As she turned the curve to Shirley’s, she saw Chuck riding his bike on the road toward her. She almost stopped the car staring at him. What a sight! He wore tight black shorts and his brown fit body moved in rhythm with the bike – especially his naked shoulders. It was amazing symmetry. She’d seen it before watching the bodysurfers catch a wave. "Wow," she sighed looking in her rear view mirror for one more glance.
Parking the car, she peeked one more time down the street but Chuck had disappeared. Grabbing her bag she went to find Shirley. As she opened the door, she heard laughter coming from the kitchen. Calling out "Hello" she stuck her head around the corner to find Shirley and Tom licking a bowl of chocolate mousse.
"Hello, you two, it sounds like you’re already having a party. Mind if I join?"
"Hi, honey. Come on in. We just finished dessert. But, we saved a job for you."
"Let me put my bag away and I’ll be right in to help."
Rolling up her sleeves, Marti returned, "Do I get to make the guacamole as usual?"
"Of course, and the veggie tray, too, you’re my sous chef."
"And Tom’s the dessert chef?" Marti smiled at the chocolate still on his finger.
"No, that’s me. He’s the grill master today. Wait till you taste his garlic shrimp."
Marti took special care as she dressed wanting to blend in but still be comfortable. Checking her ivory lace sheath dress in the mirror, she turned- at least the critical parts were covered. She usually wore this with a slip underneath and tonight she was bare. Walking into the living room she could hear guests arriving, Marti relaxed when she saw a couple of nude folks but most of them had wraps on. Half-nude she could accept. Her eyes were drawn to Chuck sitting by the picture window. He wore shorts and an open Hawaiian shirt. Nursing a beer, he looked comfortable – maybe even a little friendly.
When Marti approached, he stood and smiled, "First time?" he asked.
"Does it show?"
"Maybe, a little, your arms are plastered by your sides."
"I need some liquid courage." Pointing to his beer, "Can I get you another one?"
"No, thanks, but I’ll save you a seat. The water fountain will soothe you."
Chuck tried not to stare at her tan legs or the sway of her hips as she walked away. She’s a good-looking woman he thought, and fiery like her aunt with those hazel eyes.
Marti came back with a glass of white wine and sat on the stool facing the window. The afternoon sun heightened the gold highlights in her hair. "Your highlights match the gold flecks in your eyes," noticed Chuck.
"Yes, that’s what the hairdresser told me," said Marti taking a sip of wine. "He wanted me to look like a Florida girl who loves sunshine."
"I bet they look good on camera, too. You’re a TV reporter, right?"
"Yes, I’m sure Aunt Shirley mentioned that; just like she mentioned that you put in the fountain for her." Turning to admire it, Martin studied the details in his design. Chuck took a moment to study her profile. She had good bones framing a perfect little nose and full lips. Watching her take a sip of wine, her long hair moved in layers cascading down her back.
"Would you like some appetizers? I was just thinking of getting some when you walked in."
"Sure, I’ll take a bite of whatever you choose."
Standing up, his lean body was close to hers. She was almost eye level with his legs that were solid muscles with burnished gold hair. I bet he would ride me like he rides that bike she thought and took another sip of wine to shut off her mind.
"Hum-m, don’t go there," she whispered, "Remember you are here to check this place out." She looked around the crowd but all she saw were people chatting. No sex offenders or mass murderers here. No one is ogling or groping. That’s against the rules. Tom told me everyone lived by a set of rules and agreed to a background check. She noticed that she and Chuck were the youngest people in the group, but maybe that was natural given Shirley’s age.
"I got a little bit of everything," Chuck said holding the plate out to her. "Ladies first," he smiled taking his seat.
Marti scanned the plate and decided to try Tom’s garlic shrimp. Bringing the toothpick up, she sucked the first bite into her mouth. Chuck took a long draw on his beer as he watched. Damn that looks good. Those lips are made for kissing. He studied the plate to distract himself dipping a carrot stick into the guacamole.
"Mm-m, try the guacamole, it’s got a nice tang to it," Chuck said dipping into it again.
"Thanks, that’s my secret ingredient. I’m glad you like it," she smiled. "You’re very observant. Sure you’re not a reporter, too?"
"No, I guess I learned it flying - gotta watch those gauges all the time."
"Ah-h, I see. I noticed you’re the youngest person I’ve met at Whispering Palms."
Chuck looked at her, "Not quite. You’ll see some families if you take a stroll tonight."
"What attracted you to this place?"
"I had to live in this area. I wanted something private and a buddy recommended this place."
"So, you were willing to be a nudist in order to get what you wanted?"
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