‘Good evening, Lord. I'd ask you how it's hanging, but I guess I can see the answer for myself.' A gurgle of laughter accompanied the comment. ‘Now that's what I call a resurrection.'
Jake jerked his head up and stumbled backwards, catching his balance at the last moment. The open mobile phone in his hand forgotten, he propped his fists on his hips and glared across at the person standing on the back patio. ‘Oi, what the hell do you think you're doing?'
Damn kids . It was a good thing he'd moved in today rather than wait until the decorating was finished. Otherwise, God only knows what he would have found. Probably a whole group of teenagers shacking up in his mother's new home.
‘Not exactly what I'd expect from a fine, upstanding banker,' another voice, definitely female, commented, although a flowering shrub on the edge of the patio hid the person from view.
‘Oh, I don't know.' The owner of the first voice tilted her head on one side and stared across at him. ‘Hmm, it is rather…impressive, and it's definitely upstanding. Well, sort of. Wonder how much incentive it'd need to snap to attention.'
Jake shook his head. What the hell were they going on about? ‘This is private property.' For the moment, anyway . ‘You're trespassing,' he ground out through clenched teeth.
‘If that's the case, what are you doing here?' The female hooked her fingers into the top of the skimpy hipster shorts she had on and sauntered towards the edge of the patio. Cocky was how he would have described the attitude she projected. ‘You're a bit old for squatting, aren't you?'
‘Old? Old ? I'll have you know…' Jake let the words peter out. He gritted his teeth and tried to get his thoughts in order. Christ, he was arguing with a kid. She couldn't have been much more than 16, 17.
No more than five foot two, maybe five three at most, the interloper took the single step down from the patio and strutted over to him, a smile plastered on her face. A tight T-shirt showed off a decent set of breasts — at least a mouthful — and hugged a slender waist.
She'd tied her blonde hair up in pigtails either side of an elfin face, the features delicate, but with a hint of strength in the tapered jaw. Sensual lips curved into an enticing grin that invited you to share the moment with her, as if she held a secret that she just knew you'd enjoy.
Heat swept through him and his lower body tightened in reaction. Jesus, Drew wasn't far off the mark. He needed to get a life. Here he was, fantasising about a freakin' teenager, for crying out loud. Hell, he'd turned into a degenerate. Maybe his mother and brothers were right. All work and no play makes Jake a dull boy .
Or at least a twisted pervert.
‘I wish you kids would learn some decency instead of turning up where you're not welcome. You know you're breaking the law right now, don't you?'
‘Decency, Lord?' As she strutted along the path that led to the spa, she let loose with a hearty burst of laughter. ‘You have the balls to lecture me about decency and you're standing there starkers? Oh, that's priceless.'
With a cheeky grin, she allowed her gaze to track downwards. ‘And talking about balls — '
‘Frickin' hell.' Jake looked down and suddenly remembered what he'd been about to do before she'd arrived. He spun around and jumped down into the spa behind him, submerging himself up to his neck. Water splashed in a wide arc and his little trespasser bore the brunt of it.
Heat flared in his face and he had no doubt he glowed like a neon sign. A red one. Crap, how the hell could he have forgotten he was bare-assed naked?
‘And it's Mr Lord to you,' he grumbled to try to cover his embarrassment.
Shit, that wasn't the only thing he should cover. He hadn't turned the jets on and he'd bet his last dollar his body was visible through the crystal-clear water.
Guess he should be grateful the spa had been set into the ground instead of one of those free-standing ones. Otherwise, he would have done himself an injury climbing up to get into it.
The little sprite pranced over and dropped to her knees on the grass that ringed the spa. She reached over the coping and dabbled her fingers in the water. For a moment, he was distracted and then he remembered the totally naked bit and thrust his hands down to cover his lower body.
A small, hard object connected with the tip of what had grown to be a respectable erection. He winced in reaction. Lifting one hand, he stared at the drowned mobile phone. Oh, hell.
‘Son, you should know phones don't work well in water. Who were you talking to anyway?'
Now that was a voice he knew. He shook his head. Trust his mother to turn up right now. And here he'd thought things couldn't get any worse.
He ground his teeth and slapped his hand to his forehead. Problem was, he still clutched the dead phone in his fist. Head, meet hard object. Hard object, this is head .
Shame it wasn't a hard head. With a hastily bitten-off curse, he snapped the phone closed and tossed it over the side of the spa before rubbing at the resultant lump on his forehead.
By now, his mother had collected the other woman from the patio and waddled down to join the teenager by the spa. Although, now he looked closer at said teenager, maybe she wasn't as young as he'd thought.
He frowned. For a moment, he almost thought he knew her. Had he met her before? He shook his head. Nah, not possible.
‘Ah, Zoe? I'd be careful playing in the water if I were you.' His mother gave a little giggle. ‘You never know what you might catch.'
Jake closed his eyes and waited. He never knew what his mother would come out with next. Talk about foot in mouth disease. All she did was open her mouth long enough to change feet. His brothers and he were used to it by now, but it was damned embarrassing at times.
‘Promises, promises.' The female — Zoe? — chuckled and dragged her fingers through the water. ‘Hey, I might find me a little treasure if I keep fishing.'
‘Oh no, dear. The Lord men are never little. Far from it. They're all rather well-hung.'