Page 8 of Her Paradise

I laugh. “Liar. You touch me all the time.”

He smirks. “That’s not the touching I’m talking about, sunshine.” My face heats as we pull up outside my place.

“Okay,” I tell him. He hops out and comes around to open my door.

“Okay?” He raises an eyebrow like he doesn’t believe me.

“Yeah. One night. We’ll see how it goes.” He walks me to the door and I unlock it. “But if you break my heart again, Cyrus Walsh, I promise there will be no more chances.” With that, I shut the door.

“Not going to happen,” I hear him say from the other side. He better be right, because I don’t think I can take the pain again.



“Where are you taking me?” Sammy asks as we pull up at my place.

When I picked her up she was in shorts and a tank top. I love that she didn’t get dressed up. I open her door and help her down then walk her around the back of my house to where the dock is.

“Out on the water. Thought it would be harder for you to get away,” I say, winking at her.

“Good thing I wore my bathing suit.”

When we get to the dock I help her onto the boat, and she immediately unties the front anchor line and pulls in the bumpers. She was raised out here, and it’s one of the things I love about her. Not only is she good with the outdoors, but she loves it. I remember her saying one time that’s why she doesn’t have a fancy place with a lot of stuff. She’d rather have a nice kitchen to cook in and a big boat to ride on. And I just so happen to have both.

When I pilot away from the dock, I steer the boat through the canal and out to the inlet. She sits on the front of the boat for a bit, looking out into the sunset. Just having her here with me and seeing her golden skin bathed in oranges and pinks is damn beautiful. She looks back at me as if she can read my thoughts and comes over to the Captain’s chair.

“Mind if I drive?” she asks, raising an eyebrow in challenge.

“She’s all yours.”

I take my hands off the wheel and then take her by the hips. I pull her down onto my lap as her hands steer us. She laughs, and I wrap my arms around her. God, she feels so damn good against me. Why have the two of us been fighting this for so long? Are we both so stubborn neither of us have been able to take the first step? Probably. But there’s also timing, and it took a while to get ours right.

I press my lips against her bare shoulder and leave them there. I close my eyes and inhale her scent as she leans back into my touch.

I point her in the direction I want to go, and she steers that way. She doesn’t ask what we’re doing or how long it’s going to take. Instead she just relaxes in my arms as we glide across the water. The silence between us is comfortable. Like we’ve been in a battle for a long time and now it’s come to an end. I think the two of us are tired of going against what feels so damn good.

“Pull in over there.” I point to a sandy beach, and she slows down the boat. I hop up and toss out the anchor as she turns off the engine.

“I hope you’re hungry. I brought dinner,” I say, grabbing the cooler out from under the seat and taking her hand.

I hop off the boat and then hold my hands out and she jumps down to me. I let her body slide down mine as I lower her, and I can see the flush of her cheeks. I let her go and grab the other bag I packed and we walk on the shore a little bit where I can lay down a blanket.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to this part of the island,” she says, looking around.

“It’s not well known. I like to think it’s my own secret spot. But there are a few deer here that would disagree with me.” I take out plates and serve her up the buttered pasta and grilled chicken I made. “I’m not much in the kitchen, so I hope you like it.”

“This is really sweet of you. I didn’t know you had it in you,” she says as she takes a bite.

“I’d like to think there’s a lot you don’t know about me, but that’s probably not true.”

“Why do you say that?” She’s got a puzzled look on her face, but she’s smiling.

“Because I know almost everything about you.” I shrug. “I just assumed you’ve been in love with me as long as I’ve been in love with you.”