“So, did you really come all the way down here just to fix up a house?”
He took a sip of his whiskey, his throat working as he swallowed. “Well, that and to steal cabs from unsuspecting tourists.”
My eyebrows shot up. “Hey, I could be native to this area.”
“I highly doubt that,” he grinned.
“Give me one good reason why not.”
“I’ll give you three. One, a native from this area would have already known about the cab thief and ordered a car to pick her up instead.”
“Maybe I like watching cab thieves in action.”
The amusement on his face grew. “Two, you’re staying at a nice resort. If you lived here, why would you stay at the resort?”
“Obviously, to catch cab thieves in action.”
“But if you really lived here, you’d see them all the time.”
Well, he had me there. “I concede to your point.”
“So, why does a beautiful woman like yourself come on vacation all alone?”
I couldn’t tell him that I was here to escape my loveless marriage. But he didn’t seem to want to talk about anything personal either, so I continued our ruse. “You seemed to have some interesting opinions on why I’m not a tourist. I’m sure you can guess why I would come here on my own.”
He nodded, studying me in the dim light. “Well, clearly you’re here because you heard The Piña Colada Song, and you thought you would meet the love of your life here.”
I shook my head. “That’s a good guess, but I didn’t answer any advertisements in the paper.”
“Hmm, so you’re not a writer.”
“Not by nature.”
“Good to know. Well, if you didn’t come here for romance, I would say…you’re dying of some horrible disease and you came to live out your final days in peace.”
I made a sad face, staring down at the table like I was on the verge of tears, just to fuck with him.
“Oh, shit. I’m so sorry. I had no idea.”
But I was never very good at lying to someone. A grin split my lips as I snorted in laughter. Covering my face, I shook my head.
“You’re fucking with me? Aw, that’s just mean.”
I finally looked up at him, thankful he wasn’t actually pissed at me. He blew out a relieved laugh, pressing his hand to his chest. “You really had me going there. Fuck, I think I was about to throw up.”
“I’m sorry.” The laughter in my voice couldn’t be stopped. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d just sat and joked with someone. “But you set it up so perfectly.”
“Well, now I know better for next time. I definitely shouldn’t fuck with gorgeous women.”
That was the second time he’d made a comment like that, and I couldn’t help but blush under his scrutiny. Was this what it was like for normal people that lived ordinary lives? They just had fun and teased each other? If so, I definitely wanted more of it in my life.
“Since you clearly suck at guessing why I’m here, how about I give it a shot.”
“Challenge accepted,” he nodded, taking another drink.
I sipped on my margarita as I stared at him. I checked out his left hand—no ring on his finger. He was building a house down here, but he made it sound like he had to get away.
“You committed a heinous crime against a landowner down here. And as punishment, you were forced to buy and rehab a home.”
“What heinous crime was this?” he asked, leaning forward on the table.
“You were pulling starfish from the ocean and laying them on his front lawn to die.”
“That is a heinous crime indeed.”
“Exactly, and on top of that, you forked his yard.”
He looked at me funny. “I’m sorry, what is forking a yard?”
“You know, when you take plastic forks and stick them in the ground. Then you break off the piece sticking out of the ground. It’s impossible to remove.”
“I’m guessing you have experience in this.”
I shrugged, taking another sip of my drink.
“A product of your misspent youth,” he chuckled.
“What is a yout?” I said in a southern accent.
His eyebrows shot up in confusion. “A what?”
“Never mind,” I said, brushing him off. He obviously didn’t get it.
“Any other crimes you committed as a teenager? We could compare notes.”
I pretended to think about it. “Well, I never stole a cab.”