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Captured by Mr. Wild: Chapter 12


    are a lifesaver!” Maria kisses me on both cheeks as I arrive at the salon.

“It’s fine, honestly. I told you on the phone. I don’t mind picking up the extra shifts if it helps you out,” I reply, changing my sneakers for a pair of the silk ballet slippers Maria provides for us to wear at work. They’re so soft and comfortable. We can walk around quietly, maintaining the peace of the spa.

“I know, but I called you so early! I hope I didn’t interrupt anything?” She gives me a hopeful look, and I smile.

“You didn’t. I was in bed. Alone. And already awake,” I reassure her.

Blake had already fucked off by then. And my mind forgot how to sleep for a decent length of time months ago.

Maria smiles at me, her red lipstick making her teeth appear even whiter.

“Honestly, Dee. I appreciate it so much! I would have covered Grace’s sick day today myself, but I have family staying with me, and I’ve felt like a terrible host neglecting them. Then there’s this visit from the New York hotel guy coming up. I just can’t…” She looks up at the ceiling, shaking her head. “You ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?” Her deep brown eyes come back to meet my gaze.

“Yes.” I sigh as I give her a small smile. “But you’ll be fine. This guy is coming all the way from New York of his own accord because he’s heard about this place!” I open my arms and gesture at the stone walls and waterfall in the spa reception area. “And because he heard about you. You’ve done something beautiful here, Maria. No wonder he wants to recreate it in his hotel.”

Her eyes widen as she tucks a long silky strand of hair behind her ear.

“I never imagined I would be here, like this. Doing something I love and actually succeeding at it.”

“Well, believe it.” I laugh. “You’re smashing it! Hell, your reputation has got hot hotel owners flying across the country to come and have a meeting with you.”

Maria looks at me, her brows furrowed.

“The girls googled him,” I explain. “Griffin Parker is certainly handsome.”

Maria rolls her eyes with a smirk. “Great. My grandmother will ask me when the wedding is if she gets hold of that nugget of information.”

I giggle as I hand Maria her handbag and practically usher her out the door of her own spa.

“Go! Have some time off. You’ve earned it.”

“Thank you, Dee.” She squeezes my arm, her eyes bright as she turns and heads off, leaving me to prepare for the long list of clients we have coming in today.

I’m grateful she called me this morning. It helped to avert my attention away from the sting I felt in my chest when I awoke and found Blake gone. It was just one night, that’s all. One gin-fueled night, for which I am paying for now. I wince as the dull ache at the back of my head reminds me to grab my water bottle and take a long drink.

Now is not the time to think about Blake.

I glance back down at today’s bookings. It’s going to be a long day.

The spa doors don’t stop opening and before I know it, a few hours have already passed, and I’ve missed lunch. I’m rummaging around in my bag, looking for my purse to grab something from the hotel restaurant, when a brown paper bag drops onto the spa reception desk in front of me.

“I come bearing gifts.” Kayla grins at me.

“How did you know I was working today?” My stomach rumbles as I open the top of the bag, peeking inside.

“I bumped into Maria in town. It’s all vegan, don’t worry,” she says as I inhale the mouth-watering scent of the falafel wrap.

I beam at her, warmth spreading in my chest. “I could kiss you! I’m so hungry!”

“I thought you might be. I’m always hungry after drinking—and sex,” she adds, smirking at me.

“What?” I whisper, my eyes widening.

“Travis has the worst poker face ever.” She rolls her eyes. “I knew something was up when he came back from his early lunch break. He went to meet Blake. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what had ruffled his feathers. Not after I saw the way your eyes lit up when he walked into the bar last night.”

“They did not!” My forehead creases as I roll the top of the paper bag down again.

Maybe they did. A little. A tiny smidge?

Oh, God. I don’t know!

I thought I had it all straight in my head. I came back here to put some distance between myself and Mickey. Not to get into a whole new complicated mess. But seeing Blake again… remembering what it was like to feel something other than numb… I don’t know what to make of it all.

Blake Anderson has thrown the small part of control I thought I had over my life up into the air.

Kayla takes one look at the sheer bewilderment on my face and giggles.

“Come on. It’s a gorgeous day. Let’s sit outside while you eat.”

I let the other two therapists know I’m taking a late lunch break and walk with Kayla out into the hotel gardens, finding a bench overlooking the beach to sit on.

“Come on then, spill!” She nudges me with her elbow.

I take my time opening the bag and taking a bite of the wrap she’s brought me.

“Mmm, this is good,” I moan, savoring the first thing I’ve eaten all day.

“Is that what you said to Blake too?”

I swallow suddenly and cough. Kayla laughs as she pats me on the back.

“I can’t believe you had sex with dork face.”

I glance up at her when I’ve stopped coughing, but can see from the glint in her eye she’s teasing.

“Fine. He’s smoking hot. Apparently.” She raises her eyebrows at me. “But really? All these years you’ve known him, and you still wanted to go there?”

“I can’t say I planned to.”

I take another bite of the wrap, hoping it will buy me time to think about my answers to the barrage of questions she’s probably about to fire at me. But I don’t know what to tell her. Not when I don’t even know how I feel about it myself.

“So… how was it?” Kayla presses her lips together, her eyes glittering as she fights to hold in her smile.

“Um, it was…”

Mind-blowing? Panty-melting? Better than I thought sex could ever be?

“You know what?” Kayla turns her head away and waves her hand in front of her cheek that’s closest to me. “Do not tell me. I just… I just can’t. I’ve known you both for too long. It’s weird.”

I smile in relief, letting out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. I don’t need to explain it. Label it. Understand it. Whatever it was.

“I mean, I’ll be picturing it if you tell me too much,” Kayla rabbits on, barely breaking for air. “And I do not want that in the flick bank popping up uninvited. I mean, what if me and Travis are getting down to it and you and Blake appear in my head? I mean…” She wrinkles up her nose. “No. Just no. You’re hot and everything, but…”

Her eyes widen as she looks at me, probably worried that she’s offended me.

“Relax!” I laugh. “I’m more than happy for you not to picture it. Ever.” I take another bite of my wrap.

“Thank God.” She sighs. “I get it now, though. No wonder Cindy was giving you the stink eye all night at the bar. Knowing you and Blake are childhood friends, and you’ve been hanging out with him since you came back…” Kayla leans back onto the bench and stretches her legs out in front of her.

“The bartender?” I frown.

“Yeah. She’s had a thing about Blake for like forever! Thought she’d finally got her claws into him when they got it on one night. He broke it off before it even started as he didn’t want the whole relationship and babies thing. It was right before you arrived back in town. Divine intervention—Hey?” She turns to me and her smile freezes on her face. “You knew, didn’t you? We rib him about it all the time. She’s been throwing herself at him since his TV series aired.”

My mouth goes dry, and I force myself to swallow my mouthful of food. It moves in slow motion, scratching my throat on the way down.

“I must have missed those conversations,” I mutter, feeling like I might throw it back up any second.

“Oh, shit! I’m sorry, Dee.” Kayla’s hand flies to her mouth. “I mean, it was weeks ago. Before you even got here. And it was just the one time, I’m sure of it.”

I shrug. “It doesn’t matter to me. Blake and I were just one night, too. One gin-fueled night, for which I’m sure he will not give much thought to again, anyway.” I wrap my arms around myself as I stare out at the ocean.

“A gin-fueled night where you had sex with a friend you’ve known for decades.” Kayla turns toward me, studying the side of my face.

“You did it,” I say, refusing to meet her gaze.

“Yeah. And then I married him.” She blows out a breath as she turns back to the ocean, staring out with me, watching as the waves break along the shore. “So, that’s it? It was just one night you want to forget?”

I chew my lip before I answer. Blake said nothing to give me the impression he saw it happening again. He also said nothing about recently breaking up with a girlfriend, or whatever you’d call Cindy. Can I really believe it was just one time with her, and there wasn’t more going on? Even if there was more, what’s it got to do with me? So what if she was his girlfriend? I don’t know why that bothers me so much.

But it does.

Maybe because I feel like the rebound fuck?

I should never have complicated things by having sex with him. He’s my friend. That’s all. I should have left it at that. God knows I have enough complicated stuff to work through without adding to it. It’s not like I can stay here forever either, even if I wanted to. My aunt’s house is ready to go on the market. As soon as I update Mum and Dad with that information, they could tell me to come home. Although, I don’t see that happening straight away. Not until things calm down more there.

But the fact remains—one day I will go home.

I know it. Blake knows it. Then again, maybe he doesn’t care. It’s not like he stuck around. He’s probably regretting last night already.

I pick at my wrap, knowing I should eat as much as I can, otherwise I will end up feeling dizzy. I’ve still got a few hours left of my shift. Kayla stays with me while I eat, changing the conversation on to some of the stranger cases they’ve seen in the vet clinic. I listen and join in as much as I can, but my mind is elsewhere.

It’s on Blake, and how stupid I feel.


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