Hot Holiday Nights Page 4

She mulled that over while she watched the surfers master the incredible waves.

“Yeah, the waves kind of suck today.”

She turned to look at a girl who’d plopped down on the sand next to her.

“Really? They look enormous to me.”

The girl grinned. “They’re okay. Kind of puny, actually. They’ll need to roll higher for the competition.”

Tori turned in her chair to face the girl, who had to be no more than in her early to mid-twenties. Absolutely beautiful, with long black hair, a sprinkling of freckles across her cheeks and nose, and the prettiest dark eyes Tori had ever seen.

She held out her hand. “I’m Victoria, or Tori.”

The girl shook her hand. “I’m Whitney. Everyone calls me Whitney.”

Tori laughed. “Are you a surfer, Whitney?”

“Yes. Been surfing my whole life.”

“So you’re here for the competition?”

She shook her head. “Oh God no. I live here on the island.”

“You do? That’s great.”

She nodded. “I think so. My dad manages one of the hotels.”

“He does? Which one?”

She pointed a few hotels down the beach. “That one. My mom works there, too. So do I.”

“That’s convenient. So when you’re not working, I assume you’re surfing?”

Whitney grinned. “Yes. It’s what I’d rather be doing, but you know, gotta pay the bills.”

“I understand that. So you love surfing. Do you compete?”

“I’m not that good. I only wish I was. I surf for fun, and I love to watch the competitions every year.” Her gaze drifted out over the water. “They’re amazing.”

“So I’ve noticed.”

“Women compete, too, though not right now. They compete in a separate event from the guys. The one going on now is men only.”

“I met one of them today.”

“Yeah? Who?”

“Alex McConnell.”

She nodded. “Alex is an unbelievable surfer. He comes here every year to compete, and he’s won . . . so many times.”

“Yes, he has.”

Whitney frowned. “So you do know Alex?”

Tori was almost embarrassed to admit it. “No. I Googled him.”

“Oh.” She laughed. “Checking him out, were you?”

“I might have been. Though he’s really too young for me.”

Whitney leaned back and looked her over. “Too young? Please. You’re hot.”

Getting a compliment from a guy was one thing. Getting one from another woman—and a young, beautiful one? That was an entirely different matter. “Thank you. I’ll live on that for the rest of my vacation.”

“What are you, maybe thirty or something?”

“Now I’m in love with you.”

Whitney laughed. “Come on. Age is only a number. The important thing is to live your life and enjoy the hell out of it. I know I’m young, but I live on the island, and while I might not have the job of my dreams, I get to surf every day. I have nothing to complain about.”

She liked Whitney. “And what is the job of your dreams?”

Whitney shrugged. “Not sure I’ve figured that out yet. I’m twenty-four and I realize I can’t hang out on the beach forever, but I can’t think of any other life that suits me better. I work customer service at the hotel part-time, and I’m finishing up my degree in business at night. Once I graduate, I’d like to work for one of the sports management companies that oversee the women’s surf teams. If there’s one thing I do know about, it’s surfing. If there’s another thing I’ve learned a lot about, it’s marketing and business.”

“I think you’re light-years ahead in terms of thinking like a grown-up.”

Whitney gave her a smile. “Thank you. Could you tell my parents that? They think I’m wasting my life because I don’t already have a master’s degree at twenty-four.”

“A little pushy, are they?”

“A little, but I know they want what’s best for me, so I take it in stride.”

“It sounds to me like you already know what you want for your future.”

“Maybe. I want to get away from my parents. Not that I don’t love them. I do. But I don’t want to be part of the family business. I need to make my own life.”

“I understand. You want to be independent. I was where you are once, needing to strike out on my own. It’s tough, but doable.”

Whitney shifted position to face Tori. “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a sports agent.”

Whitney’s brows lifted. “Really? That must be an awesome career. Do you love it?”

“I do love it. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most fun, most rewarding job.”

“Not to mention all those hot and sexy sports players.”

Tori’s lips curved. “Those are the perks, honey.”

Whitney laughed. “I can only imagine. See, that’s the kind of thing I could see myself doing. I love every sport there is, and when I’m not working or studying or catching a wave, I’m glued to the television. The only drawback to living in Hawaii—and believe me, there aren’t many—is no professional sports. So I have to get my fix by watching them on TV.”

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