Undertow a compilation o.., p.8

Undertow: A compilation of short beach stories, page 8

 

Undertow: A compilation of short beach stories
 



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  “Hold out for the man who’d move the island,” she whispered.

  “That’s why I’m here. I’m moving the damned island.”

  Bret’s words overwhelmed her but she had no time to dwell on them. He’d pulled his T-shirt over his head and in minutes, they both lay nude on the bed. He began his assault, driving her mad with kisses and caresses. Moisture trickled down her legs as he brought her close to orgasm with his clever tongue and hands time and again. Finally, he drove deep inside.

  “Stay,” he whispered, again and again.

  She didn’t answer him. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t risk that the cry lodged in her throat would escape. If I knew how, I would. Instead, Ava hoped he could feel the willingness her body gave him as a reply. She hoped he got what she meant to transmit. Tell me how to make this work. No matter how much imagination Bret brought to the table, she didn’t see how turning her life upside down could work. She had to be an adult and make grown-up decisions, even if it broke her heart in two.

  ~ ~ ~

  “What the hell are you doing?” Shel stood with her arms crossed at the bell stand by the long line of taxi-cabs.”

  “Same thing you are. Going home.”

  She’d slipped out of the hotel room before Bret returned from getting her coffee. He’d left her a note saying only he knew how to ensure they had the special Kona brand. Always taking care of me. She didn’t need caffeine. She was jittery and unsettled enough. Before she left, she hastily wrote out a check to the Virgin Islands Women and Children’s Shelter in the amount of two thousand dollars. The act appeased her a guilt at leaving Bret this way—a little. At the last second, she also left a note with her phone number. Why not? Maybe he’d change his mind and visit her in Washington. She wouldn’t leave without at least giving him some incentive. But she needed to get out before she changed her mind about returning to her life—her real life.

  “No. You’re not.” Shel picked up her suitcase and set it outside the cordoned off area for the taxi line. “This is what you’re going to do. You’re going to turn around and head back to that man who is in love with you. You can’t recognize love because you’ve never seen it before.”

  “Shel—”

  “No. Flights leave this island daily. You can always fly home to Washington. You can’t always find someone who’d fight for you like he is.”

  “He gave me a choice.”

  “Smart man.” She folded her arms across her chest. “He learned about you quickly.”

  “What does that mean?” Ava was getting really, really irritated with everyone telling her what to do.

  “That Ava Hollins only does things that sound practical. But in reality they aren’t. I’ll let Bret explain.”

  Ava turned to come face to face with Bret’s smiling face. Did he ever not smile? He held out two steaming paper cups of coffee. “I knew I’d find you here. Saying goodbye to Shel and Marguerite.” He winked at Shel who smiled back at him.

  “Here, Shel, for you and Marguerite for the road.” He handed her the two cups of coffee. “Now, Ava, let me explain what Shel was saying. We had a little chat yesterday when you dozed off at the beach.”

  “While you were recovering from your shark attack.” Shel rolled her eyes.

  “You did not. . .” Ava couldn’t believe Shel was in cahoots with Bret all this time.

  “If you had let me explain more yesterday or even this morning, I’d have told you more about my . . . imagination.”

  “Listen to him, Ava,” Shel asserted.

  “Going back to Washington is easy,” Bret said, grasping both of her hands. “But practical says take a better paying job in a better location with better people. Here, in other words.”

  “Bret, I’m not going to let Washington beat me.”

  “Now the truth comes out. That I understand. Success is the best revenge. Insisting that success has to be had in D.C., however, ensures you miss an entirely better plan. We’re having lunch with Letitia Stone, owner of Stone Property Management today. Just got off the phone with her. She’s desperate to meet you. She needs someone with experience to manage five private homes across the three islands. You’ll manage several people. Have them do your bidding for a change. And, no, you would not be working for me. Not even remotely.”

  “I can’t live in the Virgin Islands!”

  “Why not? Trust me, I can keep up this game of ‘why not’ for some time. It’s the little kid in me.” He winked. “It’s how Derek and I made our fortunes, you know. Getting people to understand anything is possible.”

  “Spoken by someone with money.”

  “Hardly. We haven’t taken a dime from our trusts since college tuition. If you meet my mother you’ll know why.”

  “See? Already our lives don’t match.”

  He grasped the side of her face. “But they could. You can buy our groceries if that’ll make you feel better.”

  “We’d end up in your restaurants every night. It’s how people like you and me eat.”

  “Okay, I’ll let you choose which one every night.” He held up his hand in a boy scout salute. “Better yet, I’ll resign and become a bartender.”

  She laughed. “Well, you were a pretty good one.”

  “Now she tells me. I missed my calling?”

  “No, you’re perfect the way you are.”

  “The fact you think I’m perfect makes me love you more.”

  Her heart skipped a beat.

  “Yes, Ava, love. Stay and find out if you can love me.”

  “I already know I can.”

  “That’s a start.” He picked up her suitcase and handed it to a waiting bellman. “I’m striking you a deal. If you hate being here after one month and you hate me instead of love me, I’ll fly you back on a private jet.”

  “You don’t have a private jet.”

  “I’ll buy one for the trip.” He cradled her face in his hands. “Washington will always be there. But it’s the predictable choice. Take a chance here. On me.”

  “You’ve known me for two days.”

  “Two and a half, and I want to know you for a lot longer than that.”

  Ava closed her eyes. Car doors slammed and tropical birds sang all around her. Think, Ava. Assessing her life wasn’t her strong suit. Put one foot in front of the other her father had told her when she’d left for D.C. That’s what she did. It was easy to plod. Her life fell into place, until she lost it all—her job and Andrew the Asshole. God, it felt good to give her former boss his appropriate label.

  But Bret? His proposal? What would she call that? No words lay in her grasp to tag his life or what he offered her. What would staying in the Virgin Islands with Bret be like?

  Fun.

  When Ava opened her eyes, Bret still stared at her, his ocean-deep eyes unwavering. The man who defies labels.

  “Ava.” He spoke her name with longing but still strong and direct, like a command. Her nether regions responded.

  “One minute.” She turned her back on Bret and walked to where Shel and Marguerite stood by the shuttle.

  “I can always come back, right?” she asked.

  Marguerite nodded with a cat-like smile. “I’ll sublet your apartment for you. Handle packing it up and everything.”

  Shel threw her huge tote onto the shuttle seat. “Of course. Another plane will leave here tomorrow. If you do get on it, however, I wager it’s because you’re a coward.”

  Ava huffed. “And if I stay?”

  Shel hugged her and spoke into her ear. “It means you were brave enough to be happy.” She winked at her climbed into the shuttle.

  Out-maneuvered by a Washington attorney.

  When Bret’s arms circled her from behind, Ava knew somehow she would win that bet with Shel. Another plane would leave tomorrow. She wouldn’t be on it—or any of those that followed. She turned and gazed up at the handsome man holding her.

  “Ready to come home with me, Ava Hollins?”

  “Yes. I think I am.


  “Good.” He released his bear hug and crooked his arm for her to take. “My lady, your love slave will help you unpack.”

  She giggled and took his arm.

  “Oh, and you were right you know,” he said.

  “About?”

  “No one ever says no to me.” He winked. “I was prepared to tie you to my bed if I had to.”

  “Not a good argument to make me say yes, Bret.”

  “Are you sure?”

  And there was his mega-watt smile.

  ~The End~

  NEXT UP: The Break by Rachel De Lune

  We’d like to thank you for reading Riptide by Elizabeth SaFleur. Want more Elite Doms? Sign up for Elizabeth’s infrequent mailing list for GIVEAWAYS, Advanced reader opportunities and Pre-order notifications! Go to http://www.elizabethsafleur.com to enter.

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  Come check out some of the visuals that inspired the story!

  Other Books by Elizabeth SaFleur:

  Holiday Ties

  When Yvette Sava takes a spill on the ice outside of her Washington, D.C hotel, she knows the handsome man that helps her up spells trouble.

  Ryan Knightbridge is strong, passionate and demanding—and far too young for her. But Ryan has waited a year for his chance with the lovely submissive, who withdrew from society following her high-profile divorce.

  Unable to resist his charm, Yvette agrees to spend two days and two nights with him, allowing herself to indulge in desires shuttered long ago—but with a clear deadline. Now, Ryan has one wintry weekend to prove to her she’s worthy of love—and he’s worthy of her submission.

  Lovely

  Congressman Jonathan Brond has mastered his work, his reputation and the art of sexual domination while keeping his family’s political legacy intact. But a chance encounter with college student Christiana Snow promises something he didn’t think was possible–meeting someone honest.

  When the charismatic man proposes a summer of sensual, sexual submission, Christiana leaps into his world—the antidote to her bland life.

  But Washington, D.C. is an unforgiving place; soon gossip and scandal threatens their relationship. Yet, in a town of players, sometimes introducing a new game is the only way out. Who knew love would be the winning plan?

  Untouchable

  In Washington D.C.'s political arena, no one is who they seem.

  With fiery exchanges in the workplace, public relations princess, London Chantelle, intrigues and provokes the alpha male in wealthy attorney Carson Drake. He'd like to bend her over his knees—among other things. Outside the office, an unexpected meeting at a local BDSM club suggests she is the ideal candidate for a weekend of sensual submissive pleasure.

  Mistrustful yet fascinated, London agrees to his proposal of forty-eight hours with him. Finally, she can satisfy her unwanted, darker longings. Their passionate weekend stuns them both and London wants more of Carson Drake and his firm handling. But their assumptions about love threaten their budding relationship—even more than a blackmailing co-worker and London’s long-buried secrets.

  The Break

  by

  Rachel De Lune

  When Victoria Abbott makes the hard journey back to her quaint, seaside hometown in Wales, she's unprepared for the guilt that claws at her. At the same time, she's instantly calmed by being on the sands where she spent time as a child. Her self-imposed rules never before gave her a shot at true happiness and she's not sure if she can face a second chance. But when she walks into Aeron Morgan's life, all that changes.

  Aeron Morgan has all he wants from life. A financially successful business and the house of his dreams sitting on the cliff overlooking Oxwich bay. Until Victoria Abbott walks into sight. Not content with a one night stand, he wants Victoria to accept him and his darkest desires, forcing her to become the woman he knows is under her suit of armor. With her independence on the line Victoria grapples with choosing her dreams over what she's worked so hard for all her life.

  Dedication:

  Thank you to my husband for letting me write.

  The Break is for you and my friend Tori. I love you both.

  Acknowledgements

  Writing this will go on my milestone list. My first completed story.

  The Break would not have come to fruition without the help of some very special people. Patricia A Knight, Elizabeth SaFleur, Kris Michaels and Marilyn Lakewood. Thank you for your constant support, encouragement, and words of wisdom. You are a lifeline to me.

  I have learnt A LOT by writing this story. Most of it from my wonderful, amazing and brilliant editor. I love you T. Heather, thank you for your polish and for loving my story.

  Finally, thank you to Stephanie for welcoming me to the TRP tribe and helping me to find my first steps on this scary journey.

  Chapter One

  Tori

  I don’t belong here. My job is where I belong, in London. What would I do with a small cottage on the Welsh coast? There is a reason why it’d been over two years since I made the four hour journey from London across to Wales. I wish that I could have stayed away, but I didn’t have a choice. Oxwich’s wide bay sweeps to each side of me for miles. My cheeks burn from the tears that stream and cool on my face in the fading spring sun. The salty, bracing wind does more than blow away the cobwebs and whip my hair into wild swirls.

  Memories crash over me like the waves as they hit the sand. I’m here to settle up Mum’s affairs and sell her house. As I think the words, guilt claws at my chest. She lived her entire married life in that house, raised me and gave me a wonderful childhood. And here I am, ready to sell it before the first specs of dust have a chance to settle. But I can’t keep it.

  Being here on the sands of the beach is harder than the funeral. I went through the motions at the service, my armour in place. All of the sorrow and sadness releases as memories of a happier time resurface.

  ‘Victoria, do you want to build a speed boat?’

  I looked up from my rock pool to see her waving the spade at me near where we had set up camp. ‘Coming, Mummy.’

  I insisted on building a speed boat every time we came to the beach. I’d be pulled between jumping the waves and hiding in the sand dunes, but there was always time for playing in the sand with Mum.

  Life is simple when you’re a child. The smallest pleasures create delight. I scan the cliffs that delineate beach from land. As constant as the ocean itself, the white house of my childhood watches the sands and sea below, vigilant as ever. I’ve often imagined living inside its white walls. Open rooms and cosy fires hidden behind the main windows. From the shore you can see a particular part of the house, giving the impression of a large cottage with a dark slate roof, the grey tiles blending into the sky on the usual overcast days.

  Slowly putting one foot in front of the other in the gritty sand, I meander down to the water and turn toward the headland. The enigmatic white house keeps guard at the quiet end of the beach, its magnetic pull as strong as when I was a child.

  The sun is low on the horizon. The evening draws close—only a few dark figures stroll further up the sand. In the height of the summer, holiday makers cover every square inch of beach, enjoying the picturesque setting. I amble along the tide line and remember the many happy days I spent here with Mum. I regr
et how distant we’d grown. It had been decades since I’d felt as close to her as I did as a child growing up, playing on this beach.

  Caught up in my career as a finance director in London, I was always chasing the next promotion and that incurred sacrifice. My career came first. Mum never understood. With each step, my visits to her dwindled to the odd weekend now and then. Even those were strained. Now, secure in my role as finance director at Leigh and Taggart, a FTSE 100 company, I had counted on the opportunity to make amends. Regret fills me that I didn’t try harder, come home more often and attempt to find the common ground that bound us as mother and daughter, like spending time at the beach.

  I sit on a dry rock, sheltered by the cliff and watch the ocean churn with the incoming tide. I barely have a few minutes before the rising water will swamp my rock, but it is good to simply watch. The scene takes me away from the present. The ocean and my childhood memories calm a part of me I didn’t know needed it. The tide and the white house will always be here. They are a constant in the upheaval of my world.

  These stolen moments of solitude are a first in the last six months. Between my divorce and work, time to myself is a rarity. Marriage was meant to be a partnership. For better or worse. Jim liked the money that came from my hard work, but offered no support to me. He resented the time I spent away from home. He said that I put my career before him, and that was true. I wasn’t the dependant, stay at home wife that Jim needed to inflate his ego. I worked hard for my career. Each promotion rewarded us with more money but also more time apart. I left him behind. Eight years later and I barely recognised the bitter, jealous man I married. He even claimed half of everything in the divorce.

  Now, with grief weighing heavy in my heart, I want to shut it all out. Burying emotions has become a speciality of mine in the last few years. You’d think I would be adept at it, but grief has taken root in my heart.

 
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