I got in the shower straight away, not checking the temperature. The water cascading over me felt soothing; it was a little cold, but that helped clear my mind. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths.
When I hadn't been asleep, I'd laid there thinking about James, replaying the whole evening in my mind.
Despite all the warning signs I'd given in. I never let my guard down with anyone, but I had with James, and now I was paying the price.
Eventually I had to get out and face the day. I wiped the steam off the mirror and looked at my reflection. I looked awful, dark circles framing my red rimmed eyes. At least I could hide behind a pair of sunglasses.
I needed to get out of the villa. I didn't want to see anyone, my head was too much of a mess. I half dried my hair and braided it back from my face.
The beach seemed like a good idea. I doubted anyone else would be up yet; it was still early. Not wanting Georgia to panic if she couldn't find me, I sent her a txt telling her where I was going.
I made it past the pool, but as I walked through the archway, I spotted James and the blonde girl from the club.
I froze, unsure whether to turn back or keep on walking and ignore them. All he had on was a pair of shorts, his chest bare. She was still in the same tiny white dress.
I watched them hug, my legs glued to the spot. It hurt so much more than I had expected. He'd taken her back to the villa and probably spent the night screwing her. All because he'd jumped to the wrong conclusion.
I was still staring when James noticed me. So much for looking like I didn't give a shit. He leant down to whisper in her ear, and whatever he said made her giggle.
When she stood up on tip-toes to kiss him, I turned away. I was feeling a roller coaster of emotions. Watching his performance with blondie wasn't helping.
When I finally looked back, she had gone. James was staring at me, his arms folded across his chest. Neither of us moved for what felt like ages, but eventually he approached me.
"Spying on me again?"
I frowned, my heart pounding. He sounded so pissed off and cold. How could this be the same man I had been with last night?
"Can you get out of my way, please?" I mumbled.
"Off to meet Johnny for a romantic breakfast?" He spat as I walked past him.
I spun around, feeling furious.
"I told you nothing was going on with him. You didn't give me a chance to explain…"
He stared at me and my eyes watered.
"Do you know what? It doesn't matter. This is for the best, let's just forget anything happened."
I pulled on my sunglasses and walked away. I heard him call my name, but I didn't turn around.
It was quiet at the beach when I arrived. I picked a sun lounger at the front, wanting a good view of the ocean.
I sighed and sank back into the cushion. I was still shaken from my encounter with James. Why had I'd given myself to him so easily?
Because you're lonely, I thought, taking a deep sigh.
A smiling waitress, dressed in tiny red shorts and a white vest top, interrupted me from my pity party.
"Good morning, would you like a drink or something to eat?" She asked, offering me a menu.
I ordered a coffee, a bottle of water and a croissant. She returned quickly, placing everything on the table.
I tore the croissant into tiny pieces, eating slowly and listening to the sound of the waves.
I couldn't help but think of my parents, they had loved the beach.
My mind drifted to memories of holidays in Spain. Although that made me think of Tommy. Quite often, him and his parents would come away with us.
Those had been the best holidays, or so I'd thought at the time. Tommy and I could do our own thing, whilst the grown ups sat in the sun and drank sangria. Now I hated every single one of them.
I struggled to think about my parents without thinking of Tommy. Our lives were so interwoven it was hard to separate them.
From being screaming babies to naughty children. We had been inseparable. Once we became teenagers, inevitably we fell in love. First kisses and losing our virginities to one another. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to get married when we were only eighteen years old.
There wasn't one life event I hadn't experienced without Tommy. He was part of who I was as much as my parents had been. I was scared that I'd never move on, that he'd had so much of me there was nothing left for anyone else.
I finished my food and laid back, the sun warming my skin. By some miracle I dozed off, and when I next woke up, it was midday.
I stretched out and reached for my phone. I had three messages from Georgia.
The last txt had been sent ten minutes ago. I looked over at the entrance and spotted her. She was wearing a tiny pink bikini, a white kaftan and massive sunglasses.
"I'm so ill." She moaned, opening the parasol and curling into a ball on the lounger beside me. I passed her my bottle of water and she drained it.
"Oh well, did you have a good night?" I asked, feeling nervous.
"I'm pretty sure me and Graham were the only two who did." She said, staring at me.
I shrugged my shoulders, picking up a magazine from my bag.
"Richard was furious with James about something, he didn't speak to him for the rest of the night. I'm not complaining, we had the wildest sex when we got back. It was hot seeing him so fired up."
I rolled my eyes,
"Congratulations. I'm pleased for you."
She giggled, waving her hand in the air.
"Anyway, I digress. James was moody, and he brought some trashy blonde back. Her name was Bambi, like the deer!"
I opened my magazine and glared at the page.
"Johnny had disappeared. Graham thought you might have left together."
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I really had a headache."
"I believe you, but Graham wouldn't have it. He was off with James, so I didn't get a chance to tell him you had a headache."
"Why didn't you tell them?" I sighed, putting my magazine down.
"Relax, it wasn't a big deal."
I bit the inside of my cheek. If James had known the truth, he might have thought twice about taking Bambi to bed.
"I told Johnny I wasn't interested in anything more than friendship." I muttered, sitting up in my lounger. " He was so mad. I think he thought it was a joke or something."
She groaned, shaking her head.
"I know. He was at the pool with the boys when I was on my way here. I heard him telling them what you had said."
I gave Georgia a dirty look, and she sighed.
"I'll fix it, I promise. Jesus, how was I supposed to know there would be so much drama?"
I shifted to the side, placing my feet in my flip-flops.
"I'm going to go in the sea. Want to join me?"
"No way. I'm going to stay here. Ugh, why did I drink so much?"
I had little sympathy for her. She'd caused so much trouble by interfering, a hangover seemed a fair enough price to pay.
It was refreshing being in the sea. The water was clear, and I could see schools of coloured fish darting around.
I glanced over at Georgia, and spotted Richard stood over her. I did a double take when I realised James was on my sun lounger.
Shit, I wasn't ready to face him again.
I took a deep breath, I could hardly stay in the water all day.
I watched him striding down the beach, heading straight for me. Ugh, I really didn't want to do this now. Panicking, I swam down the beach and away from him.
"Sophie, wait a minute!" He shouted.
I heard a splash and started swimming faster. I thought I was getting away from him, but then I felt him grab my ankle.
I kicked as hard as I could, and James surfaced above the water spluttering.
"Fuck, you kicked me in the eye." He cursed, grabbing his face.
"You shouldn't have grabbed my ankle." I said, shrugging my shoulders.
"Ok, I deserve it after the way I've behaved. My eyes really hurting though."
He still had his hand covering it and I could see him gritting his teeth. I wanted to tell him I couldn't care less, but that wasn't the case.
"Let me see."
I swam closer to him and took hold of his hand, moving it from his eye.
I dropped it like I'd been burned. It wasn't a good idea to touch him. Despite everything that had happened, my body betrayed me.
If he picked up on my reaction, he was smart enough to not draw attention to it. I looked at his face. There was a scratch underneath the eye and the skin was bright red.
"You should survive. I suggest you get out of the sea and put some ice on it."
He stared at me intently. I knew I was being a bitch, but he deserved it.
"I don't give a fuck about ice. What I need is to talk to you."
His voice was full of emotion, but I shook my head.
"There's nothing to talk about. I'm done, James."
He grabbed my arm and turned me around to face him. I tried to wriggle away, but he wouldn't let go.
"Please give me a minute."
I stopped struggling and looked at him. He gazed into my eyes, his face pleading with mine. My resolve was disappearing the longer he looked at me for. I needed to put a stop to all this now.
I cleared my throat,
"There isn't anything to say. Let's not make this into something it isn't. We had sex, it was ok, and that's it. "
James looked outraged.
"It was only ok? Are you being serious?"
I knew that comment would infuriate him.
"I was drunk, but from what I remember it was ok."
"You remember every second, don't try to make out you were drunk." He growled, glaring at me
In one fluid movement he grabbed my hand and pulled me closer, till I was in front of him. Even in the water, I could feel the heat radiating between our bodies.
"It wasn't just sex, Sophie. I felt it and so did you."
I laughed. This man knew how to push all my buttons. How dare he say that after screwing someone else so quickly.
"Well, I can't comment. Tell you what, maybe I'll fuck someone else. I can let you know how it compares then."
Ha, he looked furious.
"What the fuck does that mean?" He spat, glaring at me.
"I'm not an idiot, I saw you and Bambi. I'm guessing you didn't bring her back to your room to watch a film."
He tightened his grip on me, reducing the distance between us.
"I didn't have sex with her."
I looked at him in disbelief. Did he think I was stupid?
"I swear that's the truth. I'd had way too much to drink. Speak to Graham, he had to put me in bed because I passed out on the floor."
"Graham is your friend, of course he's going to cover for you!"
James shook his head,
"He has no reason to lie, he doesn't have a clue about us."
I gave him a hard stare. He seemed genuine, but I couldn't trust my judgement anymore.
"It doesn't matter, James. I'm not interested in anything more happening between us."
"Please, Sophie. I know I fucked up, but I want to try to explain."
I shook my head. I was done with talking and hearing his excuses.
I swam past him and back to the beach.
This time he didn't try to stop me.