Identity Series Book 2: I Am Sarah

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Chapter 17

After eating a delicious dish of crab and native vegetables, Erik stood up and held out his hand to me. I hesitated, but he grinned.

“You promised,” he said, and I put my hand in his.

“You forced me,” I answered.

He laughed. “Hardly.”

“You did,” I said as he stopped in the middle of the dance floor. “You threatened to starve me if I didn’t agree.”

“I don’t quite remember it that way,” he said lightly, but then he frowned. “Sarah, we don’t have to dance if you don’t want to.”

“No,” I said, “I want to dance with you; I really do. I just don’t want to look like a complete idiot.”

His smile returned. “Now, would I ever let that happen to you?” He put his hands on my waist after moving mine to his shoulders. “Just relax and follow me.” My hands clenched his shirt as he began to move, and he whispered, “Relax, Sarah.”

I took a deep breath and looked into his eyes. They were sparkling, and I lost myself in them, forgetting where I was and what I was trying to do. We danced slowly, and I slid my hands up to Erik’s neck, and his moved to my back as we gazed at each other.

“See,” he breathed, “you can dance.”

“So it would seem. Comes from having a great partner, I guess.”

He chuckled and then reached up and took one of my hands in his. “Do you trust me?” he asked.

“Of course.”

“Good.”

The band had started playing a faster piece, and Erik began to lead me around the floor, slowly at first, and then, as I got the hang of it, a little faster. At one point, he spun me out from him and back. I laughed, and he grinned. At the end of the song, he dipped me and placed a brief kiss on my lips before standing me back up.

“Oh, Erik,” I said, breathing heavily, “that was fun! Thank you.”

His eyebrows rose. “One more?”

“No.” I shook my head. “I need to rest first.” I looked over at our table and saw that the rest of the crew had taken tables around it. “But if you want to dance with someone, please do.”

That brought a frown. “Sarah, you know what happened last time.”

“I know, but I was alone then. I will have the others to keep me safe. Besides, I really like to just watch you.”

He looked at our friends, and I thought he would agree, but then he shook his head. “No, I only want to dance with you.” He took my hand and walked to our table. After he held my chair for me, he moved his own next to mine and draped his arm over my shoulders.

“You two looked good out there,” Sheryl said with a smile.

I chuckled. “Erik more than me, I’m sure.”

She just laughed.

We spent another few hours dancing and talking and relaxing, and then Erik leaned close to me.

“Walk with me?” he whispered.

I nodded, and he stood. I followed him up, and we said our goodbyes to our friends. Erik guided me out of the hotel, and once we were outside, he took my hand and started walking down the street in the opposite direction from where the Rebecca was docked.

It was late afternoon, and we could hear the birds in the trees as well as the noises of animals back in the brush. We walked in silence, and after a few minutes, I moved closer to Erik. He shifted his hold on me and pulled me to his side. I sighed contentedly, and he chuckled.

It didn’t take long before we were away from the hotel and into a less populated area of Suva. We walked down to the water and he sat me down on the beach before laying down with his head in my lap.

“What are you doing?”

He grinned up at me and turned his face to my belly. He began whispering to it, and I trailed my fingers through his hair. After a few moments, he kissed my belly and then turned onto his back and stared up at me.

“What do you say to him?”

He smiled. “Him?”

I shrugged. “I just don’t like saying ‘it.’”

“Do you want a boy?”

“I don’t care, Erik. I just want a healthy baby. Although a little boy that looks like his daddy would be great.”

“Or a little girl as beautiful as her mama.”

“No,” I said thoughtfully, “a boy first so he can take care of his little sister.”

Erik laughed. “Already planning another one?”

“We both grew up as only children. I don’t want my child to be one.”

“Neither do I. We’ll have as many as you want, Sarah.”

I brushed my fingers through his hair. “You didn’t answer my question.”

“No, I didn’t, and I won’t. My words are for him, not you.”

“Fine,” I huffed dramatically. “Keep your secrets.”

He frowned. “Should I be upset right now?”

“No.” I bent down and kissed him. “I’m just teasing.”

“Good to know.” He sighed. “You have made me very happy, Sarah,” he said softly.

“You had some part in it, you know.”

“I know, but it’s not just the baby. It’s everything about you. Your compassion, your understanding, your strength, your beauty. Everything. Having a baby with you wasn’t even on my mind, but I am so excited that it has happened.”

“Me, too.”

He sat up and kissed me before shifting positions and pulling me onto his lap. We stayed there for a while until I felt myself falling asleep.

“Erik, we should get back to the hotel.”

“Why?” he answered distractedly.

“Because you’ll have to carry me back if I fall asleep.”

He shrugged. “I wouldn’t mind.” He held my head to his shoulder and gently caressed my hair. “Go to sleep if you want to.”

I shook my head, but I was so comfortable that I relaxed into him. He started humming, and I could feel the vibrations beneath my cheek. I took a deep breath, and just before I drifted off, I heard him say, “I love you. Both of you.”

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