It's in His Kiss(5)

By: Jill Shalvis


The love ya was so rote that Sam wondered if Mark even realized he was saying it. Not that it mattered. Nor did his response, as his dad had already disconnected.

The phone immediately rang again. Resisting the urge to throw it out the window, he yanked it back up, wondering what his dad could have possibly forgotten. “Yeah?”

“Hi, um . . . is this Lucky Harbor Charters?” a female voice asked, sounding uncertain.

Shit. Sam glanced at the sign. He still didn’t have a smile in him so once again he attempted friendly. “Yes, you’ve reached LHC.”

“Oh, good. I’d like to book a deep-sea fishing trip for a family reunion      . It’s our first big reunion       in five years and we’re all so excited. There’s going to be my dad, my grandfather, my two brothers, my uncle—”

“Okay, great. Hold please,” Sam said, and punched the HOLD button. He took a deep breath and strode out of the warehouse and to their “yard.” This led to the waterfront. There they had a dock, where their fifty-foot Wright Sport was moored.

Hours ago, Tanner—their scuba diving instructor and communications expert—had texted Sam that he was working on their radio system.

“Hey,” Sam called out to him. “How about answering a damn phone call once in a while?”

“You’re the one inside,” Tanner said, not stopping what he was doing, which didn’t look to be work so much as sunbathing. Not that he needed it with the mocha skin he’d inherited from his mother’s Brazilian roots. He’d stripped to a pair of board shorts, a backward baseball cap, and reflective aviator sunglasses, and was sprawled out on his back, face tilted up to the sun.

“Busy, are you?” Sam asked drily.

“Cole and I chartered the midnight cruise last night and didn’t moor until three a.m.”

“And you slept until two p.m., so what’s your point?”

Tanner lifted a middle finger.

Sam gave up and strode up to the smaller building—a hut really—that they used as their front office and greeting area. The rolling door was up when they were open for business and shut when they weren’t.

It was up now, and Cole was sitting behind the front counter. He was their captain, chief navigator, and mechanic, and was currently hunt-and-pecking at the keyboard of his laptop. The fingers stopped when Sam reached into the bucket beside the counter and pulled out one of their water guns. The thing had been touted as a squirt gun, but the more apt term would have been cannon. Sam weighed it in his hands, decided it was loaded enough, and turned back to the door.

“What the hell are you doing?” Cole asked.

“Going to spray the hell out of Tanner.”

“Nice,” Cole said, fingers already back to hunt-and-pecking. “Carry on.”

Sam stopped in the doorway and stared at him in surprise. Cole was their resident techno-geek. He wore cargo pants with handy pockets and could fix just about anything at any time with the ingenuity of a modern-day MacGyver. And he always, always, objected to fighting among their ranks. “What’s up?” Sam asked him.

“Trying to work. Go away.”

“If you’re working so damn hard, why aren’t you answering the phones?”

Cole lifted his head and blinked innocently. “Phones? What phones? I didn’t hear any phones.”

Sam shook his head. “We need to get that damn ad in the paper.”

Cole’s fingers clicked one last key with dramatic flair. “Done,” he declared. “Ad placed.”

“What does it say?” Sam asked.

Cole hit a few more keys. “Looking for self-motivated admin to answer phones, work a schedule, greet customers with a friendly attitude, and be able to handle grumpy-ass bosses named Sam.”

Sam arched a brow. “You’d push the buttons of a guy holding a loaded water cannon?”

Not looking worried in the slightest, Cole smiled and reached down beneath the counter, coming up with his own loaded cannon, which he casually aimed at Sam. “You forget who bought these.”

“Shit.” He turned to go.

“You’re forgetting something else,” Cole said.

Sam looked back.