Sweet Heat at Bayside(10)

By: Addison Cole

Laughter burst from Emery’s lips, which made them all crack up.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Mira said, taking a step backward. “I can’t even…”

“Seriously? Drake has a dark side?” Desiree asked. She was the most proper of them all, and yet, according to her delicious breakfasts, she had an amazing sex life.

Chloe whispered, “I wonder if he has a red room.”

“Stop!” Mira said with a laugh. “He’s my brother. If he has a red room, I don’t want to know about it.” She turned to Serena and asked, “Does he have a red room?”

“No! I don’t know!” Serena said. “But it is surprising, right? I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“I knew it,” Chloe said. “You’re still into him, aren’t you? You never blush, and you’re blushing like you’re back in high school.”

“That’s called surprise, not interest.” Serena headed for the dressing room with all four of them on her heels. “So, none of you knew he was into that?”

“No, but a little sexy bondage isn’t red-room dark. I can see him doing that.” Emery lowered her voice and said, “Dean and I explore, and it’s amazing.”

“Okay, first of all,” Mira said, “Dean is like a brother to me, and I try to stay as far from my brothers’ sex lives as possible. Can we please change the subject? It’s bad enough that the breakfast table is like a banner announcing the quality of Des and Rick’s bedroom antics.”

Emery sidled up to Serena and said, “I think you should sleep with him before you go to Boston,” in a rushed whisper. “See if he ties you up and report back.”

“Ohmygosh.” Serena pushed through the dressing-room curtain, trying to ignore her suggestion—and wondering what it would be like to sleep with Drake.

DRAKE SAT ON the dunes with Dean and Rick, shooting the breeze while the girls were out shopping. He took a swig of his beer, turning toward the wind whipping up from the bay as the salty air washed over his skin. The sense of peace it usually brought was one of his favorite things about living on the water. But tonight it failed to settle the chaos wreaking havoc in his head. He pulled out his cell phone, reading Serena’s text from earlier for a second time. She’d been trying on outfits for her new job and texting him selfies taken in the dressing-room mirror, asking if they made her look frumpy or if they were too sexy for her new job. Didn’t she know she could never look frumpy, and even if she did, she’d still be the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen? And as far as too sexy went, heck yes. Everything she wore was too sexy if he wasn’t there to keep guys away, but he’d never tell her that. Instead he’d responded with, You look great.

“Serena again?” Rick asked.

“She’s nervous about her new job.” Drake was worried about her moving, too, and not just because he’d miss everything about her. She’d always dreamed of living in a big city, but he had a feeling she was in for a surprise. She’d gone to college at University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, which was more of a small town than a big city. Interviewing in Boston was a lot different from living there.

Rick plucked a piece of dune grass and said, “The grass is always greener, right?”

Drake had never seen the allure of big cities. They’d grown up in Hyannis and had lost their father in Cape waters during a freak storm when they were teenagers. While Rick had moved to Washington, DC, to try to escape the painful memories, Drake had traveled enough for his music stores to know that the Cape was where he belonged. This was where his roots were, and if he had it his way, he’d remain there until the day he’d be buried at sea, just like his father.

“That grass-is-greener stuff is the biggest farce there is,” Dean said. “If you’re unhappy, the grass is greener elsewhere. When you’re happy, that happiness fertilizes your grass so it’s always lush.”

“Man, Dean.” Drake shook his head. “When did you start talking like a man in love?”

“The day Emery Andrews showed up on my doorstep asking to use my bathroom.”

“And then saw that naked dude and moved in,” Rick reminded him.

Dean grunted out a curse.

Emery had moved to the Cape last summer and had stayed with Violet for her first night. When she’d woken up in the morning, she’d found a naked man in the kitchen, and Dean had immediately moved her into his cottage.

“Sorry. Lifelong failing.” Rick took a drink of his beer.