14 Protecting Arabella's Heart

Tyler's POV

I didn't expect to enjoy selling so many souvenirs at Lubella's shop. I couldn't deny it was a wonderful experience for me, and the joy that I feel is raw knowing that I needed to convince customers using my charm.

It was satisfying, and I wish I could do something like this with Ara every day, but I need to go to work by tomorrow, and this would be my last day to enjoy my free time. I feel so glad that I was able to meet Ara in my life and experience this kind of emotion.

"Hey, you don't need to sell these products, this is our family shop, and the future CEO of the Perfect Blue Island Resort And Spa should not be seen here calling customers, " Ara said, and I smiled at her.

"Are you kidding me? This is amazing!" I said while I waved my hands at some chicks who passed by, and when they saw me, they took a second glance and turned around to look at the beautiful handmade souvenirs hung around the shop.

"Tyler!" The girls giggled.

"Why are you here?" One of the girls asked while Arabella was smiling in front of the cash register.

"I am helping my girlfriend sell these products," I replied, and I could see the disappointment on their faces. Still, when I smiled at them and convinced them to buy beaded bracelets with dolphin and mermaid designs and anklets with letter initials that they could choose, they were back to being excited to try the products.

"Do you think this is good for me?" The lady wearing a red jumpsuit asked me, and I nodded and gave her one of my sweetest smiles.

"Yes, that is suitable for you since it will complement your outfit," I responded, and she smiled at me seductively.

The three of them walked out of the shop with beautiful smiles, and when I looked at Arabella, she was smiling from ear to ear.

"What?" I asked.

"Well, at the end of the day, I am sure I will not only sell our products, but one of those girls will take you home." She replied, and I laughed.

"Haven't you heard? I told those girls I am helping out my girlfriend, and I am glad they still buy something." I stated, and I could see the blush on her face right after mentioning the girlfriend word.

"Of course, your dimples alone could hypnotize them," Arabella mumbled, and I walked closer to her; I lifted her chain to look at her mesmerizing eyes.

"Are you hypnotized by my dimples, Ara?" I asked, and damn, I could have kissed her here in the shop, and I am only controlling myself. Those perfect, kissable lips are making me crazy, especially when she bites her lower lip, they look so enticing, and I want to taste them once again, but I know I have to control myself to gain Ara's trust.

I am aware Matthew has hurt her, and I am glad she is smiling as if nothing happened, but I could tell Arabella was hiding the pain in her heart, and I am desperate to take all her pains away.

I know Ara doesn't want to show she is hurting, and I get that, and I would be here to alleviate the pain that she feels. I never felt this way before where I wanted to protect someone badly, not after what happened to Emily and me.

"Are you okay?" I heard Ara ask, and I snapped back to the present as I tried to keep my memories of Emily hidden deep inside me.

"Yes, I am; I am just happy that you allow me to stay here at your shop for the rest of the day," I said.

"Are you sure you want to spend your time with me?" She asked in disbelief, and I smiled as I nodded my head at her.

"Yeah, I like the view here," I said as I gave her an intense gaze, and she blushed again, and she looked so adorable right now that I had to look away so I could control myself.

"Wow! I couldn't believe you sold half of the stock this morning alone, and this is amazing, guys." Mrs. Ravalli said the moment she returned from Sapphire, and I could tell she was so happy with our performance for the day.

"Does it mean I can take the afternoon off?" Ara asked her mom, and I felt so happy because I could have her time alone this afternoon.

"Of course, you can enjoy your time with Tyler this afternoon, and I know you are excited to swim; it has been a long time since you last visited here on the Island. Can you at least stay here this summer, Ara?" Her mom pleaded, and I could see the hesitation on her face before she replied to her mother.

"Mom, you know I needed to work this summer. I will be in college next opening of classes, and I need to save more money. If I could only find a job here, maybe I would stay." She stated.

"And you know what happened between my sister and me; I don't think I can stay here that long, mom, and the house is too small for Lucy and me," Arabella added, and I couldn't stop engaging myself in their conversation.

"Ara, you can work in our resort this summer, we are hiring extra staff, and I could give you a slot," I said, and she smiled at me.

"Are you sure about that? Are you even here during summer?" She asked, and I laughed. I haven't told her I am working in our resort now as the Operations Manager.

Most of the girls knew I would be traveling abroad most of the time, but after what happened to Emily and me, my dad decided I should stay here on the Perfect Blue Island. I was reluctant at first, but now that I have met Ara, it feels like working at the resort would be the best choice.

"Yeah, just for you, I am willing to stay on the island," I replied, making her mom giggle.

"Oh, thank you, dear. I have been dying to have Ara here on the island. Since her father died, I could tell she avoided staying here on the island. That is why she chose to finish her high school education on the mainland. I know her part-time job was just an alibi." Arabella's mom told me when Ara went to the restroom.

"I could say I am close with my daughter, but she was closer to her dad. Would you please convince her to stay, Tyler?" Her mom added, and I nodded my head.

"Don't worry, Mrs.Ravalli. I would do everything I can to ask her to work in our resort, besides it offers a good salary and reasonable amount of tips from the guests." I replied.

"And if she wants, she could stay at the resort. We have a staff house for our employees, and you can visit her anytime. If Ara still wanted to avoid Matt and Lucy." I added.

"Of course, I know what Lucy had done was crazy, but she won't listen to me, it is her schedule today, but I am aware she won't come to the shop. She had been absent lately after she got involved with Matthew." Ara's mom said, and I didn't know what to say, so I remained silent.

"Thank you, Ty. I know you make it less painful for my daughter to cope with her break up with Matt, and I couldn't thank you enough for making her smile even if her sister and boyfriend had fooled her." She added.

"Don' worry, Ma'am, I will try my best to help her the best way," I replied, and she smiled at me.

"Are you guys talking about me?" Ara asked the moment she joined us because we suddenly fell silent. But I shook my head as I tried to contain my laughter.

We said goodbye to her mom, and I held her hand as we went to the parking lot. I was surprised when she suddenly stepped back, and when I looked around, I found Matthew with Lucy; I could tell they were on their way to the souvenir shop, but I squeezed her hand, and we continued to walk towards my car.

"So, you are trying to make us believe you are a couple now?" Matt said the moment he came to us, while Lucy followed behind him.

"My relationship with Arabella has nothing to do with you, Matthew, you cheated on her, and now you pretended to be so concerned about Ara? Come on, Matt, you need to grow up, bro." I said, and he was about to come near me, but I didn't walk away. I let go of Ara's hand just in case he tried to hit me again.

"Matthew, please leave us alone. I gave you your freedom to be with Lucy; what do you want from me now? Why can't you accept I am happy with Ty." Ara came between us, and Matt was looking at her with tenderness.

I could tell from the way Matt looked at Ara he was still in love with her, and I know Matthew was only tempted with Lucy because if he cared about Ara's sister, he would not bother to come to us.

"Ara, I know what we had was over, but I couldn't accept you will replace me with the heartbreaker of the island." Matt snarled, and Ara half-laughed.

"Are you kidding me, Matthew? Tyler didn't break my heart, and it was you. So, I don't think it is appropriate to call him the heartbreaker." Ara said, and I saw him step back.

"You are better than this, Ara." He mumbled while I felt Ara take my hand, and she laced her fingers with mine as we made our way to my car, and I opened the passenger's door for her.

Now, I could say she needed me; even if she looked strong, I knew Ara was still hurting every time she saw Lucy and Matthew together, and I wanted to be with her, and I couldn't explain why I felt the need to protect Arabella's heart from hurting.

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