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Kissing Her Crazy

By:Kira Archer

Chapter One

Elliot aimed his most enticing smile at the bikini-clad brunette who was making her third circuit past his chaise lounge. He was glad his sunglasses covered his eyes so he didn’t have to put forth the effort to make the smile genuine. It wasn’t that she wasn’t completely hot. She was. And usually he’d be more than interested. But lately, he’d gotten a little tired of the bevy of girls only too willing to be seen on the arm of Elliot Debusshere.

That realization surprised him a bit. He’d always enjoyed the perks that came with being the only son of two very successful parents. His sisters had been much more sheltered. Controlled. One had taken to it better than the other. Lilah was, and continued to be, their mother’s perfect little angel. Only his twin Cherice had had the courage and drive to get out on her own. Do what she wanted. Be happy. He envied her.

And now, he was sitting poolside at the island resort hotel where Cher would soon marry the blue collar man of her dreams, much to their parents’ dismay. Elliot wanted to stand up and cheer every time he thought about it. He’d always admired Cher’s independent streak. He’d just never had much desire to emulate it. Until recently.

His life bored him, plain and simple. It was shallow. Empty. Filled with friends who weren’t really his friends and women who only wanted him for what he could buy them. His “job” running the family charity was mostly something his parents let him do so he’d have something on his resume. And so far, he’d hardly done anything with it. To be honest, he’d barely done enough with the charity to qualify as work. But for months now, he’d been trying to rectify that situation. His parents, however, were used to how things were run and weren’t too enthused about changing things.

He could charm the cash out of the cold-hearted clutches of their friends at the annual fundraiser without breaking a sweat, and they were more than happy for him to keep doing that. But it wasn’t enough for him anymore. The money was ferried out to so many different charities he doubted it really made a difference to any of them. And it should. He wanted to up the game. But they’d shot down every idea he’d come up with for redirecting or expanding the charity, dismissing him without even listening.

He took a sip of ice water and frowned. Refreshing, but not nearly strong enough to dull the raw mass of depression that had been eating at his gut since he and his parents had had their last little talk. It had surprised the hell out of him that he actually cared about running the charity. Sure, it had always been a great way to get chicks. Everyone loved a philanthropist, right? But ever since the last charity event, where he’d actually met some of the kids that they donated to, there had been a niggling feeling in the back of his mind that he wanted to do more. He suddenly wanted to make a difference. Perhaps it would make his parents happy if he promised them he’d raise double the money they brought in last year. He needed to prove to them that he was more than just a spoiled playboy, or he’d be stuck in this rut forever and an even worse waste of space than he currently was.

“God, you’re a morbid son of a bitch,” he muttered to himself, taking another swig of water.

“Hey, there, mind if I sit down?” The brunette from earlier sat down on the chaise next to him, apparently having worked up the nerve to approach.

Elliot plastered his charmer smile on his face, shoving down all the unpleasant emotions roiling through his system. He couldn’t run from it forever, but for a few minutes at least, flirting with a beautiful woman might make him forget about his parents, his so-called job, and his boring life.

“Not at all.” He sat up and held out his hand. “I’m Elliot Debusshere.”

“Stacy Connors,” she said, slowly sliding her hand into his so her fingertips lingered along every inch of his hand and palm before coming to a rest.

Nice move. He wondered how long she’d practiced it and then gave himself a mental kick. He didn’t even know her. She might be a perfectly genuine person.

“Would you like a drink?” he asked, waving a waiter over.

“That would be great, thanks. It’s hot out today.” She flipped her thick, chocolate-hued hair over her shoulder, giving him a better view of her body beneath her skimpy lace cover-up.

He didn’t miss the quick glance she raked over him, taking in not only the body he made sure looked impressive, but also the expensive watch on his wrist, his designer sunglasses, and the number to the penthouse suite he told the waiter to bill her drink to.

He knew her type. And usually he’d be very interested. But for some reason, he couldn’t keep his mind on her or the nonsense coming out of her mouth.