The Tycoon's Stowaway(9)

By: Stefanie London

The music changed from the twangy country-and-western songs to a more sensual bass-heavy grind. The crowd—all men—encircled the stage and were enthusiastically cheering on a blonde dancer performing on a pole. She wore little more than a glittering turquoise bikini and her feet were balanced precariously on the highest pair of heels Brodie had ever seen.

‘We must be in the wrong place.’ Brodie rubbed his fingers to his temple, forcing down the worry bubbling in his chest.

Willa shrugged, looking as confused as he felt.

Chantal was a magnificent dancer—he’d often sneaked away from his duties at the Weeping Reef resort when he’d known she’d be using her time off to practise. She had innate skill and passion when she danced, no matter if it was in a studio or on the resort’s packed dance floor. He couldn’t understand why on earth she would be wasting her talent performing at some dingy dive bar.

The blonde left the stage to a roar of approval from the crowd and the music faded from one song to the next. His eyes were riveted to the space between the red curtains at the back of the stage. Heart in his throat, he willed the next dancer to be anyone else in the world other than Chantal. But the second a figure emerged from the darkness he knew it was her. He felt her before his eyes confirmed it.

No one else had a pair of legs like hers—so long and lean and mouth-wateringly flexible. She took her time coming to the front of the stage, her hips swinging in time to the music. Each step forward revealed a little more as she approached the spotlight. Long dark hair tumbled in messy waves around her shoulders, swishing as she moved. The ends were lightened from too much sun and her limbs were bronzed, without a tan line in sight.

Her eyes seemed to focus on nothing, and the dark make-up made her look like every dirty, sexy, disturbing fantasy he’d ever had. A jolt of arousal shot through him, burning and making his skin prickle with awareness.

He was in a dream—that had to be it. It was the only plausible explanation for how he’d ended up in this hellish alternative universe where he was forced to watch his deepest fantasy come to life right in front of him. He’d never been able to keep his mind off Chantal at the resort, but now she was here, the ultimate temptation, and he had to watch a hundred other men ogle her as though she were a piece of meat offered up for their dining pleasure.

His fists balled by his sides as he fought the urge to rush up onto the stage and carry her away. She wasn’t his responsibility, and the more distance he kept the better. He’d learnt that lesson already.

A wolf-whistle erupted from the crowd, snatching Brodie’s attention away from his inner turmoil. Chantal had one hand on the pole, and though she wasn’t using it as a prop, the way her fingers slid up and down the silver length made the front of his pants tighten. He shut his eyes for a moment, willing the excitement to stop. He shouldn’t be feeling as if he wanted to steal her away and devour her whole… but he did.

When he dared to open his eyes he found himself looking straight into the endless depths of Chantal’s luminous olive-green gaze. Emotion flickered across her face and her mouth snapped shut as she continued to dance, her eyes locked straight onto him.

Was it his imagination or were her cheeks a little pinker than before? For a moment he let himself believe she danced only for him, each gentle curve of movement designed to bring him undone.

In that moment she was his.

Dancing barefoot, she moved about the stage as though she owned it. Her feet pointed and flexed, creating lines and artful movement. Her arms floated above her head, crossing at the wrists before opening out into a graceful arc. Brodie’s body hummed as though she played him with each step, with each look, each flick of her hair.

Her eyes remained on him. She seduced him. Broke apart every brick of resolve that he’d put in place until the wall crumbled around him like a house crushed by a tidal wave.

She capsized him. Bewitched him.

Her eyes glimmered under the spotlight, energy building with the climax of her performance. His body tensed and excitement wound tight within him. A coil of wanting, ready to be released at any moment. It was so wrong. He’d thought he’d moved on. Forgotten her. What a joke. He’d never get Chantal out of his head. Never.

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