Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Caribbean Crush *first look*

Kristin pulled her clothes from the bicycle saddle bag, then wrapped the pleated navy skirt over her hips and buttoned it in place. It always struck her as funny that riding in sporting briefs was acceptable, but whenever she dared do the same in a skirt her mother would get phone calls. The rich and famous thought the island offered ultimate privacy, but in reality it was just one big village. From Anguillita to Snake Point and Blowing Point Harbor to The Valley, locals couldn’t make a move without notice.

“Goverdomme!” The deep voice clubbed her over the back of the head, freezing her in place with her arms half in her blue gingham blouse. Her stomach tumbled in recognition, so she sucked it in as she turned to face her own personal demon.


Antonnis tossed a half-smile at Kristin, wishing he hadn’t been caught like a peeping Tom. But the giant lizard at his feet had to have cousins in the Paleolithic. He’s seen dogs smaller than this behemoth. If the row of green spikes running along the back of the beast weren’t enough, he had a grotesque turkey waddle under his block head and whipped his tail against the ground like a…well, a whip.

“Don’t move.” Kristin made her way to him, her gingham blouse undone and making her look like a very naughty Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Goodness knew she always sent him over the rainbow.

“He’s planning on making my foot his supper.” The thing puffed up its red waddle like a balloon and started bobbing its head.

“More likely he’s thinking of mating with you.” She knelt down at his feet and peered at the creature, then let out a low whistle. The iguana froze, and then turned tail and ran beneath a scrubby bush.

Kristin sighed and straightened, buttoning her blouse with rapid precision. She was his favorite memory of the island, and he’d hoped to find her here. Though he figured by now she would have moved on, married and had a handful of babies. Her bare fingers and slender, willowy figure had him wondering just when her plans for her future had changed.

“It’s rather brown for a green iguana.” She cast him a smile so fake he furrowed his brow in disbelief. “They washed up here a few years back after a bad hurricane season. I thought it might be one of our native species. They’ve become endangered since the sister species arrived. Competition, hybridization, all that.”

She turned and walked back to her bike like they were strangers. As if the precocious girl he’d known, full of goofy grins and giggles, had never existed. He pocketed his phone and followed her, unease increasing with each step. He called out her name, but she didn’t turn. Instead, she released her blonde hair from its ponytail, golden tresses streaked with sunshine falling down her back.

“Kristin?” he asked again, not sure how to proceed. He always knew the next two steps, and yet she had him on the edge of a cliff. “Are you here for the wedding rehearsal or were you looking for me?”

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