I sailed every ocean, saw the worst that humanity had to offer, and accomplished… nothing.
The world is just as screwed up now as it was when I set out to save it. The futility of it all left me disillusioned. Numb.
Then an idealistic beauty burst into my world, shining a light into all the dark corners of my soul.
The last thing she needs is a summer romance with a burned-out wreck like me.
I shouldn’t want her.
But I do…
When I look at Tate, I see a legend. He’s done it all, seen it all — lived my dream.
Too bad he doesn’t see what I see.
He thinks he’s all wrong for me. Too old.
But age is just a number. In our souls, where we’re both one with the sea, we’re the same.
He says I shouldn’t want him.
But I do…
They clash in every sexy, dangerous way imaginable. But is attraction — and maybe even love — enough to overcome all that stands between them? Or will their happily ever after remain elusive?
In the morning, I woke as the sun seeped into the bedroom. Luna’s long, tangled hair fanned out across the bed, as did her arms and legs. Somehow, the girl laid claim to the entire bed. I took up my one portion on the right side. Her head lay below the crook of my arm, one arm draped over my stomach. Her naked body flailed out wildly, unencumbered and unashamed.
My college self would have fallen madly in love with her. Not necessarily because she was the epitome of a free spirit, because there were plenty of those in college. Not even because we shared a major and the same passions and causes. The marine biology department was a niche, but not that niche. And we were all environmentalists. All of us were idealists, yet to be burned by life’s reality. But no, Luna had that heart of gold that Neil Young endlessly searched for. An idealistic dreamer, yes, but an energy and a zest for life and a willingness to risk and go for what she wanted that appealed to me…or back then, when I was younger, I would have been a shark to blood.
At thirty-five, oddly enough, I still couldn’t stay away from her. At twenty-two, I knew what I wanted from life. I wanted to make a difference in the world. As a teacher, she made a difference in our community, in individual lives. I thought I could be like her, only do more. I thought I could take up a cause and right wrongs.
At thirty-five, I knew nothing. I lay in bed with Luna, clueless. She didn’t seem to have any expectations, not for us. I had forgotten how free it felt to be twenty-two. Your entire life in front of you. Why would she be worried about tomorrow? Or where the relationship was going? She just wanted experience. She had a steadfast optimism that everything would work out, that she’d achieve her dreams. At her age, I had been the same.
I should have been okay with that. Happy to have this gorgeous young woman sprawled out naked in my bed, for me to do as I pleased. But my older brain worked differently. Now that I’d allowed myself a taste, I didn’t want to let her go. But go, she would. And my thoughts circled reality nonstop.
She’d finish her assignment here and move on to Belize or to the Galapagos. Somewhere tropical and exotic. And then after that, she’d accept a new gig. Maybe she’d end up in a doctoral program, or maybe she wouldn’t. But she’d go years bouncing from one exciting opportunity to another. Doing field research in safe locations. Exactly as she should.
For my part, I had a commitment on the horizon. One I wouldn’t back away from. My opportunity to make a real, indisputable difference.
She rolled over onto her back and spread out like a starfish. Her nipples peaked, exposed to the breeze of the overhead fan. I considered taking one in my mouth, but instead positioned myself between her legs and dipped my tongue, tasting her, while watching for her to awaken. She wanted experiences. I aimed to give her many.
About the author:
Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.
When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.
Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.
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