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Sasha Hart



PREDESTINED

Copyright © 2018 Sasha Hart

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including informational storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from Sasha Hart except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a book review.

PREDESTINED is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


























Part 1

The Tranquility Resort in Kauai is even more stunning in person than in the brochure. The moment I step out of the taxi, I am greeted by warm, tropical air as the sun kisses my skin. A gentle wind blows, tousling my long brown hair. The intense heat mixed with the scent of ocean and exotic flowers beckons the delights of summer. I inhale a deep breath.

This is just what I needed.

Back home in Chicago, not only is it winter, but there is a brutal snow storm bearing down, obliterating everything in its path. I’m lucky I left when I did, otherwise I’d have been stuck there. O’Hare airport canceled all flights not long after mine departed, leaving thousands of travelers stranded in a frozen tundra of hell.

A short, but jovial concierge greets me, “Aloha.” He places a lei made of carnations around my neck and kisses my cheek. “My name is Hans. Welcome to Tranquility Resort, Miss Bauer-Smith.”

I hate the formality of my name. I wish my mother hadn’t insisted on hyphenating it. “Please call me Kayla.”

He nods with a smile. “Beautiful name for a beautiful lady.”

I flush. An involuntary response anytime a man compliments me.

“I will bring your luggage inside and Valen,” he points to the taller man beside him, “will lead you inside to check in.”


The main entrance is grand with large copper doors. Valen opens one of the oversized doors and motions for me to step inside. Again, I am astounded by the splendor. Unlike many so-called five-star resorts I’ve visited, Tranquility has not exaggerated on its luxuriousness or beauty.

Before I make it to the desk, I hear a squeal. A sound I would recognize anywhere. Chelsea, my best friend, runs my way arms flailing.

“Bestie!” she shrieks with a ginormous smile. She nearly chokes me with her hug. “I’m so happy you made it.”

“Me too.”

“I was so worried your flight would be canceled.” Her voice oozes relief.

“If I’d left any later, it might have been. I heard the airport canceled all flights an hour after mine departed.” It wouldn’t have been an issue if I could have arrived yesterday as originally planned. But due to work obligations I had to come a day later than everyone else.

“I’m so relieved now that you’re here. I feel like I can finally breathe.”

“I called you before I boarded. You knew I was on my way.”

“Yeah, but still… You’re the only person I even care about being here. Well, with the exception of Aaron, of course.” Her blue eyes sparkle as she chuckles.

“You are glowing, Chels.” I squeeze her hand. “I’ve never seen you so happy.”

“I am happy Kay-Kay. But how are you doing?” She traces the dark circles beneath my eyes. “You look tired. Beautiful and perfectly put together, but tired.”

“I am exhausted. I had to work double time to make up for the days I’m taking away from the office.”

“I know they’re your parents and all, but they work you to death. I don’t know how you put up with it.”

Until recently, it never bothered me. Being a hard worker comes naturally to me. I inherited it from my parents. They both work a minimum of sixty hours a week. When they’re not working they’re schmoozing prospective clients. But this year their expectations of me have grown exponentially. I can’t remember the last full day off I had.

“I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this vacation,” I say. “You couldn’t be getting married at a better time.”


Once in my room, Chelsea gives me the rundown of the itinerary for the next two days.

“Everyone, wedding guests included, will be having dinner at Emerson Steak House tonight.” Chelsea sits on the side of the bed, bouncing up and down with excitement as I start unpacking.
“Tomorrow at eleven, the wedding party and parents are meeting at The Nook for brunch. After brunch, you, me, Erica, my mom and Aaron’s mom all have a spa appointment to get our hair and nails done. The ceremony is on the beach at sunset.”

“Got it.” I knew she’d have every single second of the day planned out. It’s just her style. Not that I’m complaining. I’m sure if I was getting married, I would want things a certain way as well.

“Are you sure you’re not hurt about Erica being my maid of honor?”

We’ve had this discussion at least two dozen times. “I promise you, Chelsea, I am fine with it. I totally understand.”

Erica is Chelsea’s younger sister. If for that reason only, it makes sense that she would designate her the maid of honor. And honestly, it’s probably for the best. With my work schedule I would have been a terrible maid of honor. I barely made it to her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I can’t imagine trying to plan them. I wouldn’t have had the time. Besides, Erica would have thrown a hissy fit and probably refused to participate in the wedding had she not been given the title.

“How is Erica?” I ask. I may not be her favorite person in the world, but I don’t harbor her any ill-will.

“Exactly the same,” Chelsea rolls her eyes with a rueful smile. “A whiney pain in the ass.”

I can’t help but to chuckle. “Some things never change.”

“And she likely never will.”

Once I’ve finished hanging my dress clothes, I take a seat next to Chelsea on the bed.

“Some things I change,” I say and place my hand on top of hers. “You’re so different. So grown up and ladylike.”

She knows I don’t mean this in a bad way. We’ve known each other all our lives. The woman before me now is a far cry from the party girl of just a couple years ago.

“It’s amazing what finding the right guy can do. I went from being on a first name basis with every bartender in the city to being a respectable woman.”

In high school and college, Chelsea and I couldn’t have been any different. It’s incredible that we remained friends. I was never a party girl. I was too reserved. With my prim and proper upbringing, it was no surprise. My father is one of the wealthiest men in all of Chicago. He owns an international manufacturing company and he and my mother sit on dozens of professional boards. They lead very structured, regimented lives. As such, they always had high expectations of me that I, for some reason, feel compelled to abide by. I was always an agreeable child. Letting them down was never an option for me.

“So, tell me about Ben,” she says. “What happened? Is it over for good?”

“It is. I should have ended it long ago.” I wanted to end things six months into the relationship, but my mom encouraged me—and by encouraged, I mean insisted—to give it time. Whenever I became disenchanted with Ben, she’d tout all his good qualities to talk me into staying. But deep in my heart I knew it would never work. He isn’t the man for me and I knew it all along. There was never any spark. When I told my mother this, she laughed it off. She said spark is overrated. Spark wears off over time and then we’d be left with nothing. It’s better to have a relationship built on common values and ambitions. That didn’t sound very sexy or romantic to me. And it wasn’t.

“How did Liz take you turning down his proposal?” she asks, referring to my mother.

I glance to my phone on the table by the door. Last I checked it had eleven voicemails all from her. “I’ll find out as soon as I check my messages.”

“You haven’t told her?”

I shake my head. I was chicken shit. Standing up to my mother isn’t my forte. “If I had, she wouldn’t have let me come.”

“Kay-kay, you’re twenty-five years old, when are you going to stop letting your parents control your life?”

“They’ve been so generous to me, Chels,” I sigh, feeling powerless. Hopeless. “They’ve given me everything I could have ever asked for. I’m incredibly blessed with the opportunities they’ve allowed me. I don’t want to seem ungrateful.”

“Living your own life isn’t being ungrateful. They are holding your life for ransom,” she sighs. Her eyes reflect the pity she feels for me. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you truly happy.”

I repeat words my parents say to me on the rare occasion that I become what they call, “defiant.” “They just want the best for me is all.”

Chelsea takes a deep breath, pondering her response. She’s aware this is a sensitive subject for me. “I know exactly what you need to get your mind off all this.”

“Yeah?” I see a stiff drink in my very near future. I don’t drink often, but the idea of calling my mother spikes my already considerable anxiety.

“A sexy fling on a tropical island with a gorgeous brute of a man.”

I laugh. Definitely not going to happen. Not my style. I’ve never had a one-night stand and I don’t plan on ever having one.

“I’m completely serious and I have the perfect man for the job.”

Oh no, here we go. Chelsea has spent the last five years trying to hook me up with guys she thinks make better sense for me than the “boring stiffs” my mother pairs me with.

She continues before I can protest, “Aaron’s best man, Ryan, is suddenly single. He’s tall, dark, and panty wetting gorgeous. He is just the man to show you what you’ve always been missing.”

“No thanks.” I shake my head. “I’m taking a break from men.”

“That’s just it. You’ve never had a real man.” She smooths her blonde ponytail. “Can’t take a break from you’ve never had.”

I tilt my head and roll my eyes.

“Trust me,” she says, “I’m right on this. Besides, once you lay eyes on Ryan, I guarantee your anti-man stance will change. If I wasn’t with Aaron and I met him, I’d be all over that hot piece of man meat like white on rice.”

I snort. “I’ve always hated that expression.”

“You just wait. The instant you meet Ryan, you will be panting for it.”

I don’t say as much, but I highly doubt it. I’ve never “panted for it” with any guy. Sex has always been a perfunctory act for me. I’m starting to think I’m asexual. Not once have I ever achieved orgasm with a partner. Ben and I had been together for fourteen months and I never once got close with him.

Before leaving to give me time to freshen up, Chelsea tells me to meet her at the main bar next to the lobby at five. Everyone is meeting there for a drink before dinner. With a wink, she says Ryan will be there and she can’t wait for us to meet. Chelsea is on a mission to fix us up and once she sets her mind to something, there’s no changing it.


***


As I stride into the Tranquility Bar, I take in the dimly lit surroundings. The place is so over the top extravagant that it’s obnoxious. It’s borderline cheesy. I suppose that’s what people want while on vacation. They want to feel rich and pampered. Luxury offers them a getaway from their mundane everyday existence. But everything in my life is grand and lavish. I, Ryan Harper, heir to the Harper commercial real estate conglomerate, lead a life filled with pomp and circumstance. This place offers me no escape, other than from the frigid temperatures of a Chicago winter.

I pull up a seat at the bar and order a double shot of Booker’s bourbon. Just as I take my first sip, my best bud, Aaron Jones appears to my right and greets me with a man hug. Aaron knows me better than anyone. He knows everything about me. Well, almost everything. I’ve known him since childhood. Anytime I got into trouble, he was right there beside me. He was my trusty sidekick. My right hand man. We no longer get into trouble, but he’s still my truest and closest friend. I’m honored to be standing up for him at his wedding tomorrow.

“Any nerves?” I ask. If it was me, I’d be shitting my pants with fear. I’ve never imagined myself married. I’m not opposed to marriage, I just don’t think I’ll ever meet a woman that would want to be married to a man with my predilections.

“Not one,” he smiles ear to ear. “I can’t wait for tomorrow. Chelsea is the most amazing woman on the planet. I can’t believe she is actually marrying me.”

“I know how much you love her. But knowing you the way I do, I have a hard time imagining you settling down and committing to one woman.”

Aaron throws his head back in laughter. “That’s true. But, Ryan, trust me when I say, when the right woman comes along, everything changes.”

“Evidently.”

“I hope you get to experience it for yourself one day. I had high hopes for you and Sara-Beth. What happened there?”

Sara-Beth was an incredible submissive. But she wanted more than I could give. She wanted hearts, flowers and a full-on commitment. Not because she was in love with me. She cared for me in her own way, but she was much more interested in the comfortable lifestyle I can provide. I provided well for her as my sub. She had her own impeccably decorated condo in my building. I allotted her a car of her choice and a generous weekly stipend. All she had to do in return was be available when I required her presence, be it privately or as my date to events. She was a good woman. Intelligent, with a career of her own in interior design. But I could never marry a woman who cares more for my money than for me.

“The relationship ran its course,” I say and take a sip of my bourbon. “To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever find my Chelsea. It seems it just isn’t in the cards for me.”

“Don’t say that. It usually happens when you least expect it. That’s how it happened for me and Chels. I’d just broken up with Hope. The last thing I wanted was another relationship, but three days later I met Chelsea. Now, here I am a year later getting married.”

“I’m happy for you, truly. You are a lucky man.”

“Thanks, Ryan.” He takes a swig of his beer. “In case you’re interested, Chelsea’s little sister Erica is on the prowl and she’s asked about you on more than one occasion.”

“No way. That brand of crazy doesn’t appeal to me.”

Aaron nods toward the bar entrance. A megawatt smile spreads across his lips as Chelsea enters the bar. I hadn’t known this kind of love exists. Still, I can’t help but wonder if Aaron’s love for Chelsea will be this strong a year from now. I’m not proud to admit that I’m a cynic. I pray for my friend’s sake that his feelings for Chelsea and their happiness together lasts their entire lives. However, not a single marriage I’ve ever been witness to has gone the distance.

My thoughts are interrupted when I spot the strikingly beautiful woman walking alongside Chelsea. I’m struck by a powerful sense of deja-vu.

“Who is the woman with Chelsea?” I ask. “Have I met her before?”

“That’s Kayla. Kayla Bauer-Smith. Chelsea’s best friend. She’s in the wedding party. And no, you’ve never met. At least not that I know of.”

“She single?”

“Yes.” He holds up his index finger to make a point. “And one thousand percent off limits. I can’t have my wife and her best friend hating my best friend.”

I ignore Aaron’s comment. I understand his meaning. I have a bad track record with women and he doesn’t want Kayla added to the mix. But I never make promises I can’t keep, and I can’t promise to keep my distance from Kayla. The sight of her has awoken the dominant beast inside me. I itch to brush my fingers through her long, chestnut hair. Her ivory skin is like porcelain. Her pouty lips are painted in the perfect shade of red. The way she carries herself and her expensive attire tells me she’s well to do. She’s wearing a long, flowing coral colored dress with a deep v-neck exposing pert c-cup breasts. The air conditioning in the bar reveals she’s not wearing a bra. The delicate, long gold chain she wears brings that much more attention to the region. Is she not aware that her nipples are saluting everyone in the room, or is she unaffected? As she comes close, I see that her eyes are a stunning bright green. Her eyes flit to mine but she quickly looks away exposes a shyness I wouldn’t have guessed at first sight.

The way her dress clings to her curves leaves little to the imagination as I envision what she’d look like in the nude. Tiny waist, perfect hips, firm round buttocks, smooth thighs… Her toned arms reveal that she works out, but not so much that it detracts from her femininity. My sexual appetite requires a partner with high stamina. Kayla appears to be the picture of fitness and health.

Simply stated, the woman is exquisite. She may very well be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I’ve known a lot of women.

I feel a sharp jab to my ribs. No doubt Aaron is reading my mind.

There’s my gorgeous girl,” he says and pulls Chelsea into an embrace.

The two go on and on about how impatient they are for tomorrow. They can’t wait to be husband and wife.

“Tomorrow I will officially be able to call you my husband,” Chelsea squeals.

“You will be Mrs. Aaron Patterson.” Aaron places a kiss on the tip of her nose.

They really are cute together. Could I ever be that way with a woman? Perhaps the right woman, as Aaron said.

“Where are your manners?” I ask of my friend. “Do you plan on ever introducing me to this gorgeous woman?” My gaze locks on Kayla.

“I’m sorry, Ryan.” Chelsea steps forward. “Ryan, this is my best friend in the entire world, Kayla Bauer-Smith. Kay-Kay, this is Ryan Harper, Aaron’s best friend.”

Kay-Kay… a cute nickname. I can see myself using it as a term of endearment.

I take Kay-Kay’s hand. Her skin is soft as flower petals. I bring it to my lips and am pleased to see her cheeks flush. “It’s a pleasure meeting you, Kayla.”

“You as well, Ryan.” Her voice is the perfect mix of sultry and sweet.

I flash Kayla my signature lopsided grin that drives all the women wild. Her breath hitches causing my cock to twitch. She’s already responding to me. I’m completely spellbound by this woman. Off limits, my ass. Sorry Aaron. He may be my best friend, and I love him like a brother, but this woman is living, breathing perfection. I will most definitely be getting acquainted with her during this trip.

Again, I’m struck by a spark of recognition. I study her features, trying to discern where I may know her from. If we’d met prior to this moment, surely I would have remembered her.

“Are you from Chicago?” I ask her.

She nods in response.

“I can’t believe we’ve never met,” I say and shoot Aaron a pointed look.

Chelsea speaks up. “Between the two of you, your conflicting schedules didn’t allow for a meeting. Seems you are both workaholics.” Chelsea takes Kayla by the arm. “Please excuse us. I promised Kayla a tour of the grounds before dinner.”

“Conflicting schedules my ass,” I grumble to Aaron once the girls are out of earshot.

He shrugs. “Kayla was in a relationship for over a year. You were with Sara-Beth. Even if I had introduced the two of you, nothing would have come of it.”

That’s what he thinks. He ought to know that when I want something, I do whatever it takes to acquire it and I let nothing stand in my way. Nevertheless, here we are, both suddenly single. Perfect timing. It’s a sign. A sign that we were supposed to meet.

“I know that look,” Aaron says. “Please don’t do anything that will cause tension between me and Chelsea. Kayla is the kind of woman wants commitment. She’s a good girl. Sweet. If you hurt her, Chelsea will be furious and I’ll be the one who pays.”

“Earlier you said when the right woman comes along it changes a man. And let’s not forget it wasn’t long ago that you were breaking hearts all over Chicago.”

“I stand by my statement, but Kayla is different than Chelsea.”

I arch a brow. “In what way?”

Aaron takes a deep breath and sets his beer on the bar. “Kayla has lived a very sheltered life. She’s in her mid-twenties and still living by her parent’s rules. She works for her father. Lives on their property. Every guy she’s ever dated, they’ve set her up with. Get the picture? They say jump and she asks how high. They would never allow her to get involved with someone like you.”

“Someone like me?”

“The kind of man who doesn’t see marriage and kids as his end game. Besides, she’s not the type of woman you usually get involved with anyway.”

If what he says is true, Kayla isn’t be the type of woman I typically get involved with. And I highly doubt she’s ever been with a dominant. But hearing of her loyalty and obedience stirs a dark desire deep inside. I think Kayla has what it takes to be the perfect submissive. I’d love to be the man to teach her.


***


As I walk the grounds with Chelsea, I can’t get the image of Ryan out of my mind. The feeling of his hand on mine, the warmth of his lips on my skin…

Chelsea babbles on and on about how perfect this resort is for her wedding—how beautiful the setting is and how accommodating the manager and staff has been to her special requests for the ceremony and reception. I nod and agree at the appropriate times, but all I can see is Ryan. Tall, dark, and perfect. The way his blue shirt matched his eyes and clung to his muscular physique. The memory of his raspy voice as he said my name raises goosebumps on my arms. And his scent… heavenly. There was something familiar about him. Have we met before? Surely I would’ve remembered. He isn’t the kind of man a woman forgets. I already know he will be the star of my erotic dreams for many months to follow. It’s odd to me, the reaction I’m having. I’ve met attractive men before. Every man I’ve dated has been desirable. But there’s something about Ryan that has flipped an unknown switch inside me. I feel a raw, animalistic magnetism with Ryan.

What is coming over me?

I’ve never had sex on a first date, but if Ryan asked, I’d follow him to his room, right this very moment. Chelsea was right. I am panting for it.

Chelsea claps in my face and laughs as she tries to get my attention.

“Sorry. I was spacing out.”

“Did I, or did I not tell you how hot Ryan was?” Chelsea giggles again.

“Indeed, you did,” I laugh with her.

“I can see the dirty thoughts in your mind.”

I roll my eyes. “I’m not thinking dirty thoughts.”

“Bullshit.”

“Okay, okay. Maybe I am. But still, nothing would ever happen between me and him. I doubt I’m his type.”

I hope I’m not his type because if he was to come on to me, no way in hell could I resist. The last thing I need is to disappoint him and I surely would. I’ve never been able to please a man. When I turned down Ben’s marriage proposal, he thanked me on his way out for saving him from years of lousy blowjobs. The guy I dated before him cheated on me for similar reasons. No way could I please a man of Ryan’s caliber.

“I don’t know Ryan very well,” Chels starts, “but I know him well enough to know the look in his eyes spelled out an obvious attraction. He couldn’t take his eyes off you!”

I shake my head. If she’s right, I don’t know whether to be excited or scared to death.

I collect jewelry from every place I visit. I’ve done it since I was a little girl. My mother does the same. It’s the one and only thing we have in common—a penchant for beautiful jewelry. On our way back to the bar, we pass one of the resort’s boutique shops. In the window is a lovely, unique gold and silver bracelet with delicate flowers etched into the band.

“I’m going to stop in and look around,” I say.

“Do you mind if I head back to the bar?” Chels asks. “Aaron just texted that everyone is there asking for me.”

“Go ahead. I’ll be ten minutes tops.”

The instant I step inside, I spy Ryan looking at swim trunks. I envision what he’d look like in the blue pair. Wide, powerful shoulders, sculpted abs, muscular thighs… I shake my head to clear the images and turn my attention to the bracelet.

“Kayla?” Ryan calls my name.

I turn and see him approaching me with a cat that caught the mouse smile. “Nice piece,” he takes the bracelet from my fingers and clasps it around my wrist. “But on you it’s beautiful.”

“I saw it in the window. It’s why I came in.” I’m not sure why I added the last part. I guess I don’t want him thinking that I came in to see him. But why would he think that?

I glance at the three pairs of swim trunks draped over his forearm, once again imagining what he’d look like in them. With him standing right in front of me, it’s much easier to visualize.

“I forgot to bring swim trunks for the trip.”

“No sense coming to a tropical resort without swim trunks.”

He shrugs. “I’d rather not have to wear them.”

Surely he’s not insinuating what I think he is. “Do you not like to swim?”

“I love swimming. I swim almost nightly in my pool. I just prefer to swim in the nude, hence the reason I forgot to pack trunks.”

My face heats up as I blush. I can’t come up with a coherent thought let alone a response.

He takes a step closer and when is speaks his husky voice is deeper than usual. “Have you ever skinny dipped at night?”

The heat in my face intensifies and my belly flutters. “I’ve never skinny dipped at all.”

The corner of his mouth curls up. “You should try it. It’s so much better, the feeling of being completely free in the water, the way the water glides over every inch of your body like satin.”

I clear my throat, but am still unable to speak. My heart races. The way his cyan eyes bore into mine, he’s doing nothing to conceal his attraction to me. My attraction to him is probably as evident. But I can’t go there. Not with Ryan. The idea of him being disappointed in me is too much to bear. I take the bracelet off and set it down to make my escape. I can come back for it another time.

“Please excuse me,” I say and try to walk around him.

Ryan clutches my wrist. “Is something wrong? I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“You didn’t. I just promised Chelsea that I’d be right behind her. Everyone is already at the bar.”

“You really should have the bracelet,” he says as he glances down to my wrist, his fingers wrapped delicately around it.

I can’t slow my breathing or my heart. We are standing so close that if I took half a step forward, our bodies would be flush against one another. He smells so damned good my mouth is watering. I bet he tastes even better. I lick my lips as he stares at them.

My phone rings. With my free hand I retrieve it from my clutch. It’s Chelsea.

“Hey,” I say as I answer.

Ryan still has ahold of my wrist.

“We are all heading to the restaurant. Just meet us there.”

“Okay, I’m on my way.”


The banquet room of the restaurant has been secured for the pre-wedding dinner. It is decorated in Chelsea’s wedding colors, peach and white. On each table is a round bouquet of peach colored roses and baby’s breath in crystal vases. The tables are dressed in fine white linens with peach napkins. Twinkle lights are strewn across the ceiling, the room’s only light aside from the candles burning on the tables. Romantic music fills the air.

All of the wedding guests are present—at least four dozen of Chelsea and Aaron’s family and closest friends. At the head of the room is a large round table to seat the wedding party. Chelsea, Aaron, Erica, and Bradley—Aaron’s groomsman—are all sitting at the table. As luck would have it, the only two remaining empty seats are right next to each other, meaning I will be sitting next to Ryan. I’m not sure I can make it through an entire meal seated next to him.

As I approach the table I hear the deep timber of Ryan’s voice as he reaches for her chair, “Allow me.”


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