I didn’t expect her to come apologize last night. That showed maturity and also made my heart stop. After what I told her in the kitchen, I was so pumped, so filled with rage with myself for wanting her so badly that I decided to hole up in my bedroom and clear my head.
But seeing her only made my brain more fogged.
Of course she was right. She hijacked my birthday, and completely put me in a tough situation, where right and wrong collided like two rocks thrown in the air. Until all was left was small pieces on the ground, and it became impossible to distinguish one from the other.
When she said goodnight I closed the door, but hoped she’d come back. I was so frustrated that if she did, I’d send my last attempt at doing the right thing to hell, and welcome her in my arms. In my bed. All night long.
Thankfully though, that didn’t happen.
Best that way.
Now it’s a new bright morning.
I had a plan for today, which included snorkeling. This was supposed to be a fun day for me and Sylvia, but the memory of her is so distant. Feels like I’ve been here in this house with Riley for weeks.
What do I do? Do I just go sightseeing alone and wish her luck? I know she won’t find a place to stay easily. Besides, I feel responsible for her. She doesn’t speak the language, and what if she gets mugged? I can’t let anything bad happen to her. I would never forgive myself.
I pick one of the breakfast pastries the housekeeper left yesterday. They’repão doce, sweet soft bread with rasps of coconut and guava, and delicious as hell. Not as delicious as Riley would be, but I have to settle for this.
“Good morning,” she says, sashaying into the kitchen.
“Yeah.” She yawns. “I’ve been awake for an hour or so, just lying in bed.”
That image unfurls in my head, and I give myself a mental punch. “Eat something.”
She waves me off, blushing. “Nah, it’s okay. I’ll grab my stuff and walk around the island, and find a place to stay. You have been through enough.”
The idea of her just walking around with her belongings while she looks for a place to stay doesn’t sit well with me. She’ll stick out like a sore thumb. “Listen, Riley, I was thinking… if all you want is a couple of days to see everything, why don’t you stay here? There’s plenty of room, and it’ll be impossible for you to find a room without a reservation.”
She lifts her hand in polite refusal. “That’s generous, but I don’t want to give you any more trouble.”
“No trouble at all. It’s not generous, just pragmatic.” I know how to not mix things. I can do this, I repeat internally as if I’m about to face some MMA fighter instead of a five foot four woman with a smile so powerful, it has the power of bringing nations together. And a sexy body that can abolish civilizations.
She straightens her shoulders, and her gaze travels from me to the ceiling then back to me. “Oh. Okay. Then sure, I’d love to.”
“I have something arranged for today, snorkeling. If you want to come, you’re welcome to,” I say, the words parting from my mouth like they have a mind of their own. I invite her to an outing without much thinking, or any thinking. It’s one thing to offer her shelter, that’s the good Samaritan thing to do. Inviting her to spend the entire day by my side? That’s plain dumb. What the fuck just happened? I part my lips to withdraw my offer, but hesitate when she squeals, excitement crossing over her facial expression.
“Really? That sounds so fun.”
She bites her lower lip and then claps. “Thank you, Rhett. I promise I’ll behave. You won’t even know that I am there.”
I slap on a neutral smile. Not knowing she’s there? I seriously doubt it…
Two hours later,I am already second guessing my impulsive offer.
Here we are, snorkeling in clear ocean water, along with a few other tourists. I’m hearing some German and Italian. To be fair, the sound of the thump my heart makes every time I swim around her sends any other chatter to the background.
She’s wearing a bright pink two-piece. The bikini top is a couple of triangles that barely cover her breasts, and the bottom almost sent me to the emergency room. It’s small and a G-string. Her ass is out there, bare, a tiny piece of cloth almost disappearing between her cheeks. It’s even hotter than I imagined.
I must have been a masochist to have welcomed this kind of trouble in my home. But I couldn’t not do it. Now, I’m paying the price.
“This is so beautiful,” she says, popping her head out of the water. “Do you want to come?” she cocks her head in the lower direction, meaning to go under the water, but my perverted brain starts glitching when I hear those five words from her sexy mouth.