A game of seduction…
It’s obvious to Jason that his son’s girlfriend is only after the Masters’ money. He figures it will be an expensive lesson for the young man, but tries to ignore the situation despite the way Lanie makes him feel. It’s only when Josh announces their engagement that Jason decides to do something to get rid of the gold-digger. Something cold and calculating, like seduce her away from her younger mark before scorning her. It’s a straightforward plan, so why does she make him feel things he hasn’t since his wife died years ago? Could the infallible Masters have misjudged Lanie? Or is she simply playing him in return? Just who is seducing whom?
This was previously published as “Island Seduction.” It is basically the same story, but with some additions throughout, including a newly added epilogue.
Jason grimaced when he got his first look at the girl his son had brought home. They were still unloading their luggage from the seaplane that had stopped at his dock, so he had plenty of time to size her up. In denim shorts with tattered legs, slung low on her hips, a cropped black T-shirt, and with the ends of her short hair dyed an unnatural shade of purple-red, she practically screamed teenage rebellion.
The only problem with that theory was he knew her to be twenty-three, according to the information his son had relayed. Josh was a sophomore, and so was she. When Jason questioned why she was still in college at her age, his son had breezily explained Lanie spent a few years searching for herself. Judging from the appearance she presented, the girl would have been better off spending a bit more time looking, until she found someone remotely presentable.
His eyes widened when she straightened, stretching with her arms over her head. A dart of desire hit him like a fist in the stomach, and he shifted in his boat shoes, uncomfortable with the idea of finding Lanie attractive. At thirty-eight, he was too old to react that way to a nice pair of breasts in a tight T-shirt.
With a shake of his head, he cast off the unwanted spark of attraction, along with his discomfort, and walked down the dock. Excitement at seeing his son again put a slight spring in his step, and Jason resolved not to worry about the girl. At Josh’s age, the liaison was no doubt transitory. He was sure to have a string of equally unsuitable relationships before settling down. It would be pointless to worry about each one.
Josh gave him an enthusiastic hug, and Jason’s eyes smarted when he embraced him. For a second, he held the toddler version of his son in his arms. A parade of memories danced through his mind during the brief hug. It was like that every time he saw Josh after a separation.
When his son stepped back, Jason turned to Lanie, bracing himself to be polite. He drew in his breath sharply upon seeing her face. It was a marked contrast to her appearance. Soft and rounded, with full lips, a straight nose, and dark eyes, her countenance was sweet and innocent. If only she hadn’t marred the physical perfection with a piercing through her right brow and a tiny diamond stud through her nose, she would have been classically beautiful.
“Dad, this is Lanie DeShaw.”
Jason took the hand she extended, surprised by the firmness of her handshake.
“Lanie, this is my dad, Jason Masters.”
Her lips, bare of lipstick like the rest of her face was free from makeup, curved into what seemed like a genuine smile. “How do you do, Mr. Masters?” She had pierced her tongue too.
“Call me Jason.” The invitation came automatically, as his brain was busy processing the impulses elicited just from touching her hand. He dropped it quickly, not caring if he appeared abrupt. “Come into the house.” As they followed him in, he mentally shifted the bedroom arrangement he’d had the housekeeper prepare. His plan had been to facilitate the couple’s interactions by allowing them to remain discreet, but he had changed his mind. The room next to Josh’s was no longer an option for their houseguest. He didn’t want his son to have such easy access to his lover. He tried not to question why the idea of them having sex bothered him so much. Jason had enough self-preservation not to want to know the answer.