Wrapping her arms around her body, India fought back the tears.
"A penny for them," a voice broke into her thoughts.
She jumped. For a brief moment, she'd had such a sense of isolation; India had forgotten her fellow survivors. Turning, she saw Grant. Though not as striking as Rafe, Grant's blond, blue-eyed, All-American looks and tall, lean body were still quite pleasing to the eye. Her gaze slowly took in every detail of his face, committing it to memory, from the way a strand of his wavy locks fell over his forehead to his square jaw, down to the cleft in his chin. She'd always had a thing for guys with those.
Maybe he was a bit too pleasing to look at for her peace of mind. Was it only yesterday she'd decided to flirt with both men? How ironic was it for the three of them to end up here together?
India took a step back from him, putting as much space between them as possible without making it too obvious. "We're on a deserted island, after surviving a plane crash. What do you think is on my mind?" she snapped before realizing how it must have sounded. It wasn't his fault they were in this situation. She sighed. "I'm sorry, it's just..."
"You're uncertain about how the three of us will get on."
She blinked. "Excuse me?" India blinked, wondering if she'd heard him correctly.
"How we're going to survive."
"Oh." Her cheeks grew hot. For a moment she thought he'd said how the three of them would get it on. Where in the world had that thought come from? She felt like an idiot and was thankful she hadn't said more.
Granted it had been a long time since she'd had sex, but now wasn't the appropriate time to allow her hormones to run rampant. Looking away from him, she tried to steer the conversation to safer territory. "Is Rafe awake?"
"He was just stirring when I got up. He's always been able to sleep like the dead, no matter where we are."
"You seem pretty familiar with his sleeping habits. Are you two--" India broke off, wanting to kick herself. Why did she keep putting her foot in her mouth? "I'm sorry. That's none of my business."
Grant threw his head back and released a loud belly laugh. "It's okay. No, we're not gay, just best friends; actually closer, like brothers, I'd say. We've known each other since we were kids and we were roommates in college. I can't tell you how many times I've crashed at his place and he mine for various reasons, so I guess I would be familiar with his sleeping habits."
A faint smile touched her lips. She could very easily envy the special bond they shared. "It must be nice to have a close friend like that."
He raised a dark blond brow. "That was a wistful statement if I've ever heard one. Don't you have close friends?"
"Honestly? No. I was a bit of a loner in school. I was gangly, buck-toothed, awkward and shy. People weren't exactly lining up to be my friend."
"I find that hard to believe. A gorgeous woman like yourself?"
Most times she was uncomfortable with comments about her looks because in her mind, she was still the skinny, shapeless girl with no looks to speak of that she used to be, but from Grant, the words warmed her. She smiled. "You're sweet for saying so, but it's true. I didn't have many friends growing up. I was too busy trying to live up to the impossible standards my parents had set for me. Don't get me wrong, I've had friends, but a lot of them I've lost touch with over the years. I've made some good acquaintances I may occasionally see outside of work, but I haven't formed the kind of friendship you and Rafe obviously have."
"Did someone mention my name?"
As if she'd conjured him up, Rafe joined them on the beach. The stubble on his golden face was more pronounced this morning, and it only served to heighten his masculinity. Her heart beat faster. It was bad enough dealing with her attraction to Grant, but having the two of them next to her was doing things to her libido that she wouldn't have thought possible.
India crossed her arms over her chest, hoping they didn't notice her nipples tightening. "W-we were just talking about friends." She was unable to tear her gaze away from his macho, hair-roughened face.
Rafe gave her a brilliant white smile. "I hope you count me among one of yours."
"We barely know each other," she squeaked.
"Sweetheart, I have the feeling we'll be getting to know each other quite well, until we're rescued or find a way off this island."
India probably would have analyzed his prediction more closely had she not been reminded of their predicament. His words had her crashing back to reality. There was no telling whether they would find a way off or be found. She didn't want to panic, but her knees grew weak from nerves and her hands began to shake.
"Oh God, we're screwed." She bit her bottom lip to hold back a cry.
Grant strode over to India and gave her a gentle shake. "There's no point in taking that defeatist attitude. Yes, things look pretty grim right now, but I'm sure when the plane didn't arrive at its destination, someone would've sent some kind of search unit to scour the nearby islands for survivors. Until then, we'll need to gather supplies to hold us over." He pulled away, his hands falling from her arms as if he'd been shocked.
She'd felt it too. Unable to meet his gaze, she merely nodded in agreement.
"That makes sense," Rafe concurred. "I only hope it doesn't take too long for someone to find us.
India couldn't agree more. How would they last this far from civilization? What would they do for food? How would they bathe? A million questions ran through her mind, but she kept her thoughts to herself, not wanting to sound like a whiner. She was sure the two men had concerns of their own. Besides, complaining wouldn't help the situation.
She wrung her hands in front of her. "What do you suggest we do first? Maybe we could make a giant SOS sign in the sand?"
Grant nodded. "We can do that, but I think we should start looking for a fresh water supply. I know this isn't what anyone wants to hear, but we're going to need to prepare ourselves for a long stay."
India's heart sank. He was right. She didn't want to hear it.
Rafe's expression went bleak, but he simply rubbed his chin as though in deep thought; finally he said, "I believe I saw some coconut trees when we arrived here yesterday, so if that's the case, they'd supply us with both food and drink until we find something else."
Not wanting to be the only one to not contribute to the conversation she suggested, "We'll need fire. It was freezing last night."
"Good idea." Grant gave her a slow smile, revealing deep dimples. Lord, did he have to have a cleft and dimples? Were these men trying to send her into hormone overload? Now wasn't the time to notice how handsome either one of the men were because the situation didn't call for it. Different in looks as night and day, one with smooth Latin looks, while the other had the hot boy-next-door appeal, India realized her ass was in trouble.