Reckless (Fractured Farrells Book 2)

By: Mallory Crowe

A Damaged Billionaire Series Book 2

Hatred was a strong word, but as Malia looked up at the towering resort casting shade over the relaxing ocean, hatred was exactly what welled up inside her. Even on an island thousands of miles from where she’d grown up, she couldn’t escape the shadow of her past.

She knelt into the water. The ocean waves lapped up her legs and got the bottom of her cutoff jean shorts damp as she filled the small vial with the soft sand beneath her feet. As she brought the vial out of the water, she screwed on the cap and shook off any excess water droplets before she placed the vial in her pocket. Once she was back on shore, she’d put it in her bag. Malia had dropped one too many valuables into the damaging salt water to trust herself to bring a purse, cell phone, or keys this far from the safety of the beach.

Malia made her way back to the shore, staring intently into the clear water below. It was mostly sandy, but bits of rock and coral came loose often enough in this area of the beach to be dangerous to the unsuspecting foot. Nothing worse than having to walk home three miles with an open sore on her foot. She knew that from experience.

Once she made it to the sandy beach, she set the sample in her bag and picked up her sandals. The water acted like a glue on her feet and there would be no use trying to get any sand off until her feet had a chance to dry.

As she pulled the strap of her bag over her shoulder, her cell phone, which she’d half-assed moved from her pocket to her purse before she’d gone in the water, popped out and fell into the sand. More evidence that she should keep any and all electronics as far away from water as physically possible.

“Need help down there?” asked a deep voice from above.

She jerked at the intrusion and looked up to see the tourist who’d managed to sneak up on her. Usually they traveled in packs and made more noise than she’d imagine possible. Judging from his light skin and the fact that he had nothing with him but the glass beer bottle he was drinking out of, he was a tourist who’d wandered over from the nearby resorts along Waikiki Beach.

“I got it, thanks.” She scooped up the phone and got herself situated before she continued onto the path that led from the resorts all the way to Diamond Head Crater. But instead of moving on, the tourist still stood there, staring at her. “Aren’t you a bit far from the resorts?”

He took a deep drink of his beer. “That was kind of the point of the walk.”

Well, if he wanted to avoid people, Oahu was probably the worst island of Hawaii for him. Especially the side with Honolulu. “So what are you doing out here?” She winced once the words were out. She really should’ve just left, but it wasn’t the first time her curiosity got the best of her.

And she was curious about the guy. It wasn’t just some random person walking along the beach, drinking. It was some random beautiful person. He wore slacks and a lightweight robin’s egg blue buttoned-up shirt. The slacks were much too warm for the spring air, but his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and the shirt was unbuttoned down to mid-chest. That combined with his dark hair and clear blue eyes all added up to one damn pretty package.

“I came out to appreciate the view,” he said, reminding Malia that she’d asked him a question.

She stood up straighter and stared him down. “I’m not interested in hanging out with any tourists.”

The corner of his mouth hooked up as he cocked his head, studying her. “I wasn’t hitting on you.” He motioned behind her with his beer. “I came to see that view.”

Malia turned around to see the lowering sun. She wouldn’t call it sunset yet, but once it started to go down, it went down fast. Wouldn’t be long before the entire island was in shadow.

“Oh... Sorry,” she muttered. People here just didn’t snap at others or assume the worst, even of the tourists. It was one of her favorite things about the islands. Everyone was so nice and laid-back, something she never got on the mainland. Apparently she could take the girl out of the city but couldn’t take the city out of the girl.

“The fact that I found a beautiful woman here is just a perk.” The tourist brought the beer to his lips.

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