The woman’s eyes widened in surprised at the same time that his did.
“Oh, it’s you,” she breathed, and a smile lit up her face. “My swimmer. Hi again. Feeling better?”
Rob stared. He looked her up and down, his first time to really get a good look at her.
She was tall as fuck. There was no disguising that. He was six foot himself, and he was pretty sure she had at least an inch on him. She was also wearing high heels, which made her seem towering. She was delicate for her height, but still had an attractive pair of small, high breasts and an impressive curve to her hips, and legs that went on forever in the dowdy skirt she was wearing.
So she was tall. So fucking what? He didn’t care if she was seven foot. She was just as gorgeous as he remembered, in all the right ways.
Oh, she wasn’t the typical Hollywood girl that was considered beautiful right now. Those freckles still spattered her nose, and her hair was a tangled mess about her shoulders. Her lips weren’t plumped full of collagen and her jaw was probably too strong. But her eyes were beautiful, and her expression was full of genuineness, and he wanted to just grab her and pull her against him and soak in everything that she was.
Which was weird, but there it was.
So he thrust his hand out. “I don’t think we got to meet properly the other day. I’m Rob.”
She bit her lip—god, that was fucking cute—and put her hand into his and shook it, surprisingly firmly. “I’m Marjorie.”
“Oooo, look! Marj’s picking up men at the curb,” someone catcalled drunkenly. Probably that damn redhead.
Marjorie’s face flushed bright red and she glanced back at her friends. “Are they bothering you, mister? I’m sorry. We’re just getting back from a bachelorette party.” A lock of hair dragged across her cheek from the wind, and she tucked it behind an ear absently. “Actually, it’s a pre-bachelorette party. This one was bridesmaids only. The real one is in a few days. I think some of the girls got a little carried away with the fun.”
“It’s all right,” he told her easily, though it wasn’t all right thirty seconds ago, even. “And it’s Rob, not ‘mister.’”
“Rob,” she said shyly, hugging her arms against her chest.
“But if you’re just getting back from a party, where’s your beads?” He couldn’t help himself—he reached forward and flicked the pearl choker at her neck. Classy and dowdy all at once. It was like something his grandma would wear. Actually, everything she wore—from the floral, high necked blouse to the ugly hippie skirt—was like something his grandma would wear on vacation. Except for the tall nude fuck-me pumps.
He liked those. He liked those a lot.
She immediately put a hand to her necklace where he’d touched it, as if scandalized. Then, she shook her head and looked awkward and shy. “Beads? Nothing like that for me.”
“I don’t see why,” he said honestly. “You’re the most beautiful one of the group.”
She gave him a shocked look, and then turned an adorable bright red again. God, was his dick hard? It was. This girl was like catnip to his jaded senses.
“That’s kind of you to say,” she told him, clearly flustered. “But, um . . .”
“I’ve made you uncomfortable,” he said, taking the lead. She looked ready to run away and he wasn’t ready for that. Rob stepped forward and placed his hand out, palm up.
She hesitated a moment, then put her hand back in his, as if fascinated.
He lifted her hand to his mouth and brushed his lips over her knuckles. Her breasts moved, and he realized she was breathing fast with excitement. Every expression was obvious across her face, and he fucking dug that. There were no games with this girl, he realized. She wouldn’t be able to play games and try to change herself to be whatever she thought might get his attention. She was genuine, from the tips of her messy hair to those tall, tall shoes.
And he loved that. He really, really did.
So Rob brushed his mouth over her knuckles again, and then glanced up at her. “I want to thank you for saving my life.”
“Oh,” she said, clearly flustered. Her hand moved in his, as if she needed to draw it away, but he held on to her. “It’s not necessary, really—”
“It is,” he said in a firm voice. “I must insist. Let me take you to dinner. My treat. It’s the very least I can do for your impeccable lifesaving skills.”
“My lifesaving skills . . .” she echoed, and then laughed. “You nut. That was CPR. Everyone knows CPR.”
“I don’t,” he said, grinning. He ran his thumb over her knuckles. “You want to show me? I can think of a few parts I’d like to practice.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth worked for a moment, and then she nodded. “Um, okay.” He didn’t miss that her gaze flicked to his lips.
He liked that it did. He wanted to know what she was thinking—
“Mr. Cannon,” his worthless assistant said, running forward with the worst fucking timing in the world. “I’ve called you a cab and Mr. Gortham has come downstairs—”
“Not now,” Rob said, his tone easy, his gaze locked on Marjorie’s flushed face. He wanted to memorize it. God, she was pretty. He’d never been so immediately in lust with a woman, but this one had his number, that was for sure. Normally they bored him because they were all the same. He had a sneaking suspicion he’d never get bored with Marjorie and her openness.
“But—” the assistant said, clearly confused. “You instructed us—”
Rob clenched his teeth and looked over. There stood the bellhop with the porter cart of his luggage, and his other two assistants sleepily yawning, their own luggage tucked under their arms. Assistant number three was hovering, clearly confused at the change in orders. Everyone was waiting on him.
He felt Marjorie’s attempt to pull her hand out of his again. “Are you leaving?” she asked.
“Nope,” he lied.
“But Mr. Cannon—” started the assistant again. He clearly wanted to get fired.
“I said no,” Rob repeated. “Didn’t they teach you that in school? No means no.” He kept his tone pleasant and looked back at the small crowd waiting. “Everyone can go back to their rooms. It was all a mistake.”
“I really should go,” Marjorie said, attempting to pull her hand from his again. “My friends are probably in the lobby waiting for me.”
“Not yet,” Rob said, squeezing her hand tighter in his. “Please.” He was probably going to fucking scare her if he didn’t let go of her hand, but he didn’t want her to retreat again. Not before he got her room number and her full name.
She hesitated, clearly torn, and glanced at his assistants. “I’m not keeping you?”
“Not at all.” He looked over at the others. “Go back to bed.”
Muttering, they slowly returned to the lobby. Not fast enough to suit Rob, but they were moving. A throat cleared behind him and he saw the cabdriver, waiting. Marjorie still stood at the curb, close to the cab. Right. He wanted to get rid of this man, too.
He wanted Marjorie all to himself.
So, reluctantly releasing her hand, Rob dug into his pockets and pulled out his wallet. Peeling a couple of hundreds out of his billfold, he handed them to the driver. “Here. Thanks for waiting, but you’re not needed.”
The driver took the money and pocketed it without a word. Now, Rob was free to devote his attention back to Marjorie, giving her his most charming smile. “As I was saying. Dinner?”
“I thought you said you wanted CPR lessons?” Her lips twitched with amusement. So fucking cute. He’d be masturbating to that sweet little smile of hers for weeks.
“Changed my mind. Dinner. Tomorrow night. You and me.”
She shook her head. “You don’t have to thank me for saving your life with dinner. Really.”
“I’m not.” Rob moved forward and put his hands on her shoulders, then hugged her before she could protest. A muffled squeak escaped her, but that was the only sound, and he pulled away just as quickly. “That was for saving my life. Dinner is because I want to have dinner with you.”
Marjorie blinked rapidly, still a bit stiff from recoiling from his hug. He guessed she wasn’t much of a hugger. She seemed too awkward for that sort of thing.
Didn’t matter. He’d ease her into his brash displays. She’d get used to him. “So . . . seven? Seafood okay?”
“Okay,” she said.
“Wear a dress.”
“Good.” He grinned, resisted the urge to give her another hug, and then turned to walk away. He paused, and turned back to her. “Give me your full name and your room number.”