Ruined by the SEAL

By: Zoe York

God, she didn’t want to think about that. She didn’t want to have to come up with a Life Plan B.

Maybe that’s why she wasn’t telling them about Mick. She was hoping she’d show up on Monday and the six-foot-something problem would be gone. Poof.

You’re not that lucky, she reminded herself.

True story. But that didn’t mean anyone else needed to know about the problem before she knew for sure it was a problem.

She’d stopped at her apartment on the way to the cafe and sent an email to the lawyer’s office in New York. Hopefully some overworked associate would look into it over the weekend.

Daphne reached across the table and snagged some of her fish. At least one of them would enjoy it. She pointed her fork in Cara’s general direction once she’d finished chewing. “You know what we should do? We should go to Freeport for the weekend. Get our freak on.”

“Don’t you have to work?”

“Not until Sunday. Come on. It’ll be awesome.”

It sounded awful. Club music and sweaty bodies, groping hands and constantly watching her drink… Why was she the only person whose idea of getting one’s freak on consisted of staying up late and spending too much money on Etsy?

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. She nibbled on her lower lip. She liked dancing.

“Come on…” Arielle cajoled. “We’ll take Daphne’s boat.”

Cara hated flying, even though that was the easiest way to hop island to island. But when Arielle moved back into her father’s house—in part to keep an eye on him, and to take care of the house when he did his disappearing act every few months—Daphne had bought a boat instead of looking for a new roommate.

So now they had options.

She was trapped. “Okay. Fine.”

Both of her friends squealed and threw their hands in the air.

Cara rolled her yes and tried to join in their enthusiasm. A girls’ weekend was a good idea. If she wasn’t feeling that down to her core, that just underlined the fact that she needed this. Staying in a funk all weekend wouldn’t do her any good.

“I’m sorry,” she said, forcing a more legit smile onto her face. “Yes. Let’s do this. This is a good idea.”

“That’s the spirit,” Arielle said with a wink. “And now…dessert!”

She almost said no, but then her stomach growled. What the hell. She hadn’t eaten dinner, but she was a grown-up and she’d had the most frustrating—and apparently secret—afternoon. And tomorrow would be for her friends. The least she could do for herself was have a damn sundae. “Yes, please.”


WHEN THE CALL CAME IN FROM THE CHAIRMAN of the Historical Society’s board of directors the next day right before noon, Cara had just stepped onto Daphne’s boat. She gave her friends an apologetic smile and hit the button to answer the call.

Two seconds later, she held up her hand, signalling that Daphne maybe shouldn’t cast off just yet.

“Slow down, Bill, I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” But the sinking feeling in her gut told her exactly what this call was about.

The chairman took a deep breath and started again. “The electrician went out to Villa Sucre this morning and was barred from entering the premises by a naked man.”

Cara’s eyebrows shot sky-high. Naked? An unbidden image of the calm, infuriating giant—now without clothes—slid into her mind. She squinted and tried to pretend it wasn’t there. “Right.”

“Right? Ms. Levasseur—”

“Jesus, Bill, call me Cara. If you’re going to ream me out, do it as equals, okay?” She took a deep breath. She’d pay for that, and have to put up with weeks of huffing and concern. It was worth it. She hated playing games.

“It is imperative, Cara, that the trust we’ve placed in your hands is not…abandoned.”

How could she explain to him that the day before, a strange man had shown up at the villa and she’d just let him stay? That she’d scooted out of the way, even, and kept it all to herself, hoping that he’d just disappear by Monday?

She hadn’t lived up to that trust, not this weekend.

Pressing her hand to her forehead, she took a deep breath and made a solemn promise to herself that she’d fix it. Then she repeated it to her boss. “I’m sorry, Bill. I’m…listen, I’m at the marina right now. I need to go home and grab a few things, then I’ll head out to the plantation and make it all right.” Before he could interrupt her, she headed off his next question. “And as soon as I excuse myself from here, I’ll call you right back and explain everything.”

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