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 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.”

“And?”

“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.”

“Multibillion.”

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!”

“What?”

“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.”

“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.”

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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.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 20 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle Scott finds himself hopelessly smitten by the quiet, fragile Emily Geraci. Not since his wife’s death has he ever been interested in a woman. He enjoys her company and delights in seeing her smile.

“Would you like to go sightseeing with us tomorrow? We’d love for you to join us.”

“I’m more interested in Cozumel,” Emily admitted. “I went to Cancun on my honeymoon. Honestly, I’d rather forget it.”

“That bad?”

“Cancun is gorgeous. The honeymoon was that bad. I should have known the marriage was doomed to failure from the beginning. I wouldn’t let myself see it. He didn’t love me—not even for a minute.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I know you loved your wife a lot, Kyle. I can see it in your eyes every time you even think of her. You’d never have ditched her to go out drinking with total strangers on your honeymoon, would you.”

“He did that?”

“Nearly every night. And not all the friends were male either. He came back to our cabin drunk and stumbling, smelling of alcohol and stale cigarette smoke. Sometimes he even smelled of other women. I was a fool to keep him around. I’m sure he thought that I thought he was charming and wonderful in bed. The truth is, I was lonely and didn’t want to have to go out and find someone else. We were together two years before we married. I was used to him.”

“Why marry him in the first place?”

“He kept insisting. Once we divorced, I realized it was because he thought he could get something from me in a settlement. But since he walked out on me in the doctor’s office in front of twenty people, vowing loudly he’d have nothing more to do with me. He didn’t get a penny.”

“Ironic. Does he pay you anything?”

“Bob? He’s worthless piece of shit who can’t keep a job for more than two months at a time. I don’t need his money. I do all right…. Oh, look at Mindy!”

His five year old sat on the shoulders of one of the young male lifeguards, running after people as they played Marco Polo. Mindy had her eyes closed, but the young man didn’t. She was calling out “Marco” as the others answered, “Polo”, catching everyone because he ran right to them before they moved.

The game broke up when the last, laughing participant got tagged. Mindy was declared the uncontested queen of the pool and got to pick the next game.

“Bally ball!” She yelled.

Cindy translated five year old speak for the supervisors, blushing attractively when the young lifeguard swam over to her with a volleyball.

“I’m gonna have to warn that kid my daughter’s only fourteen,” Kyle said darkly. “I hadn’t realized how much she’d matured over the last year.”

His daughter was developing her mother’s physique. Margo had been tall, slender, narrow hipped and full busted. Cindy wasn’t quite up to Margo’s 38C, but she had decidedly graduated into a B cup and the bikini she was wearing did little to cover it up.

“As long as he keeps his hands to himself and you can keep them in plain sight, don’t embarrass her. Take him aside later or…. Oops, I don’t think you need to. Look.” She pointed cautiously, not raising her arm.

Randy walked over to the lifeguard, taking him aside quietly pretending to ask him something. Tall and muscled from swimming, he looked older than 12. The young man listened calmly. A startled glance over his shoulder told Kyle his son had taken care of it for him. The young man was still friendly when he came back, but much more careful about the level of his flirtation. He got Cindy involved with a group of kids her own age and went to supervise the younger children.

“Smart man,” Emily said with a smile.

“Which, my son or the lifeguard?”

“Both. You should be proud of him. He handled that well. He didn’t embarrass his sister or let that boy make an ass of himself.”

“He shouldn’t be hitting on her anyway.”

“He wasn’t hitting, he was flirting. There’s a world of difference.”

“Oh, yeah? Explain the difference so I know for future reference.”

Emily sighed, leaning back in her lounge chair with her arms behind her head. “Mostly it’s a matter of intent. If you approach a woman with the intent of getting in her panties as expeditiously as possible, that’s hitting on. If you are feeling the waters, testing parameters, but haven’t quite moved into more dangerous territory, that’s flirting.”

“Oh, I see. And what have I been doing since I met you?”

She sighed happily, gazing at he pool. The sunshine reflecting off the water glittered in her eyes “Sweeping me off my feet,” she admitted quietly.

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Sea of Destiny – Part 19

sea of destiny cover

Kyle takes Emily to a dance class the day after they meet. The teachers are a couple who know his mother well. He embarrasses himself by talking about his early experiences on, and off, the dance floor.

 By the end of the class, they were dancing to ‘Oye Como Va’ by Carlos Santana. Kyle and Emily did extremely well together. Marion and Tony complimented them.

“If you ever want a job as a dance instructor, tell us. We still have connections all over the world. In fact, you could work on a ship of you wanted to. It’s good money and great fun.”

“It sounds like it, but I couldn’t really do that with three kids.”

“You’ve got children? Amy never told us that,” Marion said.

“Two girls and a boy.”

“Do they dance as well as you?”

Kyle shuffled his feet self-consciously. “The girls take ballet. My son is a sports freak. Nana wasn’t around to browbeat him into submission.”

“Was it so awful learning to dance?” Marion asked gently.

“Not when it gets me laid,” Kyle remarked in a smart assed fashion.

It was his stock answer and had been for so long, he didn’t even think about the implications of the comment anymore. Then he remembered he was there with a woman who wasn’t his wife, whom he had just met, and blushed a deep scarlet that clashed with his light red hair. Tony laughed loudly, clapping him on the back.

“Sorry, ladies,” Kyle mumbled, shoving his hands in his pockets.

“My boy, that’s the most honest answer I’ve heard from any man to date,” Marion giggled, kissing him on the cheek.

“And so true,” Tony added, clapping him on the back.

“Isn’t it silly the stigmas attached to being artistic?” Emily said. “I’m an artist, so automatically I’m a flake. No matter that I’ve got two masters degrees and a doctorate, I’m still treated like I’m dumb. And I’m not even blonde!” She giggled, tossing her scarf over her shoulder.

“Has it been long?” Marion asked her kindly. “I am also a survivor, which is why I ask. You seem to be doing remarkably well. Such energy.”

“I just found out I’m in remission. I think I’m riding on an adrenaline high.”

“Take it easy, then. It’s not good to overdo, and you will be tempted right now. Had I thought about it during class, I’d have made you be more careful.”

“I won’t let her overdo,” Kyle promised. “Don Quixote to the rescue.” He put his arm protectively around Emily’s waist.

She leaned into his embrace before he realized he was holding her. It felt good to have a woman do that again.

Marion smiled. She took Kyle’s hand, holding it in both of hers. “You are a kind young man. A rare gift of empathy is in you. An old soul and a sweet spirit. Your mother must be very proud of you.”

He blushed again, glancing shyly at the floor. “I hope so. She’s not disappointed, anyway.”

“I can’t see how she could ever be disappointed with such a son. Shall we see you again tomorrow?”

“I’d love to come,” Emily said happily. “I had such fun!” Her green eyes sparkled.

“There will be sight seeing in the afternoon,” Tony said. “So take it easy when you come here. You don’t want to be too worn out to see Cancun.”

“I promise to take it easy.”

Tony and Marion left and Kyle walked with Emily back to the pool to check on his family. They were having a wonderful time playing Marco Polo with a bunch of other kids while the ship employees supervised.

Carmelita was deep in conversation with a tall, muscular, dark skinned man and didn’t even notice them. Kyle and Emily found a place in the shade and sat down.

© Dellani Oakes To Purchase Dellani’s Books

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Sea of Destiny – Part 18

sea of destiny coverDuring their conversation, Emily discloses how awful her husband was to her and how he mistreated her. Kyle’s heart goes out to the delicate woman.

 They got her shoes and walked into the dance class in plenty of time. The instructors were a married couple who were probably about the same age as Kyle’s mother. In fact, the woman really reminded him of her in the way she walked and spoke.

“Do any of you have any experience with salsa dancing?” Marion, the instructor, asked.

Kyle was the only one who raised his hand.

“What would you say your level of expertise is, Kyle?” She read his name off his nametag.

“I haven’t done it in a few years, but I used to be pretty good.”

“All right. Come up here and partner me for a moment. Let’s show the folks how it’s done.”

Shrugging, he walked over to her taking his position across from her with a shy smile.

“I apologize in advance if I step on your toes. It’s been about ten years since I did this.”

“I promise to be gentle.” She grinned at him, nodding for them to begin.

The music started at a very fast tempo. Kyle’s feet stepped automatically as he and Marion moved across the dance floor. He spun her under his arm, twirling her first left, then right. As she turned, he flipped the edge of her skirt with his fingers, then grabbed her hand, pulling her to him. In and out, back and forth, they danced as the others in the class laughed and clapped.

Stunned, Marion nearly lost her aplomb when he tossed her in the air, catching her lazily just before she hit the ground. He swung her into a low dip supporting her with one arm and his knee before swooping her up again. The music finally ended. Laughing and panting, he bowed to Marion, who dramatically collapsed into his arms.

“Oh, my God! I think I’m too worn out to teach the class now. Where on earth did you learn to dance like that?”

“Amy Kay Scott’s School of Dance,” he said proudly. “My mom taught for many years and I partnered her from the time I was eleven.”

“You’re Amy’s little boy? I thought you looked familiar. My husband and used to work with her. Marion and Tony Capella.”

“Sheesh, I’m losing my mind. I kept thinking you looked familiar.” They exchanged pleasantries for a moment more before getting back to the class.

“We must get together later and talk. Is this your wife?” She held out her hand to Emily.

“No, this is my friend Emily. We met last night at dinner.”

“Lovely to meet you, dear! Are you as accomplished as Kyle?”

“Oh, no. I’m decidedly a beginner.”

“He can probably teach you better than I can. We’ll start slowly. You don’t get to his level overnight.”

He and Emily practiced some simple steps. He showed her the woman’s part as Marion worked with the others. Tony circulated, helping his wife as well as checking on Kyle and Emily. Slightly apart, they practiced the steps and chatted quietly.

“You’re so light on your feet. I’m jealous!” Emily giggled as she messed up.

“I’ve been dancing since I could walk,” Kyle admitted with a shrug.

“Why didn’t you go into it professionally?”

“Because where we lived only fags became dancers.” He glanced at Marion’s husband. “Sorry, dude. You know the stigma.”

“All too well,” Tony replied with a distinctive Italian accent. “But women love to dance and a straight man who can move like that on the dance floor, they’re figuring he can move good other places—you catch my drift?”

Kyle did, so did Emily. The men chuckled knowingly as Emily blushed.

“I know very well what you mean. All these single women used to come to take lessons and meet guys. They all thought I was in my twenties because of my size. I was barely fifteen the first time…. Ne-ver mind,” he concluded, snapping his lips together.

“The first time you what, Kyle?” Emily feigned innocence, fluttering her eyelashes.

“Danced a salsa,” he lied. “Jumped right in like a pro.”

Tony laughed at him as he blushed, spinning Emily away from him. Tony caught her, spinning her the other direction, sending her back.

“I feel like a yo-yo,” Emily laughed when Kyle caught her.

“You don’t look like one. Which is a good thing, since they’re flat and round. Very boring, yo-yo’s. You’re much prettier.”

© Dellani Oakes 

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Sea of Destiny – Part 17

sea of destiny coverDuring a conversation with Kyle and his family, Emily discovers that he’s a widower and finds out how his wife died. 

“I’m so sorry,” Kyle said honestly. “I understand a little bit how you feel. A man can’t ever entirely understand that kind of loss….”

“But you were there to help Margo cope. She was a lucky woman.”

“Thanks. Well, this is me.” He pointed to his door. “Let me grab my shoes and the information about the class.”

“Okay.”

He opened his door, leaving it open for her. Emily stood in the doorway, looking around the room, her eyes wide.

“You can come in, Emily. I don’t mind.”

She looked around rather furtively.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” She whispered. “Yes, fine. Sorry. It’s been awhile since I was in a strange man’s cabin. Maybe the only time, actually. The last time I was on this ship, it was my honeymoon. We stayed in this cabin.” Her eyes filled with tears as she leaned against the doorframe. “I’m so sorry. I swore I wouldn’t be this emotional. It’s just I’ve had more fun since I met you than I did my entire honeymoon.”

“That’s great—but terrible all at once. I mean, hell, you’re supposed to spend your honeymoon in bed.”

She wrinkled her nose. “Sex wasn’t all that great for me. Bob didn’t much care about my needs. God, I can’t believe I just told you that.”

“So, no multiple orgasms?” He shut the door behind them. “No screaming his name, biting the neck, that sort of thing?”

She blushed, casting her eyes away. “There was some screaming—mostly in frustration. Even after a few years, it didn’t improve and then he started fooling around on me.”

“I can’t imagine any man treating you like that. Didn’t he realize how special you are?”

She shook her head, shrugging slightly as she tried to open her door. Kyle took her key card from her, sliding it smoothly and opening the door for her.

“Not so much, I guess. He always thought I was a bit of a flake.”

“Pardon my saying this, cause I’ve never met the man, but what a douchebag. The more I hear about him, the more I want to cut his balls off and feed them to him while he bleeds to death.”

“Bizarre as this may sound, that’s one of the nicest things a man’s ever said to me. I never had anyone volunteer to fight for my honor before.”

“Margo used to tell me that I was Don Quixote in another life—tilting at windmills. I’ve always been the one to champion a cause, fight for the weak….”

“Are you a lawyer?”

He laughed, shaking his head. “No. I’m in advertising. Championing the weak doesn’t pay the bills very well. But I do ad campaigns for companies who are going green, trying to be more environmentally friendly. Not all my clients are like that, but the numbers are growing. Good PR to be ‘green’.”

© Dellani Oakes

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