Hot Holiday Nights Page 5

“I can’t imagine many drawbacks to living here. I love the islands.”

“Me, too, but I have a yen to go the mainland every now and then. If for nothing more than to catch a football or baseball game. Or hockey. Oh, God, I love hockey.”

“The grass-is-always-greener kind of thing.”

“Exactly.”

“I see you’ve found a friend.”

Tori looked up to see Alex standing at the foot of her chaise. Dripping wet, droplets sliding down his magnificent body, she could already envision him in his wet suit, just like that, gracing the cover of a sports magazine.

“What’s up, Alex,” Whitney said.

“Hey, Whitney. How’s it goin’?”

“Good. Tori and I were chatting about our careers.”

“Yeah?” Alex looked over at Tori, and she got lost in the sexy way he smiled at her. “You finding our girl here a new career?”

Tori laughed. “I think Whitney is doing fine on her own.”

“She is,” Whitney said, standing and brushing sand off her legs and butt. “And speaking of careers, I have an errand to run for the hotel, so I’ll catch you both later.”

Tori pulled her business card out of her bag and jotted down her personal cell number, then handed it to Whitney. “Call me when you have some free time and we’ll have lunch. I’m here for a while.”

Whitney beamed a smile. “Awesome.”

Alex dropped down on the sand next to her. “Whitney’s great. She’s a champion for the surf crowd, and her parents rock. They put up a few of the new guys in their hotel when they couldn’t afford a room last year.”

Tori laughed. “I like her. She’s very smart and fun to talk to.”

“She is. She also likes surfing, so she’s okay.”

“Is that how you judge people? By whether they like surfing or not?”

“Totally.”

He kept a straight face, but Tori knew he was joking. “So if I hated surfing, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“No way. I don’t waste my time with people who dismiss what I do for a living. Would you?”

He had a point. “Of course not. I’ve faced plenty of my own prejudices in my field.”

“Yeah? What kind?”

“Men who think women shouldn’t be managing the multimillion dollar careers of top athletes, or people who, when they find out what I do, want to complain about overpaid, whiny athletes or agents who get paid too much money and think we do nothing to earn our pay. I get plenty, believe me.”

“So what do you do?”

She shrugged. “I walk away. It’s always best not to engage people like that, because you’re never going to change their minds.”

“Yeah, I get a lot of the ‘surfing isn’t a real sport’ kind of people, and folks who ask me when I’m going to get an actual job.”

“I imagine you make a decent enough living.”

“Decent enough to be able to travel the world doing what I love. Of course sponsorship helps with that.”

“I’m sure it does.” She wanted to talk to him about that. She had so many questions about his management team and his advertising opportunities. But she didn’t want to spoil the friendship they’d started. She was attracted to him, plus she was on vacation, and she’d long ago made a vow never to do business while she was on vacation. Opportunities came and went. This was one of those times where she’d just have to let it go.

“So, you want to surf today?”

“Me?” She took a look at those rolling waves that seemed to her as tall and imposing as the high-rise she lived in. “No, thanks.”

“Aww, come on. It’s a challenge.”

“It’s a death trap. I like my waves a little more manageable.”

“I can take you to another part of the island to surf. On the south side the waves are much calmer.”

She hadn’t thought of that. “You need to concentrate on getting ready for the competition. Some other time.”

“Aw, come on. It can’t be all about business. Now you sound like Ben.”

“Who’s Ben?”

“Ben Reynolds. My business manager. And one of my sponsors. Great guy. I can’t wait for you to meet him.”

“Is he here?”

“Not yet. He’s flying in tomorrow. He’s a former surfer. One of the best.”

“Did he teach you how to surf?”

“Babe, nobody teaches you how to surf. You’re either born with it or not.”

“I see.” She’d had lessons and certainly hadn’t been born with surfing knowledge, but if that was his mantra, who was she to argue?

“Hey, I know I said I’d take you to dinner, but there’s a party on the beach tonight, kind of a precursor to the competition. Will you come?”

“Is it open to the public?”

“No. But you can be my date.”

She liked where this was going. “Sure.”

“Awesome. I’ve got some interviews and stuff I need to do. How about I pick you up at your room at like . . . five thirty?”

“That sounds great.”

He stood. “I’ll see you then. Later, Tori.”

She watched him walk away, admiring his great legs, his amazing strong back and his very fine ass.

So. . . . she had a date. With a hot surfer.

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