Is there any place you want to recommend or do you prefer leaving the choice to me?” he asked.

Again putting more trust in him than she really should, she said, “I’ll leave things to you.”

“All right. Do you want us to meet in the lobby in about an hour?”

She knew that wouldn’t work. “No, we can meet back here, at least over there on that terrace near the flower garden.”


Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату