Chapter 1

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"Martini, please."

Taking a seat at the bar, I set down my black clutch, tucking a strand of my blonde hair behind my diamond-studded ear. The tiki bar by the pool of the resort I'm staying in was fairly empty when I got home from the meeting with the museum executives.

When the male bartender leaves the drink before me, I set down the cash, immediately sipping. The headache I acquired on the flight over from Chicago is still with me, although it's pulsating throughout my entire body now. My ever-present phone begins to ring from my bag. I reluctantly reach inside and answer it.

"Genevieve Harding."


I close my eyes at the sound of my boss's voice. Her low monotone is angry.

"I know you're upset... He wouldn't budge. They don't want to restore it."

"It's a century old! I don't understand why not!"

"... I was able to schedule a lunch with him."

I hear silence. "Really?"

"Yes. He was- taken with me. He asked me to lunch," I mutter, rolling my eyes. The old man could barely keep his eyes off my cleavage enough to shake my hand but I know I can get him to budge.

"Ah. Well- Okay. Try again tomorrow... We need this painting, Gen. I have every confidence in you."

"I know... Thank you, Mrs. Monroe."

"I'll call tomorrow. We're keeping you there until they say yes so try for tomorrow. The sooner you get it, the sooner you get home."

"I understand," I murmur, nodding. The phone cuts off, indicating she's hung up. I grind my teeth together as I lay my cell onto the counter. Knowing her, she'd probably like me to screw him just to secure this painting.

"Rough day?"

I look to my side, surprised at the figure on the other side of the bar speaking to me. I stare at him for a moment- or a while. I honestly don't know. I lose my track of thought by his raw beauty. His dirty blonde hair is tousled and waved over his perfectly sculpted face. He's wearing a black dress shirt, no tie. I realize in a moment of embarrassment that I haven't answered him.

"Uh, yeah. You could say that."

He smiles, squinting slightly. Grabbing his scotch, I watch him stand and make his way over around the bar. I'm still holding my breath when he plants himself down next to me. His aftershave immediately intoxicates my senses. I notice now he's also in dress pants.

"Do you mind if I move over here?" he asks, after I don't speak.

"N-Not at all." God, this guy is affecting me. He looks oddly familiar for some reason...

Looking around at the people of the bar awkwardly, I finally decide to introduce myself.

"I'm Genevieve."

He looks at me, nodding. "You have a beautiful name. It's what caught my attention when you spoke before."

Blushing, I bite my lip. "Really?"

He smiles slightly, displaying perfect teeth. Oh come on.


"And your name is?" I murmur quietly, turning to face him.

"Tristan. Tristan Maddox."

The name immediately registers.

He must see my eyes widen because he looks down, smirking slightly.

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