|Out from the sea of women stepped a handsome man with broad shoulders clad in a partially unbuttoned white shirt and denim shorts. Bathed in sunlight he looked like every wine-induced fantasy she'd ever concocted at two in the morning.
Her head swung side to side in disbelief. If she had had the ability to purr, she would have. No question, he put the smolder in Smolder Springs. Judging by the drawn gasps behind her, she wasn't the only one who thought so.
Mister dreamboat-in-denim parted from the group and approached in measured strides, his chiseled biceps flexing as he lifted a megaphone to his perfect mouth.
"Welcome to Smolder Springs, ladies. I'm certain you'll find your time here most rewarding."
The sight of him had a definite reward factor in itself. Forget buying a souvenir, she'd take him home.
"You'll each be paired up with a guide who will give you a tour and see that all your needs are met. They've been chosen based on answers you filled out online at the time you registered."
Kaitlin's smile faltered. She didn't realize the online form held such merit. Did anyone take that kind of set-up seriously?
"Now I'll call out your name and the name of your guide. From there your three days of pampering can start. Have a wonderful time at Smolder Springs."
Her pulse amplified in her ears. What the hell had she put on that form? She searched her memory while names were called out, listening for hers at the same time. It concerned her that no one else veered on the edge of a breakdown. Though, why should they if they'd answered honestly. Had she? Not likely or why the heart palpitations?
Perspiration laced her bra. Why couldn't she remember? Oh, that's right, it had been the same night that she'd polished off that third banana daiquiri, thinking it tasted like another.
Faces blurred in front of her as guides and guests met and shook hands like old friends during alumni week. Out of frustration she stopped racking her brain. She couldn't change the answers now, only deny them.
The crowd continued to thin until she was the last woman standing.
Dreamy in denim set the megaphone down on a bench swing and perched his sunglasses atop his head. He gave her a measured once-over and tucked the clipboard underneath his arm.
"I guess that leaves us." His voice dripped of caramel sauce.
Kaitlin's lips parted to respond and stayed that way. Any words or sounds she'd planned had tangled up with the butterflies circling inside her stomach. She hadn't expected to be paired with a man. And he truly was all man.
She figured his age somewhere in the lower thirties range, older but not too old, her personal preference. Rugged good looks bordered on clean cut without the Ivy League polish. Also a preference.
Her eyes drank in every visible part from the firm muscles that hugged his arms and legs, to his thick waist and gently angled face. Her favorite feature was the stunning jade color of his eyes—clear and sharp and mesmerizing. She appreciated the dark tumbling mass of hair that fell around his neck but grieved over his choice of attire and how little it revealed his sculpted, sun-kissed body.
All six-foot-two inches of him gravitated toward her, his broad shoulders even more impressive up close. She tilted her chin to look up at him. Talk about a towering inferno. A sinful smile tugged at his full masculine lips.
When she'd sufficiently scrutinized him from head to toe, her mouth remembered how to work again.
"Uh, hi. I'm Kaitlin West. I think there's been a mistake on the pairing up part."
"Name's Harrison Knight." He thrust out his strong-looking hand and casually slid it into his pocket when she didn't reciprocate.
"There's no mistake on the pair up. I picked you myself."
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