Ruined by the SEAL

By: Zoe York

And he’d wanted to hang on to that life, desperately? What was wrong with him?

Although it probably wasn’t healthy that he got a charge out of clashing with Cara and invading her space. Until the question of ownership was resolved, he had to recognize that it was her space, at least in her head.

He wasn’t going to do anything with it, really. Other than a bit of basic plumbing.

Buying a used moped…well, a guy needs transportation.

And stocking the kitchen just meant he had snacks at the ready between swims and naps.

He grinned again as he surged away from shore, over the rocks he’d now memorized. Cara hadn’t been kidding about the rough water access, but that wasn’t a problem for him. If anything it ensured his privacy, which he needed, because there wasn’t anything impressive about how slowly he moved on the unsteady footing.

His smile fell away. One wrong twist and he’d be rendered useless, flopping like a fish in the water. His hollow victory over fixing some damn pipes was just that—empty. Meaningless.


He dove into the surf, a shallow glide that did nothing to restore his faith in his ability. He’d hoped this trip would give him a new purpose in life. Instead, he’d realized that he’d been served a pile of shit to deal with, not of his own making, but now it was his only hope for the immediate future. He didn’t have any other career options. Didn’t want to go into private security like so many of his buddies did. And he didn’t have any other transferrable skills.

He couldn’t even do something fluffy like bartending, because he was downright rusty on the interacting with other human beings thing. Cara’s pretty face swirled in his mind. Fuck. What he wanted to do was stalk back up to the house and kiss the scowl right off her dusky pink lips.

Wanted to tell her he wasn’t the bad guy here, he wasn’t the enemy she needed to guard against. He was just a messenger and he didn’t really care.

Except a part of him did.

He dove deeper, exhaling effortlessly. The stream of bubbles against his face felt good. Little pops of reality bursting through his denial.

He didn’t want to be done with life at thirty-five.

He wanted a new career, a second chance.

That was why he was pushing back at her. Not because he was just Will’s errand boy.

He wanted Villa Sucre.

Pretty, pouting mouths be damned.

A mistake had been made, but it wasn’t his mistake, and he wouldn’t pay for it. He’d lean on Will to lean on the lawyers, and he wouldn’t let up until they’d broken the news to Ms. Levasseur.

She was no longer Cara of the curly hair and endless legs. Her full name was the safest way for Mick to think about her now.

His unfortunate enemy.

Not of his choosing, but when were they ever?

In the past, he’d been fighting for the greater good.

Now he was fighting for himself and his own future. He’d give it all he had. It might not be everything he’d once have brought to a battle, but it was still formidable.

He almost pitied the Historical Society director and her big, luminous eyes.


Then he thought of the way she cagily refused to answer his questions and he girded himself against sentiment. She would show him no mercy. He’d give her the same right back.

Fun time was over.


CARA FILLED HER BUCKET FROM THE PUMP IN THE FRONT GARDEN and hauled it back into the ballroom. She’d swept the room twice, but there was still dust everywhere. For her plan to work, she needed to stake a claim right in the heart of the estate.

As the cold water splashed over her hand, she tried hard not to think of Mick. He’d sauntered off in the direction of the beach. Was he slicing through the waves right now? Or climbing back out, droplets rolling down that impressive chest?

Clinging to each defined ridge for a moment before tumbling to the next… She closed her eyes as she pictured it. He was a mountain of a man, complete with his own built-in waterfall system.

Cara had been born and raised on Miralinda. Fit men in swimsuits were a dime a dozen.

So this man was visually distracting—big whoop. It meant nothing.

She thumped the bucket in the centre of the room and grabbed a rag from the pile she’d assembled. Dunking it, she relished the cold grip of water around her hand.

Time to get real.

That man was a menace on every level. Visually distracting. Morally bankrupt—obviously a conman, even if by accident. His friend had sent him down here on a fool’s errand and Cara could spare him no sympathy.

His tough loss that he’d come all this way for nothing.

And now he wasn’t even getting a quiet weekend in paradise because he’d made the mistake of interrupting the careful flow of work she’d organized.

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