Cheeseburger in Paradise



Disclaimer: Lesbians, sex, and violence. I think I hit the big three with this one. In a nutshell, if you’re homophobic, go away. If you’re under 18, go away.

A big thank you to my betas - you all rock.


"Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville, Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt." Well, it’s true. I am wastin’ away and always looking for the saltshakers. You see, I am the General Manager for the restaurant in Margarita Island Resort. I took the job because I couldn’t hang out in college forever. My parents had decided two bachelors and one masters was all they were going to pay for. I wasn’t a 9 to 5’er so I found a job that didn’t require much of me and I got to be a bum. I rather enjoyed my time here on the island and I was never lonely, if you know what I mean, but at age thirty, I was feeling a bit restless with my life.

I guess it all started when I met a woman who had come into the bar one late afternoon

- - - - - -- - - -

"Peter, can you get me a bottle of scotch from the supply room please?"

"Sure. Be back in a bit."

Going back to her task of inventory, Shaye didn’t notice the blonde woman slide onto the barstool in front of her until she cleared her throat.

"Umm, barkeep?" she said.

"What can I do for you, ma’am?"

"Well, I would like something exotic... lots of fruit, umbrellas, and if I can slurp it up with a straw, I will be in Heaven."

"That I can do."

Shaye went about making the house specialty and watching the woman out of the corner of her eye. The woman looked to be around 27 with a nice figure and a face a bit pink from the sun. With a smile she plunked the drink down in front of woman. The woman greeted the drink by raising her sunglasses and bestowing a wink in Shaye’s direction. Shaye fumbled the drink and nearly spilled it everywhere; as it was the liquid sloshed dangerously over the side, losing the umbrella.

"Ah… um… the umbrella," she stuttered, flushing in embarrassment. "It’s on the house," she finally squeaked out. Her embarrassment eased as she was rewarded with a hearty laugh from the woman.

Shaye’s eyes kept returning to the blonde as she tried to do inventory. The woman was cute in a cheerleader sort of way; - blonde hair, green eyes, and long legs slightly pink from new exposure to the sun. Shaye was smitten and she knew it, but that wasn’t anything new; she fell in lust everyday on the island. There was a constant influx of pretty women to the island; it was the perfect tourist trap and some of those pretty women had a way of falling into her bed. Shaye wasn’t arrogant enough to believe she was God’s gift to women. The island just seemed to have that effect; an air of raw sensuality hovered over everything. Factor in people on vacation, and an abundance of alcohol, and things just happened. Sometimes the things that happened were fantastic sweaty things.

She grinned, remembering some of the nude aerobics she had taken part in on the little bed on her boat.

"Good thoughts."

Whoops. Shaye looked up, catching the blonde looking back at her in the mirror; bright green eyes startled her and she dropped her clipboard. Shaye juggled it for a moment but couldn’t catch it before it hit the tile with an echoing thud.

"Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you."

"You didn’t… well, you with no sunglasses… man, are your eyes green."

"Thanks. I’m going to take that there was compliment in there somewhere. You know, those blue eyes of yours aren’t too bad either. I bet it helps you pick up all the women."

All Shaye could do was just sputter and then before she couldn’t hold it back any longer and let out a laugh. Picking up her clipboard she leaned against the bar. "I’m Shaye."

"Nice to meet you, Shaye."

Shaye shook the blonde’s hand. Her eyebrows shot up into her bangs, as her hand was turned over and a warm, pink, index finger stroked the inside of her palm.

"Well, Shaye, did you know that you have two lifelines?"

Shaye’s forehead scrunched up in confusion and she peered down at her hand, following the line that was softly being traced by the woman’s index finger.

The blonde continued on in a breathy quiet voice, " A gypsy told me that if you have two lifelines that it means you have a soul mate. Looks like you’re a lucky person. Somewhere out there is the other half of your soul."

"Show me?" she demanded, her curiosity wetted.

"See, here’s your lifeline." A delicate line was traced, sending an almost visible shudder through Shaye’s skin. "And here is its twin." Another line was traced.

"Wow." Looking up, Shaye’s blue eyes caught laughing green.

"Are you hitting on me?"

"Is it working?" the blonde returned with a toothy grin.

"Maybe. Depends if I’m really gay or not. Or if you’re just jumping to conclusions."

"Well, my gaydar was screaming at me so I figured my odds were good. But if I’m wrong, you’re still an attractive woman, just on the wrong team."

"No, I’m on the right team. The real question is if I want to step up to the plate and pitch."

"I’m a pretty good catcher."

Shaye was enjoying the verbal sparring; it had been awhile since a woman had really turned on her brain and body.

"Maybe some of us should spend more time on work rather than play," a masculine voice tore her gaze away from the blonde.

She rolled her eyes. Peter and his dramatic entrance. She liked the guy and he was a good worker, but sometimes he took liberties that a guy just shouldn’t be taking when he hadn’t been working a job for that long. "It’s under control, Peter. Why don’t you grab a case of…" Shaye paused, scanning her list. "Bud Light."

"Sure, Shaye, I’ll go do my work."

Shay let the snide comment go and turned back the mysterious blonde. She was disappointed to see her standing up.

"I’m sorry; I should get back to…I mean, I should let you get back to work."

"No, don’t let Peter bug you. He was out of line."

"No, it’s okay. It was nice to meet you, Shaye." The blonde hastily grabbed her sunglasses and made for the exit.

"Wait." Shaye scrambled up and over the bar, nearly killing herself.

The blonde couldn’t help it; and she started to laugh as Shaye nearly fell on her face springing over the counter to catch up. "Please don’t hurt yourself on my account."

"Your name?"


"You never told me your name."

"Oh, it’s Sutton."

"It’s very nice to meet you, Sutton," Shaye said, trying to be gallant and not wheeze at the strain she’d put on her body by jumping over the bar. She took Sutton’s hand and kissed the knuckles. "It would really make my day if you would join me for dinner tonight."

"Shaye, I don’t know."

"I get off at eight. Bring a sweater; I live on the water."

"So sure I can’t resist."

"I’m pitching. Do you want to catch?"

Sutton looked behind Shaye and then back into Shaye’s eyes; she bit her lip debating. "Just this once, but watch out if I come up to bat."

"I’ll keep it in mind. Okay, meet me here at eight."

"It’s a date," Sutton said with a wink and then slid her sunglasses on, hiding her eyes.

- - - - - - - -

Sutton’s eyes were sad behind her sunglasses as she returned to the sun and lush surroundings of the resort. She didn’t see any of the fun and relaxation being offered before her. Heading back to the pool, she sighed, ‘Jiggety jog, back to work I go’. Finding her target still at the pool with her entourage, she selected a deck chair that put her in clear view of one Ms. Harriett Mason, or better known as Harry.

As her face took on a bored indifferent expression, her mind wandered back to the blue-eyed woman she had just met. Shaye, - the name rolled around her brain. The woman was a looker, and had a sharp wit. A hint of a smile tugged at her lips. The last thing she needed to do was mix business and pleasure, especially since Peter had caught her. Ten to one that whiny sack of shit would go to their boss and report her. He was just bent out of shape that she got to play a rich bored socialite and he had to work in the bar. It wasn’t her fault she looked better in a bikini than he did. She snorted as a visual image of Peter in a bikini flitted through her head.

She quickly schooled her features as Harry got up and started walking her way. She pretended not to notice how her body was staked out and claimed by the woman’s hard gray eyes.

"Excuse me, but I couldn’t help noticing that you were starting to burn."

Okay, remember, Sutton; you’re rich, dumb, and blonde. She put on a pout. "Really? But I haven’t been out here that long."

"It doesn’t take long out here, especially for someone as creamy in complexion as you are. If you would care to join me and my friends, I believe we have some sun block I could put on you."

Please, can I join your stable of brood mares and studs? Sutton thought sarcastically to herself. "That is so sweet of you." She took the woman’s hand and let herself be helped up.

"Harriet Mason."

"Sutton Vanderbilt."

"A pleasure, Sutton."

Sutton gave the appropriate girlish giggle when Harry kissed her hand. In her head she puked up her lunch.

- - - -- - - - -

Shaye whistled happily. It was almost eight. Sutton - what an unusual name. Her stomach fluttered nervously as she realized that Sutton could chicken out. She made her way to the back to let Manny, the closing night manager, know she was leaving. In her mind she was going over the inventory of her fridge; she had chicken and beef, but if Sutton was a vegetarian it could be tricky.

"Manny, it’s eight; I’m headed out."

A blonde head peaked up from the computer screen. "Okay, let Rick and Tara know I’ll be right out."

"You got it."

With a happy jaunt in her step she made her way outside. The warm humid air quickly enveloped Shaye’s body, and she pulled a hair band out of her pocket. She quickly pulled her hair back into a ponytail to get it off her neck. Looking around the manicured walkway, she observed workers and vacationers wandering around. In the distance she could hear the drums from the resort’s nightly show. Blue eyes glanced at her watch: eight on the dot.

Shaye nearly jumped out of her skin as a hand pressed into her back, and she whirled around as quick as she could. Turning she saw a stunned Sutton look at her.

"That ponytail of yours is a dangerous weapon," Sutton muttered, spitting a few dark hairs out of her mouth.

"Jesus, you scared me. How did you come up behind me?"

"I was there all the time. You walked right by me when you came out of the restaurant."

Shaye eyed the dark shadows near the wall. "Oh. I was pretty caught up in getting off work and wondering if my date was going to show."

"Really? You have a date? How exciting for you."

"Oh, it’s very exciting."

"Tell me about this date," Sutton said, linking her arm with Shaye’s.

"Oh, well, where to start? Hmmm. I met her today."

"Her. You mean your date is a woman?" Sutton replied in mock shock.

"Oh yes… I’m one of those subversive types."

"I’ll keep that in mind. Go on."

"She has a killer… mind, so sharp and quick-witted. It’s a major turn on."

Sutton gave a chuckle. "You like those brainy types."

"Oh yeah. The most attractive thing I find in a woman is her brain. Don’t get me wrong; a nice body can go a long way, but stupid people make awful lovers. However, women with yummy sexy brains make great lovers; in my opinion, they’re creative, imaginative, and the best naughty talkers on the face of the planet." Shaye felt herself flush and the warm first stages of arousal were trailed through her body headed south.

Sutton’s breathing grew slightly ragged at Shaye’s speech, and her hands trembled slightly, growing damp.

"But my date is also one of the most beautiful women that I’ve ever met. Long legs, blonde hair, and sparkling green eyes that remind me of jungle foliage after a rainstorm. Of course, the first thing I thought of when I laid my eyes on her was she looked like a cheerleader, which got my brain working on sorts of scenarios involving flexibility."

"Quite the evil and overactive mind you’ve got there."

Shaye chuckled. "You don’t know the half of it."

Sutton ducked her head down so she could whisper in Shaye’s ear, "You want to know what I’ve been thinking about?"

Shaye gulped as the hot air hit her sensitive ear, skin. "W-what?"

"I’ve been wondering what it would feel like to have your legs wrapped around my body."

Shaye stopped on the trail and looked up into shadowy green eyes before grabbing Sutton’s hand and taking off down the trail to the cove where her houseboat was docked.

As they staggered onto the boat, Shaye’s shirt went flying, followed by Sutton’s sandals. One pair of hands went for the buttons on khaki slacks while another smaller pair went for buttons on a pair of cargo shorts; their mouths met recklessly. Their kisses were wet and urgent; they varied from slow nibbles to wild bites and sucks. Shaye led them backwards to the stairs that led below. They stumbled and staggered down the steps; a bra fell, followed by a shirt.

Sutton whispered into the air, "Is this too fast?"

"Don’t care," Shaye replied, jumping up and wrapping her legs around Sutton’s taller body while her lips wrapped around a cloth-covered nipple.

Sutton groaned at the steady suction and stumbled down the last step, her back coming to rest against a doorframe. She held Shaye to her, not wanting it to stop.

Shaye’s hands were busy removing Sutton’s bra. As it came loose she removed her mouth and panted, "If you keep moving back into that room behind you, we’ll eventually find the bed." She dropped the slightly wet bra to the floor and returned to the pleasant task at hand.

Sutton sucked in a stuttering breath, slid around the doorframe, and into the room. Her legs were growing weaker and her mind was loosing focus as she desperately sought the bed. She found it rumpled and unmade. As gently as she could with lust burning so strongly in her veins, she laid them down on the mattress.

Shaye gasped, releasing her hold as the cool cotton sheets hit her overheated skin. Her hands were grabbed and held above her head, and she felt a moment of panic as it occurred to her addled brain that she really didn’t know that much about Sutton. She struggled, trying to loosen her hands.

"Shhhh…" Sutton breathed into an ear then licked the curve of skin so near her mouth. "You’ve been quite busy; it’s my turn now."

Shaye whimpered and relaxed as lips and teeth bit and sucked at her skin. Sutton’s free hand stroked and massaged the muscles of her upper thigh, causing Shaye to squirm. As two fingers entered her slowly, testing the waters, Shaye felt her breath stagger and catch in her throat. "Please, please, please," she breathed out. A happy moan was released deep from in her chest as fingers entered fully, stroking and mapping her inner territory.

As Sutton’s fingers explored, her mouth came to rest near a hot flushed ear, and she began to whisper in great naughty detail all the things she wanted to do to Shaye before the sun rose. It didn’t take much to push Shaye’s thrumming body over the edge.

Sticky and lazy, Shaye rested on Sutton’s back over an hour later. "Don’t tell me you’re wore out now," she breathed onto skin, watching as it rose up in goose bumps. "I believe you didn’t even do half of those naughty things that you whispered into my ear an hour ago." The body below hers chuckled.

"Well, someone also promised dinner, but it looks like it was a ruse to get me naked and sweaty."

Shaye laughed and moved Sutton’s long blonde hair away from the nape of her neck. She paused as she felt Sutton stiffen and a small white tattoo was revealed. Looking closely she saw it to be a tattoo of Casper, the friendly ghost. She couldn’t help but laugh. "Why Casper?"

"It was a joke with some of my classmates; after we graduated we got drunk and had them done."

"But Casper?"

"Laugh it up. If I had the energy, I’d so do something mean and nasty to you."

"Right, like do a cheer or something."

"What is it with you and cheerleaders? I hate to break it to you but I was never a cheerleader."

"Fine, just shatter all my naughty fantasies." In an eruption of motion Shaye suddenly found herself pinned to the mattress, green eyes looking dangerously down at her. "Now where was that spot?" Sutton mused to herself. Lips descended and Shaye gasped and moaned.

- - -- - - - -

Sutton moved before she was even awake. Rolling off the bed, she grabbed a shoe and threw it at the person coming through the door; it knocked the gun to the side. Then she sprang, hurling them both out the door and onto the stairs. With a quick jab and a twist, she secured the gun. Pointing the gun at her assailant, she took a few deep breaths trying to wake up. Peter’s shocked eyes greeted her when she looked down. Her own green eyes narrowed in rage and she got up, hauling Peter up the stairs. Along the way she grabbed her shirt, putting it on as well as her shorts when she found them up on the deck.

"Peter, what the hell are you doing here?"

"Me? What the fuck are you doing?"

"None of your business."

"You’re compromising the mission."

"I’m doing no such thing."

"Sutton, you’re ordered not to see Shaye again, or I have been ordered to eliminate her. You’re here to do the mission and get out. You’re a Ghost; no one is to know you were here or remember you."

"I know what I am, Peter. If you remember, I’ve been doing it longer than you."

"Yeah, yeah. So far I’m really disappointed ‘cause the real Sutton is a poor shadow of all the tales I’ve been hearing."

Growling, Sutton thrust Peter’s gun back into his hands and threw him overboard. She waited to see if Peter would make another appearance. When all remained quiet, she made her way back down the stairs, grabbing her remaining clothes along the way. She stared at the sleeping woman. Sutton was amazed that Shaye was able to sleep through all the commotion; however, while the scuffle had sounded loud to her, it was probably not loud at all. For the first time in a long time she felt an internal tearing in her psyche and her eyes grew damp. This was bad; emotion got in the way and lead to death. She held her fingers to her lips and kissed them, then placed them gently on the sleeping woman’s cheek.

- - - - - - - -

Shaye was in a bad mood. Her relaxed island bum mojo had been dashed over the rocks a week ago when she’d woken up to a pristine white note next to her on the bed. It had contained one word, - "Sorry". It still made her grit her teeth. Sorry? Sorry for what? The sex? The intimacy? Running off without so much as an explanation? ‘Sorry’ didn’t cut it. What was even worse than the single word note was that she swore she’d spotted Sutton on the arm of Harry Mason. That woman was a royal bitch. She treated everybody on the resort’s staff like shit. Shaye had heard that she was some US senator’s wife. Marriage must not mean a lot because she knew Ms. Mason had her claws into every young hot man and woman who landed at the resort. What the hell was Sutton doing with that viper? Sutton wasn’t some giggly air-headed bimbo. Shaye gritted her teeth and her forehead scrunched up in anger.

"It has to be a girl."

"What?" Shaye snapped out.

"That look on your face. A woman had to have put it there."

"Peter, you’re out of line."

"It’s that Sutton woman who was in here the other week. You haven’t been the same since that day. Trust me; you were just some fling. She’s already moved on. She has her sights on somebody richer."

"Shut up, Peter," she said through clenched teeth.

"Hey, I’m sorry. Look, we both get off in 10 minutes. Why don’t we grab a few beers and blow off some steam?"

Shaye eyed Peter. The guy wasn’t so bad, he could be mouthy and nosey but he was overall a good sort. "Alright, 10 minutes and we’ll grab a few beers."

- - - - - - - - -

"Sooo…" Shaye slurred out. "I wake up after the best sexual experience of my life so far, and found a one word note. ‘Sorry.’ Sorry, my ass."

"Yep, women, I tell ya. They really know how to tear a person down."

"You could say that again."


They both giggled. "Oh, I should be getting back. The morning comes so early when you’ve been drinking."

"That it does," Peter said, oozing his body out of the chair. "Let me help you to your boat."

"Nah, I’m good."

"It’s late; I’d feel better if I made sure you got there safe."

Shaye gave a drunken shrug and let Peter help her stagger home.

- - - -- - - - -

"Here’s your boat."

"Great. Thanks, Peter. It was nice to have someone to vent with."

"No problem."

Shay fumbled across the walkway to her boat, when something occurred to her. "How did you know where I live?" She turned, finding Peter right behind her.

"Because I’ve been here before."

Shaye began to backup as quickly as she could onto her boat. "I don’t remember inviting you."

"Oh, I wasn’t invited," he said, moving forward with sure, steady, un-drunk steps. "I like you, Shaye, but you went and messed up the whole operation. So now you’re a liability."

"What are you talking about?"

He removed a small gun from under his shirt. "It’s business, Shaye. Nothing personal." He leveled the gun at her.

Shaye crouched down, her arms over her head, trying to make herself smaller. There was a quiet whump noise and then all that could be heard was the creaking of wood as it rose and fell with the waves.

- - - -- - - - - - -

The moon was a thin sliver in the sky, leaving most of the island to be swallowed up in the darkness of night. A piece of night moved, flowing quickly over dirt and rock; not even the leafy plants were disturbed by its passing. As it approached a pristine white yacht, it came to a stop, fading back into the darkness.

Sutton stared up at the yacht that she’d been on the night before. Harry had thrown a lovely hedonistic party filled with drugs; liquor; and willing, young, nude bodies. Sutton had played her role to the hilt, but something had changed. It was harder to get into her role of Sutton Vanderbilt; and she found herself more and more just wanting to be Sutton James, but she wasn’t even sure if Sutton existed anymore. She could be just a ghost in her fractured psyche somewhere.

The hardest thing was had been walking away from Shaye. She knew it was silly; she’d only known the woman for 12 hours, but in that 12 hours her heart had felt more alive than it had in all her 28 years. She sighed, looking up at the boat. This was her last mission; she had already notified the agency of her termination. After she put a bullet in Ms. Mason’s brain she would return to be debriefed and go through de-programming. Maybe when that was all over she would return; and there was hope that she and Shaye might be able to find some sort of future together.

She was good at her job because of her photographic memory; she didn’t need to spend hours on recon. At the party last night she’d seen all that she needed to see; entrances, exits, and rooms were laid out like a map in her mind. Now all she needed to do was get in, get out, and make sure it looked like a robbery gone wrong. Sutton oozed over the railing and slunk over to the stairs that led down, down to where Ms. Mason slept. She offered up a brief prayer that Ms. Mason was alone, but knew chances were slim.

Sutton moved on cat-like feet into the main room. Her senses were screaming at her that something was wrong just as the lights came on, blinding her. She dove to the side, releasing a knife in a move of reaction to the sudden movement around her. It sailed, cutting through the air, wobbling slightly with the air friction, and then stopped violently as it speared into muscle and bone. The bodyguard squeezed off two rounds before he slumped over, the gun falling to the floor out of slack hands.

"You know, Sutton, you were quite good. Had me completely fooled by your little spoiled rich girl act. Too bad somebody sold you out."

Sutton ignored the words; it was already obvious to her that someone had ratted her out. She scrambled behind the fine white leather sofa, her eyes quickly scanning the room. There were no windows, but in the reflection from the black polished TV screen she saw three people; one was moving rapidly around the sofa. Standing, she pulled a gun and fired; the bullet hit the man moving around the sofa squarely between the eyes. More blood sprayed over white walls and the large man fell like a cut puppet to the floor. Turning she pulled another gun, pointed both barrels at Harry, and froze.

Blue terror-filled eyes looked back at her. Sutton licked her lip in a nervous gesture, the first sign that she was losing control of the situation. Shaye was tied to a chair, a gag firmly in place in her mouth, and with a gun pointed steadily at her head.

"I have it on good authority that Ms. Henderson here is a good bargaining piece to make sure I have your full attention."

Sutton’s eyes narrowed and she uttered a single word, "Peter."

"The one and only. Your guns, please."

Sutton didn’t even blink and an eye as she felt the cool metal of the gun muzzle press into the skin on the back of her neck. She clicked the guns’ safeties before letting them fall to the floor. She gritted her teeth in pain as a fist slammed into a kidney from behind.

"Stupid bitch."

Sutton sank to her knees when she received another punch, her eyes misting over in pain.

"Yes, dear Peter came to me last night after you left my little party, telling me that you were a government assassin sent to stop my little money-making scheme. Then he mentioned that you had become rather fond of one of the locals and that Ms. Henderson would be the perfect bargaining piece. All he wanted in return was a lot of money."

Sutton started laughing.

"I hardly see what’s so funny."

"Peter isn’t playing you for money. He’s cleaning house."

Harry’s gray eyes shot up to Peter’s brown ones.

He gave her a small smile. "She’s one of the best. You don’t just let the best walk away. You don’t get to retire in our field of work." He leveled his gun.

Harry’s face paled; she turned to flee and the bodyguard pulled his gun, raising it in Peter’s direction. Peter squeezed out three shots, taking out the bodyguard before firing two rounds into Harry’s fleeing form.

Sutton felt the tension pop with the first shot from Peter’s gun, and she started moving in that instant. She leapt to her feet and dove for Shaye’s bound form, knocking them both down. She gave a muffled curse as hot red pain erupted in her leg. She quickly drew her last hidden knife, cut Shaye loose, and then flung it with a backwards flick in Peter’s direction. In the few seconds she had, she pulled Shaye off the ground. "Run."

"What about you?"

"Run. I have to take care of Peter." She gave Shaye a hearty push away from danger.

"I… I want you to know…"

Sutton rounded on Shaye. "Get the fuck out of here."

Shaye’s face crumbled and she took off running.

Sutton tried to stand but found her right leg kept collapsing under her weight. As Peter rounded on her, she instinctively darted to her left, scooping up the gun that had fallen from the first bodyguard’s hand. Twisting back around, she and Peter both came face to face with a gun.

"Give it up, Sutton. It’s game over. Your life is forfeit, so is your pretty little fuck buddy‘s."

"Shaye will be a lot better off than you."

"Really. How’s that?"

"Well, this is why." She tossed him a small, black, hand-held device. Peter caught it, gave it a casual glance, and then did a double take, his face turning white.

"Yep, wired the boat for the big boom in 20 seconds from right… about… now."

Peter’s eyes went wide with panic.

Two gunshots echoed through the night, followed by an ear-shattering explosion.

- - - - - - - - - - -

It all started with a woman, and I’ll never complain about feeling restless ever again. Sutton brought way to too much excitement to my life: - a wild night of sex, followed by heartbreak, and topped off with being held hostage. I won’t admit it hurts like hell to know she’s gone, but I won’t deny it either. They say there were no survivors of Ms. Harriet Mason’s tragic boat fire. Yeah, some boat fire; there was just enough left of that boat to fit in a matchbox.

I’m still the general manager at the restaurant but now I’m beginning to wonder if a nice 9-to-5 job wouldn’t be so bad. But that would mean giving up my boat and being close to the place that held my memories of Sutton. It’s only been 4 months and life has gone on, but it seems the woman seriously never existed. I kept waiting for a death notice or an obituary to show up; it never did but two big thug-like government types did. I had to sign a few papers about government security and give a statement. Honestly, I was so doped up from that tranquilizer dart that Peter hit me with that I’m not really sure what happened on the boat, but I do know Sutton saved my life. Maybe that’s why I haven’t really dated much. It’s hard to top the memory of a woman who gave her life to save yours; all other women pale in comparison.

It’s a cool island day; I’m wearing shorts and a sweater, and flipping some burgers on my little grill. I have the day off; which sucks, but my boss says I have to stop burying myself in the restaurant or he’ll call the loony bin.

"If you’re making cheeseburgers, I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57, and French fried potatoes."

The voice is soft and wafts up behind me; all I can do is turn and stare. The spatula is drawn across my body for protection. I’m seriously tired of people sneaking up on me on my own boat. She looks battered and her hair is short, - way short; it barely comes down to her ears. She has a cane that she leans on heavily, but she still looks beautiful in my eyes.

"Are you a ghost?"

Her lips draw back in a smile then part to release a light chuckle.

"Not anymore."

"Why are you here?"

"I thought we might try again."

She pauses and seems to gather herself.

"Hi, I’m Sutton James, and I believe you offered me a dinner date. Is the offer still good?"

I can feel the tears in my eyes and I can’t stay away from her any longer. "Depends. Are you going to vanish at the end of the evening?"

"Nope, you can have me forever if you want me."

She’s in my arms now, real and solid. I can hear her heart beat and smell her shampoo. "We can give forever a shot."

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