Every day I woke up at five in the morning, my body clock not being able to snap out of my early morning routine, and I’d walk through the same path and sit in the same spot to watch the same girl... just the same as every other morning since I first saw her.
I never tried to make contact, yet I never tried to hide the fact that I was sitting there and watching her. At the back of my mind I wondered if I seemed a little too much like a stalker, but in the end I just wanted to have my daily dose seeing this mystery woman.
It had been six months since I was injured and, according to the doctors, I was healing quickly and the morning walks on the beach really helped to strengthen my muscle. I had another appointment today with the same doctor to see whether I was allowed more physical work and I was desperate for him to say ‘yes’!
The clouds above were murky and coloured with light and dark shades of grey. Colder winds whipped at my exposed face the water looked choppy as it rushed around in uneven waves. As always the mystery girl was out in the water, but I wondered why she even would be. It was obvious that the weather was far from ideal for surfing and she looked so small out there in the wide open ocean I was almost certain she’d get blown away by the winds alone.
I wore a hoodie over my shirt and shorts and I pulled the hood up to cover my head when rain began to shower down lightly. I was tempted to walk back home, seeing as the cold and rain always made my leg feel more stiff and sore but something told me to just make sure that the mystery girl would finish up safely. I wasn’t sure if it was the ‘officer’ in me that told me to be protective of her (as I would with any other civilian) or just instinct that something might happen.
In any case, I listened to the small voice in my head.
The rain began to pour harder and soon I needed to squint through the haze of white downpour as I looked out for the woman who was still surfing... or trying to surf. The rain was cold and as it dropped onto the sand it left little dents as its souvenir. Over the choppy grey-blue water the waves looked angry at they all fought to crash down first and the rain splashing over the top didn’t help.
For a moment I lost sight of the woman and stood up to see a little better. I searched side to side for her and relaxed a little when I caught her rise up from behind a crashing wave. “Come on... get out of the water” I whispered to myself as I stared at her stupidly paddle further out, “What the hell are you doing?!”
She turned her board around and began to paddle quickly as a gigantic wave swelled up behind her. I didn’t notice I had stalked forward to the edge of the water, instead I kept my mind and eyes focused on the woman. The water rushed behind her and she pushed her arms, jumping up firmly on her board and riding the wave as it raged on. She stuck her hand out almost as if she was caressing the wave and then, without any reason that I could see from the shore, her board began to wobble and quickly flipped out from beneath her.
She collapsed into the water and disappeared as the wave as it crashed heavily over her with a loud roar. Her board, only visible because of how bright it was, spurted out the top of the wave and came sliding towards the shore as it rode the waves without its rider.
“Come on... where are you?” I nervously murmured into the howling winds.
Between waves I briefly spotted a flash of her bright yellow bikini before she slowly sunk back down and I didn’t even think twice about ripping my hoodie off and diving into the freezing cold water. I bit back my gasp as the iciness bit at my skin and soaked my clothes immediately. The rain was warm compared the ocean water!
I kicked my legs and dug my arms out as I swam towards the last spot I saw the woman and hoped she didn’t get washed out further too quickly. Waves crashed heavily over my head and I sucked in a deep breath before diving under to get further without nature trying to kill me too easily. A bobbing flash of bright yellow caught my attention to my left and I turned and kicked over to it.
I neared her and stretched out my hand as I grabbed hold of her wrist and yanked her to me. She was unconscious and facing down in the water so I kicked up to the surface and gasped sucking in beautiful cold air. I quickly pulled her face up but it was no use. The waves were violent and uncaring whether or not two solitary people needed to breathe.
I shouted out my frustration struggling to keep the both of us above water, which failed seventy percent of the time due to the waves, as I kicked with everything I had towards the shore. By now my shot leg was on fire despite the icy water and was beginning to seize up, but I refused to let both of us drown because of my leg. I pulled her up higher to get a better grip of her waist and swam harder and faster.
We were closer to the shore now and thankfully the waves weren’t as tall anymore. As soon as my feet could touch the sand I stood up and threw her over my shoulder. With painful and shaky legs I carried her to the shore and carefully laid her down. I pressed my ear to her chest and realised she wasn’t breathing.
The sky above cracked in half when a flash of lightening lit up the cloud followed immediately by a loud cap of thunder. The storm was directly over us and I needed to get her breathing before it got any worse. I leaned over her and performed CPR, thankful for my first aid training, and kept going until she began to cough and water spurted out from her throat. Buckets of water flew out and when she finally stopped throwing up water she collapsed back into unconsciousness.
“Sh!t!” I cursed loudly, only to have my curses swallowed by the thunder.
She was breathing, I could tell by the rise and fall of her chest but she was knocked out cold. A tinge of blood was oozing into her hairline and I had a feeling the reason why she was knocked unconscious was because she may have hit her head on her board. I needed to get her somewhere dry and I had no idea where she lived. I spotted my hoodie further down the beach and knew I had no choice but to bring her home. I scooped her up in a bridal hold and limped my way back to my hoodie. After grabbing it, which was much harder while carrying dead weight, I threw it over my shoulder and hers so that, even though it was soaked through, it was keeping the rain from pounding down on her face.
I wasn’t able to grab my crutches so I groaned and limped past them as I made my through the short cut back to my house. With a throbbing, stiff leg and carrying an unconscious woman in my arms it took me twenty minutes to ‘walk’ back home. My mom was sitting on the undercover porch in her favourite chair when I burst through the bushes and immediately shot up tossing her book to the ground.
“Rayray! What happened?!” she cried in surprise.
“Open the door mom!!!” I practically shouted at her. Mixture of sweat and rain soaked my skin and my leg was almost useless to me at the moment as I dragged myself and the woman into the house. Mom directed me to lay her on the sofa and after depositing her safely on the sofa I collapsed onto the chair behind me.
“Rayray... what? How? I...” my mom stuttered looking between me and the woman.
“I’ll be fine mom, just see if she’s okay” I panted trying to make it seem as though I was just tired.
She gave me a worried look before nodding and turning to see to the little blonde surfer... the stupid beautiful surfer. As soon as she was no longer worrying about me I bit my lip muffling the sounds of my groaning. I clutched at my leg and took deep breaths as I tried to let the throbbing subside. It had been six months since the shooting, but with all the sudden weight coupled with the cold and rain... my leg wasn’t handling it very well.
“She’ll be okay Rayray. She had a nasty cut on her head but not big enough for stitches. She just needs to rest, I’ll grab some of my old clothes. They should fit her and at least she’ll be dry. You on the other hand... how’s that leg?” she asked cocking her head to the side.
“I’ll be fine mom. I’m just going to take a hot bath, will you be okay taking care of her?”
She nodded and gave me a small smile, “My baby boy, always a hero” She planted a kiss to the top of my head and scuttled off to find some dry clothes. I stood up slowly and winced at the stiffness in my leg before looking over at the little blond woman.
Now that we were closer and I wasn’t scared she was about to die, I allowed myself to have a proper look at her. She was gorgeous. She had an amazing complexion, second only to completely airbrushed mannequins because of the cute sprinkle of freckles over her nose that one would only be able to see up close. Her blonde hair was tangled and messy but was pushed out from her face. Thick dark eyelashes brushed against her sharp cheekbones and her lips... Even though her lips were pale and slightly blue from the cold they were very, very tempting.
Her bottom lip jutted out and was a little plumper than her top lip. Perfect for nibbling. I shook my head and wondered where the hell cheesy descriptions like that came from. I knew I was always the romantic type, never sleeping with any woman who I wasn’t dating, but I never usually thought or spoke like that.
“The cold and pain must be getting to me” I mumbled to myself before throwing a blanket over her goosebump covered body and limping over to the bathroom to sink into a hot tub of water.
I sat on the edge of the tub with my feet inside as I watched the hot water pour into the large tub. I was thankful that mom had forked out extra money ten years ago to install a larger bathtub because even then I was much bigger than other boys my age. I couldn’t fit into the average one and now we had a spa-like tub sitting in the corner of the main bathroom.
Steam filled the bathroom fogging up the mirrors and creating a thin haze all around me. The air became a bit thicker and I breathed it in before stripping off my damp clothes and sinking into the soothing hot water.
I sighed as the heat immediately warmed my body and helped calm the stiffness in my leg. My shot leg felt as though it was lead and I massaged around the bullet wounds to help a little more. After my leg wasn’t as stiff I sunk deeper in the water and let the rest of my body enjoy the heat. I pressed a button and the jet burst on and bubbles filled the tub. I shifted my position slightly and moaned when the jets pressed against my back. Now this was the way to relax!
My body was wracked with shivers and my jaw soon began to chatter. Why was I so cold? Small hands rubbed my arms through some material and my eyes snapped open at the unfamiliar touch. “Who-who... who are y-you?” I chattered.
“Shh, don’t worry sweety my name is Sandy Hodges. You hit your head while you were surfing and nearly drowned. I hope you don’t mind but I put you in some of my older clothes. They may not be of today’s fashion... but they fit you and are dry” Sandy had a kind smile and warm eyes that eased my nervousness and I sunk back down against the sofa.
“Thank you Mrs Hodges-“
“Sandy, please. There’s no need for formalities here” she interrupted me. I smiled and continued.
“Sandy... Thank you so much. My name’s Seychelles, or just Shell for short. I’m a little confused though. If I nearly drowned how did I end up here?”
Sandy stood up and I realised that she was quite short, nearly as short as I was and grabbed a mug, walking back to offer it to me, “Go ahead sweety, it’s hot chocolate” I took the mug she offered and sipped at the rich and warm hot chocolate. It was delicious! Sandy sat back down in the sofa she was sitting in, “And as for you getting here, my son, Ray, brought you back. Nearly gave me a heart attack too! There I was sitting on the porch with my favourite book enjoying Mother Nature’s rock’n’roll when out comes my little Rayray soaked to the bone, limping with an unconscious woman in his arms!”
I chuckled and raised my eyebrow, “Mother Nature’s rock’n’roll?”
“Yes sweety, the thunder and lightning from the storm” she grinned.
I laughed lightly and sipped again at the hot chocolate holding it with two hands to let it warm my hands as well. “So your son, Ray was it? Is he still around here? I would really love to thank him for saving my life”
She smiled warmly at me and nodded, “Yes. He was going to take a bath and I suppose he’d be out to check on you afterwards. My little Rayray is very sweet that way”
Sandy’s son, ‘little Rayray’ as she seemed to like to call him sounded like a nice young man. If she was his mother then I’d guess that he was as sweet as her as well. I sat up and noticed the sofa was a little damp. I frowned and realised it must have been because of me. “Oh no, I’m so sorry Sandy! I’ve made your sofa all wet now”
“Oh no sweety, it’s alright. A life is more important than any material thing”
“You’re very kind sandy but please at least let me dry it off with some towels or something for you” I felt quite embarrassed for barging into this kind woman’s home and then ruining her furniture.
“Oh no sweety, really-“
“Please Sandy, I insist. Just direct me to the spare towels and I’ll dry it off as best as I can” Sandy just smiled and shook her head at me in amusement but rolling her eyes.
“Okay, okay... There’s some spare white rags on the bottom of the closet in the hallway. It’s the third door on the right side” she chuckled and sat back picking up a book and reading.
I smiled and stood up keeping the blanket around me and walked down the hallway counting down the doors. When I reached the third door I opened it and found the white rags she was talking about. I stood up the same time I heard the door behind me open and I felt a rush of warm air hit me. I figured it was ‘little Rayray’ Sandy had been talking about and I turned around to thank him for saving me.
Now... what I had expected wasn’t what I saw.
From short Sandy Hodges, who dabbled on about her ‘sweet little Rayray’, I expected a teenage boy maybe a little taller than Sandy if not the same height. I may have been guilty at thinking her son was on the skinny side, maybe sporting a few freckles and thick curls the same rich brown colour as his mom.
When I turned around to thank ‘little Rayray’ I was met with a six foot ten man rippling with muscles and shaved head. Not a freckle was seen but instead a multitude of scars covered his chiselled body and I couldn’t help my eyes from travelling down his half naked body to the towel that was tightly tied around his waist. He was, for lack of words, a beast of a man.
“Oh, I’m sorry for scaring you ma’am. Are you feeling okay?” he apologised with a tone that was much softer than I expected. I was still in mild shock and couldn’t speak so I nodded instead. “That’s... good”
I was still somewhat openly raking my eyes over his body when he cleared his throat awkwardly and shifted from one foot to the other. “Thank you, Ray, for saving my life” I managed to choke out and looked up to make eye contact with him.
He ducked his head and beneath his olive skin tone, who he definitely didn’t inherit from his mom, I saw a faint blush stain his cheeks, “It was my pleasure ma’am” he mumbled.
“Seychelles” I corrected him, “Or Shell for short”
“Seychelles... that’s a very beautiful name. Very unique” he commented. I looked him over in a new light. Ray was a huge man. A manly man at that. His muscles bulked at first sight and his scars told a hidden story that I found myself very interested in finding out so it was plain obvious the man had a badass persona going on. Yet he blushed at a simple comment and seemed to feel awkward standing in front of me in his half naked glory. Ray Hodges was a very interesting man.
“Um... I should probably get changed ma’am... uh Seychelles. If you want I can drop you off home or anywhere you need to go once I’m done?” he offered.
I nodded. Despite Sandy’s warm welcome and Ray’s addictive quality I needed to leave and I wanted to check on the gym. “Yes, please. I’d really appreciate that Ray” He smiled and I nodded. I noticed that when he genuinely smiled, he had the cutest set of dimples appear on either side of his smile.
Ray turned to walk further down the hall and my eyes widened at the large black and grey shaded tattoo that covered his entire back. An intricate Chinese dragon had been inked starting from the back of his neck and across his shoulders, twirling down until it hid under the waist of his towel. I’d always loved tattoos on guys but never really large artwork, and yet Ray managed to pull off the mysteriously gentle giant with battle scars, tattoos and dimples.
He was like where ‘opposites’ came to meet in the middle.
And, boy, did the middle look good.
And they meet! I know that ‘this’ Ray is different from the Ray at the beginning but humour me... you’ll understand soon =)
How do you like Sandy? I still need someone to play Ray... the only person I can really think of is The Rock... so for now he will have to do unless someone else comes along who fits the role better. Besides The Rock has a knee wobbling smile XD