Mara Cross is a successful architect who has never made room in her life for a relationship. She’s finally taking a much needed vacation to the Virgin Islands, where she meets Cole & Red on the beach when their volleyball lands in her lap. To apologize, they ask her out to dinner. This scene takes place at the restaurant.
“We’re opening the floor to requests again,” the front man for the band said over the microphone. He looked right at Mara when he said it.
Flustered, she hardly knew what to say. “Do… Do you know ‘Linger’ by the Cranberries?”
“Yeah, we know it. I don’t sound like Dolores O’Riordan, but we muddle through.”
The soft melody wound up and around, tugging at Mara’s heart. She loved the sad love ballad. Cole stood, holding out his hand to her.
“Dance with me?”
Mara nodded, taking his hand. He swung her into a firm embrace, carrying her easily across the dance floor. His hips swayed, brushing against hers. She could feel his strong, muscular thighs through the thin fabric of her dress. He gazed into her eyes and for the first time she noticed the astonishing color of them. They were jade green in the center, with a darker green around the edge. He smiled, slowing as the song faded away.
The band started another song, also soft and easy to dance to. She hardly heard it, her attention focused on Cole. He led her around the dance floor with the same easy, casual grace he’d exhibited on the beach. Mara wasn’t much of a dancer, but she felt so comfortable in his arms, she followed his strong lead as if born to it. Cole held her close, his arm firmly around her waist, bringing her into a series of tight spins. The song ended and he dropped her into a magnificent dip worthy of Fred Astaire.
Mara was panting, not from exertion, but from excitement. Never had she danced that way! Most of the men she dated were non-dancers. Cole took her breath away, moving sinuously as the song changed again to something with a syncopated Latin type beat. She felt lightheaded, as if her feet weren’t touching the ground, dancing on a cloud.
Cole was enjoying the expressions on her face as he led her around the dance floor. She changed from surprised to delighted in a series of little gasps and pauses. He found himself dancing with her better than he’d ever danced in his life.
The third song ended and he led her back to their table. It was then she realized they had been the only ones on the dance floor. As they made their way back to their table, the other diners clapped. Some cheered and several stood as they walked past.
Mara blushed a shade of pink that matched her dress. Cole stopped, bowed deeply, and worked the crowd for all it was worth! One exuberant woman tossed a five dollar bill at him, which he caught with a flourish and presented to Mara with a deep bow.
When they sat back down, Red yawned exaggeratedly. “You know what, buddy? I’m gonna call it a night. I think I’ll call your sister and talk dirty to her for an hour and then go to sleep.”
Cole didn’t argue with him. “If you really want to, Red, I can’t stop you. But you know,” he jerked his head toward the door. “If you feel like you need to go,” he gestured with his thumb, tapping his foot under the table. “You know, by all means go. We’d love your company, bro.” He pointed to the door again, “But we won’t force you if your tired.”
“I think I’m being given the bum’s rush,” Red said, trying to look offended.
“I thought he’d never leave,” Cole said. “Actually, he left at just the right time. That’s why having the same best friend for thirty years comes in handy. He knows when he’s not wanted.”