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Beauty From Love (Beauty #3)

By´╝ÜGeorgia Cates

to do everything we want once we're on the ground. We're here as long as we want to be."

He kisses me chastely and gets up. He's naked, his back to me as he stands, searching through the suitcase for a change of clothes. I take a few seconds to admire his physique. He's so beautiful. And all mine.

I get up and walk over to grab something to wear. I opt for the first outfit I find since the clock is ticking. A strappy floral sundress with a fuchsia cardigan packed right on the top. It should look lovely with the lei I'll be given when we land.

We're dressed with clean faces and freshly brushed teeth when we buckle into our seats. We have maybe one whole minute to spare, but I plan on indulging in a long, hot bath-hopefully with Jack Henry joining me-once we arrive at our hotel. I hope our suite has a huge shower to accommodate both of us because I have lots of naughty things I want to do to him.

He holds my hand as the plane touches down and I'm immediately relieved. I grew a little more accustomed to flying while touring with Southern Ophelia but I'm still happier when my feet are on solid ground. "Have you visited Hawaii often?"

"Yes. Quite a few times." He brings my hand to his lips and kisses my knuckles. "I'm glad your first time is with me."

I wonder what brought him to Hawaii. A family trip, perhaps? Maybe business. Or possibly pleasure with a companion. A pang of jealousy strikes within. I wish I wasn't on my honeymoon thinking of such things but I'm curious by nature. "How many times have you visited?"

He answers immediately, "A lot. I couldn't even take a guess at a number. Dad spent the year working like crazy but he'd take off for two weeks after harvest season so we could come here. It's my mum's favorite getaway so she'd bring us even when Dad was too busy to come. We always stayed at the same house-it felt like my second childhood home."

"So you were always with your family?"

"No. I came once without them."

"You came alone or with a friend?" I shouldn't ask since I might get an answer I won't like.

"Friends." Plural. What does that mean? Friends, like the ones everyone has or the kind of friends only he has? I mean had.

He's laughing but I'm not. "Friends?"

"Well, I guess drunken college buddies is probably a more accurate description of the company I kept the time I came without my family."

Oh-that I can handle. "You and your pals came here to party?"

"Yeah, but only once during break. The guys wrecked the place and the owner was furious. The damage wasn't minimal. Mum paid for it but threatened to beat me within an inch of my life if it ever happened again." He's grinning. "I knew she wasn't kidding so I never brought them back."

"I bet Margaret wanted to beat your ass."

"There was definitely some smacking with a purse. She loves to do that. She knows it doesn't hurt but it sounds like it does so she enjoys it. And it's dramatic. She did that to me in front of my mates. God, I was humiliated. But of course, that's why she did it." I'm laughing as I imagine my mother-in-law clobbering her college-age son with her handbag in front of his friends. "Have you seen her in action? She should've been a professional boxer. She can get at least three good licks in before your brain has time to register that you're being smacked."

I love Margaret so much. She's going to be the best mother-in-law I could ever wish for. I could stand to learn a thing or two from her. "I'm going to have her teach me her moves."

"Baby, please don't. I can't take any more unnecessary roughness. Unless you want to get unruly with me in the bedroom." He leans over to kiss the side of my neck and my skin instantly prickles while something stirs deep within my belly. He loves doing that to me.

"Down, boy. We're not at the hotel yet." He leans back and I can tell he's fighting a grin. "What? Are you up to something, Mr. McLachlan?"

"Maybe, but it's a surprise, Mrs. McLachlan. One I can't wait to show you."

The car stops only moments before Jack Henry's warm hand squeezes mine gently. I recognize the sound of an opening car door. I'm guessing the driver is probably waiting for us to get out. "Can you see anything through your blindfold?"

That's right. My husband has blindfolded me in the car, not the bedroom.

"No. Not a thing." And I can't. All I see is total blackness and it's disorienting. But not as much as what we're doing now. It's becoming more and more evident that we aren't at a hotel. This is something entirely different.

I feel him slide across the seat away from me as he tugs on my hand. "This way, love."

I step out of the car and hear waves in the distance as I breathe in the salty air. We're at the beach and I'm confused. I don't understand why he'd bring me here directly from the airport instead of checking into our room so we could take a hot shower after our long flight. It's too early to swim. And I'm in a sundress, not a swimsuit.

These are the thoughts of a nagging wife so I hastily put them away. What do I have to complain about? I'm married to the man of my dreams and he treats me like a queen. I could do much, much worse.

"Walk this way." I take a few baby steps in the direction he's pulling me. I can't see but it feels like he's walking backward as he holds both of my hands. "Don't be afraid, L. I won't let you fall. Ever."

I don't doubt him for a moment. "I trust that you won't, but I have an innate instinct telling me I will so it's hard to ignore."

"Not much further."

It's not sand I'm walking on. It feels firm, like concrete or asphalt, but I take about twenty more steps before we stop. "I'm taking your blindfold off but I want you to keep your eyes closed until I tell you to open them."


He removes my blinder and the sun shines directly on my face. I feel its warmth against my skin and see its brightness on the other side o