Argeneau 16, Under a Vampire Moon
Lynsay Sands- Argeneau 16, Under a Vampire Moon
“I don’t see any tables,” Carolyn said, glancing over the busy open-air restaurant.
“We can sit at the bar,” her friend, Bethany, said with a shrug. When Carolyn frowned, she rolled her eyes, and caught her arm to drag her toward the bar, adding, “We’ll move to a table as soon as one opens up. Besides, we’re only going to be here until Genie arrives and our table is ready next door anyway.”
“Right,” Carolyn breathed and slid onto the stool Bethany directed her to. She then glanced over her shoulder self-consciously, her gaze skittering over the young, laughing crowd surrounding them. Despite the setting sun, it was still hot and most of the patrons were dressed casually in shorts and summer dresses. This was the more casual restaurant at the resort with bare wooden tables crowded onto the railed deck, and Caribbean music barely covering the sound of talk and laughter. In comparison, the indoor restaurant next door, where she, Bethany and Genie were to eat was a four star affair with proper tables, table cloths, silverware, candle light and four star prices.
They’d dressed accordingly which left Carolyn feeling a little like they stuck out like sore thumbs amongst this more relaxed crowd.
That wasn’t the only thing making her uncomfortable, however. It was the clientele here, as well. Most of the people seemed to be half their age, though there were some older people.
But no matter their age, they all seemed to be paired off. She and Bethany were the only single females, or single anything as far as she could tell.
Everyone else was part of a couple.
Probably on their honeymoons, Carolyn thought unhappily as she noted all the intimate smiles and gentle kisses being exchanged around them. The sight made her sigh and turn her eyes forward to stare at the bottles of liquor lining the back of the bar as she wondered if this hadn’t been a huge mistake.
“What can I get for you two pretty ladies tonight?”
Carolyn blinked as her view was suddenly blocked by a smiling bartender. The man wore a white shirt and dark slacks. His eyes were dancing and his teeth looked incredibly white against his dark skin as he beamed happily at them. Everyone here seemed to be happy and beaming, she noted.
Must be something in the water, Carolyn thought and forced a smile. “A glass of white wine, please.”
“The same for me,” Bethany announced. “And two shots of tequila as well.”
“Tequila?” Carolyn asked as the bartender moved away.
“Yes, tequila. And we are downing them the minute they arrive and then ordering more,” Bethany said firmly.
Carolyn hesitated. She wasn’t really interested in tequila shots, but simply asked, “Are you sure your stomach can handle it?”
Bethany had been complaining about her stomach since they’d eaten their dinner on the plane here. Carolyn had taken the rubber chicken, but Bethany had opted for the salmon and had been swearing ever since that it had been bad.
“I’m hoping the tequila kills whatever nasty little parasites the salmon had growing in it,” Bethany said.
“Failing that it will make me puke it back up and get it out of my system. Either way, I’ll recover quicker than without it.”
Carolyn gave a disbelieving laugh. “Yeah, well, I don’t think I—”
“Good, you shouldn’t be thinking,” Bethany interrupted firmly. “I brought you here so you wouldn’t think, remember? And to make you relax and enjoy yourself for the first time in God knows how long. And you are going to relax, Carolyn Connor, if I have to personally pour every last drop of alcohol there is in St. Lucia down your throat.”
“I am relaxed,” she protested at once.
Bethany snorted. “Sweetie, you’re as wound up as a clock and have been for years. And, as your friend, I am going to see you unwind if it kills us both.”
Carolyn stared at her blankly, and then felt the tension in her shoulders ease. A small, real smile claiming her lips she said, “What would I do without you?”
“Lock yourself in your house, leave it only to go to work, and die lonely, old and bitter,” Bethany said promptly.
Carolyn laughed, but it was a hollow sound, because the sad fact was that Bethany was probably right. If it weren’t for Bethany she’d be locked down already, either in her house or at her office, her head buried in business as she struggled to forget the last ten years and pretend she wasn’t heartbroken and, yes, bitter.
“So… “Bethany arched an