#5 in Snooty and the Book Cover. Find the others here.
I Just Runaway
I am practicing Tai Chi on the beach at 8 am, trying to clear my mind of the huge embarrassment that was last night. My brain bangs the mournful gongs of bourbon barrel stout.
“Look, Snooty is slapping flies.” Clayton’s voice rises above the sound of drills and saws and the ocean waves.
I don’t turn around. I vow never to look in the direction of that house again.
“Be kind, Old Man,” Steve says.
It’s sunny. The sand is already hot under my bare feet, telling me that it will be a scorcher later.
“Yoohoo, Princess,” Brittany calls. Great, the second of my newly acquired derogatory nicknames all said within five minutes of each other; well at least the ones I’ve heard.
She’s wearing her outfit from last night so I presume she scored her sugar and I can’t help feeling a bee sting of jealousy. Mark and Riordan both emerge from the pickup. She places a hand on her hip.
“I got more research done for my novel,” she says, her grin wicked.
I don’t know what to say. Stuttering some kind of response doesn’t seem advisable.
“Did you score last night?” she asks.
I shake my head and feel my face turning red, wondering if Steve, or anyone else besides me, can hear her over the noise.
“I bet Steve’s a wild one in bed. I love guys with tats. Are you into him?” she asks, fingering the gold cross at her throat.
“No. I’m not into anyone right now,” I say.
“Then you don’t mind if I explore new avenues?”
I bite my lip for some reason and, against my better judgment glance at the house that I said I would not glance at. I catch Steve’s gaze as he adjusts a ladder. Muscles flex in his back. His calves are finely crafted. I swallow hard.
“You can do what you want,” I say and wonder why I regret it as soon as it’s out of my mouth. It’s not like I have a thing for him. I mean, that beard. That beard is an instant game changer for me. I’ve always thought of them as being so untidy with the potential to harbor creepy crawlies. But Steve is neat and clean. I’ve seen this. Damn, a beard is just hair, right?
“Are you sure? The way you’re looking at his body right now . . .” Her voice trails off and I realize she’s right. I am almost salivating. It’s obviously been too long since I’ve been with anyone.
“I gotta go,” I say and scamper into the house and to my room to write. Yes, I need to write. That’s what I need to do: write. Write, dangit, write.