I can't resist an hea. :)

The Epilogue

The warm water stole over her toes as she continued to stare at the blinding sea. It was not that she didn’t have sunglasses. It was only, quite simply, the view was too lovely to dampen with eye protection. Even a good book, and she’d packed many, had been unable to steal her attention away from the water today.

Two days into her vacation and Delaney had already exorcised all her bad dates from her memory. The only downside to her day was she had to go into town and buy food. She should have brought more with her, but hadn’t wanted to shop beforehand either. Well, later. For now, she had the ocean and the sand.

“Shark attacks? Jellyfish? Sudden tsunami?”

The words drifted in under the crash of waves and Delaney forced herself not to spin around and confront the speaker of them. Because if she ignored him, pretended he were not here, he might go away. It had worked the last few months. Craig had been forced to do some mighty social dancing and she’d never even explained why she could not stand to be in the same building as Tim.

“Thirteen percent.” She spoke despite her intention to be silent.


“None of them.”

“Then what?”

He came around and stood beside her. She noted his bare feet in the sand beside hers. Since feet were not as interesting as the ocean, she looked up and out again.

“The chance of your showing up here. Well, of my trip being ruined.”

“And you assumed my showing up would ruin your vacation?”

“I’ve already told you I won’t go out with you.”

He ignored her statement. “I can help your vacation, Del.”


“I can buy your groceries for one thing. We both know you don’t want to go into town.”

Those words turned her away from the ocean. She blinked, the dazzling light from before making him harder to see. He wore shorts the same as her, but his chest was bare. The sun hadn’t browned it much, unlike her skin which ran to dark even without the help of the sun.

“You don’t know me.”

“I know.”

“I’m not a nice person.”

“That I know.” He smirked.

She felt no need to hit him. Only a tenth of a tenth of a percent. Not enough to act on it.

“My father was not Parith.” He didn’t speak. The percentages swam through her brain. They were not high enough, but she said it anyway. “My father was Torrin. Full blooded.”

“I know.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I’m not nice.”

“Then why would you offer to buy my groceries?”

“I really want to spend time with you. At least long enough to get you naked.” He winked.

She thought her laugh only startled herself. Her mind could not help but run his percentages again. A broken heart was almost a sure thing.

“You ever think about living by the smaller numbers?”

“What do you mean?” As if she didn’t know. As if Pariths like her brother did not do it every day. To their ruin.

“Take a chance, Del.”

“A very small one.”

Her eyes slid downward and it was his turn to laugh.

“Not that!”

“Buy my groceries and maybe I’ll give you a chance to prove it.”

There was a small chance he would not. That she would eat another grilled cheese for dinner even though the cheese might be a little off. It was a small chance she was willing to take. A start, then, to something. Even if it did turn out to be nothing. Vacations were for taking chances.