Chapter Thirteen

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Chapter Thirteen 

Scorpio: there are surprises in store for you today, use your instincts to guide you through the day and trust what you are feeling.

Lunch was everything she had expected from a first class resort. A small wedge of smoked salmon with capers and dill on a bed of fresh salad ingredients for entr\u00e9e and locally sourced lobster for mains. Winter was impressed with the food and service. Dan had sat at their table and regaled them with tales from his travels. He gave no clues as to who the woman was that he'd been talking to. Winter smiled, even though her heart was breaking at the thought that she had lost him to another woman. It was not in her nature to compete, she knew already she could never win if she had to compete for Dan. Whatever they had shared in the romance of the night, would not be enough. The woman Winter saw spoke French and looked like an international model. What hope did winter have against that? After lunch they divided up to pursue separate passions, Claude immersing himself in the scenery and taking photos of everything he saw. After she had interviewed many of the resort staff, Winter decided to book in for a spa treatment. She had a manicure and a massage and a mini-facial as she got too bored and claustrophobic if she was in a spa treatment for too long. Afterwards, she certainly felt more relaxed yet still just as confused about what to do about Dan and the other woman. Winter strolled around the gardens again, marvelling in the riot of colour from the tropical plants and flowers, which looked like the sunset in shades of red, orange and pinks. She heard footsteps and turned around to face Dan. He reached out his hands to touch her but her glare stopped him. "Win, I wanted to find you, I hate not being close to you all the time." He stepped closer again, taking her hands and pulling her towards him. His sensual lips were so close to hers, if she leaned in to him she could kiss them, but the image of the other woman was imprinted in her mind. "Dan, don't do this to me, I would rather you just came out and told me the truth." Winter frowned and took a step back from him, breaking the closeness between them. "Win, I don't understand, I came to find you so we could have some time together alone like I promised." 

"Dan, I saw you before lunch.." Winter couldn't finish the sentence because Dan's mobile started ringing. "Sorry Win, I have to take this it could be important." Dan answered the mobile and started pacing away from her. Winter sighed, did she really want to have this conversation with Dan? She decided to explore the inside of the resort further instead of waiting around for Dan to return. Besides, she had to get her feelings under control and figure out what she was going to say to him. Back inside, Winter appreciated the air- conditioning, as the late afternoon heat hadn't yet dissipated. She wandered aimlessly through the dining room, the games room, past the spa and around to the glassed in atrium. She discovered a small library stocked full of floor to ceiling shelves with books and large comfortable easy chairs. A desk was set up in the corner with a computer on it, which must have formed part of an office as files were strewn across the desk. Winter's journalistic interest was piqued so she walked over to the desk to explore further. As she bent over to surreptitiously read the files, she heard footsteps approaching the desk. Guiltily she stood up and came face to face with Dan. His eyes were crinkled into a cheeky smile. "I'm sorry about the call interrupting us. Merde! It seems that all I do is apologize to you lately. Come outside and let me show you some secret places in the garden." He waggled his eyes suggestively at her. "Dan, I don't know if I can- we need to talk." Winter tried gain, her heart beating furiously and her hands shook, she didn't want to know the answer, yet the not knowing was worse. "Come on, we can still talk outside, at least the scenery will be better and we won't be interrupted." He stepped around the desk to her side and leant over to kiss her suddenly and passionately on the lips. It was so unexpected she couldn't help but respond. He led her out to the garden again, but this time they walked further away from the resort until they reached a secluded pocket of the garden. The palm trees rustled above them in the breeze and Winter could hear the faint lapping of the waves. The birds of Paradise plants nodded their regal heads and the hibiscus swayed gently, like hula dancers. Dan took her by the hand and dragged her down onto the grass with him, leaning against the trunk of a palm tree. Winter took a deep breath, ready to ask him the question that had been burning her from the inside out. His caramel eyes looked at her trustingly and lustfully and she had to steel herself to talk about the woman she'd seen in his arms. "Dan, who was the woman I saw you with?" She blurted out, concern lacing her voice so it sounded low and hoarse. Dan appeared shocked at first, then he frowned and glanced away, his gaze stretching out to the sea. He took her hand and laced his fingers through hers, he knew the time had come to tell her part of the truth he had been holding tightly in his heart for so long, like an egg, warm and solid in a nest. "That woman is Veronique, she is technically my ex-wife but she is the only one who doesn't believe it. We were only married for eight months until she drove me crazy with her demands on my time. I have been trying to convince her to sign divorce papers but she keeps coming up with excuses not to." 

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