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Free Read – Heart’s Paradise by Samantha Storm
He should have never come, it was a mistake. When Frank called in a panic and told him Amanda was no where to be found, Devin should had made some kind of an excuse, told Frank to send someone else out looking for her. He was a fool to come, but he wanted to see her.
For years she had avoided being along with him. For years her imagine had haunted his dreams. When Frank called, Devin thought maybe this was a chance to put things right. To fix the misunderstanding that had grown between them.
He had mishandled they whole situation years ago. He blamed himself, it was his fault. He was older, more mature. He should have been able to find a way to let her down easy. To make her understand what he felt for her and the obstacles that were between them. He should have explained himself, been more sympathetic, but instead he had lost his control made love to her and then when reason finally set in, he coldly told her that he could never love her and he had thrown her out in the rain.
It had been a lie. He had watched her grown from a gangly girl into a breathtaking woman. He had fallen hopelessly in love with the nineteen year old daughter of his employer.
And now here he was in alone in Hawaii with her. He had meant to take things slow, to build a trust between them again. But when she had taken him by surprise and kissed him, he had forgotten everything but wanting her. And this morning, he had done it again.
Now that he had tasted her lips, touched her skin he seemed unable to control himself.
If he was smart he would drive straight to the airport, but he was honored bound to stay. If Amanda was in danger there was no way he could leave her here by herself. If something happened Frank would never forgive him. Hell if something happened to her he would never be able to forgive himself.
He sat in his car and watched the waves.
It had been two hours since Devin left the apartment. Amanda had given up all hope that he was coming back. He probably drove straight to the airport and took the first flight off the island. She threw the paperback across the room in frustration.
She had been trying unsuccessful to fill her time reading, but she couldn’t seem to concentrate. Every time she would try to read a sentence her mind would wander off. Her mind kept filling itself with images of Devin; Devin standing damp in the hallway wearing only a towel, Devin sprawled out on the sand asleep. When she thought of him she could feel her face flush and her body would begin to hum with a rush of heat. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t seem to purge thoughts of him from her mind.
She got up from the couch and began to pace back and forth across the room, muttering to herself as she went, “I have to stop this craziness.”
She closed her eyes and there he was again, Devin taking her face gently in his hands and kissing her.
“This is not good,” she yelled out in frustration to the empty room, “I’ve to get control of myself. I’ve been kissed before. Been made love to before.” But she had never felt that kind of passion she had with Devin with anyone else.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a ringing phone. She walked and picked it up.
“Amanda are you there?” It was Allen’s voice on the other end. She wanted to slam it down the receiver, but he would just call back. “Allen what do you want?”
“Are you alone?”
“Yes,” Amanda answered without thinking. The line went dead. She held the receiver in her hand staring as it slowly dawned on her Allen now knew she was alone. He would be coming over and demanding she let him into the apartment.
She only had a few minutes before he would be pounding on the door. One option was to close all the drapes and refused to open the door. Another was to grab her stuff and make a quick dash out the door. If she was going to have a scene with Allen, which seemed to enviable, she would make him as uncomfortable as possible surrounding herself with other people. And being in a crowd was the only way she could ensure her own safety.
Amanda ran down the hallway into her bedroom and quickly changed into her favorite, red, one-piece bathing suit. She grabbed a towel, her paperback and a drink sprinting down out the door and towards the beach.
If she walked down the beach a mile or two it would be even harder for Allen to find her. She could find a place to lie in the sun and read her book and just wait him out. Eventually Allen would get bored pounding on a door of an empty condo.
She spent the afternoon under a shady spot of a big boulder. She stayed there for a few hours, contently reading her book and occasionally going for a deep in the green-blue water to cool off.
When the people scattered on the beach around her started gathering up there things, she decided it was safe to go back to the condo. She grabbed her towel and headed down the beach.
She heard Allen’s voice before she saw him. He was shouting curses at the top of his lungs. Amanda alarmed at the sound of his voice, it wasn’t like Allen to be shouting, hurried through the trees and towards the condo. Just on the other side of the trees, on the main stretch of grass, laid Allen on the ground, blood pouring out of his nose. Standing above him was Devin, looking more chagrin then angry. Amanda stood staring at the two of them, unsure what to do.
“I shouldn’t have hit him.”
“You hit me you bastard!” Allen was trying, unsuccessful, to stop the flow of blood from his nose with his hands.
Devin looked down at Allen. “Yes, I hit you because you deserved it, but I shouldn’t have lost my temper on someone like you.”
“You broke my nose!” Allen moaned as he struggled to get to his feet.
Devin shrugged his shoulders. “You asked for it.”
“Devin, help him up, we have to take him to a hospital.” She started instinctively to go over and help Allen.
Devin put out his arm and stopped her. “Amanda leave the guy alone, he will be fine.”
Devin grabbed her arm and started leading her past Allen and towards the Condo. Amanda struggled to get out of his grasp, “But you can’t just leave him here!”
“I tell you he will be fine, look he has a cell phone, he can call an ambulance if he needs one.”
Amanda had no choice but to follow Devin into the Condo. Once inside Devin locked the door and shut the windows.
“What happened?” Amanda demanded.
“You’re right, your ex fiancée is a loon.” Devin walked and sat on the sofa. “So what do you want to eat tonight?”
“Eat? Are you crazy, what happened out there? Why did you hit him?”
Devin put his feet up on the coffee table and started rubbing the back of his neck. “I was pretty pissed when I left.”
Amanda nodded her head in agreement and sat down on the closest wicker chair. “You were pissed, you left…”
“I drove around for a while, took some time to cool off.” Devin looked apologetic at Amanda. “I do that when I get really mad, I’m not like you, I don’t just blow up and then everything is fine 10 minutes later, I have to leave, cool off.”
“Devin if you don’t tell me why you hit Allen I am going to pick up this lamp and knock you over the head with it.”
He grinned at her. “I came back and you weren’t in so I decided to wait for you. Allen appeared out of now where and started banging on your door like a crazy man. When you didn’t answer he started shouting at the top of his lungs for you to let him in. By the time he had given up, started down the stair, and spotted me sitting on the grass, he was really having a fit. He stormed over to me and started yelling all kinds of crazy stuff.”
“What kind of crazy stuff?”
“Basically stuff about me being a bastard and a womanizer.”
“And that’s when you hit him?”
“No. I hit him when he starting calling you a whore.”
“Allen called me a whore?”
“Among other things.”
Amanda didn’t know what to say. What had come over Allen? He had never behaved like this before; banging on the door, calling her a whore, screaming at Devin in public. This was not the type of behavior that Allen would consider civilized; and to Allen social civility was a must.
“Allen is not in his right mind.” Amanda got up and started pacing back and forth across the room. “What is he thinking?”
Devin was enjoying the view Amanda’s red bathing suit left little to the imagination. It was cut low in front, high on the thighs, with little to no back; two small pieces of material tied together in the middle of her back seemed to be its only means of support. Devin could just make out some short of shape on her lower back. “Amanda do you have a tattoo?”
She was so intense in her own thoughts that she didn’t seem to hear him.
He leaned forward and concentrated on a spot on the lower left side of her back. He could just barely make out ears, a nose and a tail. “It’s a black cat!”
“What?” she stopped and stared at him trying to understand what he was talking about.
“You have a tattoo of a cat on your back.”
“Yeah, so what?”
He looked at her and started laughing. “I just never imagine that you would be the type of person to have a tattoo.”
She narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “What’s that suppose to mean.”
“I don’t know, I guess I always pegged your as a goody too shoes.”
“The nice girl next door. Not the, let’s have tequila shots, and come check out my tattoo type of girl.” He burst into laughter at her expression. “Look I take it back. I’m sure you can do shots with the best of them.” He got up and went over and stood in front of her.”Amanda your ex fiancée is acting very unbalanced at the moment. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to stay in Hawaii. Why don’t you come back with me. We can book a flight for late tonight or tomorrow morning.”
“And where would we go? Back to my parents house? I don’t think I can put up with my Father fussing over me right now.”
“You could come and stay with me at my place.”
“No I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
“Forget it, I am staying here. I have taken a vacation from work and I plan to stay here for the next two weeks. Besides I am not going to be run off again by Allen.” She crossed her arms and looked at him with a stubborn expression on her face that he was all too familiar with. When she looked like that she was impossible to reason with.
He curbed the urge to shake her until she agreed with him. “I can’t leave you here alone. And what do you mean again?”
“Never mind, I was silly to be scared of Allen. I am a full grown woman capable of protecting myself.” Now that she had decided to take a stand, she felt much better. The whole running away thing had made her feel helpless, a victim. It was not a role Amanda had ever imagined she would be put into. But that was over, it was time for her to stand up; time to put a stop to Allen’s irate and downright frightening behavior.
“Is that right?”
“Yes, I taken some self defense classes and I even have a can of mace in my bedroom.”
Devin tried hard not to grin as he imagined Amanda armed with her mace chasing Allen across the lawn. “Then I guess I’m staying.”
“Staying. What kind of guy would I be to leave an unprotected female alone in Hawaii, while her crazed ex fiancée stalked her? Can you imagine me trying to explain that to your father? You leave me no choice. If you stay then I’m staying with you.”
Amanda stuttered, “But…. where will you sleep.”
Devin kept his face serious but she could see the laughter in his eyes. “Don’t worry, I am more than happy to bunk out on the couch; that is, unless you can suggest a more comfortable place for me to sleep?”
She turned quickly to hide her grin and started walking towards the hall. “No, the couch will be fine. I’m going to go change. Where are you taking me to eat tonight?”
“How about Chinese food?” he called after her, admiring the way her bathing suit dipped low in back. He planned sometime soon to get a much better look at that tattoo.
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