The knock on the bathroom door came just as I finished applying my lip gloss. I shuffled my feet over the ceramic floor, somewhat wishing I could lie flat on my back and glue my heated skin to the cold tiles. Giving up on the painful walk I said, “Come in.”
“How are you feeling?” Millie asked as she stepped in.
“I’m not sure I can go to dinner.”
“Because I can’t sit!”
“Well, no one told you to tan on one side. You look like a pancake someone forgot to flip.”
“I’ve been applying aloe all afternoon. If it weren’t for that guy, it’d be worse.”
As I told Millie about my encounter that afternoon, she stood with her mouth open. I must admit, it was a lot easier to talk to her with some clothes on than none at all. Evening dinner was the only time we were allowed to dress at the resort. While clothing was still optional, I’d been told that most people chose to wear seductive ensembles that barely covered their gems. And Millie’s knitted dress, with holes big enough to stick my fingers through, took it to a whole new level. My double-sheered spaghetti strap dress, underneath which I usually wore a slip, hid little more than hers. But today, I couldn’t wear anything else, including my bra. And panties were out of question too. It hurt too much.
“You’re not talking about the one with the eagle tattoo on his back?”
I nodded, somewhat remembering a winged design stretching over his spine. I’d been concentrating on his hard ass too much to pay attention to anything else.
“The one with the huge package?”
“Yeah, him. And I thought you said people wouldn’t look! You obviously looked.”
“It was hard not to, April. He would have had the heads of your corpses turning on their tables. He’s the guy of the resort.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that all the women are lusting after him, and you’re the only one he’s touched all day. Wow!”
That did make me feel somewhat special.
“So, are you and Sean going to see each other again?”
“No, he just helped me with the cream.”
“The last time I had someone offer to help me with cream, he wanted to spread it on my cha-cha.”
I laughed. “And you declined? I’m shocked.”
“Hey, even I have pride. Okay, let’s go to dinner. If we’re lucky, we’ll run into him again.”
If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get there on two legs instead of crawling on all fours.
I locked the door and slowly headed with Millie toward the buffet restaurant. The biggest problem with wearing nothing, or next to nothing, in the evening was the lack of pockets. I wasn’t too big on purses, but now I had no choice but to take my beach bag with me. Before we left our room, I stuffed the bottle of aloe I’d bought at the gift shop inside, hoping I’d be able to sneak into a bathroom to apply some more on my shoulders. If it were up to me, I’d take a bath in this stuff.
I grabbed a plate and scooped up some steamed vegetables and grilled chicken breast.
“That’s it?” Millie asked.
“I’m more thirsty than hungry.”
“You’re dehydrated. Look, there he is.” She pointed to the dessert table where Sean plated a mound of fruit and whipped cream. He looked even sexier with that tank top on, but those Hawaiian shorts made me giggle. They did not suit him at all.
“Are you going to talk to him, or have that goofy look on your face all night?” she asked.
“I can’t talk to him. I don’t even know what to say. Don’t you think it’s weird that someone like him would come to a resort like this?”
“April, not everyone has an agenda.”
Was I just trying to get out of a potential friendship, or more, with Sean? At one point in my life I was a confidant woman but somewhere between being a wife and a mother I lost that free spirit.
She gave me a funny look and if I had to bet, Millie was up to her old tricks of trying to set me up.
“Don’t even try,” I warned.
As she carried her plate, fluttering her lashes in that innocent way, pretending to listen to my lecture about hooking up with strangers, I didn’t notice when we stopped by Sean’s table. Or maybe I secretly didn’t want to notice.
“Hi… it’s Sean, right?” she said. “I’m Millie, April’s friend. Do you mind if we join you?”
I felt my eyes grow wide at her. If I opened my mouth, I was afraid I’d spit venom.
“Not at all.” He stood up like a gentleman as we pulled the chairs out.
I sat down as gracefully as a diver in an extra small wetsuit, feeling every inch of my skin stretch and contract on my back and my ass. Ouch!
As I got comfortable, Millie said. “Actually, I forgot something in my room. Don’t mind me.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“No, you stay.”
She walked away, and I turned toward Sean with the most apologetic expression I could muster.
“She did that on purpose, you know.”
“You mean, left us alone?” He had that smug smile on his face that I was beginning to love. It gave him an edge. Sean was certainly a man who knew what he wanted – and the minute he saw it, he went after it, and wasn’t afraid to do so. Both my cop brothers carried that personality trait, and women loved it. Now that Sean was so close, that hint of gray in his hair, just a streak which matched the sprinkle on his chest, made him look much sexier and enticing. Yes, this guy definitely oozed with unforgiving charm.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude.”
“I don’t mind, April.” He eyed me in a way that made me feel self conscious. I knew he could see my nipples through my sheer dress, but I’d been hoping they’d give me more than a few seconds before they bunched up. It was like Sean was sort of a beacon that called for my breasts to react to his every glance, breath, and move.
“I didn’t picture you as someone who wouldn’t wear undergarments when she could.”
“Actually, I can’t. I burnt.” I twisted sideways, showing him a view of my bare back.
“Ouch. I knew I should have come over quicker with that lotion.”
“Were you watching me on the beach?” I cut into my chicken and took a bite. It did not taste right, so I set the plate aside and sipped my water. Millie was right. I must have been dehydrated.
He leaned in closer. The heat of him slammed into my front, balancing with the heat of my sunburned back.
“All right, I guess it’s confession time. Yes, I saw your gorgeous ass, and I was hoping for an opportunity to talk to you.
“Don’t look so surprised, April. You’re a beautiful woman,”
“So under the pretense of my burn, you...” Chose to display your prominent crotch in front of my face.
“Took a chance?”
“Okay, I’ll give you that. I must say it takes a pair to flaunt your stuff in front of a woman you’ve never met before.”
“I knew you were checking me out.”
We both laughed, and the awkwardness I’d felt in the beginning eased.
“Look, I don’t usually do this kind of thing. In fact, I’ve never been to a nudist resort.”
“No?” He faked a shocked face, forcing me to smile. The combination of Sean’s gentleman-like ways, mouth watering physique and that look in his eyes which held the promise of everything had me intrigued. He oozed with charm and charisma from his every pore. I wondered what he was doing here. Was he here on his own? I’d assumed so thus far, but he could have easily been here with a significant other.
“So, you’re here with...”
“No one. And to answer the question that’s looming in your mind, yes, I’m single.”
“That’s a bit difficult to believe.” I took a few more sips of my water, shifting on my seat.
Were we flirting? It definitely felt like it. Although it had been years since I flirted with anyone, so I wouldn’t really remember how to recognize it. But the way he was looking at me, with that flame burning in his clear sky-matching eyes, it was difficult not to be drawn to him. There was something special there, and I had yet to figure out what it was. And while I wouldn’t have allowed myself to get close to a man back home, we weren’t home. Maybe a small adventure wouldn’t hurt?
The chair was glued to my scorched behind, and I wasn’t sure my ass could take this position much longer.
“You look uncomfortable, April. Would you like to take a walk?”
“Actually, I’d love to. I feel like I’m sitting on fire.”
We stood up, and side by side, we left the restaurant. Was it even safe for me to leave with this man? I mean, I’d just met him. But he seemed trustworthy. Besides, Millie knew who I was with, which made me feel somewhat better. My cop brothers would definitely frown at this, and I was glad that for once I didn’t need to listen to their lectures on safety. After all, I’d seen enough in my life as a forensic analyst. There was nothing more that could scare a person than going over a woman’s body, inch by inch, to determine the cause of death, knowing in your gut it was actually murder.
“You look nervous,” he said, as we walked along the path to the beach.
“Well, I’m walking in the darkness with a man I just met and who’s seen me naked much quicker than most.”
“For what it’s worth, I haven’t really seen you naked.”
Right. Am I already screwing this up? I didn’t want to. I truly wanted to get to know Sean.
“Tell me something that would surprise me,” I finally asked.
He thought for a moment before answering. “This is my first time at a nudist resort.”
“Really? I pictured you as a regular.”
We stepped onto the beach. I removed my sandals, and Sean did the same. The sand warmed my feet. Moonlight illuminated the cove with a beautiful sparkle along the lapping waves.
“I just blend in well.”
“What are you, some kind of an undercover cop?”
He chuckled, but the little spark in his eyes reflected in the night’s glow didn’t escape me. “No, I’m not.”
“What do you do?” I asked.
“I go where I’m needed. This is a vacation to get away from the norm.”
“And you came here alone?”
“Sort of. Are you a cop? That’s a lot of questions.”
“No, I’m sorry. I’m just curious about you,” I said, noting the slight vibration in my voice.
As if picking up on my nerves, he said, “Well, I’m not a serial killer or a rapist.”
“I bet that’s exactly what a serial killer would say.”
“You’re not someone who relaxes easily, are you?” he asked.
“No, it’s one of life’s occupational hazards, I guess.” While I was a bit tense, I did want to tell Sean about my life. I wasn’t sure what it was about him that made me want to open up. Despite my nerves, my instinct told me I could trust him. And I knew that I definitely had a good instinct. “I have a son.”
He stopped, and for a moment I thought he’d turn around and walk away. Instead, Sean once again surprised me. “And I have a daughter.”