Authors: Lexxie Couper
For Julie, my best friend. Who knows how twisted I can be but loves me all the same. And Fedora, who tells me when it works…and when it doesn’t.
The engine throbbed between Lachlan McDermott’s legs—low and powerful and animalistic. He gunned the accelerator, propelling his Ducati down the street with increasing haste. It should be a quiet street at this time of night, free of the cars currently parked along its length. However, the closer he rode to the house on the waterfront he shared with his sister and his best friend, the more it looked like Lillian had done what he’d specifically requested she not do—throw a party. And by the number of high-end sport and luxury cars he counted lining what was normally their quiet street, the party was big even by her standards.
Lachlan ground his teeth. He was going to kill her when he got home. Kill her then ground her then kill her again. Bloody models. Thought they could do whatever the fuck they wanted. What the hell was Mackenzie doing? How had his best friend let her do this?
This is what you get for being away on her birthday last month, you know that, right? She’s punishing you for not being with her when you promised her you would be.
Lachlan bit back a growl. He
promised his half-sister he’d spend her twenty-fifth birthday with her in New York. But damn it, he couldn’t run a global media empire without some personal sacrifices. Sometimes he just had to attend a meeting whether he wanted to or not.
But you promised her. And you didn’t keep that promise. Sounds a lot like Dad, don’t you think?
A heavy weight pressed at Lachlan’s chest at the unwelcome thought. He bit back another disgusted growl, banking his bike into the last bend before his home. He wasn’t letting guilt deflect his anger. He’d asked Lillian the night before leaving Australia not to throw a party and damn it, he expected her to obey him. She may be twenty-five but she was still his little sister. He was still the older brother. The one that made sure she was doing the right thing, even if she had decided to follow in her mother’s…dissolute…modeling footsteps. If he’d had his way, Lillian McDermott, world-famous model, would be Lilly McDermott, local bookstore owner.
Christ, Lachlan, that’s Neanderthal and arrogant, even for you.
True, but that was the way it was. His sister was too sweet, too innocent to get ensnared in such a debasing—
The thought died at the sight looming before him. His house was aglow, every light in every window illuminated. Rows of lit Balinese torches lined the footpath leading up to the architecturally designed split-level, their flames dancing in the night breeze. Every door—every damn door—was open to reveal more people crammed into his home than he believed possible.
“Jesus Christ, Lil.” He shot past his home and its car-chocked driveway, grinding his teeth again. “I can’t even get into my own garage.”
Damn it, he wasn’t in the mood to deal with this. A fucked-up board meeting in New York, a drunk actress pawing at him on the flight home, his bike
damaged while it was sitting in long-haul parking, and now a party in his home when all he wanted to do was sit on his sofa, put his feet up, have a beer and watch the current cricket match between Australia and England on the television. Could the day end any worse?
Someone will die if it does.
He saw the empty parking space three houses away before the belligerent thought could finish. Revving the Ducati’s powerful engine, he opened the throttle and propelled his bike forward…just as a beautifully restored black Mini swept past him straight into the empty space.
What the fuck?
He braked beside the classic car, planted his booted feet on the ground and yanked his helmet off, glaring at the driver’s side door. Waiting for the walking corpse about to get a piece of his mind—a rather
piece of his mind—to climb out of the car.
The door opened. The distant streetlight reflected in the black window like a crazy streaming white line and a woman straightened from the car, a tall willowy woman with short shaggy hair the colour of midnight, full lips the colour of ripe plums and skin a flawless cream. A woman dressed in a bum-hugging black leather miniskirt and a…a
that seemed to be made entirely from one strip of shiny silver fabric clinging around her body in such a way to barely cover her breasts. Breasts, Lachlan couldn’t help but notice, that were small and pert and the perfect size for cupping and squeezing in one’s hand.
He glared at her, but the overhanging Jacaranda tree shrouded her eyes in shadows. “That’s where I was going to park.”
“Did you indicate for it?” A soft accent laced the velvet-smooth words, the kind of accent a person develops when they’ve spent most of their time travelling around the world. No longer Australian, not really anything else though either. “Pretty certain I didn’t see any flashing yellow lights on that bike of yours before I passed you.”
Lachlan ground his teeth. Awesome. Attitude. Just what he wanted.
She’s right though. You didn’t.
“Doesn’t matter. You overtook me on a residential street to get to it first.”
A low chuckle fell from those plum-coloured lips before she swung the Mini’s door closed. “Would you like to make a citizen’s arrest? Slap me in handcuffs and rough me up a bit?”
The words sent a searing jolt of tension straight into Lachlan’s groin. Unexpected and very, very appealing tension. That his bike’s engine was still thrumming in neutral between his legs only served to highlight his sudden and unwanted arousal. He ground his teeth, killing the Ducati’s motor with a flick of his wrist.
The slowing tick-tick-tick of the bike’s exhaust system filled the night, competing with the laughter, music and raucous noise wafting from his house down the street. The woman laughed again. “Oh, does this mean you
going to arrest me? Do you have handcuffs tucked away in those exceedingly well-cut Calvin Klein jeans? Or is that bulge I spy something else far more interesting?”
Lachlan blinked. And did something he hadn’t done since he was a kid. He blushed.
The woman laughed once more, a throaty sound that sent fresh licks of tension into his balls. His cock stiffened, growing at an alarming rate given his situation. What the hell was he doing?
Straddling your bike while getting turned on by a woman who stole your parking spot. The question is what are you going to do about it?
He bit back a growl. What could he do about it? He had two options—one, go find another parking spot and take out his anger on the people currently enjoying themselves in his home when he finally walked back to it. Or two, climb off his bike, walk over to the woman in the shadows, capture those fuckable lips of hers with his mouth and kiss the smug attitude right out of her.
He climbed off his bike.
She made a
sound, her lips curling into a smile Lachlan could only describe as the sexiest thing he’d ever seen, and stepped out of the shadows.
A whirlwind of memories lashed through his head. Memories of a seventeen-year-old boy caught jerking off to a poster of the Australian super-model by his hedonistic model-cum-trophy-wife stepmother. Memories of said stepmother sliding her fingers down the flat plane of his stomach to the waistline of his hastily zipped jeans and asking him if he wanted to fuck her while she wore a pitch-black wig?
He focused on the woman now standing before him, her lips curled in a smile he should have recognized. After all, he’d gazed at it every night of his life for two years until that pathetic, embarrassing night. Gazed at it and fantasied about the owner of that smile. The modeling world’s newest sensation, an eighteen-year-old Australian beauty known only as Kole.
The woman before him cocked a dark, finely arched eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you’re shy?”
Lachlan clenched his jaw. “You’re the model Kole.”
She laughed, a relaxed, humoured chuckle. “No. But it’s a common error.”
Lachlan studied her. The lack of light made the inspection tricky. He had never seen Kole in person and the model herself had dropped out of the public’s eye after only a few years in the modeling world. But not before she graced the cover of every influential fashion magazine, quite a few of them owned by his father’s media company. Magazines Lachlan now owned, accrued when he had overthrown his father’s strangling reign of the company five years ago.
Still, something in his gut itched, and he’d learnt a long time ago to listen to his gut. The woman looked like an older Kole to be sure, but Kole all the same. She was either lying or he was more under the spell of a stupid adolescent crush than he realized. Either way, he wanted nothing to do with her.
When it came to models, he had a strictly no-involvement policy, no matter how stunning they were.
She studied him, a confident calm radiating from her. It unsettled him.
Unsettled? For Christ’s sake, man, it turns you on so much your dick is as hard as a pole. Model or not,
turns you on.
She did. And he was hard. Very hard. And
pissed him off. Desire was just another emotion to be acknowledged and controlled. The second he’d decided he wanted nothing to do with her any sexual interest should have ceased to exist. It was how Lachlan ran every aspect of his life. Every aspect. Acknowledgement and control.
But it seemed control was eluding him tonight.
Jetlag. You’re jet-lagged. And angry at Lil.
The woman before him raised one eyebrow. “No cuffs then? Pity.” She pouted, her voice low and laced with mirth. “In that case, if you will excuse me, I have a party to attend.”
Lachlan clenched his jaw. A party? Jesus, she was going to his house? Fantastic. Just what he wanted. “You know Lillian McDermott?”
The woman’s lips curled, the pale moon turning their rich plum shape an enticing glossy sheen. “You could say that. Do you?”
He narrowed his eyes. “You could say that.”
“Oh, that sounds so ominous.” She stepped closer to him, her eyes almost level with his, her lips still playing with a smile part seduction, part mocking tease. “And mysterious.”
A delicate scent of something exotic and sensual threaded into Lachlan’s breath and, despite himself, he swayed toward her. The urge to snake his arms around her waist and yank her to his body was damn powerful. Compelling. “Nothing mysterious about it. She’s my sister.”
“Sister?” Her shadow-shrouded eyes held him still. “So, you must be
He ground his teeth. Christ, why did his cock have to jerk so hard in his jeans at the sound of his name on her tongue?
Because you want to feel her tongue on your cock?
“I am,” he all but snarled. He hated being this…this…shit, what was he? Flustered? On edge? Unnerved?
The woman chuckled. Low. Throaty. Sensual.
Lachlan’s dick responded to the sound. His dick, his balls, his pulse…everything that
get harder and faster and tighter
. “Who are you?”
Without another word, she passed him. That delicate, exotic scent—like guava and spice—teased his senses, and for the briefest moment their gazes connected. Eyes the colour of ancient glaciers spoke of wicked pleasure, and then she was gone, striding away from him toward his home, her arse bunching and flexing with sublime perfection beneath the leather of her miniskirt, her swan-like neck and subtle sway of her hips making the pit of his stomach clench.
“See you inside, Lachlan McDermott,” she threw over her shoulder. “If you’re game, that is.”
Cameron forced her shoulders to remain loose, her strides to remain easy. She could feel Lachlan McDermott’s stare on her back. It was hot and thorough. More tactile and forceful than any real physical contact she’d experienced for close to seventeen years.
She took another step, all too aware of his gaze, and a little shiver raced up her spine, familiar and yet so distant. A sexual response.
God, when was the last time she’d had a sexual response to someone?
When you first climbed out of your car and saw Lachlan straddling his bike?
That was true. And unexpected. And…nice.