Below Deck

Page 28

“I accept your apology, but that doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t get a cheap thrill out of shoving you overboard and watching you drown, so don’t piss me off again on this trip,” she states, craning her neck to stare up at me.

I can’t help but laugh even though every time I’m within touching distance of her, I want to run my hands all over her body and say “to hell” with responsibility and rules. But I made my decision and I need to stick to it. Even if she’s forgiven me, and even if I’m dying to touch her again and listen to her come apart in my hands, at least we’re now on the same page and she knows where I’m coming from.

“I’ll probably kick my own ass later for admitting this, but I’ve had a lot going on lately and I’ve been in something of a dry spell. A yearlong dry spell that gets more depressing with each passing day. I’m still pissed at you, but hell, I enjoy angry sex just as much as the next person,” she tells me with another easy shrug, making me choke on my laughter and want to come in my pants all at the same time.

“I can’t…I just…I thought we were in agreement,” I stutter. “I can’t jeopardize my job. Not right now.”

The corners of her mouth tip up into a smirk and, Christ, if it isn’t the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She’s funny, beautiful, sarcastic, defiant and fucking adorable, all rolled into one hot little package. If I wasn’t in the process of trying to get my head on straight so I could get back on that ship and concentrate on my job, I’d be in deep shit with this woman.

In a flash, her arm slides around my waist and her hand slides down, grabbing a handful of my ass and tugging me up against her.

“Oh, I heard you,” she replies softly, still staring up at me with that cute fucking smirk on her face, making my dick swell in my swim trunks. “And I’m pretty sure you heard me when I said I wasn’t looking for a white picket fence or for you to throw away your hopes and dreams over someone you just met. Don’t worry, as long as you stop acting like an asshole, your job will not be in jeopardy.”

I swallow thickly and have to grit my teeth as she pushes up on her tiptoes, forcing her body to slide against mine as she moves herself up closer to my height.

“Obviously, I’m an idiot and glutton for punishment, because I still want to fuck you,” she whispers against my mouth, making me close my eyes and groan under my breath hearing her talk like that. “And judging by the raging boner I felt against my ass the whole ride here, and the one currently poking into my stomach, I’m pretty sure you feel the same.”

With that, she drops the hold she has on my ass and takes a step away from me. When I finally remember how to breathe again, I open my eyes to find her a few feet away, looking back at me over her shoulder.

“Are you coming, or are you just going to stand there staring at my ass until the sun goes down?” she asks sarcastically, making my eyes flash guiltily away from the ass I was just ogling.

Jesus Christ. A dirty mouth and fucking adorable.

If I were a different man, I’d be falling for this woman in record time. It’s bad enough she’s clearly going to make it impossible to stay away from her for the rest of this trip. At least we’re in agreement about this not turning into some stupid happily ever after. Even though I don’t know everything about her, I’m pretty confident that she’s not the type of woman to turn into a stage five clinger who boils a bunny when it’s over.

It’s apparent I have lost the battle when it comes to keeping my distance from Mackenzie Armstrong. As long as we both agree I can’t fuck up my job anymore and neither one of us does anything stupid to screw that up, maybe it’s possible for me to give her that quick vacation fling she needs to take her mind off of things.

I’m nothing if not a giver, and as long as she doesn’t mess with my head any more than she already has, and we’re on the same page about keeping this light and fun, I’ll give her whatever she wants.

For the next couple of days at least.



“Feminists all over the world would be hanging their heads in shame at me right now, wouldn’t they? I’m weak and pathetic and easily forgiving of asshole behavior,” I complain to Brooke, leaning against the doorframe of our bathroom while I watch her apply make-up. “Tell me I’m weak and pathetic.”

Brooke sighs, pulling her face away from the mirror and lowering the mascara wand from her eye to stare at me in the reflection.

“I will do no such thing. You aren’t weak and pathetic. And you aren’t easily forgiving, either. You stuck to your guns and made him feel like a jerk. What you are, is easily distracted by a pretty face and a magic dick,” she informs me, turning around to lean against the sink.

“You’re right,” I whisper, my eyes widening with this sudden discovery. “I’ve always rolled my eyes at women in books who keep going back to the same asshole over and over again. It’s because of the magic dick. And now I get it.”

“The fucking magic dick,” Brooke agrees with a nod.

“But seriously, this doesn’t make me weak and pathetic that I forgave him so easily and basically threw my vagina at him in a challenge?” I ask as she turns back to face the mirror and finish applying her mascara.

“He explained why he did what he did. He was an assuming asshole, but he still realized he was wrong and fixed it. You accepted his apology and admitted you’re still in need of a good dicking, and he’s the closest available dick to give you said dicking. I see nothing wrong with that,” she shrugs.

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