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A Match Made In Maui

Written by Nina Singh

Chapter Eight

"Tessa, wait.” Jason’s voice sounded from behind them.

“My words came out all wrong back there,” he added once he’d reached her side. Bless her, Rita still stood close.

“Can I just try to explain?”

Tessa inhaled deeply, tried to calm the rapid beat of her pulse. Rita draped an arm around her shoulders. “If you must,” she answered him.

“Are you sure?” Rita asked. The arm around her tightened ever so slightly.

“Yes. Really, it’s fine. Jason just wants to talk.” He just didn’t understand that it was much too little and much too late.

Rita bounced on her heels, clearly at a loss of what to do.

Tessa bit down on a surge of guilt. Concern for Tessa should be the last thing on Rita’s mind right now. She had a wedding to prepare for. Tessa hated that Rita was exerting any kind of mental energy on her behalf at such a special time for her. “I’ll call you later,” Tessa reassured.

After another long hesitation, Rita finally turned to leave. But not before throwing one more threatening death stare in Jason’s direction.

“Thank you,” Jason said as her friend walked away. He rubbed a hand across his forehead. “Look, I know I’m making a mess of this.”

What exactly was this? Tessa wondered. Some kind of apology? If so, he was right. He really was making a mess of it.

His eyes concentrated on her as if yearning for her to understand. “It was supposed to be a fling, Tessa. For the short amount of time we found ourselves together in paradise.”

She couldn’t deny that. They’d both knowingly started their physical affair without expectations. For one, they lived on opposite coasts. The chances of running into each other had seemed slim at the time. But Tessa had quickly realized that her heart was going to ignore any and all logic. She’d started to fall in love.

Now, heaven help her, something about the way he’d just said supposed to be lit a flame of endearment in her heart. So, their liaison had grown to mean more to him, as well. Yet, he’d still been able to walk away afterward. It had been so easy for him to pretend their so-called fling had never happened. While for her it had been downright life changing, in all manner of ways.

Jason continued, “I know you must hate me right now.”

Tessa turned away, stared at the crystal blue ocean in the distance. He really didn’t understand. She didn’t hate him. She just hated that she still loved him.

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