Chapter 36

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The yacht was docked out in the ocean beyond the line of buoys that signaled the end of where the swimmers were allowed to safely go. Robyn smiled to herself, becoming increasingly convinced that Liam Payne was simply in capable of doing anything simply. He had to go above and beyond, even a relaxing trip to the beach turned into a day floating on a yacht in the middle of the ocean. She decided not to complain and instead enjoyed the day of sun and fun, jet skiing and swimming, lounging around the boat and having fun with Liam. He seemed more himself alone with her out floating on the vast ocean, where no one could get to them, where he could be himself and not worry about either of his images being damaged. She smiled at him as she looked over the side of the boat to where he bobbed in the water having just jumped off of it rather than have her catch him. Out of breath she looked at his laughing face and felt her stomach flutter a little at the sight.

What's more is that in the moment she saw no reason why it shouldn't. Her guard was completely down. She stood with a towel and wrapped him in it as he climbed the ladder back up onto the boat deck. She smiled at him the whole while and didn't even notice it.

"That was a rather drastic way to avoid me catching you, you cheater. Not to mention you scared the hell out of me."

"Did I now?"

"Well yes! You could have drowned! You could have hit your head on the side, you could have gotten swept away..."

Her voice trailed off as she realized what she was doing, drying the water off of his chest. She abruptly stopped and pushed it towards him.

"Would you miss me if I died at sea?"

"Shut up." She shook her head and went to sit nearby, pretending to stare out at the ocean as Liam got dry. "It's beautiful out today."

"Yeah we picked a perfect day for this." He came and sat next to her but his excitement was not at all contained. "We can jet ski some more, or we can surf again. Or we can-"

"Let's just sit down for a while."

The fun and excitement of the water sports were surely what had her mind wandering to thoughts about Liam being a decent guy after all and They had to be responsible for her sudden urge to be close to him, and for why she was dangerously close to admitting to herself that she might possibly like him. Surely it was a result of the excitement of the day. She resolved to not allow herself to be fooled by his fun loving and good natured behavior. The man popping the caps off of champagne bottles for her while he chugged beer out of cans was not real, neither was the man who danced around in swim trunks and a captains hat while lip syncing to catchy old tunes on the radio. The real Liam Payne was surely left on the beach and this one, this uninhibited man with the engaging smile, was just as temporary as the waves that crashed against the boat.

Her hands were absentmindedly tracing the curves of his ear before she was snapped out of her thoughts and realized what she was doing. His body laid across hers, his face nuzzled against her chest resting on her soft and full bosom and his eyes were closed. Looking down at his resting face just solidified the fact that he was handsome, but also that he was younger than he behaved and than the scruff upon his face made him appear. His skin was soft and beautiful, his features a bit round rather than chiseled but still he had a jawline that other men had to be envious of and a brow that at the moment was relaxed but could morph into a scowl at any moment; authoritative and strong. He had the face of a leader; a face you could trust.

She hated herself for even noticing him; anything at all was too much, but getting the idea that she could trust Liam was dangerous. The only thing more dangerous was the feeling of comfort she had while holding him in her arms. His body was warm and heavy, his shoulders broad, the hand that wasn't stroking his ear rested just over his belly button and gently glided over it and the hair that led away from it. Even as she was wondering about how on earth she could possibly be contemplating the intricacies of his face she couldn't help noticing them. Liking them.

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