A low gurgling sound broke the stillness, then a hearty exhalation propelled a small amount of water from the vivid green plastic tube that pierced the water. The waning light wasn’t powerful enough for even the riotous color to reflect it, making the cylinder nearly disappear.
The nearly silent swimmer rounded the bony protrusion of rock that jutted out from the tip of the island. A few powerful strokes of long yellow fins and the day’s excursion was at an end.
She slogged along upon the smooth but deep sand, fins removed and floating placidly in the scant waves while she lifted her mask. A few steps on the cushy sand and the figure stood and scanned the beach, her gaze caught by the unexpected sight of a small pile of clothes.
The dim light flattened everything to a near-uniform shade of tan, but as the swimmer approached it was clear that the clothing was nearly the color of the sand: a white linen sleeveless top, a khaki skirt, a pair of tan sandals and a small lump under the blouse that likely protected some undergarments.
Scanning the ever-darkening water, her eyes settled on a most interesting sight: a snowy white ass barely peeking from the glass-like surface. The figure was moving away from the shore and a blonde head popped up, revealing the owner of the ass to be a woman. A young woman, judging from the shape of the cheeks moving out towards the point.
Not usually one to intrude on another’s business, Sunny Murrow spent a moment considering the situation. She knew the area well, but even with her gear she never ventured into open water after dark. It wasn’t that the point was particularly dangerous. It was just imprudent to venture into the ocean when you couldn’t see anemones, stingrays, jellyfish and other beautiful but mildly dangerous creatures. And one never knew when one of the hearty young men offering jet skis for rent would zip past you, propelling you into the very sharp barbs of the point. She checked her diver’s watch and saw that she had nearly an hour before she had to shower, so she sat down on the powdery sand and watched the young woman--determined to allow her the freedom of her swim--with backup.
The moon had risen early, and was bathing the water with a steel-gray gleam. Sunny relaxed, letting the soft slapping of the waves and the warm temperatures lull her into a daze. She didn’t notice when the swimmer stopped, stood and gaped at her in shock. Sunny would have understood why a nude woman would be a bit discomfited to see a stranger sitting next to her clothing on a completely deserted beach. But since she hadn’t seen her, she blithely reflected on her day, satisfied with what she’d been able to do since she’d left work.
The moonlight hit the long blonde hair of the swimmer, capturing Sunny’s attention at last. She stood and tried not to look intimidating, but she was fairly sure her plan wasn’t working when the woman stayed right where she was--looking more frightened than modest.
Sunny waved, but her wave wasn’t returned. Slowly, the swimmer moved towards the beach, her steps tentative and careful. When she was about 25 yards out Sunny realized that she was either crouching severely or was less than 2 feet tall. Trying to wrap things up, Sunny called to the woman. “Do you need a towel?” She could see her begin to smile.
“Yeah. Do you have one?”
“Yeah. My stuff’s on the other side of the point. I’ll get it.”
Sunny walked the short distance to pick up her waterproof gear bag, and when she returned the woman was still crouching in the water. She removed a pink chamois from her bag, dipped it in the water to soften it, wadded it into a ball and threw it as far and as hard as she could. It landed about 15 yards away, in barely a foot of water. Since she knew an adult woman couldn’t compress herself into a package smaller than 12 inches, she called out again. “I’ll go on the other side of the point to give you some privacy. Call me when you’re finished with my towel.”
She could see the relief on the woman’s face and felt good about her Samaritan turn. She walked back to where she’d stored her gear and spent a few minutes putting her wet things away. She normally dried everything with her towel, but she always washed her mask and snorkel with fresh water when she returned to her apartment, so lending the towel wasn’t much of a hardship. Her shortie wetsuit was still dripping, but it would dry a bit on her walk, and the cool May air was no match for the insulating properties of her suit. It took longer than she’d wished, but she finally heard a quiet, “I’m finished.”
Standing and turning the corner, Sunny’s eyes met those of a woman about her own age, close to her own height and weight and built a bit like her. Stylish amber-colored glasses provided a significant difference, since Sunny’s vision was 20/10. She smiled and said, “I don’t normally try to catch people skinny-dipping, but it was getting dark and I was a little worried about you. It’s no fun to have to limp home with a jellyfish sting.”
“Jellyfish! There are jellyfish here?”
“Ahh ... yeah. This is the ocean.” Cocking her head, Sunny said, “You’re not a local, are you.”
“No. But I swim in the Atlantic all the time. I’ve never been stung.”
“What part of the Atlantic?”
Unable to stifle a laugh, Sunny said, “No disrespect to New Jersey, but I think there are a few more fish in the Bahamas. You really have to keep your eyes open.”
“That’s hard to do when it’s nearly dark. My mother would slay me if she knew I was swimming.” She fluffed her hair, which caught and held the silver glow of the moon. “I hope my hair dries before I get back to the hotel. She won’t believe I’ve been sweating this much.”
Sunny walked a few steps closer and extended her hand. “I’m Sunny. How far are you going?”
“Lindsay. Uhm ... to the Ocean Villas. It’s not too far.”
“Mind some company? I live about another mile down the beach from your hotel.”
“No, no. I’d love some. It was cool to walk down here and toss my clothes off when it was still light, but it’s kinda scary now.” She shivered, and Sunny could see goosebumps rise on her pale arms.
“This is a pretty safe beach. But I wouldn’t tempt the local kids. There are a lot of young guys who sit on the beach and drink beer and smoke weed after work. They’re pretty harmless but ... why ask for trouble?”
Lindsay ran her fingers through her hair again, obviously trying to help it dry. “I don’t usually ask for trouble. But I nearly wet my pants ... which I wasn’t wearing ... when I saw you on the beach. I didn’t have my glasses on and I thought you were a guy.”
Reaching out to squeeze Sunny’s arm, Lindsay explained. “You don’t look like a guy at all. But without my glasses everything looks bigger. You looked about 6 feet tall, and I couldn’t see your long hair.”
Sunny removed the band from her black hair and shook it out. “I can’t stand to have it floating in my face when I’m snorkeling.”
“Do you really live here?”
“Yeah.” She hesitated and her eyes narrowed for a moment. “Kinda. I work here in the summer. I’ll be here until September or October.”
“Really? What do you do?”
“I’m a dealer in the casino.”
Lindsay’s eyes blinked in surprise. “I’ve never met anyone who works in a casino. Is it fun?”
“No.” Sunny chuckled. “It’s smoky and noisy and I have to put up with drunks and guys trying to hit on me all night. But it pays fairly well and I get to do what I like during the day.”
“I can see why guys hit on you.” Lindsay’s eyes widened and her mouth opened and closed twice before she spoke again. Sunny’s amused expression didn’t help her regain her composure but she finally sputtered. “I can’t believe some of the things I say! I just spit out whatever I think!”
Sunny’s gaze grew more direct and she smiled so brightly that her teeth shone in the moonlight. “What’s wrong with that? Besides, who minds being told she’s nice looking?”
“You’d have to ugly down to be nice looking,” Lindsay said, clearly no longer embarrassed about speaking her mind.
“Huh.” Sunny looked her up and down, her eyes lingering on various spots for just a second longer than a casual glance warranted. “Why don’t you come by tonight? You can play a few hands.”
“What do you deal?”
“Blackjack. Know how to play?”
“A little.” She returned Sunny’s meandering glance, pausing at the mounds that her half-zipped wet suit hid. “I’ve ... I should ... well ... I might be able to.” She pursed her lips in thought. “Let me try to get away. What time?”
“I’m there from 11:00 to 7:00.”
Lindsay scratched her cheek, her eyes half-closed in contemplation. “The adults should be in bed by then ...”
“I can’t let you win, but I can but you a drink.”
“I’ll do my best.” They’d slowed as they approached Lindsay’s hotel. “It’ll be late, but I’ll try to come by. Where will you be?”
“At one of the blackjack tables. I usually go to lunch around 2:00, so come before then or after 3:00. They make us hide when we’re off duty, so I won’t see you if you’re wandering around during my lunch hour.”
“They make you hide?”
Sunny grinned, her nose wrinkling up. “No, I can go where I want if I take my uniform off, but I’m usually happy to be away from the charming drunks.”
“I probably won’t be drunk--”
“But you’ll be charming,” Sunny said, lightly touching Lindsay’s chin with her index finger and then strolling purposefully down the beach, her bare feet leaving a trail that Lindsay was sorely tempted to follow.
At 1:30 Lindsay stopped to survey her look in the mirrors near the entrance of the casino. Her hair looked particularly good and she thanked the salt water for giving it extra body and a hint of curl. Her makeup was very subtle--just enough blush and eye shadow to make her look like she cared about how she looked--but wasn’t obsessed with it. She scanned the crowd that flowed past her, pleased that she’d chosen the proper outfit. A cocoa brown silk camisole, a short white skirt and brown sandals made her fit in perfectly with the other tourists. She was sure she looked good when a group of guys a little older than she nearly sprained their necks checking her out from the back as they left the building. She wasn’t overly vain, but she knew she presented a good view from behind and tried to accent her best asset with short skirts when she was trying to make an impression. And she was definitely trying to make an impression this night.
It took a few minutes, but she found Sunny standing behind a waist-high table, dealing cards to three men. Lindsay hadn’t even noticed the uniform the other dealers were wearing, but Sunny made it stand out as if a spotlight were hitting it. The blood-red vest with a tuxedo-style wing-collared shirt front and a black bow-tie looked absolutely divine on Sunny. Her arms were bare and toned but not muscular. Looking around, Lindsay saw that the women dealers wore skirts, and she hoped Sunny’s was a mini. Her hair was free and it moved slightly as she turned her head to look just over the head of each player.
Two of the men looked like the free drinks had been flowing for quite a while, holding themselves upright via their elbows which were locked over the leather padded bolster that ringed the table. The other man looked like he might be a local—and sober. He was dark-skinned and wore casual but elegant summer clothing--something most tourists didn’t seem to own. They had the casual down pat, but the elegant was largely absent. T-shirts with clever sayings like “Blue Gill Lake--A good drinking town with a fishing problem,” seemed the height of couture.
All three men had just lost, since Sunny slid her hand across the table and their chips disappeared. Then the cards disappeared and Sunny was dealing again--her actions so seamless that Lindsay couldn’t say that she’d seen how either the cards or the chips had vanished.
Sunny’s expression was pleasant and a little bored. Even though Lindsay had spent scant minutes with her it was evident that her eyes weren’t sparkling like they’d been for her. The men were clearly trying to make conversation, but Sunny didn’t say much. She smiled and patiently waited while the two tipsy-looking men bet their hands, but she didn’t reveal much. When she reached for chips or cards her long black hair shone under the light that bathed the table. But when she stood erect, nothing demanded your attention. She was an average sized young woman with long black hair and expressionless eyes who was probably trying to blend into the woodwork to do her job.
But Lindsay could see why Sunny’s attempts wouldn’t have been terribly successful. She was much younger than most of the other dealers; women were a distinct minority; and most of the women were either plain or hard-edged. Sunny looked ... sunny. She was scrubbed and clean looking, with little makeup. Her tanned skin didn’t require much and her vivid pale eyes could hardly have been made more attractive by man alone. Square shoulders, excellent posture and a trim body with breasts slightly out of proportion to her other features set her apart. Lindsay decided that proportion was highly overrated and that Sunny’s shape was as close to perfect as she was likely to see.
She was still studying Sunny when she felt the woman’s eyes on her and she smiled guiltily. It only lasted a second, but a hint of a smile appeared on Sunny’s full, well-defined lips. Then she was back to dealing: businesslike and cordial but distant...definitely distant.
Lindsay had played blackjack a few times, but she was by no means a talented player. Nonetheless, she wanted to sit at Sunny’s table, so she sidled over and waited for some sign from Sunny. She wasn’t sure if a dealer was allowed to let people she knew sit at her table, and after Sunny nodded at her briefly she still didn’t know. So she pulled out a chair and perched on the edge, wincing when she saw the $25 minimum sign at the edge of the table. She took out 5 20’s … all she had on her … and laid them on the table, accepting the meager 4 green chips that Sunny placed in front of her.
The well-dressed man had either run out of luck or interest, as he got up and pressed two green chips into Sunny’s hand. She nodded rather demurely and thanked him as he slipped away.
“Place your bets,” Sunny said, her voice barely rising above the din from a bank of slot machines directly behind her.
Lindsay could feel both men at the table leering or leaning in her direction. She glanced their way and decided they were looking at her, but that their bigger issue was staying upright.
A cocktail waitress wriggled by and Lindsay saw Sunny shake her head slightly, waving her off. Then she must have realized what she’d done because she gave Lindsay a quick look and raised an eyebrow. “Drink?” she mouthed.
Lindsay needed a little liquid courage, so she turned and caught the cocktail waitress’ eye. “Vodka and cranberry juice, please.”
The woman repeated her order and made a circle around to table to avoid the vague gesture one of the men made at her. “I wanted a drink,” he said. “Where’d she go?”
“Bets please,” Sunny said again, her slim fingers resting on the edge of the cards stacked up in a black rack.
Lindsay put one of her chips in a circle on the felt and watched as the two men put 3 and 4 chips up. In a wink they all had cards in front of them although she could swear that Sunny’s hand hadn’t moved. Lindsay was unable to contain her smile when she saw a 10 and a 9 looking back at her.
Sunny pointed at each hand and said, in order, “6, 9, 19.”
Each man scraped his cards across the felt and Sunny dealt each of them a card, stating, “13, 16.” Lindsay placed the tips of her cards under her lonely chip, indicating she was happy with her hand. The man holding 13 scraped his cards again, asking for a fourth. When he saw the 9 of clubs hit the felt he muttered, “Busted again,” as Sunny softly said, “22.”
The remaining man studied his cards for a few moments, then tucked them under his 4 chips. Sunny had a 9 up and she turned her card over, showing a 7. She was forced to take another card, and went bust at 24. Lindsay heard her say, “Winner with 16, winner with 19.” Then she pushed four chips towards the man and one lonely disk her way.
Three hands later, Lindsay had a nice little pile of chips in front of her and two grumpy men beside her. The winner from the first hand decided to increase his bets and quickly was down what Lindsay guessed was $500. A man in a maroon blazer walked behind Sunny and gently tapped her shoulder. She announced. “John will be your dealer. Good luck,” then moved aside as John settled into her spot and asked for bets. The man who’d been losing mumbled, “Good riddance,” to Sunny’s back indicating to Lindsay that he must be blind as well as drunk. She gathered her chips and followed Sunny’s gently swaying hips until they were in front of a door that read “Staff.”
“Do you want to stay inside?” Sunny asked. “I can take off my vest in just a second.”
Lindsay looked her over and let her voice drop a little. “Would you put something else on?”
A laugh burst out of Sunny and she nodded. “Yeah. No nudity.”
“I like it. Leave it on. You look very good in red.”
“Brocade isn’t my normal fabric.” Sunny grinned at her. “But the color’s good. Wanna go outside?”
“Sure. It’s nice out.”
Sunny led her to another door and pushed, allowing Lindsay to proceed her. “We have a little space where we can smoke outside.” Lindsay pushed open a glass door and stood on the patio. It was empty--save for the dozens of spent cigarette butts on the concrete.
“I’m not sure why anyone who works here smokes,” Sunny said, standing next to Lindsay at the wrought-iron railing. “I figure I smoke two packs a day and I’ve never had one in my mouth. If I wanted to smoke I’d just sit in the casino and breathe. It’s a lot cheaper than buying your own.”
“I hate cigarette smoke,” Lindsay said, making a face. “I don’t know how you stand it.”
Sunny shrugged amenably. “No options. There’s a non-smoking section in some casinos, but they’re never serious about it. People seem to need to smoke to gamble.”
Lindsay faced Sunny and leaned against the railing. “What led you to become a dealer?”
“Family business,” she replied, smirking. “My dad’s a dealer and my mom’s a cocktail waitress.”
“No. Las Vegas. My hometown.”
Waiting a moment before replying, Lindsay said, “I’ve never known anyone who grew up in Las Vegas.”
“You’re in luck. You’ve met a card dealer and a Las Vegan in the same day.”
“How’d you end up here?”
Sunny extended her hand and pointed at the ocean. “Ever been to Vegas?”
“No water,” Sunny said. “I’m a water lover. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the desert, but I’ve always loved the water. I went to school in Florida just to be near the ocean, and then I found this job.”
“But you said you only live here during the summer.”
“Right. That’s just for finances though. I love it here, but I make a lot more money in Vegas. I live with my parents and don’t have many expenses during the winter. Then I come here and get to do what I love.”
Lindsay looked at her pale eyes, glimmering in the moonlight. “What’s that?” she asked, her voice breathy as she found herself inching closer to Sunny.
A contented smile graced Sunny’s lovely face. “Swim, snorkel, dive, sail ... anything on the water makes me happy.”
“I love the water too. I go to the shore every time I have a day off.”
Sunny’s warm, dry hand grasped Lindsay’s arm and held it aloft. “You must use some righteous sun block.”
“I do,” Lindsay sniffed. “I’d rather be pale than have skin cancer. My grandfather has so many little scars on his face and arms that he looks like he was in a war where they used tiny little weapons.” She giggled. “I shouldn’t laugh but he kinda likes his war wounds as he calls them. He’s always bragging about how he ignores his dermatologist and stays in the sun as much as he wants. He says it’s the doctor’s job to find the problems and cut ‘em off.”
Sunny’s expression softened and her voice grew quiet. “He sounds like fun.”
“He is. Wanna meet him?”
Blinking in surprise, Sunny said, “Isn’t it a little early to visit your family? I don’t even know your last name.”
Lindsay elbowed her. “It’s Kane. And it wouldn’t be a big deal. He and 17 other members of my family are right down there.” She pointed at the hotel where Sunny had dropped her off.
“Crap! Why are you all here?”
“My older sister’s getting married.” Lindsay made a face. “We’ve all been marching around in lock-step for two days.” Her grimace grew larger. “My mother likes to ... run the show. That’s why I was wearing clothes the same color as my skin today. We all had to put on matching clothes for pictures.” She rolled her eyes. “Why you’d want a bunch of pale blonde people in white and khaki is over my head, but that’s what the little general wanted.”
Chuckling, Sunny said, “The little general?”
“That’s what my grandfather calls my mom. He’s my dad’s father,” she added. “I don’t think they dislike each other, but I don’t think they’d hang out if they didn’t have to.”
“So who’s here?”
“Oh, Lord! Everybody! My two brothers and their wives and kids, my grandparents on both sides, Jim ... he’s the groom ... and his family. They have dark hair and they looked nice in their uniforms today, by the way. The ceremony’s on the beach tomorrow afternoon ... or this afternoon since it’s already tomorrow. Then I can relax for a couple of days before I head home. I just have to keep out of my mom’s way so I can have fun.”
Her explanation was so quick and she’d covered so many issues that Sunny didn’t seem to have a response to anything in particular. “Where in New Jersey do you live?”
“Oh. I don’t live in Jersey. I live in Philadelphia. The suburbs, really. But the Jersey shore is pretty close.”
“I’ve never been anywhere in the Northeast. Except to change planes.”
“I like it,” Lindsay said. “But I’d like to live somewhere a little less ... suburban ... if you know what I mean. Someplace warmer wouldn’t hurt either. I don’t even care if it’s a major city. I’d like someplace relaxed ... with less pollution and less slush. Slush is the worst!”
“You don’t seem very relaxed,” Sunny said, a teasing smile curling her lips up.
“I am! I’m just … happy.”
“Well, Las Vegas is the coldest place I’ve ever lived. I’ve never even had gloves on.”
“Bitch,” Lindsay said, sticking her tongue out. “I went to school in Massachusetts. I’ve never lived anywhere warm.”
“Are you ... out of school?”
“Yeah.” Lindsay laughed. “Shouldn’t you have carded me if you thought I was underage?”
“It’s 18 here. I was pretty sure you were over 18.” Once again, Sunny let her gaze glide up Lindsay’s body. “You look ... quite mature.”
“Thanks.” Lindsay knew she was blushing, but she figured the moonlight would hide that fact. “You look ... about my age. I’m 25.”
“Me too! 1980?”
“Yeah. April 26th.”
“Hey! I’m April 29th! We’re practically twins!”
Lindsay gently touched Sunny’s tanned hand. “You got all the melanin.”
Returning the intimacy, Sunny threaded her fingers through Lindsay’s hair and let the strands slip through her fingers. Her voice turned soft and low. “You got the nice hair. I’ve always wanted to be a blonde.”
With a shocked expression, Lindsay cried, “With that gorgeous black hair? You’d be insane to go blonde. Your hair looks absolutely perfect with your skin color and your eyes.”
“Thanks.” Sunny said this with the ease of a woman whose looks had been complimented frequently and effusively. “But there’s something ...” She squinted as though she were trying to see the description in the distance. “Pure ... clean about the way you look. You could be a princess in a fairy tale.”
“Mmm ... I always liked the fairy tales about the 1001 Nights with the dark-haired, exotic-looking women.”
Sunny smiled and her eyebrows popped up and down. “I think we should kiss each other. Don’t know why ... it just seems like a good idea.” She was smiling so charmingly that Lindsay would have kissed her without an explicit invitation. But it was nice to receive one. She placed her hand on Sunny’s cheek and felt a pair of hands on her shoulders, drawing her close. They paused just before their lips met, and both women smiled. “You’re fantastic looking,” Sunny breathed.
“You’re in. You don’t need to sell me.” Sunny’s smile grew brighter as she closed the last few inches between them and placed her lips against Lindsay’s. As soon as their lips touched their bodies molded together and Lindsay felt a hand at the back of her head, holding her still. She lost herself in Sunny’s kiss, letting warm lips and a gossamer-soft tongue make her forget where she was. All she knew was that Sunny was one very talented kisser, and that she wanted to see those dexterous hands splayed across her body as soon as humanly possible.
They moved against each other, occasionally gasping for breath as they probed and explored each other’s mouths. A few moments or an hour passed and Sunny finally pried herself away. “I’ve gotta get back to work,” she whispered, peppering Lindsay’s lips with soft kisses.
Lindsay laced her hands behind Sunny’s neck and pulled her back in for more. “Call in sick,” she murmured.
Chuckling though the kiss, Sunny pulled her head back and looked at Lindsay in the silver light. “God, you’re gorgeous. I’m not gonna be able to deal after this. They might send me home. I have to do a lot of addition, you know.”
Lindsay stood tall and tossed her head, settling her hair over her shoulders. She took a deep breath. “I’d tell you to come to my room later, but I’m sleeping with a 4-year-old, an 8-year-old and Jim’s 15-year-old sister.”
“And I have 3 roommates,” Sunny said, her lip curling in distaste.
“Yeah. We all work here,” she said, gesturing at the casino. “Two on day shift and two on night. We’re never all there, but I’m never sure who’s gonna be home.”
“Do you have your own room?”
“No. I share with a guy on the day shift. We each have our own twin bed. It’s like being 10 years old.”
“How do you ...” Lindsay wriggled her eyebrows, making Sunny laugh.
“I ... uhm ... haven’t met anyone I’ve wanted to ...” She tried and failed to imitate Lindsay’s eyebrow gymnastics.
“Really?” Lindsay’s smile brightened.
“Really. Of course, I’ve only been here two weeks.” She smiled impishly.
“Do you have a girlfriend back in Las Vegas?”
“No. I haven’t even bothered to tell my parents I’m queer, since I’ve never had a date when I’m living with them. Parents do best when they know as little as possible.”
“What are you?” Lindsay asked, peering at her curiously. “Celibate?”
“No! Not even a little. I’m ... picky.”
“Me too,” Lindsay said, smiling angelically. “And I’d like to pick you.”
Sunny squinted again, something she obviously did when she was thinking. “Meet me after work. We’ll go snorkeling and have something to eat.”
Lindsay blinked at her. “That’s what you do instead of having sex?”
Eyes wide, Sunny dramatically bit the finger of her curled fist. “You want to have sex?”
“Yes. I do. I want to have sex with you, Sunny. Now would be nice.”
Sunny kissed her again, lingering as long as time would allow. “I’d love that. But meet me at 8 o’clock. Right where we met today. We’ll have fun.”
“I want to have naked fun,” Lindsay murmured, kissing Sunny deeply.
“I think you’d be fun to be with if I were wearing three coats.”
Lindsay kissed her quickly and whispered into her ear. “True. But you’d have more fun naked.”
Lindsay snuck out of the hotel before her mother arrived to give their marching orders for the day. She knew there’d be hell to pay later, but she didn’t much care. It was a beach wedding and she didn’t have much to do except stand by her sister. The note she left said she was going out for a while but would be back by noon.
There was a noticeable spring in her step and she noted that the few people who passed her smiled at her happy grin. She began to walk faster when she saw Sunny sitting on the beach—next to a bright red jet ski. The craft’s tail bobbed gently while its nose rested on the sand.
The dark head turned and Sunny’s eyes met Lindsay’s. “You’re early.”
“So are you.” Lindsay plopped down next to Sunny and tipped her head towards the jet ski. “Are we gonna go for a ride?”
“Sure are. Have you been on one before?”
“Unh-uh. They cost too much for me.”
“Me too.” Sunny smiled. “I borrow this one from a guy who comes to the casino.”
Lindsay mentally appraised machine. “Looks brand new. Nice guy.”
“He’ll probably stop offering after I turn him down for a date.” Sunny grinned impishly. “He hasn’t asked yet, but most people don’t lend new jet skis out just to be nice.”
“What’s he waiting for?” Lindsay once again let her eyes assess Sunny’s lovely form. “I wouldn’t let you sit there waiting to see if I was gonna ask you out.”
“I think he’s waiting for his wife … or whoever the woman I’ve seen him with is … to go out of town. A lot of people here go to Miami to shop. They might have a home there. That’s common too.”
“Ick.” Lindsay made a face. “Don’t you hate people who cheat?”
Smirking, Sunny said, “Hate’s a little strong, but I’d never go out with one. If you cheat to be with me, you’ll cheat to get away from me.”
Her expression had grown a little sad and Lindsay asked, “Personal experience?”
“Yeah. A guy I went out with in high school. I didn’t know he was cheating … until a friend of mine caught him cheating on me! He was a senior at UNLV and he had a fiancé in Reno and was dating somebody at school, too.” She sniffed dramatically. “I thought I was his only girl.”
Turning her head, Lindsay was struck by the morning sun gilding Sunny’s hair. She had to force herself to snap out of it and speak. “Did he break your heart?”
Lindsay shrugged. “Just a little. Taught me a lesson, though. I don’t get too involved until I know about a person’s character.”
“Does ‘person’ mean woman, or … person?” Lindsay’s tone was playful.
“It’s meant woman for a couple of years. I’m not very interested in men anymore.” She stuck her arms out and stretched, yawning while her eyes squeezed tightly closed. “I guess you never know though. How about you?”
“I know.” When Sunny looked at her, Lindsay winked. “I’m gay all the way.”
“Really? You look so …”
With a youthful-looking shrug, Sunny said, “I dunno. You just look like you’ve been with guys.”
Sunny gazed at her for a few moments, her eyes once again nearly closed. “I can’t say. I’d just guess you had been.”
“No. Never. I went out with a few boys when I was in grade school, but that doesn’t really count. I turned down every boy who asked in high school. They just seemed so …” She shivered. “No interest.”
“Did you go out with women in high school? I don’t think I would have had the guts.”
Smiling lustily, Lindsay said, “I’ve got guts. I started thinking I might be gay when I was 14 or 15, so I got online and found some chat rooms that looked interesting. I met some whacked people, but I finally found a girl only a few years older than me. We got together a couple of times and even though we didn’t click being with her made me pretty sure I was gay.”
“Took me until I was almost out of college.”
“I was almost out of sophomore year.” Lindsay’s wicked grin was settled on her face and Sunny couldn’t stop herself from leaning over and kissing her.
“I like you,” she said when she pulled away. “I like women who know what they want.”
Her voice was sultry when Lindsay said, “I’ve already told you what I want. But since you’ve got all of those clothes on it doesn’t look like I’m gonna get it.”
Plucking at the black fabric that covered her to her thighs, Sunny smiled and said, “Just a wet suit. Not a stitch on under it.”
Placing her hand on Sunny’s knee, Lindsay said, “I don’t want you to think I just want to hook up with you and move on to the next island beauty. It’s cool if you just wanna hang out.”
“I do wanna hang out,” Sunny said. “Like I said, I like you. Let’s have some fun and see what happens.”
“I like fun. Let’s go put some miles on that jet ski.”
“Hell, yeah!” Lindsay was up and heading for the craft before Sunny could blink. Her T-shirt and shorts were dropped to the sand, leaving only her bright blue bikini.
“Want some instruction?”
Looking the machine over quickly, Lindsay said, “Doesn’t look too hard. Where’s the gas?”
Sunny put a neoprene wristband around her left wrist, then inserted a key-like device near the grip. “The throttle is right here,” she said, pointing to a lever on the right. “Squeeze this and you’ll go. There’s no brake and it won’t turn if you’re not giving it gas. So just be careful not to release the throttle if you need to avoid something. That’s a common mistake.”
Her confident smile in place, Lindsay said, “I’m a good driver. What’s with the wristband?”
“Oh! If you fall off it shuts the motor off. Kinda handy.”
“Cool. Is that the start button?”
“Yep. Press the silver button and we’re good to go. Hop on and I’ll push you out a bit.”
Lindsay didn’t hop on. She helped push the craft into shallow water, then got astride it. “How deep do we have to be?”
“Oh … not very deep. But I like to start it when it’s got at least 2 feet.” Sunny gently guided Lindsay out until the water got a bit deeper. “I’m gonna jump on.” She grabbed a handle on the back of the seat and pulled herself up, then she stepped on a foothold and snuggled up against Lindsay. “Let ’er rip!”
Lindsay started the engine and gripped the throttle firmly, nearly tossing Sunny from the back. “Hey! Don’t kill me!”
“Sorry!” She didn’t sound sorry, but she was smiling so giddily that Sunny didn’t mind. “I’ll be a little more gentle.”
Sunny wrapped her arms around Lindsay’s waist. “I’m holding on now. It actually takes waves better if you’re going fast. I usually keep it at full throttle.”
“Yee haa!” Without warning, Lindsay hit the throttle hard and the craft shot out of the protected bay. In seconds they were skimming across the turquoise water, Lindsay yelping with delight. “This rocks!”
Long blonde hair beat a tattoo against Sunny’s face, but her expression indicated she didn’t mind. “Play around,” she said into Lindsay’s ear so she could hear her over the engine. “Take some turns. Just lean into them like you were on a bike.”
A slight amount of prudence showed itself when Lindsay slowed down to carve some deep turns in the crystal clear water. “Fun!” she yelled, her face filled with glee. “Now faster!” Sunny’s head snapped back once again when Lindsay hit the gas and sent them jetting across the wake of a recently departed fishing boat. They drove around aimlessly, with Lindsay getting comfortable with the jet ski and the exhilaration of being able to nearly hydroplane across the waves.
“Head over there,” Sunny said, pointing to a large island about a mile away.
Lindsay did, being sure to streak across the water like a comet. When they got close, Lindsay slowed down then stopped when Sunny asked her to. “What do we do now?”
“We’re gonna go snorkeling. Push that button and you’ll find our gear.”
Lindsay opened a good-sized compartment and took out the same clear bag Sunny had had with her the day before. “I’ve only been snorkeling a couple of times,” Lindsay said. “But I loved it.”
“Did you see a lot?”
“Mmm … yeah, I guess. It was in Florida. Spring break. I think I saw fish. I know I saw a lot of girls. Lots and lots of girls.” She turned and grinned. “I guess the fish didn’t leave a big impression.”
“Well I’m the only girl here, so you’ll be able to concentrate.”
“Don’t underestimate your looks, buddy. Those fish have a lot of competition!”
Sunny leaned forward and kissed Lindsay’s cheek. “I assume you have sunblock on?”
“Correct. I almost sprained my arm getting in on my shoulders. One of the downsides of getting up before the girls. They do anything I tell ’em to do. Now let’s see some fish.”
They both put on fins and donned masks, then Sunny attached a snorkel to Lindsay’s mask. “We can let the jet ski float. We’re far enough from the island so it won’t hit it.”
“Won’t it float away?”
“No. We can catch it. We’re wearing fins.” Sunny pulled her mask down and slipped off the back of the jet ski, sliding into the dark blue water almost soundlessly. The water was obviously much deeper here, so Lindsay settled her mask and jumped in, unafraid of hitting the bottom.
After blowing a little water from her snorkel, Lindsay saw that they were right on top of a sizeable reef. To her amazement, there were fish everywhere! She looked up and saw the happy look on Sunny’s face. She grasped her hand and put it over her heart, then gave her a big thumb’s up.
Sunny took her hand and started to paddle, her fins gently flowing through the water, disturbing as few fish as possible. Hand in hand they explored, one or the other excitedly pointing out a particularly interesting fish. When Sunny directed Lindsay’s attention to a large, mud-brown Moray eel that darted out of a niche in the reef to snap up a small fish, Lindsay tried to climb into Sunny’s arms, acting like she was being chased by a hungry shark.
They finally surfaced and Lindsay once again let out a yelp. “Damn! I would have noticed the fish over the girls if I’d seen this in Florida! How do you ever leave here?”
“It’s not easy. But I’ve got plans and I need to save money to get what I want.”
“Gimme a kiss,” Lindsay demanded. When Sunny complied, she made a sour face and spit a bit. “This is the saltiest damn water!”
“Yeah, it is. But the fish like it.”
“That’s good enough for me. Let’s play some more!”
They paddled around the reef for nearly an hour, with silent demonstrations of glee and discovery from both women. After bobbing to the surface once again, Sunny said, “The jet ski’s getting a little far away for my tastes.”
“I’ll go,” Lindsay volunteered.
“Let’s go together.” Once again they joined hands and glided over to the craft.
“Do we have to leave?” Lindsay asked. “You’ve got to be tired.”
“Not really. I usually sleep from 11:00 to 7:00. I almost always dive in the morning as soon as I get off work.”
Lindsay turned Sunny’s hand and looked at her watch. “It’s 10:00. I’ve gotta be back by noon or my mom will explode. The wedding’s at 5:00, but I’m sure she’ll want a billion pictures taken.”
“Then we’d better have our picnic!”
“Cool! We’re having a picnic?”
“Yeah. When I take a girl out I don’t cut corners. You deserve a meal.”
“Then we’d better get back to the beach.”
Sunny pointed to the island just a few dozen feet from them. “This one’s closer.” She grasped a cord on the jet ski and towed it to the beach, kicking powerfully to drag the added weight. When they arrived, she pulled the jet ski onto the sand and made sure it would remain beached.
Going to another cubby, Sunny removed a plastic bag and tried to hold onto it when Lindsay attempted to wrestle it from her hands. “You’re as bad as the fish,” Sunny giggled. “When I first started to snorkel, somebody told me to take a bag of fish pellets with me in case the fish weren’t close enough. I thought they’d eat me! A big grouper snatched the bag out of my hand and bit me on the finger!”
“I’m as hungry as a grouper,” Lindsay said. “I didn’t have breakfast. I knew someone would see me if I went into the dining room, and there was no way I was gonna miss playing with you.”
“You like me, huh?” Sunny asked, beaming a grin.
Lindsay wrapped her arms around her waist and hugged her tightly. “I like you a lot.”
“You’ll like me even better when I take out my space blanket. Then you won’t get sand all over your cute little butt.”
“Ooo … a girl with a space blanket and a picnic. You’re quite a find!” She narrowed her eyes and said, “Do I know your last name?”
“Don’t think so. It’s Murrow.”
“You’re quite a find, Ms. Murrow. Is Sunny your full name?”
“Full as it gets. My parents had just moved to Vegas when they had me. I guess they liked the fact that it was always sunny out.”
“It’s cute,” Lindsay said. “Just like you.”
Sunny retrieved her space blanket and used a piece of driftwood to smooth the sand out before placing it carefully. Then she sat down and patted the spot next to her. “I’ve got bagels and cream cheese and smoked salmon. Does that work?”
“Perfectly. I hope you bought 6 … for me.”
“You couldn’t eat much,” Sunny said. “Not with that body.”
“I eat plenty. I just work it off. I’m kinda high energy.”
“I’ve noticed,” Sunny said, smiling at her fondly. “I hope you don’t have a desk job. You’d break your chair from bouncing around.”
“No way! I work at a gym. Right now I teach Pilates.”
“No wonder you have such a sweet a … uhm … figure. You have a sweet figure,” Sunny said, trying not to blush.
“Thank you. And I don’t mind if you say I have a sweet ass. I work at it.”
“Well, you do. Have a sweet ass, that is. Very, very sweet.”
“You sound like an ass-woman,” Lindsay said, chuckling. “True?”
“Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Women have such wonderful asses.” She sighed. “Most men can’t compete.”
“True. And no men can compete with my favorite part of a woman.” She put her hand halfway over her eyes and stared at Sunny’s breasts.
“Oh, a breast-woman.”
“Well! Now that we have that out of the way, let’s eat!”
Lindsay might have eaten 3 bagels, but Sunny had only brought 4, so she had to satisfy herself with 2. “I’d give you one of mine but you kissed me all through my dinner break,” Sunny complained. “I was about to faint!”
Carefully and methodically gathering up the detritus of their meal, Lindsay put everything in the bag and secured it with a rock. “Are you tired?”
“A little. But I’m more … content,” Sunny said. “I feel good and happy.”
“Me too. Very good. Very happy.”
Sunny scooted closer and looked into Lindsay’s eyes. “I’d be even happier if I could kiss you again. You have an amazing mouth.”
“You know … I was just thinking the same thing about you.” She lifted her hand and traced the outline of Sunny’s lips with her fingertip. “Really pretty. So soft and full. Great, great lips.”
Sunny leaned in. “Thanks.” She pressed her lips to Lindsay’s and proceeded to demonstrate all of the qualities they possessed. “Funny how your lips can taste so salty, but kissing them is totally sweet.”
Lindsay didn’t move. She was so close her eyes almost crossed, but she couldn’t compel herself to pull back. “You’re very poetic.” She lifted her hand and pushed some of the stray hair from Sunny’s face. “And you’re incredibly sweet. I like sweet women.”
Kissing her gently, Sunny paused and said, “Why are you single? You should have a line of women waiting for you.”
“Heh-heh.” Returning the kiss, feeling Sunny’s breath on her, Lindsay said, “I date a lot. But I haven’t met anyone who can keep up with me. Some women think I’m high-maintenance, but I’m not. I’m just high-energy. I like to do things and go places and be outside a lot. I could never be one of those people who goes to work then sits in front of the TV at night. I need stimulation.”
Sunny pressed her lips against Lindsay’s, kissing her for several minutes while her hands glided up and down her back. “Mmm,” she purred. “Who wouldn’t wanna stimulate you?”
“Same question,” Lindsay breathed. “Why are you single?”
“Same answer ... kinda. I have plans. I want things outta life. I don’t wanna get tied down to someone who doesn’t wanna go with me.”
Finally moving back so she could look into Sunny’s eyes, Lindsay said, “Tell me where you wanna go.”
Sunny lay on her side and looked up at Lindsay through long, black eyelashes. “I don’t wanna end up like my parents.”
“Uhm … are they … unhappy?”
“Not sure. But they didn’t have plans. They didn’t go to school. They just fell into working at the casinos and life kinda happened to them.”
“Mmm … that’s true for most people. I don’t think my dad grew up wanting to be a concrete barber.”
Sunny blinked and laughed. “What in the hell is a concrete barber?”
“That’s one of the clever sayings my mom made him put on his truck. Let’s see …” She pressed her lips together and began to tick the items off on her fingers. “There’s a barber pole, a cartoon of a guy shaving a ball of concrete and lettering saying, ‘Kane Is Able To Solve Your Concrete Cutting And Coring Needs.’ All of this is in different type and there’s about 6 colors all mushed together. His business card looks like one of those samples where they show you how all of the type and colors look.” She rolled her eyes. “My mother’s invention.”
“I don’t know if I have any concrete cutting or coring needs. Would I know?”
“Yeah, I think you’d have a clue.”
“No. Really. What in the hell are you talking about?”
“Oh … let’s say you have a new building with a concrete floor. You need someone to come in and drill holes so you can put phone cables in without having them show. That’s coring. Cutting is the same basic thing.”
“Is it hard? I mean … why wouldn’t people just cut their own concrete?”
“’Cause you need to go to barber college,” Lindsay teased. “Actually, it is kinda hard. You need a real high speed drill and special drill bits to cut through concrete without having it take all day. He’s got the big guns.”
“Have you ever worked for him?”
“Cutting concrete?” Lindsay’s eyes were wide with shock. “No, thank you. My brothers did, and that helped each of them study really hard in school so they didn’t have to do it when they graduated. I helped with the bookkeeping, but I’m not gonna breathe concrete dust. The air in Philadelphia is bad enough!”
“Huh.” Sunny gazed at her reflectively. “I assumed you were rich folks from the big city. Your hotel’s really pricey.”
“I know! I have to pay for a quarter of my room! My sister’s paying for my parents and grandparents, and my brothers are paying for their rooms, but those cheapskates would only pay for the space their kids are taking up.”
“Damn! That is cheap!”
“Tell me about it! One’s a lawyer and the other one’s a VP at a big company. They could give their little sister a break! Especially since I would never have stayed at any place so expensive. But my sister and her fiancé wanted to have this glamorous beach wedding. They’ll be paying for it for 10 years.”
“But if you hadn’t come you wouldn’t have gotten to see so many pretty fish.”
“I can see fish at Reading Market. You’re the thing I would have made the trip for.” She lowered herself to the space blanket and rested her head on her arm, looking into Sunny’s eyes. “I like you.”
Smiling gently, Sunny said, “I like you too.”
“Tell me more about your plans. How are you gonna have the life you want?”
“I don’t want a whole lot. I just wanna live someplace warm and wet. I’d like to do something like own a charter sailboat or a fishing boat or a fleet of jet skis. I don’t really care what I do, but I need to be outside and active. I could never have a desk job.”
“Amen, sister.” Lindsay put her hand on Sunny’s hip and pulled her a little closer. “I like your plans. I might copy them.”
“You could teach Pilates on the beach.”
“Eh … I’m not in love with Pilates. I like doing it, but teaching it is just a job. I don’t see myself doing it for long. But I was a health and physiology major and it’s easy to find jobs at health clubs and spas now. I guess I could own my own spa, but I don’t have a driving need to own something. I just wanna be active and outside. And I like being with people, so I’d like to do something where I have a lot of human contact.”
“You’ll figure it out. Do you have your own apartment?”
“Nah. I live in the garage at my parents’. I mean their old garage,” she added when Sunny looked stunned. “It’s got insulation and walls and stuff. It’s kind of in the back yard and they wanted one attached to the house. So it’s like my own little place. And I mean little,” she emphasized. “But I didn’t want to have my own apartment if I didn’t have to. I’m saving money too.”
“Do they know you’re gay?”
“My parents?” Sunny nodded. “Oh, yeah. Everybody knows. I think that’s why they finished the garage.” She giggled evilly. “My mom walked into my room one morning to find a strange woman lying on top of me. Couple of weeks later she asked if it wouldn’t be absolutely fantastic if I could have my own little home right in the back yard!” She laughed again. “She thinks I’m slow, but I didn’t mind. I wouldn’t wanna see my daughter having sex, either. I just didn’t have any place to go. It seems like everybody I meet lives with her parents!”
“There’s 7 of us at my parents’. And only 3 bedrooms.”
“Wow! Who’s there?”
“Two older sisters and their kids. Jason’s 4 and Hank is 5. I share with my sister, Mariah, when I’m home. My sister Melody has the smallest room and the boys sleep on the sofa bed in the living room.”
“No fathers involved?”
“Eh … inconsistent. Jason’s dad sees him once in a while. But Hank only sees his when he’s in town … which isn’t often. He’s in the Army.”
“Doesn’t sound like a very sweet setup,” Lindsay said quietly.
“No, it isn’t. I hate to see my sisters have to work so hard. But neither went to college and it’s hard to get good jobs without an education. Life just kinda happened to them too.”
Lindsay stroked the side of Sunny’s face, making her smile when she tickled near her lips. “You’re not gonna let that happen to you. You’re gonna get what you need to be happy.”
Eyes steely with determination gazed back at her. “I’m sure as hell gonna try.” She scooted forward and kissed Lindsay. “I think you are too.”
“Yep. I’m not gonna be living in my parent’s garage my whole life. And I’m not gonna freeze my sweet ass … that is what you called it, isn’t it? … off in Philadelphia for the rest of my life. Talking to you makes me see how easy it is to just glide along and wind up someplace you don’t wanna be.”
“I love my family, but I don’t wanna live with them,” Sunny said emphatically. “My sisters are unhappy and the boys are alone too much. My mom works hard, but she’s getting older and she doesn’t get the tips she used to. She’s 55 and she makes less now than she did 10 years ago.” She shook her head. “It’s depressing. I hope that one day I can be successful enough to hire my sisters or the boys or at least shoot a little money their way.”
“You’re a good person,” Lindsay said, feeling a lump in her throat at the emotion she could see in Sunny’s eyes.
“Eh … I try. Life’s harder for some people than others. My family isn’t gonna win the lottery, and if I can help … I will.”
“You make me see how lucky I am,” Lindsay said. “My parents aren’t wealthy, but they own their house and have some money saved. And all of my sibs have good jobs. I only have to worry about myself.”
“My life isn’t bad,” Sunny said. “My sisters made bad choices. I feel sorry for them, but it’s not like they have terminal illnesses or anything like that. I’d just rather I didn’t have to live with them to save money. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, ya know. I’m really fond of them when I’m away.” She grinned, making Lindsay smile right along with her.
“You’ll work something out. I can tell. You’re a determined woman.”
“You were pretty determined last night.” Sunny put her hand on Lindsay’s soft, bare back, gently moving it along the swell of her ass. She kissed her tenderly, softly, and lingered next to her mouth for a moment. “Change your mind?”
“Unh-uh,” Lindsay breathed. “I got the feeling you weren’t really into it. Thought I’d back off.”
Sunny draped her leg over Lindsay’s hip. “I’m into it. I’m just … cautious. I don’t like to commit until I’m sure.”
Pressing her lips against the skin that the wetsuit revealed above Sunny’s collarbone, Lindsay asked, “Are you sure?”
“Yeah. I’m sure.”
Her fingers gripped the wetsuit’s zipper and slowly tugged it down. “That makes two of us.” Lindsay scooted down and kissed each swath of skin the zipper revealed. By the time she’d reached the end she was sucking bits of skin between her teeth, making Sunny squirm.
Hands cupped her head and Sunny tugged, urging Lindsay to meet her lips. They kissed hard, tongues pushing and pressing and being suckled. “I want you,” Sunny moaned. “I want you now.”
Lindsay sat up a little bit and pulled on the tie that held her top on. Her breasts were exposed to Sunny’s delighted gaze and in seconds a warm, wet mouth encircled her nipple. She held Sunny’s head, pressing it harder against her breast, trying to force her to take more of the flesh into her mouth.
Sunny understood the silent message and opened her mouth as wide as she could, sucking the pink skin hard. Her hands were roaming up and down Lindsay’s body, caressing and cupping her ass while she murmured her satisfaction. “So good … so good,” she whispered while switching to the unmarked breast.
Lindsay purred, pulling on the nipple that had been so thoroughly and roughly attended to. She found herself pressing against Sunny’s thigh, whimpering with desire as her breast glowed with sensation that seemed to pulse right through her core.
“That’s it,” Lindsay cooed. “Keep that up. That’s so nice …”
Sunny just growled softly, clearly unwilling to give up her prize. She suckled the breast like it was life-giving, and Lindsay looked down to see Sunny’s toes curled up tight and her hips grinding feverishly. She stroked Sunny’s head, encouraging and calming her. “That’s nice, baby. So nice.”
But Sunny was long past being calmed. She pulled away and leaned over Lindsay, her eyes bright with longing. “I have to taste you. I have to.” Before Lindsay could reply she was on her back, looking up at the bright blue sky dotted with frothy clouds. Her bikini bottom was gone … where she didn’t care. All she knew was that Sunny was gently spreading her legs and then long, soft locks caressed her thighs as Sunny drew near her goal. Lindsay let out a sigh when Sunny’s lips kissed her gently, then her sighs turned to gut-groans when Sunny’s talented tongue spread her lips and began to probe her.
“Oh, God … that’s so good,” she purred. “Just how I like it. Nice and soft.” She was blindly stroking Sunny’s head with one hand, her other holding onto a shoulder like a life raft in a storm-tossed ocean.
Sunny lapped at her folds for what seemed like an eternity, but Lindsay fervently hoped it never ended. Sunny was an expert at teasing her; keeping her right on the edge … not letting her tumble over no matter how much Lindsay begged.
Finally … finally, she filled her mouth with the delicate pink flesh and suckled, making Lindsay cry out in release. Thighs snapped shut, trapping her in the warm space, but Sunny was a happy prisoner, filling her lungs with the salty tang of Lindsay’s ocean-scented body. Slowly the vice-like grip loosened and Sunny’s head lolled on Lindsay’s splayed thigh. “I like you,” Sunny said once again. “I like your body too.”
“I like you too,” Lindsay managed. “Your mouth, your lips, your tongue, your hands. That’s all I can think of right now. I’m a little fried.”
Chuckling, Sunny climbed up and lay next to Lindsay, snaking an arm under her neck. “Take a little rest. You didn’t have much sleep.”
“More than you did,” Lindsay murmured.
“But I’m going to bed soon. You’ve gotta go to a wedding.”
“Shit!” Lindsay shot upright, her heart pounding in her chest. “What time is it?”
“Uhm … 11:15.”
Lindsay pushed Sunny onto her back and ordered, “Get ready, baby. We don’t have long and I’ve got a lot of things I want my mouth on.”
They roared up to the beach in front of the hotel at five minutes to 12:00. Lindsay was the passenger this time, and she jumped into the shallow water with a thump. “Gotta go.” She draped her arms around Sunny’s neck and kissed her for a long minute, tasting the salt and the sea and her own scent on the beautiful woman’s lips. Dozens of people on the beach stared at them, but neither woman seemed to notice. “See you later, right?”
Sunny nodded. “A promise is a promise.”
Lindsay kissed her once more and started to back away, her gaze locked on Sunny’s eyes. “Don’t let me down.”
A bright smile answered her. “Not my style.”
Satisfied, Lindsay turned and ran for the steps, her ass moving just enough to make Sunny itch in a very well-loved place.
At 4:30, Lindsay ran down the stairs of the hotel, resplendent in a snug-fitting navy blue dress dotted with white hibiscus. She waved, meeting Sunny’s eyes. “Ready?” she called.
“I feel pretty stupid going to your sister’s wedding, but a promise is a promise.”
“My sister didn’t mind a bit.” She giggled. “She was a little surprised, but she didn’t mind. My mother … well, let’s just say she doesn’t like change or surprises. But she has so many other things to fuss over that she’ll forget you’re even here.” She looked Sunny’s body over, nodding in satisfaction at her white linen tank top and Breton red skirt. “You look fantastic.”
“No, no, no.” Sunny shook her head. “You look fantastic. I look … adequate.”
“Come on,” Lindsay said, tugging her by the hand. “You can meet my sister. She’s the one with the lei.”
“Not fair. You got layed but she gets to wear the lei.”
“It’s okay with me if you tell everyone you cleaned my clock. You’ll never embarrass me, Sunny!”
“I’m not very good at it anyway. My nephews always gang up on me and make me blush.”
“Good to know. I like insider information.”
The band played a lively song, steel drums tinkling brightly. To Sunny’s surprise, she and Lindsay were dancing on the beach, no one in the family seeming to notice them. “Your family is very cool,” Sunny observed.
“Huh?” Lindsay lifted her head from where it had been resting against Sunny’s neck.
“They’re cool. They don’t mind us dancing together.”
“Oh.” Lindsay looked around and noticed that no one was looking their way. “They’re not cool. They just ignore me. They know I’m not ever going to act like I’m ashamed of being gay and if they want me to be part of the family they’ve got to treat me like I’m equal to everyone else.” She laughed, showing her white teeth. “My parent’s would probably give up a limb to make me straight. But it ain’t gonna happen. So they deal.” She shrugged. “People can only make you feel bad if you let ‘em.”
“Good motto.” Sunny tightened her grip, holding Lindsay in a firm embrace. “How am I ever gonna get through work?”
“I’ll go with you. Every 15 minutes I’ll come pinch you on the butt.”
Eyes wide, Sunny said, “I wouldn’t doubt it!”
“But don’t worry. I’ve already told the girls they’ve gotta be out of the room by 8 a.m. We’re locking the door and sleeping all day.”
“Yes, we are. When I’m not licking you all over.” Her eyebrows bobbed sexily.
“You’re full of surprises, Lindsay. Full of ’em.”
“Not really. I say what’s on my mind. Like right now I’m trying to figure out how long it’ll take you to drive to Atlantic City.”
“Yeah. If you live with me you could work at a casino in Atlantic City. It’s not too far. Then we could make our plans together. Two heads are always better than one, right?”
Sunny stared at Lindsay, losing herself in her guileless gaze. “You’re … you’re remarkable.”
“I’ll take that as a yes. I figure you’ll stay here this summer. That’s cool because it’ll let you get your things in order. You know … tell your family you’re gay … all that stuff. Then—”
She was cut off by a pair of soft, warm lips. “Talk later. Let’s just dance … and dream.”