Page 9 of Suited for Love

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Bishop whistles. “Nice cast.”

We sit in amiable silence and watch the poles for any movement. Every now and then, we reel in the lines to make sure the hooks and bait are still there. The pelicans swoop down to hunt for breakfast. They're far more successful in their fishing attempts than we are, flapping their wings to soar into the sky once they catch their meal.

Bishop glances at his watch and swears. "Lost track of time. Court is in less than an hour. Can you haul the gear back for me?"

"Will do. With you gone, maybe the fish will start biting."

The sun is high enough in the sky to warm my skin. I shed my hoodie and kick back in my chair. The breeze off the ocean is a bit nippy, but it's growing warmer every day. In just a couple of weeks, it'll be warm enough to swim. A couple of weeks after that and the summer tourists will start to arrive.

I spot a dolphin and follow it with my eyes as it swims down the beach.

Then I seeher.

She's a stranger, which isn't uncommon in the summer months, or even in winter, when bird enthusiasts flock to the island to see the shorebirds that migrate from the Arctic. But in April, it's unusual.

I've never been a romantic. And I don't believe in love at first sight. But when she spots the dolphin playing in the waves, her whole body responds with delight. She throws her head back in laughter, clapping her hands.

My heart literally skips a beat.

Who knew that was a real, physical reaction and not just a silly description used by poets?

I've scoffed at poets my whole life, but right now, I could write a Shakespearean sonnet.If only I knew what a Shakespearean sonnet was…

Maybe a limerick?

There was an old man by the sea

Not ancient, though. Just forty-three.

But when he saw her

It caused such a stir

That his heart skipped an entire beat.

Okay, so no poetry. But I have to saysomethingto her. Preferably something that won't make me sound like a blithering idiot.

When the dolphin dips out of sight, she starts walking in my direction again, dancing away from the water that washes over her feet with each crashing wave.

She's stunning. From her dazzling smile to her joyful exuberance to the way her billowing dress forms to the curves of her body when the wind catches it just right…

Get it together, man.

Clearing my throat, I pry my eyes away from her. Then I notice something she hasn't: she's about to run into one of Bishop's fishing lines.

Leaping out of my chair, I run toward her, waving my arms. "Watch out!"

She looks at me like I'm Freddy Kreuger come to life. I point to the fishing line, but it's nearly invisible in the sunlight. I mime reeling in a fish, but that doesn't work either. She backs away from me slowly before turning to run.

Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for, but at least she's moving away from the fishing line now.

I'm glad Bishop isn't here to witness this. He'd never let me live this down. It would become one of those "Remember that time when…" stories that get repeated at every cookout and bonfire.

My lips press into a line as I watch her run from me. Then she crumples to the sand—just in time for the remnants of a wave to wash over her and steal the bag she had draped over her shoulder.

I dash forward, attempting to reach her bag before it's lost to Davy Jones' Locker. Catching the strap with a toe, I yank it back from the greedy fingers of the sea.

Unfortunately, as it tumbled in the surf, the contents fell out.At least I rescued the bag. Maybe I'll score some points for that.