- Alina -
Men and their alpha male instincts, piss the hell out of me.
Kieran didn't love me, that much I knew. And as a fake husband, he was playing his role really well.
Breakfast in bed, jealous over another guy talking to me, being overly protective and amazing sex.
He was doing great.
I can't exactly distinguish what was real and what wasn't at this point. Every time he says or does something sweet or remotely loving I have to remind myself that it was all an act.
None of this was real.
I told myself to enjoy myself while I'm at it, but now I'm afraid I wouldn't want it to even end. That scares me.
Expectations scare me.
Because expectations are meant to be crushed and broken with no chance of achieving them.
That's why they're called expectations.
I thought Connor was an amazing man, kind and gentle. Even in bed. But who knew he was a scheming man with his nose in a bunch of illegal matters? Using my father's money as loan and screwing over it so bad my father ended up getting hurt in the process.
So when Kieran came out in his black muscle tee and khaki pants with all his glorious muscles for the world to see, I had to press my emotions and expectations down.
He's doing this for the fun of it, play along.
Maluaka beach was bright and sunny, the waters were clear and blue. The man next to me had an arm around my waist, his lips pressed to the top of my head, "I hope you're wearing something appropriate on the inside."
I scoffed, "Is that all you've been thinking about on our way here Kieran?"
He shrugged and tilted my chin up to look at him, "Of course not, I was also wondering if I could help you out of your pretty sundress before swimming with the turtles."
My skin tingled at his words but I glared up at him defiantly, "I can help myself to that but thank you for the kind thought."
We saw Nigel approach and he ran up to us like those drool-worthy lifeguards from 'Baywatch'.
Kieran's hold around me tightened but I kept my sights on Nigel to stop the fangirl side of me at a distance from my fake husband's reaction.
He cares for you! He's jealous of a guy because of you!
Nigel held my face in a friendly gesture and air-kissed my cheek, "Aloha beautiful Alina, you shine brighter than the sun today."
I eyed him, "Was I very dull yesterday then?"
He chuckled, "Goodness no, you have a good sense of humour. This must be the husband that let you swim alone in the pool then?"
Kieran grunted in his caveman-like mannerisms and shook hands with Nigel, "She refused to let me see her in her bikini, said I won't be able to keep my hands off her. She proved herself right when she came back to our suite drenched."
My face flamed with heat and I looked between the two testosterone-pumped males, "Kieran, this is my friend and snorkelling instructor for today, Nigel Hale. Nigel, this is my husband, Kieran Knight."
They released their hands from the death grip they inflicted on one another and Nigel turned back to me with a wide smile.
"I didn't expect someone as pretty as you to get snatched off the shelf so quickly. But you weren't wearing any wedding bands so I jumped to conclusions. I apologise for not believing you," he took my hand and kissed the back of it.
I could smell the fumes of Kieran's anger and chanced a glance at him. His eyes were foggy with jealousy and Nigel gave him a mighty playful look.
Are men always this childish?
"We don't wear our rings during water activities. We don't want to lose them especially when we're doing something unimportant," Kieran retorted.
Nigel didn't even spare him a glance.
"Come on then, the turtles won't be waiting around," Nigel released my hand and Kieran swooped his arm around my shoulder.
It's going to be a long day.
- Kieran -
The delight in Alina's eyes as she watched the sea turtles swim by melted every bit of anger and jealousy I had for Nigel.
Her smile was worth it.
Where were these words coming from?
She was beautiful in every aspect of it, even Nigel could see it. The gentleness she put forth and the fire blazing behind it.
I won't say I love that about her. I don't have the ability to love.
Even then, it was nice seeing her so carefree out in the blue.
The wedding rings.
If we were going to carry on for the rest of the four days here, that had to be rectified immediately.
The moment she was out of my sight, a random dude snatches her up. That won't happen anymore.
That's some caveman-like thinking.
I gripped my mug of beer tight and chugged the contents down, Alina raised a brow at me.
"If I knew you hated the water so much I would've suggested doing something else. But as you can see we're surrounded by beaches and the vast blue sea, you can't avoid the water for long," she ate her fish and chips and sipped on her cocktail as if nothing bothered her.
The snorkelling took up a good few hours of our afternoon and we decided to chill and recharge at a shack with good booze and food.
I took a deep breath, momentarily mesmerised by how flawless she looked, it was so effortless for her, "I enjoyed myself Alina, other than Nigel being an absolute prick and flirting with you every chance he got."
I shoved my knife harshly into my steak and ate a big mouthful of it. I was fucking starving.
I was becoming more like a caveman than I thought.
She pursed her lips to stop her slither of a smile from coming through, "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were jealous over hunky Nigel."
I swallowed, "You really think he's that much of a hunk?"
She shrugged, "Blonde curly waves, bright blue eyes, Abercrombie-model worthy body with a hell of a six-pack. If he's not a hunk then I don't know what is."
"I don't think wives should comment so freely about other males in their husband's presence."
"I'm not the generic kind of wife that is mass produced and put up on shelves at your everyday grocer Kieran. You should know that by now."
I took her hand and faced her palm up, drawing circles on her wrist, "I do, in fact I know how to make you scream my name and make you forget yours within walking distance of the living room and bedroom."
Her cheeks flushed and I know last night was flashing through her mind.
I got up from my seat and went round to stand behind hers, massaging her shoulders while admiring her breasts from my view. Her select choice of swimsuit for today was a sexy one piece and I couldn't wait till we were alone again.
I leaned down and whispered in her ear, "I hope you're ready for what I have prepared for you tonight darling. I can assure you it's not your everyday grocery shopping judging by where we're heading with this."
The tension in her shoulders returned and I pressed a kiss to her left shoulder.
"Where exactly are we heading with this Kieran?"
"Over the hills of pleasure and into the monstrous waves of lust and passion."
- Alina -
I've always been in control.
If something didn't go according to what I wanted, I improvised and let it merge into my lane.
Because if I left anything up to chance, something stupid and shitty like my father getting hurt was going to occur. And losing one parent is enough for me, I'm going to die protecting my father.
Having Kieran whisper sweet nothings and dirty imaginations into my ear was enough to set my body on fire. But the rocky beating of my heart activated the sirens in my head.
It's all an act Alina, don't let alpha male Kieran get the best of you.
"Ready to leave?" His dark voice pierced my thoughts and I swivelled around. My navy blue gown followed my movements and I was held entranced by his gaze.
He wore a sleek navy blue suit, most probably to match my attire. The insides of his suit were gorgeous undertones of maroon and the contrast of colours made me swoon. He was really handsome and very surely drool-worthy.
“What are you planning Sir Knight?” He took my hand and led me towards the elevator.
“Sir Knight? That’s a new one.”
“Avoiding questions, beating around the bush and giving me weird looks. I hope you’re not planning to bail out on me and run back to your concrete jungle.”
“I assure you darling, leaving your side is the last thing on my mind.”
An odd sinking feeling settled within me and I looked up at Kieran as we entered the lift.
He caught my eyes and brushed my cheek gently, “I would ask what’s wrong but you’ll probably run to the pool again and not talk to me.”
We arrived at the lobby and he led me out to the limousine sitting out front. He pulled the door open and I slipped inside, Kieran sitting next to me.
He took my hand into his again and held it up to his lips, kissing each of my fingers I now noted as his habit. How many women have fallen for his sweet charm?
“You’ve not been wearing any lipstick since the day you visited my office. Are you reserving your full make-up look for someone else?”
There was a hint of bitterness in his tone, or maybe I was just imagining it. I couldn’t really tell with him anymore and the sirens have subsided into an awaiting headache. I’ve lost the lipstick my father had customised for me. He had a cosmetics company customise a pigment and formula specially for me and gave it to me as an engagement gift.
It didn’t seem like much to others, but we both knew. My mother always had a quote to accompany her obsession with those saturated lip colours, “Be as bold as your lipstick.”
Hence the beautiful dark red hue my father made for me. And I managed to somehow have lost it. I have to contact the cosmetic company again for another tube. Only, it will never be the same as the one my father gave me.
“I don’t wear lipstick anymore, it gets annoyingly tacky especially when you kiss the wrong fiancé with it,” I looked out the window of the tinted limo and felt Kieran place his hand on my thigh.
I’ll turn to ash if he keeps up with his ministrations.
“Pity, that colour looked amazing on you.”
I turned to him, wondering if he was just poking fun at me. I wasn’t in the mood for his subtle verbal assaults.
“Thank you for your compliment Sir Knight.”
We arrived at a beachside restaurant. It was beautiful and absolutely grand. Kieran took my hand and our waiter led us to a candlelit table on the deck. The water whooshed under the platform and the scent of salt invigorated my senses.
Kieran pulled out a seat for me to sit and I did. Dinner came and went quickly with my husband keeping light conversation. He didn’t take a dig at me anymore and was somewhat kind and loving. I’d actually rather he said something to annoy me so it was easier to get mad at him and leave him eventually.
Oh no, was I already dreading the day we separated?
“You don’t look too well Alina, I can cancel the rest of the night and head straight back to the suite,” Kieran downed whatever was left in his wine glass and I noticed the slight bit of nerves in his eyes.
What was he nervous about?
“I’m fine, let’s carry on with whatever you planned for us honey.”
He looked into my eyes and immediately he knew I was on to him.