The First Night
I dreamed about him.
I knew it was a dream, because the ridiculous shyness, insecurity, and low self-esteem that plagued me every day was gone. Well, not gone, completely, but a distant glimmer. I knew it was still there, but it seemed unimportant—something I could push aside and deal with at another time.
I dreamed I was lying in my bed, awake, when Kainoa Turner’s wide shoulders suddenly filled my bedroom doorway. The Kai I knew wouldn’t just show up in my house. He was too much of a gentleman for that. He’d always knock. That fact confirmed that this wasn’t real, though it felt pretty real, as dreams go.
Kai was my boss and one of the owners of Turner and Hannover Construction. He was a general contractor for custom homes on the Kona side of the Big Island. I’d moved to Hawaii on a whim after a nasty breakup a year ago. Knowing I needed a serious change of scenery from the life I’d always known in Louisiana, I’d packed my bags and flown to Kona. Fortune had shone down on me, because Kai’s partner, Steve, had taken one look at my resume—I’d been raised in the construction business and had worked in it in some capacity since before I graduated from high school—and hired me right away. I’d met Kai when he’d returned from working on a site on the other side of the island a week later, and had crushed on him hard for the past year. He was thirty-two—older than me by a decade. He was mature, successful, smart, and sexy…and for the past month, he’d been mine.
Of course, “mine” was a relative term. We’d kissed a few times, but no more than that. I wished it had gone further, but I froze up, every time. I pulled away, or started some inane nervous chatter.
Kai had been patient with me…so far. But this couldn’t go on much longer. I found him incredibly hot. I was incredibly attracted to him. So why couldn’t I just let go?
I drove myself crazy with questions like that. The fact was, a really big part of me knew I wasn’t good enough for a man like Kai. He was out of my league. And I was terrified of disappointing him, of letting him down. Of him learning the horrible truth—I was bad in bed.
Now my dream Kai stepped into the room, in shadows so thick I could hardly make out his features. But I knew it was him, by his confident walk, by the square set of his broad shoulders.
“Tomorrow,” he said softly.
“Yes.” We were going to dinner and a movie tomorrow night. He was driving. Afterward…he’d take me home.
“Invite me in, Lacey.”
I definitely wanted to invite him in after our date tomorrow. But an invitation into my house was also an invitation for a level of intimacy that seriously freaked me out. Was I ready?
“You are. We both are.”
He was at my bedside now, his big body looming over mine. He reached out and pushed a lock of hair away from my face, stroking my jaw as he did so.
“I want you so bad,” he murmured.
I wanted him too. But…I closed my eyes, entranced by the feel of his fingers, strong and solid, cupping my jaw. “I want you too.”
“You can have me. All of me—tomorrow.”
The soft rumble of his voice was so hot, I clenched my thighs together. Maybe I’d be able to do it. Throw away that thick, ugly wall of inhibitions and finally be free with him. Be myself.
“Yes,” he commanded. “Do it, beautiful.”
He bent down and kissed me, so soft and erotic, the sensation of it tingled through my entire body. “Oh,” I whispered, melting with pleasure. My wall of inhibitions trembled and then crumbled into a pile of rubble on the floor. Everything was going to be all right. I could do this. I reached for him, but he melted away into thin air, the pressure on my lips fading with a puff of cool air.
“Tomorrow.” The word shimmered in the air, a final promise before Kai’s form melted away.