by Megan Hussey
Unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend in the middle of Port Emerald Beach, Jasmin takes comfort in the sound of a beautiful siren's song that flows free from the waters before her. She hears the echo of this beautiful song in the music of Dane; a sultry, gorgeous nightclub singer whose show is entrancing and seducing the ladies of her Florida hometown. Chemistry ignites when this practical, plus-sized entertainment reporter meets the seductive, instantly smitten Dane; yet when Jasmin learns Dane's mysterious secret, can she still dare herself to love and trust again?
Release Date: August 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy - Short
The song consumed her senses.
Arriving at sunset on the bronzed shores of her beloved Port Emerald Beach, Jasmin Miller struggled to focus on the purpose of her visit—a rendezvous with Karl Newton, her on-again, off-again boyfriend of three years.
Of course lately he’s been more off-again than on, Jasmin thought, pursing her lips as she plopped down in a patch of pure, bronzed sand. And when it comes to Karl, he’s almost always just a little bit off, in some respect or another.
Still, she took it as an encouraging sign that he’d arranged a date at the beach; a place she always found romantic and relaxing, especially when doused in the luminous rays of newly born moonlight.
As much as she tried to concentrate on the messages she sought to relay to her longtime lover, which included, but were not limited to, “You need to compliment me more, criticize me less, be more romantic—oh, and it’d be really cool if we had sexual intercourse every now and then—just a thought!”, she nonetheless found herself well-entranced by the beauty of her natural surroundings.
She marveled at the vision of emerald-hued palms that swayed in the light of a harvest moon, the same light that cast the sands below it in the essence of a satin glow. Beyond the beach, the moonlit waves crashed like a rain of cascading crystals, freshening the winds above it so that a curtain of sweet sea breeze caressed her tall, full-figured form.
As always, Jasmin basked in the song of gulls as they careened the ebony skies. Tonight, though, the song of the sea took the form of a duet. In sharp contrast to the falsetto cries of the gulls that cleared her skyline, there arose a deep, resounding voice that could only be human and masculine in origin.
She trembled at the sound of a deep, smooth voice that seemed to serenade the seas, delivering a wordless melody steeped in mystery and nobility.
Her gaze ran wild across the beach to seek the source of the sound, yet all she found was a snowy white egret that traipsed the sands beside her—pinning her with a quizzical stare that seemed to question her sanity.
“Hey dude, don’t judge.” She grinned in spite of herself, even as her ears strained to trace the origins of the sea song.
“Um, you okay, Jasmin? Who the devil are you talking to?”
She winced as she heard a second male voice, this one more surly than seductive.
Her grin dissolved as she turned to face Karl Newton, her beau of three years. She had to admit she saw a lot of herself in Karl.
“Except he’s a dude,” the 35-year-old mused, her dreamy grin quickly replaced by a full-toothed snarl. “So while he matures like fine wine, I’m older than congealed sushi. He’s portly, I’m chubby. When I try to be funny, I’m considered uppity; when he tries to be funny...”
“Seriously, Jasmin, why are you so enamored with this beach? You don’t tan, you couldn’t pull off a bikini if you tried, and the wind makes your hair look like a miniature funnel cloud or something!”
Jasmin rolled her eyes. He just ends up sounding like an ass, any way you slice it, she thought. “You know, it’s funny, Karl, the only other man who ever remotely cared about the status of my hairstyle was my high school prom date—a gent now happily married to the captain of our football team. Nothin’ wrong with that—just sayin’.”
Karl shook his head.
“Well, truth be told, Jasmin,” he released his words on a long, hard sigh. “The real reason why I didn’t want to do this on the beach is that, well, when you hear what I have to say, you might be tempted to just jump into those blasted beloved waters of yours and never come back onshore.”
“What are you trying to say to me?” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
“I’ve been having an affair, Jasmin,” he released on a long breath. “I met a girl at work and, while you’re the sweetest gal in the world and so smart, she just happens to be my dream come true. You’re a writer, which is so cool, but she models and acts in her spare time. I never thought I could get a girl like her, but for some reason she’s fallen hard for me. And now I’ve asked her to marry me.”
His eyes flew wide as Jasmin met his words with her own long sigh—one that sounded suspiciously like a sigh of relief.
“You honestly think that the news of your breakup would drive me to suicide?” she quizzed him, arching a curious eyebrow. “I was scared shitless that you were going to propose!”
Karl started, his shoulders slouching as he considered these words.
“You mean you’re not going to miss me at all?” He pouted.
Jasmin thought a moment, then shook her head.
“You know what I’m going to miss, Karl? What I miss already?” she asked him, planting her hands on her hips. “All the delicious meals I’ve missed because I was trying to lose weight for you. All of the money I’ve spent on makeup and hair products, trying to look good for you—not to mention all the cash I spent on you directly, those months last year when you lived on my couch and made no visible attempt to get a job.”
She paused here, shaking her head slowly from side to side.
“I don’t feel sorry for myself, Karl,” she insisted, staring her stunned lover straight in the eyes. “I feel sorry for the bimbo.”
“Don’t talk about my fiancée that way!” He seethed, balling his fists at his side.
“Who says I was talking about her?” She arched her eyebrows, turning her back against the wind as she left her lover behind.