I think a moment. “Here’s one of my favorites.”
I play “Hallelujah.”
“I love this song, too.” Sarah smiles serenely and hums softly along as I play.
Afterward, I grunt out a yawn of my own. As I lay my guitar on the floor, I tell Sarah, “You have excellent pitch. Do you sing?”
She stretches, pushing her awesomely full tits against her dark navy sleeping shirt, and my mouth goes dry.
“Only in the shower.”
Big mistake number two.
Sarah puts her glasses on the end table, frowning. “Are you all right?”
“I will be. Some day. I’m just really tired.”
“Sorry. You came here for rest and I’ve kept you up.”
I grin as I lie back on the pillow. “I didn’t mind.”
Although she’s at the other end of the huge bed, it feels . . . nice, comforting . . . lying here like this.
“Good night, Henry.”
“Sweet dreams, Sarah.”
WHEN I WAKE UP IN the morning, Sarah is nowhere to be seen. And the ghost of being blown off after a one-night hookup walks over my grave. But I brush the feeling aside.
Because today’s the day that the fun really starts. I have a workout date with Libby Loutenhiemer down at the beach, which means sweat and panting and her in some tight, scanty spandex outfit. Maybe we’ll have an after-workout cocktail . . . which will hopefully lead to an equally sweaty but different kind of physical exertion, off camera.
My morning wood is particularly persistent, probably due to the delectable scent that filled my nostrils as I slept and still clings to my skin. But I don’t have time to rub one out, so I head to my room, quickly change into a sweatshirt, running shorts, and cross-trainers, and jog to the beach.
An hour later, I discover yet again that none of this is how I envisioned it.
And I’m not in nearly as good of shape as I fucking thought.
Because Libby is an animal, and I don’t mean the doggie-style type. The woman is an Olympian, but still . . .
A three-mile beach run, rope-jumping, sit-ups, push-ups, and a hundred mountain climbers later, I think I may actually be having a heart attack.
Which means if Granny kicks it, the throne goes to dumb Cousin Marcus—the only person less suited to rule than I am. For that reason, I power through, but it’s not easy. I may not give Libby the diamond tiara, but I’m having serious thoughts of giving her the position of being my personal trainer.
Finally, we stop to catch our breath. We’re on the beach, both bent at the waist, hands on our knees, the cold sea blowing on our heated, dripping skin.
“This was so fun!” Libby chirps. “You’re the first man who’s ever been able to keep pace with me.”
I give her a thumbs-up. It’s all I can manage, because my muscles and vital organs would very much like to lie down and die now.
She moves in closer and whispers in my ear, “I want to suck your big, sweaty cock, Henry.”
Scratch that—not every organ is ready to die just yet.
“That’s the best damn thing I’ve heard in ages.”
She giggles, taking me by the hand, turning around . . . and walking straight into Vanessa Steele.
“That was great, you two—hope you had a good time. Libby, we need you in hair and makeup for your after-date, hot-seat session.”
“And Henry, you have to be showered and dressed for your afternoon date.” She taps her wrist. “We’re on a schedule.”
Talk about a royal cock-block.
Libby looks just as disappointed as I feel. She toys with the collar of my shirt.
“Later on, yeah?”
I nod, and she gives me a quick peck on the cheek.
Behind her, someone on the beach in the distance grabs my attention. I squint, peering closer. She’s alone, in an oversized T-shirt and black leggings, doing what appears to be a martial arts routine, and looking very fine doing it. Just when I think I have this girl pegged . . .
Libby notices and turns around too.
“Sarah knows aikido,” she says. “She’s quite good.”
When Vanessa ushers Libby away, I stay right there for a while longer.
Later in the afternoon I have a dog-walking, picnic date with Cordelia Ominsmitch.
We meet in the courtyard of the castle and while the other ladies and crew are several yards away, behind the cameras, if I keep my back to them, it feels almost normal. Cordelia walks up to me, smiling, carrying a well-fed white miniature poodle with beady, angry black eyes.
The cameras roll as Cordelia reaches me, wearing snug blue jeans, high brown leather boots, and a flowy, flower-patterned blouse with a revealing neckline. She’s lovely. I stand straight, one arm folded across my lower back, and nod.
“How are you, Cordelia?”
“I’m very well now.” She flutters her lashes coyly. “But I’ve been thinking, I’d like to get our first kiss out of the way. Then, I won’t be nervous thinking about it, and I’ll already know how magical we are together.”
She’s playing for the cameras—I’ve seen it done enough to know. But I don’t care.
“I’m game if you are.”
And I lean in, she reaches up—then the unpleasant mongrel in her arms growls and tries to bite my face off. Luckily, I pull back just in time.
“Oh! Walter, no!”
She smiles apologetically. “This is Walter.”