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Athletic

The warm, dry breeze which skipped playfully across Cedar Point Beach from the West blew gently through Mary’s hair, rousing her from her mental wanderings. Her eyes opened to peer through her sunglasses at the slowly setting sun. She removed the glasses to view the natural beauty of its many golden hues. It took her breath away. She sighed at the many resplendent colors created by the departing sun, almost jealous of how easily it painted it’s perfect picture…of its mastery of shade and tone.

Stretching, she looked to her right, at her own painting as it rested comfortably on the sun-warmed easel. The setting sun even made the artificial colors she’d created in acrylic seem more beautiful. Her painting was also of a splendidly vibrant sunset, but the beach it bathed in its slowly cooling reds, pinks and lavenders was nothing like the beach on which she had spent the day reading and painting. It was completely different, having sprung from Mary’s imagination and almost having painted itself on the canvas. Her hands had seemingly come to independent life, almost magically creating the sun-tinted hues of cooling sand and darkening rock. As she looked at her work, it seemed to draw her into it…beckon her in some mystical way.

Tearing her eyes from the alluring picture, her head slowly lolled to her left, pausing only briefly to again admire the natural sun as its lengthening rays caused the lazily undulating waves of the ocean to sparkle…creating merry giggles of light.

Still with her sunglasses removed from her eyes, she focused on Nathan. She’d known him for some eleven years or so, and was always impressed by his quick wit, compassion, sensitivity and down to earth nature. Of the half dozen friends she’d come to the beach with, Nathan was the one she most enjoyed talking to…and looking at. Despite the fact that he was gorgeous in the extreme, he didn’t have the inflated ego that sometimes went along with it. He never put anyone down, at least not to Mary’s knowledge. And his eyes had a way of looking intently at you when you spoke to him, as if they absorbed your every word and transmitted them directly to his clever, active mind. And those eyes…such a pale, limpid blue-green…almost like the very sea who’s tranquility she’d tried to capture on canvas. Those eyes made her melt…gave her flashes of warmth and chills at the same time.

Looking around the beach, almost everyone else had gone back to the their hotels or rented villas. The other friends that she and Nathan had traveled here with had apparently called it a night. Only a few straggling strangers still lingered about, walking hand in hand in the darkening sand or more briskly through the lapping waters of the rising tide. It was a scene of serenity and bliss, and it filled Mary with a deep peace that made her breathe a long, soft sigh.

From this distance, Nathan appeared to be dozing in the barely swinging hammock. The bronzing rays of sunset made his tanned body appear even moreso with each passing moment. Clad only in pastel yellow swim trunks, his tan again appeared even more stark. His tall, lean body, each sculpted muscle glistening from either the remnants of his tanning lotion or a light spray of sea mist, stretched nearly the length of the twined rope of the hammock. His short, wavy blond hair, bleached even lighter by two days at the beach, playfully curled about his ears and forehead. Sadly, dark green shades hid his incredible eyes from Mary’s prying ones, but his luscious body and full lips were certainly enough to keep her attention.

As she admired his reclining body, his head turned toward her, his shade covered eyes aimed in her direction. Her assumption that he was asleep was quickly proven wrong, as his low, deep voice greeted her. It seemed to bathe her ears in warm, pleasant vibrations as it said, “Mary…come her for a minute. I want to tell you something.” Though his voice was soft, it bore into her…igniting her brain…fondling her soul.

Almost trancelike, Mary rose from her beach chair and began walking toward him. Her filmy sundress billowed in the soft beach breeze, reminding her of her wicked little indulgence. The cooling air flapped at her dress, lifting it just enough to sneak under it and witness first hand the unMarylike decadence.

Bringing her hand up to cover her self-amused smirk, Mary felt the warm waft of air play sweetly in the fine, soft curls of her naked pubic area. She felt it dance unobstructed between her legs as it stirred those tiny hairs and tingled the soft, pink folds of her sex. It tickled, and made her have to stifle a giggle…but it felt incredible, especially in the wake of her arousing – and moistening – thoughts about Nathan. It was the first time she’d ever worn a sundress – or any other type of clothing for that matter – without wearing panties beneath. But she very much enjoyed it…and made a mental note to so again…whenever possible.

Trudging barefoot through the warm sand kızılay escort and having successfully warded off the impish titter, Mary came up alongside the hammock with its tall, sexy occupant. The sun was almost below the horizon now, and the moon was stretching and flexing its muscles to take over the night sky. When Nathan removed his sunglasses, even the waning light couldn’t mute their blue-green sparkle. His smile set Mary’s heart aflame, and she sighed when she tried to speak to him. Taking a second stab at it, she managed to ask, “What is it, Nathan? What is it you wanted to tell me?” In her heart, she was hoping he wanted to profess his undying love for her, but she was a realist. This man could have any woman on this, or any other planet. How could she even hope he’d want her?

“I know where it is,” he said softly, his words framed by the hushed lapping of waves on sand.

“What? You know where what is?” Mary asked, confused.

“That beach. The one you painted so brilliantly in your picture. I’ve seen it. I know where it is.” His eyes gazed into hers with not only honesty, but a childish eagerness…like he wanted desperately to share something with her.

“Nathan,” she laughed lightly, mildly disappointed at not hearing the words she knew she’d never hear anyway, “I painted that from my imagination. It’s not a real place. I made it up.”

“Well, hon,” he smiled, “I hate to burst any bubbles, but that place exists. It’s about twenty miles down the coast. Beautiful, too. You’ve captured it almost exactly.”

Turning to look at her picture, fading in the encroaching darkness, she started to become irritated, thinking Nathan was making fun of her.

“Nathan…you’ve never made fun of anyone before…why are you doing it to me? If you’re just teasing or joking, that’s fine, but….”

“Mary,” he interrupted, sitting up quickly and reaching out to take her hand in his. The hammock swayed vicariously, Nathan rocking from side to side in it. When the rocking slowed, and an awkward fall to the sand was averted, he continued. “I’d never make fun of you. I think you’re great. You’re fantastic. Why would I make fun of you? No…I swear…I wouldn’t lie to you. That place exists….or one damn close to it.”

“Nathan…c’mon. Don’t…”

“Mary, believe me, I….” he started, but then realized words alone weren’t going to convince her. Swinging his legs over the side of the hammock, he stood up quickly, his broad shoulders thrust back in firm resolve. He was apparently upset that Mary didn’t believe him…or that she had believed he was being cruel to her. It almost seemed to hurt him….and provoke a need in him to prove himself.

“Mary, I swear I’ve seen that place. I thought you had, too…and that’s why you painted it. I can prove it to you. I can prove it exists.”

Mary was still skeptical, but her doubts seemed to flounder when Nathan stood close to her and held both her hands, those limpid eyes looking down at her. She gulped hard and tried to keep her weak knees from buckling under her. “Nathan, I believe you. You don’t have to….”

“Oh, but I want to, Mary. If you haven’t seen that place for real, then you need to. You’ll love it. It’s a little slice of Heaven right here on Earth.” Then, a cloud seemed to cross over his beautiful eyes. He said, “Unless…you don’t want to go there with ME.”

Mary was shocked. It appeared as though the gorgeous Nathan was hurt that she didn’t want to see this lovely beach with him. She tried to tell him this wasn’t so, but all she could do was stammer and sputter. “No! Nathan…..it’s…..I mean…it’s not..I…really…I’d…..that would be….I…..”

Nathan put a stop to the babbling. He let go of one of her hands and lifted his hand up, placing his index finger on Mary’s blithering lips. Her incoherent, verbal fumbling stopped. He looked her in the eyes and said in a low, clear voice.

“Do you or do you not want to visit that beach with me? I’d love to show it to you. We could go see it…and maybe….talk a while…just the two of us. I know that place will look awesome in the moonlight. Please, Mare? Let me show it to you. If you don’t agree with me that it’s gorgeous, we’ll come right back if you want to. How ’bout it? Let’s go right now and see it. What do you say?”

Mary was shivering all over…every inch of her body….even though it was warm. But somehow when she spoke to Nathan, the stammering didn’t return. She sighed, and the trembling almost stopped as well. With a smile, and a glimmer of hope in her breast, she replied, “Nathan, I’d love to see a beach like that – or any other beach – with you. Sure, let me just pack up my stuff and we’ll go.”

Nathan’s smile was genuine. Mary could feel a warmth radiating off of him. As she turned to gather up her belongings as quickly as she possibly could, , Nathan said something that made her sweat from head to toe. It was one simple word.

“Hurry,” kızılay escort bayan he said.

The drive from Cedar Point Beach to the their new destination took hardly more than twenty minutes. During that time, conversation between the two of them was light and friendly, as it had always been between them. The one thing that Mary noticed that was different this time, however, was that her pulse was racing and she could swear she sighed at least once every thirty seconds or so. She’d had many wonderful conversations with Nathan before, but never had she felt like this. She felt like she was going to explode, as if skin and muscle could barely contain the energy that was quickly reaching critical mass deep inside her.

After driving for miles along the ocean road, Nathan steered his SUV left, onto a dirt road. It wound snakelike for a few miles, slowly meandering its way down a moderate grade. Mary was certain she’d never been down this road before, though she surely must have passed it dozens of times during her fairly frequent seaside trips, both with friends, and alone to ply her artistic talents.

Just as the moon was beginning to bathe the shore in its radiant white glory, Nathan pulled his vehicle to a stop in a tiny, sandy area surrounded by dark rocks. It almost looked like a private parking space for one. When he looked over to Mary, she saw the moonlight reflecting in his eyes, giving the pale blue-green a slightly washed out look, though that didn’t stop them from peering directly into her soul. The natural brightness of his pupils was replaced by a delightful, moonlit twinkle. His eyes seemed to dance, and reach out for Mary to join them.

“We’re here,” he said, his voice low and soft. “Just around there, past those big rocks to the right, is the spot I’m talking about. If you’re serious that you’ve never been here, you’re going to get one helluva shock when you see how close to your painting it is.”

“I AM serious, Nathan. I may have driven past this place a dozen times, but I’ve never stopped here. I swear!”

“Well, then, you’re a psychic or something. Just wait’ll you see this.”

Nathan’s moon-dappled eyes turned away – causing Mary to sigh deeply at the loss – and he opened his door. She did likewise. Standing alongside the SUV, they both realized that the moon was so full and bright, and the sky so completely cloudless, that they’d only need flashlights if they entered a cave or burrowed underground, neither of which was on the agenda. Nathan walked around the car and took Mary’s hand in his. She was so immersed in the beauty of the moonlit beach that his hand touching hers startled her.

“Oooh…a bit jumpy?” he asked, “maybe afraid to be here with me?” He smiled, then tried to look sinister.

“Oh, please, Nathan,” she laughed, and then became serious. “I’d never be afraid to be anywhere with you.”

“Come on then. I can’t wait for you to see this place.” As he started to lead her forward in the moonlight, Mary noticed he’d somehow retrieved a large blanket from his car. He had rolled it into a tube and held it under his arm, the one that was not gently holding her hand.

The walk down to the large rocks – boulders if one was to speak technically from a size standpoint – took only minutes. As they rounded the seaward curve of the nearest boulder, tiny, muted splashing noises could be heard, like the sound of leaping fish in a small, serene pond. Also, there was the quiet lapping of water against some unyielding object or objects. It was all very calming, soothing. Combined with the romantic moonlight, it made Mary’s entire body sigh.

But when they completed rounding those two large, solid rock sentinels, calmness gave way to a wash of disbelief for Mary. She gasped, staggered slightly, putting one hand to her mouth and latching tightly onto Nathan’s arm with the other. She needed his support, because she couldn’t believe what her own senses were telling her was true.

There it was. Her painting. In every minute detail. Except for the fact that it was awash in ivory moonlight and not the spectacular hues of an ocean sunset, it was there before her unbelieving eyes. She held more firmly to Nathan’s muscled arm, still swaying. Eventually, she just leaned against him, weak and wobbly. Her eyes roamed about what Nathan had earlier called “a little slice of Heaven” and she could only agree with him.

“Still say you’ve never been here?” Nathan asked, looking down at her gaping mouth and incredulous eyes.

“Nathan…I swear to you…I’ve never….”

“Okay,” he replied, “then how do you explain your painting?” He couldn’t help but believe her, because not only did he feel her shivering, but he was busy trying to hold her up as well.

“I….I can’t,” she said, shaking her head, “I just….can’t.”

“Wow,” he said, “this is one for the books, then. Maybe you ARE psychic.”

“I don’t know. I just…don’t…know. But…you’re escort kızlay right….it’s EXACTLY like my painting. This is so incredible!”

Nathan watched her as she stared dreamlike at the rocks surrounding the tiny, moonlit inlet. “C’mon,” he said, still holding her arm, “you can see it even better from over here. There’s a nice sandy spot to spread the blanket and just sit and talk, too.” Mary now held onto his arm with both her hands, as he continued to lead her closer to the beautiful little beach.

Walking down a sandy hill for about fifty feet, they came to the place Nathan was talking about. Here, rocks were small and scarce. The sand was smooth and warm and flat for a distance of perhaps thirty feet before dipping downward again to the rocky little inlet. Nathan left Mary to stare out over her painting’s heretofore unknown twin, as he spread out the blanket. Then he walked over to where she stood mesmerized. Coming up behind her, he put his hands on her shoulders gently, so as not to startle her again. They stood like that, entranced by the splendor and tranquility of the little beach/alcove, for several quiet, thoughtful minutes.

Below them, beach and rocks formed a horseshoe shape, the arm nearest them being an extension of the sandy area on which they now stood, but being some dozen or so yards downhill from them. As it swung around to form the other arm of the horseshoe, the sandy beach slowly gave way to dark, moonlit rocks. It was these that the incoming gentle waves lapped against with their small, tickling ripples. The open end of the horseshoe was an inlet for the sea. Quiet, moon-sparkled water meandered happily between the arms of the horseshoe shaped beach, seeking rocks and sand to kiss. The open end wasn’t completely open, however. It was only open horizontally. Vertically, the two ends of the horseshoe were connected by a curved arch of the same dark rock that formed the far side of the beach. The moon shone brightly just over the tip of that arch, creating a dizzying combination of moonlight and shadow, and a veritable orchestra of dapples and sparkles on the mostly, but not completely, calm water inside the loop of the horseshoe. The cool whites, blues and blacks, combined with the murmurs of the sea, held Mary and Nathan quietly in awe for quite some time. Or was it their closeness, their touching, that held them so rapt?

“Amazing, isn’t it?” Nathan said finally.

“Beautiful,” Mary replied in one long, low sigh.

“I imagine it would look exactly like your painting if we’d gotten here at sunset.”

“I believe you’re right,” she answered, still sighing. “I’m sure that’s exactly how it would look. I can’t imagine how I could’ve painted this place. I KNOW I’ve never been here. I’m certain of it!”

“Look,” Nathan said, rubbing her shoulders, “these things happen. It really doesn’t matter. It’s just one of those things, y’know. There could be a dozen explanations if you dig hard enough. Let’s just sit down and enjoy the view from the blanket, okay? It’s really nothing you should worry about, Mare.”

“Oh, I’m not worried, Nathan. I’m just….amazed…blown away. Right up until the last second I was sure you were pulling my leg.”

He laughed, “Well, now, from now on when I tell you something, maybe you’ll believe me, hmmm? Now…let’s get comfy on the blanket and talk, okay? I really enjoy talking to you.”

Nathan turned to stroll back to the blanket, giving Mary’s shoulders one last, quick rub before doing so. Slowly, she turned, still shaking her head, and followed him. As she walked away from that tranquil scene, every few steps she turned to look back at it…fascinated…her skin generously sprinkled with goosebumps at the eerie familiarity of it.

When they were both seated on the blanket, Mary got a good look at Nathan in the moonlight. His strong, lean body was a playground for the moonlight. It danced on him, diluting his deep tan but making him even more beautiful…like an exotic painting of the perfect man. She watched as both moonlight and rippling water reflected in his blue-green eyes. Watching those eyes, admiring his body…was putting her into a trance…a warm, tingling trance. And the tingling was concentrated in some very specific, naughty places.

So in awe of Nathan’s appearance by moonlight was Mary, that she didn’t realize he was looking back, equally in awe of what he saw. She was facing the moonlight, and her already light complexion was more starkly perfect, like a glowing white goddess, or an earthbound angel. Her filmy, cotton dress billowed in the light breeze, making the goddess or angel image all the more ethereal, surreal and beautiful. With neither of them realizing it, they were both smiling at each other. Silent lips curled in approving smiles.

“You’re beautiful,” Nathan said quietly.

The statement took Mary by surprise, but she heard it clearly. She at once flushed hotly and shivered. She had to take her eyes off his body and regroup her senses to reply. “Why….thank you, Nathan.” was all she could think of to say, though a million words rambled incoherently through her brain. Again she shivered. Eventually, however, her self-consciousness took over, and she refuted his statement, as all women tend to do.

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