I came down a flight of stairs, wondering briefly where my mother was, when I saw a sign for the gym. Curious, I decided to go check it out and see what sort of facilities were available, since maybe I’d start jogging or something. If there were treadmills, I just might use them, since I had nothing else to do.
As I came around the corner and pushed through the frosted glass door, I nearly stumbled directly into someone. I stepped backwards, surprised, and put my hands up in apology.
“I’m so sorry,” I blurted out.
“It’s very okay.”
I stopped moving and got a good look at the man I had almost directly smashed into. Carter grinned back at me, dripping with sweat, shirtless and with earbuds in his ears.
He cocked his head and took the buds from his ears. He wore only a pair of gray running shorts and had his shirt casually tossed onto a nearby bench. His ripped body was covered in tattoos and dripping with sweat, and he was breathing heavily like he just finished a workout. I tired not to stare at him but I couldn’t help myself. There was a reason that Carter was such a notorious playboy: the man was absolutely gorgeous.
I felt excitement pooling between my legs the second I got a good look at his chiseled chest, and I hated myself for it. I didn’t want to be some vapid, boring girl that got all wet at the first glimpse of some half-naked, sweaty bad boy, but my god, he was too gorgeous. I couldn’t help myself.
“There you are,” he said. “I’m glad I almost bumped into you.”
“I was just looking around,” I said.
“How’s the room?”
“It’s not a room. It’s an entire house.”
He grinned at me. “I told you I’d give you an entire wing.”
“I didn’t think you’d actually do it.”
“I want you to be comfortable.” He shrugged. “I know you hate this arrangement, so I want to do my best to ease that for you.”
“That’s actually nice of you,” I said, surprised.
“Despite what you may think, I am very fond of your mother. I want her to be happy, and you to be happy, even if this marriage thing isn’t for real.”
“Well, thanks, Carter.”
“How are you finding the place so far?”
He nodded, smiling devilishly. “I know it’s a little absurd. I just can’t help it. Do you think it’s too big?”
“I guess there’s no such thing as too big.”
The smile got larger and I was starting to think we weren’t talking about his home anymore.
“I’d love to show you around if you’re not busy,” he said.
“You don’t have to do that.”
“Sure I do. Come on.”
He walked down the hall and I lingered there a second, holding the door open, wanting to run the other way. Instead, I managed to pull myself after him, trying not to stare at the muscles in his back. I heard the gym door swing closed as I hurried to catch up to him.
“That was the gym, obviously,” he said. “Up here is the robotics lab.”