14 | Love Overboard

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Next to me, Sebastian was craning his neck to get a better look at who was on the boat. When a smile lit up his face a moment later, I knew he had spotted someone familiar.

"Bakhtiar!"

I almost stumbled when I heard Sebastian exclaim his ex-girlfriend's last name. After making sure I wasn't going to face plant onto the deck, I glanced up and caught sight of a guy a few feet away turning around to face us.

If I had thought Sebastian was handsome the first time I saw him, then this guy was flat out gorgeous. With golden skin, eyes the color of seafoam, and silky black curls that brushed across his forehead, he was hands down one of the most attractive people I had ever seen. His mostly unbuttoned white linen shirt and navy slacks only accentuated his fantastic body, and the platinum Bvlgari watch on his left wrist hinted he was well off. Then again, I was willing to bet just about everyone on this damn yacht had plenty of money.

"Here's a face I didn't expect to see," the guy exclaimed as he made his way over to us.

"I could say the same. What the hell are you doing here?" Sebastian inquired with a grin, obviously pleased by this particular Bakhtiar's presence. "Aren't you supposed to be back at Oxford?"

The green eyed stunner shrugged. "Supposed to be," he replied in a voice so smooth I almost swooned. "I'm going back on Monday, but Amir needed me in town for some business." Suddenly his attention shifted to me, and a smile played around his mouth. "Who's your lovely date, Phillips?"

Sebastian slipped an arm around my waist, tugging me against him. "Khalid, this is Taliana Avilla, my girlfriend. Talia, this is Khalid Bakhtiar, Blair's brother."

Sweet Jesus, no wonder he was hot -- he was related to Blair after all. I was willing to bet their whole damn family was beautiful.

"Her cousin, technically," Khalid corrected, but seeing my confused expression he clarified. "Her father's my uncle, but he adopted me when I was young."

"Ah, got it," I breathed out, surprised I was even able to find my voice. "Pleasure to meet you."

"Likewise," he chuckled, slipping one hand into his pocket while the other gripped a glass of champagne. "I'm assuming you're the girl my sister has been ranting about lately."

A brilliant grin lit up his face and I swallowed hard, almost forgetting Sebastian still had his arm around my waist. I would have pushed him away if, one, Khalid wasn't related to the girl we were trying to fool, and two, if I hadn't been so entranced by him.

"It takes a lot to get under Blair's skin," he continued on, "and you somehow managed to do it. Kudos, Miss Avilla."

I laughed softly and smoothed out an imaginary wrinkle in my dress. "Guess I'm just good at pissing people off."

"Trust me," Sebastian cut in, chuckling as well. "She's great at it."

I rolled my eyes and slapped his chest playfully, though I desperately wanted to hit him harder.

Khalid's eyes twinkled as he looked between the two of us. "God, Blair would just die if she saw you two right now."

"She's not here then?" I inquired, trying not to sound too relieved about it.

He shook his head. "She's spending the weekend in Bethesda with our grandmother. You lucked out."

"Tell me about it," Sebastian sighed, not bothering to hide his relief. "In the three days she's been back, she's already declared war on us."

Khalid grimaced. "She's a sweet girl when she wants to be, but she'll fight to the death if she feels that she's been wronged." He swept a black curl out of his eyes as he looked back to me. "From what I've heard, you're the one she really wants out of the picture."

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