Chapter Six

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Chapter Six 

Scorpio: "Time for a reality check Scorpio-too much fun means you have a busy time ahead of you so you will need to devote all your energy on work and colleagues."

The following morning, Winter awoke, feeling strangely discombobulated. She wasn't sure if the whole night had been a dream. She opened her grey eyes, blinked rapidly and sat up in the bed. She noticed the space where Dan had slept was empty. Maybe she had dreamt him being in her bed after all. She picked up the pillow he had used and smelt the lingering scent of him. If she had dreamt him, then it was the best dream she had ever had! Reluctantly she got out of bed. Nothing in the cabin was out of place, except for the empty bottle of champagne and the glasses left on the table. Winter picked up a glass and rubbed her finger along the edge of the rim, remembering how Dan's lips had touched the side of the glass and how they had licked and nipped every part of her naked body. Winter replaced the glass and continued her restless prowl around the cabin, searching for evidence that their night of passion had existed in reality, and not only in her dreams. Finding her mobile phone on the floor, under her crumpled dress, Winter panicked when she saw the time was already ten am. How had she managed to sleep in so long and where was Dan? She checked through her text messages and discovered several from her colleagues, asking if she was ok (last night, as she had missed dinner) and if they could schedule time together today to work on the article. There was a message from her mother but nothing from Dan. Winter frowned, had Dan left her after their night of lovemaking without even a text to let her know their night together had been special? Could he be that callous? Did that mean she meant so little to him? 

Winter texted Melody and Claude to let them know she was free this morning to meet up, then she put the phone down and went into the bathroom to shower and dress. It was time to get back to reality and get on with writing her article. While she was in the shower, her mobile beeped with a message from Dan, saying how much he had loved their night together and how he missed her already and hoped that they could have another lovemaking session soon. Winter didn't check her messages again, so she missed the text from Dan. 

After a rushed breakfast of fruit and yoghurt, Winter grabbed her handbag and laptop and left her cabin to find her colleagues. They decided to spend time ashore, to make the most of being on land, before they set sail again the following day. After the morning spent on swimming, and water sports, they convened in one of the cool provincial inspired caf\u00e9s. Over cappuccinos and pastries, they talked, sharing antidotes about their travel experiences. They discussed the photos and progress made on the article. Claude was checking through the photos he'd taken, while Winter read through her article on her laptop, to ensure the text matched the photos. Melody took notes about what they discussed and further work to be done. Suddenly Melody changed the conversation "We haven't seen you around much Winter, what have you been up to? Or have you got some tall, dark and handsome local stashed away in that cabin of yours?" Melody's gaze was so direct and confident; Winter panicked and mentally thought back over her movements and conversations in case she let something slip. "Don't look so scared, Winter, I was only joking!!" Melody laughed. "Has that tall hunk appeared again, the one you saw at the disco, he is so hot and I'd love to get to know him better!" said Claude, fanning his face. 

Winter didn't know if it was wise to tell them about her and Dan, besides, there still wasn't much to tell. "I've just been busy writing and I'm trying to keep a low profile". Winter replied, guiltily. "Tell me what you to have been up to and what are your plans for when we arrive at the Le Petit ile?" Winter hurriedly changed the subject. Melody's look was knowing, but luckily for Winter she let the subject drop. "Well, I have met a passenger -we met at dinner. His name is Alex. He is very suave and charming and I'm hoping we can meet up again soon, I have done far too much shopping and drinking, but it's been great!" Melody signalled for the waiter to bring her another cappuccino, they had to drink and eat quickly before the siesta hit when the shops would shut down for two hours. Claude looked dismal, "Well, I have not been as lucky in love-the one I lust for seemed more interested in Winter. I don't know what to do to make him notice me." Claude lamented. Winter blushed, as images of the previous night with Dan surfaced in her mind. Winter had to be careful in how she would respond to Claude. If she was too quick to be negative, Claude would suspect something was up, yet she didn't want to give him false hopes. Luckily, Melody rescued her with her teasing reply. "A hunk like that is so totally not going to be interested in you anyway Claude. Gay or not, he is just not your type! You should leave your options open and see who you meet, like I did!" Winter again tried to change the subject "I am nearly finished with the article, I just need to interview some of the crew and I am still after an eco-tourist angle somehow." Melody jumped in excitedly, "I think Alex may be able to help with that, he was telling me there is a huge resort-newly built on New Caledonia somewhere in the hinterland. Apparently it caused the locals to be upset because they weren't consulted at the planning stage, and it didn't adhere to enough eco-tourist standards or something so now the owner is looking for new investors to sell it or re-model it, I didn't understand all the details." Melody waved her hand carelessly, and went back to sipping her coffee. "Does that mean your Alex friend is rich enough to invest in a resort? Wow! That is serious money!" Winter commented.  

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