The closet door opened, inch by inch, hinges creaking. A long, tanned arm reached out, and pink-tipped fingers grasped the shoe’s strap.
“Something wrong?” Vincent stepped onto the boat and Monty spun around.
“No. I have this inner ear condition.” He pretended to sway. “I move too fast and I get all... Be right back.” He hurried down the ladder just as the closet door closed, arm and shoe out of sight.
His mind raced as he feigned searching for his stowaway. He opened doors, slammed them shut, all the while asking himself what he was going to do about the woman in his closet. Clearly she didn’t want to go with Vincent and Richard. She knew they were here yet remained hidden. Having met the guys, Monty could understand her reticence. He could at least play along with her for a while. Maybe long enough for her to make a real getaway.
He rapped his knuckles on the closet door as he passed and thought he heard a yelp, then he returned up the stairs.
“Sorry. I didn’t see her.” Not a lie. He hadn’t seen—well, at least not all of her. “You sure they said my boat?”
“They did.” Richard bolted forward again, but Vincent stopped him with a hand on his chest.
“She’s not here, Richard,” Monty said, erasing all humor from his voice. “Unless you plan on calling me a liar and having the police conduct a legal search, I suggest you get off my property.”
“It’s fine. It’s fine,” Vincent repeated when Richard started to argue. “She can’t have gotten out of the club without someone seeing her. She’s here somewhere. We’ll just have to look elsewhere.” He faced Monty. “Thank you for checking. If you do see her—”
“I’ll send up a flare.” Monty shoved his hands in his back pockets and smirked at Richard. Depriving him of even a bit of triumph felt like an accomplishment.
Monty waited calmly, watching as the men retreated and disappeared into the yacht club. Only when he was sure no one was watching did he let out the breath he’d been holding and head to the cabin below.
This time he didn’t spare a knock, but yanked open the closet door, only to stare into the most stunning brown eyes he’d ever seen in his life. She stared back at him, unblinking, defiance shining as she struggled to keep hold of her monstrous dress and one sparkly shoe.
“Sienna Fairchild, I assume? Monty Bettencourt.” He bowed slightly and held out his hand. “Welcome aboard.”