Author Archives: dellanioakes

About dellanioakes

I'm an author with the medium press, Second Wind Publishing and small e-book publisher - Tirgearr Publishing. My first book, "Indian Summer", is an historical adventure romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739. Gabriella Deza and her fiance, Manuel Enriques, uncover a plot by a British spy to overrun the town and take the fort, Castillo de San Marcos. Only they can stop him. "Indian Summer" is a novel suitable for ages 14 and older. "Lone Wolf", the first in my sci-fi series, is Set in the future in 3032 - in outer space. This fast paced adventure is also available from Second Wind. Look for "The Ninja Tattoo" a thrilling romantic suspense of danger, betrayal and courage - from Tirgearr Publishing.

Sea of Destiny – Part 30 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverRandy decides it’s time to have a heart to heart talk with his father. He asks him a series of very pointed and penetrating questions. The subject eventually comes around to what Kyle remembers about his father, which isn’t much. He’s never even seen a picture of his father.

 “How come?”

“Mom wouldn’t let her. Your grandmother is a very scary woman when she gets angry. She told Granny not to show the pictures. She never has.”

“That’s pretty dick.”

“Yeah.” Kyle wiped off his shaving gel, checking under the toilet paper to make sure the bleeding had stopped.

“When do I get to shave?” Randy’s voice squeaked.

“When you’ve got more on your face than a milk mustache. Don’t start too early, you’ll end up with a rough beard. Women don’t like that. Soft and silky or smooth skin.”

“So you don’t chafe her thighs?”

“What?” Kyle spun on his son, horrified. “Where’d you hear a thing like that?”

“TV, Dad. Calm thyself.” He made patting motions in the air.

“Don’t say a thing like that in public. Do you even know what it means?”

The sheepish look on his son’s face told him he didn’t.

“Never in public. Okay? And not around Carmelita either, she’ll kill you and you won’t even understand why.”

“You ever gonna tell me?”

“Ask me when you’re twenty-one.”

“Brother! Did you know what it meant when you were twelve?”

“No.” But I sure did when I was fifteen. Not a fact he’d share with his son.

* * *

Before leaving the ship, Kyle went down to see Emily. She looked better than she had the night before, but she was still awfully pale. She managed a weary smile, holding her hand out to him. He leaned over, kissing her gently as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“How are you feeling this morning?”

“Like I want to go dancing.”

“I think they’d protest if I tried to take you out of here.”

“I’ll feel better if you kiss me again.”

He was glad to oblige.

“How are the kids?”

“Excited about going to Mexico.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I wish you could go with me.”

“Will you go with me to Cozumel to visit the priest?”

“Of course I will. I want to watch you get your miracle.”

“Do you really think I’ll get one?” Her green eyes held such misery and doubt, he nearly lost control of himself.

“I do. I really do.” He touched her cheek tenderly. “I need that miracle as much as you do, Em. I can’t picture life without you in it. I know that makes me sound like some sort of sappy twit, but it’s true. The last few days have been really special and I want that to continue.”

She leaned her cheek against his hand, her tears falling silently. Kyle wiped them away with his fingers.

“Me too,” she whispered.

Taking his hand in both of hers, she held it to her cheek, rubbing her face against it. He felt his stomach lurch and his groin tighten. Even sick, she could make his body react like a hormonal teenager.

“Can I bring you anything from Cancun?”

“Just your sunny smile.”

“I can do that. I’d better get going or Lita will come looking for me. She’ll whoop my ass if I make her miss one minute of this trip.”

“Go. I like your ass just like it is.” She made pinching motions at him. “It’s so tight and squeezable.”

He chuckled, wiggling his ass at her from a few feet away. “When you get better, you can squeeze it as much as you like.”

“I’m holding you to that.”

“You can hold anything you want.”

Giving her a big, smoochy kiss he winked provocatively, dancing backwards out the door as she laughed at him. Still walking backwards, he nearly collided with the nurse. Instead, he spun her in a tight circle, humming Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 29 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverFinally able to get some sleep, Kyle is woken very early by Mindy. She’s excited by the fact that she can see Mexico out the window. The family has a day of sightseeing planned.

  “I used to shower with Mommy all the time. I wanna shower with Daddy!”

“You can shower with me, munchkin,” Cindy offered. This distracted Mindy enough for Kyle to escape.

While he was bathing, Randy walked in the bathroom and sat on the counter.

“I wanna shower with Daddy!” He laughed, his voice cracking.

“Don’t say that around anyone else. Seriously. They’ll think I’m some sort of pervert.”

“Never a word. So, what do you think of that Adam guy?”

“He’s nice. He’s Emily’s godson.”

“Yeah? Cool. He was hitting on Cindy yesterday. I thought he’d shit himself when I told him to lay off.”

“Thanks for handling that. I was about ready to toss him overboard.”

“Like I couldn’t tell? I haven’t lived with you my entire life not to see that murderous frown you get. He seriously thought she was seventeen. I get the feeling that’s gonna happen a lot. She’s filled out some this last year. All my friends think she’s hot.”

“They say that?” Kyle wrapped a towel around his waist and put on shaving gel.

“They say a lot more that I’m not gonna repeat. I about broke Billy Wilder’s nose a week ago.”

“Son, what have we said about self-control?”

“Like you wouldn’t hit a guy who told you that about your sister?”

“I don’t have a sister and I don’t know what he said. Why don’t you tell me?”

“Cause you’d want to fucking kill him.”

“Randall,” he lowered his voice, frowning at his son.

“Kyle,” Randy countered in a surprisingly deep voice. “Look, the point is, you need to have Carmelita talk to her about how she dresses and shit. She’s gonna end up pregnant by the time she’s sixteen otherwise.”

“I hope you kids make better choices than that. She knows better than to fool around at her age.”

“You and Mom knew better. Did that stop you? I’m not stupid, Dad. I can add. You were married in June. Cindy’s birthday is December. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure it out.”

Kyle nicked himself. Cursing, he took toilet paper to staunch the blood.

“We made a mistake.” He shrugged. “No matter what, I loved your mother.”

“Was she a virgin when you two got together?”

Kyle nicked himself again. “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my twelve year old son.”

“I’ll be thirteen in two weeks. And I want to know.”

“Yes. Why?”

“So, was she your first too?”

Kyle didn’t look at him right away, concentrating on his shaving. Randy stared at him until he nicked himself again.

“No. Are you happy now?”

“So, when did you lose your virginity?”

“I was older than you by a considerable amount.”

“How much an amount?”

“Why are you asking me this? Sudden curiosity?”

“Because I’ve got your undivided attention. And I want to know. Why does it matter?”

“I made some dumb mistakes in my life, Randy. I grew up too damn fast. I hope that your mom and I provided a better example than I got.”

“Why did your dad leave?”

“I don’t know. I was a kid, a little older than Mindy. One day I woke up and he was gone. My world turned upside down.”

“Did he die?”

“No, son. He left us.”

“Just like that?”

“Yeah. Just like that. Your mom may be gone, sport, but at least you knew she loved you until her last breath. You’ve got memories you can carry of her the rest of your life. I can’t even remember what my father looked like. Mom threw away all the pictures. My grandmother says I favor him, but she’s never showed me pictures either.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 28 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverAfter talking to Dr. West, Kyle puts the children to bed and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, sleep is hard to come by. Carmelita brings him a beer and the two of them chat for a few minutes.

 “Really?” He laughed, shaking his head. “That explains what Adam said.” He continued laughing softly. “Walked on like she owned it….” He took a sip of his beer, setting it against his forehead. “What am I doing, Lita?”

“We talked about that already.”

“I mean really? I’ve got no business falling in love with someone else. I’m here on vacation with my family. I’m not looking for another relationship.”

“That’s when love finds us, Kyle. Don’t you know that by now?”

“No, I don’t. Shit, Lita. I was nineteen when I got married. I was married almost half my life. I don’t know how to be single. When other guys my age were cruising the beach, I was home changing diapers. I loved Margo dearly, she was a wonderful woman. I really got lucky that the one major mistake I made turned out so well. But I’m lost here. I don’t know how to proceed.

“Until she collapsed today, I was having more fun than I’ve had in over a year. I was laughing and happy, feeling good about myself. I was enjoying a woman’s company—a woman who wasn’t my wife. I sat there thinking, ‘This isn’t so hard, this whole dating thing. I could get used to this.’ And then….”

“Then she collapsed.”

“Cindy asked me not to get involved with her. She begged me not to fall for a woman who’s probably dying. How can I put my children through that again? They already like Emily. Have you seen Mindy with her? She’s so animated. I can’t get over the change the last couple days have made in her.”

He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, sniffling loudly. “I’m a wreck.”

Carmelita put her arms around him. “I think you need to go talk to the chaplain tomorrow. I think he could give you a lot of comfort.”

“I may just do that.”

“In the meantime, baby, you pray. You open your heart and tell God everything that’s inside you.”

“I’m not sure I even know how to pray right. I prayed for Margo to get better and she died. What if I pray wrong again and Emily dies too? I can’t do that. I can’t be responsible.”

Carmelita drew herself up, smacking him hard on the arm. “You stop that right now! Don’t you even think that God does that! He doesn’t go killing people off because someone else doesn’t pray right. God listens to everything. He hears all our prayers, no matter how we say them. And He answers everything.”

“He didn’t answer me with Margo. She died anyway.”

“Do you give your kids everything they ask for?”

“No, of course not.”

“Okay then. Sometimes you have to say no for whatever the reason. Sometimes God does too. We can’t know why, not unless He tells us. It was Margo’s time to go, so she went. It’s not Emily’s time, or yours or mine. But when it is, not a damn thing on this Earth that will prevent it. So keeping that in mind, you ask yourself if you’re making any sense at all with that whole, ‘I don’t know how to pray’ thing. If you ask me, that’s just selfishness and self-pity.”

Kyle wiped his eyes, sniffling again. “Have I ever told you how much I hate when you’re right?”

“Pretty much every day for the last ten years.”

“You’re my best friend, Lita.”

“You’re mine too, baby.” She kissed his nose. “Now you finish off that beer, brush your teeth and go to bed.”

“I will.”

“Goodnight, Kyle.”

“Goodnight, Carmelita.”

After she left, he did just what she told him. He had just enough alcohol in his system that he was able to relax. He slept deeply, dreamlessly, until Mindy woke him the next morning by jumping on his bed.

“Daddy, Daddy! We’re at Mexico! I can see it out the window!” She ran to the drapes, pulling them aside.

Bright sunlight lanced through his eyes leaving a shimmering trail behind. Prone to migraines most of his life, he wasn’t too excited about the sunlight blasting his eyeballs, so he got up and went to the bathroom. He looked grim. He realized he hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and decided that was his first order of business after a shower. Mindy tried to join him in the bathroom, so he sent her back to Carmelita.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 27 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle visits Emily in the infirmary and encourages her to visit the faith healer, figuring it can’t hurt for her to try. Afterward, Dr. West reveals some secrets about Emily that shock Kyle. Emily is a very wealthy woman, the only heir of billionaire Edward Geraci, who was killed in a car accident just before her husband left her. It couldn’t be proven, but police suspected her ex-husband had something to do with the so-called accident.

  “And he left her. What a moron!”

“Indeed, the cancer could have done for him what he could not do for himself. Had he stayed, based on her will, he would have inherited everything.”

“And now?”

“No one has seen her new will, though we all know that she has taken Robert Blume out of it. He gets nothing if she dies.”

“And you all thought I was pulling a Robert? Thanks.”

“After talking to your housekeeper, I was relatively certain that I was wrong. She seems too open and honest to lie to me about something like that.”

“Carmelita is an honest, God fearing woman. If you ever insinuated that she was lying—well, I’d hate to be you. She’s got a mean right hook.”

Doctor West laughed, then turned serious. “Adam said he told you of her goal.”

“At least he can see how much I care for her, even if you can’t.”

“He’s young, trusting, easy to fool.”

“I see him as young, trusting and very astute. But yes, he told me.”

“And what do you think?”

“That if it will make her feel better, even if he doesn’t cure her, she should go. How long have you been a doctor?”

“Seventeen years.”

“And in that seventeen years did you ever see things you couldn’t explain? Miracles, if you will.”

“Of course. Every doctor has.”

“Then why can’t it be a real miracle this time? If you’ll excuse me now, my children are expecting me to tuck them in.”

“Of course. Mr. Scott?”

Kyle turned at the door, facing the doctor.

“I apologize for distrusting you.”

“As long as we’re square now, no hard feelings.”

“We’re square.”

“I’ll be by to see her tomorrow before I take the kids sightseeing.”

“Of course. Goodnight.”


After getting the kids to bed, Kyle settled down for a long night’s sleep, but he couldn’t relax. He moved around restlessly, his mind too active for sleep to come. He had a lot to think about. There was a light tapping on the adjoining door. Carmelita was there with two bottles of beer in hand.

“I figured you could use this to help you sleep.”

“Thanks, Lita.”

They went to the sitting room. Neither of them spoke for a few minutes. Kyle didn’t know how much Carmelita knew about Emily and didn’t want to say anything until he did.

“I talked a long while with that handsome Doctor West today.”


“Yes.” She grinned. “That was the first thing I asked him before he told me why he was talking to me. He was worried about you and Emily. Of course, having you diving for her tonsils later didn’t make him feel much better.”

“It wasn’t like that, Lita. It was just a kiss. No one needs to make a big deal out of this. I’ve kissed her a couple times, we’ve been dancing.”

“Her ex-husband….”

“Yeah. I’ve heard about him. He sounds like a real winner.”

“What exactly have you heard?”

“He was creepy and manipulative and may have killed her father.”

“Did she tell you he’s threatened her? He visited her in the hospital before their divorce, making noises about suing for alimony, getting a settlement, keeping her from changing her will. He even threatened her life.”

“I hope they put the bastard in jail.”

“For awhile, but they can’t hold him forever. Did the doctor tell you anything else?”

“That her father was worth a huge fortune and now she is.”

“That one of the things she owns is this cruise line.”

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Sea of Destiny – part 26 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle hears from Adam that Emily wants to go see a faith healer in Cozumel. Though he doesn’t necessarily believe in God anymore, he knows that she believes this priest can help her.

 “We have to believe this man can help you. Strange things happen all the time, miracles.”

“Then you pray for a miracle, Kyle.”

“I will. For you, I will.” This time, he wasn’t even going to ask God for himself. That was his mistake before. This wasn’t about him, it was about Emily. “Please, Lord. Heal her so she can have a better life. And if that life’s with me…. Thank you.”

The nurse came to the door motioning to him. “I need to go now, Em. I’ll be back tomorrow.” He kissed her forehead.

“Doctor West wants to speak to you, Mr. Scott,” the nurse murmured.

“Thank you.” He walked down the hall to the door she indicated, tapping softly.

“Enter,” a booming voice called to him.

The doctor was a huge, dark skinned man. Kyle recognized him as the man Carmelita was talking to earlier that day. He wasn’t smiling when he motioned Kyle to sit.

“How well do you know Emily Geraci?”

“I met her our first night out. She was sitting at our table.”

“I see. So you’ve had no prior contact with her?”

“No, sir. What’s this about? Do you always pull in complete strangers and grill them?”

The other man’s face softened. “I apologize. After her divorce, we are all naturally very protective of Emily.”

“Okay…. What’s that got to do with me?”

“You were seen kissing her just before her collapse.”


“Before that, you were at the dance class. And you were dancing late the night before.”

Kyle waited, not responding in any way. Something was going on he didn’t understand.

“You’ve never heard of Emily Geraci before this trip?”

“She said she’s an artist. More than that, I don’t know. Except that she’s got cancer.” Like my late wife, and she’s probably dying of it. “I repeat, Doctor West. What’s this about?”

“You really don’t know?” He looked shocked. “I apologize yet again, Mr. Scott.”

“What for this time? Did you take my children hostage? Have you given me an incurable disease?”

The doctor smiled, laughing softly. “Nothing like that. I made a snap judgement based on a series of misunderstandings and assumptions.”

“About me.”

“Yes. Does that worry you?”

“Should it?”

“Perhaps not.” West sighed, closing his eyes. Kyle saw decision in his face when he opened them once more. “Emily Geraci is the heir of Edward Geraci. Have you heard of him?”

“Sure. Fortune 500, one of the richest men in the world. When Edward Geraci speaks, people listen…. Oh. You thought?” He stood, laughing quietly. “Oh, my God! Does this explain the vibe I’ve been getting from everyone, including Emily. You thought I was a con man or something, trying to worm my way into Emily’s life. Marry the dying cancer patient, inherit the multimillion estate.”


Kyle gulped, sitting back down as his legs gave out. “Jesus, Doc. I just thought she was some fun, quirky, eccentric artist on vacation after cancer treatments. We all got upgrades on our cabins, I thought she had too.”

“You really didn’t know?”

He handed Kyle a picture in a heavy silver frame. A group of laughing people in tuxedos, evening dresses and loads of diamonds smiled at him from under the glass. There was a distinguished looking older gentlemen in the middle. He was surrounded by other distinguished men with pretty women on their arms. On his arm was a raven haired woman whose smile he recognized despite the ravages to her looks. She was beautiful. His Emily glowed, this one was radiant. Her skin was full and ripe with lush good health instead of lying over her bones like damp tissue paper. The banner behind them was “Happy 65th Birthday, Daddy!”

“Edward Geraci died shortly after that in a car accident. It could never be proven, but it was thought that Emily’s ex-husband had something to do with it. That was shortly before her diagnosis.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 25 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverAdam comes to Kyle to report on Emily’s condition. He reveals that there is a faith healer in Cozumel, a priest who’s said to be able to cure terminally ill patients. Emily isn’t in remission as she said. She plans to visit this priest and see if he can heal her.

  They shook hands and walked opposite directions. Kyle found himself at the dining room without realizing he’d arrived. Emily’s place was empty, but his family greeted him as if he’d been gone for years instead of five minutes.

After lunch, Cindy took Mindy to the singing and Randy went back to the pool. Carmelita and Kyle sat in one of the lounges having a few drinks, watching the ocean float by.

“What did he tell you?”

“She’s not in remission,” he mumbled. “She wants to see a faith healer in Cozumel.”

“Any port in a storm, I guess.”

“But a faith healer, Lita?”

“If you’d heard about it when Margo was sick, you’d have leaped at that chance too. Don’t you destroy that girl’s belief because you feel cheated!”


“You figure your faith wasn’t enough to keep Margo alive. You prayed and prayed for her to get better, not leave you, not leave your kids…. It was her time, but you wouldn’t accept that. I saw that girl’s face every time you left her room. She didn’t want to leave you, but she knew she couldn’t fight it anymore. Why do you think she lingered so long? She did that for you. Wasn’t nothing you could do about it, so you let it eat you up. Now you’ve took up with another sick woman. What is it inside you that makes you want to make things better?”

“My father left us when I was seven and my brother was three. Mom fell apart and I had to make it better. She was a dancer before she married, so I gave her the idea of opening a dance studio. She borrowed the money from friends and built one in our backyard. It grew from there.”

“And you got in the habit of always fixing everything after that, huh?”

Kyle shrugged, nodding. “There was always something broken, so I learned how to be a handyman. We never had quite enough money, so I took up mowing yards. We needed customers, so I made up fliers and took them around town on my bike.”

“And she let you do all that? I always thought your mama had a selfish streak. That just proves it.”

“She’s not as bad as Margo’s. That woman wrote the book on selfish, taking it to a whole new level.”

“Well, she ain’t in this conversation. But you’re right.”

They sat in silence several minutes while Kyle tried to put his thoughts together. Finding it impossible, he put his glass against his forehead, closing his eyes.

“What am I doing, Lita?”

Her fingers wrapped around his. “Falling in love, baby.”

* * *

Emily wasn’t at dinner, so Kyle went to see her in the infirmary afterward. The nurse didn’t want to let him in, but he heard Emily’s imperious voice telling her to let him through. She looked incredibly pale, like a porcelain doll. Her eyes were hot and feverish, her skin drawn tightly over her bones. Her dark hair stood out in bold contrast against her pallor.

She held out her hand to him, smiling. “I told them earlier to let you in. I guess she forgot.”

“How are you feeling?”

“How do I look?”

“Rather like hell.”

“Funny, I feel like that too. I’m sorry. I should have been honest with you. Adam told me what you talked about. The kid can’t keep anything from me. I see into his soul.”

“Handy talent.”

“Yeah, I’d have made a great inquisitor, don’t you think?” Emily closed her eyes, sighing.

“Do you really think this priest can help you, Emily?”

“I have to try, Kyle. I’ve tried conventional means. I’ve done the homeopathic route. I’m grasping at straws, unwilling to let go. This life isn’t all that great, but it’s the only one I’ve got.”

“And you keep hoping there can be something better.”

She nodded slowly. “I know there can. But I’m waiting and it doesn’t get any better. I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t wait forever.”

He kissed her fingers. They felt cold to his lips. “You don’t have to, Emily. I’m here now.”

Her green eyes fluttered open. Tears rolled down her cheeks. “I’ve waited for you my entire life. Now that I’ve found you, I’m dying.” She started giggling rather hysterically, tears flowing down her cheeks. “God, the irony!”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 24 by Dellani Oakes

Adam takes Emily to the ship’s infirmary at Kyle’s request. Cindy asks her father not to fall in love with Emily. She doesn’t want to see sea of destiny coveranother part of her father destroyed by the death of another loved one. Kyle hasn’t got the heart to tell her that he thinks he already has. 

  He bathed quickly. Hearing voices in the room, he opened the bathroom door cautiously. The entire family was gathered in his room.

“Hey, everyone out! I’m not even dressed. Out!”

“Picky, picky,” Carmelita called as the children trooped through the adjoining door. “Not like I ain’t seen a naked man before.”

“Yeah, but not this naked man,” he countered. “Scoot!”

She followed the children into the other room, snapping the door shut behind her. He scooted a luggage rack in front of it while he searched for his underwear and clothing. Dressed in another pair of baggies and a clean shirt, he opened the door between the cabins. Adam was there, surrounded by his children, trying to talk to Carmelita. Kyle came immediately to his rescue.

“Whoa, kids. Let the man breathe. Lita, will you take them up? I’ll be there in a couple minutes.” He turned to Adam. “How is she?”

“Weak, tired. It’s to be expected. She just finished the last round of chemo about two weeks ago. Mom and I tried to convince her to stay home, but she’s determined.”

“She said you’re her neighbor?”

Adam blinked owlishly. “I’m her godson. She didn’t tell you?”

“No. She just said she knew you and you were a nice kid.” Kyle smiled self-consciously. “I was about to deck you for hitting on Cindy.”

“Oh, Jesus!” The kid took a step back, hands over his head. “I swear, I was just talking. She’s a gorgeous girl. Way too young for me, but da-yam! You’re gonna have your hands full, Mr. Scott.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t hit you. I guess my son explained already?”

“Yeah. Hard to believe he’s only twelve. He could fucking kill me if he tried.”

“Years of martial arts will do that. I’m raising the next Bruce Lee.” He led Adam to the door, closing it behind them. “So, your godmother, huh? What else is she keeping from me?”

Adam looked furtive. “Mr. Scott….”


“Kyle, they’re her secrets. I don’t know what she’s told you already….”

“She told me her ex is a prick. She said she’s been fighting cancer for awhile and that he left when she was diagnosed.”

“In the doctor’s office, can you believe? What a douche.”

“Couldn’t agree more. She’s not in remission, is she?”

Adam looked uncomfortable. “They found another tumor last week. They won’t operate or anything for six weeks, so she’s determined to live life to the fullest. She also has this crazy idea about this guy she heard of outside Cozumel who’s supposed to be this faith healer. So she packed her bags and marched on board like she owned it.” He laughed rather awkwardly, digging his toe into the deck. “Well, that would make sense, right?” He chuckled as if Kyle knew exactly what he was talking about.

Kyle let that non sequitur slide, focusing instead on the rest of what Adam said. “Faith healer? What are you talking about?”

“There’s this guy outside Cozumel. He’s a Catholic priest who’s been having visions. He does big services and heals people. I guess he’s had really good results, especially with cancer. She’s determined to try.”

“I see.” Kyle didn’t see at all. He didn’t understand how anyone could put their faith in someone, hoping to be healed. But then, he wasn’t the one dying. “Thank you for telling me,” he said softly.

“Sure, Kyle. If you need anything, let me know.”

“Thanks, kid. I will.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 23 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle finds himself greatly enjoying Emily’s company. Of course, she won’t admit that she’s not feeling well. Instead, she tries to hide it, but Kyle knows the signs and she can’t hide it from him.

Kyle frowned, concern layering his other emotions. She was covering something up and he couldn’t help wondering what. Instead of leaving her, he spoke sharply to his daughter.

“Get Adam.”

Cindy didn’t hesitate or ask why. The command in his voice was enough. “Yes, Dad.”

She trotted around the pool, calling Adam urgently. He arrived with one of the stewards in tow. Another came up moments later with a wheelchair.

“No need to go to such trouble for me,” Emily sighed. “I’m telling you, I’m alright.”

“Try spinning that tale for someone who didn’t just lose his wife to cancer,” Kyle said more sternly than he intended. “She needs the infirmary,” he told Adam.

“Yes, sir. I’ll take care of it. You folks go have your lunch. I’ll see to Ms. Geraci. Em, what am I going to do with you?” He muttered and murmured as he helped her into a wheelchair.

Kyle grabbed Adam’s arm as the steward wheeled her away. “Let me know how she is.”

“Absolutely, Mr. Scott. I’d better go.”

Nodding, Kyle let him go. He followed Cindy to his cabin distractedly, nearly walking past before he realized she’d stopped.

“Are you okay, Dad?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m just tired.”

“You’re thinking of Mom, aren’t you? Emily’s got cancer too?”

“She’s recovering, in remission. But still very weak. I kept her out too long last night. She’s probably overly tired and it’s my fault.”
“Stop kicking yourself, please?” Her voice held such anguish, he focused on her pain instead of his own. “You did that with Mom too. You blamed yourself—like it was your fault she died. Some things you can’t fix, Daddy. Some things you just can’t fix.”

She burst into tears, clinging to him, sobbing loudly. Her body shook with emotion as the gut wrenching sorrow purged itself. It must have been building for a long time. He realized with a lurch that he’d assumed the children were dealing with their mother’s death well. They were in counseling, they’d cried, they were strong, resilient, they could cope. Suddenly, he knew that Cindy, at least, wasn’t coping. She’d been bottling this up for months because he was in too much pain. She was putting his needs first.

“I’m sorry, baby. I’ve been a selfish, unfeeling bastard. I’m so sorry.”

Sniffling and gulping, she calmed down. He knew she’d be better now. Sometimes it took a total meltdown in order to get past a stage of grief. He knew that was true, he’d been there often enough over the last 13 months. If he had a dollar for every time he’d broken down and lost it since Margo got sick, he’d be a rich man.

“I know I haven’t really been here for you, Cindy. That’s changed now. I’m here and you can come to me anytime for any reason. You don’t have to wrap up this pain anymore. I’m so sorry I made you do that.”

“I’m okay, Daddy. I really am okay now. When I saw Emily looking so pale and weak, it was like seeing Mom all over again. I can’t go through that twice—not so soon. Don’t make me, Daddy. Don’t fall in love with Emily, please?”

“Why not, honey?”

“Because when she dies, another part of you is going to die too. And then we’re all going to die a little bit more. Please—for me and the kids—please….”

“Okay,” he said softly.

He’d have said anything to calm her down at that point. But he knew it was too late. He was already falling for Emily and it would take an act of God to prevent it. He’d fallen for Margo the same way, but it had taken nearly three years for him to convince her to go out with him. When they finally did go out, and he pushed a little too much, she got pregnant. She was seventeen when they married. Cindy was born only a few weeks before her eighteenth birthday.

Kissing his daughter’s forehead, he smiled. “I promise. Go get dressed now. I’ll be out in a couple minutes.”
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Sea of Destiny – Part 22 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle feels foolish after Carmelita teases him about being a lustful male. He endures a lot of ribbing from her, but it’s a bit much on his male ego at the moment. Fortunately, Emily understands and isn’t deterred by his behavior.

“You look very pretty.”

“You look very wet.” Emily giggled, rubbing his face with the towel. “Thank you.”

Again, he was overcome with the urge to kiss her. She wasn’t more than a foot away. He leaned toward her, lips itching for hers.

“Daddy!” Mindy flopped down on his outstretched legs.

Wincing slightly, he grinned at his daughter. “Mindy! Having fun?”

“Did you see me win?”

“I sure did!”

“Adam heped me! He gived me a ride.”

“I saw. That was very nice of him.”

“He’s my boyfriend.” She nodded solemnly.

“Oh, he is, huh?”

He exchanged a look with Emily. She suppressed a grin.

“Gonna have to talk to that boy,” he murmured to Emily over his shoulder.

“I think this daughter is safe from his wiles for a few more years,” she giggled.

“Not long enough.”

“Daddy, are you gonna come wif me to music?”

“I didn’t know there was music. Do you want me to come?”

She gave him an appraising look. “But you can’t sing good. Miss Emily, can you sing?”

“I sing very well, Mindy.”

“Will you come? We’re gonna sing the princess songs!”

Emily raised an eyebrow, waiting for Kyle to explain.

“The Disney princess songs,” Kyle interpreted. “Jasmine, Ariel, Belle….”

“Ooh, those princesses. I’d love to come. That’s if Daddy hasn’t got other plans.”

“Daddy is thinking of taking a long nap after lunch. You wore me out with all that dancing. You aren’t too tired are you? Don’t let her wear you down.”

“I’d love to go. When is music?”

“We go eat and then we sing. Adam’s other girlfriend told me all about it.”

“His other girlfriend?” Her father looked puzzled.

“Yeah, her name is Maggie. Her’s older than me. Her’s the big girl with blonde hair.” She pointed across the pool.

Maggie was indeed a big girl, probably 5’9”, blonde, very pretty. She had a flock of teenage boys around her. Adam, he noticed, was surrounded by teenage girls.

“Damn,” he whispered, gaping.

Emily smacked his chin, clicking his teeth together painfully. She looked annoyed.

“Sorry. Remember what I said about nice earlier? That was nice taking a holiday.”

“I see that,” was her terse reply.

He brought her hand to his lips as Mindy hopped up and ran to her sister. Who was not, he noticed in passing, flocking around Adam.

“And this is nice returning. I apologize. I’m a man forced into celibacy for over a year. I’m gonna look, but I won’t touch.” No one but you.

His fingers brushed her cheek, bringing her face closer to his. The kiss he’d wanted a few minutes ago tingled his lips, making him smile. Opening his mouth, he teased her lips asking her to open to him. His kiss deepened then, possessing her gently but adamantly.

The none to gentle clearing of a throat behind him made Kyle stop. Turning around, he saw Cindy standing there, tapping her foot, arms crossed, frowning at him. She looked so much like her mother, he nearly choked. Margo had that same expression on her face the first time she saw him—and for a similar reason. He was kissing her younger sister in a more than friendly fashion. She’d been only a few months older than Cindy when they met.

Swallowing hard, he forced a smile. “Hey, baby.”

“Dad, please. Can you control yourself for five minutes? You’re embarrassing me.”

“Sorry, honey. I wasn’t trying to.” If I had been, I’d have broken Adam’s balls for flirting with you. “What do you need?”

“Lita said to come get you so you can get ready for lunch. They’re serving in about twenty minutes. That’s if you can drag yourself away?” She raised an eyebrow, arms akimbo now, foot still tapping angrily.

“I’ll be right down. Thanks.” He hoped she would leave, but she didn’t.

Kyle stood, leaning over to help Emily to her feet. She clung to him for a moment, swaying slightly. Concerned, he held her by the waist until her grip relaxed.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. I sat too long in the sun. I’ll be okay.”

“I’ll see you to your cabin so you can change.”

“I’m okay, Kyle. Go with your daughter.”

“Sorry, you’re stuck with me. Don Quixote at your service.”

Gracias, Señor Quixote. I’m alright.”

© Dellani Oakes

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Sea of Destiny – Part 21 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverEmily can’t believe her good fortune in finding a man as loving and caring as Kyle. He’s also self-effacing, something she’s unused to from men. When she pays him a compliment, telling him he’s swept her off her feet, he can’t help but be pleased with himself.

Smiling in a rather smug fashion, Kyle leaned back in his seat, adopting her same pose.

“Damn, I’m good. And I haven’t even tried to be charming yet. I wonder where that would get me?”

“In more trouble than you can imagine,” Carmelita said, dropping to the chair next to him. “You see that boy hitting on Cindy?”

“He wasn’t hitting on her,” Kyle explained. “He was flirting.”

“Now he’s an expert on that? Mm hm.”

“Actually, I’m the one who told him,” Emily giggled. “He thought that too. I happen to know the lifeguard rather well. He grew up down the street from me. He’s very nice.”

“He’s got testicles,” Kyle replied rather tersely. “Therefore, nice gets left at the door when there’s a hot chick around.”

“He also knows I’d break his arm and call his mother,” Emily added with a wink. “We’re very close.”

“That would be a deterrent,” Kyle agreed.

“Threatening to rack his balls would be more of one.” Carmelita sniffed, reclining languorously. “But at this point unnecessary.”

“Lita, I want you to know, that’s a pretty wicked threat. Racking a guy’s balls? Come on, that’s reserved for attempted rape.”

“I didn’t say do it, just threaten.”

“Remind me never to piss you off.”

“I don’t think you could possibly make any woman that angry,” Emily said. “You’re far too nice for that kind of behavior.”

“Remember what he said about testicles and nice before?” Carmelita asked her. “Take that and then some when it comes to a grown man.”

“Thank you, Carmelita, for making me sound like some sort of caveman!” He could take a lot of teasing, more than some men, but she’d made one too many barbed comments. “Excuse me, but Oout need swim!” He beat on his chest like Tarzan.

Tearing off his shirt, he kicked his shoes and socks under the lounge chair and walked to the side of the pool set aside for people to swim laps. He did a shallow dive, hitting the water with a tiny ripple and was off like a shot. He got to the wall, did a flip turn and headed back the other way. After he’d burned off some of his irritation, he slowed down, counting the laps as he swam. When he reached his 500 meter mark, he stopped, hanging on the wall at the deep end, gasping. Heart pounding, he levered himself out of the water.

Emily walked over with a towel that he didn’t recognize, wrapping it around his shoulders. She squatted next to him, gazing at his profile. He wouldn’t look at her.

“You feel better now?”

“I feel like a kid who just threw the world’s biggest temper tantrum,” he admitted with a laugh. “Sorry. Carmelita’s known me way too long and knows just what to say to push my buttons. Most of the time I can take it….”

“But not when you’re trying to impress someone.”

He glanced at her calm face, staring into her jade green eyes, trapped by them. “Is it that obvious?”

A quirky half smile twitched her lips. “Oh, yes. It’s that obvious.”

“Great.” He collapsed over his knees, shaking his head.

“It’s also alright,” she said, sitting next to him on the concrete.

Turning his head, he smiled at her. “Thanks for the towel.” He stretched out his legs, leaning back on his arms so the sun would dry him.

“I got it when I went down to change. Why sit by the pool if I’m not dressed for it?”

She was wearing a dark blue bathing suit with a sarong in bright rainbow colors, and a huge sunhat and sunglasses. She was almost pitifully thin, her ribs showing beneath her pale skin. He could see under the edge of her hat that she wasn’t completely bald. A fine, velvety layer of hair cast a blue black shadow over her scalp. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, even more so than Margo.

© Dellani Oakes

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