Part of the Best Erotic Romance 2013 anthology.

Whitney and Drew have been together for years--happily, Whitney thought. They were supposed to be spending a romantic week in Hawaii, and she'd dared to hope that he might even propose. But as soon as they'd arrived, he'd become distant, someone she barely knows. She has no idea what's wrong, but there's definitely trouble in paradise.


He sighed, the sound impatient. “I’m fine, honey. How many times do I have to say it?”

Swallowing the sharp retort that hovered on the tip of her tongue, she clamped her mouth shut. It wouldn’t help. She’d tried arguing, cajoling, and reasoning the last few days, but he wasn’t budging. Things were not fine, no matter what he said. The tension and uncertainty built within her until she wanted to scream. She couldn’t stay here, looking at his back and wondering if this sudden distance between them was going to become permanent. God, what a nightmare. She jerked upright in bed, scooted over to the side so she could stand, and found her legs were so shaky they didn’t want to hold her. She gritted her teeth, locked her knees and forced herself to keep going. To where, she wasn’t sure, but she couldn’t be in this room right now.


Rummaging through her open suitcase, she found her fingers tangling in the strings of her bikini top. She picked it up and tied it on, found the bottom and slid those on too. Good enough.

She heard Drew stir on the sheets. “Where are you going?”


He made an incredulous noise. “It’s dark outside.”

“They have a pool that’s open until 10 at night. I won’t be long.” Just long enough to clear her head and get a grip on her emotions. She turned for the door and walked out.

But she didn’t go to one of the many pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. There were people there and she didn’t want to deal with them. Instead, she walked toward the rolling crash of ocean waves until she stood on the beach. For once, it was deserted. She could hear the sound of music and people coming from the hotel restaurants, but the noise faded the closer she got to the surf. She went to very edge of the waterline, passing a few torches that made firelight dance across the sand. She sat just beyond the reach of the waves and let the warm breeze and darkness envelop her.

What was going on? That was the question she couldn’t answer, and that Drew was evading.