“I’d take you somewhere nice for dinner,” he says as he grabs a fistful of sand and lets it slip through his fingers. I shiver as I remember the incredible way those hands felt on my body. The hard way they were gripping my breasts, the desperate way he spread my legs before devouring me with his ravenous mouth, and the firmness of his fingertips on my hips as he slid into me. This afternoon was amazing and I’m hoping our first date will end in a similar fashion.
“Where?” I ask as I wrap my arms around his and look into his eyes, batting my eyelashes.
“Somewhere romantic,” he says as he grins at me. “Somewhere quiet with a nice view. A place where we can feel like it’s just us.”
I smile as I rest my cheek on his bicep and gaze out at the ocean. The sun is starting to set and the sky is putting on a colorful show. The ocean is sparkling a golden color as pink and purple hues splash across the vast sky.
I can feel my heart beating for this man as I watch a flock of birds flying in the distance. I’m falling hard for him. I think I’m already in love.
“We’d have a nice candlelight dinner,” he continues in a soft smooth voice. “You’d try to pay half of the check and I wouldn’t let you.”
I smile. “That sounds about right.”
“And then I’d take you for a nice walk around the old part of town and we’d get ice cream.”
“What flavor would you get?” I’m picturing it now and I want to know every detail. I can already imagine what he’s wearing—dark jeans, a white button-up shirt, and a brown sports coat. He’d be freshly shaven with his hair styled to the side. I moan at the sexy image.
“Probably maple crunch,” he says. “And you?”
I think about it for a second. “Can I try different flavors?”
He laughs. “Sure.”
“Then I’d try the cookies and cream, pistachio, and the butter pecan.”
“And what would you get?”
He laughs and I squeeze his arm tighter, loving the way his shoulders are shaking.
“What?” I say as I look up at him with a flirty look. “I’m a simple kind of girl.”
He gazes down at me with those devastating green eyes and my heart squeezes into a tight little ball. “There is nothing simple about you.”
“What makes you say that?” I ask, trying to tease a compliment or two out of him.
“Simple is uninteresting. It’s average. And you, my dear, are anything but uninteresting and average.”
I rest my blushing cheek back on his bicep as I stare at the ocean once again. The birds are gone, but there’s a new splash of orange streaking the sky to admire. There always seems to be something to catch your attention on this island.
I look at the gentle waves and my mind drifts back to landing in the water. The fear and the panic. It was so overwhelming. And then Blake was there beside me, guiding me through it, helping me to shore, saving me. I would have died without him.
Actually, I would be in the Cayman Islands eating in a restaurant right now without him, but I’m kind of glad to be here all the same.
I picture the plane at the bottom of the ocean filled with water. I can see the dead bodies floating around as little hermit crabs move in and fight over the new territory.
“What is it?” he whispers.
I take a deep breath as I steady my nerves. “Do you have anyone else to kill? Is that… over?”
His body stiffens. He grabs another handful of sand and lets it leak through his fingers as he stares at the spectacular sky.
I don’t know if I can be with someone who’s consumed with vengeance like that. I don’t know if I can handle all that worrying about him. I’d be sick with fear that he’d go and get himself killed or thrown in jail. It would be too much to handle. I’d be worried sick every second I’m not with him. I’d still do it to be with him, but it would be a lot.
“Salvatore Brambilla was the last name on my list,” he says as a calm peacefulness washes over his face.
“And how long was that list?”
He doesn’t want to answer.
“Blake?” He looks at me. “How long was the list?”
My jaw drops. My stomach churns. Eighteen men? He’s killed eighteen men?!
“Every single member of the crew who killed my father,” he says with long slow breaths. “Plus, the men above them who profited from his murder.”
Wow… My arm loosens around his as I turn back to the water.
“I would do it again in an instant,” he says with a firm resolve in his tone. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to protect my family.”