Three shots of tequila and two long island iced teas were all it took to make Rocco Beckett push and pull his way upside and inside out to Ricky Martin’s international smash hit ‘Livin La Vida Loca’. Rocco did not hesitate to take the outdoor stage of Monty’s Raw Bar in Coconut Grove, Florida. The salty sea breeze of Biscayne Bay flowed over the Thursday afternoon happy hour patrons of the ocean side restaurant. Karaoke was not the usual entertainment at this tropical hotspot, but the alcohol gave Rocco the sudden urge to get up and perform for those in attendance. The late afternoon crowd of local young and trendy socialites did not pay much attention to his dancing and singing, although his group of friends found his drunkenness hilarious. 25 year old Rocco was an excellent salsa dancer, pulling a beautiful girl from the nearest table he showed off his moves to the remainder of the song. As the DJ continued to play a mix of latin and tropical music Rocco invited his new dance partner and her friends to join his group at their table.
“You are quite the dancer!” she said, still a little out of breath from the surprise and disbelief that she actually got up and danced in front of a crowd of stranger.“I taught him everything he knows!” exclaimed Rocco’s best friend Gio already flirting with two of the other girls who joined their group. “I lived in Cuba every summer since I was 10.” Rocco said as he took a seat next to the beautiful girl, “My mother moved back to her hometown of Varadero when she separated from my dad, and I spent a lot of time at a local salsa club innocently chasing the sexy salsa dancing women years out of my reach.” “My name is Daphne.” Said the beautiful, blue eyed girl as she flipped her light brown hair. “What was it like living there?” “It’s a pleasure to meet you Daphne” said Rocco with a cunning smile on his face “I lived in an ocean front home where I spent every morning collecting seashells and anything else that washed ashore overnight. Life was easygoing and tropical in contrast to the poverty and hard lives of most of the other residents. My mother’s father was a diplomat in the government and my dad owned a small airline charter company that flew around the Caribbean. That explains the nice house and me being allowed to visit Cuba.” “That sounds like a pretty adventurous lifestyle, traveling from country to country!” Said Daphne. “When is your next adventure?” “Tomorrow morning!” said Rocco leaning back in his chair and pointing to his friends at the table, “We are goin’ on a two week-long fishing and diving trip. Ever been to the Bahamas?” “Nope -- but I would love too.” Daphne said knowingly teasing Rocco. Little did he know that she had plans of her own the next morning. “We depart on Gio’s boat tomorrow morning for Bimini. From there we plan to sail to the Berry Islands, Andros, Cat Island, and the Exumas. How would you like to have dinner tomorrow night?” Daphne laughed at what Rocco was implying and said “Wont you be in Bimini?” “Bimini is only a 25 minute flight from here, you can hop on one of my flights in the afternoon and meet me at Bimini Bay Resort just in time for dinner.” Said Rocco in a very enthusiastic voice. “One of your flights? You have planes now?” Questioned Daphne. “My father’s planes, he handed over his the charter company to me just last year.” Said Rocco, not showing much emotion. “you don't seem very excited about that,” said Daphne “why did he hand over the company” “Because he is afraid of flying.” Said Rocco with an odd grin on his face as if he was amused by the irony. “Well that’s not much of a selling point Rocco. Anyways I am already on a 6:30AM flight to Nassau. You see, I was raised in Miami but I’m from South Africa and I’m only in Miami for a day because my boss has sent me to arrange his take-over of the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. So I’m afraid my business is gonna carry me in a different direction than you guys.” “Well that’s too bad.” Said Rocco. “Maybe we will run into each other again some other day.”
The September sun set on the happy hour crowd as everyone sipped their last drinks and filed out of the bar. Daphne and her friends said goodbye to Rocco and his boisterous fishing buddies.
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