Page 12 of An Amazon Affair

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“Stirred or—”


“Gin or vodka?”


“Olives or a twist?”


“Dirty, or...”

“Filthy,” I snarl, furious with his knowing looks and double entendres.

Dismissing him, I twist back around to find an old couple Lambada-ing toward me. I quickly twist back to Rio, who grins at me as he pours a shot of Tito’s into a shaker.Shit.I twist back to find the Lambada couple has arrived.

“Hey, there!” says the woman, red-cheeked and cheerful.

She’s about sixty and wears a tropical-printed short sleeve shirt with ill-fitting khaki cargo shorts that pull across her stomach.


“You’re the single American girl,” remarks her husband, who’s mostly bald and speaks with a midwestern American accent.

But his smile is kind.

I take a deep breath and let it go slowly.

“That’s right. I am.”

“Marnie and Harvey Schlemmer,” says the woman, still in a dance stance with her husband. “From Athens, Ohio.”

“Yara Marino,” I say, “from New York, New York.”

“The Big Apple!” exclaims Harvey, his forehead glistening with sweat. “Let’s all have some Appletinis, huh?”

“I’ve just ordered a regular martini.”

Harvey winks at me. “Next round, then.”

He steers Marnie back toward the dance floor, waving at me over her shoulder.

“They’re nice people,” says Rio, placing my drink on a cocktail napkin and sliding it to me.

“I’m sure.”

“Most of the people on this cruise are older couples, like them.”

I take a sip of my drink. It’s cold and briny and perfect.(Damn him.)

“You know this song? The Lambada?”

I nod. “Know it and loathe it.”

“Oh, come on,” he says, cocking his head to the side. “How can you hate the Lambada? It’s a national treasure. I bet you know the words.”

“I assure you, I don’t,” I tell him, though I could probably sing along phonetically, even if I didn’t know what the words meant. “You don’t have to talk to me. I know you don’t—”

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