The handsome host suggested a seat at the bar while they prepared a table. She was fine with that. Having tended bar herself for quite a few years, she felt comfortable there.
Like the reception desk, there were two people behind the bar, one male and one female. And, as before, it was the male who approached her. His eyes raked over her approvingly; the sexy smile he gave her held genuine interest.
Her womanly parts perked up in interest, but she held them at bay. The bartender looked as if he had just stepped off the stage of a classy male review, but he was too young for her. Halfway between thirty and forty, anything that hadn’t aged at least three decades was off the menu. Flirting and visually assaulting him would have to suffice while she discreetly scoped out other, more mature options. While many of the guests appeared to be couples, she had seen a fair number of singles, too.
“And what can I get you, pretty lady?” He placed both hands on the bar and leaned toward her. She recognized it for what it was—an invitation to look, to engage, to imagine the possibilities. She had used the move countless times herself and made enough tips in the process to buy a car and put a down payment on a house. “Hurricane? Mai Tai? Maybe a Screaming Orgasm?” He grinned suggestively, revealing the hint of a dimple on the left side of his face. He really was quite attractive, almost enough to make her reconsider her age requirement.
She received an amused, raised brow in response. “A woman who knows her malt whisky. I’m impressed.”
While he prepared her drink, Kayla took the opportunity to look around. The dining room looked just as impressive as everything else she had seen. Cozy tables were set with white linens and elegant-looking hurricane lamps. Potted palms and other tropical plants, interspersed with Zen-like water fountains, provided an intimate, private dining experience.
Her drink was served right about the same time the host reappeared. Kayla was seated at a table with a lovely view of the sun setting over the ocean. After dinner, a moonlit walk along the beach was definitely on the agenda.
After placing her order, Kayla sat back, splitting her attention between the glorious sunset and her fellow diners. Unsurprisingly, most were couples lost in their own romantic worlds. It was still fairly early for prowling singles; she expected more would appear later when some of the night time activities began to pick up.
She did a double-take when she spotted a handsome man at the far end of the restaurant, one whose eyes were fixed intently on her.
Mid-to-late thirties. Gorgeous. Radiating power in waves. And she knew exactly who he was.
It was impossible to live around Pine Ridge and not know who Spencer Dumas was. The bad boy CEO of Dumas Industries and owner/operator of Sate, he was considered to be one of the most eligible bachelors in the Northeast. Blessed with angelic looks and the good luck to be born into an insanely wealthy family, Spencer was never seen without at least one beautiful woman on his arm, and never the same one twice.
Yet, he appeared to be all alone.
And he was staring at her.
Keeping her expression neutral, she casually turned away, taking her gaze back to the stunning view. Inside, her heart was pounding. He couldn’t possibly recognize her, could he?
They had never been formally introduced. Hers had been an entry-level position, just another insignificant cog in the Dumas Industries machine. While Spencer Dumas had been the subject of many breakroom discussions, she had only seen him in passing a few times. She was quite sure he had never seen her.
Besides, that was years ago. After her tending job at Jake’s Irish Pub, she had taken a temp job at DI, filling in for a woman on maternity leave. Her time on the corporate payroll had been brief and unremarkable.
He doesn’t know who you are, she thought, and that look he’s casting over here is not one of recognition.
A thrill shot through her. The game was on, and it was one she was very familiar with.
“Excuse me, Miss? I’ve been asked to deliver this to you.”
Kayla accepted the paper from the waiter, knowing instinctively it had come from him.
She once again sought him out. He stared right back, his eyes intense. Hungry. Determined.
Once again, a thrill ran through her, stronger than the one before it. She had always had a thing for confident, powerful men, the ones who knew what they wanted and weren’t afraid to go after it. She had never been weak, so finding someone man enough to push her buttons wasn’t easy.
She opened the note and read: Meet me at midnight. Take the glass elevator to the twenty-seventh floor. Face away from the doors. Wear that dress, and only that dress.
Her core clenched. She snapped her head back up, but Spencer Dumas was already gone.
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