23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives Islands to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair. Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie. Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton's seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgment and actions.
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And then a thought explodes in my brain like a firework on the Fourth of July: he’s sleeping with her. Or, at the very least, he has slept with her. Probably a thousand times. It’s clear. Oh God, I’m going to puke.
Sheila walks in behind them smiling like a well-fed cat and looks over at me and practically shrugs her shoulders as if to say, Sorry! That bitch. I picture myself throwing her over the side of the yacht. Is this woman the “piece of art” she wanted to show Clayton? I feel like someone just punched me right in the gut.
I wonder how quickly the helicopter can take me back to the resort. Hell, how far away can it take me so I can run away and just forget that I ever thought for a second that Lord Clayton Astor Sinclair could possibly be mine.
My body tenses up and I turn abruptly. I’ve got to get out of here. I need . . . Erik and Orie each take an arm, holding me still.
“What the fuck is that face?” Erik whispers down at me, his eyes worried.
I’m so happy there’s soft music in the background and people are talking loudly, paying attention to their own conversations and not ours.
“Air. I need air. Now,” I manage to croak out, and the two guide me out the door, which thankfully go in the opposite direction from where Clayton is standing with Miss Universe, and onto the deck.
I take deep, deep breath, clench my fists, and beg myself to get a grip. Why? Why does she have to be here right now and ruin this for me? Why am I letting her make me feel inferior? But I mean, seriously, she could make a supermodel hate herself.
“Talk to me, Goose,” Erik demands as I and suck in the night air trying my hardest not to act so obvious.
But I can’t form a sentence. Not yet.
“I don’t mean to take away from what’s obviously a serious situation but Sophie is so not Goose. If anything, she’s Maverick and you’re Goose,” Orie breaks the silence.
“So I’m the one who can’t eject himself from the seat in time?” Erik sounds annoyed.
“Yeah, I guess. If you want to put it like that.”
“That’s so fucked that you think so little of me.” Erik goes on.
“Erik, we’re talking about Top Gun, a movie,” Orie returns. “Why do you have to be so dramatique all the time?”
“Art imitates real life,” Erik says. “And I’m offended you think I’m Goose when I’m so Maverick. Or maybe even Ice-Man.”
Before Orie can comment—
“Did you see her?!” I blurt out, interrupting a conversation I know they will no doubt pick up again as I turn to face them. “That . . . that . . . Helena Christensen doppelganger?”
I’m sure my face is pale, my insecurity written all over it. Erik knows me better than anyone.
Both guys look instantly pissed off. What the hell?
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Erik snaps.
Orie takes the calmer, gentler approach as he always does, and brushes back my long hair. At least her hair is shorter. It seemed thin, too. Good! A flaw! Surely there are more. Right?
“You’re not going to cry, are you?” Erik looks horrified at the thought.
He quickly turns to Orie and orders, “Inside. Shots. Tequila. Pronto.”
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