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Island Fling with Dr. Christianopolis

Written by Tina Beckett

Chapter Four

Interested in an island fling?

Had he really just said that? Matt wasn’t even sure where those words had come from, but he certainly hadn’t meant them the way they’d sounded. And from the horrified look on her face, he’d better fix that mistake and grígora.

“Not that I was asking you to have a fling.” Still wrong. Try again “With me, that is. If you want to have a rebound romance with someone on the cruise, I say go for it.”

“Rebound romance.” She laughed. “Definitely not given to flattery, are you?”

“I’m better at sticking my foot in my mouth evidently. Especially in English.” He rested his forearms on his chair, a trickle of moisture coursing down his back making him wish he could yank his shirt over his head. But something kept him from doing that.

He looked at her again. “Your husband is an idiot.”

“You think so? How do you know I’m not some kind of wifezilla?”

“Wife…?”

“It’s the sequel to Godzilla, only bigger and scarier.”

“You don’t look big and scary.” He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a fun back and forth conversation with a woman that didn’t have some kind of agenda. Like Rylee, he wasn’t single by choice. His one brave trek into the wilderness of matrimony had ended with his wife falling in love with his best friend, five years after the rings were exchanged. That one time was enough to curb any mushy feelings he might have. Now he tended to avoid getting involved at all, even on a temporary basis.

“Looks can be deceiving.”

“Yes, they can.”

She flipped her glasses back up on her head. “You speak from experience?”

“You could say that. Divorced a year ago.”

“Wifezilla?”

“No.” Brenda hadn’t been demanding. She’d been anything but. “You could say she had a fling. And she didn’t need an island cruise to sweep her off her feet.”

“Oh wow. I’m sorry, Matt.”

Compassion was there in her gaze. If anyone warranted compassion, it was her. His marriage was dead and gone. Her wound was still fresh and had to sting. “Old news.”

And it was old. The burn of skinned pride and betrayal had simmered down to an ember that kept him wary of pretty words and sideways glances.

He actually had sat with the right woman, then. She, too, would be wary. And that would work in his favor.

“So we’re both single and not looking in all the wrong places.”

He smiled, recognizing the song reference. “Not looking at all, actually.”

“So this island fling you mentioned is a way to chase away any would-be suitors?”

“Yes. And since you’ve thrown your ring away, it might help you too.”

“Come again?”

“You’re young and beautiful and…” He lifted her hand to show her the now-empty finger. “So how about you and I pretend to be a duo. That way I have a dinner partner, so I don’t feel like a total loser. And you have a plausible excuse to fend off advances.”

Her brows lifted. “So two shall become one. But only until the ship pulls back into port.”

“Exactly. I’ll say it again. Interested in an island fling?”

Her laughter trickled through him like warm molasses. “I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but yes, I think I am.”

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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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