Heat of Passion
Page 6

 Elle Kennedy

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Holly was the baby of the family. She was only twenty-four, damn it! How had she been dubbed the Lawson family janitor?
Now, thanks to her siblings’ crisis, she was going to have to waitress an entire wedding without a bra. When she’d been getting dressed, she’d noticed that the bra strap was fraying a little, but she hadn’t had time to change because she’d already been running late. So she’d hightailed it out of her apartment, sped over to this wedding, and what happened twenty minutes into it? Her bra broke.
She hated her life. She really, truly did. She was sick of taking care of everyone in her family, sick of working as a waitress when what she really wanted to do was have a restaurant of her own, and sick of getting dumped.
Oh no, change brain direction now, Holly, before you think about—
And yep, she was thinking about Steve,
She’d told herself she wasn’t allowed to anymore, but for the past month, thoughts of her ex had constantly floated into her head. It truly sucked when the person you were madly in love with broke your heart. She’d thought he was her soul mate, damn it! He worked as a sous-chef at an Italian restaurant, created his own recipes in his spare time, and rode a seriously sexy Harley. She’d envisioned the two of them working together, owning a restaurant, having sex on the back of his motorcycle, getting married, moving out of state so she didn’t have to see her family.
But instead, she’d gotten dumped. And why? Because Steve didn’t like the fact that she had other responsibilities that didn’t involve, well, f**king on the back of his Harley. In no uncertain terms, he’d told her to choose—him or everything else in her life. The selfishness of his demand still grated. How could she have been so wrong about him?
Of course, one good thing had come out of the break-up, but she wasn’t allowed to think about that either.
Nope. Because then she’d have to accept that the highlight of her sad, pathetic little life had been wild, sweaty sex in a supply closet with a complete stranger. And if that’s all a girl had to be proud of, she seriously needed a new life.
Straightening her shoulders, Holly finally forced herself to quit sulking. She glanced ruefully at the bra in her hand before stuffing it in the wide front pocket of her black apron. Then she sighed again, pushed her hair behind her ears, and headed back to the beach.
When she stepped onto the sand, she saw the reception was already in full swing. Tables had been set up on the beach, the chairs occupied by wedding guests digging into the seafood spread Holly had spent most of last night preparing. Since it was a buffet, the guests were in charge of getting their own food, but the catering staff was responsible for serving drinks, so Holly quickly headed for the bar area.
The sun was only a sliver of pink and yellow in the horizon, but it was still hot out, hot enough to make her white shirt cling to her skin. Great, she’d soon look like a contestant in a wet T-shirt contest. The bride and groom would be thrilled.
“So, did you calm down?” Zoe asked, strolling up to the bar and loading her tray with glasses of champagne.
“If you mean am I happy about the fact that you can see my ni**les through this shirt, then no, I haven’t calmed down,” she replied. “But I’ll deal with it, don’t worry.”
“Good.” Zoe grinned. “And you get to deal with it while bringing some beers over to the hottie table. Vanessa said I can’t serve them anymore, because apparently I spend too much time flirting.”
“Where exactly is the hottie table?”
Zoe’s blue eyes twinkled as she slanted her head to the left. Holly followed her coworker’s gaze. The hottie table indeed. Four ridiculously attractive men in Navy dress whites sat there, each one more handsome than the next. Like that blond one. Man, there was something unbelievably appealing about that chiseled, GQ face and broad shoulders and—
The color drained from her face.
“Oh my God,” she blurted out, nearly dropping the tray she’d just stacked with beer bottles.
Zoe giggled and tossed her curly hair over her shoulder. “I know, huh? It’s like an orgasmic feast over there!”
Holly’s cheeks went from white to red. Oh shit. Was it actually him or was she conjuring up the sight? Because what were the odds of running into her one-night-stand here, at a wedding she was waitressing?
Obviously pretty good, because the guy’s head suddenly swiveled in her direction as if he sensed her presence, and then those deep blue eyes were fixed on her. All doubts drained from her mind. It was him. Her hunk from the Hot Zone. The guy she’d jumped four hours after Steve had dumped her.
“Male model, my ass,” she muttered, though a part of her wasn’t surprised to see he was in the Navy. She hadn’t quite bought his model story anyway.
Zoe gave her a blank look. “Huh?”
“The guy. The blond.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Remember I told you about the guy I hooked up with a month ago, at the club? Well, that’s him.”
Delight lit up Zoe’s eyes. “Seriously?”
Embarrassment heated her face as she thought about that night. She’d gone to the Hot Zone with Caroline, who’d dragged Holly out after finding her in her apartment crying over Steve. Holly hadn’t wanted to go, yet somehow her sister had convinced her they’d have a good time. But ten minutes after they walked into the club, Caroline disappeared with a tall, Latin heartthrob and Holly had found herself alone.