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Page 44

She tried everything over the past three days. At first she thought relaxation would do the trick, so she'd taken about a dozen hot baths, read a few books, and even tried a relaxing moonlit stroll along the beach. When relaxation didn't work she moved onto vigorous activity. She tried swimming, long vigorous walks, and cleaning the cottage from top to bottom.

Absolutely nothing worked. There was no way she could handle another day without sleep, never mind the four days Jason was determined to keep her for.

She sat up in bed and kicked the sheet away. Damn it. If she was going to be stuck with him, then she might as well get something out of it. She threw open her door and walked down the short hallway.

Jason looked over at her and sighed. She wasn't too surprised to find him awake. It seemed this little addiction went both ways, thankfully, because if she was going to suffer than so was he. Granted his inability to sleep might have more to do with the small wicker chairs he was forced to sit in all night.

"I don't know what you did, but you wrecked sleep for me and since you won't give me back my things I've decided that you will allow me the use of your body for sleep," she clarified, afraid he might get the wrong idea, "until we go home and I can get a prescription for sleeping pills from my doctor."

Jason simply looked at her through red shot eyes. "Okay," she said firmly, nodding to herself. "Move your butt," she said, gesturing for him to head to the bedroom.

"No," he said softly.

She narrowed her eyes on him. "Don't make me hurt you, Jason. I am way too tired for any bullshit tonight, so move your ass."

He stubbornly shook his head. "Not until you promise to spend the last four days with me."


They broke up and he really needed to accept that, especially since they returned to work in two weeks. She didn't want to have to deal with any of this nonsense at work. He needed to accept this so they could both move on. It was already hard enough being around him and not being able to touch him.

She loved him so much and this was killing her. The best thing he could do for both of them was to let her go now so she would have some time, even a few days, to mourn their relationship. She already knew she'd have to put her house on the market and look for a new job as soon as she got back.

After this she knew she would never manage to be in the same room with him or spot him walking around outside without feeling her heart break. She needed to put as much space between them as she could if she hoped to survive this.

"We have four days left, Haley. If you want to sleep then you'll give me what I want."

"You need sleep just as much as I do," she pointed out.

He nodded his agreement. "I'm willing to go without if that's what it takes."

"We're not getting back together," she said, feeling more exhausted than she had five minutes ago.

"I'm not asking for that, Haley. I'm asking for some real time with you."

"You expect me to believe that?"

"Yes," he said, sounding as exhausted as she felt. "I just want time with you."

She considered him for a moment. At this point she was willing to fork over her kidneys if it meant getting some sleep. "Fine," she said slowly. "But just time. No kissing, sex, or touching."

He sighed with obvious relief as he got to his feet. "That's fine," he said, walking past her to the bedroom. She followed him, eager to finally get some sleep.

"Underwear stays on," she announced, as she walked into the room.

Jason yanked his underwear back on, probably too tired to argue, and flopped down on the bed. After a slight hesitation, Haley lay down and curled up against him. In a matter of minutes she felt her body relax and started to drift off.


"Oh my god, no! It's going to bite me!" Haley squealed, jumping back as the small crab moved towards her.

Jason chuckled as he watched his little grasshopper run on her tippy toes, trying to get away from the small crab that really did seem to have it out for her. Every time Haley changed direction so did the crab.

Now, Jason could very easily fix this little problem for his little grasshopper by picking her up, but he was following her rules. He only had four days left to convince her that she couldn't live without him, and if that meant he had to follow her rules to spend time with her than he was damn well going to follow them to a tee. He wasn't about to give her a reason to break their agreement.

That's why an hour ago when he woke up to find Haley curled up in his arms, he quickly jumped out of bed and the hell away from her. She looked a little confused and hurt, and he almost ignored her rules and took her into his arms, but he forced himself to keep his head in the game. He said good morning and left her to take a shower, and not joining her had almost killed him, and made them lunch.

After lunch it had taken a little prompting and about a dozen reminders that she promised to spend the last four days with him. With a resigned sigh she followed him to the beach. For the first time since he wrecked her flowers a heavy awkward silence rose between them.

He bit back another apology, remembering what his father said, and walked next to her, trying to figure out what the hell he should say to her. Unfortunately Haley seemed to be just as uncomfortable as he was. He knew she was on the verge of suggesting that they go home again, when thankfully they'd found the little crab hell bent on attacking her.

Now they both laughed, watching the little crab's antics, the awkward silence forgotten.

"Jason!" Haley shrieked as the crab made a grab for her toes.

Sighing, Jason bent over and plucked the small crab up. He raised it so he could look at its tiny little buggy eyes. "It's kind of cute."

Haley squished up her face adorably. "If you say so."

He noticed that she didn't make any move to take a closer look. In fact, it looked as if she was trying to discretely step away. Jason bit back a smile as he held it out to her. She squealed, jumping back and almost fell on her ass in the ocean.

"Get it away from me!"

"Aw, come on, Haley. He just wants a little kiss," Jason said, shoving the crab towards her once again. "Just a little kiss."

Haley giggled even as she ducked out of the way.

"Come on, he likes you!" Jason said, chuckling as he chased after her.

"Go away!" Haley said, laughing so hard that she stumbled several times, but somehow managed to take off when the crab came within her personal space.

"I swear to god, I'm going to kick your ass for this!"


Haley dropped her book as she latched onto Jason's arm and tried to drag him away.

"That's false advertisement!" Jason said, heading back for the door that they'd been unceremoniously kicked out of ten minutes ago. "The sign says, 'All you can eat.'"

Thankfully the last several months in Jason's company had pretty much cured her problem of embarrassing easily, otherwise she'd probably be turning bright red right now and wishing for a hole in the ground to open up and swallow her whole as people stopped to gawk at them.

"They were closing," she pointed out softly.

"That's no excuse," he said, glaring at the wait staff that watched them nervously from behind the curtains.

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