running out. There’s a rock and cactus garden just at the edge of the courtyard
with Wanglo flowers intermingled throughout. Their bright yellow
petals are even shining in the waning sun. All the other women stayed
away from the garden. I guess for fear of getting pricked. I look at Makayla
and smile. She shakes her head and laughs. “Seriously? You’re going to make
some poor guy reach in with all those thorns?”
say with a shrug, “someone has to do it. I’m curious to see which guy will go
I walk over
to the rock garden and carefully place my egg as far in between the cactus as I
can get. The viewers on TV are either going to love or hate me for that.
Honestly, I think it’s awesome. I look over at my sister and she gives me the
thumbs up. Maybe it’ll work to my advantage and none of the guys will be brave
enough to reach for it.
has come for us to leave the courtyard and wait in the meeting room while the
men are introduced and find our eggs. This is our chance to see them for the
first time. There will be TV monitors in the room for us to watch them. Makayla
grips onto my arm as we walk back into the resort.
“I am so
nervous,” she says, shivering.
So am I.
Once in the meeting room, we sit down in front of the monitors. All of the
people who were in the room before are no longer around. It’s just us and a
couple of people I recognize from my sister’s work. There’s a table in the
corner with drinks and snacks. I’m tempted to grab me something, but I
jump when one of the girls squeals so loud it makes my ears hurt.
“Oh my God,
there they are!”
squeezes my arm. “This is it.”
line up on the stage just like we did. My nerves have me nauseous and the last
thing I need is to throw up when I’m introduced to my bachelor. Taking a deep
breath, I let it out slow and stand. Makayla’s eyes go wide. “What are you
doing? Are you not going to watch?”
I hold up a
hand. “I’ll be right back. I need a ginger ale and some crackers.” And
some peace and quiet. The other women act as if they’ve never seen men
before. It’s not like they’re going to meet their soulmates. The chances of
that are slim to none. Slowly, I drink the ginger ale and let it settle in my
stomach along with the peanut butter crackers. I was too nervous to eat earlier
and now it’s biting me in the ass.
When I make
it back to Makayla, all the men have been introduced. “You missed it,” she
says, shaking her head. “Now you’re not going to know who everyone is.”
“I’m sure they’re all the same anyway.”
her head. “Sorry to disappoint you, but no. I’m not going to lie, there’s one
guy I hope finds my egg.”
down beside her, I focus on the screen. The guys are in the courtyard with the
cameras following them around. A couple of them have already found eggs and are
back on the stage. Most of the guys don’t even pay attention to the rock and
cactus garden. They walk by it without a single notice.
I smile and
sit back in my chair. “Doesn’t look like anyone’s going to find mine. Maybe
that means I’ll be spending this vacation alone.”
And just as
I say it, one of the cameras follows a guy who’s headed straight toward the
rock garden. I can’t see what the guy looks like, but then he faces the camera
and the breath whooshes out of my lungs.
take my focus off the guy on the TV, the one about to find my egg. It’s been so
long since I’ve seen him, but there’s no mistaking that grin of his and those
stark gray eyes.
squeezes my arm. “Allie, what’s wrong? Do you know him?”
heavy sigh, I look at him and huff. “Yep. I know him very well.”
prods, nudging me with her elbow.
an ass,” I reply, hating my life. “Just my damn luck.”