Poseidon's Pleasure - Southern Cross #3
Publisher: White Deer Enterprises/White Deer Books
Brett Houston triumphed over his life. Raised by an abusive father, Brett sacrificed his personal happiness to keep the ones he loved safe. Ready to make big changes in his life, Brett treats himself to a Caribbean vacation. To his surprise, he ends up at a seaside ball, wearing a G-string and presiding over the festivities as Poseidon, the God of the Sea.
Mark Matthews left behind his hometown, and his first love, to put down roots in California. With vacation time to use, or lose, Mark books a holiday on the island of St. Lucia, unaware of the surprise reunion Fate has waiting for him.
Brett cautiously examines the fractured bonds of the past, while questioning the possibility of a renewed future with Mark. It’s simpler for Mark. He won’t settle for anything less than a future tending to Poseidon’s pleasure.
* * *
A younger Mark would have asked me what I was worth, but this mature man across from me looked sad and nodded. I suspected he felt sorry for me, that my life had been mapped out for me and I hadn’t escaped it. His pity rankled, and I let the opportunity pass to tell him the sale of the company was pending until after the holidays, and I looked forward to a long, altruistic retirement.
“Well, I should go. It’s great to see you again, Mark. I’ve wondered, from time-to-time, how you were.”
“I’ve wondered about you, too. Can’t you sit and talk a little longer?”
I was suddenly sixteen again, thrilled that someone wanted to spend time with me. But the time for such hope was long gone. My heart ached—that little thawing corner throbbed worse than a toothache—but it would break if I stayed. The past had to stay in the past.
“I really need to be going. I should make a few calls before tonight.”
“Are you going to the party? I’ll be there.”
But you won’t leave with me, will you? “I expect to be there, with a couple of friends.” I stood, and he scrambled to his feet after me.
“I’ll see you there then.” Mark held his hand out again. My fingers closed around his. I shivered as the air between us crackled with a weird blue electricity. The avidity with which he looked at me stunned me. Could he really be that glad to see me? His hand squeezed mine, his grip strong enough to pinch my knuckles before he released me.
“I’ll see you there,” he repeated, his low, rich baritone full of a promise I refused to believe in. I nodded and turned away, going only a few steps before he called to me.
I stopped and looked back. “Yes?”
“Are you free for lunch?”
I looked out at the blue Caribbean Sea. Every day, those waters responded to the mysterious tug of the moon, letting it push and pull its liquid depths, no damage done. My tides were frozen, unable to believe, or hope.
“Not today, sorry. Maybe tomorrow?”
Mark smiled and nodded. “Tomorrow is good. I’ll find you tonight, and we can set a time.”
My throat too tight to talk, I nodded. I walked back toward the resort, making it all the way to the boardwalk, and private misery, before my resolve caved in on itself and I looked back. From his patch of shade, Mark watched.