EXCERPT


Mr. Taylor—Mr. Oh-so-attractive-but-he’s-not-my-dog—stood up. And looked at her.

With a sigh, she swung her legs into the middle aisle allowing him to pass without climbing over her again. He nodded and approached the podium with a troubled look.

Maybe he wants to open a topless bar on the island. That’ll go over big. She barely suppressed a giggle.

“Mr. Mayor, Council Members. I appreciate you meeting with me over the last few weeks. After your warm welcome, I didn’t know there would be opposition to my idea, and I’m sorry there is some disagreement.”

Meetings? Warm welcome? Disagreement?

“My Jet Ski rental shop, as I’ve said before, would attract active, sports-minded tourists to Barefoot Bay.”

“What?” Dixie said.

Taylor glanced at her and she sank down realizing she’d spoken out loud. The buzz and whine of gas engines filled her stomach as she stared at that thick, wavy, overly-long hair.

“The plans for gasoline storage have been approved by the state, as well as sheds to house the skis and equipment. Yes, there will be some noise but nothing that breaks any local or state laws. Jet skis have been around for decades with very few problems. I just came here today to thank you for your support and advice in getting the business off the ground.”

He glanced around at her again with a grim smile.

“I’d like to address one comment on Ms. Wallace’s presentation. I don’t know of any place to put a jet ski rental shop but on the beach. Thank you.”

Laughter followed him as he stepped away and headed for his seat. Next to her. She stared straight ahead and didn’t move. He lifted a leg and climbed over her to settle right back in the chair next to her. More laughter.

“I’d like to call for a vote on a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Board in favor of the ski rental shop proposed by Mr. Taylor,” the mayor said in a rush.

Looking down, each and every council member mumbled “Aye.” The gavel banged.

“Meeting adjourned.”