If Sam Henderson died this very moment, it would be the death of a sexually frustrated man.
Sitting across from him was the object of his lust—the object of lust for thousands of men—and she was completely out of his league.
“Should we go with an easy question this time or a hard one?” Despite his cool exterior, Sam’s heart was pummeling his chest wall. His body was tight, and not just because his cock was already straining against his zipper. He was taut like elastic that was primed and ready for release.
Lexi Monroe, one of Sabine Cowan’s most popular Kitty Cats, sat in front of him appearing more gorgeous up close than she had in her promo videos—and that was saying a lot. A natural redhead, she was stunning to look at with her pale skin and freckles. She had pink, pouty lips that begged to be kissed and intense blue eyes that could cut a guy in half if he were the kind of guy who got flustered around beautiful women—which, apparently right now, Sam was.
“I like it hard, Sam.” Lexi twitched her lips into a wry grin, like a cat about to pounce on prey. “You’ve been teasing me all morning. Hit me with the hard stuff.”
I like it hard, Sam.
He groaned silently. He’d love to give it to her hard, right here, right now. He’d throw her over the back of that chair and pound her until she moaned.
Buying himself some time, he reached up and stroked his beard then glanced at his phone and his list of questions. “Why don’t you tell us what led to your decision to leave the Kitty Cats?”
When he looked up at her, she was staring intently at him, her focus shifting from him stroking his beard to his eyes. She bit her bottom lip and his whole body coiled tighter.
“She won’t be answering any questions about her decision to leave the Cats, Sam.” Adam, the security guard from hell, didn’t even look up from his phone when Sam snapped an angry look his way. “Or about the accident. I know Sabine set out her expectations with you.”
Sam prided himself on getting all the dirt, and so far in their long friendship, Sabine had blocked him from almost all the secrets she held, which extended right now to Lexi’s secrets as well.
He was no fool. He knew both Sabine and Lexi possessed some doozies. Sabine had built her empire on them, he was sure. But that was speculation on his part, because Sam wasn’t allowed to ask Lexi anything that could, even in some obscure way, uncover anything Sabine didn’t want to be leaked.
Which was why he’d been so damn surprised to receive a summons from the Queen of Sex herself to do an interview with one of her most beloved Kitty Cats.
Lexi was an athlete, a gymnast, a talented one too—or had been up until a year and half ago, when she’d somehow fallen wrong and had broken things that had required multiple surgeries and a lot of physiotherapy. It was another Lexi secret Sam had planned to dig into, but apparently that was not going to happen either.
“All right.” Sam shook his head as he scrolled through the list of questions Sabine had approved. “What would an aspiring Kitty Cat need to do to reach the level of success you have?” He looked up from his phone to find her staring at him again. This time, her gaze was roving over his chest and down one of his arms. She was obviously checking out his ink, and he had to admit that he liked the trail of heat her eyes left as she gave him a good once-over.
“Well, I guess…” Lexi’s voice was wispy, like she was distracted by something she found intriguing. She slowly shifted her gaze back up his body until she met his eyes, sending a jolt straight to his groin. “I suppose you should be open to all possibilities—and you need to be a people person. An aspiring Kitty Cat has to be loyal and really, really good at listening.”
“I’ve heard that you’re one of the best.” Sam clicked his phone off. This was not going the way he’d thought it would. “Which is why it’s so surprising that you’re leaving.”
Adam grumbled. Sam lifted his hand to wave him off.
“Sometimes you just have to move on.” Lexi shrugged, a gesture that looked practiced and full of shit. “It’s time to pursue other things.”
Sam leaned closer, intrigued by the look in Lexi’s eyes. She was lying—that was obvious—but was she lying more to herself or to him? She shifted her eyes to her lap and Sam felt it like a wall coming down between them.
When Sabine had asked Sam to interview Lexi as a farewell expose because the successful Kitty was hanging up her cat ears and calling it quits, he’d had a dozen ideas of how to make the piece explosive. So far, Sam’s questions had mostly been thwarted either by Lexi side-stepping and giving a less-than-intriguing response or Adam outright forbidding an answer. Sabine had wanted Sam to put together a fitting tribute as a farewell for her precious Kitty Cat, but that was looking more and more impossible, thanks to how secretive everyone was being. Sam had already lined up a trendy magazine to take this story, but right now he was honestly thinking that he’d have to back out of that contract, because he was getting nothing juicy to work with.
Sam sat back in his seat and draped his arm along the top of the couch.
Lexi had her hands in her lap, busy plucking with her fingers at invisible lint or something. Am I making her nervous? Or is she uncomfortable being interviewed? Sam had watched Lexi’s promo videos many, many times. He’d researched all the interviews she’d given over the years—which hadn’t been many, but still, in all that footage Lexi had been vivacious, outgoing and always smiling. The woman who sat with him now was a very subdued version of her former self.
“Tell me your most scandalous story, Lexi.” Sam leaned in closer, like they were old friends sharing secrets. He had to pull something tantalizing from this interview.
She flattened her hands on her lap then looked at him with her startling eyes and, once again, he felt like she’d harpooned him and was reeling him closer.
She smelled like apples and cinnamon, and that made his mouth water.
“Give me a secret no one knows. I promise I won’t tell anyone.” He winked.
She laughed, tilting her head back, her hair brushing over her shoulders. Her skin was so soft-looking, and he had the most impulsive urge to reach out and stroke along her arm.
When she looked at him again, her eyes sparkled with mischief, but only for a moment. Adam cleared his throat and she shuttered herself from Sam once again.
“If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.” Her gaze drifted to the windows. “You know I can’t tell you that kind of thing.”
Fuck, Sabine did know how to pick the loyal ones.
Lexi snapped her eyes back to meet his and she had a quirk of a smile on her lips, making him feel like she was playing him in some way he couldn’t figure out. Her eyes were alight with a wickedness that made his cock harden like cement. She leaned forward, almost beckoning him to move even closer to her…like she was about to tell him a secret after all.
Twenty seconds of intensity passed where neither one of them said a word, yet Sam’s senses were piqued and his body revved like he was hitting the gas, even though he had nowhere to go. He wanted to touch her, taste her. He wanted to hear her moan.
She leaned back first, putting distance between them, and Sam swayed toward her. This woman is pure magic.
He cleared his throat. “All right, then tell me what you look for in a man. What kind of bachelor might have some luck with a beauty like you?” He ran his fingers over his beard again, partly to disguise his embarrassment at asking such an amateur question and partly because he could tell that she liked it when he stroked his beard.
“Oh, I don’t know…funny, intelligent, hard-working.”
“Oh, come on, Lexi. That’s not even an answer.” Sam kept his tone light, like he was joking, when in reality he was dying to know the kind of guy who would attract a girl like her. “You might as well describe half the guys in the world.”
She snapped her eyes up and grinned that wicked grin. “Only half?”
He barked a laughed. He liked her sass. He wanted more.
The interview carried on like that for another twenty minutes, and Sam learned about her younger years as a gymnast, the time predating her Kitty Cat life. It was clear to him that she was an athlete at heart and that whatever had happened to her with the accident, and after, had destroyed a part of her in a devastating way.
Sam badly wanted to dig into that, to find out the details surrounding the mystery of her incident, but he knew he wouldn’t be getting that information from Lexi.
“Time’s up.” Adam walked closer, tapping at his phone without looking up. “Lexi has an appointment.”
“I think I’ve got everything I need,” Sam lied. He didn’t want to upset Lexi by saying he had no idea what the point of this interview even was. She’d given him nothing, and it was Sabine’s fault. She’d trained her Kitty Cats to be expert secret keepers.
Adam nodded once then turned and headed to the door. Lexi picked up her small purse then stood. Sam stood as well, not sure if he should shake Lexi’s hand or what. Suddenly everything seemed very awkward.
“Thank you, Sam.” She closed the distance between them.
Lexi was tall, which was unusual for a gymnast and something that she’d talked about in other interviews he’d watched. Her height had been held against her at times in competitions. Of course, she was a decorated gymnast, so she’d proven them wrong in the end, but still, she was supermodel tall, which was something Sam liked a lot. She was lithe and, of course, moved with grace. Sam could stare at her body for hours, mesmerized by how she seemed to float.
She sidled up close to him and invaded all his senses at once. Her body radiated heat, her pupils dilated, her breath, which was as fresh as mint, was hot against his neck. He froze, not wanting to scare her away, but inside he was a volcano of lust, his blood bubbling with desire. The chemistry between them was combustible.
Lexi put her hand on his forearm and leaned in so that her body was practically pressed against his. He could swear he felt her nipples bud against his forearm. Her luscious smell went straight up his nose to short-circuit his brain. She brushed her lips against his ear and whispered, “I’ve always had a thing for beards and tattoos. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
His cock pulsed, a reminder of his aching erection, and it took everything in his power not to chase after her as she walked away. He listened to her heels click on the foyer tiles.
“You’ve got the suite for the rest of the night, Sam. Checkout is eleven tomorrow,” Adam said just before the door whooshed shut.
Sam blew out a breath then ran his hand through his hair. He tugged it free from the tie that bound it at his neck.
Lexi had secrets…big ones. What Sam wouldn’t give to peel back the layers of that fine creature. He had to figure out a way to get close to her again.
Right now, he needed a cold shower—or maybe he needed to indulge himself and rub one off in a hot one instead.
He had his clothes off in record time and was under the hot spray, lathering himself up, his thoughts cycling around Lexi’s sexy voice. “I’ve always had a thing for beards and tattoos.” He groaned as he took his cock in hand and began to stroke himself. “Maybe I’ll see you around.” Fuck, yes, he’d be seeing her again. He wanted to rub his beard all over her body. He’d die to have her trace his tattoos with her tongue.
He’d love to take Lexi from behind, gather her hair in one of his hands and pound her sweet pussy until she screamed. He’d give anything for the chance to lick along every cut and angle of muscle her gorgeous body had until she moaned his name.
His balls tightened and he increased his stroking, applying pressure and letting his mind wander to how good it would feel to have Lexi’s mouth wrapped around his dick. He’d stretch her lips out and he could practically feel the barrier of her throat holding him back until, slowly and steadily, she took him all the way down.
His cum exploded like a fire hose, and he painted the wall of the shower with it. The release felt great—better than great—but it did nothing to abate his desire for Lexi or the ever-cycling thoughts about stripping her down and getting her naked—physically, but also mentally. He wanted to know what made a woman like that tick and he would love a second chance, without an audience, so that he could get to know her more intimately.
But women like Lexi were unavailable to guys like Sam. He was damaged goods, running away from his past—if only because he hated what his family stood for and wanted to put as much distance between his life and theirs as he could. Lexi wasn’t the only one with secrets.
He got himself rinsed off and cleaned up, then got out of the shower and toweled off. His tattoos looked darker when his skin was wet, more vibrant too. He took a minute to appraise his ink. Lexi liked tattoos, and that gave him a surprising jolt of pride. He didn’t have any room left on his arms, shoulders or upper chest, but he’d been planning to add some script to his stomach as soon as he had time to spare. Maybe he’d get that going while he was in Miami.
Lexi’s farewell Kitty Cat party was happening the next night and he could swing for another couple of days in Florida if it gave him the opportunity to do some recon. Obviously, he didn’t have an invite, but that had never stopped him before.
He continued drying off, noting that he still had a semi and could probably go a few more rounds with his hand to fully satiate himself. Now that he’d decided he’d be seeing Lexi again, he kind of wanted to hold off, to deny himself until he figured out how to get close to her.
He left the bathroom butt-naked and found his personal, non-work cell phone. There was one guy he knew would absolutely be at Lexi’s farewell party, and luckily he was an old friend who owed him one. He searched his contacts. He only used this phone on the rare occasion that he needed or desired to touch base with his past life. It had come in handy a time or two to set aside his reporter identity in favor of his actual one. He found the name he was looking for and hit Call.
“Samuel Dove, holy shit, man! How are you?” Devon Caldone was filthy rich—maybe not quite as filthy rich as the Dove family, but up there in terms of having a ridiculous amount of money, more now because of his celebrity status. Devon was a couple of years younger, but they’d gone to school together and he and Sam had been friends of sorts. They’d gone to the same parties, played the same sports, even ended up at the same university and pledged the same fraternity.
“I’m good, man. How are things with you?”
“Never been better! I’m in Miami right now, soaking up the sun, hanging with my girls. Where are you?”
“Miami too, actually.”
“No fucking way! We need to catch up.”
“Yeah, we do. Hey, listen… I heard you’re into those Kitty Cat parties. Do you know if there’s one coming up? I’d like to check it out if they’re as good as I’ve heard.”
“Oh, do I know of one? Hell yes! Tomorrow night, dude! I’ll get you in with my crew! It’ll be like old times. I’ll send a limo. Where are you staying?”
Devon whistled. “Of course you are. Only the best for my man, right?” He laughed to himself. “Okay, dude, we’ll swing by to get you around ten. Sound good?”
“Great. Thanks. I’ll catch you later.” Sam hung up, feeling only slightly guilty at the manipulation. It was sinful really, but Devon was desperate for acceptance and had always looked up to Sam. But it was a means to an end.
All he’d have to do was avoid Sabine somehow so she didn’t find out he was there, because if she did, she’d sure as shit have him thrown out immediately. No press was allowed. Luckily, Sabine only knew him as Sam Henderson and had no idea that he was actually Samuel Dove, sole heir to a multi-billion-dollar fortune, a fortune that he wanted very little to do with as long as his father expected him to take over the family business one day.
Sam was no stranger to going undercover. It wasn’t like he’d never played up the rich-guy angle before to get intel he needed, and he’d definitely tapped into his endless resources and connections thanks to his family name, but tomorrow night he’d step into the role of suave, wealthy bachelor, not to get a story, but to get a few minutes alone with the sexy Lexi Monroe.
Okay…maybe also to get a story.