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When Grace meets Leo while enjoying a little un-honeymoon retaliation against her ex-fiancé, they become friends. No commitments, no ties. Except when she returns home, she can’t get the sexy marine biologist out of her head. Unfortunately, she’ll never see him again.
It was my first day in Bora Bora, and I didn’t know a soul. When I’d entered the beautiful hotel room this morning, complete with pink and red rose petals shaped into a heart in the middle of the bed, I’d sighed with regret, thinking I’d made a mistake by coming. I’d sucked in a breath and thanked the porter, slipping him a ten-dollar bill as he left. I’d stood over the three-by-five-foot, see-through glass panel in the floor in the middle of the room as a school of small, brightly colored fish swam by. So pretty. But realizing I was over water had made me a little nervous, and I’d begun counting the fish. “Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque, sei…” I hadn’t considered how it would feel to be sleeping in a room directly over the ocean. But not even counting in Italian had worked for me, so I stepped to the small bar and fridge, fully stocked with bottles of ready-made cocktails and small bottles of wine. Something Craig had paid extra for, I was certain, and right then, I was very grateful. Needing to settle my nerves, I’d grabbed a white bottle of something that said rum and coconut on it and opened it, poured some into one of the glasses, and sipped.
“Mmmm…yum.” I’d then walked to the sliding glass door to take a peek outside and instantly fell in love as the fear of the bungalow falling into the water left me immediately. The ocean was so beautiful, so blue. Across the inlet sat another island of hills covered by lush greenery. The deck over the water—small, but large enough for two lounge chairs—looked very inviting, and I couldn’t resist the urge to test one out.
So, now, here I sat, leaning back, stretching my feet out in front of me, instantly feeling relaxed. I pulled the skirt of my dress up to mid-thigh to allow the sun to hit my legs. Everything was beautiful. The buzz of my phone in my pocket startled me. I snatched it out and saw the reminder I’d set to text Oliver of my arrival. I sent him a quick note to let him know I’d arrived so he wouldn’t worry.
Then, resting back again, I glanced to the right, nothing but water and more lush, green hills—just as the brochure had promised. The bungalow next to mine on my left looked unoccupied. Not a soul here but me. I closed my eyes, inhaling the sweet scent of saltwater and fish, not feeling the least bit lonely. For the first time in about fifteen hours, I felt okay with my decision to come. After finishing the drink, I sighed quietly and then placed the book down on the small table beside me and closed my eyes. Within a few minutes, I’d drifted off to sleep.
I was rudely woken by a loud splash in the water very close to my deck, and I shrieked, sitting up with a jolt, searching the water for some sign of what the heck it had been.
“They do that every now and then,” a male voice to my left said with a chuckle.
Startled to hear another voice, especially male, I quickly turned my gaze toward the man. The glare of the sun in my eyes silhouetted his face. I glanced to the sky. I must have been asleep for a while. I had no idea what time it was, but the sun making its descent behind him told me that it must be nearing early evening. I tried to shield my eyes to see his face, but it just didn’t help much. “The barracudas,” he said, clarifying his statement when I didn’t respond. “They frequently jump out of the water.”
“Barracudas?” I tried not to sound alarmed or frightened. But the idea of flying barracudas freaked me out. And now, the thought of staying in this over-the-water bungalow sounded very risky. I couldn’t wait to move to the beach cottage.
“They won’t hurt you. Unless, of course, you happen to be in their path when they jump out of the water and collide with you.”
“Collide with me?” I squeezed my eyes closed and softly began to count. “Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque…” I mumbled without care that he stood there, watching me. He was a stranger I’d probably never see again, and my counting relaxed me.
“What are you doing?”
“Why is that so strange? Do you speak more than one language?”
His silhouette shrugged, not answering my question. “You don’t sound Italian.”
“I’m not.” Well, I was half, but this guy didn’t need all those details. “I just count in Italian when I’m nervous.”