An outrigger cut through the surf. The tallest boys ran into the waves and pulled the boat onto the sand. Through the crowd of children, Marti saw a tall, sturdy man in red shorts and a T-shirt jump from the boat. From the neck up he was a traditional Santa. White beard and red hat contrasted his black skin. Cliff and Marti watched children receive small gifts and candy from the boat and rush off.
Cliff called out. “Does Santa Mon have presents for big children?” He took Marti's hand and drew her close to Santa, whose puckish grin and green eyes reminded Marti of the Chicago ticket seller.
Santa nodded. “Christmas is a time of giving. So true. What gift does the gentleman have for his beautiful lady?”
Marti felt her face flush and wondered if Cliff blushed in the dark. How embarrassing that the Santa thought they were a couple. Cliff knelt and scooped wet sand. With a smile he stood and placed a perfect white scallop shell in her hand.
“A fine gift for your lady.” Santa nodded, pushed his boat into the water and called, “Merry Christmas to all,” and was gone.
Marti smiled at Cliff. “Ah...thanks.”
He looked at her. “Santa Mon was right. For a beautiful lady.” He leaned forward.
She turned to the side and his lips met her cheek. In this amazing romantic setting a handsome man kissed her and she desperately wanted to kiss him back. But she refused to be seduced by a tropical moon and ocean breeze. A vacation fling was not her style. She was loyal. She was loyal to Ben and ignored the voices inside her head reminding her Ben was with his wife.
Cliff whispered, “I'm sorry, Marti. That wasn't a good idea.”
She nodded and dropped the seashell. He bent and stuffed the shell in his pocket.
The hotel desk clerk walked past, calling in a sing-songy rhythm, “Time for Christmas cake! Santa Mon's lucky Christmas cake!”
Marti began to follow him.
“Wait!” Cliff took her arm. “The sun is ready to drop below the horizon. You must watch.”
“Yes,” the manager said, “you may see the green flash.”
“That's not real.” Marti was sure she'd read the green flash was a myth.
“The green flash is real.” Cliff nodded. “If you see one, they say your life will never be the same.”
About The Author:
Amber Polo has had a lifelong love affair with libraries and dogs. A fascination with lost ancient libraries and curiosity about why werewolves outnumbered dog-shifters in literature inspired her new urban fantasy series filled with librarian dog-shifters.
"Released" Book One of The Shapeshifters' Library celebrates St. Nicholas Eve as a magic night for the dog-shifters. They celebrate in the old style with wassail, gingerkucken, and old fashioned traditions. Share their fun. Read The Shapeshifters’ Library Book One.
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Buy links for Released: Amazon
Book Trailer for Christmas On Wherever Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4enl721U0s