Read Island Idyll Online

Authors: Jess Dee

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary

Island Idyll

BOOK: Island Idyll
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Dedication

Viv, it’s taken a while, but we finally did it! Woot. (Bet you’d almost given up on me.)

Lex, here’s to writing many more books together in the middle of the night. *Yawn*

Ladies—I’ve had a brilliant time writing the anthology. Looking forward to round two.

 

Fedora—Thank you. For your sharp eyes, good advice, wise comments and honesty. You realize you’ve become an essential part of my book writing process?

 

Jennifer (Editor Extraordinaire)—I’m not sure whether you’re crazy or just plain wonderful to have taken on the Bandicoot project, but damn, I’m glad you did!

Chapter One

You Are Personally and Cordially Invited to Attend

The Soft Opening of Australia’s Newest FIVE-STAR Luxury Resort

BANDICOOT COVE on Bilby Island.

Bring a plus one if you desire.

 

All expenses and needs will be catered for

as we test our customer services in preparation for the Grand Opening.

 

(P.S. Can you believe I got this job, guys? Wow!!

See you soon,

Love, Kylie

XXXX)

 

(P.P.S.—Si! Wait ’til you see who installed our computer network. Your eyes are gonna pop.)

 

Sienna James drew her arm back, took aim and flung a flattish oyster-colored shell forward with as much gusto as she could manage. It sailed a good five meters in the air, landed with a muffled plop and sank beneath the pristine water surrounding the tropical and oh-so-beautiful Bilby Island.

With a satisfied grin, Sienna buried her feet in the wet sand, the sludgy grains squishing between her toes and leaned down to get another shell. Taking careful aim, she tossed it just as far as before. This time however, as she released the shell, she let out a mighty
whoop
.

Why the hell had she never considered tossing out her troubles before? So far, it was working a treat. With every shell that landed in the ocean, the shackles of her grief loosened, and throw-by-throw, step-by-step, she walked free of them.

Before lobbing the next shell as far as it could go, she brought it up to face level, glared at it with one eye and named it.

“Ben Cowley,” she said and let it fly.

Ben sank gratifyingly fast.

“Dead-end engagement,” she said to another shell and watched it disappear beneath the surface—just the way her ex-upcoming wedding had. Without even a splutter of breath. Both the shell and the wedding were gone. Never to resurface.

She held up a multi-hued shell, complete with intricate twirls and whorls. “Eight freaking years of my life,” she yelled at it. “Eight!” This one flew even farther than the rest, and she had to shake the tension from her wrist as it plopped into the sea.

With every shell that vanished from sight, the burden of her break-up with Ben, which had been weighing down on her shoulders like rotting seaweed, seemed to ease. Tossing her woes aside was exactly what Sienna needed. A kind of ceremonial reawakening. Three months of mourning a dying relationship was long enough. It was time to live again.

Hurling her ex-mother-in-law-to-be into the ocean felt surprisingly good. So damn good, she tossed her in again, just for the hell of it.

The freedom of her actions sang to her. God, she hadn’t felt this positive, this liberated, in months. If the water could drown her sorrows so effectively, what could it do to her body?

She was about to find out.

Checking up and down the deserted beach for any possible sign of life—and finding none—she stripped down to her underwear. With one more cautionary glance to her left and right, she ditched her bra and panties.

Whooping again, she rushed at the water. The welcoming sapphire sea engulfed her. Warm, briny water closed around her legs, then her waist, drawing her into its crystal-clear depths. With a gulp of air, she ducked beneath the surface, submerging herself completely. Silence swam around her. Salt burned her eyes. Peace descended.

When her lungs groaned, voicing their urgency for oxygen, she kicked off from the sandy bottom and exploded into the air. Water splattered in a million different directions.

Throwing her troubles away had been a fantastic idea. Washing them away in this glorious island sea, with only brightly colored fish for company, was the single best idea she’d had in years.

 

Josh Lye stopped to catch his breath before sprinting back to the hotel. The lack of physical distance on the island bothered him not at all. Laps of four-hundred-meter sprints across an island beach under the tropical Queensland sun beat city-bound traffic-laden jogs hands-down, any day.

One minute to get his heart rate back to normal and he’d head back.

He rested his hands on his knees, leaned forward and took mighty mouthfuls of air.

Four, breathe. Three, breathe. Two, breathe. One and…

What the—?

Was that a dolphin?

Uh, not likely, unless the dolphins living in this water were white, and Josh knew for a fact they weren’t. He’d swum out to a pod frolicking off the island just yesterday afternoon, and their sleek skins had been obviously grey. Varying shades of grey, yes, but still grey.

He blinked, looked again, and this time focused properly.

Ah, person. Not dolphin.

Woman, to be more specific.

Wha—? Wait. Naked woman!

Naked woman, wading through the water and…whooping?

One-minute time limit forgotten, Josh stood right where he was and stared, entranced.

Of course she was swimming naked. Anyone with a body quite so bountiful and beautiful
should
swim naked. It should be written into Australian federal law. She should have the political right to display that body to every red-blooded male in the country.

Er, hell, no. She shouldn’t.

She should only display that body to him. And only ever in private, away from the prying eyes of any other hot-blooded male anywhere on earth.

Okay, so he wasn’t so close he could make out details like cup size and freckles, but his view was clear enough that his dick stood up for a look as well.

“Down boy,” he growled quietly. “No way I can run with a woody.”

The mermaid rose, facing away from him, and threw her hair back so that glorious, silver droplets cascaded in a shower around her. She let out a gleeful laugh.

Guilt filled Josh. What kind of a perv was he, watching her like this, when she had no idea he was there? He guessed if she did know she’d plunge back down beneath the water and not resurface until he left.

Time to go.

Marching himself and his stiff-as-steel dick down the beach, he hesitated only when he saw the pile of clothes strewn on the shore.

A pair of white shorts—short, white shorts—a black, singlet-type top and a thong so tiny he almost missed it. A matching bra—a back lacy number—lay alongside the clothing.

So, 36C.

If she’d been any closer, he’d have called it easily without the help of the bra.

With a broad grin and the details of her clothing tucked away in his mind, he took a deep breath and sprinted back down the beach, safe in the knowledge that his little mermaid remained completely unaware of his presence.

Chapter Two

Sienna drew back her shoulders, straightened her spine and with a determined air, turned to face the world.

Okay, maybe not the world. More like the poolside bar. Still, the swim and the shell-tossing exercise had done her a world of good. She felt like a million bucks.

“A strawberry daiquiri please. Frozen, double hit of rum.” She shot the bartender a dazzling smile and was rewarded with a flirty grin.

Oh, yeah. She still had it. The thought was accompanied by a modicum of satisfaction and a whole heap of surprise. After eight years with one man, she hadn’t been sure.

“There you are,” an excited voice purred in her ear. “I’ve been searching for you.”

Sienna turned to find Kylie Sullivan standing beside her. She threw her arms around the other woman, and the two embraced like school kids, jumping up and down and squealing, just like they had at fifteen.

“Oh, my God. It’s gorgeous, Ky. The most exquisite hotel I’ve ever seen,” Sienna enthused.

“I know! Isn’t it wonderful?” Kylie’s eyes shone.

“Amazing.” Ky had landed with her bum in the butter. “A perfect job. A perfect place. Possibly the most romantic hotel on the planet, and you’re managing it.”

Lucky Kylie.

Lucky Sienna. If not for Kylie, she wouldn’t be here right now. Ky had only sent out invitations to her nearest and dearest in anticipation of the grand opening of Bandicoot Cove. This was the practice run. The make-sure-everything-works-smoothly run. Sienna was only too happy to be one of Ky’s experimental subjects.

Kylie shot the bartender a smile. “Whatever she’s having, I’ll have the same, Stan.”

Moments later, the two were stretched out on deck chairs, catching up on the last six months. Large mouthfuls of rum already sat like a warm puddle in Sienna’s belly. Combined with the high of seeing an old friend and the glorious late-spring sunshine heating her skin, Sienna was grinning like a fool.

“I just bumped into Mason and TS,” she told Kylie. Sienna had seen them as she’d walked off the beach. “Your little brother was looking totally stoked over the woman they were with.”

Kylie nodded. “Paige. She seems nice. I’ve met her a couple of times before.”

Sienna agreed. “Nice, gorgeous and skinny.” She frowned. “I don’t like her. I don’t like anyone who’s skinny.”

Kylie laughed out loud. “You’re not looking too bad yourself, Ms. James. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this thin or wearing such revealing clothes, for that matter.”

Sienna glanced down at her shorts and the skintight, black halter-neck. The brand-new items she’d bought after dropping five kilos, post Ben. Missing him, missing the good times they’d spent together, missing the loving, caring, wonderful guy he’d been before he’d gotten so involved with work had killed her appetite, utterly and completely.

See? There were some positives to break-ups. It felt good to wear something skimpy for once. Even if her cleavage tended to spill over the top and she still had another good five kilos to lose. She wasn’t one hundred percent comfortable with the lack of coverage, but wearing any more clothes in this humidity was inconceivable.

“Mack arrived a little while ago also,” Kylie said about the third friend who made up their tight clique, excitement ringing through her voice. “She’s busy exploring the island.”

“Cool. I’ll go find her later. Did she come alone?” Last time Sienna had spoken to her, Mack had been of two minds as to whether to bring her best friend, Aidan, along or travel fancy-free.

“She flew in with Mason.” TS’s friend and Mack’s twin brother. “Aidan’s here too. And he’s looking mighty fine, I might add.”

Sienna shook her head with a grin. “Think Mack will ever notice he’s head-over-heels in love with her?”

“Yeah. One day. When Aidan holds up a banner saying:
Open your eyes, McKenzie. I love you!

The two women burst into laughter. As if. Aidan hadn’t said a word about the subject in all these years. Nothing was ever going to change.

“It’s good to hear you laugh again,” Kylie said. “For a while there you worried us.”

Sienna’s smile faltered before returning with force. “For a while there
I
worried me. But you know what? I’m good now. I’m getting over him. I’m getting over us.” Getting over him hadn’t been easy. If only Ben had been an asshole and done something to hurt her—like cheated or treated her like dirt—breaking up with him would have been a whole lot easier. But the truth was, Ben was a good guy. A wonderful man who’d married his job instead of his fiancée. Which meant getting over him was harder than she’d anticipated.

The shells and the sea had gone a long way to help her today.

“I am so pumped to be on the island. So ready to move on. I bet there are a hundred great-looking men here I can move on with.” One such specimen walked over to the bar as she spoke.

“There are some, for sure.” Kylie’s eyes twinkled with mischief. “But not hundreds. Remember, the hotel isn’t open to the public yet.”

“One’ll do me just fine.” Sienna grinned. “Someone so hot he’ll make me forget all about Ben.” A holiday fling was exactly what she needed to get past the love she still felt for her ex.

A smile tugged at the corner of Kylie’s mouth. “Funny you should mention great-looking men…”

Sienna studied her friend’s face with intrigue. “I’ve seen that look before. You’ve met someone, haven’t you?”

The small smile broke into a massive grin. The kind of grin Kylie only displayed when she was falling in love.

“Spill. Now. What’s his name?”

Kylie’s face lit up. Then shut down. Then lit up again. “Not his,” she confessed in a whisper. “Their.”

Sienna blinked. “Uh, pardon?”

Kylie looked around, as if checking for prying ears. There were none. “I’ve met three guys, Si.
Three.
And I think I’m in love with all of them.”

BOOK: Island Idyll
2.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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