I move to the door, opening it then moving down the hall to the room Myla has been staying in before knocking once.
“Yes?” her quiet voice asks through the door.
“Can I come in?”
She doesn’t reply for a moment, but when she does, it’s soft and unsure. I push the door open and see that she’s sitting on the side of the bed with a pair of sandals in her hand.
“I’m just about ready,” she mutters, ducking her head to look at her feet as she slips the sandals on one at a time.
“I wanted to tell you that you can have more time if you need it.”
“I’m ready now. I hurried,” she whispers, and my gut clenches when I hear the fear in her voice.
I live off power.
I have my whole life.
In my business, fear is power.
You can control most people by using fear.
With Myla, I do not want that. I do not want to think she is with me out of fear of repercussion.
“Take your time,” I tell her.
Her head lifts, her gaze meets mine, and she looks confused. “I thought you said we were going somewhere.”
“We are, but it can wait. Take your time.”
“I’m ready now.” She stands.
My eyes travel over her the plain, black dress, which is loose with thin straps that show off the fact that she isn’t wearing a bra. Then it billows out down to her feet.
“I didn’t know what I should wear,” she mumbles, looking uncomfortable.
I shake my head then tell her what I should have told her a million times before. “You look beautiful.”
Her head lifts and her gaze meets mine. “I…” She pauses, and her eyebrows pull together. “What?” she questions, looking completely confused and cute as fuck.
“You look beautiful.”
“Okay.” She looks at me again then straightens her shoulders almost like she’s preparing for war. “Are we going?” She tosses a hand out towards the door.
“We are.” I smile, take her hand, and hold it tighter when she tries to pull away.
I lead her out of the house to my Jeep, helping her in before jogging around and getting in behind the wheel. I have absolutely no plans set for today, so I’m going to have to make some shit up.
I look at Kai out of the corner of my eye and feel my eyebrows pull tighter together in confusion. I have no idea what he’s up to, but I know it’s something.
“Where are we going?” I ask after a few minutes of silence.
“Dinner.” His hands tighten on the steering wheel, and I wonder if this is some kind of business dinner.
Then, butterflies erupt in my stomach once again. Chances are, if we are having dinner, I will have to play the role of his wife, and as much as it pisses me off, I’m secretly excited about it.
We only drive for about ten minutes, and when we reach our destination, I’m even more confused. I look out the front window and double-blink. It’s not a restaurant he would usually have a dinner meeting at. It’s not even really a restaurant. It’s a small trailer with a few tables set up outside of it. The sign out front says Tides in large lettering, the small sign under it claims that restaurant has the best fish tacos in Hawaii.
“I thought we were having dinner.”
“We are.” He shuts the Jeep off, opens his door, and hops out, and I watch him jog around to my side. When he opens my door, I turn to get out, but he mumbles a quiet, “Just a moment.” He slips his jacket off and then his tie and cuff links before unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt and rolling up his sleeves. Once his appearance is more casual, he takes ahold of my waist and helps me out of the Jeep. Then he turns with me in his arms and shuts the door before taking my hand again and leading me towards the trailer.
“Aloha, friend,” Kai returns to the large guy whose head is sticking out of the small window.
“Who do we have here?” he asks, looking me over.
“My wife, Myla. Myla, this guy here is Derek. He and his wife are the owners of Tides.”
“Wife?” the guy says, seeming shocked.
“Nice to meet you.” I smile through the anxiety I’m feeling.
“I didn’t know you got married. Babe, did you know Kai got married?” he shouts, and a petite woman comes to the window and smiles at Kai and me.
“I had no idea. It’s about time.” She smiles bigger while wrapping her small hand around her husband’s large bicep.
“Got that right. Been waiting years for you to settle down,” Derek says.
His wife comes to stand in front of him. “Do you want the usual?” she asks, leaning slightly out the window, looking down at us.
“Do you like fish?” Kai asks softly.
I look up at him and feel the weight of Derek and his wife watching us. “I do,” I reply just as softly.
“Make the order double, Derek, and do you have any fresh pineapple juice? Myla loves it,” Kai adds, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
I unconsciously lean against his side and then try to lean away when I realize what I’m doing, but his hold tightens, preventing me from moving.
“That I do. Take a seat, and we’ll bring you your order when it’s up.” He waves us off.
Kai turns us around, leading me over to one of the picnic tables that are set up. I sit and look around, avoiding looking at Kai. Once again, my emotions are in turmoil, and it is all his fault—or at least I’m going to blame him for it.
“What are you thinking, makamae?” His hand takes mine.
Part of me wants to pull away, but the other part of me, the part that is tethered to him, wants to grab him and never let go.
“I’m so confused.” I shake my head then turn to look at him. “I really hate that you make me feel like I’m two completely different people.”
“What do you mean?”
I let out an irritated huff before answering him. “There is this side of me that really dislikes you and the things you do. Then there’s this other side of me that doesn’t care about the part that dislikes you. She just likes you, all of you.” I let out a breath then glare when I see his smile. “You should know I think the part of me that likes you is an idiot.”
He presses his lips together then lets his head fall back, and roaring laughter comes out of his mouth. I have seen him laugh before, and like all of those times, my stomach flutters.
“It’s not funny.” I roll my eyes.