Debra is still is island mode.
We've been back a week, but my heart is still in the Caribbean, so I thought I'd share a snippet of Wild Wedding Weekend today. In this story, Abby and Noah marry because of a game show and head off on a tropical honeymoon cruise.
“Wow, this is some party,” Abby said.
“I’ll say.” Noah took her hand as a group of passengers jostled by. “How’s the ankle feeling?”
She tested by shifting her weight. Sore, but not too bad. “It’ll hold up as long a I don’t do any of that dancing.” She nodded toward the pool deck, which pulsed with a life of its own. Hundreds of people crowded on it.
“Okay, so no dancing. How about something to eat?” Noah nodded at a waiter who passed by with a tray laden with tropical fruit.
She laughed. “I bet I’ve gained fifty pounds on this cruise already.”
Noah’s eyes swept down her body.
“I don’t think you need to worry about that.” He used his index finger to trace the small strip of bare skin visible on her stomach were her shirt didn’t quite meet the waist of her skirt.
She sucked in her breath.
His eyes sought hers. “Ticklish?”
“Yes,” she lied.
Noah’s lips quirked, but didn’t quite form into a full smile. “Interesting.” He gazed at her a moment longer before breaking eye contact. “C’mon, let’s get a drink.”
She followed as he tugged on her hand. A good stiff drink sounded like just the thing. Or a dip in the pool, providing the water was ice cold. Noah’s touch on her flesh hadn’t tickled at all. It had, however, sent shivery fingers of heat radiating over her skin.
“Rum punch?” He asked as they reached a bar on the far side of the deck.
She and Noah watched the festivities for the next hour and consumed decadent treats from the food stations set up along the outer edges of the deck. Sometimes they chatted, other times they fell silent.
Women who passed by the table cast covetous glances at Noah, but to Abby’s secret delight, he paid them no heed. He seemed oblivious to the parade of bikini-clad females who sauntered by, swinging their hips suggestively.
For her part, she found it difficult to keep her eyes off him. He’d left the top few buttons of his flamboyant Hawaiian shirt open, affording her tantalizing glimpses of his bare chest every time he moved. He’d been shirtless all afternoon, but somehow, this was sexier.
A warm, salty breeze blew across the Gulf. She rolled the frosty drink glass across her forehead, blaming the humid air for her rising temperature.
Although if she were honest with herself, she’d have to admit the weather wasn’t the reason for the heat permeating her body.
Noah’s eyes tracked the movement of her glass, then caught and held hers. “C’mon.” He rose from his chair and offered his hand. “We can dance to this.”
The band had switched to a slower rhythm, and couples swayed on the make-shift dance floor.
“I don’t think-”
“C’mon.” Noah tugged her from her chair. He led her to the floor, then turned and pulled her into his arms. One strong hand splayed across her back, the other cradled her palm in his. She rested her free hand on his shoulder as they shuffled their feet to the slow beat of the music. Only a few inches separated their bodies. Heat radiated from him. Heat that had nothing to do with the sultry night air.
As more couples joined those already on the deck, it became difficult to move. As they were jostled once again, Noah pulled her tighter against him. The heat flowed from his body into hers. Like a fever, the warmth raced through her, setting her afire. A slow ache spread.
Noah’s hand drifted to the small of her back. His fingers stroked the strip of bare skin there. She shifted closer to the hard contours of his body. Her arm curved around his back. Her head nestled into his shoulder, and she breathed in the crisp scent of his aftershave. She could spend the next million years listening to the steady strum of his pulse.