[Prompt: Use these seven words in your story: Smug, substantial, meddle, slink, ethereal, artisanal, convolute ]
Chalk it up to my smug determination, or just my innate stubbornness, I refused to take a hint from Sally. From the moment I first witnessed her ethereal beauty, her eyes reflecting the licking flames and slim body cloaked in wispy smoke, I had fallen hopelessly in love. She was everything I would have never looked for in a girl. She was a substantial pain in the ass to deal with. She was a beautiful imperfection.
It had been Steve’s idea to go down to the fire at the beach. Even though it was a Friday, I had work to do on my thesis for my physics final, and I had resisted him the first two times he bothered me about it.
“Come on man, just for awhile. You can spend the rest of your weekend with your beloved computer after you come enjoy a beer with your toes in the sand.” Steve leaned against the frame of my doorway, arms crossed in determination. I had a feeling he wouldn’t leave me alone until I relented to his will.
“Fine. One beer. Then I’m going to head back. I have to work—“
Steve pumped his fist in celebration and interjected, “Yeah! Alright man, you won’t regret it. There’s supposed to be some hotties down there.” He raised his eyebrow and gave me a knowing look as he patted my shoulder. “I’ll meet you down there, eight o’clock.” Finally content with the situation, Steve turned and headed down the hall, leaving me to my work.
The fire burned brightly by the time I made it down to the beach. There were 20 people or so gathered around the flames, drinking and carrying on. I glanced over my shoulder towards the direction of my dorm longingly. Part of me hoped Steve had found someone to preoccupy him so that I could make a hasty exit. But as I turned back to the fire, that was when I saw her.
Her jean shorts were frayed against her long, tan legs. The ties of her bikini top reached around the back of her neck, the rest of the view hidden beneath a grey zip up hoodie. Her brown hair was free, billowing gently around her face in the ocean breeze. Her oversized sunglasses were pushed up on top of her head, forgotten as the sun set. Blood red lips curled into a grin as her hazel eyes met my gaze.
Her eyes never broke contact with mine as she began to slink towards me, hips swaying in catwalk fashion. A cheap beer in one hand and a bottle of brandy in the other, I felt unsure about the direction our interaction was about to go. A voice deep in my mind repeated a warning to leave, but my growing curiosity drowned the words in a flood.
I was hypnotized. The movement of her body, the intenseness of her eyes, I lost control of my body. My heart jumped into a gallop like a horse on the track. I tried to pull back on the reins and slow the pace, but it was no use. My heart was sprinting away.
She was within arms reach now, and finally came to a halt. Her eyes blinked slowly, seeing me for the first time. Or perhaps it was the alcohol that muddled her reactions. I looked at her wet, beautiful lips, expectantly. To my disappointment, she merely let out a sigh and raised her arm, offering me the cheap beer.
I looked at the beer and back to her face. Shrugging, I grabbed the bottle and took a swig. It was warm, not appealing at all, but I swear I could taste her lips on the glass opening. I took another drink. It was the best beer I’d ever sampled.
She moved to my side and sat down in the sand, patting the ground next to her. I wasted no time heeding the invitation. Her small hands lifted the large bottle of brandy to her lips and she took a deep drink. I raised an eyebrow questioningly, not sure if I should comment or not, and not really sure what to say.
We sat in silence as she took another extended drink. I held the beer close to my mouth and imagined what her lips had felt like to the bottle when she kissed it. My pondering was abruptly interrupted.
“You’re not much of a talker, are you?”
She spoke to me, but stared at the fire a ways off. I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. “No, not really.”
She took a shorter sip from the brandy this time, letting out an exaggerated hiss before continuing, “What do you think of the beer?”
I shrugged, “It’s pretty good.”
She snorted and turned to look at me, “Oh really? You like that warm piss in a cheap bottle?”
“Uh… Well, it’s okay…” I wasn’t sure where I’d gone wrong. I didn’t want to offend her, but I also didn’t want to seem like an idiot. I looked away from her, focusing my attention on the people around the fire. They were all engaged in conversations, no one seeming to take notice of our private rendezvous.
“My piece of shit ex brewed it. One of his fancy artisanal flavors. I stole his last six pack before I bashed his cars headlights and left.” She took another sip of brandy, “Hope he likes his welcome home gift.” A grin graced her face, I basked in its beauty as my mind tried to catch its breathe and warn me again.
“Well? Why are you still sipping on that then?” She grabbed the bottle from my hand and tossed it into the darkness. “Here.” She offered me the bottle of brandy.
I wasn’t one to meddle in others affairs, but it was clear that she saw something in me that she needed. And regardless of my body’s urges, she needed someone to protect her. I had a feeling her ex wasn’t going to enjoy his gift that much. I took a deep drink from the brandy bottle, savoring her lingering aftertaste.
“I’m done with guys for awhile.”
Her statement caught me off guard. My running heart tripped and slowed to a trot. All I had focused on was the prospect of our bodies convoluting in the sand, sharing our warmth and exploring our desires. This wasn’t the direction my scenario took. I turned to her and opened my mouth to object.
“Sally!” a girl near the fire called out to her first, pulling her attention from me. She motioned for Sally to rejoin her by the blaze.
Sally waved back at her then turned to me. She leaned towards me, I felt relief as her face neared mine. I nervously wet my lips with the tip of my tongue. Sally looked me in the eyes, and then grabbed the brandy bottle from my hand. She leaned back and pushed herself to her feet with her free hand. I stared at her legs as she brushed herself off and smiled down at me.
“You seem like a nice guy. Thanks for listening to me.”
With that, she turned and headed back to the fire, never stopping to look back at me. As I watched her go, I knew I had no choice but to give chase.