| "This is your idea of a vacation?" Noah
Paxton asked the question with a practiced level of calm he did not
actually feel. By the way Alexa Stuart - Lexy to him - jumped up and
out of her pool lounge chair, he guessed the fake tone did not impress
Dark sunglasses hid her eyes, but her dropped jaw suggested he caught
her off guard. "Noah?"
She remembered his name. That was something. "Miss me?"
She settled back in her seat and smoothed out the magazine she just
crumpled in her fists. "No."
"I’m going to take that as a compliment."
She flipped her sunglasses to the top of her head and squinted up
at him with intense green eyes. "What are you doing here?"
Funny but the woman did not look at all surprised to see him. Probably
had something to do with the fact she ruined their relationship, screwed
with his career and then ran. She had to know he would track her down
"I could ask you the same question," he said.
"You already know the answer to that one. I'm on vacation."
"Uh-huh." That was all he could think to say while trying
to ignore the size of her tiny pink bikini. The thing seemed to shrink
the longer he stared at it, but maybe that was wishful thinking.
With the burning southern Utah heat bouncing around and searing through
his long-sleeve shirt, he understood her less-is-more theory of dressing.
Still, there were other resort patrons hanging in the area. As far
as Noah could tell, they all had eyes.
He scanned the pool deck to make sure none of those eyes belonged
to men and none were staring at Lexy’s incredible shrinking
bikini. Only a few other people braved the beating sun on the pool
deck. Most of them sat up to their necks in the water. All but one
The male-female ratio qualified as the only positive Noah could find
about the high adventure hiking spa Lexy chose as her temporary playground.
Not that he knew what the hell a high adventure hiking spa even was.
He read the description online three times before jumping on a plane
to retrieve Lexy. Once he saw the price of the joint, he seriously
considered changing careers from security analyst to spa owner.
He wondered how the folks who ran the place convinced otherwise competent
people to shell out a couple grand a week to stay at a no-frills location
in the middle of nowhere. The place in question consisted of a few
single and two-story stucco buildings painted almost the same color
as the towering red rocks ringing them.
Deep in a valley and about two hours from Las Vegas, the spa felt
more like an isolated boot camp than an expensive resort. Clean with
well-kept grounds but no extras. A bit too much of a throwback to
his military days for Noah’s comfort.
"How did you pick this joint?" he asked.
"What’s wrong with it?"
"Aren't we touchy?"
"Let's just say I'm waiting for you to tell me whatever it is
you came the whole way here to say."
He ignored that and started with the most obvious problem with her
choice of bathing location. "This place is forty miles from the
nearest anything. Didn’t see a restaurant or store anywhere
He tolerated the desert as much as the next guy, but why not enjoy
it after a little gambling while looking down from a luxury room high
above the Las Vegas Strip.
"That’s why people stay here," she said.
"For the seclusion. Red Valley Fitness is known for its intense
exercise and nutrition packages."
"You sound like a walking advertisement." Not a surprise
since she was a marketing genius, but still.
She let out a little sigh. "No one asked you to come here."
Which explained why anger continued to spill through his veins at
a rate that threatened to crack his spine. "I couldn’t
"But you can leave."