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Authors: Surrender to Paradise

Linda Gayle

Surrender to Paradise

 

Offered five days on a secluded island, Lyric reluctantly agrees. After a failed relationship, Lyric hopes the vacation will help her start anew. Little does she know the island gods have a game afoot, and Lyric’s about to become a key player.

 

Polynesian warriors Rahiti and Moana once fought over the same woman, causing her death and bringing a curse upon themselves. Condemned by Kanaloa to live as dolphins, they share their lives for hundreds of years, waiting for the day when a woman will set them free. When they see Lyric, they know she is the one. But can they seduce her into accepting them both?

 

Rahiti and Moana must explore the desire that simmers between them as well as share Lyric together. Yet the gods watch closely, and all their lives are in jeopardy. Passion in paradise might break the curse…or ensnare the lovers in an ancient curse.

 

Genre:
Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Paranormal, Shape-shifter

Length:
39, 741 words

SURRENDER TO PARADISE

Linda Gayle

MENAGE AMOUR

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Ménage Amour

SURRENDER TO PARADISE

Copyright © 2011 by Linda Gayle

E-book ISBN: 1-61034-845-1

First E-book Publication: November 2011

Cover design by Jinger Heaston

All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

 

Dear Readers,

 

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Surrender to Paradise
 
by Linda Gayle from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

 

 

Regarding E-book Piracy

 

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This is Linda Gayle’s livelihood.
 
It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Gayle’s right to earn a living from her work.

 

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DEDICATION

For my writing buddies, who tolerate my shenanigans and monkeyshines
.

 
SURRENDER TO PARADISE

LINDA GAYLE

Copyright © 2011

Chapter One

Lyric waded into the endless, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, her feet sinking softly into the white sand. Seductive waves caressed her skin while she trailed her fingertips through the ripples. How warm it was, as warm as life and blood. The ocean lapped at her belly above the waistline of her bikini bottoms, like a lover’s teasing tongue. It whispered to her to go deeper, deeper. To grip with her toes in the shifting sand and ease into the ocean’s embrace until the waves caressed her breasts, her throat, her lips, then her face. Her hair… And then…

Closing her eyes, she shook her head and took a deep breath of sweetly salty air. No. She made herself stop and stand still, swaying gently in the waves’ rhythm. That was the easy way out. She’d come to the island of Tormala to end her pain by healing, not to, well, not to simply end it.

She gazed down into the perfect water then noticed a bright flash of color by her leg. An orange-and-blue fish darted around her ankles before swimming off. Life. The ocean and island were full of it. Strange, little lizards and huge, red coconut crabs scuttled across the beach. Beautiful birds, the likes of which she’d never seen, flitted through the palms. And the waters teemed with exotic tropical fish. The biggest lure that had finally coaxed Lyric out of her funk was the dolphins Nina promised lived around the island.

When her friend had offered Lyric the island beach house for a week, Lyric had at first turned her down. Now, as she watched the fish return, with a partner this time, Lyric had to admit Nina had been right. Maybe this was just what she needed.

What she needed to help her forget…

Lyric’s heart sank with the depression she just couldn’t shake. A tear dropped from her eye to the ocean’s surface. Dammit. No more tears. Not for that asshole, Jack. She wiped her damp eyes with the back of her hand and forced herself to stare out at the vast, far horizon. It’d been two months since her world had caved in, since her scumbag fiancé had taken her for all she was worth and left her. Duped her and dumped her. Now she needed light, craved it. Yet, despite biting her lip, she couldn’t hold back another tear. It slipped down her cheek to become one with the blood-warm waters. Lyric pulled her arms close around herself and let the waves stroke her, soothe her, like the sweetest of caresses.

“I want to start again,” she whispered to no one in particular, maybe to whatever sea gods might be listening. Hadn’t Nina said natives had once worshiped tiki gods on the island? Plunging her hands into the waves, Lyric blinked away the last tear, her throat tight, and then scooped the water over her face and hair. “Help me to start over. Please…”

Overhead, a seabird with vast, pale wings circled and cried out as if in answer. Waist-deep in the ocean, she shivered and gazed up at it. She must really be losing her mind if she thought the birds were talking to her now. Still, she shouted up, “You hear me, bird? I want to forget. Take this pain, and fly away with it.”

The petrel simply circled once more then winged toward the horizon. Feeling the familiar despair sinking its claws into her, Lyric dived into the ocean and swam beneath the waves until she thought her lungs might burst. Until she thought her sorrow might be washed away.

By the time Lyric waded ashore, Henri, the overseer for the few vacation huts on this side of the island, was walking by with a long fishing pole and a plastic bucket. The dark-skinned man flashed a smile as white as the billowy shirt he wore, which was accented with a loosely tied, red kerchief around his neck. “Miss Lyric, enjoying our island?” The soft vowels of his French Polynesian accent rolled over her.

Lyric pushed her hands over her head and bent to one side to wring the water from her waist-length hair. Her muscles ached pleasantly after her hour-long swim. “It’s wonderful. So beautiful. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here for a week.” For a change, the happier emotion didn’t feel fake. Maybe, with time, the ocean really could work magic. When he tossed her the towel she’d left hanging over the back of a wind-worn beach chair, she caught it midair.

“We’re glad to have you visiting,” he said. “Remember, if you need anything, just ask. My wife is making fried plantains and bonito for supper if you want to stop by.”

Rubbing the striped towel over her arms, Lyric inwardly frowned. Henri lived on the other side of the island. He was definitely checking up on her, which was nice, but she was a little tired of people worrying about her. “Thanks, but I think I might just have a snack and then curl up with a book. Or take a nap. It was a long flight out here.”

“Of course.” He nodded, friendly as anything, but she couldn’t help notice the question lingering in his eyes. She’d seen it the moment he’d met her at the tiny airport on the neighboring island and ferried her over in his boat. Of course Nina would ask him to keep a watch on her. It wasn’t as if Lyric had tried anything stupid after Jack, but no doubt her friend had picked up on the dark vibes.

Wanting to change the subject, she tipped her hand toward his fishing pole. “What are you going out for?”

He gave a casual shrug. “Whatever I can get. I’m not going out far in the canoe. Getting dark soon, but I thought I’d see what I could find. Maybe tomorrow, you come out with me, yes? Catch a shark? A merman?” Laughing, he hefted his bucket as if it would hold such creatures.

“A merman, eh?” Lyric offered a wry smile. No thanks. She was through with men, even the fishy kind, at least for the foreseeable future. Besides, there weren’t many tourists on this tiny island. There was a small hotel on the other side, where the water was deeper, but here, around the shallow lagoon, she was pretty much the only visitor. No danger of meeting Mr. Right here. “How about dolphins? Not that I want to catch one, but could I see any? Nina told me there’s a pod that lives around the island.”

“Oh,
oui
. But not a pod—just two. They come into shore sometimes, ’specially in the morning. Catch the fish in the shallow water, play in the waves.” He turned suddenly serious eyes on her. “They are special, sacred to us, you know.”

“Sacred, like you worship them?” She walked closer, draping the towel around her neck, sand clinging to her soles.

He gazed over her shoulder out at the water, spangled now with the glorious pinks and golds of sunset. “They are very old, our dolphins. They protect us, keep us safe. They swim in this ocean ’round here since before my great-grand-père’s grand-père was a little boy.”

“Seriously?”


Oui
. Legend has it they were once young warriors. Long ago, they fell in love with the same woman, the beautiful Mohea, and one day, driven by jealousy, they fought for her. They fought so hard and long their quarrel caused a terrible storm. In the wind and waves, their lover became lost and drowned. She washed up on this very beach.”

Enraptured, Lyric nodded when he paused. “And? What happened?”

“Because she was innocent, the great god Kanaloa gave her back her life. And to punish the warriors, he turned them into dolphins, cursed to watch from the water as their woman married an island man as Kanaloa intended. But Kanaloa misjudged the depth of their love, you see? For Mohea had given her heart to the two warriors, and they to her. Instead of marrying another man, she wandered the beach in despair while they circled the island endlessly, mourning for their mate. It is said their tears filled this lagoon, and they still wait for her return.”

She let out a breath and curled her fingers around the ends of her towel, an empathetic ache in her chest. “That’s so sad. But…well, beside the fact people can’t turn into dolphins, they couldn’t possibly be the same ones…I mean, they’d be over a hundred years old.”

“Some say many hundreds.” But then his slow grin broke the somber tone, and he met her gaze again, his eyes twinkling. “Who knows, eh? It’s just a story, like so many stories.”

Oddly moved, she tipped her head. “Did they have names? In the legend, I mean.”

He scratched his gray-streaked hair with gnarled fingers. “The way it was told to me, they are Rahiti and Moana. Rahiti for the sunrise, since that’s when they’re often seen, and Moana means ocean. I don’t know if those are their real names or just part of the story.” He chuckled. “Maybe while you are here, you can discover the truth.”

Of course he was kidding, but a funny kind of chill ran up between her shoulder blades nonetheless. More than anything, she wanted to see the two dolphins. Rahiti and Moana. Nina had only told her they existed, not that they had this cool legend attached. Well, she’d be happy if they just turned out to be regular dolphins. Sleeping in had seemed like a great plan for tomorrow morning, but if they really did show up at sunrise, this would be so much better. For the first time in months, Lyric felt like she had something to look forward to.

* * * *

“She’s the one. I’m telling you.”

Rahiti did his best to ignore Moana, whose excited twirling only irritated him. “Ridiculous,” he communicated with a flip of his tail and a thought in his companion’s mind. “She’s just another tourist. Besides, Kanaloa hasn’t spoken to us in centuries. We’re never getting out of this, so live with it.”

Moana swam around him in a fast loop. “She made the wish! She made the wish for a new life, Rahiti. She sacrificed her tears to the sea and—”

Cutting him off with a powerful stroke of his flukes, Rahiti soared toward the moonlit surface for air. If Moana would just shut up for a minute or two, maybe he could make sense of what had happened today. Unlike his boisterous companion, Rahiti wasn’t ready to pin his hopes on the beautiful, dark-haired woman who had appeared in their lagoon. Many women had come and gone over the years, and they’d even played with a few, hoping, longing…But only this woman’s voice had drawn them from the depths.

“Did you see her face?” Moana went on, his voice soft and dreamy in Rahiti’s mind. “So sad. And her breasts”—his humor rushed back—“worth waiting hundreds of years to put my hands on those!”

Rahiti spun, showing his flippers for emphasis. “Aren’t you forgetting something? No hands.”

“Kanaloa will have mercy on us. He has to, after all this time. Rahiti, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone to love again?” Saying this, he slid his long body over Rahiti’s. Moana’s warm skin felt good stroking over his side, even better when his erect penis trailed over Rahiti’s back. A rush of longing coursed through Rahiti’s still all-too-human heart. Yes, hundreds of years without a true lover was a long time, and he and Moana had learned to compensate. Like other dolphin pairs, they found ways to pleasure each other, but it wasn’t the same. They were united in their sorrow and their situation, and, he supposed, in their hope that someday the right girl would come along who might break the curse. Rahiti had nearly given up, but obviously Moana hadn’t.

“Moana,” he thought to his friend, slowing enough to let Moana twine sensuously around him, “she would have to accept us both. What modern human woman would do that?”

“We will worry about that tomorrow. You’ll see. This is our chance.” Moana’s whisper seemed to come from all around him, settling into his bones, and Rahiti let his mind drift with the tide and his body take over. The other dolphin gently butted Rahiti’s throat with his snout and rubbed against him, coaxing Rahiti’s long phallus to emerge. Their sleek, slick bodies twined and stroked, and for a moment, Rahiti could almost pretend he was just a man enjoying a lover’s touch, not a man trapped in an animal’s form, struggling to retain his humanity. However, Moana had gotten very good at reading Rahiti’s moods and needs, and he knew just how to move, just how to tease…

Just how to seduce him to his way of thinking.

Suspended in the starlit lagoon, they shared the little pleasure allowed them by Kanaloa’s curse. Moana dove deep afterwards, calmer, but Rahiti’s thoughts tumbled about like crashing waves. He surfaced for a breath, rolling so he could eye the shore and the lights from the little beach house where the woman stayed. Like his friend, he’d felt her sorrow draw them from the deeps. Her words had echoed in his mind, in his heart, and her lovely body had called to him. They’d watched from a distance while she swam in the shallows, and if he was honest, Rahiti had to admit he’d been as enchanted as Moana. Like a vision from one of his tormented dreams, she looked like Mohea, yet not—more slender, paler, but with the same long, dark hair and womanly grace.

If there was one sense he missed most of all from his human life, it was that of smell, for he knew, just knew, she would smell of gardenias and fragrant breezes. He had felt her heartbeat pulsing through the water like a summoning drum.

He puffed out a breath and sank beneath the ripples once more. If she was the one to break the curse, she would be able to see their true forms. At least that’s what Kanaloa had told them, so long ago. Then what? They would still be dolphins, and she…would be unattainable. The curse would be broken only when she accepted them both as mates and he and Moana could share her unselfishly. The warriors had long ago sorted out their differences, but what woman would be willing to believe enough to love them both?

Disappointment seemed certain. Did they really want to put themselves through that again? Sending a cascade of clicks and whistles rebounding into the depths, Rahiti located his friend and followed. Moana wouldn’t let up until they tried, so there was hardly any point in protesting. With a resigned flip of his flukes, he dove to find the other dolphin in the inky depths.

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