CharmaineLouise Books — New Subscribers Sneak Peek!
CharmaineLouise Books — New Subscribers Sneak Peek!
Glitzy. Glamorous. Steamy.
The First Trilogy in STEELE International, Inc. - Jackson Corporation A Billionaires Romance Series Crossover:
Read on for your New Subscriber Sneak Peek of the prologue for Tempt My Desires Lachlan & Haley Part I. The Alpha Dom Billionaire and his best friend's kid sister fight temptation in the start of their sizzling off-limits romance trilogy. Click here to order your copy today from Amazon.
Enjoy! xoxo Charmaine Louise
13 Years Ago — Southampton Village, NY
Haley — 16
“Oh hi, Malcolm!”
“Hey there, Harris!”
“Hello to you guys, too!!”
Shall I hurl now or later?
Cue the biggest eye roll in history!
If I’d known my friends would go gaga over my older brothers and my cousins, I would’ve told the girls we’d hang out at one of their beach houses instead of at mine. Give me a freaking break already…
Eyes batting; duck lips in full effect; cheeks flushed; bouncing on their blankets with uncontainable excitement.
Is this what I have to look forward to all summer???
Gag. Gag. Gag some more. Did I say… gag (all caps)?!
“Uh, hi, girls,” Sebastian says followed by similarly surprised greetings from the rest of the boys as they stride past in various board shorts, fit physiques on blast.
My eldest brother tosses the football to Roger—my third older brother after Malcolm—then ruffles my jet black, mid-back-length hair that matches the rest of my siblings. Our signature gray eyes—in me are soulful, set in my heart-shaped face with cheeks that display dimples when I smile or laugh—shine with brotherly affection.
“Hey, little sis. Where’s your one-piece?” Sebastian asks with a frown at my new hot pink, triangle string bikini. “What’s with theses bits of material, huh?”
Before I can respond, my fraternal twin chimes in.
“Oh, she went shopping the other day, Baz,” Harris says with a smirk. “Who are you trying to impress, little Haley?”
I scowl in consternation at both of them. But once again, I’m cut off before I can even open my mouth.
“Leave her alone, Harris. I think you look nice, Haley. Who says you have to follow the rules?” Malcolm demands, glaring at Baz.
I smile at my rebel brother Malcolm, also known as The Enforcer.
He and Baz used to go at it all the time. Malcolm hated they resembled one another from their muscular six-feet-four-inch frames to the stubble on their chins and their dominant personalities. Plus Malcolm felt he had to follow in our eldest brother’s footsteps, being a year younger and the second son. At twenty-three and twenty-two, many people confuse them or assume they’re twins. Not good at all.
I know how Malcolm feels since I’m the youngest of the Steele clan at sixteen. The baby of the family, as Harris likes to point out since he was born a few minutes before me. We are the double surprise for our parents, who had not planned on having more children. Then a twofer to boot. Roger is three years older and had been the baby of the family until Harris and I popped up.
“Shall we play football or bug Haley?” Roger asks, tossing the ball back to Baz as he winks at me.
Roger The Responsible takes his role as the middle child seriously. We can always depend on him to keep peace and order under his intense gaze.
I wink back at my savior, but swallow my words around the nervous butterflies that fill my belly suddenly.
“Yeah, leave Baby Girl alone, Baz, and get ready to have your ass handed to you, cuz!”
O… M… G! Lachlan!
The second oldest of the Jackson clan at twenty—he’s two years younger than their eldest sibling Lydie—and Baz’s best friend.
My heart skips a beat when he flashes his movie-star smile at me. Everyone says he resembles Cary Grant with his rugged masculinity and gorgeous looks.
His fit, six-foot-four-inch well-formed frame topped by a face so incredible it takes your breath away. Blazing green eyes lock in on you as your gaze takes in his thick, dark brown hair slicked back from his chiseled cheekbones and strong jawline. The cleft chin adds to his heartthrob persona.
“Screw you, Lach! You are going down, man!” Malcolm jeers.
Can Lachlan go down on me?
Oops, what??? Where the heck did that thought come from, Haley Steele! I admonish myself as a hot, crimson flush spreads from my hairline to the tops of my newly developed breasts. I duck my head to avoid my brothers noticing my reaction to Lachlan—especially Baz.
“Yeah, right, Malcolm! We’ll see about that, cuz!” Lucien retorts as he snatches the ball from Baz and tosses it to his younger brother Laurent, who laughs and shoulders past Harris.
They’re the third and fourth of the Jackson siblings at nineteen and sixteen and best friends with Malcolm and Harris, respectively. And just like Lachlan, they share the Jackson family traits of emerald green eyes, dark brown hair, and six-plus feet in height.
I hear the girls whispering about his hint of a Scottish accent—He’s so James Bond, OMG!!!—and cover up a gag with a cough. An unstoppable eye roll happens behind my glasses, though. I push them up the bridge of my nose.
Yeah, our cousins spend most of the year—and their lives—in Scotland where their family’s company is based in Aberdeen at the Jackson Town House. Like the Steeles, they have a multigenerational, multibillion-dollar company. Jackson Corporation’s repertoire is fine dining, distilleries, and vineyards worldwide. Their Irish and Scottish family created the finest single malt Scotch Whiskey and became billionaires years ago.
STEELE International, Inc. is my family’s luxury real estate development and management corporation based in New York City in The STEELE Tower with offices and properties around the globe. The Tower is also our family’s residence on the top three floors of the fifty-seven-story building. Morgan, our father, is the CEO and Chairman of the Board. In time, each of us will take on a leadership role within the company. For now, we intern during our school breaks to learn our family’s business from the ground up.
Our mother Michelle—known by friends as Shelley—insists we do more than as she calls it “lounge around the pool working on our tans” in Southampton Village during the summers. As the head of STEELE Foundation, she contributes through our philanthropic arm that builds and manages attractive, affordable housing for urban, lower-income families. My siblings and I help to construct some properties, too.
She and her best friend Lucinda—aka Lucie and the Jackson Matriarch—spent most of their adult lives together, forming a closer bond than they have with their blood siblings and relatives. Incredibly, our mothers met our fathers while working as a shopgirl in a STEELE retail space and as a bartender in one of the Jackson pubs. Both families became super close even without sharing DNA. Hence our cousin relationship and Aunt Lucie and Uncle Connor.
Not that I desire for Lachlan to be my cuz or for him to consider me a Baby Girl…
While my brothers and I are at our family’s private beachfront compound in the Hamptons, our cousins came over from Aberdeen for the last half of the summer. They’ll intern at Jackson Corporation’s New York City offices while we’re at STEELE International. Aunt Lucie uses the same playbook as our mother.
Baz and Malcolm and Roger are on break from Harvard University Business School and Harvard University, respectively. Harris and I are still in high school at Collegiate School and its sister school, The Brearley School. They’re all the Steele family’s legacy schools.
Lydie starts her first year at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford in the fall. Lachlan is in his third year and Lucien in his second at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford. Laurent attends Gordonstoun School. All are the Jackson family’s legacy schools.
Tradition ranks high for our families.
“Haley, who is that fine specimen of a man?!”
My best friend Natasha Bond’s question and nudge draws me from my musings.
I sigh inwardly and plaster on a smile before I glance over at her.
She’s all gorgeous face, long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and willowy figure compared to my only now forming curves and gawky self. She’s tall like me, more so since she’s two years older at eighteen and not from my genetics. At first it shocked me the most popular girl at school wanted to be friends with me this past year. Oddly enough, others started asking me to hang out for lunch or sleepovers. I’d always been a bit of a loner, so it took me a moment to get used to their constant attention.
“Which one?” I ask with a hint of sarcasm.
My tone goes over Natasha’s head.
Did I mention she’s not the brightest lightbulb in the box…?
She elbows me with a giggle, and her big boobs almost pop out of her minuscule bikini top—I went with her shopping for my new bathing suits.
“The movie star one with the sexy Scottish accent, that’s who!” She giggles as she tilts her chin towards the boys playing near the surf.
Could this situation get any worse?!
I choose to ignore her question—rude, yes, but oh well—and rise to get a bottled water from the cooler.
Is Natasha serious with me right now?!
I uncap the bottle and let my gaze drift from my brothers and cousins—including my man Lachlan—to my friends, who whisper amongst themselves as they point at the sweaty boys and giggle.
With a harrumph, I gulp down half of the bottle.
It’s just not fair Lachlan only sees me as a baby girl and not someone he’s attracted to, like he’s eyeballing Natasha. She’s grinning at him all coy like as she adjusts her breasts in her bikini top.
Why can’t she back up off of him?!
Since I was little, I used to follow Baz and Lachlan around like a little stray puppy, just wanting to be around my eldest brother, who I’ve always admired. Until recently when I realized I wasn’t just following them to see what they were up to, rather to be near to Lachlan as much as possible. When he returned this summer, something just clicked inside of me. Suddenly, I wanted him to pay attention to me as more than his little cousin or Baby Girl.
I even picked out this bikini in hopes he’d see my new curves and want me.
Is it too much to ask for???
Lachlan — 20
Even while we play football, my gaze keeps going to the sexy as fuck blonde who all but drops her top for me. Baz sacked me good a minute ago when her feminine wiles distracted me, and I ended up on my ass in the sand.
It’s not like I don’t get laid whenever I want. Hell, girls—and women I might add—throw themselves at me. A Jackson male with billions in the bank and a more than willing ten-inch cock. Not that I’m interested in settling down with one female at the moment. No, ma’am!
Like my father Connor tells us, “Live life to the fullest, boys. But do not bring home any unexpected bundles…”
Yeah, not something he says to our eldest sibling, Lydie. He’s never hidden his intention to marry her off to improve Jackson Corporation’s business with some type of alliance. Can you say old-fashioned?
Even though Lydie is older than me and should be the heir to the family’s business, our father wants me to take over when he retires. My loyalty lies with my sister. So, we’ll see…
But this bird here.
No question. I would shag her in a heartbeat.
But she’s Haley’s friend, so she can’t be of age despite her banging body.
“Pay attention, Lach You dolt!!”
Laurent’s fierce growl and shove to my chest returns me to the football game at hand. Right.
“Okay, damn!” I retort, wiping the sand from my hands.
We play some more, and I remain focused despite the wolf whistles from our impromptu cheerleading squad. The Jackson clan wins, and we do a victory dance before both teams dive into the cool Atlantic Ocean.
When I come up for air, the blonde appears and wraps her arms and legs around me like a starfish.
“I knew you’d win!” She exclaims as she covers my mouth with her full lips in a passionate, no-holds-barred kiss.
I cup her ass and kiss her silly. Not once do I hide the burgeoning erection of my thick cock from her eager, hot snatch. Nor does she try to deny me access to her greedy core. Her hips pump to their own beat.
It’s good being a Jackson.
I tangle my tongue with hers as my hands caress her willing body.
“Damn, Lach. Is she even legal?”
Roger’s question pulls my mouth from devouring the blonde’s.
Damn, is she? I wonder.
She giggles and nips at my ear.
“I’m eighteen. No need to worry,” she pants, breathless from my domineering kiss.
When she whispers she’s on the pill, my cock twitches beneath the water.
“Um, Natasha. We need to go to the deck. It’s time for lunch.”
The sound of Haley’s soft voice makes me wince. I release the blonde and move away from her guiltily.
What is it about my youngest cousin that makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong or hurting her in some way?
To see Lachlan kiss Natasha makes me physically ill. I have to do something to stop them from going further. Or I really will hurl all over the sand.
“Um, Natasha. We need to go to the deck. It’s time for lunch,” I say lamely from a distance, praying he’ll let her go.
As though she’s a live wire, Lachlan releases Natasha quickly. She tries to cling to him. But he swims away without a backwards glance at either of us.
The butterflies in my stomach sink.
“What, Haley?!” Natasha demands angrily as she storms towards me.
I stare at her with my mouth agape.
“Just because you can’t have them doesn’t mean we don’t want a chance to be with them!” Natasha exclaims in a loud whisper as she approaches me. “Did you really think we were hanging out with you to be friends?! You’re some tech nerd who’s boring AF! We knew you have the hottest brothers. And now cousins too? Give us a break for wanting access to them!”
Now my mouth drops to the sand, and my eyes fill with tears behind my glasses.
I should have known it was too good to be true.
Why would the It girls of Brearley want to hang out with me—the geek—all of a sudden?
I’ve been friendly with girls at school, but not really friends. I had hoped to have a real best friend at last. I mean, Lydie is nice to me and all, treats me like her little sister since we’re united by the abundance of testosterone around us. But she’s so much older and always focused on acing her exams and work at Jackson. We don’t spend a lot of time together.
But I guess she’s better than this bunch of pseudo-friends…
“Well, you can’t cock block us!” Natasha shrills when she stands before me, and the other girls echo her sentiment.
I take a breath to calm myself before I lose all cool points.
“Well, then go!” I retort. “I don’t need friends like you, anyway!”
The girls glare at me, then gather their things and leave in a huff.
Natasha’s icy blue stare sends chills down my spine. But I glare gray shards of molten platinum at her until she grabs her things and stomps away.
My stomach lurches, and I rush from the beach to my bedroom suite. I’ve had enough for one day.
“Okay, let’s go now before Malcolm and Roger notice and want to tag along. I need a drink and to get laid pronto.”
Baz says before we creep out of his bedroom suite to go to a party.
We make it out of his rooms and down the dimly lit hallway past his parent’s wing.
Baz and I whirl around to find Haley sprawled out on the floor. A crystal vase shattered beside her.
Unbeknownst to us, Haley—who is forever tagging along with us since she was a kid—must have heard us when we passed her set of rooms. This time, it appears she tripped on the rug right outside of their parents’ bedroom and knocked the vase down when she reached for the table to catch herself.
“Haley? What the hell?!” Baz whisper shouts.
“Are you all right?” I ask, concerned.
When she turns her heart-shaped face up to me, tears shimmer in her platinum gray eyes behind her glasses. Her cute dimples disappear on her flushed cheeks.
As her chin wobbles, I crouch in front of her and cup her face. My hand tingles from the contact.
“Hey, Baby Girl, don’t cry,” I murmur as I stroke her cheek with my thumb. “It’s okay.”
Baz nudges me out of the way and reaches for her. His shocked anger replaced by his big brother concern.
“Haley, are you hurt? Did the glass cut you?” He asks as he checks her out.
“What’s going on?”
We jolt at the commanding voice of Uncle Morgan and turn to face the Steele Patriarch.
Aunt Shelley hurries past him and shoos Baz and me away.
Haley’s cries must have woken them.
As Uncle Morgan reprimands Baz and me, my eyes flick to Haley, who’s being led to her rooms by Aunt Shelley. As they walk away, Haley peeks at me over her shoulder.
My heart skips a beat, and I have a sudden urge to care for her, to protect her.
I shake my head, and I glance away, confused by my reaction.
Baz and I decide to forgo the party. Instead, we hang out at the bar and play pool on their mansion’s entertainment level.
“Ha! You lost, again, Lach,” Baz guffaws as he takes a sip of his Jackson Special Blend Scotch.
Yeah, my head isn’t in the game. It’s still churning over the emotions Haley brought out in me earlier. I shake it again and sigh as I take a drink from my crystal snifter.
“What the fuck’s eating you, cuz?” Baz asks.
I shrug, then plow ahead despite a niggling not to draw attention to my predicament.
“Doesn’t it bother you Haley could’ve cut herself?” I ask in return.
Baz’s eyebrows lift, and his eyes narrow on me. They turn a stormy gray. Carefully, he places his snifter on the ledge of the pool table.
“What do you mean, Lachlan?” He asks, still eyeing me.
I give zero fucks he’s going all Alpha male on me. I’m one too.
“You did not appear overly concerned for Haley, Sebastian,” I reply as I place my snifter down.
“Oh, so you think you can take care of Haley better than me?! She’s my little sister. I know what’s best for her, Lachlan, not you!” He retorts, as his face flushes in anger.
I don’t back down. Something urges me to defend Haley even over her eldest brother who I know truly loves her as he does all of his siblings. Hell, he prides himself on being their third parent.
But again, my mind is in a confused state.
“Yes, I can! She’s my—”
She’s my what? Not my little sister. And from the way my heart stuttered as her soulful gray eyes stared up at me—touching something deep inside of me—she’s not just my cousin anymore, either.
As I think more on it, she’s been acting differently towards me all summer, not like her usual self over the holidays and last summer. More shy; averts her eyes when our gazes meet; lingers near me with a faraway look on her face. It makes me wonder.
Haley cannot feel the same. Can she?
But she is Baz’s little sister—my best friend’s little sister. And I cannot have her. No matter what deep part of me she’s tapped into all of a sudden. No matter what I sense from her. Besides, she’s only a sixteen-year-old girl, and I’m twenty-year-old man.
I lift my face towards the ceiling and blow out a frustrated breath.
“Haley is your what, Lachlan?”
Baz’s menacing tone draws me from my errant musings.
“My youngest cousin who needs to be more careful, cuz,” I answer, schooling my face into a stoic expression.
Baz scans my face for any sign of deceit. None found, he nods and racks the balls.
“Ready to lose again, cuz?” He taunts with a smirk.
I return his smirk with one of my own and take a grateful sip of my Scotch.
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