Amanda took her time getting ready. She stood in front the closet for 15 minutes trying to decide what to wear to dinner. Her final choice was a dark blue miniskirt dress. It clung to her every curve. She took careful care with her makeup and studied the overall effect in the mirror. Satisfied, she headed out into the living room. Devin had changed into dark jeans and a blue long sleeved collared shirt. He was sipping on a glass of wine as he stared out the window.
“I’m ready.” Amanda announced.
Devin turned and looked at her, his blue eyes roaming up and down the length of her. He took another sip of his wine and walked slowly across the room. He stopped two feet from her. She felt suddenly nervous and she tried to fight the urge to fidget with the skirt of her dress.
Devin looked at her and a slow grin spread across his face. He made a slight move forward and she startled, expecting him to grab her or pull her into his arms, instead he reached over and picked up his car keys off the coffee table. Amanda felt ridiculous for feeling so nervous and jittery. It was not like she was a young schoolgirl, with her first crush. She was an adult women, and quite capable of handling the likes of Devin. She smiled at him as he stood back up.
Devin looked at her as if he was trying to gauge what she was thinking. “Let’s get going.” He turned and started heading towards the door.
“Aren’t you going to say anything about how I look?” Amanda couldn’t quite keep the disappointment out of her voice.
Devin didn’t bother turning around as he answered her over his shoulder. “No.”
“No?” Amanda caught up with him outside on the stairs. “What do you mean no?”
He stopped but didn’t turn around. “I gave it some thought and decided you are probably right.”
“Right about what?”
“About the two of us. We don’t make a good match. You were dead on. I work for your father, the last thing we should be doing is muddling up the waters.”
“Muddling up the waters? What the hell does that mean?”
Devin turned. His face was inches from hers. “I mean if we have a love affair. It wouldn’t work out.”
“And why not?” She asked. Her heart was pounding so loudly she was afraid he could hear it.
“Because we are too different.” He glanced up at her hair and for just for a moment she thought she saw a spark of passion flash across his eyes. But then it was gone and in its place she saw friendly indifference.
She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Too different? So yesterday you wanted to get me into bed, but now you don’t?”
“That’s right,” he said as he continued down the stairs.
“But what about the hallway. What about…”
“What about it? It was just a kiss Amanda. Nothing really happened. It was one or two kisses that’s all. We are both adults. I don’t think we have to loose our heads over it.”
Amanda didn’t know what to think. This was the last thing she expected.
“Come on, I asked around and there’s supposed to be a good Chinese food restaurant down the street. Tonight we will go out and eat. Tomorrow we will be beach bums. Don’t worry Amanda it will fly by and we will be back in the office before you know it.”
* * *
The Chinese food restaurant located on the main drag, the place was packed full of locals. Decorated in gold and red, paper lanterns were strung across the ceiling and pictures of dragons where hung on the wall. The food was incredible. Amanda tried to teach Devin how to eat with chopsticks, because she wasn’t much of a cook, she ordered a lot of take out. He had laughed when she told him she had the number of her favorite Chinese restaurant at home, the one that delivered up until midnight, on speed dial.
Amanda was surprised how easily the conversation flowed. Conversations with Devin were so different then the ones she was use to with Allen.
Allen always expected everything that came out of Amanda’s mouth to be intellectual and meaningful. Not that he every listened to what she was saying, for the last couple of years Allen would monopolize the conversation talking about his work. Allen had landed a very important job after college at a local Community College as part of their course development team. He would spend hours telling Amanda about the intimate details of his work day, always talking about the academic world he was part of with a hushed reverence, Amanda could never share.
Allen never could loosen up and just have fun; he was always so serious. It was nice going out with someone she could just talk to without monitoring everything she said. Amanda found herself telling Devin all the stupid jokes that were being emailed around the office, stories about her family and silly stories about her cat; it was liberating to just say exactly what she was thinking.
After dinner they drove back to the condo. Devin got out of the car first and walked over to the driver’s side, opening the door for her. It was bad enough the guy was attractive and sexy, did he have to also be a gentleman. Amanda had never been treated so well, he opened doors for her, and when they went out at night he was constantly scanning around. She had never felt so protected, so female before.
As she got out of the car, Devin suddenly grabbed her into his arms and pulled them both into the shadows. Now this is more like it, she thought as she rested her chin on his chest.
“I knew it was too good to be true.”
“Hmmm,” Amanda snuggled closer into him.
“I can’t believe he is waiting to ambush us.”
For the first time Amanda realized that Devin’s attention was not on her. “What are you talking about?”
“Shhhh,” he whispered softly into her ear, “he will hear you.”
“Who?” she stood up on tiptoe and peered over his shoulder.
“No! You got to be kidding me, where is he?”
“Over on the side of the condo, by the stairs.”
Amanda could just make out a human outline in the shadows. “How do you know it’s him?”
“Call it a lucky guess.” Devin grabbed Amanda and pulled her along with him towards the beach.
“We should go talk to him.”
“Nay, I tried that once and look where it got me. I’m lucky he didn’t press assault charges.”
“What are we going to do?” Amanda tried to carefully pick her way along the rocky path down to the beach. Her black high heels were not the sort of footwear meant for this type of activity. Devin seeing her wobbling precariously between two stones picked her up and carried her the rest of the way to the beach.
“Thanks,” she said as her set her down on the sand. Her breathlessness had more to do with being held in his arms then physical exertion. “So what’s the plan of action, are we hiding out at the beach all night?”
Devin took off his jacket and laid it across the sand. “We know how it will end up if I go talk to the guy.”
“I get you point, that would be bad.” Amanda took the arm he offered to steady her as she lowered herself done onto his jacket. “Besides, I don’t know if I have enough in travelers checks to bail you out of jail.”
“Sure, laugh it up.” He chuckled and then his voice became serious. “What is up with this guy, Amanda? Has he been bothering you like this back home?”
When she didn’t answer, he leaned over and took her chin in his hands. He raised her face up so he could make out her expression in the moonlight. “He is the reason you left town.”
“I didn’t leave just because of him. I hadn’t taken a vacation in years.” She said defensively. She had felt extremely foolish fleeing town in the middle of the night. It seemed like such a cowardly thing to do.
Devin, realizing by her tone that this was a sensitive area of conversation, let go of her and made his tone casual. “What else has he been doing?”
“I think he has been following me to and from work.”
“You got to be kidding me!”
“I been getting crazy notes and phone calls, but I can’t prove it’s him.”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“I didn’t think it was anyone’s business. I don’t know, how do you announce to everyone you are being stalked. Honestly, I figured he was just upset about the breakup. I was sure he would come to his senses and the harassment would stop any day.”
“And what about almost being run over?”
Amanda was suddenly still. “Who told you about that?”
“You did when you were drunk.”
“It must have been my imagination. I mean who would want to run me over. And I wasn’t drunk, I was slightly tipsy.”
“Pardon me, I meant tipsy.” She could hear the laughter in his voice. “Humor me and tell me the story anyway.”
“I came out of the office. I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings. I’m working on a new project. Anyway I was crossing the street, I heard a car. It sort of came out of nowhere. It was the driver probably didn’t see me. I had to jump out of the way.”
“Could it have been Allen?”
“I can’t imagine him doing something like that.”
“But you were worried enough you skipped town.”
“I was tired of dealing with the situation.” She had been so caught up in her thoughts she didn’t realize at first that it was raining.
“Earth to Amanda. Hello, anybody in there. It’s raining.”
A warm sprinkle covered her arm. “Should we go in?”
“Nay, it doesn’t seem to be raining that hard.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth the skies opened up. Water poured down in buckets.
Amanda laughed and got up, she was soaked. “You were saying?”
He sat on the ground, rain pouring down his face and grinned. “I’m occasionally wrong.”
Her hair was plastered against her face. She tried to push it out of her eyes.
“Occasionally? Ok, Sherlock what do we do now?”
He got up and peeled off his shirt. “Since we are already wet, why don’t we go for a midnight swim in the ocean.”
“Are you crazy it’s raining.”
“Yeah, but there is still a full moon out, and it’s bright enough even with the clouds.”
It was bright out and she could clearly see him in the dark. She couldn’t keep her eyes off his muscular chest and as he moved and flexed her heart started pounding fast in her chest. Man he had great biceps. He started to unbuckle his belt and she forced herself to turn away. She heard a loud splash.
“Come on in the water is fine.” He shouted to her from the water.
“Amanda I am ten feet away, and it’s dark. I think it’s a safe bet I can’t see anything from here.”
She pulled her dress up over her head. It was hard getting it off, it was wet and stuck to her skin. She finally managed to get free of the dress and she stood in her white lace bra and patties. She couldn’t help herself she covered her arm across her chest. Even though she was in her underwear she felt naked and exposed.
‘Don’t be a prude,’ she told herself, it’s not like he was seeing her naked, her underwear was no different then wearing a bikini. She made her way down towards the waters edge. She slowly walked into the ocean, the water was chilly. She swam out until she could no longer touch and looked around for Devin. She couldn’t see him anywhere. Where was he? She began to panic. Maybe swimming in the ocean at night wasn’t a smart idea, what if he was forced under by a wave and hurt himself?
“Devin.” She called out, treading water as she turned her head back and forth scanning the waves for him. He didn’t answer and she couldn’t see him. Now she was really worried. “Devin!”
“Right here.” She heard from behind her as he dunked her.
She surfaced and yelled at him, “I can’t believe you did that!”
“Maybe you will believe this.” He laughed as he dunked her again.
She came up sputtering water. “Stop trying to drown me.”
“Sorry couldn’t help myself.” He was only inches from her. He suddenly reached out and pulled her into him. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine.” His body felt warm against hers.
“Cold?” he asked as he felt her shiver against him.
It was not the cold that was making her shiver it was the electric shocks that were going off in her body. Every where their skin met she felt a tiny tingling sensation.
“You can let go of me now.”
“Sure,” he said his voice low, but he didn’t let her go.
“Devin I think it has stopped raining.”
“Maybe swimming in the dark isn’t such a hot idea. We should probably head back to the condo. Allen has to be gone by now.”
“Is that what you want to do?” He asked. She could feel the heat of his breath caressing her neck.
She took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on anything but his body. “Yes, it would be the smart thing to do.”
“Ok, whatever you say.” He pushed away from her and swam back to shore.
She followed him out of the water. She reached down to pick up her dress when she heard the noise. It was like loud. Before she could ask him what it was, he had moved too fast for her to follow, narrowing the distance between them. She heard another loud noise as he grabbed her and rolled them both onto the ground.
The breath was knocked out of her by the fall. She sat gasping for air, Devin lying across the top of her.
“Devin what was that?” she asked when she finally found her voice. He didn’t answer. “Devin?” She shook his shoulder, but her hand made contact with something sticky. Alarms went off in her head. She tried to push him off, but he was heavy. “Devin!” She cried out, using all the strength she had to shove him off of her. He hit the round next to her but didn’t move. She turned him over and looked down in horror at the blooding pouring his head. It ran down in a sheet across his face. She sat stunned unable to move, frozen in horror.
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