And it’s not really a boat so much as it is a yacht.
A really big yacht.
“Are you ready for that alone time that I promised?” Dante asks me.
I look at him.
And I know that I’m ready for alone time with him.
And that includes anything that alone time with him might entail.
I’m readier than I’ve ever been for anything in my entire life.
I nod and take his hand and he leads me to the Daniella.
The Daniella is amazing.
It’s huge and luxurious and is everything that I ever thought a yacht would be. It’s got rooms and furniture and decks. It’s filled with chandeliers, crystal, linens, silk curtains. It’s pretty much a floating mansion.
It’s amazing. That’s the only word I can think of to describe it. And in my head, I’m already composing the email that I’ll send to Becca about this experience.
I can’t wait to see how the email will end.
What will happen here on this boat?
My stomach flutters as the butterflies start flying.
“This is beautiful,” I tell Dante needlessly. We step into a sitting area in the front of the stern and I sit on a cushion, looking out over the water. The sea is like blue glass tonight, still and majestic.
Dante sits next to me and picks up my hand.
“I’m glad you’re here,” he tells me. “I’ve been thinking about having you to myself all week long.”
“Me too,” I say. And then I silently kick myself. Seriously? That’s all I can think of to say?
Dante doesn’t seem to mind. He leans over and kisses me in the most ultra-soft of all kisses.
And the butterflies are back.
But that’s okay.
That’s a good thing in this situation.
They’re just letting me know that something good is about to happen.
Dante runs his hands over my back, so lightly. I lean into his touch, into his arms, feeling the hardness of his chest against mine and I wonder if he can feel my heart beating. If he can, then it is a dead giveaway of how nervous I am, how excited.
The stars shine brightly above us and I’ve never seen a more romantic setting than this one. I can see the email to Becca now.
Becks, the yacht was amazing, the night was perfect and romantic. We were under the stars and–
And then I hear voices.
And then I hear voices? That’s not how the email is supposed to go.
But I do hear voices. I sit still and listen and Dante does too.
Somewhere, from the inside of the boat, there are voices.
“Is someone here?” I ask. “Is there a crew or…”
Dante shakes his head. “There is a crew, but since we aren’t going anywhere, they shouldn’t be here tonight. We should be alone.”
We are whispering and I wonder what we should do. I know that Dante’s security detail will be lingering near the boat and for the first time, it is a comforting feeling and I’m glad that they are here. Somewhere. Wherever they are.
Dante stands up and pulls me behind him. Then he walks softly and quietly and barefoot toward the doors leading into the ship. I am quiet as a mouse as I follow him and I can only hope that no one can hear my heart pounding. Because it is. And it isn’t pounding in a good way like it was pounding a moment ago.
We creep into a dining room just as two shadowy figures burst through the doors on the other side of the room.
“Stop!” Dante calls out.
And the two figures stop.
It’s Mia’s voice.
What the hell?
“Mia?” Dante sounds as surprised as I feel.
He flips on a light and Mia and Vincent are standing there, looking sheepish and guilty, flushed and disheveled. I instantly wonder what the heck they are doing here and then by the bright red blush staining Mia’s cheeks, I know what they’ve been doing.
“Um.” I don’t know what to say. And apparently Dante doesn’t either.
“What are you doing here, guys?” he finally asks. And he doesn’t sound angry. Just curious.
“I’m sorry, D,” Mia says and her voice is genuine and apologetic. “We wanted to be somewhere quiet. My parents are on our boat and Vincent said he would love to see yours, so we came here. I should’ve asked. I’m really sorry.”
Dante is quiet for a moment. But then he smiles.
“It’s alright. Just check first next time, alright? I’d hate to accidentally beat you over the head, thinking that you are an intruder.”
“I’m too sexy to be an intruder,” Mia announces and the tension is broken and everyone laughs with her. “What?” Mia demands. “Green stripes are sexy!” and she flips her green-striped hair with her fingers.
A part of me is incredibly and insanely disappointed that we’re no longer alone. I think this as we spread the contents our picnic basket out on the massive dining room table and we all share it.
The four of us.
And then another part is just slightly relieved.
Because I know what probably would have happened tonight out on the cushions under the stars.
And while I’m so ready for it, I’m a little scared too.
Because I’m a virgin.
But it turns out okay. Seated around one end of the huge table, we laugh and joke and get to know Vincent and it feels like a little party. We eat the expensive cheese and bread and wine that Dante has brought along with the olives, of course, and the little sandwiches cut into triangles.
I notice, too, that the wine is not from the Kontou Winery. Dante gets a point for that. Make that two points. It doesn’t make up for the fact that he let Elena kiss him, though. He lost a million points for that little maneuver. He’ll be making that up for a while. That thought makes me smile.
“Why do you look like that cat who swallowed the canary?” Vincent asks me. He’s sitting next to me, and Dante and Mia are involved in an animated conversation about the pro’s and con’s of 3D movies. I have no idea how they got onto that topic, because I have been lost in a daydream. “Reece?”
Vincent brings me back to earth. I look at him.
“I’m sorry. What?”
“You’re in your own little world.” Vincent reaches for another little sandwich. I briefly daydream about Dante feeding me that little sandwich. After all, we were supposed to be alone here tonight.