Sam watched JD run mad zig zags over the beach, their over excited new puppy yapping at his heels. A cold December wind made his cheeks smart, but he welcomed the discomfort. He hadn't been sleeping well lately, and the sharp sea air was going some way to clearing his fuzzy head.
JD was laughing wildly, his pink face glowing. He had had his dreadlocks cut off and he looked younger somehow and happy. This was going to be their first Christmas together, without their parents and Sam felt a little apprehensive. He'd like to invite Shannon to have an ally, but her boyfriend had surprised everyone by sticking around and he wasn't a big fan of Sam's.
Sam tried not to think about Grace. He spent a lot of time lately trying not to think about Grace, and usually failing. That's what kept him awake at night. No matter how hard he tried to think about something else - surfing, his accounts, Halle Berry- it never worked and Grace's face invaded his thoughts, freckles scattered over her nose, blue eyes shining with lust. It was usually the Grace of his sexual fantasies, but sometimes it was disappointed Grace, the Grace he had let down. How had he messed it up so completely? Why hadn't he put a stop to it after that first time as he had intended, instead of treating her like some fuck buddy? He was a dumb fool. He always knew she would end up wanting more and he wouldn't be able to deliver.
Grace turned her face up to the Hawaiian sun. This is how she should always spend Christmas. Forget drooping Christmas trees, and novelty sweaters, this was the way to do it; a bikini, a tan and a cocktail. And a gorgeous man, of course. She opened her eyes and sneaked a peak at Brandon lying next to her. She'd always thought that Brandon belonged in sharp suits and polished shoes but here he was in a pair of Abercrombie shorts and looking pretty damned fine. His brown hair was longer than it used to be and he looked less groomed and severe. His skin was city pale, but it suited the slightly hairy chest that had always turned her on.
He had caught her at a particularly weak moment when he had suggested they meet in Kaua'i. Her boiler had given up the ghost and she had been shivering in her kitchen when he had called. More significantly, earlier that day she had had to endure another Parent Teacher Conference with Sam Anderson.
She had thought he wouldn't have the guts to turn up, but he did. Once again, he sprawled on the tiny plastic chair, this time freshly shaved and dressed in new dark rinse jeans, biker boots and a chunky navy blue sweater. His tan made a very sexy contrast to his winter clothes and her mouth actually watered as he fixed her with a grim look. Gone was his cocky grin and single dimple. He looked like he hadn't smiled in a long time.
They had talked about JD as if they really were just home room teacher and parent. And then he had got up and left without a backward glance.
So when Brandon had called and suggested they spend Christmas in Kaua'i she had surprised herself by saying yes. She had stipulated no sex, but once she was there in the tropical heat and with a minimalist dress code, it hadn't been long before she had found herself in bed with him. He had had the grace not to look too smug or victorious and he had spent the last week proving to her that he found her desirable. Brandon was a very good lover and his body was familiar. She knew every inch of him already. Also, since he was the guilty party she now had the upper hand which she was exploiting most pleasantly. His tongue had been busy.
Tomorrow, they would leave and she wasn't looking forward to it. They would have to have the conversation they had both been avoiding. What next? Where now? Could they keep this as a holiday romance? Could you have a holiday romance with your ex? Was that allowed? Should they give their relationship another go? With him in New York and her in California? It was too confusing.
Instead, she leaned over and kissed him, teasing his mouth with her tongue, snaking her hand over his chest until he grabbed her and dragged her back to the bedroom.