Claudia Burgoa’s Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers series continues this week with an enemies-to-lovers romance where the billionaire grump can’t help but fall for Ms. Sunshine, and I have a little sneak peek for you.
I’m a stalker.
A very angry stalker.
And though I could picture the ways I can make Huxley Spearman disappear, all I do is stand outside his bar, waiting for him to return from wherever he is.
Once he parks his SUV and heads inside, I come out of my hiding spot and head toward his establishment. I will make him listen to me, and we will come to an agreement today. My shoes clack against the floor as I stride into the bar. I can feel the anger radiating off me like a thick fog, and I welcome it. It’s like a shield with two extra strengths protecting me from the pain and hurt from his earlier message.
He had to hit me right where it hurt, bringing up how I wasn’t there for my grandmother. But it’s not because I didn’t want to be, but because… my father forbade it? I don’t know the story and I might never figure out why she never reached out to me.
The little I know about her, I learned from her letters.
My gaze darts around the room, looking for the one person I came here to see. I spot him behind the bar, moving the bottles from the shelves. His familiar figure brings a wave of hurt and something else, something I can’t quite place, coursing through me.
I stalk toward him with my anger radiating off me in waves. He gasps in shock as I come to stand before him. The asshole recovers fast and even dares to smile—to grin.
How dare he?
I know he can sense the rage coming off me in waves. I can almost see it in the air between us.
“Ms. Whitlock,” he drawls, and I hear the arrogance in his voice.
I glower at him, searching for the right words to confront him. The air between us is thick with tension, and my heart is pounding against my chest. Finally, I break the silence. “You have to sign the repayment agreement.”
He crosses his arms and slowly shakes his head. “As I said earlier, that’s not how this works. If you’re willing to take your grandmother’s assets, you should also be willing to take on her responsibilities.”
I draw a deep breath before speaking again, feeling my anger threatening to explode out of me. My heart is beating faster, and my hands are shaking as I slam them on the bar top and make the glasses around us rattle with a loud clatter. “I’m doing the best I can,” I plead with him, desperate for his help. “I’m willing to repay with interest. Why can’t you just accept the terms?”
He lifts his shoulder in a shrug as if saying, ‘you’re the stubborn one.’
“As I told you before, I’m doing you a favor. This town and the bookstore aren’t for you, Ms. Whitlock.”
My cheeks burn with rage as I hiss back, “This is my chance to start over. This place is hope for me. To you? It’s just another building to demolish. Don’t think I don’t know your kind. I’ve worked for people like you—heartless humans who acquire small businesses just to demolish their competition. This town and the bookstore aren’t for you. This is the only piece left of my past, and I won’t let you take it away.”
The air around us crackles with tension. We stand there, facing off like the enemies we are, in the midst of a silent battle. Suddenly, he leaps over the bar, closing the distance between us. His body heat radiates off him, and he wraps an arm around my waist, his grip tight and possessive.
My mind tells me to move away, to push him off me and stop this moment before it’s too late. But I can’t tear my eyes away from him—his lips are so close I can feel their warmth.
“Stop me,” he breathes before his soft lips brush against mine. All my anger fades away as longing takes its place. My mind knows I should move, but I wrap my arms around his neck, our kiss deepening until we’re lost in each other.
My anger is replaced by passion as I give in to the embrace. Our tongues tangle as we move against each other, our bodies entangled. His hands wander, exploring my skin and setting fire surging through my veins.
We come together in a fury of heat and passion. We move together in a unique rhythm, our bodies colliding with a fierce intensity.
Passion overpowers my senses as we move against each other, entwined in a raw dance. A deep longing builds inside of me, overpowering all else.
I can feel his breath on my face as he presses closer to me, his lips seeking mine. His hands are already on my hips, my arms wound tight around his neck.
As his mouth tenderly explores mine, our bodies melt together and I can feel his arousal through his jeans, sending a thrill of passion coursing through me. His fingers lightly graze my bare skin, and I’m aware of his desire for me at every touch.
I’m overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of it all, and that’s when I finally react. I push him away. He stares at me, his lips wet and swollen from our kiss, the raw hunger in his gaze unmistakable. His eyes smolder with the heat of the flame that almost consumed us both.
He tilts his head, gazing deep into my eyes, and I know he wants to take me right then and there. I can feel the promise of freedom in this moment, to be lost in pleasure without any worries or consequences.
But I know better. If I let him, he’ll just take what he needs and leave me behind. I take a deep breath, turn away from him, and walk quickly—almost running—trying to outrun the temptation that follows me wherever I go.
There has to be another way to do this, but will I find it before I lose everything?