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Sea of Destiny – Part 33 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverDr. West isn’t convinced that Kyle is legitimately interested in Emily. He fears that Kyle is just after her money, much like her ex-husband was.

“Mr. Scott, you’ve convinced me and I don’t convince easily. Maybe you are the right one to go. I’ll set it up.”

“Can you reach someone at this hour?”

“Watch me.” He grinned. “I’ll call your cabin when it’s done. And do me a favor, will you ask Carmelita to meet me for drinks?”

“Ask her yourself when you call. She’ll think I’m being a smart ass.”

Conceding the point with a nod, the doctor picked up the phone. Kyle waved and left. A different nurse was on duty than the one he had danced with. She stopped him as he headed toward the door.

“You’re Ms. Geraci’s friend, aren’t you? The dancer?”

Kyle chuckled, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Well, I dance, but I’m not a dancer by profession.”

“You made quite an impression on Becky this morning.”

“Oh, yeah?” He chuckled. “See what being light on your feet can do for a guy?”

“I wish my boyfriend could dance. Do you give lessons?”

“I live in Orlando. Might be a bit of a trek for one of us.”

“Oh, no. I live in Winter Park. I’m just here as a favor to Dr. West. Do you give lessons?”

“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“Maybe you should. Emily said you taught her to dance and it would be so much fun if Matt could take me dancing. He’d rather watch sports.” She wrinkled her nose.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Thanks!” She kissed his cheek. “Here’s my number. Call when you get home and let me know.” She handed him a piece of paper with her number and the caption ‘dance lessons for two’. “So you know I’m not just hitting on you.” She blushed.

“I’ll let you know, but don’t get your hopes up.”

Back at the cabin, he poured himself a JD and Coke, sipping it while he waited. True to his word, Dr. West called a few minutes later.

“It’s set. The priest was incredibly easy to reach. He’ll see you tomorrow afternoon at 2:00. One of our reps will be waiting for you to take you there.”

“That’s about the time the sightseeing tour leaves, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but I don’t see how you can manage both.”

“No, the point is I don’t want Emily to think I’m sneaking around behind her back. I’ll get off the ship with everyone else. My family will understand, at least I hope they will.”

“Take them with you. The rep can give you a private tour when you’re done. And having your family with you will give credence to your request.”

“Thank you, Dr. West.”

“Mr. Scott, I want Emily well as much as you do. If this helps her….”

“Yeah.” Kyle’s eyes suddenly filled with tears. He wanted to get off the phone before he started bawling like a baby. “Did you talk to Carmelita?”

“My next call. Goodnight, Mr. Scott.”

“Call me Kyle.”

“And I am Thad.”

They hung up. Kyle had the momentary qualm wondering if he was doing the right thing. Closing his eyes, Emily’s pain ravaged face floated past and he knew he had to do whatever it took to bring back the flush of health he saw in her picture.

Carmelita tapped on the suite door before opening it a crack.

“You decent?”

“As much as I ever get. I’m dressed.”

She poked her head around the door. “I’m going out for a bit. With Thaddeus.”

“Go have fun, Lita.”

“Shall I leave the suite door open so you’ll hear Mindy?”

“Yes. Let Cindy know you’re leaving.”

“She’s asleep already.”

“No she’s not, she’s faking. Probably reading some torrid romance novel with a flashlight.”

“I’ll tell her or leave her a note. I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”

“Enjoy yourself. How often do you get to have drinks with a handsome doctor? Have fun, but make good choices.”

© Dellani Oakes

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Sea of Destiny – Part 32 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle plans to join Emily when she visits the faith healer. He gives her a crucifix, with special blessings on it, to take with her.

“Thank you, Kyle.” She touched his cheek, kissing him fleetingly, embarrassed by the emotions flooding through her.

Nothing in her life with Bob had prepared her for Kyle’s tenderness, his warmth, free spirited nature, his fathomless caring. He was a limitless font of love. His family was the same way, welcoming her into their circle as if she had always been there, a member of the most wonderful family in the world. Lips trembling, she held the crucifix to her chest.

A little, warm hand touched her left wrist. Mindy stood at her elbow, dark eyes searching her face in a disconcertingly ‘aware’ fashion. She was a child who had seen much more than her tender years should allow.

“Miss Emily?”

“Yes, Mindy?”

“You’re gonna be okay. Nobody could fix what was wrong with my mommy, but they’re gonna fix you. You’re gonna be better soon.” She kissed Emily on the cheek, hugging her neck.

Emily gulped, fighting tears. It was no use. She hugged Mindy, kissing her. “Thank you, Mindy. I feel so much better now. Look, they’re bringing in dinner. What have we here?”

Wiping her tears, she got Mindy occupied with her meal. Kyle watched how she interacted with his children, chatting with them as if she’d known them their entire lives. And they did the same with her. They weren’t replacing their mother, merely making room for someone else. Wasn’t that what Margo wanted? For all of them to be happy?

“I couldn’t have chosen better if I’d tried.”

“That’s because you didn’t choose. You let God decide.” He heard Margo’s voice in his head as if she were standing next to him. “God is good and kind and loving, Kyle. He’s also generous if you let Him. Accept this gift you’re being given.”

“I want to, Margo. I miss you, honey.” He realized that although he missed her, that dull, emptiness that he’d been feeling was gone. Instead, he was full of warmth and laughter.

For the first time in over a year, he thanked God for His blessings as his family laughed and joked with their new mother. He knew by looking at them that was what Emily would be. Carmelita met his eye, grinning happily. She knew it too. He felt better about the visit to Cozumel than he had earlier in the day. He expected a miracle and he knew they were going to get it.

Kyle accompanied Emily to the infirmary. She’d been asking to go back to her cabin, but Dr. West still refused. He wanted her nearby under the watchful eye of his nursing staff. Kyle was surprised to see such an extensive medical facility on board a ship. He suspected Dr. West had beefed it up because Emily was on board.

He was allowed to stay and visit until 10:00. Dr. West came in, insisting that Emily go to sleep.

“I slept all day, Thaddeus. I’m not the least bit tired.”

Kyle yawned expansively and stretched. “Well, it so happens that I am. So, if you’ll excuse me, Ms. Geraci, I need to go. Not because the doctor insists, but because my kids won’t settle down until I tuck them in. They’re probably robbing Lita of her sanity even as we speak.”

“It would take more than three kids to rob that woman of anything,” Dr. West remarked as he

gave Emily an injection.

Kyle kissed Emily as her eyes drifted shut, leaving with the doctor. They closed the door, standing together in the narrow corridor. Dr. West looked grim.

“You can’t talk her out of this visit, I suppose?” The doctor said softly.

“On the contrary, I think she should go.”

“I hate the idea of her getting off the ship. God knows what the conditions are at that mission church.”

“Bring him to her,” Kyle heard himself say without thinking. “Take her to one of the hotels and bring him over.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. Do you really think he’d come?” The doctor sounded almost like a little boy, not a mature man.

“I bet he’d come under the circumstances, if you asked nicely.”

“I’ll call ahead. We have an office there. One of them can try to persuade him.”

“I have a better idea. Ask them to set up an appointment for me. I’ll go see him personally.”

“Why would you even consider such a thing?” Dr. West wasn’t angry, he was curious. “You hardly know Emily, but you’d do this for her?”

“Dr. West, I recently lost my wife to cancer. I couldn’t do anything to make her well. If this will help Emily, even by easing her mind, then I’m behind it 100 percent.” His impassioned statement took the doctor by surprise. © Dellani Oakes 

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Sea of Destiny – Part 31 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny cover

Kyle is somewhat surprised to find out that Emily plans to visit a faith healer when they get to Cozumel. Already smitten, he wants her to get her miracle, because it was something he couldn’t do for his wife.

“I’ll be back after dinner,” he told her as he spun her the other way. “Take good care of her.”

“Only the best,” she gasped, giggling.

Kyle dipped, raising her slowly, humming. He danced out the door and was still dancing when he met his children.

“You’re happy today,” Carmelita smirked at him.

“I am.” He swung her into his dance, spinning her around.

“Any particular reason I should know about?”

“Nothing different than we’ve already talked about.”

“Is Miss Emily going with us, Daddy?”

“Not today, sweetie. She’s still not feeling very well.”

“How come?”

“That’s what the doctor is trying to figure out, honey.”

He had no intention of telling her. A silent agreement with his older children told him they wouldn’t say anything either.

They had a wonderful day in Cancun seeing all the sights. Kyle found his senses on overload. There was too much to see and too many things to do in one day. Exhausted, laden with their souvenirs, they went back to the ship for dinner.

To his surprise, Emily was sitting at their table when the family arrived. She smiled and waved as the children rushed to greet her. Kyle waited until they’d given her the 90 second highlight of their day and taken their seats before bending over to give her a kiss.

“I missed you today. Did you have fun?” She asked, the sparkle in her eyes.

“I missed you too. We had a great time. It would have been better with you there.”

“It will take me awhile to get where I want to see Cancun again.”

“Maybe we can come back and visit next year,” he murmured.

Her eyes filled with tears, but she smiled, taking his hand. “I’d like that.”

“Then it’s a date. Speaking of which…. Do you realize this is our anniversary?”

She giggled, blushing. The extra color looked good on her. “Is it?”

“It is. We’ve known one another exactly 72 hours. So I brought you something.”

“You didn’t have to do that.”

“I know. But it was so silly and ridiculous, I had to buy it.” He handed her a gift bag.

Digging into it, she brought out a snow globe with ‘Cancun’ in huge, pink letters. The water was green and had plastic shells mixed with glitter and plastic snow. When she shook it, it lit up.

“You paid money for this?” She giggled and shook the globe again.

“About two American dollars for it. Horrid, isn’t it? But the 72 hour anniversary is the plastic snow globe anniversary. I felt compelled.”

“It’s hideous. I’ll treasure it forever.” Her voice was drenched with sarcasm.

“Great.” He kissed her on the nose. “Now look in the bag again for your real present.”

She dug deeper, pulling out a small, flat package. Eyes curious, she opened it. Inside was a hand carved rosary made of Mexican jade. The detail on the crucifix was incredible. She could even see beads of blood under the crown of thorns. A small prayer book was in the bag at the very bottom.

Emily gasped, covering her mouth, trying not to cry. “It’s beautiful! Thank you, Kyle. Thank you so much!”

“I found a priest and asked him to bless it for you. We happened to pass by a church on the way back to the ship.”

“He’s failing to mention we had to go six blocks out of our way to happen upon that priest,” Carmelita smirked at Kyle. “But he coerced him into blessing it for him.”

“How on Earth did you manage to do that?”

“Six years of Spanish. Never really needed it until today. He was delighted to do it for me when I told him my girlfriend was sick on board ship.”

“Girlfriend, huh?”

“Yeah, well, this is our sixth date, you know.”

“So it is!”

“Some might debate that it was our seventh, but I don’t think I can count when I visited you in the infirmary because you were unconscious.”

“No, we can’t count that. Both parties have to be awake for it to be a date.”

“True. I asked for him to put special blessings on it for you, Emily. Take it with you when we go see the priest in Cozumel.”

© 2014 Dellani Oakes 

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Sea of Destiny – Part 30 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverRandy decides it’s time to have a heart to heart talk with his father. He asks him a series of very pointed and penetrating questions. The subject eventually comes around to what Kyle remembers about his father, which isn’t much. He’s never even seen a picture of his father.

 “How come?”

“Mom wouldn’t let her. Your grandmother is a very scary woman when she gets angry. She told Granny not to show the pictures. She never has.”

“That’s pretty dick.”

“Yeah.” Kyle wiped off his shaving gel, checking under the toilet paper to make sure the bleeding had stopped.

“When do I get to shave?” Randy’s voice squeaked.

“When you’ve got more on your face than a milk mustache. Don’t start too early, you’ll end up with a rough beard. Women don’t like that. Soft and silky or smooth skin.”

“So you don’t chafe her thighs?”

“What?” Kyle spun on his son, horrified. “Where’d you hear a thing like that?”

“TV, Dad. Calm thyself.” He made patting motions in the air.

“Don’t say a thing like that in public. Do you even know what it means?”

The sheepish look on his son’s face told him he didn’t.

“Never in public. Okay? And not around Carmelita either, she’ll kill you and you won’t even understand why.”

“You ever gonna tell me?”

“Ask me when you’re twenty-one.”

“Brother! Did you know what it meant when you were twelve?”

“No.” But I sure did when I was fifteen. Not a fact he’d share with his son.

* * *

Before leaving the ship, Kyle went down to see Emily. She looked better than she had the night before, but she was still awfully pale. She managed a weary smile, holding her hand out to him. He leaned over, kissing her gently as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“How are you feeling this morning?”

“Like I want to go dancing.”

“I think they’d protest if I tried to take you out of here.”

“I’ll feel better if you kiss me again.”

He was glad to oblige.

“How are the kids?”

“Excited about going to Mexico.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I wish you could go with me.”

“Will you go with me to Cozumel to visit the priest?”

“Of course I will. I want to watch you get your miracle.”

“Do you really think I’ll get one?” Her green eyes held such misery and doubt, he nearly lost control of himself.

“I do. I really do.” He touched her cheek tenderly. “I need that miracle as much as you do, Em. I can’t picture life without you in it. I know that makes me sound like some sort of sappy twit, but it’s true. The last few days have been really special and I want that to continue.”

She leaned her cheek against his hand, her tears falling silently. Kyle wiped them away with his fingers.

“Me too,” she whispered.

Taking his hand in both of hers, she held it to her cheek, rubbing her face against it. He felt his stomach lurch and his groin tighten. Even sick, she could make his body react like a hormonal teenager.

“Can I bring you anything from Cancun?”

“Just your sunny smile.”

“I can do that. I’d better get going or Lita will come looking for me. She’ll whoop my ass if I make her miss one minute of this trip.”

“Go. I like your ass just like it is.” She made pinching motions at him. “It’s so tight and squeezable.”

He chuckled, wiggling his ass at her from a few feet away. “When you get better, you can squeeze it as much as you like.”

“I’m holding you to that.”

“You can hold anything you want.”

Giving her a big, smoochy kiss he winked provocatively, dancing backwards out the door as she laughed at him. Still walking backwards, he nearly collided with the nurse. Instead, he spun her in a tight circle, humming Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 29 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverFinally able to get some sleep, Kyle is woken very early by Mindy. She’s excited by the fact that she can see Mexico out the window. The family has a day of sightseeing planned.

  “I used to shower with Mommy all the time. I wanna shower with Daddy!”

“You can shower with me, munchkin,” Cindy offered. This distracted Mindy enough for Kyle to escape.

While he was bathing, Randy walked in the bathroom and sat on the counter.

“I wanna shower with Daddy!” He laughed, his voice cracking.

“Don’t say that around anyone else. Seriously. They’ll think I’m some sort of pervert.”

“Never a word. So, what do you think of that Adam guy?”

“He’s nice. He’s Emily’s godson.”

“Yeah? Cool. He was hitting on Cindy yesterday. I thought he’d shit himself when I told him to lay off.”

“Thanks for handling that. I was about ready to toss him overboard.”

“Like I couldn’t tell? I haven’t lived with you my entire life not to see that murderous frown you get. He seriously thought she was seventeen. I get the feeling that’s gonna happen a lot. She’s filled out some this last year. All my friends think she’s hot.”

“They say that?” Kyle wrapped a towel around his waist and put on shaving gel.

“They say a lot more that I’m not gonna repeat. I about broke Billy Wilder’s nose a week ago.”

“Son, what have we said about self-control?”

“Like you wouldn’t hit a guy who told you that about your sister?”

“I don’t have a sister and I don’t know what he said. Why don’t you tell me?”

“Cause you’d want to fucking kill him.”

“Randall,” he lowered his voice, frowning at his son.

“Kyle,” Randy countered in a surprisingly deep voice. “Look, the point is, you need to have Carmelita talk to her about how she dresses and shit. She’s gonna end up pregnant by the time she’s sixteen otherwise.”

“I hope you kids make better choices than that. She knows better than to fool around at her age.”

“You and Mom knew better. Did that stop you? I’m not stupid, Dad. I can add. You were married in June. Cindy’s birthday is December. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure it out.”

Kyle nicked himself. Cursing, he took toilet paper to staunch the blood.

“We made a mistake.” He shrugged. “No matter what, I loved your mother.”

“Was she a virgin when you two got together?”

Kyle nicked himself again. “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my twelve year old son.”

“I’ll be thirteen in two weeks. And I want to know.”

“Yes. Why?”

“So, was she your first too?”

Kyle didn’t look at him right away, concentrating on his shaving. Randy stared at him until he nicked himself again.

“No. Are you happy now?”

“So, when did you lose your virginity?”

“I was older than you by a considerable amount.”

“How much an amount?”

“Why are you asking me this? Sudden curiosity?”

“Because I’ve got your undivided attention. And I want to know. Why does it matter?”

“I made some dumb mistakes in my life, Randy. I grew up too damn fast. I hope that your mom and I provided a better example than I got.”

“Why did your dad leave?”

“I don’t know. I was a kid, a little older than Mindy. One day I woke up and he was gone. My world turned upside down.”

“Did he die?”

“No, son. He left us.”

“Just like that?”

“Yeah. Just like that. Your mom may be gone, sport, but at least you knew she loved you until her last breath. You’ve got memories you can carry of her the rest of your life. I can’t even remember what my father looked like. Mom threw away all the pictures. My grandmother says I favor him, but she’s never showed me pictures either.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 28 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverAfter talking to Dr. West, Kyle puts the children to bed and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, sleep is hard to come by. Carmelita brings him a beer and the two of them chat for a few minutes.

 “Really?” He laughed, shaking his head. “That explains what Adam said.” He continued laughing softly. “Walked on like she owned it….” He took a sip of his beer, setting it against his forehead. “What am I doing, Lita?”

“We talked about that already.”

“I mean really? I’ve got no business falling in love with someone else. I’m here on vacation with my family. I’m not looking for another relationship.”

“That’s when love finds us, Kyle. Don’t you know that by now?”

“No, I don’t. Shit, Lita. I was nineteen when I got married. I was married almost half my life. I don’t know how to be single. When other guys my age were cruising the beach, I was home changing diapers. I loved Margo dearly, she was a wonderful woman. I really got lucky that the one major mistake I made turned out so well. But I’m lost here. I don’t know how to proceed.

“Until she collapsed today, I was having more fun than I’ve had in over a year. I was laughing and happy, feeling good about myself. I was enjoying a woman’s company—a woman who wasn’t my wife. I sat there thinking, ‘This isn’t so hard, this whole dating thing. I could get used to this.’ And then….”

“Then she collapsed.”

“Cindy asked me not to get involved with her. She begged me not to fall for a woman who’s probably dying. How can I put my children through that again? They already like Emily. Have you seen Mindy with her? She’s so animated. I can’t get over the change the last couple days have made in her.”

He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, sniffling loudly. “I’m a wreck.”

Carmelita put her arms around him. “I think you need to go talk to the chaplain tomorrow. I think he could give you a lot of comfort.”

“I may just do that.”

“In the meantime, baby, you pray. You open your heart and tell God everything that’s inside you.”

“I’m not sure I even know how to pray right. I prayed for Margo to get better and she died. What if I pray wrong again and Emily dies too? I can’t do that. I can’t be responsible.”

Carmelita drew herself up, smacking him hard on the arm. “You stop that right now! Don’t you even think that God does that! He doesn’t go killing people off because someone else doesn’t pray right. God listens to everything. He hears all our prayers, no matter how we say them. And He answers everything.”

“He didn’t answer me with Margo. She died anyway.”

“Do you give your kids everything they ask for?”

“No, of course not.”

“Okay then. Sometimes you have to say no for whatever the reason. Sometimes God does too. We can’t know why, not unless He tells us. It was Margo’s time to go, so she went. It’s not Emily’s time, or yours or mine. But when it is, not a damn thing on this Earth that will prevent it. So keeping that in mind, you ask yourself if you’re making any sense at all with that whole, ‘I don’t know how to pray’ thing. If you ask me, that’s just selfishness and self-pity.”

Kyle wiped his eyes, sniffling again. “Have I ever told you how much I hate when you’re right?”

“Pretty much every day for the last ten years.”

“You’re my best friend, Lita.”

“You’re mine too, baby.” She kissed his nose. “Now you finish off that beer, brush your teeth and go to bed.”

“I will.”

“Goodnight, Kyle.”

“Goodnight, Carmelita.”

After she left, he did just what she told him. He had just enough alcohol in his system that he was able to relax. He slept deeply, dreamlessly, until Mindy woke him the next morning by jumping on his bed.

“Daddy, Daddy! We’re at Mexico! I can see it out the window!” She ran to the drapes, pulling them aside.

Bright sunlight lanced through his eyes leaving a shimmering trail behind. Prone to migraines most of his life, he wasn’t too excited about the sunlight blasting his eyeballs, so he got up and went to the bathroom. He looked grim. He realized he hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and decided that was his first order of business after a shower. Mindy tried to join him in the bathroom, so he sent her back to Carmelita.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 27 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle visits Emily in the infirmary and encourages her to visit the faith healer, figuring it can’t hurt for her to try. Afterward, Dr. West reveals some secrets about Emily that shock Kyle. Emily is a very wealthy woman, the only heir of billionaire Edward Geraci, who was killed in a car accident just before her husband left her. It couldn’t be proven, but police suspected her ex-husband had something to do with the so-called accident.

  “And he left her. What a moron!”

“Indeed, the cancer could have done for him what he could not do for himself. Had he stayed, based on her will, he would have inherited everything.”

“And now?”

“No one has seen her new will, though we all know that she has taken Robert Blume out of it. He gets nothing if she dies.”

“And you all thought I was pulling a Robert? Thanks.”

“After talking to your housekeeper, I was relatively certain that I was wrong. She seems too open and honest to lie to me about something like that.”

“Carmelita is an honest, God fearing woman. If you ever insinuated that she was lying—well, I’d hate to be you. She’s got a mean right hook.”

Doctor West laughed, then turned serious. “Adam said he told you of her goal.”

“At least he can see how much I care for her, even if you can’t.”

“He’s young, trusting, easy to fool.”

“I see him as young, trusting and very astute. But yes, he told me.”

“And what do you think?”

“That if it will make her feel better, even if he doesn’t cure her, she should go. How long have you been a doctor?”

“Seventeen years.”

“And in that seventeen years did you ever see things you couldn’t explain? Miracles, if you will.”

“Of course. Every doctor has.”

“Then why can’t it be a real miracle this time? If you’ll excuse me now, my children are expecting me to tuck them in.”

“Of course. Mr. Scott?”

Kyle turned at the door, facing the doctor.

“I apologize for distrusting you.”

“As long as we’re square now, no hard feelings.”

“We’re square.”

“I’ll be by to see her tomorrow before I take the kids sightseeing.”

“Of course. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

After getting the kids to bed, Kyle settled down for a long night’s sleep, but he couldn’t relax. He moved around restlessly, his mind too active for sleep to come. He had a lot to think about. There was a light tapping on the adjoining door. Carmelita was there with two bottles of beer in hand.

“I figured you could use this to help you sleep.”

“Thanks, Lita.”

They went to the sitting room. Neither of them spoke for a few minutes. Kyle didn’t know how much Carmelita knew about Emily and didn’t want to say anything until he did.

“I talked a long while with that handsome Doctor West today.”

“Single?”

“Yes.” She grinned. “That was the first thing I asked him before he told me why he was talking to me. He was worried about you and Emily. Of course, having you diving for her tonsils later didn’t make him feel much better.”

“It wasn’t like that, Lita. It was just a kiss. No one needs to make a big deal out of this. I’ve kissed her a couple times, we’ve been dancing.”

“Her ex-husband….”

“Yeah. I’ve heard about him. He sounds like a real winner.”

“What exactly have you heard?”

“He was creepy and manipulative and may have killed her father.”

“Did she tell you he’s threatened her? He visited her in the hospital before their divorce, making noises about suing for alimony, getting a settlement, keeping her from changing her will. He even threatened her life.”

“I hope they put the bastard in jail.”

“For awhile, but they can’t hold him forever. Did the doctor tell you anything else?”

“That her father was worth a huge fortune and now she is.”

“That one of the things she owns is this cruise line.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 20 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle Scott finds himself hopelessly smitten by the quiet, fragile Emily Geraci. Not since his wife’s death has he ever been interested in a woman. He enjoys her company and delights in seeing her smile.

“Would you like to go sightseeing with us tomorrow? We’d love for you to join us.”

“I’m more interested in Cozumel,” Emily admitted. “I went to Cancun on my honeymoon. Honestly, I’d rather forget it.”

“That bad?”

“Cancun is gorgeous. The honeymoon was that bad. I should have known the marriage was doomed to failure from the beginning. I wouldn’t let myself see it. He didn’t love me—not even for a minute.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I know you loved your wife a lot, Kyle. I can see it in your eyes every time you even think of her. You’d never have ditched her to go out drinking with total strangers on your honeymoon, would you.”

“He did that?”

“Nearly every night. And not all the friends were male either. He came back to our cabin drunk and stumbling, smelling of alcohol and stale cigarette smoke. Sometimes he even smelled of other women. I was a fool to keep him around. I’m sure he thought that I thought he was charming and wonderful in bed. The truth is, I was lonely and didn’t want to have to go out and find someone else. We were together two years before we married. I was used to him.”

“Why marry him in the first place?”

“He kept insisting. Once we divorced, I realized it was because he thought he could get something from me in a settlement. But since he walked out on me in the doctor’s office in front of twenty people, vowing loudly he’d have nothing more to do with me. He didn’t get a penny.”

“Ironic. Does he pay you anything?”

“Bob? He’s worthless piece of shit who can’t keep a job for more than two months at a time. I don’t need his money. I do all right…. Oh, look at Mindy!”

His five year old sat on the shoulders of one of the young male lifeguards, running after people as they played Marco Polo. Mindy had her eyes closed, but the young man didn’t. She was calling out “Marco” as the others answered, “Polo”, catching everyone because he ran right to them before they moved.

The game broke up when the last, laughing participant got tagged. Mindy was declared the uncontested queen of the pool and got to pick the next game.

“Bally ball!” She yelled.

Cindy translated five year old speak for the supervisors, blushing attractively when the young lifeguard swam over to her with a volleyball.

“I’m gonna have to warn that kid my daughter’s only fourteen,” Kyle said darkly. “I hadn’t realized how much she’d matured over the last year.”

His daughter was developing her mother’s physique. Margo had been tall, slender, narrow hipped and full busted. Cindy wasn’t quite up to Margo’s 38C, but she had decidedly graduated into a B cup and the bikini she was wearing did little to cover it up.

“As long as he keeps his hands to himself and you can keep them in plain sight, don’t embarrass her. Take him aside later or…. Oops, I don’t think you need to. Look.” She pointed cautiously, not raising her arm.

Randy walked over to the lifeguard, taking him aside quietly pretending to ask him something. Tall and muscled from swimming, he looked older than 12. The young man listened calmly. A startled glance over his shoulder told Kyle his son had taken care of it for him. The young man was still friendly when he came back, but much more careful about the level of his flirtation. He got Cindy involved with a group of kids her own age and went to supervise the younger children.

“Smart man,” Emily said with a smile.

“Which, my son or the lifeguard?”

“Both. You should be proud of him. He handled that well. He didn’t embarrass his sister or let that boy make an ass of himself.”

“He shouldn’t be hitting on her anyway.”

“He wasn’t hitting, he was flirting. There’s a world of difference.”

“Oh, yeah? Explain the difference so I know for future reference.”

Emily sighed, leaning back in her lounge chair with her arms behind her head. “Mostly it’s a matter of intent. If you approach a woman with the intent of getting in her panties as expeditiously as possible, that’s hitting on. If you are feeling the waters, testing parameters, but haven’t quite moved into more dangerous territory, that’s flirting.”

“Oh, I see. And what have I been doing since I met you?”

She sighed happily, gazing at he pool. The sunshine reflecting off the water glittered in her eyes “Sweeping me off my feet,” she admitted quietly.

© Dellani Oakes 

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