The Secret of The Lost Island

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Chapter 17

The next morning, Hayden exited the bathroom, showered and smelling of something sweet, a combination of cinnamon laced with lilacs. A selection from the gift basket Ms. Lopes had sent up, which included a generous quantity of sample colognes from all over Europe, Swiss dark chocolates and more importantly, imported beer.

Technically, not imported from here anyway.

Hayden chugged half of one down quickly after brushing his teeth.

Breakfast of champions’ as his Dad always said.

He cracked his neck and stretched his shoulder muscles, having slept on the couch all night, which in his estimate was not all that bad.

Though not a sofa bed, which normally had a pull out mattress hidden within, the three coushioned couch of the hotel was remarkably large and comfortable.

He adjusted his grey turtleneck and pulled on his black double breasted blazer, the kind he loved to wear.

Some said it was out of style, but he always replied. ‘Archeologists bring the past back to life.’

After a few more tugs and twists, he felt he looked perfect.

Hayden shouted to Danica who was in the bedroom chamber getting dressed for the auction. “Are you not ready yet?”

“Unlike men, women pride themselves on their appearance.” She replied through the walls. “So give me a minute.”

He ran his leather belt around his waist. Once snapped into place, he asked aloud. “I assume you were trying to be funny by placing one of your scientific flags in the middle of the toilet?”

She laughed. “I used to live with a guy. He could never get it all in the bowl. He always missed and hit the floor.” She went silent for a second. “Plus I figured you were used to the target.”

Hayden chuckled as well as he brushed his hair back with a touch of mousse. “It’s called marking our territory. Dogs do it all the time.”

“Dogs only do it once.” She retorted. “Men do it all the time.”

Hayden finished his beer. “We like to remind those around us of what’s ours.”

Danica offered no rebuttal, obviously not dignifying that with an answer.

Hayden moved into the front foyer, having called down minutes before to the concierge desk to have a cab waiting.

Danica came around the corner.

Hayden turned to say something, but quietly gasped, his breath catching in his throat.

Danica looked absolutely stunning. Her hair was untied, loosely drifting past her shoulders, flowing like feathers in the wind. She wore a white cashmere long sleeved sweater, V-neck, which accentuated her lightly tanned skin from the South American sun. With that, a pair of almost skintight grey wool slacks that ran to her ankles, creased sharply with military precision. On her feet were a pair of grey leather high heeled shoes, open toed, that went perfectly with her outfit.

For accessories, Danica sported a pair of small green emeralds framed in gold on each ear. The emerald was both her mother’s and her birthstones, as she had relayed to Hayden on the plane, May babies. Around her neck she wore a gold heart pendant which her grandmother had given her mother before she passed away, one which Danica held very dear, refusing to wear anything else with it.

Finally, a perfume so succulent, had Danica been a mermaid, Hayden would have found himself diving headfirst into the sea, swimming downward to drown in the icy depths and not caring in the least.

For several seconds, there was only silence and quiet breathing.

Finally…

“You look…” Hayden stuttered. “… Nice.”

Danica smiled, sensing his true thoughts. “Thank you.” She grabbed her purse and gave him a quick look over. “You look very handsome yourself.”

Hayden grinned and grabbed his wallet, cardkey and the invitations, all the while thinking, ’You actually look awesome.’ But he felt what he had said was enough.

Danica stepped forward and past him, opening the door for him to go. “Now let’s go buy a madman’s missing diary pages and go home.”

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