Chapter 2. Unexpected Visitor
Standing in front of us, was possibly the most gorgeous guy I’d ever seen. I was pretty sure he noticed the little bit of drool which settled on the corner of my lips.
He was tall, and even though he was lean, the guy had muscles protruding from his white shirt which hugged perfectly around his form, and when I noticed Gunner staring back at me, I turned my head to avoid the gaze from his intense blue eyes.
“So, right now you can get on the bus and we’ll drive you to the hotel,” Gunner continued. “Once we check in, you can relax because we start our tour bright and early tomorrow morning.”
Lorelei leaned in and whispered. “That man is sex on an ice cream stick covered in delicious chocolate gooey goodness with sprinkles. Can you imagine him being the tour guide for our entire holiday?” she muttered. “We’re not going to do much sightseeing; I can tell you that.”
I couldn’t help but smile and hoped Gunner hadn’t heard her compliment. Or at least her attempt at one.
She wasn’t wrong though. And as incredible as Gunner appeared, my mind still managed to wonder back to work. He wasn’t the only reason I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my holiday.
“Okay, ladies. We’re waiting on a few more people before we can leave. You can take your seats and get comfortable.”
I’d like to sit on your lap---wait. No. No. No. Stop it, Jaz.
We stepped on the bus, but I couldn’t help but glance back at Gunner. A slow smile spread on his lips which caused a flood of red hue to pool on my already flushed cheeks.
Lorelei and I made our way towards the back where we sat down and whispered between ourselves for a few minutes, before the resounding giggles of two girls pulled us from our private chat.
“God, have you seen our tour guide?” one of them beamed. Her blonde hair tied up in a messy bun, yet somehow looked as though it was done professionally. “I can’t wait to get him back to my room.”
“You’re just going to have to wait in line,” Lorelei joked.
“Oh, it’s on.”
The girls introduced themselves as Ava and Marissa.
“So, are you going to visit any places after Italy?” Ava asked.
“I’m hoping to go to the Greek islands for a few nights before we head back, but it all depends on this one.” Lorelei pointed at me.
I looked at her with a slight clench of my jaw. “I already told you, I might not be able to. It depends on how things go at work.”
“You’d be crazy not to want to go,” Lorelei said.
The Greek islands looked magnificent, but the idea of being away from work for so long ignited the anxiety in me, because I liked to be in control in my personal and work life.
Our attention soon shifted towards Gunner when he spoke. “Okay, everyone. We’re just about to leave. Our driver here, Tank, will take us to the hotel to check in for the night.” Tank nodded and smiled before Gunner continued. “All of your meals are included on this trip, so you only need to bring extra snacks if you want to. We leave here at 7am tomorrow, so breakfast will be at 6.”
Lorelei and the two girls grumbled in protest the moment Gunner mentioned the time they clearly didn’t expect. I was used to getting up early and staying up late for work. My body clock could adjust to anything.
Tank roared the engine and drove to the hotel, while Gunner walked up the bus to sit and talk to the other people on tour, finally making his way to the back.
“Hi, ladies. Are you looking forward to this trip?”
“With you as our tour guide how can we not?” Ava flirted.
I could already tell the type of girl Ava was. She eluded a confidence I could never seem to find in myself. She was gorgeous, so I could see why Gunner would be taken by her beauty.
“Well, I’m not the reason why any of you are here,” Gunner said. “I want to make sure you check out the sights you paid for.”
Gunner’s blue eyes found mine. “How about you? What made you come to Italy?”
“Well, I’m only here because my friend forced me to come.”
Gunner laughed at my bluntness, which I was surprised came out of my mouth, nervously of course.
“I know she may have forced you, Jasmine, but hopefully you’ll enjoy yourself so much, you’ll never want to leave.”
How the hell did he know my name?
“I guess we’ll see,” I replied, turning my head away to avoid him again. As much as I wanted to talk to Gunner, there was a hesitation deep within my blood which prevented me from doing what I craved.
“She’s joking,” Lorelei said. “We’ve paid a lot of money for this trip. I’ll make sure she enjoys herself.”
“That’s good to hear,” Gunner smiled. “There’s a lot of beauty in Italy. It would be a shame to miss any of it.”
Absentmindedly, I glanced back up and even though Gunner was talking to Lorelei, his eyes were fixated on mine.
And they were perfect.
Gunner finally stood, but Ava stopped him from leaving. “So, is Gunner your real name or is that a nickname someone gave you?”
“It’s my real name.”
“Can I call you something else?” she added.
God, she doesn’t give up.
“Nope,” he said bluntly, shaking his head. “Gunner is what I prefer.”
My gaze shifted outside the dirty window of the bus as I didn’t want to hear Ava’s attempts at flirting with the sexy tour guide, serving as another reminder that I was hopeless at that sort of thing, and completely inexperienced.
He was gorgeous. She was gorgeous. There was no way he’d ever be interested in someone like me.
When Gunner finally sat down with Tank, every so often from my peripheral vision, I notice him sneak glimpses in my direction.
Maybe he was interested in Ava after all.
Okay, guys,” The tour guide smiled as we stepped off the bus. “We’re going to head inside and check into your allocated rooms which you initially booked. I know some of you will be bunking together.”
Guest relations handed us our keys after we provided our identification. No matter how much Lorelei and I loved each other, we both wanted to make sure we had some privacy but remained close with each other for security. So, we insisted on adjoining rooms.
Lorelei shifted her attention to me. “It looks like you and I are the only ones not sharing bed space.”
“I know,” I replied. “Though I doubt Gunner and Tank will want to share one.”
“Speaking of Gunner,” Lorelei smiled, leaning in with a bare whisper. “I noticed him checking you out on the bus.”
“I doubt it. He was probably looking at Ava.”
Lorelei disagreed. “He shut her down pretty quick. There was no way he was checking her out. Believe me. I know these things.”
I peeked down at myself before rolling my eyes. “Look at me compared to Ava. She’s stunning.”
“Are you kidding me, Jas?” Lorelei gasped. “You’re really beautiful. You just need to open up more to the endless possibilities.”
Endless possibilities of dates? Right. When I could barely get one.
“Okay, everyone,” Gunner spoke out, pulling Lorelei and me from our sneaky chat which was mostly about him. “You can head to your rooms now. Remember we need to meet for breakfast at 6 in the morning. That will give us plenty of time to eat and make our way to the tour bus ready to check out the sights.”
“Thanks, Gunner,” Ava beamed. “So, if there is anything we need in the middle of the night, do we just go to your room?”
Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
“No, Ava. If there are any issues, please contact hotel reception. They can get in contact with me directly.”
Ava’s desperation filled the lobby, and I kept my eye roll to myself, and of course Lorelei who smiled when she noticed it.
“Goodnight, everyone,” Gunner said, then locking eyes with my own. “Goodnight, Jasmine.”
I flushed, said my farewell, and then Lorelei and I made our way to our rooms.
As I stepped inside, I was impressed by its simplicity, yet cleanliness of the space. Perfect for my taste.
After placing my luggage down, I had a quick shower and got dressed ready for bed. As soon as I tucked beneath the covers, my mind redirected to work, and the mess I would probably have to go back to. So, I took out my phone, checked my emails and sorted a few things before I allowed myself the pleasure of falling asleep.
The consistent pounding on my door caused me to spring up from my mattress. I flung the blanket off my bed and snatched my robe to check who the hell would visit me late at night.
As soon as the door opened, my mouth gaped wide. “What are you doing here?”