Chapter 1

DYING FOR MURDER

HERE SEAN WAS IN PARADISE and yet he was dying for murder. Lying on his side watching his bride of a few weeks, he thought back to the events of the last month. Life had been a true whirlwind. First, coming into a fortune large enough to carry generations. Second, finally being able to have the woman he had loved for two years. He was lucky that she loved him as much he did her.

Their wedding was an intimate gathering of close friends and family—the family being Sara’s adoptive parents, since neither Sean nor Sara had siblings, and Sean’s parents were both gone.

While he was surprised she hadn’t wanted the big event, complete with caterers, a slew of bridesmaids, and the rest of the “fun” that went along with it, he was pleased. She’d wanted to solidify their relationship too, so, he had promised her a large party when they got back from their honeymoon.

Sean adjusted his pillow, plumping it up a bit more to support his neck, smiling as Sara’s chest rose and fell, carrying the soft purrs of a snore.

Beyond her, a gentle breeze played with the curtain and revealed the Caribbean Sea. The sun was already up and made the water sparkle as diamonds. On the horizon, the cerulean blue of the sky and water merged as if stroked with the brush of a master painter who could rival Claude Monet.

She shifted to her side, facing away from Sean, a moan escaping her throat.

Her sleepy response to a new day caused him to smile again. It was starting to feel like this would be his permanent expression.

One thing he had always known about Sara but that became amplified since they’d gotten married—she didn’t do mornings very well. She preferred to laze around, sleepy-eyed and cradling a mug of coffee—which she refilled periodically—for a good hour before she’d shed the shell and admit to being up.

This was where they differed. Sean typically loved waking early and getting a jump on the day, although, things might change a bit in that regard now. He was retired at the age of thirty-three and had no place he needed to be, nothing he needed to do.

He pressed tightly against Sara’s back and put his arm around her, sweeping back the cascade of dark hair, baring her neck, and pressing his lips to her warm flesh.

“Morn—” A yawn, that seemed to stem up from the tips of her toes, shuddered through her entire body.

She angled her head back, kissed him, and then nuzzled into her pillow. “What a beautiful view.”

“It is.” While she had referred to the view outside, a different one had his attention.

She rolled over to face him and smiling, she took in his features and brushed a strand of hair from his forehead. Her eyes settled on his.

If he had to die, he would want this woman by his side. So many nights had been spent dreaming of the time they’d be together—and he wasn’t the kind to resign to such whimsical fairytales. Before he met Sara, he would have been content to live out his days as a single man. She was what people termed a game changer.

He squeezed her tighter and took her mouth, his hand caressing her shoulder, running down the length of her torso. She curved into him, melding her body into his.

HE DIDN’T WANT TO LET her out of his arms—not yet—even though her caffeine craving would have her bounding from bed any minute. While he may have been growing tired of soaking up the sun every day, he would never tire of this—of embracing her, inhaling her smell, caressing her. Loving her was timeless, and part of the reason he was on earth. He knew he sounded like the romantics he had always mocked.

“There’s one problem with this resort, Sean.” Sara slipped out of his arms and out of bed, pulling the sheet with her and wrapping it around her trim, naked frame.

Always so modest. Always a lady.

Her dark cherry lips pouted. “No coffee in the room.”

“Let me fix that for you.” He sat up and reached for the phone to call the front desk.

She bounded over, snatched the receiver from him and replaced it on the cradle. She dropped on the edge of the bed, dangling her legs and swaying them like a child. “Just because we can get whatever we want, doesn’t mean we should.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” She patted his leg and got back up. “Come on, let’s go down for coffee.”

He smiled at her enthusiasm and her attempt at appearing awake, but she was still fawn-eyed and likely dough-headed.

“What do you say we do something today?” he asked. While he was eager to spend the day with her, Sean was tiring of doing the same thing every day—bobbing in the resort pool, sipping on cocktails, soaking up the sun, and getting involved with poolside games such as volleyball. Neither of them relished playing any of the drinking games.

“Do something?” Her eyes widened, the largest he had seen in days.

“Yeah, we could rent a boat, go deep-sea fishing.”

“Oh, Sean, I don’t—”

He laughed. He couldn’t picture Sara baiting a line and being in the salty brine air with stinky dead fish at her feet.

She grinned. “You really see that happening?”

“We could go see the ruins. I’ve heard great things.”

“Or swim with the dolphins.”

“We could also check into going to Xcaret. It seems to be a huge attraction here.”

“Sounds good, but let’s plan for either that or the ruins tomorrow. Do you think we could swim with the dolphins today?”

He went to her side, tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and kissed her temple. “My dear, anything is possible.”

 

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