“Gentlemen, we’ll be landing in Cozumel in about fifteen minutes.” A soft-spoken woman rested her hand on Mark’s shoulder. “Would you mind raising your seats in preparation?”
“Sure.” Mark brushed the sleep from his eyes and stretched. He must have been tired to have slept that many hours.
“Why are we landing in Cozumel?” Noah asked. “I thought we were going to Cancun.”
“My grandfather’s home is actually on the coast, south of Cancun, in Puerto Aventuras,” Mark explained. “Cozumel is the closest airport, and then we take a ferry over to the mainland.”
“Weird to be flying to an island just to take a ferry to the mainland,” Alexander said, “But okay.”
As they were gathering their carryon bags, Mark caught Hazel’s gaze from three seats down and winked at her. She turned in a huff and slung her thousand-dollar backpack over her shoulder then walked to the front of the plane ready to exit.
Mark hurried to catch up to her and stood close enough to whisper in her ear. “Does your grandfather live close to mine? Perhaps we’ll have the opportunity to see one another while we’re visiting.”
“With any luck they’ll live an hour’s drive from each other, and I won’t be anywhere near you.”
“Ah, that isn’t really what you want, is it?” His face was still dangerously close to hers and if there hadn’t been a backpack and a hoodie in between them he might have brushed his shoulder against hers or even leaned down to nuzzle her neck, out of spite of course. Not because he was attracted to her.
She turned around suddenly, lifting her chin to meet his gaze. “That is exactly what I want. To be as far away as possible from spoiled, rude princes who think they know it all.”
“I don’t know everything,” Mark said. “I don’t know your last name or your phone number.”
“Then you weren’t paying attention to who my grandfather is. And there is no way on this polluted green earth that I’ll ever give you my phone number.”
Hazel turned away and huffed.
“Facebook?” he asked. “Snapchat? Tinder?”
“You creep!” Hazel turned and smacked Mark across his face.
“Ooh!” Alexander said.
“Will she get arrested for hitting the prince?” Drew asked. “I’ve been told it’s not wise to hit the prince.”
“I think it would be wise for the prince to learn not to say inappropriate things to ladies,” Hazel challenged.
“What did you say to so thoroughly offend her, Your Highness?” Alexander asked.
“She and I will maintain that little secret between the two of us,” Mark said in a husky voice, never breaking eye contact with the snarky, feisty, intriguing young lady. “Unless she’d like to kiss and tell.”
“As if.” She turned back around, awaiting the pilot to lower the stairs and free her from his teasing.
“I hope you have a wonderful visit with your grandfather, Hazel. I look forward to seeing you again.”
She didn’t validate his comment with an answer, just pushed past the flight attendant who held out her hand indicating Hazel was free to descend the stairs.
“She hates you,” Noah said with a hearty laugh.
“Heck no,” Alexander said. “Mark my words, he will have kissed her by the time we fly back to America.”
“Would you like to turn that into a wager?” Noah asked.
“I don’t gamble,” Alexander answered.
“I’ll bet ya,” Drew said. “What are the stakes?”
“His Highness here will donate a one-hundred-dollar bill to the kitty and I get the hundred if he doesn’t kiss her before we leave, and you get the hundred if he does kiss her,” Noah said.
“How is that fair to Mark?” Alexander asked. “He gives the money yet has no chance of winning the bet.”
“If he manages to find a way to kiss her, he wins more than money,” Noah pointed out. “He wins a kiss from the Aztec Ice Princess.”
“There is zero chance of snow in this region of Mexico,” Mark said.
“But she’s from Virginia, so she’s bringin’ the ice with her,” Noah said.
“I have a sneaking suspicion I’m about to win a hundred bucks.” Drew smirked.