Miami Nights

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Chapter 6

Dinner was excruciating. Everyone talked in animated voices about their days and Alina's hair and Josie getting to shoot a basket on the court and Alina's Mom testing out the loud speaker in the arena. Alina smiled and nodded along and chimed in when necessary but all she could hear was Noah's laughter and all she could feel was tingling and excitement in her body when she thought about his lips on hers. She had never kissed someone she barely knew, she'd also never met someone like Noah. He seemed to ooze confidence without arrogance, he made her, and everyone in his life, feel special and worthy.

Alina could not wait to get back to their hotel, take a cold shower, and, hopefully, fall asleep quickly. Even with the jet lag and alcohol, she felt like Noah had set her day on fire and she was sure she'd stay up way too late analyzing every exciting detail of it.

"What do you think Alina? Doesn't that sound fun?"

Alina snapped back to attention and looked up at her mother.

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"John offered to take us on a catamaran that will take us to an amazing snorkeling area the day after tomorrow. Doesn't that sound fun?"

"Oh, yes, thank you so much," Alina said, smiling at John.

"It's amazing Alina, you'll love it. Noah, can you come too? Or are you working?" John asked.

"I close tomorrow night so I'll be tired but available the day after," Noah said smiling. Alina made eye contact with him and he gave her the slightest wink. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered suddenly and she smiled and looked away. She was disappointed to hear he was working the next day but was happy to hear she would definitely see him the day after.

As they asked for the check, Alina excused herself to go to the bathroom and said she would meet them outside.

After washing her hands, Alina played with her hair in the mirror and tried running her fingers through it in a sexy way. She laughed at herself, feeling foolish, and picked up her purse before opening the door.

There was Noah, leaning against the opposite wall, his glasses sitting on his head, his eyes lighting up as he saw her.

She approached him and returned his smile. He reached out and lightly touched her forearm.

"I'd love to see you again...alone...if you want."

"I-I'd like that too," she said, her throat suddenly dry.

"Can I text you later?" He asked.

"Oh, sure," she pulled out her phone, opened the keypad, and handed it to him. He punched in his number and hit a few more buttons before handing it back to her. He had sent a text to a Miami phone number that said "Hey sexy."

"Hey!" She laughed. She pushed him in the shoulder and in one swift move, he grabbed her arm and pulled her closer to him. She thought he was going to kiss her again but instead he pushed them both off the wall.

"Guess we better meet the others," he said, his voice sounding disappointed.

"Right," Alina replied and followed him out of the restaurant where the others were waiting in the cooler yet still warm air.

They all continued to talk animatedly on the walk back to the hotel where John and Noah said goodbye to Alina, Melissa, and Josie.

Alina's heart sank as they entered the elevator and she could no longer see the back of Noah's tall, lean frame.

"Alina has a boyfriend! Alina has a boyfriend," Josie started singing and bouncing around the elevator.

"Huh?" Alina's mom looked confused.

"Didn't you see Noah staring at Alina at dinner? He likes her!" Josie exclaimed.

"He's just being nice Josie, calm down," Alina said as she rolled her eyes. Alina looked over at her mom who had a coy smile on her face. "What?"

"Nothing, nothing," Alina's Mom said as she looked at the elevator doors.


Alina said goodnight to her mom and Josie, she had a room a few doors down in the same hallway, having her own hotel room was one of her stipulations for accompanying them on this trip.

Alina kicked off her shoes and fell backwards on her bed. 24 hours ago she had been boarding a plane in Portland, Oregon and here she was across the country with a fresh haircut and the taste of Noah's lips on her mind.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket. She pulled it out and held it above her on the bed. There was a one word text from Noah.

Nightcap?

Alina bit her lip. She was exhausted, and meeting a guy she barely knew alone seemed slightly careless. But the idea of seeing him one last time before going to sleep was tempting. The butterflies started to flutter again as she responded.

Sure.

Perfect, meet me downstairs.

Alina leapt up and flew into the bathroom. She combed her fingers through her hair, swished with some mouthwash, and applied a fresh coat of lip gloss. She quietly left her room so her Mom and Josie wouldn't hear before stepping lightly down the hall. She pressed the elevator button at least five times while looking down the hall to make sure she was alone.

The elevator opened to the grand, marble lobby where Noah was sitting on a cushy, chair looking up at the ceiling. Damn, he was even cuter than in her mind. She still couldn't believe that she was meeting a guy she barely knew at night on the first day of her vacation.

When he saw her he smiled and stood up.

"Hey, haven't seen you in a while," he said jokingly.

"I know," Alina laughed. "So where are we going?"

"Actually, I thought we could take a walk to a nearby park." Noah said.

Alina looked behind him to see that it was completely dark out and looked at him skeptically. Noah laughed and gently grabbed her chin.

"Trust me," Noah said. She could feel his breath on her face, it was minty.

"Okay," she replied.

They both walked side by side out of the lobby into the night air.

A few minutes later, they were sitting on the grass in a small park looking at the nearby ships pass each other on the water. It was still warm but the breeze was heavenly and the temperature was much more manageable.

"Now this is a part of Miami I could get used to," Alina said.

"Me too," said Noah as he talked a strand of hair behind her ear. Alina blushed and hoped it was dark enough that she couldn't see.

"So, what's next for you?" Alina asked. Noah looked at her with a confused expression. "Are you going to go to culinary school or learn on the job? Do you want to own your own restaurant someday?"

Noah nodded slowly and paused.

"I honestly haven't thought about it that much. I just know I want to be in a kitchen, I've looked into culinary schools around here but they sound a little intimidating, I want to get some boots on the ground before going into a program."

"That sounds like a good plan," Alina said. They paused as a brightly lit ship ambled passed their view.

"What about y0u? What are you going to do after y0u become a marine biologist?" Noah asked.

"I am not sure yet either. There's several different areas I could go into. I love field work but it's really competitive. I only have one year of school left so I need to figure it out," she said.

"I'm sure you will," he said. They continued talking about school and other random subjects when Alina accidentally let out a huge yawn.

"We better get you back to your bed before you fall asleep out here," Noah said as he tucked another strand of hair behind her ear. Alina reluctantly agreed and Noah helped her up before they slowly walked back to the hotel.

In the lobby, Alina turned to Noah.

"Thank you so much for today. I've had a rough...time lately and today was the best day I've had in a long time."

Noah smiled, and stepped forward. He gently cradled Alina's face with both hands, leaned down and kissed her. This kiss was deeper than the first with a slight edge of hunger. Alina returned the kiss and let out an involuntary "mmmm" which made Noah kiss her deeper. When he pulled away, Alina felt disappointed.

"Goodnight Alina."

"Goodnight," Alina said as she stepped onto the elevator and smiled at Noah as the door closed.

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