33. A Surprise
I stared at the door after Vincent had left. My heart was beating wildly, and it was nothing to do with the exertion I had just put in while running.
How could I have been so stupid. He would have never made a bet if he didn’t think he would win.
But when I saw him, on the treadmill next to me, wearing just a pair of shorts, my mind went blank. No, not blank. I’d had all sorts of thoughts running through my brain. Especially when I saw his six pack and V line. Then there were the tattoo’s that littered his body. How was I expected to even think straight.
So I’d agreed to the race. He had toyed with me. Making me think I was winning only to speed up. I knew my own limitations. I’d pushed myself harder than I’d ever pushed myself before. Still it wasn’t enough.
Then he had the bloody cheek to suggest I was a quitter. I wasn’t, and I never would be, so I finished the 5k.
Now I was standing here, my heart beating out of my chest, my mouth dry as a desert, knowing full well that I owed Vincent.
I blamed Gianna for this.
After my little meltdown, I was sure she wouldn’t want anything to do with me, but I was wrong. We’d spend the last few days hanging out. She was so happy that I was once again going to attend her wedding. Even if it was just as a guest.
She even apologised for her matchmaking stunt.
Now I realised she probably wasn’t sorry at all. Just sorry that it had blown up in her face. She was the only one who knew I was in the gym. Hell up until yesterday, I didn’t even know there was one.
We’d come down together, yesterday afternoon.
Her idea of a workout and mine, were completely different. After about ten minutes she said she was bored, so she sat on the sidelines talking about some nonsense whilst I finished my cardio workout. I’d wanted to do some other stuff as well, but she’d literally dragged me off to do something else which involved cocktails and sunshine.
At least now I knew where the gym was. I just had to try and avoid being there at the same time as Vincent.
I couldn’t risk him seeing me checking him out. Not after what I’d said when I blew up in his face.
Part of me was trying to convince myself that the fact he dated my mother shouldn’t bother me, whilst the other part kept on shuddering at the thought of it. I wasn’t sure why. Its not like I knew her. It’s not like I expected Vincent to be some sort of virgin. He’d probably had numerous partners before. So why was I so obsessed with the fact that he’d dated my mother. Probably because by all accounts we looked like each other. Maybe because I thought that he expected me to be like her. Maybe because I thought he was looking at me like some sort of replacement for her.
It would probably have been better if he hadn’t told me at all. Then that voice in my head just poked me. He was being honest. You won’t even admit that you like him, but you know you do.
Damn. Why was my life so complicated.
It wouldn’t be soon. Soon I would be back at school, fending off Patrick and concentrating on good grades. Maybe I would talk to the coach about running. Seeing what I had to do about getting a sports scholarship to a college.
I left the gym and headed back to my cabin. First though, a cold shower.
I didn’t even get the chance for that.
When I opened my cabin door, Gianna was sitting cross-legged on the bed, grinning.
“Well?” She beamed.
I rolled my eyes.
“I knew it was you. You set me up,” I scowled.
She almost bounced on the bed in excitement.
“What happened? Go on, spill.”
“Can I at least have a shower first.”
Gianna chuckled, as I grabbed a pair of cut off shorts, and crop top, and headed into the bathroom. Sometimes I wondered who was the adult here.
Once I was out the shower and dressed, Gianna looked at me expectedly.
I rolled my eyes and plonked myself on the bed.
“He wanted to race me. 5K. I lost and now I owe him a date,” I huffed.
“What’s so bad about that. Don’t tell me you don’t like my brother, because if you do I won’t believe it. He had his hands all over you before...”
Her voice trailed off.
“You mean before I found out he had a thing with my mother,” I scoffed.
“I would hardly call it a thing. He liked her, I know that much, and he dated her a few times. That was until Daniel got his hooks into her.”
She spat his name with disgust. It seemed that no one in their family liked Daniel. I could understand it because he preyed on young girls, and almost got hold of me, but maybe there was something more. I’d been under the impression that Vincent and my mother had done more than just date.
“You mean they didn’t...”
My voice trailed off and I suddenly shook my head and waved my hand about.
“No...Don’t even go there, I don’t want to know,” I blurted.
“I’m pretty sure they didn’t,” she hesitated, and quickly changed the subject.
“So, where are you going on this date?”
I rolled my eyes.
“I don’t know, he didn’t say. I’m afraid he might stalk me when I get back home. He said being in America wouldn’t stop him. Maybe I could convince him that being at the same wedding is like a date.”
Gianna chuckled, and shook her head.
“Oh no you don’t, Missy. Its my wedding, and I insist you have another proper date with my brother. Give yourselves a chance. I know you like him, and I know for a fact that he likes you. If you don’t sort yourselves out, I’m going to bash your heads together.”
I couldn’t help but smile at Gianna. She was like a mini whirlwind.
“Now come on,” she insisted, “all that running must have worked up an appetite.”
I couldn’t help but agree, as we headed towards the dining room for lunch.
We’d hardly sat down, when Christian came into the dining room.
“You girls have to see this,” he urged, excitedly.
We glanced at each other and rolled our eyes.
“You’ll be sorry if you don’t,” he warned.
Gianna stood up, and gave me a look that told me we better follow him, so I stood up and followed Christian and Gianna out onto the deck.
I gasped as I ran over to the guardrail, gripping onto it with both hands.
“Dolphins!” I exclaimed, excitedly.
They swam parallel with the boat, bouncing out of the water.
I was so intent on the sight before me, I didn’t hear the person walk up behind me.
No until I saw Vincent’s hands clasp the rail on the outside of mine, caging me between his body and the railing.
I let out a small gasp, as I felt our skin touch. His stomach against the naked skin of my back.
“Never seen dolphins, eh?” he whispered in my ear, his breath sending goosebumps across my neck.
My breath hitched in my throat, as I shook my head.
“No,” I whispered, my voice shaking slightly.
I felt the rumble of his chest on my back as he chuckled.
“We must remedy that then. I know just where to take you on our date,” he whispered, his lips almost touching my ear.
I swallowed nervously. As I realised Gianna was right on both counts. We had a connection, as much as I tried to ignore it. I felt something, and I had a funny feeling he did too.
Vincent let go of the rail, and grabbed my hand.
“Come on, I’m taking you on a date,” he chirped.
I frowned as he dragged me away from the rail.
“What about the dolphins,” I pouted, pointing at them.
He carried on pulling, as he chuckled.
“Never mind about those, I’ve got something much more exciting planned.”
I turned my head to look at him, and pouted.
“Vincent,” I whined.
He just smiled and pulled me towards a set of steps going up.
Then he pushed me in front of him.
“Up you go,” he smirked, as I felt his hand gently swat my behind, “anymore tantrums and you’ll owe me another date!”
I looked at him and scowled, but his hands were already either side of the stair rails, leaving me no other option than to go up.
When I reached the top of the stairs, I looked ahead of me and gasped.
“A helicopter!” I exclaimed.
Vincent chuckled again, no doubt he was enjoying this. He knew exactly what was happening but I was oblivious.
I stared at the helicopter that stood on the pad which was on the very top deck of the boat.
I felt his hand rest gently on the bare skin of my back.
“Come on, get in,” he chirped.
It was small only two seats. He buckled me in, and closed the door, before walking around to the other side.
“You can fly a helicopter?” I asked nervously.
“It’s been a while, but its just like riding a bike, once you learn you never really forget.”
I started at him, butterflies churning in my stomach.
“If you fall of a bike, you don’t go falling to your death in a fiery explosion,” I gulped.
Vincent rolled his eyes.
“Do you always have to be quite so dramatic,” he scoffed, as he put a headset on my head. He then put a set on his head.
“We’ll need these to talk as the rotors get noisy,” he explained, his voice coming through the headphones.
I gripped the edge of the seat as the engine started and the blades started to turn.
“Relax, Rosie. You’re quite safe.”
That was easy for him to say, he’d probably been in a helicopter loads of times, but like seeing the dolphins, this was my first time in a helicopter. My heart started thudding. It was bad enough being in a helicopter and not knowing where I was headed, but on top of that I was going to be alone with Vincent. God only knows what he had planned.