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Congratulations to Brittney O’Bryan, the first winner of a Paradise give-a-way, a gift card!
Please remember, this a draft version of the book. After four or five post, readers can give suggestion as to how the story ends. The readers’ suggestions that are picked will be printed in the dedication and they’ll receive a copy of the eBook once it’s released.
Thoughts and comments are welcome!
Paradise – Chapter 1
Jewell gazed at the water, smooth as a baby’s bottom, an opposite scene from two days ago when a thunderous storm pulverized the small island, leaving them without power.
If electricity wasn’t restored, all of pub’s freezer inventory would spoil. Still, the business could stay above water on alcohol alone for a day or two. Another storm was due to hit within a few hours and she didn’t know if the open-air restaurant area could take another beating.
The water crept up on shore, beckoning her. It was the last opportunity she’d have to clean up. Two days was a long time without showering after helping others repair roofs, move trees, debris, and shovel sand off sidewalks.
She squinted through the glare of the early morning sun to look right and then left, making sure no one was in sight before sliding past the thick palms and pulling the string to her bikini, letting it fall to the sandy beach. The bottoms followed.
Walking into the Pacific with soap, razor, and a bottle of conditioned shampooed stuffed in a small drawstring bag, she questioned the wisdom of being naked. The electricity went out at least once a month and the locals gave her the same privacy to strip down to nothing as she did them.
The tourists were another matter. Some of them drooled, watching her outright while a significant amount of others snuck sideways glances. After a year at the remote destination, she still didn’t like being ogled while doing a simple act like bathing.
The warmth kissed her stomach and neck as she lowered into the soothing water, letting the gentle caress of the waves loosen her tired muscles. The hip injury she’d sustained while jumping the last hurdle of her career, ached more every day. The warmer climate helped, but when the barometric pressure increased, so did the pain.
She rubbed the aching joint and flashed back to the happiest and saddest day of her life. She stood on the podium, a silver Olympic medal around her neck. The first and last she’d ever receive. The misstep between hurdles ended her career. Endorsements abandoned her, trainers said nothing could be done, and everyone advised her to cut her losses and move on.
Enough was enough. After weeks of listening to negative results, she’d escaped to an island off Hawaii, the one place in the world not everyone would recognize her as the sprinter who almost took gold.
She squeezed shampoo in her hand, tucked the container back in the bag strapped onto her wrist before scrubbing it into her hair and leaned backwards to rinse the suds. Movement breaking the water’s surface caught her eye and she dropped the bag. Her body went rigid.
A dolphin jumped.
“Phew.” She snatched the sinking sack and relaxed, then proceeded to shave her pits and legs. As the blade slid over her beaver, she giggled.
Her friends back home laughed when she told them she kept her private area slick for running. They nicknamed her the Bald Beaver. Old habits died hard, until she won her first national race and threatened them not to ever utter that name again. She didn’t have to shave now, but whenever she tried to let it grow in, it itched. Behind a bar, serving drinks and scratching didn’t earn tips, so the hair stayed off.
She slipped the razor in the bag and checked her surroundings. The beach was still empty.
Water sprayed her. She looked over her shoulder and her mouth dropped open, fear a shark was near lessened the grip on her bag. The underside of the creature leaped out of the water, then showed its grey side before plunging underneath the water’s surface.