"Are you ready to meet with the state archaeology representative today?" He asked as I pulled a shirt over my head.

"Emailed a confirmation for eleven. I'll go get breakfast and coffee. Want the paper?"

I went down to the dining room. It wasn't overly busy yet but a few early risers were mingling about and eating at the tables. I froze when I saw the back of a man with a long brown ponytail sitting with a pretty blond. He turned and I saw that it wasn't Jonas. But still the shock had jolted me and I rushed back out to the lobby to sit down. Talking with Candice had surely caused that ghost to appear but I teared up a little and tried to catch my breath.

What was I thinking?! When had rebounding- with an ex-lover -ever turned out to be a bright idea?

If I hadn't seen Jonas by chance with Sarah, would we be sitting in that diningroom right now as a couple? How could I be wondering about that and on the other hand be contemplating if I could be with a man like Nathaniel.

If he hadn't said all that yesterday... It was my fault for bringing up the past. No, it was my fault for sleeping with him thinking there could be no consequences.

If my timing had been just a little different wouldn't I be at the museum with Jonas right now getting reading for the opening? That's right, he must be overseeing the last details of the installation. He couldn't still be on the island.

I pulled myself together and went back into the dining room.

Out at the site, I was glad of the important work of extracting the coin and the odd shell fragment. Being under the surface of the waves, with only the sound of my own breathing, nothing else made sense but to be engulfed in the beauty of it all. Keeping that to the fore of my mind helped me stay calm and focused on enjoying my work. I was still warm with Nathaniel but also glad for the professional distance we maintained while on board.

When we docked, I was calm but only because I had blocked out every thought that did not involve the present moment. Buddhists really had it figured out, but I was too shitty at meditation to keep it up once we were heading back and my composure began to crack.

As Nathaniel was talking about how many steps we needed to take to get the coin authenticated, I was starting to get stressed.

"I'll take it myself. We've got the paperwork?"

He was surprised, but I convinced him (or he relented) that the sooner it was confirmed, then the sooner he could present the findings, maybe even in time for tomorrow's skype meeting with the museum, and then he could get it written it up for the project.

"And the sooner we can make sure nothing gets disturbed when word starts creeping out that there's a new wreck."

"A courier-"

"Won't be on top of it like I will. I'll also take the shell fragment over to Natural History and see if someone can confirm your theory about the Galapagos."

Maybe in the ensuing whirlwind there was no time to piece it together but by the time he dropped me off at the airport he surely sensed something was wrong; knew I was running. I had my travel bag and the mini igloo cooler with the samples inside.

"I'll sleep on the flight and call you when I get there." I started to go.

He caught my free hand. He held my eyes and I saw that same spark I'd seen before, the what-are-you-doing-Olivia spark.

"I'll wrap up everything here and catch up to you in a few days," he said and kissed the inside of my wrist before letting go. I wanted to confess: I didn't know what I was doing. I needed the space to figure that out! But instead I turned and headed to security to start sorting out the permits.






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