Tea & Comfort (Madrona Island Series Book 2)(9)

By: Andrea Hurst

Luke nodded.

It belongs to my Grandpa John and has been in the family forever. He pointed to the kitchen. “Coffee and tea are always available on the counter, and breakfast is at 9:00 in the dining room. Make yourself comfortable down here anytime.”

“Thanks again for letting me stay. Was the wife okay with the arrangement?”

Ian shrugged. “She was afraid you coming here would upset Kyla, but I told her you were a good guy and this way she could get to know you.”

Luke looked around. “Is Lily here? Should I say hello?”

“Seems an emergency walk on the beach was in order with the ladies after a certain someone’s visit was announced.”

“I see.” Luke frowned. “I can stay at the motel outside of town. I don’t want to upset anyone.”

“Forget it,” Ian said. “You’re my friend and it will work out. You’ll see.”

Ian did not sound that convincing, but Luke hoped he was right. “It sounds like Darcy, I mean Kyla, has made some good friends here.”

“That she has,” Ian said. “Lily, Jude, and Kyla are inseparable.”

“And you, too,” Luke said. “You seem a happily married man now and not the reclusive artist I first met. And how’s your boy?”

Ian’s grin said it all. “He’s growing up so fast I can hardly keep up. Lily, Jason, and me live over there in the big house and I added a master suite for some privacy.”

“Sounds amazing.”

“So, which room is mine? Roses are not really my thing.”

Ian laughed. “Actually, I put you in the Honeymoon Suite. It’s large, nothing frilly.”

Luke narrowed his eyes. “Are you kidding me, Ian?”

“No. It’s on the ground floor with a private exit so you can sneak in and out.”

“Very funny,” Luke said, shaking his head. “Show me to my suite. Please.”

The room was a champagne color, very elegant with a large king-sized bed. The gauze canopy was a bit much, but the wood fireplace in the corner was appealing. As promised, French doors led out to a private patio with a path down to the water. A fresh citrus smell permeated the bathroom that had a shower big enough for two.

“I hope you will enjoy your stay,” Ian said. “You’re welcome here until your place is ready.”

“Who would’ve thought all of us meeting up at that art and wine show in the Hamptons would end up with all three of us here on the island?” Luke said.

“Fate,” Ian said. He paused. “Love?”

Luke shrugged.

“When do you plan to see Kyla?” Ian asked.

“You all probably know much more than I do then: why she ran and why here.”

“I’m afraid Kyla is going to have to fill you in herself in that area,” Ian said.

The talk of Kyla upset him more than he expected. Luke had a moment of doubt about his impulsive purchase of the winery on the island. It was everything he’d ever dreamed of—everything he and Kyla had ever dreamed of—but he’d always thought Sonoma County in California would be his home. He hoped it was not a mistake coming here, seemingly unwelcomed. He shook off the doubt.

“Kyla,” Luke said. “She broke my heart. I want some answers.”

Ian moved toward the door. “Just go slow,” he said as he closed the door behind him.

Luke would go slowly, but he was determined to find out why. He sat down on the edge of the bed, sinking into a down comforter. He’d never gone slowly with anything in his life, and he didn’t know how to do it now. He thought for a moment about the rushed affair and quick engagement he’d had with Kyla. They were so in love; they were racing to their new life together. And then she was gone. None of it happened. Not a wedding. Not a honeymoon in a perfect room like this. Not a life together.

Maybe he could go slowly now if it meant finding out the truth. Luke walked over to the French doors and stepped outside on the porch. He had to give it to Kyla. She’d found one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen. He breathed in the sea air and listened to the gulls calling. With a pang he thought of the many things they’d dreamed of together and the many things they’d lost.

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