"This has been my favourite evening of the holiday." I mumbled, snuggling into James's chest.
He kissed my forehead, and I looked up so I could see him.
"Actually, scrap that. It's my favourite evening ever!"
Our eyes locked and a sharp pain ricocheted through my chest.
"I don't want to leave you." I admitted, blinking back my tears.
James sighed, leaning back into the mattress and taking me with him. It was still a warm evening, but now the sun had set, the sea breeze was more cool.
"Then don't." He whispered, wrapping a woven throw around our naked bodies.
I groaned, burying my face into his muscular chest.
"If only it was that simple."
He gripped my bottom, lifting me up, so I was sat astride him.
"It is that bloody simple. You stay with me, and I'll take care of everything else."
His hands moved to my breasts, cupping them tightly.
"And what about my job?" I asked, resting my hands on his shoulders.
"You don't need one! I'm incredibly rich, don't act like you haven't noticed."
I stared down at him, a smile drifting across my face.
"Do you realise how insane this conversation is? We haven't even known each other for that long."
He shrugged his shoulders, and I sighed.
"It's important to me I have my own money and independence. If I quit my job to stay with you, I'll regret it in the future."
He sat up, clasping my face and pressing his lips to mine.
"I could give you a job. How about becoming my personal assistant?"
I kissed him back lightly before answering.
"You already have one of those."
He shook his head.
"Kate works for both me and Richard, but he always takes priority. Actually, I think she might prefer him."
"Oh no, you poor thing! Does she not make your coffee for you?"
His phone started ringing from the table, and he flipped me to my back.
"I'm going to take it inside. The signal isn't great out here."
I nodded, remembering I meant to clear the table once we'd eaten. Instead, James had insisted we move to watch the sunset.
His grip of my hips tightened as he spoke, and lighting bolts of pleasure shot from between my legs to the rest of my body.
"Come with me." He commanded in my ear, as the cusp of my orgasm struck....
My cheeks heated, shivers running through my body. I'd gone years without sex, but three weeks without making love to James was going to feel like forever.
I wrapped the throw around my body and knotted it at the top, inhaling when I caught the scent of his aftershave. Would it be embarrassing to ask for one of his tops before I left? I felt like I needed something of his to help me cope with our time apart.
"Don't do anything else till you hear back from me." He said, his voice low.
I placed the dirty dishes on the counter, and he jumped, shooting me an annoyed look.
"Sorry!" I mouthed, smiling at him.
He walked out of the room without replying and my chest tightened.
Stop being sensitive.
It was probably something to do with work, or maybe even Bella and her husband. I kept myself busy by loading the dishwasher, trying to ignore my biting paranoia.
Once I'd finished, I looked up to see James stood in the doorway. He'd pulled on a pair of shorts, but no top. I took in his folded arms and tight shoulders.
"Is everything ok?" I asked, my trepidation increasing.
"We need to talk."
"I need to ask you something, and I want you to be honest."
"Who are you?"
I let out a shocked laugh.
I froze, the sensation of ice gliding over my skin.
"What are you talking about?"
He stared at me for a long moment, his eyes flickering with emotion.
I shook my head in disbelief.
He looked across at me, guilt and anger blended together in his eyes.
I took a deep breath, the knot in my stomach tightening.
I made it halfway across the room before I felt his arms around my waist. I yelled as he hauled me backwards, pressing me against the wall.
I struggled against him, my chest tightening.
"I shouldn't have let any of this happen. You shouldn't have…"
"I shouldn't have what? Fallen in love with you? Cared enough to want to protect you?"
I blinked back tears.
"That wasn't what I meant."
"Then tell me what you mean? I'm losing my mind over you. I deserve the whole truth." He breathed.
"I shouldn't have let myself get so involved with you. It isn't fair. I'm sorry." I muttered, staring down at the tiled floor.
James pulled back, hurt spreading across his face. Hot choking tears burnt at my throat as I rushed outside to find my clothes.
I heard him roar my name as I pulled on my dress, my shaking hands making it difficult.
"Do not run away from me."
The crickets chirped in the dark, oblivious to the change from paradise to disaster zone.
"Maybe it's better this ends now. How could we possibly be in love after such a short time?" I yelled, turning to face him.
My own words raked at my insides, raw pain stinging every part of me.
My racing heart slowed to a painful thud, and I bit down on my lip. Walking away from James would be excruciating, no amount of distance or time would ease it.
"Knowing I'm not worthy of your trust kills me. I don't want you to feel you have to hide anything from me." He confessed, shortening the distance between us.
"The past is of no consequence to us. Whatever it is, we'll face it together." He rasped, his voice heavy with emotion.