Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved
The last Friday of Cliff and Vickie’s vacation from corporate responsibilities saw them competing
, again, in the company gym.
“I don’t…know why…you do this,” puffed Cliff.
Vickie couldn’t even answer. Her lungs hurt too
But she was half a flight of stairs ahead of him , and she grinned
In the last
of their routines, Cliff made an awesome comeback , but Vickie held
on. It was the first time she’d actually
made more stairs than he had. [M2] She knew she would pay dearly for it in the morning.
painfully over to the bench , but by the time Vickie made
it there, he had recovered somewhat. He
a little fast. “Ready for another round?”
She whacked him with the palm of her hand against his muscular shoulder.
It made a
satisfying smack , but cost her. [M4] “Ow ,” she muttered[M5] , pulling the
hand back and nursing it.
“Serves you right
,” he noted.
“Does not.” Damn. She was going to have to work on her comebacks.
“Does too.” Cliff grinned and stretched his long legs out in front of him.
abuse is highly frowned upon in these here parts.”
“Ha.” She was finally getting her breath back. “CEO stands for Cliff’s Ego’s Obstinate.”
“That’s reaching a little.” Cliff flung his arms over the back of the bench, tilting his face up.
cursed, and the grin of savored effort
became a rictus of pain. “Got a cramp on my shoulder. Does it hurt!”
[M6] “Put your arm back down and hold still ,”
she instructed as she got up and around
the back of the bench. She felt
with her fingers and located the knotted
muscle. “It’s a good one ,” she said as she began massaging the offending tissue . “Just sit
still and we’ll have it fixed
up in no time.”
“This is your fault, you know. If you hadn’t gone and made this a contest, you wouldn’t have gotten a cramp.
,” Cliff retorted in an aggrieved tone.
“Who reset her machine to compete with mine?”
Cliff yelped in agony. “I thought massage was supposed to stop it from hurting.”
She let up a bit, not trusting herself to say anything
. Since she had
fallen so deeply [M8] in love with Cliff, she had
been especially careful to keep things light and frothy. If he even guessed she
considered him perfect marriage material , she knew their friendly encounters
But it was hard, and her
emotional attraction made it almost impossible to
suppress the physical one.
Her strokes had softened again
, and now Cliff had relaxed
his head into her stomach.
Her hands [M9] stroked his shoulders, neck and back, surveying the
terrain and storing all the data for later retrieval. He sighed , the
tension seeming to flow out of
him through his feet into a puddle on the floor. Her breasts cradled his sweaty head, gently
wiping the moisture
as though from a baby’s brow. ‘He fits perfectly,’ she thought. She continued to gently
stroke his upper body as the realization that they
were really alone together sank
into her awareness.
his face up and back . His
mouth opened to say something.
Their eyes met and locked, the air suddenly crackling with tension.
With exquisite slowness their lips met in a kiss
first tentative, then bolder and more
heart missed a beat, dropped down to her
back to her
throat and finally settled in her breast, pounding at the bones of her chest,
clamoring and clanging in excitement. Cliff’s hands came up and cupped
face as she came back around
Her arms wound tightly around his shoulders, pulling her into him as he
stood, bending over her.
trembled with excitement.
her! His kisses came
hot and fluid over her mouth, increasing in fervor. Vickie suddenly knew that, not
only did he want her, but he wanted her now.
She couldn’t go through that again.
“I really want to, but I can’t, I just can’t. I’ve worked too hard to be professional, and these office romances always turn out sour.” She tried to put on her corporate mask, to rebuild the crumbling wall that protected her
from this man. But her mask kept slipping, and the way Cliff
was looking at hermade her want to crawl
in a hole and die. So haltingly
, fearfully, she told him about Ron.
[M8]Again, finding herself in love immediately is no longer part of the genre. A little uncertainty is good.
[M9]There's an implied giving into her desires but since her actions change, the reason must be stated explicitly.