Cheers, screams and
more saturated the air. Enzo Cassano took it all in stride
as he made his way off his powerboat to head up the pier and
through the marina. Not even the explicit offers slowed him,
although they made him smile and shake his head. Exhaustion
owned him, yet he knew it would be a great night. Amazing
sex, slumber in a nice bed and an added bonus of not having
to get up before the ass-crack of dawn.
He gave nods and
high-fives to his team before his gaze landed on the woman
he’d been looking for. She wasn’t part of the team, but she
was waiting for him. A wide grin spread across his features
as he took in the dark-skinned beauty. Her hair had been
pulled back since they’d taken pictures on his boat, but she
still wore the same suit—an orange strapless bandeau
swimsuit top, twisted at the centre. No, not quite orange, a
mix of orange shades, pale peach to corals and some in
between, blending in with one another and contrasting
amazingly with her skin. He knew the bottoms matched in hue,
were low rise and knotted at the sides. She looked damn good
in them. Right now she wore a white sarong around her waist.
"Lexy," he said.
He had a certain
fondness for this woman. Sexy as hell and southern. He loved
her accent. She was almost family, her best friend Jaydee
was now his relation, she’d married his older brother—the
middle brother—Gio and by default it sort of put Lexy in the
He’d missed her
earlier after the photos had been taken, when she’d gone
shopping. A wolf whistle escaped him as he leant back for
another look at her. She waited for him to lift his gaze.
"What?" He grinned.
"Stop looking at me
like you want to eat me."
He waggled his
eyebrows. "Not my fault you are bellissima."
Lexy snorted and
took off one shoe for a moment before sliding it back on.
"Your charm, while adorable, is completely wasted on me,
"Can’t blame me for
trying." Had she ever given him the slightest hint his
advances would be reciprocated he would have pursued her,
but for her it was all about fun—he knew it was hands-off.
She laughed and he
slid an arm around her, brushing a kiss along her cheek. He
thought about how different she was from his sister-in-law,
Jaydee. The women were complete opposites yet steadfast in
their affection for one another. He cared deeply for them
both. Jaydee had relaxed only marginally since her marriage
to his brother, but Lexy had fun every time he saw her.
They progressed up
the pier, chatting about work and family.
"So tell me, Lexy.
How is life treating you?"
"We’re busy. Which
is why I thank you so much for this. I needed it." She
rubbed the back of her neck and he fought off his urge to
offer to do it for her.
"Needed what?" A new
voice broke in.
Enzo smiled as he
recognised the speaker. His eldest brother, Valentino. "You
He turned to the
left and froze when he saw him. Yes, his brother had
arrived, but he stood out like a sore thumb on the marina.
While others wore summery attire, Valentino Cassano was
standing there in a three-piece suit.
"A suit? Christ,
bro. This is Monte Carlo, where are the shorts?" Even as he
asked the question he knew the answer.
His brother would
wear jeans on occasion but most of the time, if he was going
out, he wore suits.
"You know your
brother is cranky and stodgy, Enzo." Lexy leaned against him
and propped her arm on his shoulder.
Amusement laced her
Enzo felt, as much
as saw, his brother tense. Hazel eyes flicked between them,
disapproval filling them.
Lexy sighed. "I’ll
be at the car. Bye, Val."
Enzo watched her
walk away. "Damn, that woman is—"
"I was going to say
hot as hell. You know she is a very nice woman. If you
wouldn’t be so, so…well, like this with her, you’d see it."
"Are you two
He frowned, taken
aback by the question. "Me? And Lexy?"
His hazel eyes were
unblinking and direct. "She is here in Monte Carlo with
Valentino lifted his
"I mean no to the
dating part." Enzo began walking. "She is here because I
As they neared the
car, the crowd parted and he saw Lexy waiting, looking at
something on her phone. He reached out to his brother and
halted him. "Be nice to her, we’re going to a party."
His brother didn’t
reassure him. Hell, he didn’t say anything. Lexy, however,
had apparently overheard. She gave him a grin. "I appreciate
you looking out for me, Enzo, but your brother is not
anything to concern yourself with. He and I have our own way
of communicating. He snarls and snaps like a rabid dog and I
sweetly remind him I am a vet with plenty of access to
ketamine and more tranqs, not to mention numerous
barbiturates I could choose from." A shrug.
He swallowed his
increasing amusement, but couldn’t help smirking when
Valentino glowered further.
"Lighten up," he
told his brother in Italian. "Let’s go party."
They entered the
waiting car. Lexy tucked herself between them, the photos of
her on his boat in her hands. Behind her, he spied Valentino
and his scowl. If he didn’t know any better, Enzo would say
his eldest sibling had a crush on Lexy. It was a fact he
couldn’t be bitter about, for in his opinion, it was about
damn time someone got a reaction from Valentino. He’d been a
bear since the fiasco with his ex-wife. Laughing silently at
the thought of what Lexy would do for—and to—his brother,
Enzo leant forwards and went through the photos with that