I’ve been with precisely three women since my marriage ended. An ex-girlfriend in Berlin for old times’ sake—even though the old times weren’t actually that great—a lawyer from Stockholm, and Katrina, who lives in the subpenthouse beneath me. That was a dick move, because every time I see her in the lift it’s like she’s angling for an invitation back to my place and nothing fills my veins with ice more than the idea of a relationship right now.
The ink on my divorce papers is barely dry—I got the notification from my lawyer last week—and I plan on staying single a goodly while. Possibly for ever.
This kind of thing—casual sex with fascinating and enchanting women—is all I need. Companionship, satisfaction and no strings—or iron chains, as was the case with Lorena. And this can’t be more than it is—one night. I’m leaving in the morning, flying north to check out a golf course I’m toying with buying before heading home to the States.
This is my one night in Sydney.
One night with Grace.
I don’t even know her last name, and I want to keep it that way. Last names lead to expectations and I expect nothing of women now. I expect nothing at all. I thought I was different, that my marriage was different, but here I am, twenty-nine with a divorce under my belt. Who knows how many I could rack up if I wasn’t determined to not become Adrian Hart?
My father screwed up in a billion ways—but by far the worst, the one I run from every day of my life, was his ability to suck people in, chew them up and spit them out. Time and time again I saw him make women love him, but he never loved anyone. Not even us, I think. He was proud of his sons, proud that he had three boys to raise and carry on the Hart name.
But he didn’t love us.
He didn’t love anyone.
How else could you explain what he did to Holden? I think of my brother and the news he learned only a month ago—that Hart blood does not run through his veins—and anger slams into me. Our father was a bastard, but keeping the truth of Holden’s parentage from him was the cruellest, strangest decision he made.
Grace’s eyes have stopped inspecting the room and now she’s looking at me with a mix of curiosity and desire. I like the latter.
‘Would you like a drink?’ I offer, moving to the minibar and scanning it.
‘God, no, those things cost a fortune. Don’t waste your money.’
My lips twitch involuntarily, imagining how my brothers would react to that comment. With over thirty billion apiece, it’s been a long time since any of us has worried about the overinflated cost of the minibar. Then again, isn’t that part of why I choose to stay in places like this? Because I hate the assumptions people make when they know who I am. I hate everything people think about me when they know who I am.
‘It’s fine,’ I assure her. ‘Champagne?’
She moves towards me, the skirt she’s wearing kicking a little as she walks, so my eyes drop to her legs of their own accord.
‘I don’t need a drink.’ She presses a hand to my chest and then pushes me backwards, towards the bed.
I laugh, a husky sound from low in my throat. Her forwardness is different but, fuck me, I like it. She pushes again, her eyes holding mine, and I fall onto the bed, pushing up it until I’m in the middle. I watch as she stands at my feet, her fingers moving to the bottom of her shirt. For a second she hesitates, and then she lifts it up, over her sides, towards her head and she drops it to her side. I don’t see more than the swish of the fabric, though, because my eyes are locked to her breasts as though they’re some kind of glue or magnet in effect.
They are nice breasts.
My hands tingle with a need to touch them, to feel their weight in my palms. She reaches around behind herself for the bra strap, and I hold my breath, watching as she undoes it, her eyes still on mine. There is challenge in them and pride, a mutinous look of sheer determination, as she does something that perhaps she thought she might chicken out of.
Grace’s hands drop to her skirt, and my cock is like granite in my pants. I am desperate to touch her, for my hands to be doing what her hands are, but somehow I feel like this matters to her. That taking charge of this is a big part of what she needs, and so I stay where she’s pushed me, I lie there and I watch her and I tell myself, soon. Soon I will touch her and taste her and kiss her and drive myself deep into her body, burying myself balls-deep in her wetness, making her cry my name again and again into this tiny room.
She moves slowly, too slowly. I want to see her, I want to see her naked, but she teases the skirt over her narrow hips, her eyes almost laughing as they watch me, and then, realising she’s enjoying this, I hiss out a breath, but still don’t move. Finally, finally, she’s wearing just about the most delicious scrap of lace I’ve ever seen. It’s barely anything—fine and delicate, it covers her vagina but at the hips it’s just lace, narrow bands that wrap around to the back.
‘Turn around,’ I command, my voice throaty.
Her eyes hitch to mine and she bites down on her lip again, drawing my attention to the full pillow of her lower lip. It was one of the first things I noticed about her. That, and the long blond hair that tumbled over one shoulder. And the way she kept stirring her drink and darting her eyes around the bar.
With the same speed, or lack thereof, she used to remove her skirt, she begins to spin, turning her back on me, and I can’t help the groan that escapes me. ‘Fuck me,’ I mutter, because the lace is just a T between two perfect peach-like arse cheeks.
She tosses a glance over her shoulder. ‘Isn’t that the plan?’
Okay. I get that she wants to be in control here, but suddenly my dick is like a torture device in my pants. I move my hands to my belt but she turns back to me and I’m hit with the realisation of her beautiful rounded breasts and I don’t know if I’m an arse or tit man any more, but just that Grace is whatever I need and want.
She straddles me, her hands on mine. ‘Let me.’
She’s really doing the whole ‘take charge’ thing, but I lie back, not caring if it’s her or me who gets my clothes off, just caring that somehow we’re naked together, soon.