Emma faltered into the kitchen searching for ice, her coordination was taking a toll thanks to the alcohol. The cool breeze coming from the open patio doors helped her clear her foggy head, the lower part of her back was still a bit sweaty and she quietly cursed big corporations for polluting the Earth. During the day the temperatures rose up to thirty seven degrees and just now at two in the morning the heat seemed to have retreated. She went back to the garden were her “friends” were gathered around.
“Are there any plans for tomorrow?” Asked Sara to her sister, Adele.
“No, I just need to go to the market so I can get some things for dinner”, she answered before taking a long sip of her drink. Emma did the same enjoying the coolness of the sangria hit her throat.
“Alex is coming right?” A thick cloud of smoke escaped from Sara’s mouth as she spoke.
Alexander was the younger brother of Sara’s and Adele’s father. He was the owner of the beach house they were all staying in, which he inherited from his grandfather a few years ago. Alex was supposed to come last week along with them but a job related problem forced him to delay his vacation.
“Yeah, he is supposed to arrive during the afternoon or so”, Adele informed to the rest of the party.
Sara’s boyfriend Joan said that he was looking forward to see him again and then asked Emma if she had met him to which she replied “no”.
When the last jar of sangria run out everyone said their goodbyes and after helping Adele lock the doors and windows Emma got in bed falling in deep sleep as soon as her head touched the pillow. Next day everyone except for Adele woke up past midday. The summer heat forced them to prepared a picnic and lunch by the ocean breeze. Emma was alone sitting under the parasol observing people having fun, foreign to the scene as if she were watching a movie about her own life.
They went back to the house when the sun began to set, after a very needed shower Emma went downstairs to see if her friend needed help with dinner.
“Yes, thank you, hon. Can you make the salad while I get the grill ready?”
“Sure thing”. She moved to the sink to wash her hands as Adele left the kitchen holding a bowl filled with brochettes. Emma chopped the vegetables, seasoned them and made croutons in less than ten minutes so she rewarded herself with a glass of white wine.
Alex arrived at dusk, he walked over to the patio from where he could hear a few voices talking enthusiastically. The first person to noticed him was his niece Sara who, after after everyone else greeted him, introduced him to “Adele’s new friend”.
“I’m Emma”, said the girl with the hazel eyes.
“Nice to meet you”, he greeted kissing both of her cheeks. “I’m Alex.”
“I know”. He liked the cheekiness of her smile, but before he could reply Joan called him to show him a stupid meme that he didn’t understand but laughed at anyways.
When Alex returned from the bathroom after washing his hands Adele told him to take a sit while she served the food. He sat down across from Sara and Joan who seemed to be immersed in a private conversation. Emma came from the kitchen holding a bottle of wine.
“Thanks for letting me stay in your house”, said his niece’s friend while twisting a corkscrew.
“It’s no problem, someone should enjoy it since I can barely come.” He watched her struggle with the bottle and every time she tried harder to open it her breasts would bounce.
“Too much work?“, she asked as the cork made a popping sound when she finally pulled it out.
He cleared his throat before answering. “Too much work, indeed”
“What do you do?” Emma sat on the empty chair next him.
“...I’m a cardiologist.”
“Hmm. That’s interesting”, she murmured as she filled his glass.
“Yes, the human heart it’s very interesting”, he agreed.
“No, not that. That’s boring. I meant the fact that you didn’t sound conceited when you said you were a doctor.” The insolence in her voice made him chuckle.
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“I meant it as one”, Emma granted as she found herself admiring his dimples when he smiled at her.
She was the first one to look away. Her friend came from the kitchen holding two trays filled with food, Emma stoop up and helped her. After setting everything on the table Adele called for a toast.
“First, let’s thank Alex for letting us crash here.” Everyone nodded and rose their glasses. “And second, drink up!, and remember to look each other in the eye.” I do not want seven years of bad sex.” Adele cried.
Everyone’s eyes started to travel around but Emma’s and Alex’s locked in more seconds than necessary.
After dinner the group divided the chores that needed to be done before getting drunker. Joan and Sara were washing the dishes, Emma was in charged of getting everything ready for the tequila, Alex was starting the bonfire and Adele was “supervising” him. He pour a little alcohol in the logs before throwing a burning napkin. His niece’s phone rang and she excused herself saying that it was her mother calling.
He turned around as he heard someone approaching. Emma walked towards him holding a bowl brimming with sliced lemons and bottle of golden liquor under her arm.
Could you help me with the bottle, please?
He took it from her without saying a word, his fingers touched her bare skin unintentionally.
Thanks. Emma went back inside to get the shot glasses and salt cellar.
When she returned she sat next to him in the old small sofa. Alex looked at her from the corner of his eye, she was on her phone and her hair fluttered around her.
“How do you know Adele?” he asked her after a few moments of silence.
“We’re classmates.” Emma put her phone away and turned towards him, but Alex wasn’t facing her.
“And how old are you?”
“It’s this an interrogatory”, she inquired amused.
“No, sorry”, he apologised.
“I’m just teasing you.” She said rolling her eyes but her smirk never waved. “I’m twenty two. And you?”
“I’ll be thirty five in a moth”, he answered with a bitter taste.
“You look younger, but in a good way.” Emma turned away leaning her head back and closing her eyes.
“Thank you.” He now allowed himself to admire her.
Emma had rosy cheeks and full lips. The way her neck was now exposed caused him an itch in his fingertips. His eyes travelled south to her cleavage which was easy to spot thanks to her summer dress, his throat became a dessert and there was a knot on his lower abdomen. When he looked back at her face she had no longer her eyes closed and was smiling at him smugly. Alex avoided her gaze for at least twenty minutes.
The rest of the party joined them and soon enough the conversation was filled with slurred sentences and exaggerated laughter. Joan and Sara were the first ones to call it quits with a lame excuse about being tired but everyone knew that they were just horny. After the couple left Adele took a fat join out her glasses’ case and ask them if they wanted to smoke. Alex wasn’t much of a stoner, but he argued to himself that he was on holiday so it was acceptable. Emma agreed without any internal moral battle.
An hour later Alex was alone on the patio putting out the fire. Adele and Emma had gone to bed a couple of minutes a ago. He lumbered into the house, the stress of a busy week was catching up to him and his body craved for a good night sleep, with heavy steps he went up stairs but he stopped abruptly when he saw a pair of legs in front of him.
“Sorry”, said Emma thinking she had startled him. He lifted his eyes to hers.
“I though you had gone to bed.” His voice was almost a whisper.
“I did.” She pointed to her pyjama that was just an oversized t-shit. “I was just thirsty”, she explained.
“Are you using the guest room upstairs?“, he asked her as he went up another step, they were now the same height.
She nodded without breaking eye contact. They were too close for it to be proper, her heart raced and so did his. The realisation that Emma may be sleeping on the bedroom next to him excited him for some reason.
“Why you ask?“, she inquired after he didn’t say anything else.
“Just curious.” He tried his best to sound nonchalant.
Emma chuckled. “I bet”, she said.
Alex put a lock of her hair behind her ear taking his sweet time. He couldn’t help himself. There were too many drugs in his bloodstream for him to listen to the rational part of his brain telling him to stop flirting with his niece’s friend.
“I’ll let you to it”, he said caressing her cheek before pulling away. Goodnight Emma
Their arms grazed as she moved pass him, sending shivers down his spine.
Later that night they would appeared in each other’s fantasies.