BONUS CHAPTER: When Ana Seduced Cade (His POV)

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Cade's POV of Ch 11 & 12

Last night, Ana kissed me. After lying awake half the night thinking about that moment, I still don't know how I feel about this.

I glance at her sleeping form an arm's length away and sigh, remembering the warmth of her body pressed against mine. I can still taste the plumpness of her lips; feel the caress of her breath.

A shiver runs through me at the memory, and I turn on my other side.

No, I can't let myself be distracted. Her mother is married to my father, making Ana family for God's sake! Besides, there are more curious aspects to the girl than her charms I should be worrying about. I suppose her knowledge of indigenous plants and animals could have come from a curious nature paired with excellent tutelage, but then why do I still feel like she's keeping something from me?

Every time I look into her eyes, I get a nagging tickle in my stomach. It leaves me searching for answers, but when I try to dig deeper, she adeptly dismisses me. My frustrations continue to gnaw at me until I admit defeat at falling back asleep. Leaving the small cave as quietly as possible, I stand on the beach and stretch my limbs.

The morning breeze blows across the calm ocean as the waves retreat from the night's high tide. Using the tips Ana gave me yesterday, I pick out a shallow tide pool and begin searching for breakfast. As I collect the edible creatures, my eyes inadvertently stray up the sand to where I left the girl. She wakes soon after, but instead of joining me, she stays in the protection of the cave.

Her disinterest is unusual, but I assume it's related to what recently transpired between us. It's likely the girl regrets her boldness and is ashamed to face me. I'm also uncomfortable with openly discussing such matters, so I decide to eat as I harvest and take the remainder up to her afterwards.

It's better if we just pretend last night didn't happen.

When I return to the cave, however, Ana blames her inactivity on a headache, which apparently hasn't hindered her from exposing her midriff or seductively tying up her hair.

Is that what she's doing? Is the girl trying to seduce me? The realization hits me unexpectedly as I stare at the ocean and wait for her to eat her share. Afterwards, as we head back into the jungle to continue our exploration of the island, the idea continues to intrigue me. Walking ahead, I push waxy green leaves aside while contemplating Ana's potential reasons for acting this way.

We both agreed that the rules we followed aboard the Phoenix Rising don't apply here. I'm no longer captain and she's not my prisoner. For all intents and purposes, we're here as equals. We're castaways, waiting for rescue, and until that time comes, all we have is each other.

What advantage does she gain by distracting me with her feminine wiles, then?

I smirk, glad my back is turned to the girl.

What DOESN'T she gain by it?

I've already told her more in just a few hours about myself and my plans for her than I had in the whole week we've been together. Had she prodded further, I may have even revealed her mother as the mastermind behind the whole affair. Hell, she's one of just a handful of people who I've allowed to call me Cade and the only one whose utterance of the moniker brings a smile to my lips.

No, I can't allow myself to fall for her games, no matter how tempting they may be. I sigh, remembering the curve of her long neck—

"Ow!" Something hits the back of my head, and I turn around. "Did you throw something at me?"

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