Divorced mother of two, Caren Michaelson has her hands full. She has a career and is working on a doctorate when she wins a trip to Hawaii and gets more than she’s bargained for─ a man! While cautious at first, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Dr. Chance Matthews, who has made his love for her clear. He wants a happily ever after right now. A vacation fling is one thing, but forever is another. Will she rush in where angels fear to tread, or will she pass up a heavenly relationship?
Caren Michaelson, single mother of two, felt uneasy. She was with Chance Matthews, whom she loved dearly, but she couldn't say yes to his surprising proposal. Not yet anyway. She barely even knew him! She was shocked--stunned. Caren’s eyes filled with unshed tears. How could he ask this of her? He knew she was a recovering divorcee with two children working on her doctorate. She had no ready answer. What is he thinking? He's a doctor of philosophy for heaven's sake… He ought to know what I have ahead of me. How could he ask me to marry him?
"Don't say no," he said, laying his fingers on her lips to stop her protest. "Promise me you'll think about it."
She nodded her agreement, for if she were to speak now, the answer would have been… Yes? No?
He was right to encourage her to think about it. She loved him all the more for it. She got her act together and said lightly, "Maybe."
"I'll take that. I want to bring you back here where we have been so happy. What do you say to honeymooning here?"
She giggled. "We've been doing a lot of honeymooning already, I'd say."
"Wait. Is that even a word, Professor Michaelson?"
"It is now. Marriage is a lot to think about, buddy. Thanks for that," she said, playfully poking him in the ribs. There was no need nor was there time for any more discussion. They heard the familiar conch call summoning them to their bus.
"Come on. Time’s awastin’. Weren’t you the one just the other day who wanted a taste of danger and excitement?"
"When did I say that?"
"When we went on the helicopter."
"That was completely different. Excitement, yes. The rest…"
"Then, what are you waiting for?" he said. "Marry me."
"What's that got to do with this conversation?" she asked.
"Danger, excitement, adventure, and risk, marriage provides it all."
"Now, that does scare me," she teased him as they returned to find their van ready for them.
Their daytrip was pleasant and uneventful. She pushed the marriage talk away and busied herself chatting with the others and being the tourist.
The storm broke between them at dinner. Over drinks, Chance looked at Caren.
She’d dressed carefully in an apricot, off the shoulder gown that complemented her hair perfectly—if she did say so herself.
"Lovely wahine, where is this relationship going?"
"Great. That's great. Do you realize we have four days left on this trip, and then what?"
"I don't know. But do you want to spoil the evening by discussing it now?"
"When do you plan to discuss it? On the way home?"
"I hadn't taken it that far. When did you think was a good time? On the road to Hana?"
"You said you'd think seriously about it. I don't propose every day, you know."
She could see his pride was taking a hit. "And I have thought about it, too. I just didn't want to spoil our time together with it like we are doing now."
"I want to know where I stand with you. Where we are going?"
"I wish I knew," she muttered under her breath.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means I'm not sure that two weeks is enough time to get to know each other."
"How long did you know Rex?"
"That didn't make a difference, did it? You obviously didn't rush into marriage. It didn't change the outcome, did it?"
"No, it didn't, but I'm not going to be pushed into something I'm not convinced is absolutely right, either."
"What am I to you?"
"If you don't know that by now, you'll never know."
"True, we've only known each other such a short time." There was an edge to his voice. "How do I know I'm not just a series of one-night stands? What am I, a stud service? A shipboard romance?" He took another swig of his beer. "A fling? Where do I fit in?"
Biting back her anger, stunned by his implications, she strove to keep it light. "Where do you fit in? I think you know where quite well after all these nights together." She lowered her eyes to his private places hoping to use teasing to diffuse him. It failed miserably.
"I am serious. What do you want from me? I asked you to be my wife. Isn't that clear enough?"
"That means—to some people—children. I have two already."
"What's wrong with that?"
“Do you want more?”
"A baby? A child of your own?" She needed to know.
"The idea is appealing. I haven't thought about it much. First things first."
"Well, I suggest you start thinking for a change. What you propose has consequences. What about my doctorate?"
"What about a baby?"