We landed in Bora-Bora and the warm sunshine kissed my skin as it rose over the horizon. A hand caught mine as I stepped off the plane and led me to an SUV.
Our place was a small hut just off the main island that hovered over the crystal clear water.
The warm breeze tickled the few hairs that stuck out from my ponytail. My eyes got lost in the blue that reminded me so much of Howie’s eyes. A year had passed. Actually a year, four months and sixteen days exactly. Neil knew work had been my comfort blanket and it had served the family business well. Our profits had nearly tripled in one year and our organization had spread to New York and Maine. Howie would have never believed it would have been so good for us.
“Baby, breakfast is ready.” Neil’s words brought me back and he handed me a mug of coffee.
“We have only two days left here. I thought we could go scuba diving before it got too hot today. What do you think?” I nodded as the warm liquid brought me some life. We stayed up late last night at the local bar, chatting with other couples and even a few surfers. A girl named Hommany promised me lessons this evening. I was looking forward to it actually.
“And my surf lessons tonight will end the trip perfectly.” He nodded in agreement and stuffed a big piece of mango in his mouth, the juice running down his chin. I couldn’t resist kissing it away, licking it off my lips.
“Miss Rossi, you are killing me.” his hands found my hips. The skirt I was wearing hung low, offering a glimpse of a rather sexy tan line I had gotten from days on the beach in the sun.
“I don’t know what you mean. I was just helping.” he chuckled as his lips trailed down the back of my neck. His body pressed into my backside.
“Perhaps you can help me with this too.” I felt his hardness as he slid a hand down into my skirt. A gasp left my coffee stained mouth as his hands worked their magic. I wouldn’t let him win this time, I pushed back and rolled my hips. He wasn’t the only sneaky one.
His moan gave me goosebumps as it turned into a sexy growl and he spun me to face him. Before I could defend myself his lips crashed into mine. My hands tugged at his hair that had grown out long over the weeks we’d been here. His teeth sank into my shoulder as he lifted me onto the kitchen’s counter.
“I can’t resist you anymore. Can I please Lo-” I interrupted him and pulled his shirt off over his head. His string to his shorts was undone in a second and my hand found exactly what I was looking for. His head threw back and he dug his nails into my thighs. I was quick to get him ready as he pulled me to the edge of the counter and pulled my skirt up over my hips. I guided him to my entrance and he paused. Eyes locked onto mine as he entered my body slowly. My eyes filled with tears of pain and pleasure. His hand grabbed the counter’s edge for support while his other one kept my lips pressed to his.
“Fuck Neil.” he let me come up for air as he worked our hips. My hands held my body up as I melted into his pleasure. “Don’t stop please, oh please!” this fueled his fire hotter and he picked up his pace and soon we were both crash landing into a wave of fiery pleasure.
My screams could be heard down the beaches I’m sure but I didn’t care. I had never had a man touch me like this before.
“You are indeed an incredible woman Loreina.” his forehead coated with sweat droplets rested against mine. My sweat ran down my chest, as it rose and fell as I tried to catch my breath.
“Neil… I…” I couldn’t make the words come to make sense and he laughed at me.
“Don’t flatter me Miss Rossi. I’ve never left a woman speechless before. It’ll go to my head ya know.” I rolled my eyes and slid off the counter, they were genuinely jello. He took my hand and led me to the shower.
Our nap lasted well past scuba lessons but just being close to him was enough for me.
My surf lessons went well and Neil cheered me on from the beach. He said he would distract me if he helped teach me and he was right.
I had just come back to shore after eating rocks from my last wave not going so well. Hommoney followed behind me as she waved to another surfer coming to the water’s edge. He was tall and lean, definitely a surfer’s body.
“Hey, Cody! Come meet my friend Loreina! She’s a yank!” I rolled my eyes at her nickname for me. She wasn’t wrong though. I sucked and I was also indeed a yank. As we approached him, he dove into the waves with his board. “Well that was kind of rude.” as I watched him get on top of his board I saw a scar on his abs and his upper chest. My heart raced. I dropped my board and took off after him. When the water was past my waist I started swimming out to him. My heart knew who it was. Despite his name. It was my brother. I knew it.
“Hey! LO! Get out of the water, he can’t see you!” as I was pushed down by a wave his board raced past me and flooded my vision with salty spray. An arm grabbed me from behind and pulled me back to shore.
“What the hell were you thinking? That’s how people get knocked out and drown Loreina!” Neil’s angry voice filled my ears that still had water in them.
“That guy- it's Howie!” He sat back on his heels and handed me a towel. He didn’t look happy that I was making stuff up.
“Baby I know you’ve been having a hard time but that’s not him. Loreina was literally thousands of miles from home. I saw the man’s body. He is dead.” my chest tightened as I rang the water out from my hair.
“Don’t talk to me like I’m a moron. I have known that man my entire life. He has scars like where Howie would. I know it sounds crazy but it’s him. Please you have to believe me. Neil, you’re the only one who would.” his eyes held something I never expected to see. Pity.
I stood and walked back to our place alone and replayed the moment the sun hit that man’s chest. I know it’s him. He's tanner and thinner, stubble covered his cheeks but that's my brother.
I let the cold shower calm my nerves as I heard the bedroom door open and close. The two soft knocks on the bathroom door made me cut the water.
“I just need a few more minutes Neil, please.” there was an uncomfortably long silence before he spoke.
“I need to talk to you.” I dropped the plastic hair brush. The voice from the other side of the door wasn’t Neil. I never thought I’d hear it again.
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