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Island Fling with Dr. Christianopolis

Written by Tina Beckett

Chapter Three

Rylee sank her toes deep into the sand, needing to anchor herself to something solid. Had she really just thrown away her wedding ring?

No. Chet had done that by leaving the boat.

The realization that she was very much alone swept over her, along with something akin to…relief? Ten years of marriage, gone in a flash. Her repeated texts to him continued to go unanswered, but the neighbor who had been watching her house had called her cell phone, worried when she’d spotted a moving van in front of the house, and Chet had been the one overseeing the process.

She would have gladly given him the house. And all its contents.

But to do it this way? Was he that much of a coward? It was then she realized the dampness on her cheeks wasn’t from the spray of the sea.

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” The man who’d parked his chair next to her put a hand on her arm. He spoke great English, but his slight accent placed him as Greek.

Her brows went up, not sure for a second what he was saying. Then it hit her.

Oh God. He thought she was a widow?

“Don’t be. He wasn’t much to lose.” She swiped at her cheeks.

The stranger reeled back in his chair. “I’m sorry?”

She smiled her first genuine smile of the day. Of the trip actually. “He’s not dead. He just decided to ditch me and put his own bags on the curb. All except the one he left on the boat.” She stuck out her hand. “I’m Rylee Emerson.”

“Nice to meet you. Matt Christianopolis. And I’d like to change my earlier thought. I’m sorry for his loss.”

“So no wife with you either?”

He held up his empty left hand. “I didn’t have a ring to throw into the sea. Is that some kind of American tradition?”

“Maybe. If not, it should be.”

“You’re right. And it’s too bad, really. I was hoping to sit next to a married woman.”

Shock squeezed up her spine. Was he some kind of gigolo? Did they even use that word anymore? “Maybe you should explain that statement.”

“Ah, yes. I’m here on business and didn’t want any unnecessary…complications.”

She glanced at him and saw immediately what he meant. With a thin gray T-shirt clinging to a lean hard chest, he was candy to the eyes. And those bare feet… Tanned with just a sprinkling of dark masculine hair. He could make any woman’s heart go kaboom! Except for hers.

“Well, you still picked the perfect place to sit. Because I don’t want any—what did you call it?—unnecessary complications either.”

He settled back in his seat, staring out at the warm green water in front of them. “Theos. Can I say what a relief that is?”

“Is it?” She dropped her glasses back over her eyes. “I would think an island fling might be the perfect thing for someone like you. No strings. No unwanted phone calls. No expectations of any kind.”

“For someone like me?”

“You know…” She waved her hand in a circle to encompass him. “Attractive and unattached.”

“I could turn that around and say the same for you.” He gave a slow smile that made her heart squeeze in her chest. “Interested in an island fling? As you said, it’s the perfect thing for someone beautiful and newly unattached.”

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About the author

Being the product of a Navy upbringing, it has always felt natural to ...

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Tina Beckett

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