Now this is the life, he thought.
John took one last dip in the clear warm water and then shrugged his way out of the ocean, heading towards his chair. The sand was soft, white and not quite hot enough to burn. He gave himself a quick rub with the towel, then stretched out on the chaise lounge and let the sun's warmth wash over his body.
Two weeks. He smiled. Two whole weeks of nothing but sun, sea and food. He reached for his sunglasses and slid them on, never turning his face away from the warmth. Before he'd gotten here, he'd sometimes wondered if he'd ever see the sun at a time other than sunrise or sunset...
Work is done, he reminded himself, and you shouldn't think about it any more.
Good advice, he decided. Instead, he'd think about long walks on the beach, sleeping as late as he liked, and having the odd rum and coke as he enjoyed fourteen days of doing not much of anything in particular. That would be heaven after the last two months at work. It was all he wanted, and all he intended to do.
Although, he considered as he fell into a half-doze, it might be nice if he had someone to do nothing with. Also, if someone could tell him what to do with all this nothing, which got a little overwhelming, that would be appreciated.
His holiday had been the light at the end of two-month-long tunnel, and he'd all but crossed off the calendar days as they passed. His shoulders had felt more and more relaxed the closer the plane got to his destination, and the idea of a string of days away from computers and unmarred by fluorescent lights was the next best thing to the Holy Grail. However...
He had to admit he wasn't good with unscheduled time. He much preferred to have a schedule or routine, or at least something on the agenda for the day. It was one of the reasons he did so well at work: someone told him what to do. I should have lined up some tours, he thought. Made sure I had something to do besides lie here.
After a quick doze, he woke to find the sun had lowered a bit and he was thirsty. After a languorous stretch, he pushed himself off the chaise and headed to the beach bar. With a margarita in hand, he returned to the chaise, settled back down and tried to relax. He sipped at the tart drink and stared out over the water, wondering how he was going to fill his time for the next twelve days.
"Excuse me, is this one taken?"
John looked up at the sound of the voice and for a moment, his mouth went dry. Then he recovered himself. "No, not at all." He reached down to drag the end of his towel closer to his own lounge. "Please."
"Thank you." She lowered herself onto the chaise and John had to swallow a groan. Her bottom was perfect, round and smooth under her blue bikini. "The beach is so crowded, I should have come earlier." She smiled.
"Not a problem." John smiled back and moved a leg to hide the erection that had sprung up.
"Oh, by the way, my name is Sofia." She held out a hand.
He took it, lingering over the long, tapered fingers. "Nice to meet you. I'm John."
His mouth watered at the sight of her. Her skin was a light, even tan, and he suspected there were no tan lines. She had a body that some might call plump or full-figured, but he could only think of it as lush, with soft curves that cried out to be caressed.
Back off, he told himself. You can't proposition a woman you've exchanged less than ten words with.
"Well, nice to meet you, John." She smiled again and her full lips parted to show lovely white teeth. Her tongue flashed out over her lips and he bit back another moan.
She turned back to her bag and John took advantage to lean back, close his eyes and concentrate on the sun and sound of the ocean; anything that would distract him from dwelling on Sofia and possibly embarrassing himself.
"Is that a margarita?"
It took a minute for him to realize she'd spoken to him. "Pardon? Oh, yes. I got it from the bar just down there." He gestured toward the thatch-roofed kiosk a hundred or so feet down the beach.
"Get me one, please."
John raised an eyebrow at her clipped tone, then nodded. "Of course. Any special requests?"
"Just a splash of lime juice, but a lot of salt." She spared him a brief glance before returning to the magazine resting on her smooth, tan stomach.
John quelled a pang of desire and nodded. "Right back."
God, she's perfect. John gave into a small groan as he walked over to the bar. Beautiful and assertive. My dream woman. Then he laughed at himself. How much could he tell from that exchange? She might not be assertive at all; she might just be a spoiled brat.
He ordered her margarita at the bar and another one for himself, and strode back to the chairs, wondering what her reaction would be.
"Here you are." John held her glass out, waiting for her to take it before he sat down.
"Thank you." Sofia reached up and wrapped her fingers around the stem of the glass, brushing John's as she did.
He bit the inside of his cheek and willed his body not to react to the soft skin and light touch. When she had taken the glass, he sat down. He took a sip of his own drink, watching her all the while.
Sofia swirled the liquid for a moment before putting her soft, full lips to the rim and taking a sip. John watched, riveted, as she pursed her lips and swallowed, the long, elegant muscles of her neck moving ever so slightly. His hands itched to stroke that smooth, tan skin, to follow the line of her neck down to her shoulder first with his finger, then with his tongue.
Shaking his head, he forced himself to sit back and look out over the ocean again. You need to get a grip, my friend, he told himself.
Sofia had made him curious, though, and so he turned to her. "How is the drink?"
"It's fine. You did well."
John nodded, unsure how to respond. The assertive—bossy, even—tone seemed odd, but he liked it. Sofia appeared to sense his uncertainty and turned to him with a smile.
"I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound abrupt. My job requires that kind of tone, and sometimes I forget to switch it off." She gave a low, sultry laugh that rolled through John's body and sent all his blood south. "Part of the reason I came on vacation was to get out of that habit."
"You don't necessarily have to switch it off all the time." John chose his words, testing the waters. "I find assertive women to be quite attractive, myself."
"Do you?" Sofia raised one eyebrow into a perfect arch.
"I do." John nodded. "I much prefer a woman who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to say so. It's sexy, if you don't mind my saying so."
"I don't mind." Her eyes roamed over John's body. He took deep breaths, trying to appear relaxed, only moving one leg to hide the evidence of his excitement. "Looks like you don't mind, either."
John cleared his throat and met her eyes. "No, I don't. You are the sexiest woman I've seen in a long time."
She let out a deep, rich laugh, but her eyes stayed focused on him. "I'll bet you've said that to at least half a dozen women since you got here." She gestured up and down the beach. "There is no shortage of women, most of who would be ... smaller than I, and more attractive."
He shook his head. "I prefer a woman who ... looks like a woman. Like you."
"Really?" She shifted in her seat so that her legs draped over the side, her feet resting on the soft white sand.
John's attention drifted down, then jerked back up when she cleared her throat, with a stop on the way for her breasts. The pale blue bikini top only accentuated the tanned skin, and the valley between them begged him to trail a finger, or better yet, his tongue, along the smooth surface. With a slight shake of his head, he met her eyes.
"You don't believe me?" he asked with the trace of a smile.
"Convince me." Her voice was low, but the order was unmistakable.
John nodded, but didn't reply right away. He knew this was a test, and although he didn't know the reward, he wanted to pass. He took his time and chose his answer with care. She wasn't saying, Convince me that I'm sexy. Instead, John knew she was saying, Convince me that you're worthy of me.
After a few moments, he was ready and lifted his green eyes to meet her sparkling brown ones.
"It doesn't matter, on the face of it, whether a woman is thin or not, whether she is tall or short. What matters is how she carries herself. I could tell you—and I'm sure others have—that your long, dark hair feels like silk; that your skin smells like coconuts and feels like satin; that your legs make my mouth water.
"But who has told you that the way you walk shows how much you are in control, and how much you like it? And who has told you they have found that attractive?"
John took a breath; Sofia's eyes were fixed on him. Her breathing was more rapid, but it was the only reaction she made. He felt as though there was no one else on the whole beach; as though they were alone in their own world.
"Who has told you that what they want most is to let you exercise that control over them? That nothing is more attractive, more exciting, than the idea of catering to your wishes?" He leaned forward and lowered his voice. "Who has told you that the only thing greater than their desire to touch you, is their desire for you to tell them to do so?"
He sat back and waited for her to speak.
.... There is more of this story ...