Home > Faking Forever (First Wives #4)(4)

Faking Forever (First Wives #4)(4)
Author: Catherine Bybee

Victor loosened the tie her comment reminded him he was wearing. Truth was, he’d dressed that morning on autopilot. If it wasn’t for the packed bag at the door leading into his garage, he might have jumped in his car and driven to work. His life had somehow taken on a routine, and anything outside the norm was quickly overlooked.

“I live in a suit,” he told her.

She attempted a smile. “That might be uncomfortable on a beach.”

He thought about the clothes he’d packed. “Hotels always have gift stores, which I’m sure I’ll need to use.”

“And if not, I’m told there are nude beaches on the Yucatán.”

Victor blinked several times, somewhat surprised those words had come out of Miss Annoyed’s mouth. “Maybe when I was twenty. I’d be a little concerned about certain parts getting too much sun.”

He was pretty sure she smiled. But the moment passed, and she turned back to the view out the window.

A full minute flew by.

Yeah, she wasn’t going to talk. He set his drink aside and reached for his briefcase under the seat in front of him to remove his laptop. He might as well get a few things done, since conversation obviously wasn’t going to happen without a struggle.

He quickly found his head deep in an article that spelled out why he should be buying more junkyards full of destroyed cars while the prices were low. He removed a notepad and wrote a few highlights of what to check on when he returned to his office.

When the flight attendant arrived with Miss Annoyed’s lunch, he passed on food and asked for another drink. He was two sips in when his seatmate spoke.

“I don’t think you have to worry.”

He tore his eyes from his computer. “Worry about what?”

She looked down. “The sun burning certain parts of your body. Your laptop will serve as great sunscreen.”

He followed her gaze. “I don’t think my girlfriend would appreciate me taking this on the beach.”

Her eyes opened wider. “You’re meeting a girlfriend in Cancun?”

Why did she sound surprised? “I am.”

“You didn’t fly with her?”

He shook his head. “That was the plan, but I had a last-minute meeting.” With his acquisitions manager. Not that it could be helped.

“My condolences to your girlfriend.”

Victor frowned. “Why do you say that?”

She looked at him as if he were a few cards short of a full deck. “You’re here on vacation, right?”

“Yes.” For all intents and purposes.

“You’re wearing a suit, didn’t pack clothes for the environment, brought your work with you, and ditched your girl on the flight over.” She shook her head. “I don’t care who your girlfriend is, she deserves better.”

Victor opened his mouth to respond, closed it, and opened it again. “Come again?”

“Women don’t like coming in second, third, or fourth. If you were my boyfriend, I’d find the first cabana boy I could and ditch you at the door.” She reached for the earphones the airline provided and turned on the small screen in front of her, effectively telling him that their conversation was over.

What the hell?

Chapter Three

Shannon wasn’t sure what personality had invaded her, but she liked it. The remainder of the flight was silent between her and Mr. Phone. When they landed, he offered a final glance over his shoulder and muttered his goodbye. He seemed to be in quite the hurry to leave her behind as he hastily made his way up the ramp to the terminal.

She couldn’t help but think she’d made him uncomfortable. Good. Men like him who took their girlfriends for granted didn’t deserve to have them. Yet somehow it seemed the good-looking men were never alone on a Saturday night. Or in his case, a weekend in Cancun.

The humidity smacked down hard as she worked her way through the long line at immigration. By the time her passport was stamped, the silk shirt that had been comfortable to fly in was sticking to her body. She weaved her way through the crush of people outside the secure portion of the terminal, passed the many taxi drivers waving at her in an attempt to drive her to her destination, and searched the signs bearing the names of passengers that had prearranged transportation.

Her married name was scribbled in black ink on a plain white piece of paper. She approached the driver and smiled. “I’m Ms. Wentworth.”

The driver lowered the clipboard that held her name and flipped up the paper. “Welcome to Cancun,” he said, smiling.

“Thank you.” Shannon’s gaze moved to the cloudy sky above.

“You’re going to Tulum, yes?”

Shannon glanced down at his paper. “Yes. Casa Kai.”

“Sí, sí . . . I have it.” He smiled and reached for her bag. “Only you, yes?” His thick accent had her concentrating hard on his words.

“Only me.”

“Good. Come. I park over here.”

She followed him to the SUV and took the back seat he offered while he loaded her bag. She hoisted her camera equipment into the seat next to her and waited for him to close the door.

He slid behind the wheel, turned over the engine, and turned the air on high. “I have Corona or water in the cooler if you like.”

“Thank you.”

He nodded a few times and backed out of the parking space sandwiched between dozens of other drivers, all picking up passengers. Unlike most of the airports Shannon had been to in her life, this one was primarily filled with tourists rushing in and out. Most people traveled in pairs, if not groups of four or more.

“My English is not so good,” he told her.

“Your English is better than my Spanish,” she said with a slight laugh.

He grinned and nodded. Although she wasn’t sure he understood.

Shannon removed her phone from her purse and pulled up the group text she shared with the First Wives. I made it. She added a palm tree emoji and pressed send.

Almost instantly, Trina returned her text and told her to have fun. A few seconds later, Lori’s text told her to take a picture of the potential daddies she came across and share.

Avery’s text came in last. I will see you on Monday. Don’t shack up until I get there.

Shannon giggled. I’ll try my best.

She tossed the phone in her purse and turned her attention out the window. The side of the main highway looked more like a back road outside of Los Angeles. Only this road had men piled in the backs of pickup trucks, drivers of motorcycles that didn’t bother with helmets, and kids sitting in laps in the passing cars. The safety laws of the States had obviously not filtered south. Except for maybe the speed limit, which her driver stayed surprisingly close to. She didn’t question it and watched the landscape as they slipped farther out of the city of Cancun and down the highway to the south.

The first few drops of rain that hit the windshield didn’t surprise her, but the bolt of lightning that came from nowhere did.

She looked out the back window and noticed a large mass of black clouds closing in. “Oh, wow.”

The driver switched on the wipers and slowed down. “Lots of rain this week,” he told her.

“Just here in the city?”

He looked at her briefly through the rearview mirror and smiled. “All over.”

Shannon lost her smile and took a longer look at the country moving by. Deep puddles of standing water were evident everywhere she looked. The jungle, just a few yards from the highway, was dense and as lush as any. Right as the thought that rain forests needed rain entered her mind, the sky opened and the clouds dumped.

Her driver slowed down and hit the flashers on the dash, while others did the same in surrounding cars.

Shannon noticed a band of drenched men huddling under a single tarp in the back of a truck and counted her blessings.

“How long will this last?” she asked.

He shook his head.

Again, she was pretty sure he didn’t understand her question.

Poor Corrie, she thought. No bride wanted the threat of rain on her day.

An hour into the drive it seemed the weather wanted to relax, but once they turned onto the long, narrow road leading to all the boutique hotels that made up the resort location of Tulum, the clouds seemed to pull in tighter and join forces. For what seemed like hours, they dodged past people running out of the rain and skirted around the locals walking calmly along the side of the road.

Once at their destination, the driver jumped out of the car and ran around as an attendant of the hotel moved forward with a massive umbrella. Not that it mattered. Once the door was open and Shannon stepped out, she stood in an inch of water with the rain hitting her sideways.

She tucked her camera equipment close and hurried to the shelter of the registration desk. As she did, an onslaught of water started to cascade down a meandering path to the right of the desk. “This is crazy.”

The woman behind the desk shrugged. “It just started to come down here.”

Shannon jumped as the sound of thunder roared overhead. “How long will it last?”

“Thirty minutes, three hours? Hard to tell. It’s spring. Sometimes the weather is unpredictable. Most of the time the rain comes in at night and is gone by morning. I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful stay.” Lightning cracked above like an exclamation point on the receptionist’s statement.

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