The paradise in the poster called to her. The pristine sand, cerulean water, and whitewashed buildings drew her into the travel agency. She could taste the salt water in the air as she plunked down her credit card.
She should have known it was too good to be true. The poster left out the ‘No swimming, strong undertow’ sign. The sand was gravel; it hurt to walk barefoot. And the whitewashed walls were graffiti-ed. But the worst was the stench. The open-air market next to the ‘resort’ cured fish.
The sour-rotten smell permeated everything like a gaseous fog. The thought of breakfast was nauseating, so she ended up at the un-swimmable beach. She should have brought her laptop so she’d have something to do.
“Got ta-cise shum extracise.” Alex’s baritone voice sent tingles of awareness shooting through her. That he was awake at this hour surprised her. More likely, he hadn't been to bed yet. She sat up, pulling her bikini straps into place. Who was she kidding? There wasn't enough sun to burn an albino.
She chuckled at Alex’s appearance; two days’ worth of stubble, swim trunks and a tattered T-shirt. Nothing was going to disguise his hotness, but no one would believe he was CEO of computing giant Synbatec.
He flopped down on her chaise lounge, handing her three crushed drink umbrellas, puckering his lips for a kiss. She pulled away, half-heartedly slapping at his wandering hands.
"Wastopaneer," he grumbled, then nipped at her earlobe teasingly.
“Beaut-ageous,” he sighed, wrapping his arms around her from behind. She sank into his warmth, listening to his drunk mutterings and the crash of the waves on the shore.
She realized then she had it all wrong. She was in paradise. Here next to Alex. She smiled as he started to snore.