“I get it.”

She sits up and I kiss her. “I’ll be back before you know it. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen. I don’t need you burned for what we’re going to be doing while we’re here.”

I don’t find Laurelyn’s gift right away, so I’m gone longer than I anticipate. When I return to the house, I leave her gift in the car’s glove box. I want her to think I’m clueless about her birthday since she hasn’t mentioned it.

I walk around to the beach and see Laurelyn’s towel on the lounger where she was lying, but no sign of her. I call her name several times without a response. Where is she?

Deciding she is probably inside, I open the front door and shout her name several times without a reply.

Would she have gone into the water after I asked her not to? I know the answer. Yes, she would. The moment I answer my own question, I dash toward the beach and shout her name. I hear panic in my voice and feel it in my chest as I search the water. I don’t see a sign of her anywhere.

I hear my name in the distance and I turn to see her walking along the beach’s edge. She’s wearing a bright red bikini. How did I miss that? I’m flooded with instant relief and that’s when I notice my hands trembling. She lifts her hand to wave and I lift my shaky one to return the greeting. I sit on the lounger to wait on her because my knees are threatening to buckle beneath me.

I’m calmed, or at least appear to be, by the time she reaches me. I hold my arms out for her to come sit across my lap. I pull her close and bury my face in her hair.


“Wow, someone really missed me while he was gone. Is everything okay?”

“It is now.” I forgo telling her about my near breakdown when I couldn’t find her.

“Good.” She reaches for the buttons on my shirt and begins unfastening them. “You, sir, are overdressed. Go change into your trunks and swim with me.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

When I come out of the house, she’s already shoulder deep in the clear blue water so I don’t get to feast my eyes on her in the skimpy red bikini. “You just couldn’t wait, could you?”

“Nope. It’s been calling to me for hours and now I’m not alone, so I didn’t break your rule.”

I toss my towel next to hers and walk out to meet her in the ocean. She swims over and puts her arms around my shoulders. “I’ve never been anywhere so beautiful. Thank you for bringing me.”

“It’s my pleasure.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to bring you some.”

“Oh, is it?”

“The eight ball says chances are good.” She kisses my mouth and rests her forehead against mine. “Do you come here often?”

“I try to make rounds on Aurelia at least once a month during the summer.”

“Why do you always come alone?”

“I’ve never been with anyone I wanted to bring. Until you.”

“Oh.” That’s all she says and doesn’t press it further.

When we’re tired of swimming, we come out of the water to relax on the loungers. She’s stretched out with one of her long legs bent.

“I want to take you into town for dinner.”

“Okay.”

“Maybe dancing afterwards?”

“Sure, that sounds like fun.”

After dinner at a romantic café, I take Laurelyn to a dance club I noticed when buying her birthday present. Lights flash around us in the dark and it’s packed shoulder to shoulder. It’s not really the relaxed dancing I had in mind, but she seems happy about being here.

She grabs my arms and we move toward the dance floor. The music is loud and there’s a fast song playing. Laurelyn moves to it like it’s something she’s done a million times.

“Go out dancing much?”

“Yeah. Addison and I hit the dance scene in Nashville a lot.”

She turns her back to me and grabs my hands. She places them on her hips and backs up until her whole body is rubbing against mine as she dances. She knows what she’s doing to me. She can feel the evidence grinding against her ass.

We’re packed on the dance floor and everyone is in his or her own little world. No one is paying attention to us, so I slide my hand from her hip to between her legs. She leans her head against my chest. “You are so bad.”

“I can’t help myself when you’re rubbing on me like that.”

“Sorry. Want to get a drink?”

“Yeah, I need one. A big one.”

We get a couple of glasses of wine from the bar and migrate to the corner so we can hear each other over the pounding bass. “Have you been here before?”

“No. I saw this place today and thought it might be fun. Do you want to leave?”

She shakes her head. “No. I’m having fun.”

I feel someone bump into me from behind and I spill my wine down the front of my shirt. “Shit.”

I turn to look at the jerk behind me and he sees the damage he’s caused. “Man, I’m sorry. Please, let me buy you another drink and pay for your dry cleaning.”

I’m afraid dry cleaning isn’t going to save this. “That won’t be necessary.”

He offers his hand. “I’m Chris and this is my wife, Trisha.”

I’m not really interested in introductions, but I choose to be friendly instead of telling these people to get lost so I can be alone with my girl. “I’m Lachlan and this is Laurelyn.”

I’m shaking his hand but he’s looking at Laurelyn. And for longer than I like. “Is the missus your wife or girlfriend?”

“Girlfriend.” Laurelyn gazes at me and we both grin.

The music is loud, so the wife leans closer. “Have you been together long?”

“Six weeks,” I answer. That means we’re half-over. I wonder if she’s thinking the same thing.

Trish is screaming over the music. “Wow. Things are still in that new, fun, exciting stage for you.” Exciting is an understatement. I should tell them what kind of relationship we have just to freak their married asses out so they’ll go away.

We laugh at our shared secret. I put my arm around her and pull her close. “There’s very little about us or our relationship that’s boring.”

Laurelyn holds her glass of wine out for me. “Will you hold this for a moment while I step to the restroom?”

Trisha takes the last gulp and then slides her empty glass toward the bartender. “I need to go too.”

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