Sofia had noticed a guy with longish black hair watching her closely when they first arrived at the beach. He looked like he might be a native islander. She and Pres unfurled their beach towels and she slathered on some Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil with no SPF factor while Pres used something with a sunscreen in it.
Pretty soon Native Boy showed up and was hanging around, walking back and forth on the beach close to Sofia and her towel. Ignoring him wasn't too hard; she was used to bothersome male attention. That was, until he quit walking and just stood there looking down at her. She really had not wanted to involve Pres because he'd become very jealous ever since they'd got back together, but the guy was starting to make her nervous. Finally, she spoke quietly,
The tone of her voice made Pres look over quickly. Propping himself up on one elbow he saw the guy poised over Sofia looking as though he was ready to drool and an anger he didn't recognize came over him. Pres had always been even-tempered both by nature and upbringing. And with his police training he could remain calm and courteous even with fractious suspects--at least until they seriously crossed the line. Then his reaction were deliberate and decisive, but never rash. This time he had to put a leash on his initial furious reaction, but he held some mean-cop-speak in reserve just in case this first warning didn't suffice. For the moment he was amiable.
"Hey, buddy, how about you leave the pretty lady alone; she just wants to relax in the sun. C'mon, she doesn't want you standing over her; move along. I'm asking nicely."
One could surmise if he had to ask not nicely it would be unpleasant in the extreme. Native Boy didn't appear overly bright, but he evidently realized this wasn't going to be his lucky day and shuffled off toward the refreshment stand.
Seawater Beach usually had a campfire going on the beach after dark. Pres was finishing up his huge sandcastle and then he joined Sofia. They both felt mellow; their bodies relaxed. But when Sofia realized there was a man giving lessons on the fire dance, she just had to talk Pres into buying her a lesson. Not long after the lesson started Native Guy came up and, unbelievably, stood around obviously ogling her again.
Pres realized he was going to have to get used to this; Sofia had always attracted men's attention. And they weren't always polite about it. It wasn't like she flirted, or even really noticed them, but she was definitely a babe. That didn't mean he had to like it, though. But it was a public place; lots of people stopped to watch when the fire-dancer danced or gave lessons. As long as the jerk didn't call out remarks, Pres would have to put up with him.
This time Sofia didn't even notice Native Boy because she was so focused on learning the dance. Pres noticed that even the fire dance teacher was smiling mighty big at her, too.
Every morning they woke to another hot and sunny day and one of those days they made plans to be off early to South Beach and the pirate ship, which was right next door to Seawater Beach.
Pres was feeling amorous, as usual. It seemed all he had to do was look at Sofia or hear her voice and he was turned on. All that miserable time when he'd thought he'd lost her forever he'd sworn to himself if he ever got her back he would never take her for granted and he'd meant it.
With all the humid heat the first thing they did was go for an invigorating swim in the ocean. The beach was smaller than the one at Seawater Beach, because the ship took up a lot of the room along one side of the beach, but it was adequate.
Pres had a ball exploring the ship but Sofia preferred to sunbathe and shop. Once he'd finished on the ship he came down to join her.
"Baby, I think you've bought every single hokey souvenir on this island," he teased her, "You already have about six beach towels, a half dozen palm tree magnets, that miniature sand castle, three Twikkii Island beach bags, several "Twikkii Island, Pearl of the Tropics" pillows, and a bag of shells to add to the ones you've collected yourself. Just please tell me you're not going to buy that "Island Elvis on Velvet" wall hanging we saw."
"No! No "Island Elvis"," she giggled, "I know some of these souvenirs are kind of tacky, but I just want to have something to remember all the moments of our honeymoon. And I want to give some of them to people when we get back. I'm probably spending too much money."
Sofia had been poor as a child and was super conscious of where her money went as a rule. But Twikkii was a wonderland to her and the inexpensive if overpriced trinkets she'd bought so far didn't make her feel quite so much like a spendthrift.
In fact, she'd been earning her own income, one way or another, all her adult life but she'd been brought up to think very traditionally when it came to marriage. In her mind Pres was the head of the house. She'd already been having him help her keep the finances straight regarding her designing business. She knew he was better educated than she was and to tell the truth he and his brothers were all very definitely alpha males. That suited her just fine.
"No, I was teasing--you blow however much money you want, Sofia," Pres said.
Without missing a beat she hurried on,
"Oh, good because then I'm going to get one of those Capiz shell wind chimes. You know the ones they sell at Surf Shack? And I want to get some little tee shirts and short sets and baseball caps for Dion, too. And some sort of toy, but I haven't decided what yet."
"You mean the tee shirts that say 'My mom and dad went to Twikkii and all I got was this crummy shirt'? I've seen those," Pres grinned.
Sofia smiled but ignored that and said,
"And I'd really like to get you one of those intricately woven string necklaces. Maybe with tiny beads and even some feathers?"
"I told you, you get whatever you want," then he grew serious as he reconsidered, "Uh, wait, beads I can go with but, feathers? Negatory, baby negatory."
Sofia was a bit disappointed, but then she cheered up as she remembered she had a green light on everything else.