Page 7 of Naughty Girl

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“You are a fucking brat,” he says. “A cunning one. A smart one. Full of snarky ass responses and a body that won’t quit.” He slams his fist on the marbled counter, shaking his head. “You are every reason why I can’t fuck you, Riley. Because I wouldn’t know how to stop,” he says, and slides off his stool and storms out of the kitchen.



The weightof guilt finally falls on my shoulders. I drain the rest of my white wine, then slide out of the stool, my head buzzing.

His words reverberate through me, the sound of his voice still echoes in my ears. It was the hottest thing I ever heard, but also the nicest. Sounded like he meant every bit of it.

My heart is beating faster than it ever has.

A fresh wave of regret washes over me. I can’t use Rhett for sex. Not like I ever got close to it anyway, but damn, he’s Alex’s dad. Why didn’t I think things through? I was so desperate to get some closure, some silly revenge, that I didn’t see that not only would I jeopardize my career—now it’s obvious I could hurt Rhett, and also his relationship with Alex.

That can’t happen.

Alex was a jerk, but I can’t double down and fuck over his dad.

Though I’d like to fuck his dad, more than anything, especially after what he just told me. I can’t, though. I can’t play with his feelings and really, not with mine either. What if I fall in love? I cared for Alex, but I have the gut feeling it’ll pale in comparison to what I can develop for Rhett.

I wash the dishes, and clean up the counter. Then, I walk to his room. I can’t wait any longer to tell him how I feel.

I knock a couple of times, then hear this loud sigh. Poor guy thinks I’m here to jump his bones. I can’t blame him. I’ve been so selfish.

When he opens the door, my heart drums in my ears. It’s best that I just speak and apologize for everything… maybe this way I can still salvage my job and what’s left of my dignity. Nothing truly happened between us. He saw my boobs, so what? I don’t have to tell Alex anything, which means there won’t be a huge father and son fallout resulting in my being fired. All will be okay.

“I’m done talking,” he says, annoyed.

“I just wanted to say… I’m sorry. This is your birthday celebration and not only have I hijacked it and made it about me, but I also made it super uncomfortable for you,” I say, hoping he can hear the honesty in my voice.

The contours of his face soften a bit, and he cocks his head to one side. “In a nutshell.”

I smile a little. “So you’ll be happy to know I’ll get out of your hair tomorrow. I’ll find a place to stay, visit for a couple of days then leave.” I’ll probably never visit this island again, so some touristy sightseeing is called for. It’ll be beyond depressing, obvi, to do that all on my own. But I can’t expect any more from him. He’s done enough.


“Yes. I would now, but I’m so tired and it’s been a long day.” I yawn. “I think the time difference is getting to me. I’d already be in bed by now back home. Is it really okay if I stay for the night?” I ask, deep down glad I at least have a place to crash. Tomorrow, I’ll find a bed and breakfast and reroute. Away from Rhett, I realize sadly. I’ll miss the bantering.

“Of course. I wouldn’t want you to go anywhere.”

“Thank you.” I step back.

He gives me a glance before saying, “No problem. Good night.”

“Good night,” I say, and there’s still a small selfish part of me that wishes he pulled me into his room and kissed me against the door.



“So you have no vacancy?”I ask to the employee on the other end of the line.

“Sorry. We only have twelve rooms and they’re all occupied. TryPousada Maria Bonita.”

“Already done,” I say, then thank the guy and turn off my phone.

I should have known. Most places in this area are charmingpousadas, or bed-and-breakfasts, and the few boutique hotels are most likely always occupied. I lucked out being able to rent this home months in advance. Fernando de Noronha isn’t a place where people just come upon. It requires planning, from what I heard—even for Brazilians. The chances of an available room at a decent place without a reservation in the weekend are non-existent.

I sip some of my coffee and set my phone aside.

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