Welcome everyone. Here’s the Sweet Saturday Sample: #SweetSat
Green turned to white as the waves of the Gulf of Mexico broke against the yacht’s twin bows. Their force smacked with a hollow thud on the fiberglass shell and resonated deep within the ship. Outside, the hull glistened and answered each crest with a thwack that sounded not unlike the slap that was about to knock the drink from Paul Nelson’s hand.
He grinned at the girl. It was a grin that was charming, crooked, filled with confidence and a recent deep whitening treatment. Slurring words had not yet become a problem, and if she liked what he had to say, he would confess that he couldn’t possibly be as drunk as she assumed he was. If she balked at his advances, however, he’d blame it on the booze.
“So, Katherine? Are there any beaches on these islands?”
The smoldering look was worth the stupid question.
“Of course, Mr. Nelson.” Dark hair flowed to her shoulders and framed a slender face. Her blue eyes narrowed as he leaned in close. A gust of wind blew a strand of hair into the corner of her mouth. She brushed it away.
Paul misinterpreted the gesture; he embraced the imagined opening and leaned in closer.
“Paul. Call me Paul.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Nelson. I’m not allowed to do that. As I was saying, the chain features over four hundred islands, each with at least a quarter mile of white sand beaches reclaimed from Wassaw Sound.”
“What say you and I find a nice, secluded beach when this millionaire’s tub toy puts in?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Nelson. I can’t do that either.” Katherine Bernelli stepped to one side, opening an avenue of escape. She caught the eye of another investor, nodded, and began to make her way across the yacht’s expansive deck.
Paul stammered as she made her way around him. The charm wasn’t working; he may have to resort to flattery. He studied her as she moved across the deck, but as she walked his concentration swayed away, gently, back and forth in a tailored white formal gown.
Katherine reached another guest and smiled. Paul was amazed; the title Investor Relations Specialist no doubt called for her to smile always; yet he could find no trace of falsity in her eyes.
Paul tried to read her lips as she spoke to a gray-haired old man in a tailored suit. They were all old men with tailored suits. And, with the exception of one man he nicknamed “Johnny-Just-for-Men”, they all had gray hair, which they would undoubtedly refer to as silver.
The swig of Jack registered in his throat, and he moved toward her with a new plan and a new grin.
“Yes, Mr. Hale, I believe the tractor did arrive on your island just yesterday. And, may I say the plantation you built is utterly stunning.”
He smiled back at her as he sipped from a mimosa. “It’s always been a dream of mine to live a simpler life.”
“A hobby farm does sound like fun. And, the soil should be perfectly suited for most any crop.”
“Oh, I’m not going to grow anything. I plan to just sit on the porch with a drink.”
“Oh, but the tractor?”
“Young lady, you can’t have a plantation and not have a tractor.”
“Of course. Well, it is beautiful. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Fetch me another drink, sweetie?” He polished off the mimosa and handed her the empty glass.
She smiled, nodded, turned and sighed. The smile faded. She walked into Paul.
“Look, Kat. I’m sorry if I came on strong. I know that your job is to make nice to all the rich and powerful here and that you’re just humoring me. But, I want you to know that I’m not like all these other guests. Look at that guy.” He pointed with his rocks glass to no one specifically. It ended up being “Johnny-Just-for-Men,” who was engaged in conversation on a Bluetooth headset.
“He can’t relax. He’s always on. Look at his posture. He’s standing straight up. His arms behind his back, chest out. Classic steepling. It’s as if he’s dressing down the troops right here.
“But, I’m not like that. I’m not going to posture and preen. I’m up front with who I am. I’m relaxed. I’m fun. For example, underneath this suit, I’m wearing a t-shirt that says ‘Hooray for Boobies!!!’”
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