Italian Billionaire's Unwanted Quadruplets(2)

By: Sophia Lynn

"Tomorrow then, tomorrow night. Same offer, I can show you a good time..."

"No, no thank you," she said, never taking her eyes off of him. There was a growing intensity in Carson's eyes she didn't like.

"Goddamn, will you get the stick out of your ass," Carson sputtered. "All you resort girls are alike, you act like you're too good for everyone."

If he would have just muttered his way off of her rock, it would have been simply another day with another asshole. Instead, it looked as if Carson wanted to make a point, and he grabbed her arm hard, dragging him close to her. That was when Pearl had decided that she’d had enough.

She leaned in, making Carson blink a little as she put him off balance, and then she threw herself backwards into the fifteen foot deep tank. Thankfully there were no observation windows directly under her, and the tourist kids didn't have to see a guy in khakis and a polo fall into the water.

He let go of her immediately, flailing to regain the surface, but Pearl swam around behind him. With the ease born of long practice, she curled her left arm around his chest under his arms. It was the best posture to help him propel his way up to the surface, but for one long moment, she kept herself still in the water, a weight rather than a buoy.

Only when she felt his arms and legs start to kick and punch in shock did she flick her tail and send them both shooting back up to the surface.

They both broke the surface with a spray of water, and acting as a hospitable mermaid should, Pearl pushed him up on the rock before easily lifting herself to sit on it as well.

"Oh gosh, I'm not sure how that happened," Pearl said, never blinking as she looked right at him. "I hope you're all right."

There were men who would have made an untold amount of trouble for her with that little stunt, but she had guessed that Carson was a coward. He wiped the water out of his eyes, sputtering for a moment, and then without looking at her, he stumbled off.

I need to tell the other girls how that works as Carson-repellent, she thought with satisfaction, and then she was startled by a burst of applause.

The group of Italian male tourists she had noted from before were still seated in the bleachers, all except one who was standing on the edge of the pool close to the rocks.

"Bravo, little siren," he said. "I don't think I've seen a neater drowning in all my days."

"Have you seen many drownings then?" she asked, her voice slightly tart.

It occurred to her that this man must have leaped down from the bleachers as soon as she’d pulled Carson under. Had he come down to rescue her?

"Not so many, though I've done my share of sailing. Wherever I go, though, they always say to beware of the mermaids. They're always looking to drown sailors, pull them right off their ships and take them down to watery graves."

Pearl laughed a little even as she wondered where people got this from. The kids that she could easily charm were never so much trouble.

"Well, you're lucky, because I'm not that kind of mermaid," she said with an offhand shrug.

"Oh? What kind of mermaid are you?"

It was her job to make nice with the guests of the resort, but this man was definitely not part of her regular clientele. She was torn between irritation towards him and a certain kind of guilty attraction as well. He was tall with healthy, bronzed skin, thick hair that was so dark it was nearly blue, and deep brown eyes that regarded her with a dancing light.

"I'm the nice kind, of course," she retorted. "We're known for saving sailors too, you know."

"Sometimes," he conceded. "But I'm not sure if the man who left here was feeling all too saved."

She shrugged. Pearl knew she should end the conversation, but she was feeling slightly too prickly to do so. Ornery, her Oklahoma grandmother had called her, and more often than Pearl liked to admit, the old woman was right.

"Well, whether you get drowned or saved, I think that has more to do with the kind of man that you are than the type of mermaid. What kind of man are you, anyway?"

His eyes still bright, the man stood close enough to the rock that she could lean down and touch him if she wished. The rock was tall enough to dissuade small children from climbing up, and she had to lean down a little towards him.

"Closer," he said, and without thinking, Pearl did as he said.

He straightened up, putting himself far closer to her than she thought he could reach. One large hand came up to cup the back of her neck, and she caught a white flash of teeth.

"I'm a prince," he whispered, and he tugged her down for a kiss.

The moment their lips touched, Pearl felt as if fire had blossomed in her belly, sweeping out to light her up. That single hurried kiss could have blinded her, and if rage hadn't swept over her like a flood, there was no telling what would have happened.