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.
She tilted her head, keeping her eyes fixed on him. He wondered what she thought of him, of his body. He did his best to stay in shape, but couldn't bring himself to be as obsessed as some of his friends. He tried to imagine what she would be seeing: a man about six feet tall with dark-blond hair in need of a cut (he'd been too busy with work to get it done); a reasonably fit body—no six-pack abs but no excess of fat, either; and desire plain in his eyes. He had taken off his sunglasses earlier and now was glad.
She has to see it in my eyes, he thought as the anticipation built. Any pretty woman can get any man hard; but that's plain lust, not desire.
For long minutes, Sofia's eyes studied his body and he did his best not to fidget, or to press for a reaction. With no warning, she stood up, holding her drink. "Get my bag, and your things. Follow me."
Her tone brooked no argument and John was only too happy to comply. Sofia strode away and John hurried to gather their towels and her bag and then followed. She led him down the beach, past the bar, then back a bit into the cover of the trees. The crowd had thinned on the sand, he'd noticed, as everyone began making their way back to their rooms to prepare for dinner. Voices faded and were replaced with the crash of waves, and the gentle flicker of wind through the palm fronds.
"Lay down one of the towels." Sofia's voice was firm; John hastened to obey. "I think I need a bit of a massage." She lowered herself to the towel and stretched her legs out, then stared at him, head cocked to the side, as though she was solving a puzzle. She beckoned him down to her, placing a hand on his chest to stop him when he was on his knees.
"What should I call you?" she mused. She dragged a finger nail down his chest and made him shiver. "We should make this special, shouldn't we? You'd like it if I picked a pet name for you?"
"Yes, I would." John paused, then allowed himself a small smile. "Miss Sofia."
She dropped her head back and gave a low, rich laugh. "You catch on quickly, don't you? I like that. I think for now I'll call you 'pet.'"
"I'd like that, Miss Sofia." John kept his eyes on hers though the temptation to let them roam over her body was strong. Especially as she lay back, propped on her elbows, presenting her breasts to him; he knew better than to touch them without instructions. "What would you like me to do?"
"A massage, as I said." She turned over, hiding her lovely breasts but revealing her back and derriere. John flexed his hands as he fought the urge to touch her body. She continued, "Start with my feet, then work your way up my legs. There's oil in the bag." She looked back at him, eyes hidden under half-closed lids. "And behave yourself, pet. There may be a reward if you do."
"Yes, Miss Sofia."
John reached for her bag and found the bag of suntan oil. He squeezed some into his hand, then rubbed his palms together to warm it.
"Hurry now, pet, I'm waiting."
"Yes, Miss." John reached down and closed his hands around one perfect foot, sighing to himself as he did. At last, he thought with relief, I'm touching her.
He rubbed in gentle but firm circles, taking care to stroke each toe, smiling to himself at the contented sigh he elicited from her. He finished one foot, then pampered the other, and then needed more oil to continue on her legs. As before, he squeezed some into his hand and warmed it up.
He shifted to the side and laid his hand on her leg, hissing out a breath as he ran his hand over the silky skin, stroking and kneading the muscles underneath.
"You've done this before, haven't you, pet?" Sofia shifted on the towel, causing her buttocks to roll under the thin material of her bikini bottom and John to catch his breath.
"Y ... Yes, Miss Sofia. A time or two."
"You're quite good."
"Thank you, Miss."
"When you're done the other leg, you may rub the oil on my back, pet."
"Thank you, Miss Sofia."
John had to count backwards from ten to keep from exploding right then. Just the idea of running his hands over the satiny plains of her back was enough to make him harder than he'd ever been. Her order to do it made everything more intense. Deep breaths, he told himself, deep, deep breaths. He counted the inhales and exhales as he drizzled more oil onto his hand and warmed it.
His heart pounded as he lowered his hands to her back; he was almost surprised they weren't trembling. He was unable to stifle a groan as he touched the warm, smooth skin. "Thank you, Miss Sofia." One more deep breath, and the scent of her skin and the oil went straight to his head. "This is heaven."
She let out another husky laugh and this time the sound went straight to his groin. He gritted his teeth and counted until he was under control again. Another laugh like that, he thought, and I don't think I'll be able to contain myself.
"You may untie me, pet."
"Pardon, Miss?" John blinked; he'd been lost in tantalizing thoughts of Sofia.
"My top." She turned and regarded him with a cool gaze. "You may untie it so that no oil gets on my suit. You are paying attention, aren't you, pet?"
"Yes, Miss." He smiled over the excited knots in his stomach. "It was only your beauty that distracted me."
"You flatter me, pet." She favored him with a half-smile as she lay back down. "I like that."
John reached for his own towel to wipe the oil from his hands before reaching to untie the bow below her shoulder blades. His imagination started to veer into unexplored territory, conjuring images of her breasts unfettered by the blue material, but he pulled himself back and concentrated on the tie behind her neck.
With an audible swallow, he moved her hair—it was long and felt like silk, as he knew it would—to the side so that he wouldn't pull it as he loosened the strings on her top. He laid the strings on the towel and reached again for the suntan oil.
Sofia gave a soft, contented sigh. "Thank you, pet, that feels much nicer."
"I'm glad you're pleased, Miss Sofia."
There was silence for a few moments as John rubbed the oil onto her back with long, lingering strokes. He ran his fingers along her spine, and she arched her back in appreciation. "A little lower, pet."
Another deep breath and John let his hands go lower, kneading the muscles just above her backside, which was still hidden by the second piece of her bathing suit. Would she urge him to go even lower, he wondered, and let out a shaky breath at the thought.
"I think you've earned a small reward." Sofia's voice held a hint of teasing.
"Yes, Miss?" John kept his voice even.
"You can remove my suit bottom. Then you can massage my backside; I think I'd enjoy that."
As would I, he thought. Aloud, he said, "Yes, Miss. I'll do my best."
He hooked his fingers around the thin edges of the small piece of material, at her hips, and began to pull it down. His movements were slow, as much to ensure he didn't harm the material or scratch Sofia as to prolong his own pleasure, even if it was almost painful.
As the material came down, revealing the soft, round globes that were as tan as the rest of her body, John forced himself to look anywhere but there. He could feel his arousal, throbbing in his swim trunks, and he needed to keep himself under control. Looking at her shapely calves didn't make it easy, but it helped.
He set the suit bottom aside, took a deep breath and reached for the bottle again. He repeated his routine: pour the oil, set the bottle down, warm the oil in his hands. So as not to startle her, and to demonstrate he could show restraint, he began massaging her thighs, starting above her knees. He used short strokes this time, only wanting to accustom her to his hands since he'd already massaged her legs.
As he worked his way up, he let his gaze wander over her rear end. It was, as he'd suspected, perfect. Round and soft, lush like the rest of her. He tried not to hurry his strokes, but he'd been holding himself back so long that it became impossible. An inhale, an exhale, and at last he was touching the supple skin and feeling the muscles underneath.
Sofia shifted, her legs parting slightly, and before he could avert his eyes, John caught a glimpse of her sex. There were sparse dark curls and moisture glistened on them as well as the skin. He blinked, had an image of himself using his tongue to pleasure her, and his restraint broke. With a grunt, he turned slightly away from Sofia; he knew she would know what had happened, but he could at least try to keep her towel clean. One, two, three pulses and his trunks were wet, although not from the water. His breath was ragged.
"Are you all right, pet?" Sofia rose up on her elbows and turned her head to look at him. Her eyes slid up and down his body and she smiled. "You look ... winded."
"I'm fine, Miss Sofia." He gave her a rueful smile. "I'm afraid I couldn't contain myself."
She laughed. "Literally, I see. Well, that's fine, pet." She reached over and stroked his thigh and he shivered at the unexpected sensation of her hand on his skin. "I'm flattered and I see no point in denying anyone pleasure."
"I hadn't meant to, Miss, but ... your body is wonderful." His eyes darkened and he let a smile play over his lips. "I'm so glad you've given me the privilege of touching it."
"You should be." Sofia's tone went from playful to prim. "And now, I believe you have more work to do. I'll turn over."
John didn't even have a chance to catch his breath; she moved smoothly onto her back, propped up on her elbows, not even bothering to keep her top in place. He managed not to gape as he drank in the sight of her.
His gaze swept up from her feet, over the shapely calves and silky thighs, lingering for a moment on the dark curls between them before going on to a smooth abdomen. As he reached her breasts, he couldn't make himself hurry. He'd imagined them for what seemed like hours and now had the chance to look at them.
Reality exceeded his fantasy and his mouth went dry. He could imagine how the skin would feel under his hands, how the brown nipples would feel like pebbles as he ran his palms over them. That led to thoughts of how warm and wet she would feel lower, between her legs. He wondered if he was sweating; the idea of touching or tasting her there made him feel like a man dying of thirst being near an oasis.
"Go on, pet." Sofia gave him an arch look. "I don't recall giving you permission to stare."
"My apologies, Miss." He ducked his head as he reached for the oil. "I couldn't look away."
"So I noticed." She lowered herself to the towel and closed her eyes. "Start with the feet again, pet, although you don't need to take too long. That felt very nice. And remove your swimsuit," she added. "I like to look as well."
"Yes, Miss." His stomach tightened but he slid his trunks off, not daring to look at her face to see her reaction now.
As directed, John started with her feet, making sure to run his thumbs over the balls of her feet. She'd enjoyed that, he knew. After a few moments, he began working his way up her calves. His heart began to hammer in his chest and he took a break for more oil in large part to calm it. As he placed his hands on her knees and began to massage her thighs, he gave up trying to avoid looking at her sex.
She parted her legs, both to accommodate his hands but also, he thought, to tease him. Her pubic hair was sparse but curly, and he imagined how it would feel as he ran his fingers through—if she deigned to let him do so. Sofia had said she saw no point in denying pleasure; that didn't mean she might not have some fun delaying it.
He rubbed the oil into her skin, lingering as long as he could on her thighs, and then her hips and abdomen. He did rub his hand over the top of her mound, but it was far as he dared go. She's killing me, he thought as his pulse quickened, and she's probably loving every second of it.
He, on the other hand, was tensing up again. With her naked body before him and his hands on it, so close to such intimate places, his erection had returned in full force. When she moved a bit and brushed his erection with her hand, he gasped and had to stop his ministrations. His mind raced with thoughts of her keeping her hand in place, stroking him, but he shook them out and continued, although his heart was racing.
His hands were firm on her ribs as his thumbs moved in circles. He dared a glance up at her face and saw her eyes closed but a smile on her lips. Pleased that she appeared to be enjoying his efforts, he moved his hands up further so that he almost brushed the underside of her breasts.
Would she let him touch her breasts? The idea that she wouldn't made him feel hollow. Surely, after all this time, she would let him do that, wouldn't she?
"Pet?" Her voice cut through the fog of his thoughts.
"Yes, Miss Sofia?"
"You'll be doing my breasts next. Make sure use plenty of oil; the skin there can be sensitive and I don't like it to be dry."
"Of course, Miss."
John's heart stuttered as he once again poured oil into his hands and warmed it. Once again, he had a sense of being tested, and so he began rubbing the oil into the sides of her breasts, reveling in the soft warmth. Sofia made an approving noise and John relaxed. He carried on, paying close attention to her reactions and adjusting his touch accordingly.
He drew in a long, deep breath as his palms covered the front of her breasts and he felt her nipples underneath. The sensation was as he'd imagined, little pebbles under the center of his hands. His fingers dug gently into the tan flesh as he massaged, and there was no hiding his body's reaction. The one advantage, he thought, of having come earlier, was that despite how aroused he was, he'd last longer this time.
"Shoulders now, pet."
"Yes, Miss Sofia." With some reluctance, John moved along her body and reached over to rub her shoulders. His mind had started to drift when his body jerked; it took a moment to realize that she had touched him. Her finger traced lazy circles around his nipples. "Oh, Miss."
"You're very handsome, pet. I think I would enjoy your body."
"It's yours, of course, Miss Sofia."
"Is it now?"
He was coming to adore that laughing, questioning tone of her voice. "Certainly, Miss."
She let him work on her shoulders for a few more minutes before laying one hand on his arm. "That's enough. Thank you, pet. That was wonderful."