Reckless In Love
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“Do you know how to swim? Are you okay?”
“I do and I am.” She wiped water out of her eyes before she opened them, her hair slicked back from her beautiful face. “Thanks for trying to keep me from falling in. You didn’t have to do that.”
“Of course I did.” Everyone was staring at them, and he figured it wouldn’t be long before people started taking pictures with their phones, if they hadn’t already. In that moment, however, he couldn’t focus on anything but how good it felt to have her in his arms again. Still, even though he couldn’t keep holding her forever in the pool, he really hated having to say, “Ready to get out?”
She made a little face. “Actually, I’m pretty sure my dress has gone completely see-through.”
Drew fought like hell to keep his arousal under control. But it was already difficult enough when she was wet and soft and so damned perfect in his arms. Knowing her cute white dress was now translucent? There wasn’t enough self-control in the world to fight what that vision did to him.
“Only I could do something like this at a fancy Hollywood party.” She closed her eyes in mortification. “And now I can’t even get out because it will be like everyone is seeing me naked.”
He was about to tell her he’d get out first and grab her a towel to cover up with, when he looked up and realized Valentina was already on it. “Valentina’s waiting by the shallow-end steps with a towel. I’ll come out of the water behind you so that between the towel and me, no one will see anything they shouldn’t.”
Ashley nodded, but she didn’t let go of him or start swimming. As if she didn’t want to let go of him any more than he wanted to let her go. Finally, however, she said, “I guess we should swim over there, shouldn’t we?”
Unfortunately, the longer they stayed wrapped around each other in the pool, the more people would talk. And if pictures of the two of them holding each other ever got back to her father? Well, Drew could only imagine how angry he would be, even though there was a reasonable explanation. Especially when something told him Professor Emmit would quickly see through the “reasonable explanation” and straight to Drew’s unstoppable attraction to Ashley.
Fortunately, between Drew and Valentina, they were able to get Ashley out of the pool with only the two of them seeing the way the white dress clung to her gorgeous curves. A true gentleman wouldn’t look, but Drew’s control was already hanging by such a thin thread that he didn’t have a prayer of not drinking her in. If Valentina noticed the way he was clearly losing his mind over Ashley, she didn’t give anything away, but simply helped wrap Ashley up in the thick beach towel and took her into the house through a side door.
Smith came over with a towel for Drew a couple of seconds later, grinning as he said, “Valentina and I have been too busy to enjoy the pool. Glad someone is.”
“Thanks for the towel.” Drew ran it over his face and hair. “I was actually just heading your way to see if I could chat with you and Valentina for a few minutes.”
“Why don’t you change into something of mine while we stick your clothes in the dryer? Then we can talk.”
Five minutes later, Drew had on a pair of Smith Sullivan’s jeans and a Hawks Baseball T-shirt. Valentina and Ashley hadn’t yet emerged, so they were sitting in Smith and Valentina’s home office talking about how the team was doing this year.
“I caught your brother’s last no-hitter on the TV on the bus,” Drew said, “but it’s not like being there when Ryan throws a—”
His sentence fell away as Ashley walked into the room...and his jaw dropped. She was wearing another dress, pink instead of white. And sexy in a way that nothing else she’d ever worn had been.
“We were so lucky,” Valentina said as she beamed at Ashley. “Tatiana left this dress in the closet after her visit with Ian. It fits you perfectly.”
So perfectly, in fact, that the edge Drew was on wore so thin it nearly broke, almost exploding into a million pieces right then and there in front of Smith and Valentina.
* * *
Ashley felt just about as self-conscious in Tatiana Landon’s dress as she had in her see-through white dress in the pool. Tatiana was a gorgeous movie star who probably wore outfits like this all the time, but Ashley wasn’t used to wearing anything quite so form-fitting. One big breath was all it would take for her breasts to come spilling up and out of the bodice. Plus, since her underwear was currently in the dryer, she wasn’t wearing any. And from the way Drew was looking at her with so much heat even the air conditioning couldn’t keep her cool, she wondered if he’d developed X-ray vision and could tell that she was completely bare beneath the gorgeous dress.
She’d been nervous about coming to this party, considering Smith Sullivan was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But in her worst nightmares she couldn’t have come up with falling into the pool. Only, the truth was that she couldn’t entirely regret what had happened, if only because of the way Drew had pulled her close in the water and held her as though he never wanted to let her go.
Just the way he had in the elevator yesterday. And on the beach. And in the desert in the Valley of Fire.
Every time she’d ever been in his arms was imprinted on her memory like a brand. When this tour was over, she’d be replaying each and every one of those delicious moments over and over in her fantasies.