Italian Billionaire's Unwanted Quadruplets(6)

By: Sophia Lynn

Luciano shook his head. It was as if she had turned to smoke and disappeared through his fingers.

While he could certainly respect a good disappearing act, something about this one left Luciano curiously bereft, as if someone had removed something from his heart before he had even realized what it was for.

Chapter Three

Pearl wasn't a surfer, but she liked the same waters that they did. Fortunately, there was plenty of strong water around the shores of Santa Joan, and a great deal of it was less than half an hour’s walk from the resort.

There were warnings posted throughout the resort recommending that the travelers only leave the resort in company, ideally with one of the official tour buses. Santa Joan was a prosperous little community, but there were deep forests where the inhabitants were not always lawful.

Despite the warnings, Pearl felt at home on the island, and she thought nothing of wandering along the beach where the revelers gave way to the locals who were just looking for a night time party.

The sun dipped lower towards the edge of the water, painting the sky with vivid crimson and turning the forest behind the beach black.

I suppose it'll be good to get back to the States, land of Starbucks on every corner and McDonald's on the corners opposite that, she thought. Definitely going to miss this place, though.

She found a quiet bit of beach where she could spread out her towel, and then she simply sat on the sand, staring out at the darkening water. She allowed her breathing to slow, her heart to slow, her mind to slow. There was nothing in her world except for the water, blue turning dark, and below it a world that humans had barely begun to understand.

It had always felt cold when she’d come out to the water to meditate before, but now it felt distinctly warm in her mind. Instead of feeling as if she were sinking down, down, down into the depths, it felt as if she were being taken into something instead. Something foreign was wrapping around her, leaving her warm and soft and open. If she were in some other state, she might have found herself startled and alarmed, but right now, there was only pleasure and curiosity.

Her eyes closed, she sought in her mind for the source of the warmth and the pleasure, and then she saw Luciano's face. It was strange, she had only met him for a few charged moments, but she knew his face well enough in her mind that she thought she could paint him. He smiled, and she could feel her heart beat a little faster in her chest.

What is this? Why him? This makes no sense...

She came out of her meditation with an unpleasant jolt, and she shook her head. She glanced at the water, but something in her right now didn't trust it. Pearl had intended to swim, and she still might yet, but going into the water as dazed as she felt was likely a monumental mistake. She started the walk back to the resort and to her rooms there, but abruptly, she realized she wasn't alone.

During Pearl's meditation, the beach had emptied out. The families were drifting home to their rest, and a rougher element was coming out.

The man who was watching her had the unkept beard and thinning blond hair of an inveterate beach comber. In his ragged and tattered khakis, he was likely an import from the mainland working on a novel that never seemed to end. And that sugar cane grin of his might charm a giggling and innocent co-ed, but Pearl was wise enough to know that it hid teeth. He had come far too close for Pearl's liking, and he fell into step alongside her.

“Gorgeous girl,” he said as casually as if he were talking about the weather. “Did you come to the island for a good time then?”

“I'm here to work,” Pearl said tersely. “I'm up at the hotel up the beach, the Valiant. I'm an employee there.”

It worked often enough. People who came to party and people who worked were two very different classes on Santa Joan, and there was often a kind of mutual disgust for each other. Unfortunately, this man seemed disinclined to worry about trivialities like that.

“Ah, are you a bar girl?” the intruder asked, stepping a little closer. “You're pretty enough. Let me guess. You're a dancer? Beautiful legs, bet they get a workout and you get lots of tips.”

“Nope, I clean rooms and plunge toilets,” Pearl lied. “And I need to get back to it now.”

“Oh, stay a while, pretty girl,” the man crooned. She couldn't tell if he was drunk or if he were just this bad at seduction. “Come, listen to me make up a song just for you, and when you go back, you can sing it to all the girls.”

“Christ, you have got to be kidding,” Pearl said, and she tried to walk faster. If she had to, she would run. However, she didn't expect the man to grab her so hard by the arm that she yelped with pain, spinning her body towards his.