I pushed my glasses up my nose and climbed the stairs. The heat of the Spanish sun slammed into me like an iron fist, and I pushed my dark hair back from my forehead. White Mediterranean buildings surrounded us, and tourists sat in restaurants and bars, gaping up at our yacht.
I joined my friends on the rear deck overlooking the restaurants and took a beer from Eric. He spread his arms. “Fucking paradise, boys.” I took a swig of my beer and glanced over to the yacht beside us. I didn’t see anyone on the back deck, but then I heard the people talking at the front of their boat, overlooking the sea.
“So, where are these spectacular views?” Charlie asked Eric, lighting up another cig.
Eric winced as he met my cousin’s waiting gaze. “Well, maybe not spectacular to you, Chuck, but definitely to the rest of us.” He flicked his eyes to Vinnie, who was circling the back deck like it was a track, and screwed up his nose. “Okay, maybe not to our resident nutjob either since he already has a bird. But to me, Freddie and Artie, what a view it is!”
“Story of my fucking life.” Charlie smirked at me. I followed Eric as he headed for the main sun deck at the very front of the yacht.
“The edge gone yet?” I asked Vinnie. He nodded, and I could see by his eyes that his medication had kicked in. His pupils had dilated a bit, and the shaking in his hands had lessened. “Getting calmer by the second, Artie. Getting calmer by the second.” He smiled again, his deep dimples making him look a fuck-ton more innocent than he actually was. I put my hand on his shoulder, right over the face of Nosferatu with his sharp vampiric teeth that was tattooed there.
“So, who are we docked next to?” Freddie asked Eric. Freddie was six feet two with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was slender in build but could fight like a fucking Rottweiler. His old man died a while back, for the firm, shot right through the fucking forehead by a Russian. My dad practically adopted Freddie after that. He’d lived with us in the old church for the past couple of years. He was quiet before his old man’s death. Now, compared to the rest of my gobshite mates, he was almost mute.
“Wait until you see,” Eric said, waggling his eyebrows. Eric was six four, blond and covered in bright-as-fuck horror-themed clown tattoos. His hair looked like something straight from World War Two—combed over like a good little British solider. Claimed birds got wet for it—we all knew that was mainly referring to Betsy, my cousin and Charlie’s little sister. But neither he or Betsy ever talked about that. He also rarely shut his mouth. But that didn’t matter when shit hit the fan. He had your back, one hundred percent without question.
As we turned the corner, I saw movement on the yacht beside us. Birds in bikinis, some topless. I couldn’t care less. Seen one pair of tits, you’d seen them all. Bored already, I lit another cig and moved to the front of the yacht. I looked out over the ocean.
“Nice tits, sweetheart!” I heard Eric shout behind me. I glanced over to the yacht beside us and saw two girls sunbathing, looking our way—one with dark skin and jet-black hair that fell in spiral curls to her shoulders, and one with light freckled skin and red hair down to her waist.
I went to turn my head again, when someone walked out from below deck and toward the two sunbathers. The hand holding my cig stopped en route to my mouth when I saw her long legs and olive skin. The dark hair that was pulled up on top of her head. She was wearing a white bikini, fucking curves like an hourglass.
As if she was feeling my stare, she looked over, and the minute she did, I recognised those eyes. Those big fucking eyes that were fixed on me and widening by the second. Green-brown eyes that I never fucking forgot …
Cheska Harlow-Wright …