Chapter Nine | Silver Lining In Love
❀ Kate ❀
Three days later
“Okay, you’re straight up glowing. What’s going on Kater Tot!? I need the details STAT.” Tristan gawked at me with twinkling sable eyes while we packed up our gear for the night. I’d just made it back to our lifeguard tower a few minutes ago, and was finally letting the excitement I’d been feeling all day manifest outwardly. It started with humming a catchy love song I couldn’t remember the lyrics to, and apparently now that elated energy was radiating right off of me.
I beamed in response, lacing my fingers against the back of my head as I twisted from side to side lazily. I’m pretty good about stretching throughout shifts, but my mind wasn’t really focused on that routine at the moment. “Must be this sheen of sweat from jogging up here, Triscuit; That’s the only ‘glow’ happening to my skin.”
Sarcastic laughter rang in the air. His. I couldn’t do anything but grin like an idiot at my friend’s predictable reaction.
“...and I’m sure all that singing you’ve been doing is totally an everyday thing from you?”
“So what? I’m in a good mood! Don’t kill the vibe bro.” I giggled and turned toward my locker so he wouldn’t catch my cheeks burning.
“Suuure...” I picked up the sound of Tristan typing away furiously, trying to get his weekly report complete so we wouldn’t be stuck here a second past six thirty. The beach had been dead for about 45 minutes now, which made it pretty easy to clear out the few stragglers who lingered.
In truth It’s not our business what goes on once we’re off the premises, Naples beach being open 24/7 and all, but while we’re on duty we can’t have anyone wading around in the water unprotected.
Tristan paused suddenly as I walked past him to hang up some miscellaneous equipment, lifting his shaggy head to eye me with playful suspicion. “...Wait, you aren’t pregnant, are you!?”
This time, it was my turn to explode into maniacal laughter. I glanced at him over my shoulder and didn’t hold back. “HA! Yep, you got it all figured out man. Me, preggers. Utilizing what penis? My gay ass wouldn’t know what the hell to do with one.”
“True that. Ah, so it’s a girl then?” Tristan smacked his head and pointed at me as if remembering something. “That chick you saved last week! I should’ve known, you never rush out of work as fast as you did that night so you could check on her. Fuck what’s her name, Sonya...Sophia? No...S-”
Ugh, close enough Tristan. I cut in quickly. “Sawyer, and yes. I’m seeing her tonight. Can I go now?? I still need to drive home and get ready!” Shifting from one foot to the other eagerly, I stole a peek at our digital clock taunting me from the desk before pleading to be let off the hook five minutes early.
My boss’s eyes danced amusingly. “You get everything done? Mark your assignments off on the sheet?”
I nodded, tallying each one with my fingers. “Got everyone out of the water. Took care of that littering issue from earlier. Made sure the lost and found list was updated. I’ve got it all covered!”
I’m normally not one to rush through end of day tasks, but I had my very first date with Sawyer in an hour and I wasn’t trying to meet up looking like a drowned rat and smelling like salt water. I stayed on top of everything all shift long, instead of prioritizing and saving items so I’d have something to occupy my time with while Tristan was filling out reports.
He savored my hopeful expression for a minute before waving me away with a short chuckle. “I don’t care if you take off now Kate, I’ll clock you out when I leave. Have fun. Oh dude, does Dani know yet...? I won’t say anything if she doesn’t.”
Hoisting the backpack I brought with me to work over a shoulder, I shrugged nonchalantly as I began walking backwards toward the small door. “I give exactly zero fucks what my EX knows about my personal life; What I do and who I see isn’t any of her business. Catch ya later!”
I didn’t give Tristan a chance to respond as I hurried out of the tower and booked it down several wooden stairs before reaching mounds and mounds of grainy sand. I smiled to myself as I trudged through it.
Another week down, only two left until I fly to Virginia for the USLA championship tournament, where both Tristan and I will represent Naples beach and ourselves. A true testament to everything we do, here.
I’ve been especially focused on my agility, and felt good about the upcoming flag racing events; I just need to improve my breast strokes a bit more and I think I’ll be set. I missed a few of my scheduled workouts already, but Sawyer kept me plenty active when I wasn’t making rounds or training on the beach. I haven’t really been home much at all, spending each night snuggled up close to the quirky blonde woman who couldn’t seem to leave me alone.
Not that I wanted her to. We’ve basically been inseparable since our infamous breakfast together, but tonight was extra special; Our first official date, the one Sawyer had relentlessly begged to let her take me on.
She showed her affection in unique ways, ones I honestly wasn’t expecting. For example, I’d been blown away to find little paper bags containing a homemade lunch neatly placed by the door of the lifeguard tower every afternoon, usually with a note complaining about how hard it was to stay away from me.
Today’s was a keeper.
This sucks. :( See you tonight...I know you’ll make it up to me. You always do ;)
You look great in that suit by the way. Can I blow your whistle next time we bang? :D
- Soy Bean
Part of our agreement prior to said date was for Sawyer to back off while I’m at work, since she has this bad habit of diverting my much needed attention from whatever I’m doing at every turn. I knew it was nearly impossible for someone like my Soy Bean, and knowing so just made her efforts to remain hidden all the sweeter.
Unlike my EX, who liked to aggravate me when I needed to be ‘zen’ ever since we broke up. It wasn’t anything major, just little things; Scoffs. Sneering, ignoring me when I didn’t want to get in my car and drive a few miles for a snack, forcing me to stand there while she helped everyone else in line until there wasn’t anyone left but me!
I tried not to let it hurt my feelings, but I couldn’t help it sometimes.
Speaking of Danica, I noticed her closing up concessions on my way toward the employee’s section of Naples beach’s parking lot. At 5′4, she had to stand on the tip toes of her black Adidas to attach a padlock to the top of her metallic station. Dani’s short, boyish light brown hair blew into her face, and she used a freckled hand to swipe at the strands in annoyance. For just a second, I remembered trying to kiss every beauty mark and freckle she had one dewy morning last December...
I lost count at one hundred, and Danica forced me to give up so she could ravage my exhausted mouth instead. When things were good with her, they were...phenomenal. That’s part of the reason why I was so confused after the break up; She wouldn’t give me a chance to fix whatever the hell I was doing so wrong.
The deep, chocolate brown eyes I used to get lost in locked on my own apprehensive hazel ones, and I sped up—averting my gaze straight ahead.
“Kate, hang on!”
Nope, fuck you.
I ignored her breathless voice as it got closer and closer, almost making it to my silver 2016 Ford Fiesta before cursing scornfully when Danica suddenly materialized in front of the door. “What’s your hurry? Huh?? I know you heard me yelling your name back there.”
I straightened up to my full height, all measly 5′7 of it, and locked my jaw in irritation. Gesturing with my car keys, I sighed. “You’re in my way. Do you mind?”
“Yeah actually, I do.” Danica snarled, leaning against my vehicle defiantly. “I keep seeing her, that drunk idiot you oh so romantically rescued a few days ago or whatever. Somethings going on between you two, isn’t it!? What the hell, Kate? We’re broken up for less than a month and-”
“Alright, this is over. Good talk, Dani. Now get the fuck away from my car.” I barked, glancing at my sporty velcro wrist watch. “I don’t have time to stand here and listen to your jealous rant. Oh, and you’ll keep seeing ‘that drunk idiot’ because I’m dating her, and by the way, she has a name...it’s Sawyer. Use it or keep her out of your mouth.”
Danica pushed herself off my car with a foot, arms crossed as she watched me roughly yank the door open so I could slide inside. “Nice. You’re a real piece of work, Kaitlyn.”
This bitch right here.
“What you’re saying is I don’t deserve to be happy again after you broke my heart out of nowhere, am I right?” I seethed as I started the ignition. Dani opened her mouth to reply, but I cut her off. “Whatever I did, I’m sorry. Okay!? I really am, but God damn it dude I’m so tired of you treating me like shit over a choice you made for the both of us. Get the hell over it and be happy! Clearly you weren’t with me, so goodbye.”
Dani scoffed, leaning forward to glare into my eyes. “Coming from you!? Hilarious. I’m not the one stuck in the past, blaming myself for something that wasn’t my fault.”
Fucking really, so you want to go THERE with me?
“Jesus Christ, shut up. That’s different, and you know it.” I warned icily before speeding off. I tried to block out Dani’s screaming, but the words mercilessly played over and over in my mind as I drove with tears streaking down my face.
“Winning that competition won’t bring your sister back Kate!”
Thanks to my unintentional run in with Danica, I was stuck taking the world’s fastest shower, so I’d have time to blow dry and straighten the waves of stringy hair hanging loosely around my neck and shoulders. It took a while, but I finally managed to banish the traumatizing memory of Amanda’s drowning from my overworked brain.
“It’s not your fault.”
Yes it is, but how many fucking times would I have to put up with everyone’s pitying looks? Or how about the gushing reassurance? Danica knew everything, every minor detail...how I tried to save her, but it wasn’t enough...and still she couldn’t understand...why I do what I do, what this guilt has done to me.
Sawyer will be here any minute, get it together or you’ll ruin your makeup.
It took me forever too, since I never wear the stuff. Just some basic waterproof foundation, typically. For the occasion, I swiped a cherry red tinted balm over my lips, and carefully applied a layer of mascara to compliment the smoky grey eye shadow I chose.
As I talked myself out of the rabbit hole my distraught mind was going down, I began blasting one of my go-to Spotify playlists and soon I was back to getting amped up for my date. I’m neither aesthetically masculine nor super girly, and most of my clothing is athletic in style anyway. However, I felt pretty confident about tonight’s chosen outfit as I grinned at my reflection in the full length mirror, hanging on the other side of my bedroom door.
I had a hot pink bikini top on, one of my favorites to lounge around in but perfect to dress up with too. After paring it with my high-waisted dark blue skinny jeans and open-toed flat lace-up black sandals, I felt like an actual girl for once. I even painted my toenails, and the vibrant pink varnish shone under the lighting as I continued staring at myself with a soft giggle. Sawyer’s request, which wasn’t surprising seeing as she was very forward about her foot fetish the more we slept together.
Can’t say I ever thought I’d enjoy having my toes sucked, but Sawyer was unlocking all kinds of hidden desires I never knew I had.
Just as I was shrugging into a thin white cardigan, I heard Sawyer whistle from where she was standing a mere few feet away. My eyes widened from shock, and umm...a twinge of raw, sexual thrill.
Her white blonde hair was messy, but in a deliberate arrangement that I found very hot. Sawyer rocked a pair of slim fitting jeans, which almost perfectly matched the blue in her eyes. I say almost, because I’ve never seen ‘blue’ in that shade before...dark and light all at once, always dancing with mischievous intent. Trying to describe what I saw while gazing into those one-of-a-kind pools just wouldn’t do them justice, at all.
So I just...experienced them instead.
I wasn’t expecting that edgy white crop top, but it gave me the perfect view of my date’s adorable innie belly button. Though not too revealing, since she had a casual black blazer over it. Her matching ankle boots were trendy, with a large buckle on the sides.
In every sense, Sawyer reminded me of an androgynous model who somehow wandered into a world of mere mortals. Her mystical beauty was unmatched by anyone I’ve ever laid eyes on.
“The door was unlocked...I couldn’t be bothered to knock, takes too much time.” She admitted deviously, wrapping her long arms around my waist so she could plant a lingering kiss against the nape of my neck. “I’ve been waiting three very long days for this, Kay...”
I smiled tenderly and allowed one of my hands to play with the back of her fair head. “...Me too, Soy Bean.”
My heart skipped several beats, and I blissfully lost myself in the silver lining of mine and Danica’s breakup; Sawyer Driscoll, who was obnoxious and demanding, jaded but needy...sensually beautiful with her impossibly silky skin, expressive angel like blue eyes, and of all the girls she could have had—she wanted me.
Me; The tomboy who kept driving her away, insisting we couldn’t have anything even though we obviously did. Naturally, without force. All I could think of as she lifted my chin upwards to devour my mouth was how glad I am that I eventually gave in. Her tongue massaged mine with purpose, making me whine gently when she pulled away.
“Great, cause’ I hope you’re ready. Say...have you ever been on a hot air-balloon ride?” Sawyer whisper hissed against my earlobe in excitement. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as she grabbed my arm with a squeal, leading me out of the room engulfed in one of her famous laughing fits.
The original nervousness I felt washed away immediately, and I found myself laughing right along with her.