I rolled my eyes.
"I saw that!" She snapped, glaring at me.
I was sitting on her bed as she did her make-up.
"Georgia, I'll be fine! I can entertain myself for a couple of nights."
Richard had surprised her by booking a night away on a yacht. It sounded romantic, but I knew she felt bad about leaving me.
I watched her finish her lips before she turned to look at me.
"How do I look?"
"Perfect. I wouldn't even guess you were hungover!" I teased, causing her to chuck her lipstick at me.
She stood up and started packing her things into an overnight bag.
We always told each other everything, and I was so close to telling her about James. I felt like it was going to burst out of me at any moment.
I hadn't seen him since the beach, but our conversation kept going through my mind. I felt so out of control around him, even the digs and comments I made were out of character. I was like a bubbling cauldron of emotions, close to overspilling.
"So, how did things go with Johnny? I told him it was all my fault." Georgia asked.
She was busy sorting through a pile of sexy lingerie.
"It was fine. A little awkward, but he apologised for his reaction last night." I said, tugging a bit of thread on my shorts.
Georgia held up a black lace slip, and I gave her a thumbs up.
"It's good he's gone to visit some friends on the other side of the island. It will all blow over by the time he's back."
I nodded. What with Georgia and Richard going away, it would leave me alone with Graham and James.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.
"I'm going to need your help to zip this bag up. What time is it? Richard said I had to be ready by seven."
"It's quarter past, so you best get a move on." I said, getting up to help her.
I pushed the bag down as she forced the zip round. It took several attempts, but we succeeded. The bag looked like it could explode at any second.
Just like me, I thought bitterly.
"Right, ok. He's waiting by the pool." Georgia said, running her fingers through her hair.
I helped her carry the bag outside, and Richard leapt up as soon as he saw us.
"We need to get a move on." He warned, taking her bag off us.
He seemed distracted, and I couldn't help but worry it was because of what had happened between me and James.
"Have fun, guys. I'll see you soon." I said, hugging Georgia.
I watched as they walked away, smiling when he put his arm around her waist.
"He really loves her, I've never seen him like this before."
I turned around and saw James leaning against the wall. He was wearing navy shorts and a white t-shirt, his hair still wet from the shower.
I felt my breath catch in my throat. He looked so incredibly sexy.
"They seem happy. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to my room."
He put his arm out to stop me as I tried to pass.
I rolled my eyes. I couldn't do this again. There were only so many times you could tell a man no when he looked like that.
He took his Wayfarers off and I noticed a faint bruise forming around his eye.
"I want to cook you dinner to apologise." He said, straight to the point.
I let out a frustrated sigh. How many more times were we going to have this conversation?
"I respect what you said earlier. I just want to apologise and clear the air." He said, staring at me innocently.
I raised my eyebrows.
"You're going to make me dinner, and that will be it?"
He nodded and held his hands up.
"I want us to get on for Richard and Georgia's sake. You're like family to her, I would hate for it to be awkward."
How could I say no to that? Smart move, Mr Graves.
"Well, I suppose that would be ok."
He grinned and my heart raced. How could anyone resist that face?
"Is tonight any good for you?" He asked, studying me closely.
There was no way I could do it tonight. I was so close to throwing myself back into his arms.
"Oh, no. I'm washing my hair." I smiled.
He gave me a look that made me think he was going to put me over his knee and spank me.
"Tomorrow then?" He muttered, his voice low.
I nodded, unable to string a sentence together.
The way I wanted him was so consuming. The longer I was in his presence, the more affected I became. I needed to get away before it was too late.
I walked to my room, aware of his eyes on me the entire time. I was just about to open the door when I heard him call my name.
"Skip washing your hair, it's still wet from when you did it earlier."
I blushed, embarrassed to be caught in a lie. I opened my door and slammed it shut behind me.
I could physically get away from him, but there was no door I could close on my thoughts.
"Fucking hell, Sophie. That's some black eye you've given, James!" Graham said, shaking his head.
I looked at James, who was stretched out on a sofa by the firepit. I'd been at the beach all day, so I hadn't seen him or Graham until now.
The bruise had increased in size, and his eyelid was swollen.
Fuck, I felt awful.
"It was an accident! Maybe you should get it looked at?" I said, kneeling on the floor beside him.
I turned his face, so I could get a better look. It looked painful.
"It's fine. I've had plenty of black eyes over the years. Although, I've never had one from anyone as beautiful as you before..."
We both stared at each other and I snatched my hand away. Touching him did crazy things to me. I could already feel tingling in my fingertips, and my pulse had quickened. James gave me a knowing smile and sipped his beer.
Graham coughed, reminding me we weren't alone.
I stood up and grabbed a beer, needing something to relax me. If I made it through the evening without kissing, James, it would be a miracle.
I thought that by delaying the meal, I would have been able to get myself under control. How wrong could I be?
"Oh, Sophie. Have you been avoiding me? I haven't seen you since the night of the White Party." Graham teased as I sat down beside him.
"Of course not! I've been spending a lot of time at the beach. You're never out of bed early enough to see me." I said, sticking my tongue out at him.
"Busy breaking hearts, are you? Poor Johnny, he'll never recover."
I felt my cheeks go red. I should have expected him to make a comment. I knew he loved winding people up.
"No breaking hearts, just reading." I sighed, taking a gulp of beer.
"Oh, how boring."
I scowled, and he laughed, grabbing me and ruffling my hair.
"Stop! You're making me spill my beer." I yelled, pulling away.
"Spilt beer is a tragedy I want no part of. Be free, young lady." He said, in a posh British accent.
I burst out laughing, shaking my head. Having him here definitely distracted me from James. Maybe I could ask him to stay for the meal?
"What are you guys planning for the evening?" He asked, giving James a meaningful look.
"Just some food and chilling here." James replied, shooting me a smile.
Oh God, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster.
"Well, that sounds much more appealing than a double date with two models."
I stared at James, who was busy studying his bottle.
"You can go out, James. I'll be fine here." I lied.
"I want to stay in." He replied, frowning at me.
"James, if you come out you can do that trick you learnt the other night! The passing out drunk on the floor one. The ladies love it."
Maybe he had been telling the truth after all.
Graham drained his beer and stood up.
"Well, I suppose I can entertain both of them. It won't be much fun, but hey, a man has to do what a man has to do."
I made a face as he kissed the top of my head.
"Don't wait up for me!"
"See you later, mate!" James said, sitting up and putting his empty bottle on the table.
I watched Graham leave. Now it was just the two of us, alone in the villa.
What could go wrong?
I turned to face him and saw he was looking at me intently.
"So what's for dinner?" I asked, trying to keep my voice casual.
"Angulas. That's your favourite, right?"
I couldn't help but laugh.
"I'm going to make us pesto linguine and salmon."
"That sounds good."
We looked at each other and he sighed.
"I'm sorry, Sophie. I mean that more than you could ever know."
I took a huge gulp of beer. So much for not discussing what had happened.
"How could you get with another girl so quickly? Why didn't you speak to me, or give me a chance to explain?" I demanded.
Within seconds, he had moved to the space next to me on the sofa.
"I felt so angry and jealous when I saw you with Johnny. I didn't-"
"James, I told you I didn't like him! Do you really think I'm the sort of person who would behave like that?" I interrupted, tears stinging my eyes.
He sighed and put his arm around me, pulling me into his firm chest.
"I'm a stupid bastard, I don't think before I speak."
I didn't know where that left us.
"I haven't had many relationships and the last one I was in wasn't healthy. She would flirt with other men in front of me and say one thing and do another. I thought you were doing the same thing, and I lashed out."
Wow, I had not been expecting him to open up like that. It didn't justify his actions, but I could relate to what he was saying. I knew all about carrying the scars of a past relationship.
"Why did you stay in the relationship? You don't strike me as someone who would tolerate that kind of treatment." I said, moving my head so I could see his face.
"I wish you were right. Richard wouldn't put up with it, but I always follow my heart. That's why I stayed and kept trying to make it work."
I knew he was the telling the truth, it was all over his face. I could feel his heart beating, his eyes searching mine as he waited to see what my response would be.
When I didn't speak, my thoughts too jumbled to make sense, he took my hand in his.
"I wasn't expecting to feel so drawn to you."
I took a sharp inhale of breath. This was heading towards dangerous territory.
As much as I wanted him, I couldn't let it go any further.
"James, we had sex once. It didn't mean anything."
He shook his head,
"I've had lots of sex with lots of women, it's never felt like this before."
Maybe some physical distance would make this conversation easier. I reached for my beer and drained it.
"You aren't like most girls, are you, Sophie?"
No, I wasn't. So, let me be.
"I'm not giving up. I know you feel the same way I do." He insisted.
I thought of Tommy, and what he would do if he ever found me again. There was no way I could start anything with James, it wasn't fair to either of us.
"We can't be together, it would never work. Trust me." I whispered, wiping my eyes.
He gave a massive sigh and pulled me back into his arms.
"Ok, how about a compromise?" He said, stroking my hair.
I gave him a confused look, not understanding what he meant.
"Why don't we enjoy what this is. Make the most of the time we have here, right now."
I turned to speak to him, but he put his fingers over my lips.
"We both know it's going to be impossible for us to not end up in bed together. Let's not spend your entire holiday trying to fight it."
This was a bad idea.
Every part of me knew it could only end with hurt, and I'd had enough of that to last me a lifetime.
He leaned closer, his lips brushing mine.
I couldn't tell him no. I wanted him, and I was sick of denying how I felt.
I put my hand to his face and pulled him closer. The tip of our noses were touching, his stubble scratching my face. When we finally kissed, it was slow and soft. His tongue sweeping through my mouth, and making me moan.