The ride to the restaurant had been unusually quiet, and when they
arrived, the maitre d’ greeted them, with menus in hand, and escorted
them to the dining room.
“I’d like a quiet area if possible,” said Devin.
The maitre d’ nodded. “Of course.” They followed him to a corner
table. “How’s this, sir?”
Devin smiled. “Perfect. Thank you.”
Once seated, Stephanie leaned forward and whispered, “Okay, Devin,
enough with all the mystery. Why are we here?”
“Come on, do I really need a reason to take my favorite girl out to
She shrugged. “I guess not. Except, I still have a lot to finish up at
work before we leave next week.”
“I know,” he said.
The waiter brought over two glasses of water. “Good evening. Can I get
you something from the bar?”
Devin looked at Stephanie. “Honey?”
“I’ll have a Chardonnay.”
“Sounds good to me,” he said. “Make it two.”
The waiter smiled. “Fine. I’ll be right back.”
Devin began to gulp down his water. “Is it just me, or is it warm in
She sighed. “It’s just you. Now, the reason we’re here?”
He cleared his throat. “Right. Steph, sweetheart, you know how much I
She blew him a kiss. “I should hope so, since we’re getting married
“An—and,” he stammered, “you know how much I will always love
you, but there’s something I need to tell you.”
She took a sip of water. “What is it?”
He leaned back and took a deep breath. “I probably should have said
something before now, but—”
Beads of perspiration began to dot his forehead. “I can’t marry
She stared at him, speechless, and waited for him to say he was joking,
but he didn’t. Once the initial shock wore off, she was able to speak
again. “I don’t believe I’m hearing this,” she said, hurt and
“I’m really sorry to do this to you,” said Devin.
“A week before our wedding, and you’re breaking up with me?”
He sighed. “Uh…yeah.”
She glanced down at her engagement ring, and then shot him a scathing
look. “How could you do this to me? The church, reception hall, our
British Virgin Islands honeymoon, everything has been booked for
He wiped his forehead with a napkin. “I know, and I apologize.”
“Then why are you doing this?”
“It’s complicated,” he answered, barely above a whisper.
She shook her head. “Oh no, Devin, you’re going to have to come up
with something better than, it’s complicated.”
“Actually,” he said, “I think we were both having second thoughts
about getting married. I’m just the one who said it first. And,
sweetheart, if there was any other way of doing this without hurting
you, I certainly would have.”
She held his gaze, as her body stiffened. “Shut the hell up, Devin!”
she shouted and then reached across the table and slapped him. The room
fell silent. She felt like all eyes were on them.
He glanced around the restaurant and then motioned for the waiter.
“Feel better?” he asked, and brushed a hand across his now
“No, but that sure felt good, you smug bastard!”
“I’m so sorry, Stephanie.”
She grabbed her purse and stood up. “I think it’s best that I take a
“Can’t you wait until I speak with the waiter? I’ll take you
She shook her head. “No, I can’t.” Then she headed for the exit.
After he spoke with the waiter, Devin joined Stephanie outside. However,
he stood a few feet away as she hailed a cab. The tension was like a
dark cloud hovering over them.
“Come on, Stephanie,” he pleaded. “I know you’re upset. Will you
please talk to me?”
She turned, looked at him, and rolled her eyes.
He ran a hand through his hair and then slowly approached her. “At
least let me drive you home.”
She didn’t answer.
When a cab pulled over, he attempted to open the door for her, but she
pushed him away.
He moved and stepped back on the sidewalk.
“Devin,” she called out, before getting in the cab. “Wait a
He smiled. “Yes?”
She pulled off her engagement ring and threw it at him, narrowly missing
his right eye. “Don’t forget this!”
Excerpted from "Island Delight" by Pamela G. McCoy. Copyright © 2017 by Pamela G. McCoy. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.