Oh my God. He's walking right at me.
I tried to smile, but had such a bad case of tense lock-jaw it probably ended up looking more like a grimace. Regardless, the hot guy returned my smile with his own perfect, lopsided grin.
He was shirtless. There was a light layer of sunscreen shimmer all over his built, tan chest. He was wearing a stack of pamphlets. And he was still walking right at me.
The closer he got, the more I wondered if I'd shaven my milk bottle legs properly. Then I wondered if I was only imagining he was smiling at me.
Odds were he was aiming to talk to my sister Joyce, who was standing next to me. Usually, guys preferred her - except when they were trying to make a point about how they 'hated' girls who wore too much makeup and were 'too popular' like Joyce.
"Hey," the guy said.
"Hi," I replied simultaneously with the three other girls in our group. There was my sister Joyce, and Joyce's friends Paisley and Skye.
I saw them post quotes on social media last night, priding themselves on being strong and independent. They still drooled buckets all over this guy, fluttering their eyelashes and pulling their shoulders back to show off their chest.
Maybe I shouldn't judge, because I'd be doing the exact same thing if I had any semblance of flirting skills.
The guy's pearly smile widened. "Have you ladies been here on Majorca long already?"
Joyce reached for her sunglasses, pushing them up into her long, brown hair. "No, we arrived this afternoon. We're staying for two weeks."
"Great! Then you're in for a fantastic first night. Party at Club Ocean from 12 o'clock on. Be there! Find me, and I'll fix you all a free drink."
The guy pushed a pamphlet into my sister's hands, and I was shocked that she accepted it. Let's just say Joyce wasn't the type to take pieces of paper from strangers or treat them with any kindness. I'm sure the guy's hazel eyes framed by long lashes had everything to do with this exception.
"Maybe we'll check it out." Joyce tilted her head to the side. "Who should we ask for, for our free drink?"
The guy laughed. "My name's Ty. And yours?"
His eyes glided over all of us, even me, before focusing on Joyce again.
"I'm Joyce," my sister introduced herself with full confidence.
"Paisley." Paisley twirled a strand of her curly hair around her finger, while Skye went for her trademark coy smile that drove guys wild.
I expected Ty to ignore my presence, but he looked at me expectantly when I didn't promptly introduce myself like the others. They must've taught him to be polite to everyone in a group when trying to get guests for their club.
"I'm Charmeine," I croaked, about two seconds too late.
Ty didn't ignore my presence, but he did ignore my obvious awkwardness.
"Charmeine," he said. "That's an interesting name."
"That rhymes," I replied, mentally slapping my forehead for that remark the moment it left my mouth.
I practically felt the hostility radiating from my sister next to me, but she held back because we were in Ty's company.
Ty, however, let out a loud, barking laugh. "Alright Charmeine, I hope to see you at the club again," he rhymed on purpose, offering me a pamphlet.
Skye and Paisley also got one. Then he waved at us and left.
I stared at him without even realising, until Paisley snorted loudly.
"In your dreams, Charmeine," she told me.
Joyce tried to suppress a smile, but the corners of her lips twitched. Skye giggled, while I felt my cheeks burn with embarrassment. It'd be super visible, if the hot Spanish sun hadn't already turned my face lobster red.
Sometimes I thought Paisley had a sort of vendetta against me. She'd been mean to me ever since I'd made the mistake of openly staring at her gorgeous big blue eyes, marvelling at how long her lashes were up close. She caught me and snappily asked what the hell I was staring at. After, I heard her loudly ask my sister if I was a lesbian (which I was not) because I was being a creep.
But even if I stared, ironically enough, even in my dreams I'd be way too self conscious to fantasise about having Ty, anyone pay romantic attention to me.
"Only in your cheesy romance novels, Char" would be closer to the truth.
Still, Ty was the guy who'd shown me any kindness ever since I landed. Joyce's male friends hadn't - they didn't respond whenever I talked, unless it was something they had to respond to. And if they did, it was with one or two words.
Clearly, they didn't want anything to do with me. I was just someone everyone put up with in exchange for free stay at Joyce's and my parents' apartment in Spain, because said parents insisted I went along.
"I'm so tired from the flight," Skye stated with a deep sigh.
"Same," Joyce agreed. "Let's get the groceries back to the apartment, get the guys and sleep on the beach or something before going to the party."
Paisley stretched her arms, yawned and nodded. "Sounds like a plan."
Obviously, nobody asked me if I agreed. I was to silently tag along, carry my share of the groceries back to the apartment, and not ask too much attention. God forbid I voiced a different opinion.
I mean, I could, but I'd only get catty replies.
Especially if I mentioned we'd end up looking like wrinkly leather handbags in give or take ten years if we kept the sunbathing up, which was a shame.
At least they got the benefits and all tanned. But me, the redhead? I'd tried tanning. The only thing it accomplished was my skin peeling off after a couple of days. Let's just say it wasn't an exaggeration that I'd straight up die on the beach in the Spanish sun.
"Char," Joyce suddenly said, slowing her pace so she was walking next to me. "Maybe you shouldn't go to the beach. I know you don't like the sun, nor these kind of parties." She smiled. "You could have the apartment to yourself all day and evening?"
"Yeah, sure, sounds good," I was quick to agree. "Have fun at the beach and the party, I'll be out of your hair."
Joyce frowned. "Char, you know you're welcome to come, I just thought you wouldn't like it."
I didn't 'hate' these kind of parties per se. It was a love-hate kind of relationship. On the one hand I'd love to be part of the crowd, on the other hand I didn't exactly know how and it was way out of my comfort zone.
The only reason I truly wouldn't like it was because of Joyce's friends. When they were around, my sister was different. Our interests had started to drift apart after we stopped playing with barbies and ponies together. I discovered more imaginary worlds to get lost in, and started reading while she got into clubbing, boys, and fashion. We got along okay at home, but the moment she had to choose between her new friends and me, the choice was obvious.
I'd rather not force Joyce to make a choice for that reason. And it was true: I was comfortable, curled on the couch with a book or tv show.
"No, it's okay," I said. "Parties with loud music and stuff aren't really for me. I'll stay home and guard the apartment."
Joyce smiled widely, relieved. "We'll try to be quiet when we come home."
"Fat chance! Sorry in advance, Char." Paisley laughed at me over her shoulder, not at all looking like she was sorry.
I rolled my eyes the moment she looked away. Luckily, it wasn't difficult for me to fall asleep again after being woken up and being alone for a few hours was nice. Great, even. I'd be perfectly entertained with the television, a book, and lots of alone time. I even had that guy, Ty, to imagine as the love interest in my novel.
Little did I know that the evening would turn out completely differently than I thought.