CHAPTER 14 | you've got mail

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📎A/N. Hello and welcome to midweek. Before you start on this chapter, I suggest that you reread the last bit of the previous chapter. It turns out that my final version wasn't published correctly and some of you may have read the older version, which means some of this chapter will not make sense.

In addition, I may have been a little too subtle...  did any of you pick up why Sydney stopped things from going any further? If not re-read the last sentence of the previous chapter in combination with the name of the chapter ;)

Take care and don't forget to vote if you enjoy this chapter :)

❤ ℳ

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By the time Sydney returned to the house, the others had already taken their leave. The moment she walked through the doors that led from the patio, her cousin rushed from the kitchen, eyes wild and frantic.

"Where have you been?" Grace asked with concern as she hugged Sydney, "I was ready to call out the Coast Guard."

Sydney waved her concern off. "I'm fine."

Grace took a step back to take a better look at her. A frown replaced her short-lived relieved expression. "What happened?" she asked, "You look a mess. What happened out there?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Sydney mumbled, as she avoided eye contact.

Grace narrowed her eyes and gave Sydney a look that told her she would get it out of her sooner or later. "It doesn't have to do with Mac does it? He came back from the beach in a strange mood. What happened out there to set you both off?"

Sydney glanced around, the tables were cleared and nothing remained to indicate guests had been. For Grace to have cleaned up all trace was an indication of just how long she was away. "Grace, I really don't want to talk about it."

"He didn't do anything to hurt you did he?" Grace asked with an edge of panic.

"No, it wasn't like that. We had words - that's all." Sydney quickly broke in. "I'm just a little tired, that's all," she assured Grace. "After a good night's sleep I'll be fine."

Sleep, however, eluded Sydney. The moment her head hit the pillow, she was wide awake. Much to her disgust, her mind appeared to be stuck on the events from the beach. Each scene recalled in vivid slow motion. She could still feel the heady rush of his lips on hers, as his hands played havoc with the rest of her body. Her body broke out in goose bumps at the memory of his touch.

Angry at her traitorous body's reaction, she rolled over and thumped her pillow hoping it would soften somewhat, so she could succumb to the bliss of sleep and stop this fixation she seemed to have.

This too proved to be less that fruitful when, a few moments later, her mind returned to the exact same scene. This time, it managed to move beyond their earth-shattering kiss to the disastrous aftermath.

I should have come clean and told him why I pulled back, she lamented.

His words echoed through her mind. At the time, she had heard the words but failed to listen to what he was saying.

He thought we had something

Her subconscious crossed her arms and tapped her foot, Yes, but it was against his better judgement.

He thinks I led him on, and what did he mean by he was over his head?

Sydney continued to toss and turn. When she did manage to doze, it was only for a short period. Each time she woke, her mind fixated. It was almost as if someone had pushed the repeat button and it was stuck, forever dwelling on the same scene that she would rather forget.

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