Becca Wolfe’s mobile chimed. She glanced at the screen, bracing for another text from one of her three über-interfering cousins. Would it be from George-the over-playful, Jack-the over-productive? No, this time it was James, the over-protective, offering yet more “helpful” travel tips…
James: DO eat street food. DO talk to strangers. But, don’t hate me for saying it, you should dress conservatively.
Suppressing a giggle, Becca stretched out her arm, snapped a selfie and sent it straight back to her cousin.
Sorry James, but needs must 😉
She wedged her phone down her waistband and stepped forward. Time to get the show on the road.
“Do you want to be Up. All. Night?” She stalked around the bodies spread over the beach, calling for them to come to her. “Do you want to be alert and ready for hard out action?”
Lifting her chin, she delivered the innuendo-laden lines with as much chutzpah as she could muster.
“You do? You want?” She brandished the pistols in her hands. “Then I’ve got your shot.”
Sunbathers sat up, guys stood. A crowd gathered. Good. She needed people interested, people smiling, people buying into the tagline. She needed to kick some promo butt today or she’d lose the job. Seriously, how hard was it to give something away?
Her boss at the bar she was promoting said it was all about attitude. She had the look, she had the product, all she needed was the sass and the badass grit. And that, she was just going to have to fake.
Her friends back home would never believe she was wearing this outfit. She didn’t believe she was wearing it-let alone squirting shots of some caffeine-laced, guarana-enhanced, sugar-free energy soda into the mouths of masses. And let’s not forget that secret libido-boosting ingredient… Santorini in summer was filled with people out to have a good time-party long, party hard. It was holiday fun and flings all round.
But not for Becca.
She’d enacted a Man Ban-no boyfriend, no relationship, no nothing. She was on a mission to discover herself. Do the things she wanted to do. Fight the fear and all that. As navel-gazing and self-indulgent as it sounded, this trip was all about her. Going where she wanted. Doing what she wanted. No more getting sucked into someone else’s ideas for her future.
This bar’s soda promo was merely the means to make the money to keep her moving. Because moving was key to this plan.
But now she stopped, selecting a spot that was highly visible in the middle of the striking pebbled beach. “Come get your poison, people.”
Despite the blazing heat of the high summer sun, a chill swept over Becca’s skin. “Elixir, if you prefer,” she said, glancing around, trying to see past the group surrounding her.
“I like the sound of poison.”
Determined to keep up the sass despite her heart suddenly skipping to quad-speed, she called out. “You game to try it?”
There was a movement amongst the crowd, then he stepped forward into her line of sight. “Becca, I’m always game.”
OMG. No way. Levi Everton. Hometown Mr Mysterious. Heartthrob. Focal point of her teen lust. And heartache. Damn. Now she really needed to fake it. “That’s what they all say.”
“But you know I’m speaking the truth.”
“Yeah, well I’m betting every available woman nearby knows just how game you are.” The guy was a master flirt.
“Every woman? It seems I might need an energy hit.” He gave her “ammo” belt a derisory glance-it was loaded with mini vials of triple strength soda. “You’re saying this’ll keep me up all night?”
“Give you the energy to dance ’til dawn.”
“I always did like dancing.”
She rolled her eyes. Her lame innuendo had been scripted. His just came natural-he was the ultimate in love ’em and leave ’em. The ultimate in arrogant.
“You going to let me have it?” He didn’t so much ask as goad, with his azure eyes glinting.
“You better get in line.”
“I don’t like to wait in line.”
No? He thought he deserved special treatment? That’s what happened to guys as hot as him-they got accustomed to all kinds of privileges. “Then you miss out.”
“Too bad, I was looking forward to licking a little acid from your lips.”
“You’re acidic enough already.”
“How would you know, you never got a real taste.”
No, she hadn’t. She’d rejected him, then she’d run. And she’d regretted it. For all his arrogance, no one had ever made her want the way Levi had.
“What do I have to do to get one of those cool shots?” Another guy stepped forward, interrupting their increasingly tart talk.
Becca plastered a smile back on her face and remembered what she was here to do-and that wasn’t Levi Everton.
She gave the guy a slow, appraising look-blatantly sexual. Vaguely she heard the cheers and catcalls of the other guys drawing near. Yeah, the crowd was mostly male. But all she was really conscious of was Levi standing close, watching with that annoyingly amused expression.
Because he knew she was faking it.
But she wanted to surprise him. Her gaze flashed to his as she drawled out her answer in a voice riding as low as the waistband of her skirt. “You need to please me.”