After a long-term relationship breaks up, Kaden is on his own once more. He decides to visit one of the Greek Islands, a tick against a bucket-list dream.
On the picturesque island of Spetses, he meets tour guide Jed. Not only is the man another New Zealander, but as sexy as he is knowledgeable.
After a slow burn, their relationship ignites with passion, but in the back of Kaden’s mind is the thought of whether a holiday romance can ever become something more solid and lasting. Especially when there’s half a world between him and Jed.
Will the encounter become just a memory, or can the men find a way to make things work when the holiday is over and Jed’s back in the real world?
With Jed leading the way, Kaden and the two couples walked from the port, which didn’t even look big enough to take such a huge vessel, up and along the front and past several shops and cafés.
Older Greek men sat with their black coffees and their kombolói. The speed by which the men passed the beads through their fingers amazed Kaden and he wondered about getting a set to take home. They’re a lot more beautiful than a stress ball.
Jed took them into a shop advertising various tours and took up a post at a table away from the main desk, starting up a laptop computer. An immaculately made-up, young woman stood behind the reception desk, smiling as they all filed in. Seeing Kaden was on his own, her smile turned sultry, but Kaden didn’t loiter as she’d clearly hoped.
“Right, I’ll have your bags put on the trailer, and I have a little buggy to transport you to your accommodations.” Jed looked up from his laptop. “The taxis here only go along certain roads. No private cars are allowed. If you want to travel, you walk, bike, or use a motorcycle. Or you can ride on one of the horse-drawn carriages. Don’t be surprised if you see a moped with dad, mum, kids, and the family dog. Believe me, it happens.”
Kaden joined in the laughter, but he imagined that if Jed said it happened, it would. When it was his turn, Kaden checked the details of where he was to stay and nodded.
“Yes, that’s the place.”
“Okay.” Jed shutdown his computer. “Let’s go. You can sit in the front with me, Kaden. You’ll be the last off.”
Kaden found the ride past the shops on the front, and along the main street that led up above the harbor very pleasant, with Jed running a commentary and pointing out a restaurant he liked. Set back slightly from the road, it would be easy to miss the small restaurant if you didn’t know it was there. Jed also told them of the restaurants along the beach as you walked out of the town in the other direction.
“A couple of good seafood restaurants that way. Well worth the visit. Even on foot. Most places around the harbor are easily accessible on foot.”
After the beautiful accommodations of the other couples, a cloud of disappointment engulfed Kaden when Jed stopped the buggy. Jed stopped because the road was too steep for the buggy, and when Kaden walked the final few meters to reach the apartment, instead of the view he’d anticipated, he found his was the ground floor. No balcony, and no view.
“Sorry, bro.” Jed rested his hand on Kaden’s shoulder and Kaden forced a smile.
“Not to worry. I was only going to be sleeping in there anyway.”
“What a shame.”
“What?” Kaden looked around so fast, he was sure he’d have whiplash.
“What a shame. The apartment block is so high up, but for the sake of one floor, you don’t even have a space to sit out and have a drink in the evenings.”
Kaden looked closely at Jed, whose exaggerated expression of innocence made Kaden all the more certain that wasn’t what the tour guide had meant at all.
“Come on, let’s see the inside.” Jed pointed at the door, and Kaden nodded.
The room was clear and airy enough, but the only window faced the path Kaden took to get to his door. It was obvious he’d get no direct sunlight.
“Ah well, at least it’ll be cool in here.” Kaden hoped he sounded happier than he felt. He’d dreamed of sitting on a balcony in the evenings.
“Look, I’ll have a word with the owners.” Jed laid his hand on Kaden’s arm. “As soon as someone else moves out, you could have their room. In the meantime, come on the sunset cruise tonight. My treat.”
“I couldn’t --”
“Yes, you can.” Jed squeezed gently, and Kaden was sure his skin was several degrees hotter where Jed touched. “Let’s admit it. You haven’t had the greatest start to your holiday and this is a hell of journey to make. At the very least, I can treat you to one of the most beautiful views of the island, maybe a drink. Who knows?”
“Well ...” Kaden had to confess Jed was right. The holiday hadn’t begun in the best of ways.
“Pretty please?” Jed fluttered his eyelashes melodramatically and Kaden finally snorted with laughter.
“How can I refuse?”