Buying the Billionaire

By: Cynthia Dane

Mojitos were okay to have with lunch when a woman was on her honeymoon, right?

Come to Mama! The warm Hawaiian breeze made Jasmine’s white and sky blue cotton skirt flap against her legs. She leaned back in her wicker chair and took in the tranquil image of cerulean blue waves lapping against pristine beaches. The guest house had its own private beach, although a mile or so north a couple was getting married at an elaborate – but so casually Hawaiian – ceremony.

“Glad we saved that for back home,” her husband Ethan said as he sat across from her. The same breeze that flapped Jasmine’s skirt ruffled his dark hair. That wasn’t what commanded Jasmine’s attention. More like the small patch of chest hair poking out from his white shirt. Hello, gorgeous. Ethan forewent having alcohol in favor of a glass of orange juice. He typed something into his phone before looking up at Jasmine again. “By the way, did you know that you’re beautiful?”

Jasmine tilted her head. “You’re showing off your chest, something you never do. Unless you’re naked.” Ethan didn’t even wander his house half-naked. If he didn’t have his suit still on, he wore a crisp cotton T-shirt with his pajama bottoms. The man did not like his nudity. Which was a shame, because he had one of the nicest bodies Jasmine ever had the pleasure of being pinned beneath.

“When in Hawaii.” Ethan lifted his sunglasses to ensure his wife saw his winking.

“You’re doing it for me, aren’t you?”

“I’m also on vacation. My first real vacation in months, if I may remind you.”

“Of course.” Work had not been kind to Ethan Cole so far that year. He had spent the first half of the year sinking beneath the weight of corporate America, trying to run a multibillion dollar corporation all by himself. Hiring a new assistant – since he was marrying the old one, ahem – and taking on a new business partner had helped, but it wasn’t enough to give Ethan the bounce back in his step. By that point he was already planning a two-week honeymoon with his bride, anyway. The first week was here in Hawaii, enjoying the Fourth of July weekend in true Polynesian style. Then they were off to Europe for a mini-tour of Italy and France. Already Ethan was looking better. Naturally, Jasmine wanted to take a lot of that credit. It was her idea to get that couple’s massage their first full day there.

It was their mutual idea to have sex every day – sometimes twice a day – but who was keeping track of that? Not like anyone was going to argue that this marriage hadn’t been consummated.

Still, it was only Jasmine’s fourth day being Mrs. Cole, and every time she thought of it, she thought of things a woman named Mrs. Cole did.

“Thinking naughty things?” Ethan asked. “I know that look.”

Jasmine’s teeth clamped on her straw. She smiled through a judicious sip of her mojito. “We should go out and do something. Besides walking on the beach and getting spa treatments.”

He raised one eyebrow. “And spending all day in bed?”

“I’m sure you would love to do that.”

“You weren’t complaining our first day here.”

Jasmine hid her flushing cheeks with her mojito glass. “How often does a girl get to come to Hawaii? With her bridegroom, no less?”

Ethan leaned across the table. “What do you want to do, my flower?”

Giggling, Jasmine put her half-empty glass down and grabbed one of his hands. “Something we’ve never done before.”

“What’s that?”

She shrugged. “No idea yet. Figure something out for us.”

“Why me? You know Hawaii as well as I do.” Which was to say not at all. “Though I suppose I could look something up to do.”

“Yay!”

Ethan took the mojito away from her. “Cutting you off.”

Two minutes later he showed her his cell phone screen. “Looks like we have our choice of a flower festival and an estate auction. Personally, you know how I feel about flowers.”

Jasmine couldn’t help but roll her eyes. Ethan wasn’t like most men when it came to floral appreciation. He had bought their little mansion solely because he was in love with the expansive flower garden in the backyard. Every color in every climate friendly variety grew in intricate designs. The poor thing had been torn up, however, when they decided to hold their wedding ceremony in its midst.

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