Authors: Maddie James
Tags: #humor, #romantic comedy, #jamaica, #contemporary romance, #nudity, #club resort
“I believe I’ll sit in the back.” He turned
toward the rear of the room.
He sensed Tasha rise behind him. “Andrew
Powell! Get back up here and sit with me. Aren’t you at all
interested in this?”
Andrew turned and scowled at her. “I don’t
think you really want me to answer that truthfully, do you?”
“Yes, I do.” She placed her hands on her
“No, I don’t think you do.” He turned and
stepped toward the last row.
“An…drew...” Tasha drew out the two syllables
of his name.
Continuing his trek to the back, Andrew
selected a seat and sat in the far right corner. He turned and
grinned triumphantly back at her. “Ye…es?” he mimicked.
She stared at him for a moment before turning
back to her seat with a humph. “I don’t know why I even
Andrew listened to her mutter from across the
“You’d think he’d want to expand his horizons
a bit and experience something beyond the norm while he had the
chance.” Her voice rose. “Especially when in a situation where no
one knows him, but noooo, not that conservative little—”
“I think that’s quite enough, Tasha,” Andrew
warned. As irritated as he was that she had dragged him down here
this morning, he really didn’t want to get into another sparring
match with her at the moment.
Tasha sat silent for a minute. She squirmed
in her seat. He could tell he was making her extremely agitated.
Fine. It was time the tables were turned.
“But it looks like you could just give this
thing a whirl, you know? There’s nothing to be ashamed of, is
there?” She still faced the front. Andrew watched her back.
Suddenly, she whirled her body in her seat and pinned him with her
stare. “Is there? You don’t have anything you’re ashamed of,
Andrew, do you?” She questioned with a too-near sarcastic tone.
Andrew smiled sweetly at her. “Ashamed?
Actually, I’m fearful of the shock value, my dear Tasha. I try to
be modest most of the time, you see, but the size of my—”
The door to the room burst open with a flurry
of activity. “My, my, my, my, my! We have guests!” A middle-aged
man with a Caesar haircut and a toga draped over his body swiftly
entered the room and, while clapping his hands, made his way to the
front. Andrew caught and held Tasha’s heated gaze. He watched her
flush, then abruptly turn in her seat to face the front.
Samuel had arrived.
“Greetings! Greetings to one and all! Oh my,”
his room-mate proclaimed, “it is such a beautiful morning out
there, is it not?” He leaned closer to Tasha as if sharing
something in secrecy. “I’m itching to get out there myself, you
know. The weather is simply perfect!” He abruptly straightened then
thrust his hand out toward Tasha. Andrew couldn’t see her face, but
he was sure she was smiling as she took his hand. “Good morning, my
pretty. My name is Samuel.”
“Good morning to you. I’m Tasha.” Andrew
thought Tasha’s voice was way too cheerful. What in the hell was
she doing? The man was obviously an idiot. Who else would be seen
in a toga, for God’s sake?
“Give me a break,” Andrew breathed. He
definitely wasn’t going to hang around too long for this little
Samuel took a step back and glanced at
Andrew. “You may move to the front, sir, if you so choose. I assure
you, I won’t bite!”
Tasha giggled, but didn’t look his way.
Andrew sat up straighter in his seat. “I’m fine where I am. Thank
you, Samuel,” he returned sarcastically.
Samuel glanced from Tasha to Andrew. “Well,
if it suits you, then it suits me. To each his own!” He fluttered
his right hand out in the air. “That’s pretty much the name of the
game around here, you know. Anything goes!”
Turning, Samuel approached a riser and
stepped up one step. “Let’s begin, shall we? I assume this is the
first time for both of you, so we’ll get right to it. I just love
virgins, you know. I mean, virgins to the resort! Oh dear, I think
I made a faux pas. But, you don’t know how lucky you are that you
didn’t get Samantha. She’s my twin sister and all, but sometimes,
she smacks a bit of the wild side.” He grinned at Tasha and glanced
Andrew snorted. A bit of the wild side? What
the hell did he think he smacked of?
“Of course, she’s out of the country for a
few days. Relatives, you know. They can be quite demanding.”
And so can strangers, Andrew thought.
“It’s simple really,” Samuel continued,
“there is only one thing I can tell you to ease your mind about
experiencing our activities, and that is to simply let your mind
go. The key is relaxation. You must relax in order to expand your
mind. Here at Eden II, you should allow yourself to experience your
heart’s desire. Allow yourself to do the things you would normally
not do. And remember, it all stays here, my pretties, at the week’s
end.” He smiled and closed his eyes and stretched his arms out in
front of him.
Andrew watched Tasha follow suit.
“Yes,” Samuel whispered, “let the mind go.
Try it with me now, everyone. Repeat after me. Uummm. Uuummmm.”
Andrew watched Tasha close her eyes and hum
right along with Samuel. He watched her pert, upturned profile, her
lashes laying soft against her skin and the sleek arch of her neck,
somehow inviting. He stared at her neck. He wondered what she would
do if, when he got the chance, he trailed his lips down her neck
from just under her chin to her collarbone? He wondered how her
skin would taste? How her hair would smell?
Samuel cleared his throat and Andrew tore his
gaze from Tasha’s neck to Samuel’s face. His right eye was arched
open and he was staring at Andrew while he continued humming.
Andrew had the damnedest feeling that Samuel could read his very
“Everybody now. With me,” he repeated as he
held his hands out, palm up, in front of him, his thumb and
forefinger meeting. His open eye was still trained on Andrew.
“Uummmm. Uuummmmm. Relax now.”
Andrew didn’t move a muscle and for about the
thirtieth time that week, had to ask how he’d allowed himself to
get into this coo coo’s nest. And why didn’t he just find a way out
of here and leave?
His gaze again drifted to Tasha. Damn. If he
admitted it to himself, he’d swiftly realize the answer to that
question. He was intrigued by the beautiful idiot sitting over
there. Tasha Smith fascinated him like no other woman had ever done
over the course of his adult life. And that was saying
“The secret to losing oneself into our
activities,” Samuel continued, his eyes now closed, his face
pointing to the heavens, “is to become one with nature. Realize the
joy of shedding one’s inhibitions. Realize the trappings society
has put on the human being, the inner soul; the embarrassment
suffered daily by countless thousands who feel they must clothe
their naked bodies and hide from the truth. Realize that with the
shedding of one’s inhibitions, the true self emerges and one must
open up his heart to delve into the inner sanctity of their being
and not thrive on the decorations one places on their soul.”
“Give me a break,” Andrew breathed, the words
barely audible. He shifted his position in the chair.
“And realize,” Samuel droned on, “that one
must set a personal goal, serve himself with a intimate vendetta
against the evils society has cast upon us at the misunderstanding
of our mission here. Our objective is not one of judging by the
beauty of another’s body, but by the gift one receives by exposing
their bodily imperfections to the world, thus making our spirit
cleansed and purified and our soul fed with the richness of our
naked existence, and our psyche less vulnerable.”
“What a crock of—” Andrew stopped mid-mutter
as the door to his left opened and he glanced in that direction.
Two men stepped boldly into the room, spotted Tasha sitting at the
front, and made their way down the aisle toward her, all the while
snickering under their breath. They sat in the row directly behind
For a moment, Andrew could barely believe his
eyes. It couldn’t be true. Those SOBs! Doug Johnston and Brett
Southworth, his colleagues from Seattle, the ones who had arranged
this menagerie, were here! What in the hell did they think they
All he could do was watch them.
Samuel droned on, but for the life of him he
couldn’t decipher a single word. Tasha, for all the world, was
engrossed in Samuel’s musings. She was sitting Indian fashion in
her chair now. It seemed her long, tanned legs were wrapped around
the chair. Andrew swallowed. Those damned irresistible legs.
Her hands rested on her knees, palms turned
upward, thumb and finger meeting, mimicking Samuel. Her face was
turned to the ceiling, her eyes still closed. Andrew wasn’t sure,
but he thought he could hear a faint hum coming from her
And behind her, Doug and Brett were watching
every move she made and punching each other in the ribs. Their eyes
were raking over her body and he knew exactly what they were
thinking. Damn those bastards! They were trying to imagine what she
would look like in the buff!
Abruptly, the humming stopped. Samuel opened
his eyes and lowered his hands. He stared straight ahead to Doug
and Brett. After a moment’s hesitation, Tasha opened her eyes and
lowered her feet to the floor. She looked as if in a trance, her
gaze fixed on Samuel.
Suddenly, Samuel appeared agitated and Andrew
leaned forward in his seat.
“Excuse me gentlemen,” Samuel began, “but
your aura has interrupted my meditation and I’m afraid I’m going to
have to ask you to exit the room.” He waved his hand in the
direction of the door. Tasha glanced a bit to her right.
Doug and Brett simply sat—and smiled.
“Sirs, I am speaking to you!” Andrew couldn’t
believe Samuel could actually raise his voice, but he did. “I’m
afraid that you must go speak to the receptionist at the front desk
for a refund. I fear that your intentions here are not honorable.
You must leave now.”
Doug and Brett looked at each other, then
Doug burst out with a brief guffaw. He rose. “Now look here...”
Doug appeared to be searching for a name.
As if Samuel read his mind, he quickly
replied. “Samuel. My name is Samuel.”
“All right, Samuel. Let me see if I get this
straight. Because you don’t like our aura you feel that our
intentions here may not be honorable and you’re asking us to
Samuel nodded. “Sir, that is what I feel and
what I asked. Now if you please, Miss Tasha and I need to continue.
Her aura is quite pleasant, you know. And pure.”
Brett stood and jabbed Doug in the ribs.
“Pleasant, I’m sure,” he snickered. “But pure, I wonder—”
At that instant Tasha rose to face the two
men. Andrew recognized the angry expression and saw her mouth open.
He was sure she was just about ready to blast the two of them, but
she didn’t get the chance. Somehow, he’d made it to his feet, had
hurtled two rows of chairs, and was standing with a hand on Brett’s
Startled Brett turned around.
Andrew’s fist curled around his co-worker’s
shirt collar. “I don’t think you should be making judgment calls
about something, or someone, you know nothing about, Brett.”
To say that both Brett and Doug were startled
was one thing, but after a couple of seconds slid by, Andrew felt
he was probably the most startled of all. Never in his life had he
approached a peer in such a manner. But then, this wasn’t work.
This was something else entirely.
“Well, well. Andrew Powell. You are
Andrew loosened his grip on Brett and shifted
his gaze to Doug Johnston. Doug stood watching him, a sneer spread
across his face.
“The question is,” Andrew returned without a
second thought, “why are you here?”
Doug and Brett shared a glance. “Vacation,”
they both supplied at once, as if rehearsed.
Andrew stepped away and studied each of them
with narrowed eyes. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Why do I
have difficulty believing that?”
Doug shrugged. “Don’t know, Andrew, my boy.
Once we’d made the arrangements for you to come here, we just
couldn’t resist checking it out for ourselves. It was an
opportunity we couldn’t pass up.” Doug glanced again to Tasha and
grinned hungrily. “No, sir. Just didn’t think we could pass it
Andrew pulled his gaze away from the two men
and glanced at Tasha standing slightly away from all of them. She
had a puzzled look on her face, but when Doug turned to smile at
her, she offered a half-grin back. In that instant, Andrew felt as
though the temperature of the blood inside his chest rose
When Tasha’s gaze hesitantly met his, he saw
something he didn’t want to see. Dammit! Was that some sort of
desire in her eyes? For Doug Johnston? Suddenly he felt like a
fool. Tasha obviously went after any man who gave her a second
glance. How could he have been so stupid?
Andrew didn’t bother to give any of them any
sort of explanation. He simply turned and walked out the room.
“Well, if you aren’t about the rudest man
I’ve ever met in my life!”
Tasha burst into Samuel’s hotel room. Angry
didn’t even beginning to describe the emotion coursing through her
body at the moment.
Andrew stepped away and crossed the room.
Abruptly, he turned to face her. “All right, Tasha. What is it now?
Doug drop you like a hot potato and you’re back looking for
Tasha stood firmly in front of him, arms
crossed over her chest. Nothing was going to make her budge until
she got the answers she was seeking. Not even his arrogance.
“What the hell are you talking about, Andrew?
I don’t even know those men. Obviously, though, you do. So why
don’t you just spill the whole nine yards and get it over with. Who
are they and why are you acting like an idiot?”