The Big Break(2)

By: Cara Lockwood

She rang the bell once more and peeked in through the wall of glass windows along the front of the house. All she could see was tasteful granite, smooth-finished wood and gleaming floors. Was that a lanai out back? The wall-less living room was bigger than her whole condo! It overlooked a glistening mirrored pool that looked as though it cascaded into the ocean.

Jun blinked rapidly and tried not to press her nose against the glass. This might be the most beautiful house she’d ever seen.

She saw movement inside and held her breath. Was he going to answer the door? Or was he too rich for that? Did he have a butler? Her stomach lurched. She fought the urge to smooth down her ponytail, to double-check her tinted lip balm in the glass. She didn’t know why she cared. As a single mom, she didn’t have time to date. She barely had time to sleep.

She heard the door lock click and the knob turn and Kai stood there, shirtless, clad only in swim trunks.

For a second, all rational thought fled her head. The words she’d been about to utter simply dried up on her tongue. All she could think was...tall...broad...chest. Miles of smooth tanned skin, a wall of rippled, strongly defined muscles and not a single ounce of fat anywhere. She tried to swallow, but she couldn’t. Her mouth was parched. He was so...tall. So...big.

Big muscles. Big, big muscles.

She felt as if she’d devolved instantly into a cavewoman. Big muscles. Me like.

The last time she’d seen Kai, he’d been recovering in a hospital bed, fully clothed, his hurt leg in traction. He’d been tanned and attractive, sure, but he’d been clothed. That fierce six-pack had been safely tucked away under a white hospital gown.

She realized she was staring at his perfectly formed abs, her fingers itching to touch them. How did he get such...definition? She worked at a gym and she was stumped just looking at them.

Also, she noted, he was a lot taller than she remembered. A lot taller. Her eyes were level with his chest. And, wow, what a chest.

His full lips curled up in an amused smile. “May you?”

Oh, yes. Yes, you can. She immediately felt her face grow bright tomato red. She normally wasn’t this forward, even in her own head. She didn’t go around panting after men like a teenager. What was wrong with her? As if she’d never seen a man without a shirt on before. Get a grip, Jun. All those meatheads at the gym should’ve long since inoculated her against the power of the male form. And yet...clearly they hadn’t.

“I...uh...” Why couldn’t her mind form words any longer? She felt as though she’d been hit on the head. Could a person get a concussion from close proximity to Hawaii’s hottest and richest bachelor? He probably got this all the time: women who lost the ability to speak in his presence.

“Yes?” Kai asked politely. With great effort, Jun pulled her attention away from his physique and tried to focus on his face.

She found that was a mistake. His chest might be distracting, but his face was worse. He was all chiseled perfection up there: dark, intelligent eyes, expressive yet playful eyebrows, sensual mouth and the kind of just-there stubble on his square jaw. He slumped his broad, muscled shoulders against the doorframe and crossed his arms, patiently waiting her out. She had to say something. Why wasn’t her mouth working?

“Hi...” Say your name. Your name. “Jun.”

“June? Like the month?”

This was going even worse than she’d feared.

“No. I’m Jun.” Heat flared up the back of her neck. “Uh... Jun Lee. I...”

Kai’s face showed zero recognition. She felt a little pinch in her chest. It had been a year since she’d seen him and she didn’t have Po with her, and yet, somehow, she’d been hoping he’d remember her.

“Maybe you’d like to come in? Get out of the sun?” he offered, looking concerned.

Yes, because clearly she was acting like a sunstroke victim.

She just bobbed her head and stepped inside the cool interior, into the masterful space of a living room leading out to a huge terrace, the massive lanai she’d seen from the window. Cushioned couches filled out the open space, and what appeared to be a small wooden footbridge led out over a koi pond and to the patio surrounding a glassy square pool. Beyond that, there lay miles and miles of pristine blue Pacific.

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