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Out of My League Michele Zurlo 2022/8/3 13:51:39

He didn’t force the issue, for which Mia was thankful. He called his good-bye through the bathroom door when she was in the shower shaving her legs. Finding it easier to admit to herself that she longed for his company and his kisses, she embraced her disappointment at the fact he didn’t have a problem spending this vacation as if they were two people sharing a room by accident. Perhaps they were, but still. Maybe she wasn’t so thankful after all.

In the original bargain, they’d promised this was a no-strings fantasy. Of course, she hadn’t expected to act out her fantasy with Kaelen. But she had, and now she was confused by this need to be with him and act like a couple.

She spent the morning on the beach. Not really one for just lying out, she walked the shore and appreciated the natural beauty of the place. This was what she would have done if she had been here alone. Walking the beach, listening to the waves crash against the shore, and feeling the sand squish between her toes had figured prominently in her plans.

While she would have liked to try windsurfing, she just didn’t have confidence in her ability to get anywhere, even with a few lessons. Not that she could have afforded them. All of her money had gone into paying for the wish, and that left nothing for extras like windsurfing lessons.

And what kind of job could someone do that made the fulfillment of a sexual fantasy a suitable way to show appreciation? It bothered her that she didn’t know what he did for a living. She knew he’d served his country in the Army, and that he was two or three years older than her twenty-four years, but she didn’t know anything more.

In all the times they’d interacted—and they’d interacted at least once a week—she’d never thought to ask a personal question. She had fantasized about a man she didn’t know very well at all.

Perhaps the terms of the fantasy had been for the best. One day of incredible sex did not a relationship make.

She turned her attention to a flock of windsurfers sailing on the other side of the finger of land where she had wandered. They looked so graceful, skimming and dipping over the surface. A few of the more experienced sailors did tricks. Most people seemed content with the easier maneuvers that involved nothing more than avoiding a crash into anything else.

Mia watched until they began to head back to a base camp. The sun beat down on her head. She knew if she didn’t get inside and get some water soon, she’d end up with a headache that wouldn’t go away.

The cool air of the hotel room did a lot to lift the fuzzy feeling from her brain. She downed a bottle of water and took another one to the couch Kaelen hadn’t let her sleep on. With no television in the place, she didn’t stay down for long. She dug the papers she’d packed from her suitcase, in order to get some grading done before Monday, but she couldn’t concentrate on them. She wanted to read Kaelen’s paper, but he’d taken it from her.

She prowled the room. As she eyed Kaelen’s suitcase, the image of him tucking his paper into his flannel jacket flashed into her mind. Without the smallest qualm, she opened his suitcase and took it out. She rationalized by telling herself she hadn’t looked through any of his other items, though she noted he’d brought the sex toys from Oasis and more than a few condoms.

Those were leftovers. There had been no time for him to ditch those items before he had to board his plane. The sex toys she’d snagged were in her bag. If Kaelen hadn’t been there, she would have made sure the door was locked and made use of them.

Settling back on the sofa, she sipped her water and read Kaelen’s paper. In it, he proposed studying the correlation between a woman’s level of sexual satisfaction and the frequency of the use of sex toys. He’d laid out a number of variables, both dependent and independent, to consider. It would benefit from peer review, but it was a damn fine treatment.

Mia was impressed at the amount of thoughtfulness he’d put into the paper. If he’d turned it in on time, it would easily have netted him one of the top grades in the class and perhaps an invitation into many different colleges for postgraduate study. The eight misplaced commas would be a problem with Brindley, but his ideas and his design were solid.

The door opened and closed. “Honey, I’m home.”

She finished the last paragraph, glancing up only when his shadow fell over her. The saltiness of the water combined with the scent of sunscreen and sweat. On anyone else it might have offended her senses, but on Kaelen it made her want to draw him closer and taste his lips. The fact he wore long swim shorts and no shirt added to that urge.

“Did you get out of the room at all?”