Chapter: 21

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ELENA

"She can't come." Rylan's deep voice spoke from right behind me. He glanced at me once before his eyes landed on Andrew.

"You are?" Andrew shook hands with him, his confused gaze flickering between my face and Rylan's.

"Rylan Parker, Elena's husband. As I was saying, she won't come. We have plans for tomorrow." He brought his hand to wrap it around my waist.

"We have?" I raised a brow at him bringing his attention back to me.

"Of course, baby." He smiled lovingly at me which combined with the nickname did something strange to my tummy. I tucked my hair behind my ear and looked at Andrew.

"I'm guessing you two are on honeymoon?" His eyes went down to look at the ring on my finger as he said it.

"That's right." Rylan's lines were pressed together while he was throwing him a cold glare.

"Well, enjoy your stay and congratulations." Andrew smiled lightly at me.

"Sure." I returned his smile. As he walked farther away, Rylan's hand left my waist leaving a cold feeling there.

"I never knew we had plans." I put my hands on my hips.

"We didn't." He shrugged nonchalantly.

"So what is the plan now? Where are we going?" He thrusted his hands in his pants pockets and gave me a blank stare.

"We aren't." He turned around and started walking back towards the resort.

"Well, then I will give him a call and let him know that the plan is still on." My words made him stop. He took his time in turning around, his eyes just as cold as ever.

"You can't go with him." He uttered every word clearly like I was slow in the head or something. I took two steps forward and folded my arms against my chest.

"I totally can." He tilted his head slightly to the right, maybe trying to understand if I was serious or if he could call me out on my bluff. I stared right back into his eyes,

"Fine. Tomorrow after breakfast." He gritted out and walked away, leaving me to celebrate my small victory.

I had put on a kimono coverup and semi dried my hair before going out to the deck of the cruise. My eyes fell on Rylan's bare toned back as he stood leaning against the railing. I went and stood beside him, looking at the waters before my gaze fell on his face. He had his eyes closed as the winds pushed back his hair. I couldn't look away even if I wanted to. His lips were stretched in a small lazy smile, something completely different from his usual smirks and sarcastic smiles. He looked a lot carefree, happy...peaceful.

I didn't realize when a smile had spread on my lips as well. As if feeling my stare on him, he opened his eyes and turned towards me. When our eyes met, I didn't trace the usual hostility or coldness. His gaze was almost relaxed.

"You look good smiling." The words left my mouth in a daze. Should I just throw myself off the cruise? That definitely did sound better.

From the corner of my eyes I saw his lips tilt in a small smirk but the smug comments never came.

"I mean it's not bad to smile after having such a beautiful experience, you know?" Why the fuck was I hell bent on making it awkward?

Rylan completely turned towards me, still leaning on the railing on his elbow. "You enjoyed it." He more like stated.

"Of course I did. It was so beautiful. I so wanted to touch those corals." I smiled thinking back to the snorkeling experience we had an hour back.

"And did you?" My head snapped towards him in an instant.

"You are not allowed to touch corals." He raised a brow making me realize that I got excited for no apparent reason. That was just a question he had casually thrown my way.

"They are really fragile and take a lot of time to recover if touched." I had my voice toned down and continued. For some apparent reason I was unable to keep my shut, probably the post dive high.

"That's not a big deal though. Just looking at them is so satisfying!" Clearly I was still hung over the experience because I couldn't stop gushing over it. "It was the first time in my life that I saw so many colors at the same time."

I excitedly spun around to face Rylan only to find him looking at me. He wasn't hovering over me nor was there any sort of physical contact. We had enough space between us yet there was something different about that moment. There was something different about his gaze. We were staring intently at each other as if memorizing every detail.

It was me who broke eye contact. I blinked a few times and looked away. I heard him clear his throat.

"Uhh... I blabber a lot. I....will go inside. Yeah." I awkwardly muttered whatever came to my mind to find myself the fastest way to get my ass out of there.

"Yeah." He nodded while tapping his fingers impatiently on the railing.


RYLAN

This stupid honeymoon definitely cost me a lot. I missed out on so many days of work and working from home didn't compensate for it. Not that I could work each day even. Speaking of that I was reminded of that day with Elena.

My eyes quickly found her face. She was seated opposite me in the jet. Her eyes were closed. Though she looked peaceful in her sleep with her mouth slightly open, I felt like those thick curly lashes would flutter open at any time.

I leaned back in my seat, my mind traveling back to the memories of that day. I couldn't actually say that I regretted this vacation. I haven't had a chance to feel so relaxed in a long while.

That moment on the deck, I didn't know what it was about when I couldn't pull my gaze away from her face. It was as if something in me was telling me to keep staring. There was something serene about the way she was smiling and being all giddy about those corals.

I took a deep breath and slowly released it. Reminding myself each second that I couldn't afford to feel anything for Elena was getting progressively difficult. Or I was so overcome by physical attraction that I couldn't tell between lust and actual feelings. Yeah, that was it, I was certain.

I forced my eyes back to my laptop screen but the small words on the screen did very little to keep my attention hooked. Finally I decided to shut the laptop off and close my eyes for a few minutes before we would land.

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