Game, Set and Match

Chapter 2

By Ali Vali

Disclaimers: See Part 1.

Chapter 2

"Over here, guys," said Nick. The tall Greek stood at the gate with two dozen roses in his arms. After kissing them both hello and taking their bags, he handed a dozen to Gary and one to Parker. "Come on, I have the car parked outside and the Terminator down waiting for your bags."

"Kimmie's here?" asked Parker. She hadn't seen her sisters in six months due to conflicting schedules. While Parker dominated women's tennis, her sisters Kimmie and Gray did the same in the sand playing volleyball.

"Yeah she and Gray are here for today. They are heading out in the morning for a tournament in Palm Beach, so they're cooking you dinner and crashing in your guest rooms tonight." Nick pointed them toward the exit knowing that he and the King sisters had more than exceeded their welcome outside, then again they didn't call Gray the Viper for nothing. One look had sent the young security guard back to his booth for the hour they had been waiting.

"Remember workout first, then family reunion," said Gary knowing the reprimand was unnecessary but he said it anyway.

"Yes, master, I remember."

By the Suburban outside stood two women that looked almost exactly like the tennis pro except for the hair. Kimmie and Gray both kept theirs cut short for easier maintenance when they played, but all of them had the same powerful build. They where all two years apart with Parker being the baby of the family and Gray being the oldest. For each, sports had been an escape from overly conservative parents that wanted prim ladies and lots of grandchildren to show off. Instead they had gotten three of the most famous lesbians in sports, which had been more than enough for their parents to disown them. With Nick's careful management all three had no more money concerns, just the heartache that came from their parents' rejection.

"Is that the Wimbledon champion we see?" asked Gray as she stepped out of the driver's seat. The surprise for Parker was cutting two days off their training schedule but had been worth it to see the smile on her little sister's face. It killed the older two not to be there for any of the matches Parker had played in, but hopefully in September they would be in the stands for the entire Open.

The family caught up on the happenings in their lives since they had seen each other last, having Gary write down some dates when Parker could go and watch her sisters play. From inside the airport Emily arrived at the exit in time to see Parker get into the vehicle right before it drove away. Gail as usual was running late and Emily waited inside in the air-conditioning not wanting to brave the heat until she was wearing a bathing suit.

Emily ended up leaning against the glass wall by the entrance for forty minutes before she saw Gail get out of a rented car outside. By the way she was walking, Emily could tell where she had been since she had arrived. When the broker made it inside and bent to kiss her, the scotch on her breath only confirmed it for her. The blonde got behind the driver's side while Gail loaded her luggage and wondered if the dent in the front fender she had seen was there when Gail picked up the car. The passenger door slamming shut made Emily look at the woman she had spent three years with as she closed her eyes and fell asleep instead of talking. If it hadn't been so sad, Emily would've found it humorous that they'd been away from each other for almost a month but neither of them could find anything to talk about as Emily pointed the car in the direction of the place they had rented.


The three sisters made the circuit of the workout room as the older two gave Parker a hard time about Alicia. The two tormentors had mentioned every tabloid headline before Parker changed into her running clothes and hit the beach. This stretch of paradise was what she missed most grueling tournament play kept them away for months at a time. The pristine white sand and blue green waters were like a blanket of calm in an otherwise busy life. Coming back here, Parker was convinced she could walk away from tennis and not miss the crowds or the action.

Parker's house was built on a large parcel of water front property in Press Cove. In the opposite direction from Nick and Gary's house there were only a couple of houses along the beach for miles. After that there wasn't anything really until you hit the more populated stretch that marked Clearwater. Parker didn't mind sharing the space close to her since all of her other neighbors were weekenders that mostly came in the fall to enjoy the still warm but cooler temperatures.

Leaving her sisters in the kitchen, Parker stood on the shoreline and stretched. The usual route she took brought her five miles down the beach before turning around and heading back. Her dedication to roadwork, as Gary called it, kept her legs fresh during grueling matches. The women on the other side of the net were usually cursing by the second set when Parker used the same speed to chase down balls as she did in the first game.

In the summer Parker's usual companions were the gulls flying past her and the sandpipers that ran ahead of her to escape the oncoming surf. It was one of the reasons she ran without the usual headphones most people used during their runs. The sound of the waves and her feet hitting the sand were Parker's form of meditation. The enjoyment of her surroundings and the joy of being home almost made her trip over the couple locked in a heated kiss on a red blanket laid out on the sand.

Parker could see that the bigger of the two had her hand firmly ensconced in her partner's bikini bottom and the blonde on top of her seemed to be enjoying the attention. Returning her gaze to the water, Parker ran past them without saying anything not wanting to embarrass the two lovers any more than she already had. That is if they even noticed me. She thought as her pace put her far away enough to miss the ensuing argument she had unwittingly caused.

"Goddamn it, Gail, when I tell you to stop, I would appreciate it if you did just that. I told you I heard someone coming and I was right. I don't much enjoy being a floor show for anyone," said Emily in a heated voice. She had pushed off Gail as soon as she heard the footsteps fading with the surf. Any of the good feelings of seeing Gail again after three weeks evaporated like the foam on the sand near the water.

"Funny that, Em, three years ago it wouldn't have mattered where we were or who was watching but now everything seems to be a problem. I'm sorry if I don't think a dark room with the curtains closed is the only appropriate place to show you that I love you. Jesus, I haven't seen you in almost a month and you're already pulling this shit. Enjoy the sunset, I'm going into town to get some groceries for our stay," said Gail. These little outbursts and reprimands from Emily were getting tiring, and to avoid another fight Gail got up and walked away.

"You didn't miss me enough that you could forget about stopping at the airport bar for a few before you went to get the car. I hope you got insurance because I'm doubting they gave you one with a messed up fender."

Gail stopped walking but didn't turn around. "I'm finding the bottle a more passionate and warm lover than you, Emily, and your lectures aren't going to change that opinion anytime soon. Think about that while I'm gone, before I really am gone," threatened Gail.

"You mean Sophia wasn't passionate enough for you?"

"I was an idiot to think there'd be any forgiveness in that heart of yours, Emily."

"Yeah well, you know what they say about learned behavior?"

Gail clenched her fist but still refused to turn around. It wasn't like Emily to bring up a past mistake, at least the only one Emily knew about. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing, just go."

Emily sat on the blanket with her eyes closed for over an hour before getting up and going for a swim. The pilot was tired of working only to come home to constant fighting with Gail, and the thought of doing it on her vacation made her want to pack up and ask for a new flight assignment. It was becoming apparent to Emily that she should turn her thoughts to how to end the relationship instead of spending any more time trying to fix it, but they were there so she would try again.

The lesson that she couldn't stop Gail's drinking should have been learned a long time before this, but Emily felt guilty just leaving. Gail had never been abusive, she just knew how much alcohol she could get away with and still be functional on the trading floor the next day. Emily shook her head and tried not to think about their problems. They would still be waiting for them when they got home, it was time to enjoy the house and the sun even if she had to do it alone.

Well into chapter two of her book, Emily looked up to see who the footsteps belonged to. She was sure whoever the runner was; it was the same person that had interrupted them earlier. The woman ran past her oblivious to her presence, and Emily held her breath at the sheer rotten luck she was having today.

There in all her sweaty glory was Parker King. Wearing only running shorts and a sports bra, Parker was giving Emily the opportunity to just stare without guilt or fear of being caught. Parker was like some work of art found in museums. Muscles stood out in every uncovered area from the weight lifting session and her run, and then Emily moved to Parker's face. Here in this mostly untouched area Parker seemed happy like she was free.

The young woman who had slowed to a walk past her, held no trace of the sarcastic person that had traded barb for barb with her on the flight. Emily thought maybe she had misjudged Parker after finishing chapter two of the book she had made Gail stop for before driving out of Tampa. Anyone who read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' couldn't be all bad, right?

The notion of announcing her presence died on Emily's lips when Parker stripped naked and jumped into the surf in front of the house next to the one she and Gail were staying in. Emily hadn't noticed the beach house when she and Gail had first come down. The tennis court built on plyings over the water would have given her a good clue as to who owned the house had she bothered to look.

So this is where the Romeo of the circuit lives, thought Emily. Her mental musings were instantly confirmed when two other naked women ran out of the house to join Parker in the water. Yes she's a pig with a soft spot for classical books. Emily walked back to the house carrying only her book and her bag, leaving the rest for Gail to worry about. Staying here for a week was only going to magnify how out of whack her life had become Emily had a gut feeling. What would it be like to go through life without worrying about the consequences thought Emily as she took one last look at the three women having fun in the surf?

The next morning Gail walked out to the beach with her own book as Emily headed out the front door with the car keys. When Gail had gotten back the night before, six hours after she had left, Emily had taken a shower and was already sleeping not giving them a chance to talk anymore about what was happening to them. That morning wasn't much easier when the pilot had informed Gail that she was going into town alone. Emily had been in the area once before and enjoyed walking in the small downtown area of Press Cove. With any luck she would find gifts for her mom and sister who both had birthdays coming up later in the summer.

Emily relaxed in the coffee shop before starting her shopping, trying to forget the growing awkwardness between she and Gail. She was starting to get angry at the late nights of not knowing where Gail was, but wasn't ready to take that final step. The thought of Gail cheating on her wasn't the issue, but if you found peace at the bottom of a glass, how long would that lead to the arms of someone else again? If it came to a breakup her mom would take it hard Emily figured. Her mother had always thought Gail had been a calming figure in her daughter's life, but Emily had never shared the whole truth with her family not wanting to worry them. And in reality she wanted more than what she was getting. Shouldn't there be passion, and not just for arguing? Emily sat with her eyes closed running through a litany of questions in her mind on how to fix her life when the familiar voice interrupted and put a frown on her face.

"Sorry it took so long, ma'am, but I'm still recovering from a bumpy landing in Miami yesterday." When Emily opened her eyes there was the tennis player holding a tray with the cappuccino she had ordered sitting on it. The heat in her ears was a combination of a blush and anger over Parker's statement. Bad weather and wind shears had made for a less than perfect landing and she didn't want to take anyone's shit about it. "I'm sorry, Captain, I was only kidding. You looked so lost sitting there I thought I'd cheer you up."

"Why are you harassing me on my vacation, Miss King?" asked Emily. Oh no, I will not fall for a cute smile and a cute butt. Emily, she sleeps with two women at a time, Emily had to remind herself as the dimples Parker was displaying made her want to smile in return. Emily continued the lecture in her head as a way to get her defenses up. Today they are sky blue. The other voice in her head chimed in as Parker leaned down to put the cup on the table and Emily got a good look at her eyes.

"I was on my way home from the airport, Captain, and I love the hot chocolate here. Pardon me for bothering you, it won't happen again. I hope you enjoy your stay." The smile disappeared from Parker's face as she thought, God this woman was such a bitch. Parker turned to walk back to the counter to wait for her order when she heard the more gentle tone come out of Emily.

"Do you like hanging out in airports? Or is it where you perfect your sarcastic comments for airline employees?" The question was Emily's effort, against her better judgment, to get Parker to stay after she had snapped at her.

"No, that's your job I would guess, and I'm not sarcastic. I was just dropping my sisters off for their flight this morning. They surprised me with a visit yesterday before having to fly out for their own tournament today," answered Parker. A teenager with acne walked up and handed Parker a large steaming cup before heading back behind the counter.

"There's more than one of you?" A look of disgust crossed her face as the kid came back with a large cinnamon roll for Parker to go with the hot chocolate. Jeez she eats like that and still looks like she does. Emily looked up at Parker now holding the cinnamon roll and the cup and realized the tennis player was waiting for an invitation to sit down. "I'm sorry, would you like to join me?" Emily waved to the empty chair facing her own suddenly wanting Parker's company.

"Thanks, and yes there are three of us, but Gray and Kimmie are way different from me. First off they are both taller, and they are into sand." Parker took a big bite of the gooey roll she had ordered and held it up to Emily to take a bite. The blonde head shook no knowing that she had the metabolism of a lazy slug.

"Sand?" She was regretting not taking the bite Parker had offered seeing the blue eyes roll back in an expression of how good the pastry was.

"They play volleyball, as in sand volleyball. A two man team that can make you eat the ball if you're not paying attention," explained Parker. Emily watched Parker continue to eat the roll and stop every so often to lick icing off her fingers. God that looks good. Emily's brain was having a hard time distinguishing the comment between the roll and the long fingers holding it.

"Sort of like their sister serving the ball up at over a hundred miles an hour," said Emily without thought. The minute the words had left her mouth Emily could have kicked herself. All Parker needed was encouragement from her. The smile with a slight chocolate moustache told Emily of her folly.

"Why, Captain, I didn't know you cared" Parker was teasing, and the squirming and blushing Emily was doing was making her want to laugh, but she stayed quiet.

"I watched a little of your match at the airport lounge just because there was nothing else on. Your talent on a tennis court impressed me, Ms. Parker, then I met you and you called me sweetheart and essentially asked me to make you coffee and a sandwich," said Emily. This is an equal opportunity squirming table, big guy, thought Emily as she watched Parker doing a bit of her own.

"It was hot chocolate, I don't drink coffee."

"A splitting of semantical hairs, Ms. King. I don't serve either."

"Ah, but I beg to differ. Yes you do, Captain." Emily narrowed her eyes and Parker decided it was time for a change in subject moving away from beverages before the conversation landed her at another table. "I never did ask where you are staying?"

"The Pelican Villa house." The question had been the bell that had ended the round and now they retreated to their respective corners. Yes the house right next to yours, oh naked swimmer, though now I know who the two other women were. Might I have misjudged you, Parker?

"Hey we're neighbors," said Parker sitting up and smiling. It hadn't occurred to her yet that the blonde in the bikini was Emily. "How about I take you out to dinner to make it up to you, or better yet I could cook for you?"

Ok, off beverages and onto flirting. Did she just ask me out? Jesus this girl moves so fast, I wonder if she slows down the car when she comes to pick you up. Time to slow this down a bit. "I'm here with someone, can she come?" The coffee encounter if Emily was honest with herself had slid into flirtation the minute Parker had sat down, and it was time to pull back some. Emily was here to work on her relationship with Gail, not play footsie with Parker King.

The photogenic smile across from her faltered a bit but didn't completely fade away. "Sure just come over tonight anytime after six. I have practice and workouts until around five thirty. See you then." Parker got up and left without waiting for an answer and Emily watched her get into an older model Land Cruiser and drive away.

"Well this ought to be interesting," Emily muttered softly. She popped the last bit of cinnamon roll that Parker had slid across the table to her before she left. Now Emily had two things to feel guilty about.

Shopping had lost its allure after her bizarre coffee adventure, making Emily head back to the beach house after Parker had left taking all the life out of the downtown area with her. The chilly interior of the house was devoid of sound, so Emily figured Gail was out on the beach. Looking out the back windows she could see the sun sparkling off the soft waves and the tops of the sea oats were bobbing gently with the slight breeze. Stripping as she walked through the house to the bedroom to get her bathing suit on, Emily was relieved not to have to go another round with Gail.

Emily dropped her bag on the blanket that was still in the spot it had been the day before and ran out into the surf. The water was shockingly cold at first so she just dove in head first getting lost in the thrill of no responsibility. When she came up was when she first became aware of the popping noise.

Next door on the court that seemed to float above the water was Parker and another woman seemingly trying to kill each other with a tennis ball. Parker was wearing a t-shirt and baggy shorts, but even that couldn't hide the raw power that wielded the tennis racket like it was a sword. Whoever her opponent was, she was holding her own in a volley that was as blistering as the unrelenting sun. Emily could hear a man's voice every so often barking out corrections. She felt happy all of a sudden in that Parker still looked like she had fun playing what was essentially just a game. It seemed to suit the young woman's free spirit.

"Natasha, hit them more toward the forehand please, Boris needs more work on that right now since the ball will bounce differently at the Open. Park, pay attention and lengthen the shots. We all ready know you're a big girl that can hit it hard, let's try finesse now, sweetheart," said Gary. The service stance swiveled a bit and the tall man found himself dodging the bullet Parker had shot his way. "Funny, Parker, funny."

Emily found herself laughing at Parker's playful side. The pilot was only twenty-eight but had lost that part of her inner child some time ago. It was refreshing to see someone take such gusto even when no one was watching. One of the lobs Parker sent up went over the fence and into the water making Emily think it was the downfall of the court's location, and also that Parker was getting tired to make such a mistake. Parker's order of, "Abby, go," told her differently.

The ball of fur that dove into the water was the biggest conglomeration of dog Emily had ever seen. It was just a big black blur that hit the water and swam for the yellow floating ball. He met Parker on the beach dropping the ball at her feet and shaking the water from his fur.

"You, big goober," Emily heard Parker's deep voice fuss at the surprise shower. So intent on her neighbor, Emily didn't hear Gail swim up behind her and jumped a little when the two arms wrapped around her waist.

"Hi, baby, I missed you." She pushed Emily's hair aside and kissed her neck making Emily stiffen momentarily at the move. Emily forced herself to relax and patted the tops of Gail's hands on her mid section. Gail turned her around and was about to kiss Emily when the barking from the shore scared them both apart. The black mutt was dancing from paw to paw with the wet ball sitting in front of him. Emily laughed at the thought that if Parker had been a dog, this would be it. He just wanted to play and his master had headed for the house.

"Come on, Abby, time to go, boy," they heard Parker's voice from behind the dunes. Abercrombie sat for a second and waved his paw in their direction then nosed the ball into the water as a gift before turning and running toward home.

"Get any shopping done?" The look on Gail's face let Emily know what she was in the mood for and thought, so much for talking about what happened yesterday.

"No I decided to come back for a swim after running into our neighbor. She invited us over for dinner tonight, I hope you don't mind but I accepted." With a little force she broke Gail's embrace and headed for the shore and on impulse picked up the ball Abby had left behind.

"Sure, whatever you want. How about a nap?" offered Gail. It was already four; they had a few hours.


An hour later Gail laid next to her, sated but frustrated at the same time. Emily touched her and made love to her but didn't want any return affection from her. It was happening with more frequency and Gail didn't know how to fix it. Did Emily just want to be conquered?

"We'll have to talk about this sooner or later you know," Gail told her not moving the arm that she had draped over her eyes. Emily just rolled out of bed and headed for the shower hearing the sigh behind her before she closed the door.

"I can't talk about something I have no answers for," she told her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Gail and Emily walked along the shoreline at six to get to Parker's house in silence. They both watched the undulations, which really couldn't be called waves, in the water as if they held the answers to what was wrong with them. Gail noticed the ball the dog had left in Emily's hand, the hand closest to her so that she couldn't hold it.

"You go out into that sand and I'm throwing you on the grill." The voice held no hint of teasing and Emily and Gail stopped in their tracks. "I mean it, Abby, it takes an hour to blow dry all that damn fur of yours," Parker finished. Emily could see him standing on the edge of the deck looking at her hand and quickened her steps not to get the pooch in trouble.

"Hey," Emily called up. Emily's greeting was followed by Abby's loud barking, alerting a ten-mile radius of the women's arrival.

"Hey come on up. Don't worry Abby's h-a-r-m-l-e-s-s," said Parker. Gail quirked an eyebrow at the spelling and thought this was going to be a really long night.

"Go on, Emily, obviously he's harmless." No sooner had the word left Gail's mouth Abby underwent a transformation. Like a cat his fur stood on end and his teeth were bared in a snarl.

"Abercrombie Princeton King, down," shouted Parker. The yell made the dog whip his head around and instantly sit. He looked up at Parker and seemed to wait to see how much trouble he was in. "She didn't mean it, boy, everybody knows you're the real King Kong around here," Parker cooed to the dog. The wagging tail was back and he was back to trying to coax the two women in the sand to join them.

"What in the hell was that?" demanded Gail. If the woman had some kind of vicious dog, she shouldn't have invited people over without locking him up first.

"Sorry Abby takes exception when people call him what you just did. Makes him feel like a weenie I guess. Say you're sorry, boy," ordered Parker. Abby walked to Emily first and offered a paw with his head bowed, which she accepted giving him his ball back. The dog offered the same to Gail but pinned the woman with eyes surprisingly like his master's.

"Hey I'm glad you came and I hope you're hungry." Behind Parker a formidable sized grill was burning logs of hickory down to coal, and next to it sat large steaks of salmon. Everything looked organized and within easy reach to an experienced cook like Emily. It was one of her hobbies that she didn't get to practice very often.

"You cook, Miss King?" It wasn't until just then that the pilot wondered if Parker knew her name. They had never used a first name basis in all their previous meetings.

"Please, Captain, call me Parker." She held a large tanned hand toward Gail and introduced herself to Emily's companion. "Welcome to my home, I'm Parker King and you've met Abercrombie."

"Thanks for the invitation, I'm Gail Ingles and I see you already know Emily. And I hardly think you need an introduction Parker, congratulations on your recent win." Parker nodded at the greeting and pointed to some seats after the formalities were out of the way and moved behind the outside bar.

"Can I get you two something to drink?"

"White wine and a scotch if you have it," answered Gail for the two of them. Parker saw the look that Emily gave her partner for doing so and waited to see if the blonde would answer for herself.

"I'll have a hot chocolate actually."

"With or without marshmallows?" asked Parker.

"What the hell, with."

"Hot chocolate? What are you crazy, it's a hundred degrees out here." Gail's admonishments stopped when Parker uncapped the thermos on the bar and poured two cups of hot chocolate dropped in a handful of marshmallows into both then poured a scotch. "How did you know I'm not the wine drinker among us?" Brown eyes closed into an almost leer as Parker got their drink orders correct without having to ask.

"Just a hunch, Ms. Ingles."

"Gail, please." She accepted her drink and watched Emily wrap her hands around the mug Parker had given her like it was cold outside. Where in the hell had Emily met the number one tennis player in the world and why did they look so familiar with each other?

"Now why don't you two entertain yourselves for a moment while I cook some fish. If you ask nice enough, Abby will be happy to run the gamut of tricks he knows, just start with play dead and work your way down." It had occurred to Parker to walk next door during her run and cancel since Gary had moved their photo shoot up a day, but despite the partner, she had wanted to see Emily again before they went home from their vacation.

"Abby, play dead," said Parker to start them off. Parker pulled an imaginary gun from her hip and shot him. The ham with fur put a little more into it than the usual just falling and not moving most dogs did. With a paw on his head he howled like Parker had actually pulled the trigger then staggered a bit before falling down at Emily's feet and moaning a few more times before he died. While Emily laughed at the big dog's antics Gail got up and poured herself another drink, filling the glass up more than Parker had. This was the Emily Gail had first met one night out with her friends. She was lost to Gail, but if seemed Parker had found her and coxed Emily out of the shell she had wrapped around her.

"Abby, dance," Parker prompted again. Gail kept her eyes on Parker, as Parker kept her eyes on Emily, who had her eyes on Abby. Leaving the dog to do a jig on his hind legs Parker asked Gail to watch the steaks for a minute while she ran inside. Emily praised Abby's efforts watching Parker retreat into the kitchen for a minute. The tall brunette returned with a bowl of marinating asparagus for the grill, and a smile for Emily.

Now that would be fun, to have a someone to cook with, thought Emily as she watched the young woman work away at the grill. Gail didn't like to do anything in the kitchen, while Emily loved to spend the day trying new recipes when she had the time. Why in the world am I thinking about this person like this? Parker's call to the table didn't give Emily time to contemplate the answer to her silent question.

During the meal Parker switched to water, as did Emily leaving Gail to finish the bottle of white wine in the cooler on the table. The trader declined coffee or hot chocolate and moved back to the scotch bottle she had started with at their arrival. They had run out of polite conversation twenty minutes before that and both Emily and Parker could see Gail's growing dark mood.

"Maybe we should go." Emily was reluctant to leave and deal with Gail, but couldn't find an excuse to stay.

"Could I walk you both home?" asked Parker seeing Gail's glassy look. If she stumbled in the dunes on the way back, Parker didn't think that Emily could handle her alone.

"I think we are fucking smart enough to find the house next door, Parker, so back off." Gail didn't know what this dinner had been about, but she and Emily had some things to discuss when they ditched the tennis star and her goddamn performing dog.

"I'm sorry if I offended you, Gail, I just thought you could use some help getting back." This was not the time to show the drunken woman sitting across from her that she could knock off more than the covers of tennis balls. "If you don't mind I have an early morning tomorrow, but I do appreciate you both joining me tonight."

Gail got up from the table and stumbled right back onto it breaking every dish on her way down. Abby bared his teeth again without growling and Emily looked like she was about to help the dog out by contributing her own growl.

"It's all right, Captain, Rosa will get it in the morning don't worry about it." Parker stopped the blonde before she picked anything up. Gail had turned already and made her way off the deck not waiting for Emily. "We can just say the dinner party was a smashing success."

"I'm sorry, Parker. Good night," was all Emily could think to say before she too stepped off into the darkness. At almost the half way point between the two houses Emily saw Gail waiting for her. The anger that had erupted on Parker's deck minutes before that had only gotten worse Emily could see so she walked up slowly. "Thank you for embarrassing me like that."

"You want to tell me when you became so fucking chummy with Parker King? Or did you fuck her to see what all the fuss was about?" Gail grabbed Emily's arm and squeezed as if trying to force her to answer the question.

"Maybe I did. At least she is sober past ten in the morning." For the first time they had been together, Gail balled her hand into a fist and cocked it back. Emily just looked at her as if daring her to carry through with the threat. "Let me go." She was shaking inside but Emily's voice sounded calm and clear.

"I'll decide when to let you go, don't forget that," said Gail squeezing Emily's arm harder. "Don't worry, I'm not going to hit you. There's no way you fucked someone else, Emily, because we both know you are too cold for that. I should tell your crew just how appropriate the nick name ice queen really is."

"I said let me go," said Emily with more passion this time. She pushed Gail getting to fall backward into the sand. When the grip came loose, Emily started to shake and tears filled her eyes. She turned and ran for the house leaving Gail sprawled out in the sand. The fact she never looked back should have been a clue as to what point she was at with her lover of three years, but Emily didn't care. Gail had crossed a line that night and there might not be a way back.

Continued in Chapter 3

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