CHAPTER 11 | murphy's law

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📎A/N. Sorry I am late with posting. To make up for it, this chapter is much longer than the last :-)

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This chapter is dedicated to @avs_it - check out her wonderful story 'The Iceberg Theory'

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Sydney studied the tourists as they sauntered along the dock. It was easy to spot the newbies to the island. They were the ones who rushed from place to place marvelling at the magnificent views, the beauty of the small towns or the untouched nature that surrounded them. The regulars and residents had long since taken the natural beauty and mystique of the island for granted. To the locals, this was what it looked like, year after year. There was very little change and that's the way they liked it.

The early morning sun reflected on the water so brightly, it was hard to look at it without squinting. Quickly donning her sunglasses, she rechecked that she had everything they would require.

"This is ridiculous," she chided herself as she confirmed, for the umpteenth, time that everything was in order. "What possessed me to agree to this?"

The nerves that had been bubbling since she had left her house were once again threatening to overwhelm her. It hadn't helped that her sleep had been broken. Each time she had woken up in a cold sweat from the highly irregular and erotic dream. What had upset her the most was the presence of a certain grey-eyed irritating man in each of the dreams. How he had managed to insert himself into it was beyond her.

There was no reason for her to react like a nervous school girl. Ethan had done nothing to trigger her concern that he was up to something. In fact, he had been perfectly attentive and charming once they had returned to the others the previous day.

And, she had to admit, her being roped into being tour guide wasn't his idea. In fact, Ethan had been adamant that if she had work to do, that should come first.

Much to her consternation, it was Grace who had somehow managed to convince Sydney to show Ethan the island via Kayak. At first, her mind was frantically reaching to find the words to put Grace off her determined stance. However, her cousins not so subtle kick under the table brought an end to that post-haste.

***

"Why did you do that?" Sydney had hissed at Grace, as they were clearing the dishes the previous evening.

"Do what?"

"Kayaking. I didn't notice that the rest of you were coming."

Sydney observed that Grace's cheeks had turned pink and she was suddenly avoiding looking directly at her. "What are you not telling me?" she asked carefully, not sure she wanted to hear the answer.

"Well," began Grace hesitantly, "Mason and I were planning on looking at some of the galleries and perhaps have lunch in town. We didn't think that would be Mac's thing..." she trailed off.

It had taken a moment, but realisation of what Grace was up to eventually dawned. "Oh my God!" Sydney exclaimed, "you want to get rid of Mac for the day so you can spend some time with Mason." She then frowned, "But what about Pauline? Won't she be trailing after you?"

Grace shook her head. "She has booked herself for a spa day at Mansion House."

In the end, both Sydney and Ethan had been roped into spending the entire day in each other's company - Just so Grace and Mason could spend some time together.

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