Eye on the Prize

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Chapter 14

Chapter 14

A vacation was precisely what Diana desperately needed and deserved. If she didn’t get out of town, there was a good chance that she would suffer a nervous breakdown, especially after her conversation with Dom. While Diana was out running errands, her mother took care of rebooking the flight. She decided to stay the full two weeks instead of one. Both of her parents were concerned about her well-being, but everyone agreed that an extended vacation was what their daughter needed.

Marco’s recent behavior was uncharacteristic, and they were furious with him. He managed to fool everyone in the short time that they knew him. They wanted their daughter to get out of the country as quickly as possible so that she would not be available in case he changed his mind. He was the last person on earth that they wanted their daughter to marry. They knew that Diana was strong, but she was also vulnerable. At least Marco possessed the common decency to stay away from her. They would venture to say that he was probably staying at the Dewey Beach house. As far as they were concerned, he strung her along for long enough.

The next morning, Diana woke up early enough to share breakfast with her parents. After some idle chit-chat, they insisted on dropping her off at the airport and were relieved to see her in a better frame of mind. Diana thanked them both for their love and support and reassured them that she would do her best to enjoy the time away.

She kept her promise and ordered a celebration drink on the plane seconds after boarding. She even made a toast to herself. “Marco, you have no idea what you have done. Without me, your life is over. Bermuda, here I come.”

The resort in Southampton was truly spectacular, as was the entire island. Diana was drawn to Bermuda’s beautiful pastel pink, yellow, blue, green, and peach architecture. The pink sand and rock formations added to the country’s natural beauty. Paired with the turquoise blue of the ocean, the entire island looked like a fabulous watercolor painting. It was very nice that the beach wasn’t overcrowded with high rise hotels since it would have taken away from the natural beauty by making it commercialized. The people here were friendly and eager to speak about their culture to anyone who showed an interest.

Diana’s flight was uneventful, and she was in paradise in only two and a half hours. She felt her problems instantly melt away, and it was hard to be sad in a place as beautiful as Bermuda. Philadelphia seemed to be another world away from here. Her bags were brought to a first floor, oceanfront room. She was famished and ordered room service before unpacking a suitcase. After her food arrived, she opened the sliding doors and dined outdoors. The weather was gorgeous, with a soft, gentle breeze blowing.

Her lunch was delicious and very satisfying. It was the first real meal she had eaten since she was stood up at the altar. She sat there, thinking that the worst part of the whole ordeal was not being given a reason for his decision. Who gave Marco the right to hold that much power over her and decide their fate as a couple? It didn’t seem fair to her, and there had been no word from him since. Diana’s mind was working overtime to figure out what happened to change their future together. Other than a few incidents, there had been no major fights. He did show up to the wedding to tell her in person that he could not marry her, but he should have stayed home since he had no explanation to offer. He crushed her heart in front of everyone, which was inexcusable.

She watched more than enough movies where the groom stranded the bride at the altar, and now she was one of them. It was a complete feeling of loss to have the person you love walk away by

choice. She felt heartbroken and devastated and told herself it was his loss when it felt more like hers. Somehow the best day of her life became the worst day of her life thanks to Marco not being able to go through with it. It was the worst rejection imaginable, and she deserved an explanation. Diana hated Marco with every fiber of her being, yet her memory wasn’t receiving the message. She found herself reminiscing about the good times, laughter, and love that they shared. It was more than a figment of her imagination, but he decided to throw it all away like a piece of trash. Thanks to him, her fairytale wedding turned into a horror story. For the next two weeks, she would not allow him the pleasure of a single thought. Bermuda was the perfect place for her to rejuvenate and go home feeling better than when she left. She felt determined more than ever to use this time for a new beginning so that she could move on with her life.

Diana changed into a teal bikini that fit her perfectly and highlighted her best assets. It was very appealing and flattering. She lounged in a chair on the beach close to the water. A waiter offered her a rum cocktail, which she gladly accepted. It was cool, refreshing, and delicious. The ambiance enhanced her mood as she admired the pink sand and the ocean’s beautiful blue water. This vacation was just what the doctor ordered. Diana worked so hard all of the time and rarely took a vacation day, let alone a two-week vacation.

Finding time to relax was another area of her life that needed improvement because life was too short, and she deserved to enjoy herself. A girl could easily get used to this pampering. As she was relaxing, a man’s voice interrupted her tranquility.

“Sorry to bother you, but do you know karate? Your body is kickin’!”

Diana whipped her head around to tell off the guy with the cheesy pickup line. She intended to tell him to take a hike, but she simply did not possess the willpower. The handsome man looking back at her was drop-dead gorgeous. He reminded her of Robert Downey, Jr. with his rugged good looks.

She moved her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose as she checked him out. “Do those lame pick-up lines work for you?”

“You tell me.” He smiled at her with straight, gorgeous white teeth.

She appreciatively smiled back at him as she finished her drink and stood up. “It was a good try, but you need to work on your moves.”

The sexy stranger laughed out loud and whistled approvingly as she walked away. She could feel his eyes on her derriere as she sashayed off the beach on the way to the hotel.

In the afternoon, she decided on some retail therapy and treated herself to a new dress for dinner. A new dress would not be very fashionable with old shoes, so she convinced herself to buy a new pair with some jewelry and a new bag. Why not? She deserved to splurge after everything her ex-fiancé put her through. The trip was free, so she could afford to spend a little cash. New clothes had the power to make a person feel fabulous and confident.

Diana showered and slipped into her body-hugging yellow and white dress. She admired her reflection in the mirror and thought she looked damn good. Someone would appreciate and love her someday soon. Marco was a total jackass, and she was on her way to forget about him. He seemed to have no trouble in that department. Marco tossed her aside as if she never meant anything to him. Since he evidently had no regrets, Diana took a deep breath and told herself that she could do this and made her way to dinner.

The hostess in the restaurant approached her, and she requested a seat for one. Diana ordered a cocktail and sipped it as she enjoyed the ambiance. It was beautiful, and she was happy to be on vacation. It was a breath of fresh air and melted her stress away. A waiter approached her table and requested Diana’s attention. The waiter’s

good mood was contagious. A steel band began to play calypso music right in front of her table. They were terrific and such a pleasant surprise. As she sat there listening to the music, someone slipped into the seat across from her. She looked up, astonished at his audacity.

The hot guy from the beach had joined her and looked very pleased with himself. “We meet again. I must say that you look gorgeous with clothes on too.”

She blushed, and he didn’t miss a trick. It made her mad that he was having this effect on her. She smiled at him. “Thank you. Did you hire this band? I wasn’t aware that there was entertainment at the restaurant.”

“Ah, a woman who is not only stunning but clever too. I am definitely intrigued.”

“Well, it doesn’t take much. First, you try to impress me with a tacky pickup line. Now you think you can hire a band and waltz in here like you own the place. You really upped your game. I must say that I am impressed.”

He was having a good time flirting and rewarded Diana with a warm smile. “I tried to save money, so I tried the cheapest option first.”

They both burst out laughing. Diana felt an instant connection with this man and wanted to spend more time with him. This option was undoubtedly much better than dining alone, and she was entitled to some fun! She was not the type of person who regularly flirted with perfect strangers; however, desperate times called for desperate measures. A meeting like this happened for a reason, and she was willing to wait and see what surprises the night had in store for her.

Robert Downey Jr. interrupted her thoughts. “I hope the surprised look on your face is not one of disgust. I would love to have the honor of dining with you on this beautiful evening.

“I must say that I am interested to see what you have planned for the rest of the night.”

“Patience, my love. Now that I have your attention, I promise not to let you down. We will have a great time.” He reached across the table and took her hand while he seductively gazed into her eyes. She watched him slowly lift her hand to his lips while he placed a tender kiss on it. “You look ravishing in your yellow dress. Am I invited to join you?”

He was a hot-blooded male, and she could see by the smile on his face that he knew the effect he was having on her. This man was witty, charming, and playful. She loved the confidence oozing out of his pores. Her body was alive with excitement. “As a matter of fact, I would love some company. My name is Diana, and you are?”

“Declan. Let me assure you that the pleasure is all mine, Diana.” He pulled his chair closer to hers and gave her his undivided attention.

Diana thought that it was hard to breathe with him seated so close to her. He not only looked great, but he also smelled good. She was going to have to fight to keep her hands off of him.

They continued to flirt with each other while sharing cocktails and dinner Declan pulled a flower from the centerpiece on the table and placed it in Diana’s hair while tucking her hair behind her ear. After a leisurely and satisfying dinner, Declan laced his fingers with Diana’s.

“I paid for this band, so how do you feel about dancing?” “I would love to dance.”

Their bodies moved on the dance floor as if they were made for each other. Diana ordered tequila shots, and the dancing continued as the inhibitions dropped. Her nerves were calm, and her brain could give a damn about anything else besides dancing with this handsome stranger. The playful banter continued, and their bodies moved closer together the more they drank. There was no need for any deep conversation. Neither one of them had plans because they were living in the moment and savoring it for all it was worth.

They danced and drank late into the night and early into the morning. At some point, Declan was behind Diana with his arm wrapped around her, and she leaned back and began kissing him. She slowly turned and wrapped her arms around his neck as the kiss deepened. Their tongues did a slow tango that deepened with an untamed longing. Kissing him felt amazing, and she could not satisfy her hunger. She wanted more and trailed kisses along his neck and sucked gently on his ear lobe.

Diana wasn’t sure how they got there, but she was up against a door and being kissed by Declan. There was a hot burning desire that needed to be satisfied, and neither one could deny the passion and longing. The door flew open, and they fell to the bed as clothes were thrown to the floor. Somehow Declan managed to kick the door shut as they were falling to the bed. This man had all of the right moves. She wanted his hands everywhere and could not wait one second longer.

Diana’s senses were heightened, and it felt as if time stood still as she enjoyed every touch and wanted it to last forever. It felt so good to be with him, and the sensations had to be better than any drug a person could take. She completely surrendered herself to him and had no idea where he ended and where she began. The pleasure traveled through every pore of her body and she felt electrified and in pure ecstasy. This was a mind-blowing experience that she wanted

to savor for as long as possible. She never experienced anything like this and was loving every minute.

Diana woke up in the morning with a splitting headache. It felt like her brain was slamming against her head. She was in her bed, and the other side looked untouched. Declan was nowhere to be found. It was as if he was never there. She looked around perplexed and then plopped her head back into the pillows. Was it all a dream? There was no sign of a man ever stepping foot into her room. Maybe she was hallucinating from all of the stress in her life.

Diana’s memory was fuzzy, and it was tough trying to remember every detail from the night before, especially with her head throbbing so bad. She needed a cup of coffee from room service more than anything else and decided that maybe a long shower would help clear the fog from her brain. Room service arrived with the coffee just as she stepped out of the shower. She threw on a robe and answered the door. The aroma of the coffee smelled delicious, and she could not wait to drink it, but her wallet was not where she left it. Ramone assured her that it was fine and that he would have it charged to her room. He advised her to call the front desk immediately if she thought her wallet was stolen. Diana thanked Ramone and closed the door behind him. She sat down on the couch with the coffee that she so desperately needed and tried her hardest to piece the night before back together.

The coffee helped with the headache and her memory. She remembered Declan doing shots with her and dancing all night. Well, maybe it was more like rubbing their bodies together to the rhythm of the music and touching at every opportunity. The alcohol and dancing continued until the band went home. When the music stopped, they made beautiful music of their own in Declan’s room.

The thought alone made her blush. She remembered Declan blindfolding her and taking off her clothes. Her body was tingling with longing. Declan massaged her body with oil and moved very slowly. The teasing of his hands rubbed away any inhibitions that remained. Marco left Diana at the altar a couple of days earlier and put her in this position to have sex with someone she just met. Those were risks she usually did not take. There was nothing ordinary about her

life right now. Not only did she take the risk, but she went along for the adventure. Her only thought at that moment was to continue the intense pleasure. Marco who? Screw him. He never made her body feel like this.

The missing piece of the puzzle was how she managed to wake up in her room with no sign of Declan. She was definitely in his room before she fell asleep. He used every bit of energy that she had left. They probably never would have crossed paths again, but it would have been nice to enjoy some more wild sex with him before the vacation was over. Declan definitely left her wanting more. Diana opened the safe in the room. Thank God, her passport was still there with her identification and return plane ticket home. She wouldn’t mind being stuck in Bermuda for the rest of her life. Her money and credit cards were missing.

She took a walk of shame to the front desk to report the incident.

The front desk manager brought her to his office to obtain further details. She told him that she was with a man named Declan in a room on the third floor. There was no record of him or a reservation. Diana could not recall a room number but was able to show him the room. He unlocked the door, and the room was empty as expected. How could this be possible? She knew exactly what happened in the privacy of that room. The thought of the way she reacted to his touch made her pulse race. According to the manager, the only person in that room recently checked out the day before and paid in cash. His name was listed as Harry Bullocks.

Diana held her head in her hands when she heard the name and let out a hearty laugh against her better judgment. Harry surely had a sense of humor using a hilarious assumed name “Hairy Balls” The manager wrote up a report while giving Diana a disapproving look.

He already knew her fiancé left her at the altar and that she was on vacation alone. She had called before the wedding to set up special requests and then needed to cancel them due to the turn of events. It wasn’t difficult for the manager to figure out that she had sex with a

complete stranger on her first day and was robbed. He seemed disappointed in her poor lack of judgment. That was an area of her life that she seemed to excel in.

After casting his personal feelings aside, the manager did his best to console Diana. She confessed that she must have been drugged because she woke up this morning with a nasty headache and had trouble putting the night back together. Someone from the police department came by and took her statement. She was told to be more careful next time. It was unsafe for a woman to travel alone to a foreign country and exhibit risky behavior. She was given a copy of the police report and unceremoniously sent on her way.

She decided to pack up and take the next flight home before she made any more bad decisions. It would be best not to press her luck any further. It was unfathomable how Diana’s life went from bad to worse. First, Marco dumped her at the altar in front of all of her family and friends, and then she gets drugged on her so-called honeymoon. She landed in Philadelphia, and an Uber driver took her to the apartment. There was no need to alert her parents. Let them think she was having a blast in Bermuda. It appeared as if Marco intended to stay gone for good. At least the jerk had some common decency. Diana still had thirteen more days left of her honeymoon vacation, and there was some unfinished business that needed her attention.

Damn you, Marco! The honeymoon was supposed to be the happiest time of her life.

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