Any Man of Mine

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Chapter Six

Autumn Haven spent most of the morning in her room getting over the slight headache she had earned the night before. After lunch she put on a black bikini with gold hearts she'd splurged on at the Fashion Show Mall the day before. She slathered herself with sun screen, dumped it along with several magazines in her beach bag, and headed down to the pool.

From the hotel's brochure, she knew that the pool was called The Garden of The Gods Pool Oasis. Which pretty much described the elaborate pools, massive columns and urns, rows of palm trees and winged lions. In the brochure she thought Caesar's should have added decadent to the description. The Garden of The Gods Pool and decadent Oasis

By the time she made it to the pools, it was a little before one in the afternoon and inching toward a hundred degrees. The sun toasted the top of her head, and she took a big floppy hat out of her bag and found a white lounge chair in one corner beneath a cluster of palms. Being a natural red head didn’t mix with the hot sun. She either burned or freckled. Neither was an attractive option.

A cabana boy took her drink order, and she relaxed with a tall glass of tea. Not the Long Island kind. At least not today. With her hat dipping over her left eye, she sat back with a Cosmo magazine and settled into an article about the most intense erogenous zones on a man. According to the article, it was just beneath the head of the penis called the frenulum. Autumn had never heard of it and brought the magazine closer for a better look at the diagram.

"There you are Cinderella."

She slapped her Cosmo closed and raised the brim of her straw hat. She looked way up into a pair of black Oakley's covering eyes she knew were a beautiful blue. He was even bigger and better looking in the sunlight. Today he wore a pair of gray Quicksilver board shorts and a white tank with large armholes around his massive shoulders.

"What are you reading?"

"Make-up tips." She tried to act cool as she shoved her Cosmo into her bag. Like she wasn't reading about penises and like outrageously good-looking men talked to her every day. "Have you been following me?" she asked the man she'd danced with at Pure.

He chuckled and sat on the chaise next to her. "Keeping my eyes open for you."

"Why?"

He dug in his back pocket then handed her the pink bead bracelet she'd worn the night before. "You lost this."

This was Vegas. Nothing was real in Vegas. Certainly not good looking men tracking her down to return a cheap bracelet. She opened her palm and he dropped it in her hand, the beads still warm from his body. "Thank you."

"I was fairly drunk last night." His brows lowered and he looked around. "So is there anything I need to apologize for?"

"No."

"Damn. I was kinda hoping we got into trouble." He returned his gaze to hers. "Why are you hiding way back here in the corner?"

"I'm not hiding. I'm just avoiding the sun."

"Hung over?"

She shook her head. "I burn."

He gave her that slow easy smile she'd seen the night before. The one she'd thought her tequila buzz had made up. "I could put sun screen on your back."

She lowered her hand from the brim of her hat, and tilted her head to look at him. There was only one sensible option. Run away again before she got herself into trouble.

He held up his hands as if he was completely harmless. She wasn't fooled. "I won't touch you any place you don't want to be touched."

But she didn't want to run. She was on vacation. Nothing counted on vacation. And nothing certainly counted in Vegas. Wasn't that their motto? What happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas? "Sorry. I already put some on."

"That makes one of us." He looked up at the broiling sun and cringed. "I can practically hear my skin sizzle."

She pointed up at the palm trees. "In the shade?"

"I'm sensitive."

"Uh-huh." She reached into her beach bag and pulled out a tube of sunscreen. "It's SPF 40 and--" He whipped off his shirt and she about fell out of her chair. Holy crap! He had big pecks and shoulders and a six pack of killer abs. She’d never seen anything like him. Not in person, anyway. Not close enough to lick. Would probably never see anything like him again. Where had he come from? What did he do for a living? Lift small buildings? "What's your name?"

"Sam."

He looked like a Sam. "Autumn," she said and swung her legs over the side of her chaise. "Autumn Haven."

He chuckled. "And that's your real name? You’re not just shitting me?"

"Not shitting you." She'd always hated her name. "I know. It sounds like a retirement home. Like Meadow Lakes or Summer Village." She kept her eyes on his face in a desperate bid not to rudely stare at his chest and drool. Although really, staring at his face was no hardship. "Here you go." She shoved the sunscreen toward him.

Instead of taking it, he lay back in his chair. "Your name doesn't sound like a retirement home. More like one of those paradise destinations."

A thin golden happy trail ran down the middle of his six pack, circled his navel, and disappearing beneath the waist of his board shorts, pointing the way to his paradise destination. God help her. She wanted to say something clever. Something smart and sexy, but she couldn’t think of anything. Not when the blood was draining from her head.

"The all inclusive kind," he added. "The kind that promises endless pleasure and an all you can eat buffet."

Autumn had a choice. Run like hell. Again. Run and save herself from endless pleasure and the all she could eat buffet laid out in front of her like a smorgasbord of sin.

She rose from the lounge chair, looked down at all that yummy temptation, and popped the top of her Coppertone.