Peter Greene is a millionaire who likes his freedom and likes his money. Most of all, he likes his women—generally two at a time, and that's why he keeps so many mistresses stashed in apartments across the globe. But Peter's carefree world gets turned upside down when his sister's college roommate moves in for the summer.
Eden has always been a one-man woman, but when she falls under the sensual spell of Peter Greene, he suggests they go on an 'adventure' to Stockholm. Eden's eyes are opened by Peter's daring attitudes toward sex…but after experimenting freely overseas, can they go their separate ways back in Miami?
General Release Date: 1st September 2008
Nanci Greene looked at her roommate and thought, At least she’s finally stopped crying.
“Come on, Eden, you’ve got to just forget Jimmy. He was nothing but a jackass,” she said.
Eden looked up. Her eyes were red, her nose pink and she had all the appearances of a voluptuous woman who had just been dragged through a bush backward. It had been a tough forty-eight hours since her boyfriend—correction, her ex-boyfriend—had explained in a calmly rational tone while standing just outside the humanities building on campus, that he was dumping her in favour of Wanda Achison. When Eden asked for specifics as to why she was unceremoniously getting the heave-ho just before spring finals, Jimmy explained, “She gives me head all the time. I don’t even have to ask for it—she just does it.”
Nanci looked around the small dorm room. Her bedroom at home had five times the square footage, but she enjoyed living just like a financially struggling college student. She was conscious of the advantages that her family’s extraordinary wealth gave her.
“We went steady our junior and senior years in high school,” Eden continued, her voice soft as a whisper, her gaze unfocused as she sat in the small campus dorm. “I figured we’d always be together. Even when we broke up for a month back during the fall quarter.”
Nanci cringed, remembering all the emotional trauma of those wrenching days.
Suddenly, Eden turned wide, frightened eyes towards Nanci as a new horror came to mind. “Oh, no! He’ll go home for the summer, and I’ll be the laughingstock of the neighbourhood. Oh, god! They’ll all be laughing at me behind my back.” She put her face in her hands and mumbled through her fingers, “I hate my life. I never want to go home again.”
“Hey, at least, you ended your freshman year by nailing all your finals. You aced every class,” Nanci said, a smile toying with her lips. In truth, it rather irked her that despite all of Eden’s distractions and turmoil, in spite of all the tears and the time spent feeling sorry for herself instead of studying, Eden had scored higher on her finals than Nanci. Nanci, however, was a true enough friend to realise this was an uncharitable emotion and was doing what she could to expunge the feeling. But it wasn’t easy, and only good bloodlines and upbringing kept her on the right course. “That’s something to be happy about.”
Eden brushed her auburn hair away from her face, stood up from the small dorm bed attached to the concrete wall and crossed to the bureau with the mirror over it. She looked at her reflection, groaned with displeasure at the sorry sight that greeted her, then turned sideways to look at her profile.
“Maybe if I’d lost weight then maybe Jimmy—"
“Stop it!” Nanci said sharply. She was not in the mood to listen to more negative body-image talk from Eden. “Jimmy took a walk because some shallow bitch decided she wanted him and figured out that the quickest way to Jimmy’s heart is through his dick. Giving head is a trump card that wins almost every hand. How can you not know that by now?” Her voice softened as she added, “In all honesty, I never liked the guy. I didn’t like the way he treated you. I sure as hell didn’t like the tone of voice he used with you almost constantly. Yeah, he was cute. I won’t deny that. But he isn’t nearly as good-looking as you thought he was, and he sure isn’t as good-looking as he thought he is. And I didn’t like it at all when he’d tease you about your weight. So screw him. No, that’s not right. Screwing him is the last thing you’re going to do. What you’ve got to do is forget Jimmy and get on with your life.”
Eden turned to Nanci, and a weak smile played with the fullness of her lips. “We’ve been roommates for a year. In that time I’ve come to several conclusions, the first is that you’re about the smartest person I’ve ever met. The second is that you’re as decent a person as I’ve ever known. The third is that you’ve got more common sense—hands down!—than anyone I’ve ever known in my entire life. And the fourth, well…”
Silence lingered in the air for several seconds before Nanci said with the authoritative tone that came from having had people do precisely what she asked of them for her entire life, “I need to know what the fourth is.”
“The fourth is that you’re the richest person I’ve ever known.” Eden smiled sheepishly. This was a touchy topic to discuss. “You’ve got to understand, growing up I never even knew anyone who was middle-class, much less upper-class. The only reason I got to attend Harvard is the scholarship I received because there wasn’t a soul I grew up with who had two dimes to rub together.” She made a vague motion with her hand. “I’m sorry. I know you don’t like to talk about money.”
“If I’m the smartest person you know, why did you score ninety-eight on our geology exam when I scored a ninety-one?”
Nanci’s face brightened, her eyes getting round and almost glowing with excitement. Eden picked up on the emotion instantly.
“What? Nanci, you just had a thought, and I want you to tell me it immediately—tell me before you think about it and then only give me the Reader’s Digest edited version.” Eden was smiling now. It was the first honest smile she’d had in days. “Come on, ‘fess up!”
“It’s just a thought and not one that’s been thought through, so I don’t really know how good it is.”
“I know that. Go on.”
“You don’t want to go back to that crummy little crime infested rat-hole of a city you call home, right? You don’t want to go there because Jimmy will be there and everyone will be asking you why you and Jimmy aren’t going steady anymore, right?”
“Your assessment is both nasty and dead-on accurate.”
“So why not spend the summer with me? There’s plenty of room in my house for you to stay, and every summer Daddy hires a bunch of college students to act as administrative assistants and things like that, so you’ll have a job. You won’t make a fortune, but it’ll be a hell of a lot better than flipping burgers or waiting tables in some greasy restaurant.”
Eden leaned away from her friend, cocking her head to the side and looking at her as though she wasn’t sure she could believe what she’d just heard. Opportunities like that didn’t happen often to people like Eden Malloy. In a soft voice filled with awe, she said, “You live in a mansion, don’t you? There’s like a zillion rooms in it. I’d get lost.”
“Not a zillion, but a lot. You could live there for a month and nobody would know you were even there if you kept your head down. As for getting lost, I’ll draw you a map.”
“Your dad wouldn’t mind?”
“No, Daddy’s pretty cool about things. Besides, he travels all the time. And anyway, he likes doing nice things for…” Her words drifted away. The financial chasm separating Eden from Nanci was difficult to bridge. What she hadn’t said was “for the poor,” but though the words weren’t spoken, they were understood.
Nanci’s dark eyes became jewel-hard. “Eden, take the damned offer. Don’t try to pay it back. You couldn’t. I’m trying to do the right thing here, but I hate talking about my family’s money.”
“You’ll be even sorrier if you don’t say ‘yes’ right now.”
Nanci smiled because she was doing something kind—and because she was getting her way, which was something she almost always insisted on with her friends. “See? Now you’re learning,” she explained. “You listened to my advice and said ‘yes,’ and now your life is going to change drastically and most decidedly for the better. Your problem, my dear Miss Eden Malloy, is that you’ve been making decisions for yourself. You shouldn’t.” Nanci cupped her hand to the side of her mouth and whispered conspiratorially, “You’re just not very good at it.”