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Luke let the evening pass without pressing his advantage, giving Lexi ample space and allowing Z time to cool off. He counted his first night at the Maxwell estate a success, having enjoyed himself despite the long-winded guests who insisted on telling him how they earned their millions. He had watched untold numbers waste their lives in pursuit of money, which never got them anywhere when they faced death. All he could do was counsel.

Mrs. Maxwell insisted Luke take one of the guest rooms facing the sea after he mentioned how much he enjoyed watching the waves roll in. Contrary to the suspicions of her husband and son, Lilith had been gracious and accommodating. The room offered its own door that opened onto a path leading to the beach, which he took advantage of after the house had gone quiet.

These were the times he cherished, gazing out at the endless expanse of water, admiring the countless stars in the cosmos. Luke would never take them for granted, and he enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm with anyone who bothered to listen. Most did.

He thought about the weekend ahead and how he might endear himself to the Maxwells. With Z filling their heads with his biased viewpoints, it might take an act of nature to sway their allegiance. Of course, their opinions were only secondary to the opinion of their daughter.

If he had known what a beauty she was, with eyes like the Caribbean Sea and a sweetness he desperately wanted to taste, he might not have waited so long to pursue her affection. Still, he felt his timing was perfect. As Lexi stepped into the shoes of womanhood, he would help her slip out of them.

Luke dug his toes into the sand and basked nude in the light of the gibbous moon. He had brought a few things from the room and set them on a blanket, just in case he had to cover himself. If his suspicions were correct, there was a certain young woman standing on her balcony trying to catch a glimpse of the man skinny dipping in her backyard. Was she intrigued by his boldness? Would she find the courage to leave the safety of her home and meet him there?

One thing was certain, she wouldn't do it as long as his manhood was exposed. But first he would give her something to think about. He turned to face the estate, offered her a friendly wave, then leaped into the bracing water.

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