Caught by the Tide Ch. 01

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I dried off the worst and shook out the towel so I could sit on it. Then reaching for my beach bag, I dug around inside for my mobile phone and checked the display. No messages. But then I hadn't seriously expected there would be.

It was just after four thirty. As I'd already guessed, too early to go back to the hotel. I'd never before appreciated what lonely places hotel rooms could be, even with the television switched on. Sighing, I stretched out full length on the towel, my mobile phone still in my hand.

In another hour or so I'd go back, have a good long shower before going down to dinner. Then perhaps I'd order a bottle of wine and sit out on the terrace to read my book. Or pretend to read my book. People watching was much more fun.

Daniel was one of the few men I knew who liked people watching too. 'Aye, aye,' he'd murmur, nudging me as we sat in the garden of a pub somewhere. 'There's trouble in paradise there. ' And he was usually right.

Observing an English married couple trying not to argue in public was always entertaining. Far too much stiff upper lip going on, the words polite, the venom with which they were spoken the clue to their real intent. Not at all like the passionate screaming of their European counterparts in Spain or Italy--though that too was fascinating to watch.

I brought the mobile phone back in front of my face and stared at it. I'd changed the background on the display immediately. I couldn't bear to see his grinning face there. But there were other photos.

. . Biting my lip, I pressed the menu key and opened the images file. There he was.

Tall. Blond. Fit. God, I'd thought I was so lucky.

That he'd noticed me--that he'd wanted me--when he could have had any girl he liked. But then I'd played hard to get. I think he'd enjoyed the thrill of the chase. That I hadn't immediately succumbed to his many charms like all the rest appealed to his competitive nature.

And even when I'd surrendered, I still didn't make it easy for him. I guess, deep down, I'd always known that keeping him would be the really tricky part. Though he'd been the one to suggest marriage. I clicked the back button and returned to the menu.

Messages. Inbox. Sarah. .

. Rachel. . .

Mum. . . Sarah.

. . Sarah. .

. Jayne. . .

Mum. . . All variations on a theme of 'hi becky.

r u ok?'. I had to scroll down about twenty messages before I reached the last one I'd received from Daniel. It contained just one word. 'Sorry'.

Grimacing, I pressed the scroll down key once more--then squeezed my eyes tightly shut. What the hell was I doing? Did I really want to re-read the text beneath that one? Torture myself--all over again? With a loud groan, I felt for my bag and stuffed the phone back inside, pulling out the bottle of suntan lotion instead.

I was here to party too, I told myself, slathering myself liberally with cream, though I doubted that the spring sunshine was strong enough to do much damage to my skin at this time of day. I was here to celebrate my lucky escape. And though there was no one to party with--Mum had offered to come but I'd refused her generous offer--that's what I was going to do.

. . . .

Categories: Teen