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Dive In Deep
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Tall, dark, and gorgeous with cobalt-blue eyes.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s the billionaire owner of the resort we’re staying at.
And all of it is just what I needed for my celebration weekend after graduating with my master’s.
It’s our last girls’ weekend before my friends and I go our separate ways, and it’s going to happen with a bang.
It would be a first.
The desire was to keep things casual, but our connection is far too deep for that.
Him being ex-military and me being an Army brat.
The rules we each set up are shattered thanks to the raging passion between us.
But eventually, I have to go home.
What I never expected in a million years was that he might follow me.
Enough swimming in the shallow end of the pool.
We’re diving in deep.
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I bounced my pencil up and down on the blank paper in front of me. I liked being old school. I liked jotting things down. My iPad was on the table as well, but my big, meaty fingers made it difficult to push the ridiculously small buttons. I jotted things down, and my secretary took care of making it into a document.
I reached my hand up, tugging at the tie choking me. It wasn’t anything I would ever get used to. I liked the look, but damn, I hated the feeling.
“Will you stop?” my friend and right-hand man, Richie, growled.
I looked up at him and grinned. “Was I bugging you?”
“You know you are,” he said. “Why in the hell do you insist on writing stuff down? Welcome to the twenty-first century. Grab that damn tablet and put it to use.”
“Technically, I haven’t written anything down,” I retorted.
“We need to get this figured out,” he said in a serious tone. “Shit is about to get real. If we beat last year’s occupancy levels like we’ve predicted, we need to be ready. We can’t afford to have things go wrong. You know it only takes one of those stupid Yelp reviews to tank our business. It’s like a domino effect. When one hits, others quickly add their two cents.”
I nodded. “You’re right. Both hotels are booked solid. We could hire more staff, just temporarily to get through the first rush of the season when all the college grads are out looking to sow their wild oats. We need extra maintenance on hand as well—I don’t want a repeat of last year. Overflowing toilets is not something I ever want to encounter again.”
He winced. “We have hired more maintenance full time, but the temporary thing?” He shook his head. “That always backfires. Temps don’t have the same commitment as our full-time staff.”
“Do you have that list from the head of housekeeping?” I asked, deciding it was better to rely on the people who worked in the trenches and knew firsthand what it would take to make the job easier.
He nodded, sliding his finger over the tablet he was using to make notes on. “We talked about linens. Should we do it?”
I shrugged. “If that makes it easier, let’s do it. There will be less wait on laundry to come back.”
“Done. Next?” His blue eyes stared at me.
I let out a sigh. “I don’t know. We need to take care of our staff. They are going to be working their asses off. Why don’t we have breakfast catered for them every day? Breakfast and dinner,” I quickly amended.
“That’s going to cost you,” he advised.
“If I don’t have a happy staff, it’s going to cost me more,” I told him. “I want them to enjoy their jobs. It took too much time and money to get them trained to the level they are at now. This season could really put us on the map as a destination getaway.”
“Got it. You’re right.”
We talked a bit more about what we could expect for the coming weekend. Lake Tahoe was a destination for college kids all across the country. It was also a family destination. My hotels tried to cater to both. We had a system worked out that put families on the upper floors on one side of the hotel, with the louder, more likely to party young adults on the ground floors.
“It’s going to be a success,” Richie said confidently. “I know it.”
I smiled, nodding. “It better be. I’m going to get going. We’ve got a long couple weeks ahead of us, and I want to enjoy one last quiet night.”
He chuckled, shaking his head. “You mean you’re going to go home and hang out with your dog.”
I grinned. “Maybe.”
He sighed, shaking his head. “You’re a nerd. You’re the only single billionaire I know who prefers to hang out at home with his dog. You should be out living it up, looking for a sexy Mrs. Billionaire. You’re Trent Gilroy, war hero turned billionaire. Everyone wants to know you. You could have any woman you want.”
“Not saying I’m not looking, but nothing I’ve seen has interested me. I’m in no hurry. I’m not going to hop from one bed to the next. You know that isn’t my style. Besides, that invites trouble, and I don’t want trouble. I like neat and tidy.”
“Neat and tidy is overrated,” he said dryly. “You’re thirty-two. You’re halfway over.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Halfway over? If you’re calling me old, I will remind you that you are about a minute younger than I am.”
“You’ve lived four lifetimes and probably used up at least eight of those lives you started out with during your time over there,” he said solemnly. “Don’t let this last one pass you by.”
He was always getting philosophical like that. He was my best friend in the world and knew things had been rough for me during my time overseas. I had lost a lot of good friends over there and had come back a broken man, literally and figuratively. A few savvy investments had saved my life. I was one of the fortunate ones and had something to build and money to do it.