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Agartha's Castaway


“Hey now. My battle scar”—Mike toyed with the shark tooth dangling from a black cord
around his neck—“and this nifty little souvenir here, make me who I am today.” His lips curled
up. “Let’s not dwell on the marine life, okay? How about later today we hit the beach again?”
Jack gave him a playful punch on the arm. “Listen, Surfer Boy, that isn’t happening. The
only place Casey’s dad can even try to control you is on this boat, far, far away from everyone
else.”
He rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
I grinned at Mike’s miffed expression. Just because he was a teenage surfing star, even
featuring on MTV’s hit reality show Surf’s Up, didn’t mean he’d get any special treatment
here—at least not from Jack or my parents.
Jack’s sapphire blue eyes narrowed and his brown hair whipped around in the wind. “You
dove off a ninety- foot waterfall when nobody was looking, you got us thrown out of a village,
you—”
“Ah, come on!” Mike interrupted. “The chief had it all wrong. That little girl with the big
brown eyes ran straight to me, and all I did was pat her on the head. She was the cutest little
thing.”
I pondered as I watched dark clouds roll in from the east. Mike finds everyone cute—
everyone but me. My gaze dropped from the sky to meet his. “Yeah, but you know it’s an insult
to touch anyone’s head in Fiji.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “Guess I forgot that part. Anyway, we didn’t deserve to get
kicked out. And Casey, even your mom agrees with me.”
Jack laughed and threw a wet rag in his direction. “You know that’s only because our moms
are all best friends, and—”
Smirking, Mike pointed the remote control at the CD stereo in the cockpit, increasing the
volume until Jack’s voice was drowned out entirely. I watched him inch closer, his hot breath
brushing my cheek as he whispered in my ear, “C’mon. Let’s jam to the beat of steel drums.”
I felt my heartbeat speed up. Mike was just being flirty, as usual. To him, life was all about
having fun, and nothing more. “C’mon, Jack!” I yelled over my shoulder, as Mike’s hand
clasped around mine, making my skin tingle. His warm, soft fingers rubbed against the back of
my hand lightly as he pulled me toward the deck.
“Dance with Mike?” called back Jack. “No thanks, I’d rather put away our fishing stuff.”
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