Jessica Williams sighed in resignation as she entered the restaurant to meet her family and friends. The sigh was caused when she read her sister’s text. It informed her James (not Jim) Calhoun would be in attendance at dinner. Jessica had hoped to enjoy a drama free vacation, her first since her freshman year in college, eight years prior. She really didn’t feel up to dealing with the dominating personality of the man so intent on making her his wife.
“It could be a lot worse, Jess,” pointed out her best friend and fellow MD, Willow Barkley. “Hell, we made it through four years of med school and we’re still facing the joys of residency. You can handle it. Mr. James Calhoun’s style may be a bit heavy handed, but he’s very wealthy and he adores you. Everyone should have your problems.”
“I’m not really complaining, Willow,” responded Jessica. “I’ll probably have a great time this week. It’s just that he’s a bit overbearing at times. He always wants to control everything, right down to what vegetables I eat. I’d like to be able to just relax for a few days.”
“Now I think you’re exaggerating a little.” Willow chuckled. “Let’s find your family’s table and get something to eat. I’m starved!”
“Hello, ladies. Can I help you?” asked a male voice originating from Willow’s left.
Jessica was unable to see the speaker since he was off to the left side of the doorway, but it was obvious that Willow was quite impressed. Her mouth hung open and her face flushed as she openly stared. Jessica had to nudge Willow gently so she would move ahead a step. She managed to gain access to the interior and soon discovered what had flummoxed Willow so thoroughly.
“We’re here to meet my family,” managed Jessica as she forced herself to not stare at the man standing in front of her. He was wearing the typical white shirt and dark vest she had seen on countless waiters and waitresses over the years. She had to admit to herself she had never before seen a man make the outfit look so sexy.
“That would be the Williams family?” the man stated more than asked. “They’ve already been seated and are waiting for your arrival. Please follow me.”
By this time, Willow had regained her equilibrium and almost stepped on Jessica in her haste to remain close to the man directing them to their table. For her part, Jessica felt brief annoyance at her friend for cutting her off so effectively. Jessica felt a small smile on her face as she replayed her friend’s reaction when she first saw the handsome waiter, or maitre d’, or whatever he was. She and Willow had been friends since the first day of med school and Jessica had never before seen her tongue tied.
Jessica spotted her family sitting at a large table near the back of the restaurant and waved to them. She broke into an even bigger grin when she saw how her eighteen year old sister stared intently at the man leading Willow and her to their table.
James suddenly stood and hurried toward Jessica. In his haste and with his typical disdain, he bumped into the maitre d’ rather roughly as he reached out to hug her. Jessica saw the surprise flash across James’ face when he appeared to carom slightly to the side from the contact. James had played rugby in college and was accustomed to other men bouncing off his muscular frame.
The surprise on James’ face quickly morphed to a big smile as he wrapped Jessica in his arms and kissed her on the lips. That was not the greeting Jessica had expected. It was a public setting and she felt her face turn red from embarrassment as James finally stepped back and held her at arm’s length while slowly surveying her from head to toe.
“You’re more beautiful every time I see you,” declared James as he tightly gripped Jessica’s arms. “We’re going to have a great time in this quaint little one horse town this week. If we get too bored we can drive up the coast a few hours and go to some clubs, or maybe find a concert.”
Even as Jessica listened to James speak, she noticed Willow placing a hand on the waiter’s arm and warmly thanking him for showing her to the table. Jessica wondered to herself why Willow’s actions irritated her. Her sister, Heather, didn’t even try to hide her annoyance at Willow. As the handsome man helped Willow with her chair, Heather reached over and gently rubbed his arm to get his attention.
“Could you ask our server to bring another Coke for me? I’m eighteen and expect to talk Mom and Dad into allowing me wine with dinner before long. I’ll be a freshman in college this fall,” concluded Heather as she continued to gently slide her hand over the man’s arm.
“You’ll have to release his arm if you expect him to pass that request on to our waitress,” suggested Jessica’s mother as she looked meaningfully from her younger daughter to the arm she was caressing.
“Don’t worry, Mom. I’m not hurting him,” laughed Heather before once again turning her attention to the good looking man. “When she brings my drink, tell her to ask for Heather. That’s me.”
“I’d like a nice rum and coke,” stated Willow as she briefly glanced at Heather. “Tell your wait staff it’s for Willow, the woman who just graduated from medical school.”
“Of course,” replied the maitre d’ as he smiled to the two women. “Heather, the college freshman, would like another Coke. Willow, the newly minted doctor, would like a rum and Coke.
“What can I get for you, Miss?” asked the man when he turned his attention to Jessica. She was about to sit so he quickly stepped behind her chair and guided it under the table.
“Thank you,” smiled Jessica. “I’d like a margarita, please.”
Once the maitre d’ left, Jessica’s mother spoke to Heather. “Sweetheart, he’s a delightful looking man, but he’s a bit old for you. You’ll be meeting quite a few boys closer to your age this week, and in college.”
“The key word being ‘boys’, not men,” retorted Heather. “I’ve never seen a guy as handsome as that waiter. He’s tanned, rugged and confident. Boys don’t compare to guys like that.”
“Are you kidding me?” laughed James. “He’s a loser! He’s pushing thirty and working as a waiter. That’s okay for a boy your age, but by the time you hit thirty, you should have something to show for your life.”
“You mean like your father’s business?” retorted Heather before her mother managed to silence her.
“Heather! Snide remarks like that are beneath you,” chastised Mrs. Williams. “James has done very well. I’m sure he would have been successful regardless of where his career took him. There’s certainly no shame in taking over the family business.”
“I apologize,” relented Heather immediately, which caused Jessica to wonder about the sincerity of the apology. Her sister was not one to back down on any issue.
“So, Dave, that was a very attractive woman you just escorted to a table,” teased Diane to her brother when he returned to the front of the restaurant. “Did you manage to get her number?”
“She was too busy trying to swallow her boyfriend’s tonsils to give it to me,” chuckled Dave. “Both her friend and her sister seemed a lot more willing to share their information. The friend is actually a doctor. She told me she just finished medical school.”
“You work pretty fast,” observed Diane. “She told you that while you were taking her to her table?”
“Yeah. She and the other woman’s sister, who’s a freshman in college and eighteen, by the way, were a little overenthusiastic in their interactions with the hired help.”
“I don’t have to tell you that eighteen is still too young for you, do I? You’ll be thirty in a year. A girl ten years younger than you would kill you within a month,” asserted Diane.
“Possibly, but what a way to go!” responded Dave with an exaggerated sigh.
“It looks like the young man is very friendly with that beautiful woman next to him,” observed Mrs. Williams as Jessica and Willow studied the menu. “Men that good looking are seldom on the open market very long.”
“So you admit he’s handsome?” quizzed Heather. “That woman’s probably his sister or something. She won’t be any competition.”
As Heather finished speaking, their waitress arrived at the table with the drink orders and a big smile. “Rum and Coke for Willow, the doctor. A Coke for Heather, eighteen and a freshman in college, and a margarita for the pretty woman with the boyfriend.”
“I’m not sure I care for your attitude,” declared James as he glared at the waitress. “We’re substantial people and expect to be treated with respect. We certainly don’t want to be part of the kitchen help’s little fantasy world.”
“I’m very sorry, Sir,” apologized the suddenly nervous waitress. “Can I take your orders now?”
Jessica noticed her father’s face had darkened at James’ treatment of their server, but he said nothing as the ladies placed their orders. James interrupted Jessica before she finished placing hers. “I think the broccoli would be a better selection this time of year. There’s no telling how old the corn is, or how far it traveled to get here.”
“Holy crap!” gasped Willow before breaking into gales of laughter. “That was too funny!”
“Why would suggesting broccoli rather than corn cause so much mirth?” asked a confused James.
“As we were coming in the door, Jessica said you’d try to tell her what vegetable to eat and you just did! Talk about controlling,” laughed Willow as a very embarrassed Jessica squirmed in her seat.
James’ face went dark for a second as he studied Willow. He weighed the wisdom of verbally berating her in front of Jessica’s family and decided it would not help his cause. Then he noticed the waitress was unsuccessfully trying to maintain a straight face!
“You’re laughing at us again!” declared James to the suddenly sober faced woman. “I want to speak to the manager immediately. We’re not going to put up with this kind of behavior from the help.”
“Yes, Sir!” sobbed the young woman as she hurried away.
Jessica was beyond mortified at James’ treatment of their server. She glanced at her father and realized he was upset as well. Heather was staring down at her plate while Willow as looking at James in shock.
“What bug crawled up your ass? I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Williams,” apologized Willow to Jessica’s parents before continuing, “but that girl was just doing her job. There was no reason to go off on her because you’re afraid to try it with me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed in a restaurant in my life!”
“Is there a problem?” asked a well dressed woman in her fifties. “Sarah said that you wanted to speak to the manager. This is my restaurant, so feel free to speak to me.”
Jessica admired the control the woman exhibited. She was obviously an experienced business woman and was comfortable handling the situation. Something about the woman looked familiar, but Jessica was too upset to dwell on what that might be.
“Your waitress lacks proper respect for superiors. She was trying to laugh at these ladies and make them feel foolish,” replied James before anyone else could comment. “You need to fire her immediately or we’ll take our business elsewhere.”
“I see,” replied the owner calmly. “In that case, your drinks are on the house. Now I have to ask you to leave the premises once you have finished them. No one dictates personnel decisions to me. Sarah has been with us for over two years and she’s one of our best waitresses.”
“You’re asking us to leave?” repeated an incredulous James. “Have you lost your mind? I spent more on my clothes last year than that little bitch will ever make. I demand an apology!”
“And I’m asking you to leave this restaurant,” repeated the owner firmly.
“I’ve had enough! Come on, Jess, let’s get the hell out of this shithole,” seethed James as he reached for Jessica’s hand.
“I won’t be leaving with you, James. I don’t know what I ever saw in you, but I was mistaken,” stated Jessica with emotion. “Please leave and do me the courtesy of never contacting me again.”
Jessica’s pronouncement pushed James completely over the edge. “You miserable slut! You’re turning me down? Maybe I should tell ‘mommy’ what a lousy cock sucker you are. I’ve fucked...”
“I think you’ve managed to make a complete ass of yourself,” interrupted the infuriatingly calm maitre d’ as he placed himself between James and Jessica. “We don’t want to hear another word out of your lying mouth. Just get the hell out.”
Perhaps if James had given it some thought, he might have realized the scene he had created, or the mistake he was about to make. Being unaccustomed to rejection, James was far from rational as he stood and took a roundhouse swing the damn ‘hired help’.
Dave easily avoided the punch. As the fist went past his head, he simply grabbed James by the wrist of his other hand, jammed it behind his back and then pushed it up. James had to bend forward to prevent his opponent from breaking his arm or dislocating his shoulder. Dave proceeded to frog walk James across the dining room and toward the door. Diane gave her brother a big smile as she held the door open for him.
Jessica’s father was concerned about how the situation would develop once James was released in the parking lot, so he followed the two men to the door. Dave gave James a little shove as soon as they left the confines of the restaurant and he went sprawling face first in the parking lot. Once he got his feet back under him, James turned and shouted in Dave’s direction.
“Your daughter’s still a damn slut! She couldn’t get enough of my cock!”
“That’s an indication you have a small cock,” retorted Dave as he stood on the sidewalk watching to see if James intended to re-enter the restaurant.
Hearing guffaws, Dave turned to see Mr. Williams flinch while several other people who had gathered to watch the scene chuckled softly. Dave then noticed Jessica standing in the doorway behind her father. Her face was ashen and she trembled as she leaned against the doorjamb.
Sensing James lacked the heart to continue the fight, Dave turned his back on the defeated man, walked past the father and wrapped an arm around the distraught woman. He spoke quietly to her as he led her back to her family’s table. Jessica could no longer contain her tears as she took in the expressions of pity from her mother and sister. Ashamed and embarrassed, she began to sob heavily. Dave simply pulled her into his arms and stroked her back as she cried into his chest.
The restaurant owner, Dave’s mother, signaled for Diane to join them as Jessica’s crying began to subside. “Take this girl upstairs and help her out. Take as long as you need.
“My daughter will look after the young lady. You folks now have a choice to make. Do you wish to dine here with Sarah as your server, or would you prefer to leave?”
“We’ll stay if you’ll allow us, Ma’am,” answered Jessica’s father as he returned to the table. “We owe both you and Sarah a heartfelt apology. Is this young man your son?”
“Dave is my son. I’m Gail Sanders, the owner of this establishment,” offered the woman as she beamed at the young man standing at her side. “His twin sister, Diane, just went upstairs with your daughter. She’ll take good care of her.”
“I knew she was his sister!” proclaimed Heather. “Did you see how easily he handled James? I wish I had a video of that to show my friends!”
“I can help you with that,” announced a young man from a nearby table. “I knew Dave wasn’t going to let that guy get away with yelling insults at a lady, so I had my phone out and recorded it all. Give me your number and I’ll send it to you.”
Heather quickly moved to the next table to exchange phone numbers with the boy who had recorded the video. Soon the two were sharing contact information.
“Son, have you been in the military?” asked Jessica’s father, Ben, as he closely studied Dave.
Seeing her son simply nod to the older man in response to his question, Gail expanded on her son’s answer with obvious pride. “Dave was in the Marines and served two tours in Iraq. He was highly decorated and...”
“Mother! These people don’t want to hear my life history. I’ll tell Sarah to come back to take your orders, everyone. Thanks for dining at The Moonlight Bay House,” concluded Dave before heading toward the kitchen to find Sarah.
Above the dining area, Jessica was surprised at how large and well decorated Diane’s apartment was. She immediately noticed several photos of Diane with the handsome maitre d’ and asked about him.
“Is this man your boyfriend, or husband? He’s certainly good looking. These photographs are lovely,” managed Jessica as she looked over the pictures on Diane’s wall.
“I’ve been asked that my entire life,” laughed Diane. “Dave’s my twin brother. Mom and Dad own the restaurant and we help out when we can. I share the apartment with Dave. There are three bedrooms, so there’s even room for company.”
“Oh! He’s your brother?” repeated Jessica as she mulled over the information Diane had just given her. “I have to thank him for being so kind to me when that jackass ex-boyfriend of mine made that embarrassing scene. He must think I’m a total slut.”
“My name’s Diane, by the way. I’m sure Dave thinks you’re a beautiful woman that made a bad choice. He’d never think poorly of you.”
“Even when he heard my boyfriend announced to my parents that I was a lousy cock sucker that couldn’t get enough of his cock?” asked Jessica with tears once again running down her cheeks.
“Well my brother might be disappointed that you’re not a good cock sucker, but he’d never make you feel badly about it. Just don’t expect a second date,” stated Diane with a straight face.
“Don’t expect a second date?” gasped Jessica before she realized Diane was teasing her. “It would take a lot more than one date to find out what a lousy cock sucker I am, although he really is good looking!”
“That’s what I call playing hard to get. Make him wait till the second date!” laughed Diane. “Seriously, you don’t have to worry about anything your ex told your family, or Dave. No one expects a woman your age to be a virgin.”
“I almost qualify as one,” replied Jessica ruefully. “I just completed medical school and I’ve seen a lot of naked men. My impression of James is he’s pretty much on the low end of the spectrum, if you get my meaning. He told my father I couldn’t get enough of his cock. Your brother told him it must be small if that was the case. James is the only man I ever slept with, but I’m under the opinion he’s really not a very good lover. I really didn’t enjoy the sex very much.”
“That speaks volumes about your former boyfriend!” observed Diane. “With the right man, it’s something you very much enjoy, and you’ll be eagerly looking forward to the next time. I bet James was a selfish lover, and wasn’t much at eating pussy either.”
“He never actually did that,” admitted Jessica. “I asked a time or two, but he wasn’t interested. Do most men do that?”
“They do if they want to jump into bed with me!” laughed Diane. “I never had a guy refuse and usually they’d do it without being asked.”
“I guess you’ve had a lot more experience than I have. I was always studying to get the marks for medical school. Then I met James and he sort of swept me off my feet. He’s a very strong personality,” stated Jessica.
“Yeah, he’s a controlling prick. I’ve had a half-dozen lovers over the years and I never had one yell insults at me or my parents when we broke up,” admitted Diane. “Of course, the guys all knew my brother would kick their ass if they tried something like that. I think your ex even figured that out.”
“You seem to be very fond of your brother,” pointed out Jessica. “It’s nice to see siblings get along so well.”
“Dave’s a really good brother,” responded Diane. “We’ve always had each other’s backs. Every girl he ever met hated me until they discovered I was his sister and not his girlfriend. We still spend a lot of time doing things together, so strangers naturally assume we’re dating. I guess most brothers and sisters don’t hang out as much as we do.”
“My friend, Willow, and my sister, Heather, were practically drooling over him when he showed us to our table. I thought they were going to get into a catfight over him.”
“Speaking of your sister and friend, we should get back downstairs. Dave just texted me that your dinner is ready and your family is waiting for you,” replied Diane as she looked at her phone.
“Just let me fix my makeup and I’ll go back and face the music,” answered Jessica as she stepped into the bathroom.
Sarah waited until Jessica returned to her table before serving everyone. Dave helped by carrying several meals on a large tray. Jessica received hugs from her parents, sister and Willow before taking her seat. Dave once again guided her chair under the table for her.
“Thank you, Dave, for being so kind to me,” Jessica managed without tearing up.
Once the servers left and the family was finally enjoying a somewhat subdued meal, Willow spoke. “Has anyone noticed Jessica came in here with a boyfriend, dumped him and now she’s working on her next one? She plucked the very guy her sister and I were setting our sights on!”
“Willow! That didn’t happen, at least not the part about me stealing the guy you and Heather were flirting with,” protested Jessica.
“It’s okay with me, Sis. James was a total ass and I’m glad you dumped him. Tomorrow, I’m meeting the guy sitting at the next table on the beach,” revealed Heather. “He’s going to show me around this week. You can deal me out of the maitre d’ contest.”
“We did break up, but James pretty much dumped me. I certainly didn’t get a new boyfriend while I was being dumped. What man would want me after the things James said?” wondered Jessica.
“I would say a very good looking one,” quipped Willow. “He knows James is full of shit.”
“Is that the way you’re going to speak to your patients?” asked Jessica’s mother, Nancy. “You may want to work on your communication skills.”
“They kept telling me that during my rotations,” laughed Willow. “I’m working on it, but it’s not easy to break lifelong habits. My father is a firefighter and a pretty plain talker, if you know what I mean. I guess I got that from him, but he’s the best dad in the world.”
“Mom and Dad?” began Jessica. “I’m sorry you had to hear what James said about me. I hope you don’t think I’m some kind of slut.”
“Jess, you’re a beautiful young woman that just graduated from medical school. We’re nothing but extremely proud of you. Learn from your mistakes and move on,” advised her father.
“I’m just glad you finally stood up to that pompous ass,” added her mother, Nancy Williams. “He was extremely overbearing. He actually tried to hit Dave when he intervened in your defense.”
“Yeah, and for a tough rugby player, he got marched out the door pretty damn fast,” laughed Willow. “He made a serious miscalculation when he went for Dave.”
By midmorning of the next day, Willow and Jessica were reclining on lounge chairs watching Heather playing in the surf with the boy she met the previous evening. Nancy and Ben Williams were sitting under the shade of a beach umbrella nearby. Jessica was beginning to drift off to sleep when she heard Willow’s exclamation.
“Oh my God! Look at those two guys giving those kids surfing lessons! All I can see are their silhouettes, but I like what I see.”
Jessica, Ben and Nancy all turned to see two men with surf boards along the water’s edge. There were surrounded by a dozen kids between the ages of eight and fifteen. The kids gathered around listening and watching as the two men demonstrated various surfing techniques. The morning sun reflected off the water behind them so it seemed to sparkle and made details difficult to discern.
Gathered a little farther from the group were what appeared to be parents of the kids, keeping an eye on their children as they prepared to learn how to surf. A smile came to Jessica’s lips as she watched. All the spectators were female and they appeared to be paying closer attention to the instructors than the young students were.
“Maybe you two ladies could persuade the guys to give you private lessons,” teased a voice off to the right. Turning her head, Jessica saw Diane standing a few feet away with a big smile on her face and a sexy one piece bathing suit enhancing her impressive figure.
“We didn’t see you coming,” apologized Jessica. “I don’t think we’ll be taking surf lessons. Neither of us are great swimmers.”
“Speak for yourself!” chided Willow. “I wouldn’t mind spending some time learning from those guys. She didn’t say anything about what kind of lessons they were.”
Jessica was shocked when her mother joined the conversation. “That’s right, Jess. Perhaps a few lessons will prevent your next boyfriend from expressing his dissatisfaction to your mother.”
“Mom! How many mimosas have you had already?” asked an embarrassed Jessica as Diane and Willow broke into fits of laughter. “I don’t think I’ll be taking lessons of any kind from a couple of surfer dudes, so you’ll just have to live with the complaints from my ex boyfriend.”
“That’s too bad,” grinned Diane. “Dave’s a really good instructor. He’s very thorough and always insists on safety first and doing things by the book. For a few lucky ladies, that book is the Kama Sutra.”
Willow sprayed her drink out her nose when Diane mentioned the Kuma Sutra and coughed a couple of times before finally finding her voice. “Dave, as in your brother, is the teacher? Where can I sign up? I’m going to need a lot of one on one, personal instruction!”
“Dave and our cousin, Tim, come down to the beach a few times a week, weather permitting, to work with kids on surfing and learning to be comfortable in the ocean. They think there will be less chance of drowning and accidents on the beach if the kids learn about things like rip tides and how to identify them and escape them if they get caught in one.
“As you can see, the mothers, aunts, and even older sisters enjoy watching the lessons for some reason. I think a lot of them would sign up for the private lessons if Dave and Tim actually gave them. I like to help the guys out when I can,” added Diane.
“For some reason, fathers and brothers seem to drift over to watch the lessons when I’m there. That’s why I wear the one piece swim suit. I made the mistake of wearing a bikini once and my top was around my waist when I came out of a big wave. I didn’t realize it until Dave held his board up in front of me and told me I was giving a free show,” laughed Diane. “He said the other guys wouldn’t speak to him for a week because he told me.”
Jessica found herself laughing at Diane’s story as she turned her attention back to the water’s edge. The sun had risen slightly higher in the sky and now she was easily able to identify Dave as he showed a girl where to place her feet and to bend her knees. The kids were all smiling and laughing, but always seemed to pay attention when Dave or Tim spoke to them.
Diane joined the group and soon the trio was taking kids out one at a time for a few practice runs. When the kids lined up for a turn with the instructors, Jessica noticed that some of the boys made certain they were in Diane’s line, while most of the girls were quite content to take instruction from Dave and Tim.
“I know you like Dave, so I’ll be a good best friend and ask Tim for some lessons,” volunteered Willow. “Not that I’ll be suffering very much. That whole family is great looking and those two guys have amazing physiques, speaking as a doctor of course.”
Once again, Jessica’s mother, Nancy, surprised her. “You should take Willow up on her offer. He seems like a very nice young man. He certainly isn’t full of himself like that ass, ‘James, don’t call me Jim’ obviously was.”
“Mom, he’s a waiter and a surfer dude. You always told me to choose a man that would be successful and able to support a family,” reminded Jessica to her mother.
“His mother owns a very nice restaurant. I’m sure he’s not exactly impoverished,” responded Nancy Williams to her daughter.
“James’ parents owned businesses in seven states and that didn’t stop him from being a total ass. You’re sending me mixed signals, Mom,” complained Jessica. “Do you want me to marry for money, or for love?”
A few dates with a nice young man aren’t exactly the same as marriage,” pointed out Nancy. “I want you to marry a man you love that has the ability and willingness to take care of his family. I want you to find a man that respects you and the love you give him.”
“Well said, Mrs. Williams,” agreed Willow. “You do know I wasn’t talking about surfing lessons, don’t you?”
“I know exactly to what you were referring, Willow,” chuckled Nancy. “Apparently, Jessica could use the help of a qualified instructor.”
“Mom! I can’t believe you said that!” admonished Jessica. “James was just trying to be cruel. He thought he’d hurt me and my entire family with his ridiculous comments. I don’t need any damn lessons or instructions!”
“That’s great to hear, but as a doctor, you know the value of a second opinion,” pointed out Willow. “Maybe Dave would give you one.”
“I’m sure he would!” snapped Jessica. “In fact, there are millions of men that would just love to give a second, third or whatever opinion, but I’ll never again be near a guy so crude, cruel and disrespectful he’d tell my parents his opinion, regardless of how impressed he may be.”
“Don’t get your panties in a bunch,” shrugged Willow. “I’m just saying the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.”
“Oh no!” groaned Nancy Williams. “I think we can safely say that joke was in poor taste.”
“Mom! What is wrong with you? Dad, wake up! Are you hearing what your wife is saying?” demanded Jessica.
“It’s pretty damn hard to nap when three women are making all sorts of double entendres about sex. I will admit that if I ever hear a man speak to you, or about you, with the disrespect and cruelty James displayed, there’ll be a reckoning. I’ve been kicking my own ass for not doing more when James started running his mouth,” admitted Ben Williams. “I feel like I let you down.”
“Mr. Williams, you certainly did not,” responded Willow quickly. “Maybe if Dave hadn’t been there, you might have had to react, but he was there for that very reason. He didn’t just suddenly appear. He was watching Jess all the time and jumped in as soon as the problem developed. You wouldn’t want to have ruined his chance to be your daughter’s white knight, would you?”
Once they announced lessons were done for the day, Dave, Tim and Diane found themselves being thanked by parents of the children that had been instructing. Diane chuckled as she watched her brother edging away as a very appreciative single mother in a small bikini kept moving closer to him as she expressed her unending gratitude.
“Thanks, everyone,” announced Diane as she reached for Tim’s hand and then Dave’s. “I promised some friends that I’d bring Tim around to meet them. We’ll see you all next week.”
Diane led the two men away from the disappointed women and over to where Willow sat with the Williams family. “Tim, meet Mr. and Mrs. Williams, their daughter Jessica, and Jessica’s good friend Willow. Tim is our cousin, but seems more like a brother.”
“You’re really good with the kids, Tim,” offered Willow as she flashed Tim her best smile. “Is there any chance you could find time in your schedule to teach me the basics of surfing.”
It was obvious that Tim found the tall brunette attractive as he looked her over with approving eyes. “Sure! We could do it right now if you’d like. I have some free time and the surf isn’t too rough, so it would be a great time to get started.”
“Thank you so much, Tim!” exclaimed Willow as she held her hand out for Tim to help her to her feet. “Maybe Dave could give Jess some pointers, too? We’re finding out that she isn’t always a fast learner, but she’s an enthusiastic student.”
“Thanks for thinking of me,” retorted Jessica as she her face turned pink from Willow’s little dig. “I’ll just sit here and watch since I’m such a slow learner.”
Dave managed to pry his eyes off the lovely young woman long enough to see her mother look directly at him, and then nod in her daughter’s direction. He had learned early in his dating experiences that the acceptance of a girl’s mother could be a very good thing.
Emboldened by Nancy Williams’ encouragement, Dave reached down and took Jessica’s hand and proceeded to gently pull her from her chair. Jessica was now forced to direct her attention at Dave as he stood above her. She had seen enough men in her years in medical school to recognize an excellent example of manhood. His stomach muscles crossed his abdomen like cables and his chest was extremely well defined. As she reached her feet, she saw the scar on Dave’s chest.
Her training as a doctor took over as Jessica gently ran a finger over the scar. She had seen a very similar scar on a man that had seen while doing a rotation with a cardiologist. That man was a retired police officer that had been shot breaking up a carjacking years earlier.
“Is this from a bullet?” asked Jessica as she looked more closely. “Turn around please. I want to see your back.”
Dave seldom spoke about his time in Iraq and the various scars and wounds he had received in two tours of duty. His first inclination was to refuse the beautiful woman’s request, but he found himself very reluctant to refuse her anything. He slowly turned so Jessica could look at his back.
“My God! The bullet passed through you. It had to have hit a lung. I’m surprised it didn’t hit your heart, too,” exclaimed Jessica as she gently ran her finger over a larger scar on Dave’s upper back. “Did this happen in the service?”
“Who told you I was in the military?” asked Dave. “Was Diane telling you my life story?”
“Don’t flatter yourself,” responded Jessica. “You’ve obviously been shot and you’re wearing dog tags. It wasn’t much of a stretch for me to assume you’d been shot on a battlefield.”
Realizing he had jumped to the wrong conclusion, Dave immediately apologized. “I’m sorry about that. I know Diane doesn’t tell stories out of school. She did tell me you’re a doctor, so it all added up. I took a bullet a couple years ago. It barely nicked my heart and pierced a lung. I was pretty bad for a while, but I’m fully recovered now.”
“So I’m the one that should be upset?” suggested Jessica, but with a smile. “Your sister’s been talking to you about me. I’m really glad that you’re okay now. That was very close to being a killing shot.”
Jessica was surprised to see Diane had tears streaking her cheeks. “I’m sorry, but it was a terrible time for us. Dave was almost killed. I don’t think about it much anymore, but when I do, I still get emotional. He’s more than my brother. He’s my best friend.”
“Well, he’s in good hands now, Diane. Jessica and I are both medical doctors. These guys will be safe while they’re with us, more or less,” joked Willow.
As the foursome headed for the water, Nancy Williams spoke to Diane. “Thanks for bringing those two up to get the girls off their chairs. I was afraid after that scene last night Jess was going to want cut her vacation short. I can’t imagine any young woman not enjoying being around your brother.”
“I haven’t seen any who felt that way,” admitted Diane. “His rugged good looks catch their eye, but it’s his character and generosity that make him so irresistible. He seems to be interested in Jessica. He didn’t pay any attention to that crap her ex-boyfriend was spouting off about last night. He’s an excellent judge of character.”
Jessica was pleasantly surprised at how well she did on the surf board. Dave was an excellent instructor and she had always been athletic, so she quickly learned from his pointers and suggestions. For his part, Dave was happier than he had been in recent memory. Jessica wasn’t just a beautiful woman with a great figure. She was smart, athletic, and very quick witted. They shared good natured barbs and comments well into the afternoon.
When the two couples returned to Jessica’s parents, they found Heather sitting with the young man that had shared the video with her the previous evening. They also found a cooler with cold drinks and several submarine sandwiches waiting for them.
Ben Williams offered the grateful men a cold beer and nodded toward the sandwiches. “Help yourselves. We didn’t know what kind you’d prefer so we picked up several different types. Just dig in.”
“Jessica, you need to reapply sun block,” insisted her mother. “Your back is getting a little pink. The salt water intensifies the sun’s rays and washes it off your skin over a period of time. You were out there over an hour.”
“Tim, would you mind putting some block on my back?” asked a smiling Willow as she immediately stretched out on a blanket. “I don’t want to get burned either.”
Tim set his beer down in the sand, picked up the tube of lotion, squirted some into his hand and began rubbing it into Willow’s back. While still lying on her stomach, she picked up Tim’s beer and took a couple of long pulls on it.
“You don’t mind sharing your beer with me, do you,” asked Willow as she placed his beer back on the sand.