Good Intentions (Welcome to Paradise) (Volume 2)

Good Intentions

eBook Edition

 

Copyright © S.L. Scott, 2013

 

 

All Rights Reserved.

 

Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the written permission of the author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Published in the United States of America

ISBN:
978-1-940071-10-7

 

Cover design by Sarah Hansen of OkayCreations.com

 

Cover image by Marine G.

 

Interior Design by Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Portuguese Translations

A Personal Note

About the Author

 

 

 

 

For my friends online who make me smile with their sweet encouragement.

 

 

“You always look incredible, but more in a beach-laidback-natural-hottie kind of way,” Sunny says, smiling. My childhood friend has always been a great confidence booster. She pushes my long brown hair behind my shoulders, appraising and approving. “You’re going to knock your man’s flip flops off when he sees you all dressed up at the party tonight.”

I love my friends but the attention, although lovely, makes me feel self-conscious. I turn toward the mirror and pat the blush pink mini-dress fabric down over my stomach, which is noticeably flatter and toner under this fitted material. There’s no hiding in something so tight, but this dress has a sweet charm of innocence about it as well. It’s appropriate for meeting the parents and impressing the boyfriend equally.

Doing a turn to see the back of the dress, I realize I’ve been vacationing in paradise over a month now. Hawaii is more amazing than I expected and a bonus is that I’m much more active here than back at school, where I’m bogged down with schoolwork and part-time jobs. I’ve caught the Aloha spirit and I can already tell it’s going to be hard to board that plane back to Colorado in August.

“You make that dress look amazing, Mallory.” Evan’s sister, Kate, stands behind me and our eyes connect in the mirror’s reflection.

“No lie?” I say, needing to be reassured one more time.

“No lie,” she responds softly and smiles. “Evan is gonna love it on you.”

Feeling my cheeks heat, I look down, thinking of Evan. My boyfriend.
My sexy surfer—
the man I’ve fallen head over heels, hands, and common sense for since the moment I landed on the island. He’s the hottest guy I’ve ever seen and all that’s sexy—his hard, chiseled body, his sun-lightened messy hair, his brilliant mind, and his smooth-talking lines—yep, all mine. Although I shouldn’t admit it, I’m in way too deep with him and too happy and in love to care. Looking into the mirror again, I smile. This time because Sunny and Kate are right. Evan is going to love this dress.

“A toast is in order,” Kate says as she pours three glasses of champagne. “This is our only chance to look fancy in Hawaii.” She raises her glass into the air and we follow suit. “Here’s to Fourth of July parties, carefree summers, and our sexy men!”

We clink glasses and drink, downing more than half the champagne. Liquid courage is needed for me to show off this dress like it deserves.

As I put on my makeup, Kate sits next to me on the bed. Her bedroom at her parent’s Hawaiian mansion is where we decided to get ready for their annual Fourth of July party. Her room is spacious, spotless, and very feminine. Each of us sets up in a corner and we spread our stuff out. “You know, Evan’s told me how much he loves your eyes. He called them hopeful and infinite,” she says casually.

After spending half my summer getting to know Evan’s stunning sister, I’ve come to realize that Kate never says anything casual. She’s smart as a whip and usually two steps ahead with a plan or two that she’s plotting. I don’t doubt her sincerity when it comes to our friendship. I know she likes me and has been a big supporter of my relationship with her brother, which she’s had to defend. Deep down I feel their mother hates me for winning her golden boy’s heart.

“Really?” I ask, touched that Evan would confide in her like that.

“Yes, he found some sea glass down on the beach yesterday and said it reminded him of your pretty green eyes.” She leans over for a closer look. “You do have pretty eyes.”

“Thanks. You know, I always wanted blue like Evan’s when I was little.”

“So did I.” She bats her lashes at me and smirks. “Instead, I got my father’s brown eyes.”

I laugh and dig my mascara out of my bag. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, and please don’t feel pressured to tell me or anything, but I’ve been curious about Evan’s past.”

She takes the mascara from me and says, “I’ll do your lashes. Look up at the ceiling for me.”

Following her instructions, I look up as she coats my upper lashes, not sure if I really want to know about Evan’s mysterious past or not. Evan is amazing. I have no doubt that he loves me even though he hasn’t returned the verbal endearment yet. Something deep inside is keeping him from opening up the way I want, the way I’m ready for him to and I want to know what that is, so I prod. “Something happened to him and I think it’s why he had trouble at college.” I leave it at that to observe her reaction.

She stops and looks up at the ceiling, pondering what I’ve said. “Evan hasn’t told you what happened four years ago?”

“No,” I shake my head, my stomach twisting in anxiety.

A smile appears, soft and understanding. “I promised him a long time ago that I wouldn’t tell anyone. But you should know that although what he went through was painful for me and my parents, it changed who he is. It changed us all. That’s all I feel I can share without breaking my promise to him.”

I’m a bit disappointed, but not surprised by her words. My conversation with Ms. Chart the night I met her leads me to think the same. Whatever his secret is, he’s keeping it that way for a reason, but I can’t help my curiosity and hope he trusts me enough to tell me one day.

An hour later, we’re ready with our hair styled, our party dresses on, and feeling bubbly like the two bottles of champagne we polished off. We walk through the breakfast room and out the open doors that lead to the pool. The deck area is beautifully decorated, his mother’s attention to detail on full display. The party has begun and I see the first few guests ordering cocktails from the bar. Looking around, I don’t see Evan, so I follow the girls to the bar.

“Katie, you look beautiful.” I hear a male voice greet her from behind me.

“Hi, Daddy,” Kate says with a bright smile, her eyes lighting up and arms going out for a hug. “Let me introduce you to my friends. Hugh Ashford, this is Sunny Ladell and
this
is Mallory Wray.” She winks at me then looks back at her father. “Mallory is Evan’s girlfriend.”

“It’s very nice to meet you.” His eyes scan mine like he’s trying to understand something. It becomes obvious his wife has told him about me. He probably expected a three-headed monster after listening to her. “I’ve heard a lot about you,” he says, and it makes me wonder if he means from Evan or his mother, but I don’t dare ask. “You’re very lovely.”

“Thank you,” I respond. “I’ve heard a lot about you too, Mr. Ashford.”

“That can’t be good, but I’m not afraid of a little hard work to prove all those rumors wrong. And please call me Hugh.” We laugh politely, and then he says, “I hope you ladies have a nice time tonight and please try not to send my guests to the hospital.” He leans closer. “Three beautiful women, lots of old men with weak hearts, you could do a lot of damage at this party.” He winks at us, leaving us giggling as he walks away to greet other guests.

He was not what I expected at all.
How is he the husband of the Wicked Witch of the Upper East Side?

“I’ll call and find out what’s holding up the guys,” Kate says. “Make yourselves at home. Food is over there. The bar is behind you.”

“I should’ve used the bathroom before we came out. Want to come with me?” Sunny asks.

“Nah, go ahead,” I reply, “I’ll be here.” Walking over the large deck to the edge of the grass, I look out at the sunset and think about Evan. The girls made me promise to spend the day with them to prepare, which meant a day away from him. With only a month left on the island, every minute feels precious. My heart speeds up in anticipation of seeing him soon, and I turn to scan the crowd once more. I’m left disappointed and a little anxious he’s not here yet.

“Mallory, there you are.” Although I recognize this voice of evil, Evan’s mother doesn’t sound mean . She actually sounds…
friendly
. Maybe this is the turning point, and she has come to accept me. Or maybe I should brace myself. I’m undecided when I turn around.

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