“So you’re going to put one of Captain’s restaurants in the club?”

“Possibly. It sounds like a good idea. We will see what plays out.”

Dad’s new Dodge Ram was parked out front and a valet had it already started for us. We climbed in and headed off the club property toward the business part of Rosemary Beach where the stores, eating, shopping and touristy shit was located. I didn’t say much, just watched the town pass by. Wondered about Lila Kate because that was my new habit I couldn’t shake.

“Talked to Lila Kate lately?” Dad asked as if he could read my mind.

“Then you don’t know about her buying that place,” he said, and my ears perked up.

Dad stopped at one of the three traffic lights in town and pointed to a two-story storefront at the corner of the main street. “That one right there on the end. Grant said she bought it. She’s opening a dance studio.”

I studied the coastal pale blue building. Large windows lined the bottom floor and the second floor had the hurricane shutters that were so damn popular around here. “That can’t be cheap,” I said wondering what the hell she was thinking.

“It wasn’t. But she has a trust fund from Kiro. She’s got a good business head. Instead of living off the money she’s using it to make more. To build something.”

I could hear the admiration in his tone. I knew she was fucking special. He didn’t have to nail that point home. I got it. That was why I pushed her away. It had worked too well.

Dad pulled the truck into the front of Captain’s place in Rosemary Beach, and I climbed out still looking back at the place that was now Lila’s. She wasn’t leaving town. That felt good. Like I could take a deep breath. Not that where she lived mattered, but I wanted her here. As fucked up as that was.

“Listen, pay attention, and be polite. Talk to Emmeline. Don’t act like an ass.”

I smirked. “When have I ever been an ass to a female?”

Scowling, I followed him inside and the smell of seafood hit me. I hadn’t been here in a long time, but it was good food. I should get out more often. Wouldn’t hurt me to come into this part of town.

“Woods, Cruz, good to see both of you,” Captain Kipling said as he shook dad’s hand then mine. “When did you turn into a man?” he joked then slapped me on the back.

Emmy walked up beside him and smiled at me. It wasn’t the kind of polite business smile I was expecting either. She was older and in the past two years she’d matured. She also knew it. Her long blonde hair and bright green eyes were a striking combination against the sun-kissed tan of her skin.

“Hello, Cruz,” her eyes sparkled with mischief as she said my name.

“Emmy,” I replied with a nod. “Good to see you.”

“While y’all get seated I’ll take Cruz with me to get the laptop you need, Daddy. I can show him around in the back.”

Captain and my dad were already doing the chummy talk, and he just nodded. My dad gave me a warning glare before walking away. This didn’t seem like a good idea. Did those two not see the way Emmy had looked at me? Were they that blind? She was not thinking about fucking business.

“You’re getting prepped to take over the club Dad tells me,” she said walking so close to me her arm brushed against me.

“I’ll be in town more often getting to know this place. For the summer, I’m here to work. Until I go back to UT in the fall. We should do something,” her voice had dropped to a sultry tone. Shit.

“Not sure what you’re thinking, but we’ll potentially be working together. Don’t think we need to cross any lines.”

She moved closer then stepped in front of me to open a door and led me inside. I was in the room and realized it was an office before she closed the door behind her. “What’s wrong with having a little fun? It will make working together more enjoyable.”

Her hand touched my arm and ran up it as she stepped closer to me. “I’ve always had a crush on you. But I think all the girls have.”

Fuck me. What the hell was I supposed to do with this? Normally, I’d dive right into this invitation, but the timing was off here. My head was messed up, and Emmy wasn’t someone my dad would be okay with me pissing off.

“Look, as tempting as that may be, we have to work together. I’m sure you’re well aware of my reputation. I don’t want any friction between us.”

She giggled then and moved in front of me. Her chest almost touched mine. “I’m not looking for a relationship, Cruz. I just want some fun.”

If I could see past Lila Kate’s face, I might take her up on that. But damn, I couldn’t use Emmy that way. I’d have to close my eyes and pretend. The last girl I was with two nights before, I’d actually called her Lila. It hadn’t gone over well.

Although if someone could get me over my Lila obsession, it would save me. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m hung up on someone right now. Working through it. Getting over it. But I am just not there yet.”

Emmy bit her lower lip seductively and then finally pressed her tits against my chest. “I can help you with that.”

Why did this shit always happen to me? “Not sure that’s a good idea,” I argued, but my words didn’t sound very convincing. She felt nice. I was a guy and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it.

“Give me a chance. Just one taste and you’ll see,” she whispered and then her hand slid up the inside of my thigh and cupped my dick. Holy shit!

“You get me hard and I’ll have to walk out there with a boner. That won’t go over well with either of our fathers.”

“If I give you a boner I can fix it for you.”

This time I laughed. “Trust me, babe. We don’t have time for that.”

She moved her hand away while I was already getting semi hard. “When you do have time . . . I’m great at sucking cock.”

I was still stuck on her words when she moved away and picked up a thin laptop. “Let’s get to that meeting. I’m starving,” she said as she shot me a wicked grin, then swung her hips as she headed back out the door.

I could possibly do this. Enjoy her. Have some fun. She was not the good girl I had assumed. Emmy Kipling was naughty. Must be that college girl gone wild thing. I was considering it and relaxed a little bit by the time we had joined our fathers.

Emmy suddenly became all business and was charming and intelligent. She knew a lot about the place and made both men laugh as she spoke about shit that was funny. I didn’t talk as much, but I engaged to keep my father happy.

Just when I was good with this, and I felt like it was going to be okay. At least, not nearly as bad as I had assumed when Dad said we had to come to this meeting. I began to smile and do a little flirting of my own. I winked at Emmy when our fathers were busy discussing something else and she gave me a smile that promised something later. Something I was getting ready to accept. Then I felt it. Warm heat. Tingles. Lifting my eyes, they locked with the ones I couldn’t get out of my head.

Lila Kate stood there with a to go order in her hands. Her eyes were on me. The hurt was obvious and seeing it there sliced through my chest. I was a bastard.