She forced air into her suddenly constricted lungs watching him move out of the shadows and navigate his way toward her with the slow, confident gait she remembered. He was dressed casually in black pants and a white collarless shirt, the sleeves rolled to the elbows, showing his muscular forearms. He still radiated virility, and clearly, he hadn't gained an ounce of fat during the last six years. If it crossed her mind that it was strange to see him at a singles resort, she decided he was probably here on a mission. More to the point, he'd found her at a singles resort, which was a little embarrassing. In the script she'd written in her head, preparing herself for the day when she finally did come face-to-face with Blane Sebastian, she'd visualized running into him in a restaurant while she was enjoying a meal with a good-looking man, proving she'd moved on.
Now, as Blane's black trousers and boots appeared in front of her, her mouth was dry and her insides were jittering. She drew in a long, slow breath and looked up. From her point of view, it was all bad news. Time had barely left a mark on his stunning face, his bronzed skin and those dark eyes, a fascinating contrast to his golden hair, which was long and glossy and braided to his shoulders.
He smiled that slow, pulse-quickening smile she remembered. "Hello, Lexy, I wasn't sure if it was you. It's been a while."
He was the only one who had ever called her Lexy. As jumpy as she was inside, she'd been a tracer long enough not to show what was in her mind or let it come through her voice. "Hello, Blane. Yes, it has been quite a while, and quite a surprise to find you here."
"I'm not intruding on anything, am I?" He lifted his well-sculptured chin in the direction her admirer had taken.
"She shook her head. "No, he was just a guy passing by."
Nodding, Blane pulled a chair toward him. He sat and shifted sideways to stretch out his long leg, which put Lex at eye-level with the strong tendons in his neck.
He turned his head to look at her. "So, how've you been, Lexy? I hear through the grapevine you're establishing yourself quite well in the business."
She had almost forgotten about the power of his eyes--velvety brown, flecked with gold and full of intelligence. And she didn't for one moment imagine that he'd been keeping tabs on her personally. He would naturally stay abreast of things in his trade. And she would be a subject of conversation, simply because she was one of the few female bounty hunters making a name for herself, earning her competitors grudging respect by beating them out of several money-spinning contracts over the last two years. Besides that, Monroe Investigations was now one of the most trusted security firms in Southern California.
"I'm managing to stay busy," she understated. "How about you ... are you working, or vacationing here?" Either way, she was taking the first shuttle out in the morning.
"I'm here on business," he replied.
She nodded, trying not to look at his eyes. Determined as she was not to react to his magnetic charm, she knew that the longer she sat there, the more he would chip away at her resistance, stirring up a fresh batch of dangerous feelings. The fact that no other man had put her libido into top gear the way he did really pissed her off.
She took nasty pleasure in snubbing him, deliberately lifting her arm to look at her wrist unit. "Sorry to cut this short, but I'm afraid I have to leave. We'll catch up on old times another day."
She was pleased to see surprise jump into his dark eyes as she rose and picked up her purse, giving him a quick farewell nod. "Best of luck with your assignment." She turned to walk away with a satisfied gleam in her eyes.
"You've been conscripted, Monroe."