THE MAN SHE COULDN’T REFUSE
Jack: How could u bypass Naxos? Have u found another paradise?
Look, laugh, sail, swim, sex, sleep. Wake. Repeat.
Conversation, contemplation, indulgence.
Becca revelled in his passion, personality, perfection. Days drifted as easily as the yacht skimmed through the water, a brilliant blue haze of fun and flirt.
“Time to get up, lazybones.”
Becca rolled over and shot him her best sultry look. “Who are you calling lazy?”
His answering flick of the brows was sly. “You’re saying you’re not?”
“You know I’m not.”
“You’re going to have to prove it.”
“Again? Already?” she teased.
But she was already ready.
An hour later she trailed up onto the deck. Already anchored, the crew were getting the small boat ready to head to shore. But it wasn’t the shore she’d been expecting.
She turned to Levi. “We’re not going to Mykonos?”
“You wanted to go to Delos, right?” He smiled.
“That’s Delos?” She turned and stared at the small island.
“And we have the whole day there,” he confirmed.
Becca raced to grab her guide-book, phone and bag. For the next four hours she lead him from one historic site to another, talking incessantly, explaining minutiae and history and myth.
“Oh my, check this out. You want to compare?” With a cheeky wink, she walked over to inspect the oversized—sadly broken—phallus on a plinth.
Levi laughed and hauled her close. “You know, next time it’s my turn to choose the destination.”
Becca twisted in his arms and looked at him. He had such a compelling physical presence and yet such a warm, open demeanour and as for those sexy eyes…
It hit her like a thunderbolt from Zeus himself.
She’d follow Levi to the end of the world. In a heartbeat. She’d do anything—give up anything—to stay and play with him.
She pulled out of his arms. “I can’t stay,” she said, suddenly short of breath.
She glanced back at him briefly. “I need to go to Mykonos.”
“Sure, we’ll go back to the yacht for the night and—”
“No. I need to go to Mykonos now.” She couldn’t go back to that boat. Couldn’t stay another second with him. She couldn’t breathe.
“Now?” He paused, a frown pulling his brows. “You mean, like, right now?”
“Right now.” She nodded.
“You want to…” He blinked and drew in a deep breath. “What about your pack?”
“Your crew can send it on, right? I can text you with the name of a hostel or something.”
“Becca?” He looked completely confused. And she felt bad but she couldn’t do this. This was everything she’d told herself she didn’t want.
“I’ll go back on the public ferry.” She backed away from him. “Thank you so much. I’ve had a really nice few days.”
“No.” He suddenly stepped after her. “Don’t go turning polite schoolgirl on me now. You owe me way more of an explanation than that.”
She pressed her lips together, trying to hold back the burgeoning emotion enough to explain. “I keep saying yes to you.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
She paused, cold despite the hot summer sun. “For me. Yes. Really bad.”
“Because I’m going to say yes to you, instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“You’re on holiday,” he retorted sarcastically. “What are you ‘supposed’ to be doing?”
Being independent. Growing a backbone. Discovering things on her own. Definitely not falling in love and changing her plans for a guy. Not again.
And she already had once—when she’d decided to skip Naxos and stay onboard with him. And it was fast downhill from there—already she was at the point where she’d do anything for him.
That wasn’t okay.
“I’m sorry Levi. I have to go.”
“Because I’ll lose myself in you. Already it’s happening.”
“Like tofu?” His sarcasm bit.
“Don’t try to make me change my mind,” she said. “Don’t do that to me.”
Because you could.
He looked at her for a long, long moment. Then he shook his head. “You cannot be serious.”
“No,” He stalked four paces away, then whirled back. “We’ve just had the best day ever. The best four days.”
She hesitated—didn’t want to lie. “That’s not the point.”
“Then what the hell is the point?”
“If I stay with you—”
“You’ll have a great time. So will I. What the hell’s wrong with that?”
“I don’t want to change my plans.”
“I’m not asking you to.” He flung up his hands. “What’s with the whole ‘I want to be alone’ crap? No one wants to be alone. Not all the time. Not for good.”
“You don’t get it, I need to be.”
“Why? Because you made a mistake with an ex once? Who hasn’t done that?” He walked forward. “This isn’t good enough, Becca. You’re running away again because, for whatever reason, you feel out of your depth. But don’t. Don’t be a coward.”
“I’m not.” How could he possibly say that? This wasn’t being cowardly—this was being brave. This was doing the right thing, no matter how hard.
“Look, if you don’t want to be with me, fine. But call it as it is, don’t make some lame excuse—”
“It’s not you.”
“I need this time alone.”
“Because you have to prove something stupid to your over-travelled family?”
“It’s got nothing to do with my family.”
“No? You’re not trying to prove to them and the rest of the world that you can handle anything on your own?”
“Here’s what you can’t handle. You can’t handle anything resembling an adult affair. You can’t handle me.”
“Exactly,” she snapped. “I can’t handle you.”
“And you don’t even want to try.” He looked bitter, angry. Unforgiving. “Fine. You want to go your own way? Do it.”
And Becca just watched as he walked away.
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From the book THE MAN SHE COULDN’T REFUSE
by Natalie Anderson
Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Books S.A.
® and TM are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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