One - Linkin

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The sun beamed down on my fair skin and I mentally thanked the boy who showed me around for letting me borrow sunscreen. I had even convinced him to let me borrow his sunglasses, but I'd promised to give them back once my room was ready and I could retrieve my own. Until then, I had no plans to move from my poolside recliner.

I had arrived early this morning before sunrise; it was the cheapest flight I could get. Since I got here so early, the cabana I was supposed to be staying in wasn't completely prepared. I was promised that the maids would get on it as soon as possible, and I was offered a tour by another guest.

The idea sounded weird, that a guest and not someone who worked here would show me around, but I brushed it off. After all, this was a free island vacation. What little staff they had probably had better things to do than show me around. A boy named Desmond—at least I thought that was his name—had agreed to give me a tour. Despite the fact that he was a tad bit annoying, without him I would have been hopelessly lost trying to navigate my way around the resort.

The island was smaller than Hawaii—not huge, but more than enough space to get lost or wander into a restricted area. Approximately half of the island was used for the resort which was a paradise home to rock climbing, pools, dining halls, restaurants, and private cabanas. The rest of the island was said to be a dangerous jungle. The entire resort had a large fence around it with only one main gate. It was for our protection, so nothing unwanted could get in. Unfortunately, the beach was also off limits; I was told it was a reef shark infested area. I guess the many pools would have to be good enough for everybody. Not that I'd participate anyway.

"Hey, Valentina."

I rolled my eyes behind his sunglasses. "Desmond, how many times do I need to tell you not to call me that?"

Desmond grabbed a chair and pulled it beside mine when I made no effort to sit up. "What, you expect me to call some pretty girl 'Linkin'?"

"Yes," I sighed. If Desmond didn't have such a tiresome personality, I would almost find him attractive. With sandy blonde hair and sunkissed skin, he looked like a stereotypical "surfer dude".

Desmond gave a huff as he leaned back in his chair and I could feel his dark hazel eyes on me. "How about this, I'll call you whatever you'd like if you tell me how you got to be on the island," he proposed with a half-crooked grin, clearly thinking he was a genius.

"You know, you're the only person I've met so far. If the others are as annoying as you, I'm going to leave, free vacation or not." I was quick to snap at Desmond, but he just chuckled off the insult.

While I did hate being called by my birth name, I hated talking about my past even more. It was a long and unhappy story. I did have two parents who tried their best to love me, but it was hard for them to love a "gifted" child. I was born with a photographic memory which caused a lot of problems in my youth and it was the main reason that I was disowned and on the streets for a year and a half.

"Come on, Link. Everyone here has an interesting past," Desmond said, pulling me out of memory-lane.

"I'm not like everyone else," I was quick to reply, but he had no idea how true that cliche statement was. I knew it wouldn't be long before someone here found out about my memory. I was awful at hiding it and there were only so many times I could use the excuse "I just knew" before people started asking too many questions.

Desmond wasn't overly pleased with my answer, but he didn't let that wipe the smirk off of his face. "You can't hide it from me for forever. I'll just annoy you until you tell me," he teased before changing the topic. "I saw that your place was ready. I'll show you the way if you'd like?"

"You saw?" I asked with a raised brow, not liking the sound of this.

He smirked and shrugged. "You're in the cabana next to mine."

Desmond had better not be planning on coming over for a cup of sugar or just to chat. "Lead the way," I sighed as I started to shift in my chair. I wasn't going to let him know that I wasn't excited to have him as a neighbour; he was the only person I knew so far.

He stood up and offered me his hand. "And here I expected more resistance from you, Val," he said, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. At this rate, he would annoy me enough into telling him my life story. "And by the way, remind me not to let you borrow my sunglasses again. You look like an idiot with my round sunglasses."

Once again, I was regretting my choice to let him lead the way. I hit his hand before standing up on my own. "What the heck is wrong with them?" I asked, more insulted than I should be.

"Your arms and chest are covered in tattoos. My glasses seriously decrease your badassery."

I chuckled and shook my head as he led me away from the pool. "Badassery?" I questioned his wording.

Desmond turned around to wink at me. "Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. Raven black hair, tattoos, piercing blue eyes. You're the type of girl men would want to both run towards and away from."

I blinked in surprise, unsure if I should take that as a compliment or not. I opened my mouth to speak, but Desmond was already on the next topic. I really thought he just enjoyed the sound of his own voice.

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