A shimmering, pink sand beach stretched from one side of the bay to the next, and Annie couldn’t see a single person on it. A few houses, along with several large estates, were scattered on the cliffs above. The scent of gardenia drifted over the waves from someone’s garden.
Martin went to the cooler that held their breakfast. “Hungry?” he asked Annie over his shoulder.
“Sure. I usually eat toast and a little yogurt for breakfast.”
“Change of menu, then,” he said, handing her a slice of papaya. “This is the tropics, you know. You can’t eat toast in the tropics.”
The papaya, tasting of lime and lushness, slid across her tongue. Martin watched her with his eyes darkening. “I can live with the outfit, with some slight adjustments.”
“What?” she said warily, through a mouthful of fruit.
He leaned forward and unbuttoned the top two buttons of her shirt. Annie made no move to stop him. Another button went, then another, until the shirt was halfway unbuttoned and her bra exposed. “No bra, for starters.”
“In fact, I don’t like this bra.” It was plain white cotton, like all her bras. “Do you have any scissors in that first aid kit of yours?”
“What are you talking about?” For the first time, she wondered if he was literally crazy. Was he going to cut her clothes to shreds? She was considering throwing herself overboard when he returned from her bag, scissors in hand.
“Shhh,” he said when she tried to object. “Don’t worry so much.” His eyes held a concentrated, relentless look that made her shrink back weakly against the side of the boat. Two short snips severed her bra straps. He reached around her back and unsnapped
the fastener, then drew the bra away from her body. “Much better,” he breathed, letting one finger brush against her right nipple. When it stiffened eagerly he smiled. “You see? No one liked that bra.”
He drew the shirt off one shoulder, leaving one breast exposed and the other
hidden. They’re so white they gleam.” He stroked his hand in a circle around the breast he’d bared.
“Much nicer. Now, I don’t mind your outfit so much. Your breasts are beautiful.”
Annie felt a deep quiver run through her body. Even though his hand was nowhere near her nipple, still it jumped to attention.
“You don’t understand. I need to protect my skin. I need SPF 100,” she said in a choked voice.
“So that’s your beauty secret. I like mineral oil myself. No worries.” He held up her sunscreen and advanced toward her. She shrank back, mouth dry. “But you’d better take the whole shirt off then.” He eased it off her shoulders. Her hands flew to cover her breasts. “Now, now, that won’t do. You’re too beautiful to hide. Rest your arms along the side of the boat.”
With her arms stretched to either side, she gave her body to his touch. With slow, teasing motions, he spread the sunscreen over her pale skin. She felt the sun beating down on her head and saw the glints of gold it sparked in Martin’s hair. He began with her torso, tracing the bones of her rib cage and using a delicate touch just short of a tickle on her sensitive belly. It made her squirm slightly, with an embarrassed laugh.
“I like the way you move,” he murmured. He stood directly in front of her and ran his hand up her chest, between her breasts, ending with his hand circling her neck. Her head bent back against the side of the boat, and her eyes closed against the dazzling sunshine.
So what's your favorite beach in the world? Tell me your vote in the comments and I'll put you in the running for an extra prize -- a gift pack of great beach reads. There's nothing like reading a paperback on the beach, right? I picked up some fabulous books at RWA and I'll include some of my favorites in the prize pack.
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