Authors: Amarinda Jones
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Paranormal, #Romantic Erotica
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Scarlet Harlot Publishing
Copyright © 2012 by Amarinda Jones
Editor: Kay McKenna
First E-book Publication: June 2012
Cover design by Amarinda Jones
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Amarinda Jones
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Mary Dalton lay on her back, arms outstretched and legs spread wide allowing the gentle yet high swell of the waves lift her up and down like driftwood bobbing in the ocean.
Yeah that’s me
. She had come to the conclusion that her life was like that of wood. She was there but no one really paid attention to her until their need made them look her way. Then it was “Mary do this” and “Mary do that”.
And Mary did whatever was asked of her. It wasn’t because she was the obedient kind. Far from it. Meek was not in her vocabulary. She really wanted to tell them to
“fuck off and leave me alone.” But she didn’t. Mortgage repayments and other bills stopped her from saying what she really wanted to say. “Oh, but one day I will,’ she muttered to herself as she moved her hands back and forward in the water.
On this calm summer’s day as she relaxed and allowed the ocean to take hold of her body and carry her back and forth at its whims, she felt relaxed for the first time in a long time. Despite her driftwood status, a raw edginess of anxiety had been gnawing at her. Why? She couldn’t say. It was like she had to do something or go somewhere or it would be too late to do what she was meant to do. “Whatever that is.” And that in itself was odd to Mary. She had no idea why she felt so anxious.
Work was boring and her life was drab. If it wasn’t for the fact she was battling with her mother over her sister’s upcoming wedding and the insistence of the Dalton matriarch that Mary had to be escorted by a man because without one it would look
‘odd’, there would be nothing happening at all.
“Which is nuts, because my whole family is odd.” Besides it was unlikely anyone would notice if Mary was there or not. Her sister Fran was always the main focus of attention. Apart from her sibling’s overly large nose, which her mother declared haughtily to anyone who commented upon it “It’s a sign of aristocracy”, Fran’s overly blonde hair, contact lens enhanced blue eyes and a whippet-like body was a designer’s dream. Mary, with her average nose, her average, plump body and average brown hair was just there. On the sideline. Generally looking bored. As she would be at the wedding, because it was all about Fran and her mother. That was understandable. The bride always stole the show. Though, if Mary relented and wore the god-damn awful, red hooker-like dress her mother wanted her to wear that was too tight and made her breasts all but explode from the plunging neckline, she would be the centre of attention for reasons other than matrimonial. Her mother’s theory was, “You have to put yourself out there, Mary, and show them what you’ve got. You’ll never get married otherwise.” To Mary, exploding boobs were too much information and there was no way Mary wanted to bring any rational, normal man to a family wedding and scar him for life. And marriage? While it was her mother’s goal for all her daughters, it was not Mary’s. She planned to wear black mainly because she looked good in it and she knew it would drive her mother crazy.
She thought about Fran’s fiancé. The word ‘sucker’ came to mind. Will Williamson had no idea what he was letting himself in for hitching up to the Dalton clan. He was nice, normal and as far as Mary could tell, not impaired with an insane mother who sought world domination. That he chose to marry Fran indicated he may have a hidden flaw in his carefully, Ken doll-like demeanor or it was indeed true and opposites did attract or he was from Mars as her sister Clare believed.
Mary wondered if her younger sister would be at the wedding. That at least would be fun to see their mother suck in her breath in horror as her lesbian sister showed up in a man’s dinner suit, with her latest girlfriend in tow, as she threatened to do. Mary hoped she did. Clare, she liked. Clare never worried about what other people thought of her. Clare was a free spirit. “She’s not driftwood like me.” Clare was like a burning building on fire. People watched and waited for the inevitable explosions.
She sighed and pushed down her sunglasses so they barely clung to the end of her nose. She always went swimming with them on. Those, and a battered, old straw hat and a black
‘rashie’ swimsuit that covered her from shoulders to just above her knee. She wore it because her skin was fair and the Far North Queensland sun could rip the hide off you if you weren’t prepared. Besides Mary was always reluctant to display her thighs. At thirty-two she had long ago accepted she had cellulite and all the miracle cream and exercise in the world couldn’t shift it.
So she covered what she could and felt a little bit better about herself.
Mary had body issues. She was realistic enough to realize she couldn’t wish them away. Her body was as it was – generous – or that of a ‘fat chick’ as her last date, Lewis called it. At the time she had just looked at him coolly, stood up from the restaurant table they were sharing and picked up one of the crusty bread rolls in the basket on the table and threw it at him. It had been a great shot. It smacked him fair in the forehead and left a red mark. He had been shocked. Unconscious from the direct bread roll hit would have been better. “I may be fat but I’m neither stupid nor desperate enough to hang out with you anymore.” She had picked up her handbag and glared at him. “And by the way. Yes, you do have a tiny penis and yes size does matter to a woman. A lot.” Well, it didn’t really to Mary. She couldn’t care less what anyone looked like. They were who there were and she preferred intelligence, humor and spirit to insincerity and big penises. But she knew Lewis cared a lot about his dick. What a ‘fat chick’ said would give him more to agonize over.
Men. There had to be a good one out there somewhere. They all couldn’t be insensitive sods like Lewis. Maybe Clare was on the right track, “Maybe I should become a lesbian…” She sighed and slid her glasses back on her nose. “Or maybe I’ll just float away and red dresses and mothers will no longer matter.” Mary lay on her back and once more let the sea take charge.
It was at that moment something brushed her leg. Mary stiffened in alarm. She was swimming inside the stinger nets at Yorkey’s Beach, fifteen minutes from the tropical city of Cairns. The tightly woven mesh nets were designed to protect swimmers against the stinging irukanji and jellyfish that were prevalent in Northern Australian waters every summer. She jumped as she felt the feeling again. “Fuck!”
She began paddling back towards the shoreline. Apart from the lifesaver perched on a chair on the verandah of the lifeguard shack and two topless women sun baking on the beach, there was no one else around. She was the only one in the water. Mary looked at the lifeguard. He didn’t appear to be alarmed. That was a good thing. It meant that it was not an errant shark or a wayward crocodile in the nets. It was not unheard of for them to stray into places where they weren’t meant to go.
Mary yelped when her leg was brushed once more. She slammed her feet into the shifting sand below her and started to wade to shore.
The lifeguard looked up at her and got up from his chair.
A man popped up in the water beside her.
“Fucking hell.” Mary fell face forward into the surf as both the man and an errant wave tumbled her. She spluttered as she tried to stand up, grateful for the strong hand the curled around her bicep and pulled her up.
Mary pulled her water filled sunglasses off, ready to blast whoever it was for scaring her but any words she had been about to say died on her lips when she looked into the greenest eyes she had ever seen. They sparkled with an intensity that made her stomach muscles clench in shock. He was gorgeous.
“Did I scare you?”
“Er—um” Mary was mesmerized as she watched him push back a mane of wet dark red hair. “I—ah—” Her gaze ran over the broad shoulder and dripping, hair roughened chest. “You—I—”
Wow, wow, wow. They don’t make men like this
Any thoughts of yelling at him dissolved as she gazed back into his eyes.
“You’re cute.” He pushed the brim of the old straw hat up to have a better look at her, his finger brushing the side of her face. Mary shivered. “It’s okay, Mary.” He tweaked her nose and swam off.
Mary’s hand went up to her nose as if trying to hold onto the feeling of the man.
She watched him move confidently through the waves. As he got further to the shore an elaborate tattoo appeared on his back. It appeared to be a dark green dragon that covered his shoulders and tapered down to his waist. She licked her salty lips wondering what it would taste like to trace her tongue on his skin and—
“Oh. My. God.” He had no board shorts on. His ass was bare. Mary blinked several times to check she was not seeing things but there it was. Bare, luscious, male ass. The tanned, glistening flesh had her spellbound. “Oh, please turn around. I just want a glimpse and I’ll die happy.” As if he heard her, he turned slightly, a wide smile on his lips. Mary caught her breath at the sight of his cock. Long, hard and semi erect. “Wow…” she muttered to herself as she watched him walk up the beach. She was surprised that that lifeguard didn’t reprimand him for being naked but they both just waved at each other.
Mary stared at him for a long time until he disappeared in between the palm trees and bushes that lined the dunes. “Now that is a man.” Any thoughts of joining her sister Clare in a state of lesbianism disappeared. That man confirmed her orientation. “I like men and dick way too much.” Mary blew out a breath and flopped onto her back in the water and thought about the man. She closed her eyes and imagined that body against hers as he rode her like no other man could. “Oh yeah…niiiiice…”
As she drifted, thinking about him, it registered with her that he had called her Mary. That was weird. If they had met before she would have remembered it.
Tattooed, bare assed men were few and far between and not forgettable. So how did he know her? Or was it a lucky guess? Nowadays, Mary wasn’t a common name.
“Weird.” But then whole interlude was. Most fleeting moments with men were just that. Over and done with and not something she remembered. But that man?
Something told Mary he was the unforgettable kind “He would be the perfect man to take to the wedding. Naked, he’d kill my mother and upstage my sister and maybe even turn Clare.” Now that would be fun.
“How the hell am I supposed to find him?” Mary looked at her boss and once more realized that she should be General Manager and not just the office manager.
Vernon Mortenson, the man in question, clearly wouldn’t know if his backside was on fire unless someone told him in the appropriate memo sent to his inbox. Like all useless people who get elevated to great power, no one could ever say how that happened without money, nepotism or sex being involved. When Mary thought of the carefully manicured—in a greasy, slime ball kind of way—Vernon, the idea of him sleeping his way into the position made her want to gag.