It wasn’t until they got to shore and he pointed her in the direction of the long kayak that Cassie balked.
“That’s not a boat, it’s a canoe!”
“It’s not a canoe. It’s a kayak.”
“It has no motor!”
“I’m the motor.” Nick shook his head at her, wondering exactly how much she'd had to drink. “Don’t worry, I’ll have you back to the house in no time.”
“But it’s pitch-black out there! No one will see us if we drown. Will it tip over?”
“Not if you behave yourself. Come on, slip your shoes off and I’ll help you get in.”
That effort was a little tricky between Cassie's short dress and her alcohol consumption, but he finally got her settled and pushed off the beach, hopping in behind her. She squealed when the kayak rocked, and made a move to jump out.
“Sit!” He barked out the word, and she froze. “Stay still and trust me, okay?”
She settled back into her seat, tense but curious. “So you’ve done this before? Kayaked in the dark?” She hesitated. “With a girl?”
“I’ve competed in races and kayaked in four different countries. And yes, I have been out on the water with just the light of the moon to guide me.”
She turned so quickly he had to steady the craft with the paddle. “But have you been with a girl after dark?”
Was she little Cassie flirting with him right now?
“I’ve been with plenty of girls after dark.”
“But in a kayak?”
“No, sweetie, you’re my first.”
She did a fist pump that had him resting the paddle in the water again to keep them stable.
“Yes! I’m your first!”
A weird something fluttered in his chest, and he couldn't answer. Cassie sat back again, looking up at the moon as her fingers traced in and out of the water. Her voice was low and soft, as if she was talking to herself now.
“It’s beautiful out here.”
Nick swallowed hard, his eyes never leaving her.
“Yes. Yes, it is.”