Elle wasn’t sure if the pounding was happening inside her head or if it was the surf crashing against the beach outside her hotel window.
She groaned and licked her lips, screwing up her face at the stale tang of mint and shuddering at the memory of the mojitos she drank way too many of the night before.
“Morning,” a raspy voice beside her said.
Elle’s eyes snapped open, and she cautiously glanced to the side before slowly allowing her head to follow.
A smile met her. Wide and sleepy and impossibly bright.
She squinted as she struggled to focus.
The smile was surrounded by golden skin, with eyes the colour of faded denim sparkling above it. Messy brown curls stuck out in every direction and dark scruff shimmered along a strong, square jaw.
Everything roared back to her as she gawped at the gorgeous man in her bed. The cocktails. The music. The dancing. The kissing. The more kissing. So much kissing.
She lifted the covers and peeked beneath them, sighing with relief when she saw she was wearing her underwear.
“Yeah. We didn’t do that,” he said with a laugh. “What kind of guy do you think I am?”
At that moment, she wasn’t entirely sure, but she thought he might be an… “Adam?” she blurted. “Hi… Adam…” She cringed at the hesitation in her voice.
He laughed again. “Yep. Adam.”
She winced. “I know. You’re the reason I can’t feel my feet.” Or my lips, she wanted to add.
“We did do some dancing,” he said, stretching his arms above his head. A crack rang out. “Oof. I need to work out more.”
Elle frowned. From her vantage point, it looked like he worked out plenty. Broad shoulders lay against her pillows and perfectly formed biceps rested on top of her sheets.
She ran a hand over her hair, as she wondered how she could slide away to the bathroom and a mirror.
“Hey. You look beautiful,” he said, leaning in and kissing her on the cheek.
He threw back the sheets, strode to the window and drew the blinds.
Elle was dazzled by a magnificent sunrise and Adam’s equally magnificent back.
She inhaled sharply, and a tiny gasp escaped her mouth.
“I know, amazing, right?” he said, still gazing at the view. “Nothing like a Hawaiian sunrise.” He turned and smiled at her. “How about an early swim?”
They held hands as they walked barefoot down the path, past the pool and its straw umbrellas, and onto the beach.
“Race you,” he said, turning towards her and running backwards.
“You’re on,” she said, as she dropped her towel and sprinted towards the ocean.
She hooted as she shot passed him, then squealed in surprise as the cool water slammed against her skin.
He followed her in, slid his arms around her waist and dropped them both under the waves with a splash.
Elle burst to the surface laughing and spluttering – her long hair wrapped around her face.
Adam stood in front of her and guided the wet strands from her eyes. Then, bending down, he pressed his lips to hers.
They rocked back and forth, mouths locked together, bodies pressed into each other, fingers entwined, everything warm and wet as gentle ripples lapped around their thighs.
“So,” Adam said, when they finally broke for air. “You feel like some breakfast, Elle? I know the best spot on the island for Loco Moco.”
“Sure,” Elle said. “Or…” she hesitated. “We could get room service?”
As they walked back across the sand, towards the hotel and the deliciousness that awaited them, Elle licked her lips, this time savouring the zing of sea salt, and the heady taste of holiday romance.
© Amy Hutton