Good Intentions (Welcome To Paradise)

By: S.L. Scott

For my friends online who make me smile with their sweet encouragement.





“You always look incredible, but more in a beach-laidback-natural-hottie kind of way,” Sunny says, smiling. My childhood friend has always been a great confidence booster. She pushes my long brown hair behind my shoulders, appraising and approving. “You’re going to knock your man’s flip flops off when he sees you all dressed up at the party tonight.”

I love my friends but the attention, although lovely, makes me feel self-conscious. I turn toward the mirror and pat the blush pink mini-dress fabric down over my stomach, which is noticeably flatter and toner under this fitted material. There’s no hiding in something so tight, but this dress has a sweet charm of innocence about it as well. It’s appropriate for meeting the parents and impressing the boyfriend equally.

Doing a turn to see the back of the dress, I realize I’ve been vacationing in paradise over a month now. Hawaii is more amazing than I expected and a bonus is that I’m much more active here than back at school, where I’m bogged down with schoolwork and part-time jobs. I’ve caught the Aloha spirit and I can already tell it’s going to be hard to board that plane back to Colorado in August.

“You make that dress look amazing, Mallory.” Evan’s sister, Kate, stands behind me and our eyes connect in the mirror’s reflection.

“No lie?” I say, needing to be reassured one more time.

“No lie,” she responds softly and smiles. “Evan is gonna love it on you.”

Feeling my cheeks heat, I look down, thinking of Evan. My boyfriend. My sexy surfer—the man I’ve fallen head over heels, hands, and common sense for since the moment I landed on the island. He’s the hottest guy I’ve ever seen and all that’s sexy—his hard, chiseled body, his sun-lightened messy hair, his brilliant mind, and his smooth-talking lines—yep, all mine. Although I shouldn’t admit it, I’m in way too deep with him and too happy and in love to care. Looking into the mirror again, I smile. This time because Sunny and Kate are right. Evan is going to love this dress.

“A toast is in order,” Kate says as she pours three glasses of champagne. “This is our only chance to look fancy in Hawaii.” She raises her glass into the air and we follow suit. “Here’s to Fourth of July parties, carefree summers, and our sexy men!”

We clink glasses and drink, downing more than half the champagne. Liquid courage is needed for me to show off this dress like it deserves.

As I put on my makeup, Kate sits next to me on the bed. Her bedroom at her parent’s Hawaiian mansion is where we decided to get ready for their annual Fourth of July party. Her room is spacious, spotless, and very feminine. Each of us sets up in a corner and we spread our stuff out. “You know, Evan’s told me how much he loves your eyes. He called them hopeful and infinite,” she says casually.

After spending half my summer getting to know Evan’s stunning sister, I’ve come to realize that Kate never says anything casual. She’s smart as a whip and usually two steps ahead with a plan or two that she’s plotting. I don’t doubt her sincerity when it comes to our friendship. I know she likes me and has been a big supporter of my relationship with her brother, which she’s had to defend. Deep down I feel their mother hates me for winning her golden boy’s heart.

“Really?” I ask, touched that Evan would confide in her like that.

“Yes, he found some sea glass down on the beach yesterday and said it reminded him of your pretty green eyes.” She leans over for a closer look. “You do have pretty eyes.”

“Thanks. You know, I always wanted blue like Evan’s when I was little.”

“So did I.” She bats her lashes at me and smirks. “Instead, I got my father’s brown eyes.”

I laugh and dig my mascara out of my bag. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, and please don’t feel pressured to tell me or anything, but I’ve been curious about Evan’s past.”

She takes the mascara from me and says, “I’ll do your lashes. Look up at the ceiling for me.”

Following her instructions, I look up as she coats my upper lashes, not sure if I really want to know about Evan’s mysterious past or not. Evan is amazing. I have no doubt that he loves me even though he hasn’t returned the verbal endearment yet. Something deep inside is keeping him from opening up the way I want, the way I’m ready for him to and I want to know what that is, so I prod. “Something happened to him and I think it’s why he had trouble at college.” I leave it at that to observe her reaction.

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