I lay under the sun, soaking the warmth and heat. You'd think it was just another normal day out at the beach in fact it wasn't. I was just forced to comply with Dwight's wishes which told me I had no other choice than to cut class and pretend like my life didn't have any Rowan related glitches. Minnie sat on the far end of the beach mat, digging a hole into the sand with her spade, occasionally dragging me to the waves for a bucket of water. She looked downright adorable with her pink swimming costume, a matching strawberry band holding back her mousy curls.
"Minnie, grandma packed you some grilled cheese sandwiches. Would you like to have one?" I reached for the basket holding the packed lunch Mrs Masters prepared for us.
She shook her head a very earnest 'NO' without so much a glance towards me.
"Oh wow! Look what we have here. Peanut butter jelly sandwiches."I took a bite and moaned. "hmmmm....this is yumm."
Minnie continued to ignore me as she poured some water into the sand, kneading it like a professional chef would knead dough.
"Minnie." I tried again to no avail.
"laycher." She responded, which I was assuming meant 'later.'
"Minnie, how about a nice, double chocolate ice-cream?" Dwight asked her, taking over the vacant space beside me.
"Awrich." She came running towards Dwight, the beach bucket and spade forgotten.
"Now, if you manage to take two large bites of this sandwich. You will get not one but two ice-creams. Do we have a deal?"
Minnie puckered her lips, trying to decide if her uncle was making a good bargain and nodded. "Okay."
Dwight gave me a devilish grin at his successful scheming when it came down to forcing the child to eat lunch.
"Raising a child is not as easy as it seems." Dwight declared.
"I know that." I said, trying hard to not show him how envious I felt. "Why are you even here? I thought you were supposed to be busy on Saturday."
"I cancelled the board meetings, in fact I was supposed to accompany dad to Singapore but decided against it. I have been working all day, yesterday; I think I deserve a break too." Dwight's iPhone vibrated beside him as if to disagree with his theory. He frowned when the name flashed on the screen, "What is it, Mac? The meeting is rescheduled for tomorrow. Don't call me again. If anything, call Katelyn." With that the phone was switched off.
"Oh my god. Isn't she cute?" A young blond girl halted in front of us, cooing over Minnie. Her friend nodded, giggling beside her, as if it wasn't a child they were talking about but a freaking dolphin that did some tricks. "What's your name, baby?"
"Minnie." The child answered as she went on layering sand in a failed attempt at making a sand castle.
The blond girl pulled her dark shades upward and gave Dwight a flirtatious smile. "Your daughter's really adorable."
"Why, thank you ladies." Dwight responded, climbing to his feet and brushing the sand off his beach shorts, picking up Minnie in his arms. I could feel the girl's eyes travelling all over his body, undressing him, from head to toe.
She giggled for no particular reason, "I can see where the girl gets her great looks from."
Dwight chuckled. "You guys are tourists? Where are you from?"
They glanced at each other, exchanging some private unsaid words and said. "We are from Italy. Just here for a few days now. Do you know any place with great sea food around here?"
"Oh, I know loads." Dwight answered enthusiastically. "I can show you some good places."
"Great!" The girls exclaimed in unison like twins joined to the hip. Blondie's buoyant face fell when her eyes levelled with mine. "but, what about your wife?"
Dwight waved his hand in my direction, the way you shoo a fly. And his next words blew the air out of my lungs. "She is my sister."
I gaped at him. He did not just call me his sister?
"Minnie's mother she.." Dwight stifled a fake sob.
"Oh my god, I'm sorry." Blondie put her hand on his broad biceps.
He continued to appear affected by a troubled old memory, a solemn expression creeping over his face. "It was a long time ago. It's alright now."
This guy was better off in Hollywood. What the fuck was he doing here?
"C'mon girls, you have to see this best club in town, they also have the best crabs. I'll show you a good time. Minnie, baby, come. Say bye to Aunt Alana." He winked at me.
That crafty asshole.
Minnie declined Dwight's offer, clinging to me the way a baby monkey would cling to his mother, he gave up a while later and closed the distance between us, whispering in my ear. "It's partly a lie. You plan on becoming my sister-in-law, don't you?"
"Asshole." I whispered.
He pecked the side of my head, "I love you, you know that, right?"
That said, he strode over to the duo and walked off the beach with the blond on his right and the brunette on his left. If nothing else, those sharks were going to tear him alive.
I sprawled over the beach matt, occasionally opening a novel and closing it back without even reading a single word. Minnie had been playing in the sand for so long that when I noticed she'd dozed off, I blew out a sigh of relief and lied down next to her. My mind floated towards Rowan, who had never taken me to the beach during our relationship. I had always imagined how he might look in a swim trunks and how much fun it would have been with him around. This time, I fantasized about him.
I felt Rowan's hands massage my back. His deft fingers worked on the bikini strings, setting my skin on fire. I squirmed under his touch. This was a freakin dream, yet it felt so real. He caressed and stroke the delicate skin with the back of his hands, trailing feather light kisses down my back and up with precision, his gruff, prickly facial hairs putting me into an excessive overdrive of emotions. "Alana, I love you so much." I heard his sensuous voice whisper in my ear.