Slippery Slope

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Apres Ski (The Pool)

Kristy emerged from under the pool dividing wall into the chilly night air. A cold front had blown in suddenly, bringing with it a heavy, wet snow that had caught the local weather forecasters by surprise. It was one of several weather models that had been considered to be the least likely. But at almost nine o’clock at night there were already six inches of the white stuff after just two hours with another several hours of snowfall predicted. The mountains were completely obscured by the storm. She took a deep breath and looked out over the quiet town, it’s mirror image reflected at the edge of the infinity pool. The soft, colored lights emanating from the depths of the pool cast a glow all around her and the lights of the town twinkled. She loved how snow seemed to muffle the entire world. The usually bustling downtown area near the resort was silent and except for the thumping of the music that vibrated through the glass and water, all was serene. Fat, wet snowflakes fell onto her long lashes and settled in her hair, immediately melting in the steam that rose off her skin and the water.

Next to her Brent burst through the water and flipped his long hair back, shaking his head like a dog and spraying her with water. Kristy laughed and pushed her hands through the water to splash him back. He grabbed her and dunked her under - she came up sputtering.

“Don’t dunk me while I’m laughing! You’ll drown me,” she admonished him.

“Sorry, Babe,” he pushed her hair back from her eyes, “You okay?”

“Yeah, fine.” Kristy put her head back in the water to smooth it and floated for a moment. She could feel Brent’s eyes on her without looking at him. Despite their being only friends, it was his habit to check her out. Pig, she mused. She turned her head to suck in some water and spit it out like a fountain at him.

“Yum, saliva,” he said, licking his lips.

“Uh-oh. How much have you had to drink?” Kristy asked. “We have to work tomorrow, you know.”

“I just did one little keg stand,” Brent answered and spit some water back at her.

“I’m surprised there aren’t more people on this side,” Kristy said. Brent followed her gaze out to the pool’s edge where it seemingly dropped off into nothingness. They both regarded the scene silently.

“I didn’t think I was in the mood to party. But Asher was right, Kristy. We all really needed this. It feels good to relax.”

Kristy nodded. A few feet away, two figures broke the surface. The soft light played over their tanned bodies. It was Alexis and Lexa. Damn, Kristy thought to herself. They both always looked so perfect, dry or wet. Although unrelated, they looked like sisters. They had applied for jobs at the lodge together and were inseparable. Both had straight, long auburn hair that flowed almost to their waists. Alexis had amber eyes and Lexa’s were green but they often wore colored contact lenses to match. Lexa had even undergone breast augmentation to be as well endowed as Alexa. They dressed alike, too, and tonight wore hot pink bikinis that were not much more than tiny patches of material and thin string. Their breasts strained at the thin material and left little to the imagination. They intertwined their arms and bent their heads together. Brent puffed out his chest. Kristy rolled her eyes at him and shook her head.

“Ladies!” Brent greeted them.

“Hi, Brent, Kristy,” they said.

“You look gorgeous as always,” Brent complimented.

“Aw, sweetie, thanks,” they replied.

“Why aren’t you two over on the other side at the party?” Lexa asked.

“Just taking in the view,” Kristy answered, feeling annoyed at the question. “What about you?”

“We wanted a little more quiet,” Alexis purred, nuzzling Lexa’s neck.

“Well, we won’t bother you one little bit - unless you want us to. Like Kristy said, we’re just taking in the view.” Brent said.

The pair swam toward the pools edge, hoisted themselves out, and ran, giggling, to the steaming jacuzzi.

Kristy whispered, “You are incorrigible, Brent. You flirt with them like you really think they may take you up on - something - some day.”

“I will never give up hope,” he answered.

Kristy laughed, “I like them and all - they are very sweet - but you don’t find them a bit much at times?”

“On the contrary, they are not enough. The only thing that would improve them is if there was more of them. Hey, I know!” Brent playfully pulled at a piece of Kristy’s hair that was curling up toward her chin. “Find out what color hair dye they use. We can call you ‘Alexia’.”

“I don’t think so Brent. You are so twisted!”

The sound of the party was becoming louder. The water itself seemed to vibrate with it and they could hear shouts and laughter.

“Let’s go!” Brent said with a tilt of his head and dove under. Kristy followed and they both popped up on the other side. Kristy had to hand it to Asher. The music, especially, was incredible. She scanned the crowd. Almost everyone was in a bathing suit and everyone had a drink in hand. The keg was set up aside the fireplace and there was a line of people waiting to do keg stands. It seemed like everyone who worked there, or had ever worked there had been invited. She and Brent swam to the bar for a pair of whisky shots and with quick back-tilts of their heads promptly downed them. Looking around, Kristy saw Asher, opposite them on the pool deck. He was talking to a woman and when he saw Kristy, he waved her and Brent over.

Kristy and Brent sliced through the water and climbed up the ladder to the pool deck. Kristy grabbed a couple of warmed towels off the rack and wrapped one around herself and handed the other to Brent.

Asher and the woman walked up to them. The woman looked out of place but seemed oblivious to it. She wore a black wool blazer with a collared blouse over her trim frame. The blouse was buttoned up to her neck and her slacks hit just at the top of her sensible slip-resistant shoes. Her dark hair was pulled back in a perfect sock bun and she had enormous, thick-lensed glasses that slid down her nose each time she pushed them back up. Her skin was sheen with sweat in the warm atmosphere.

“Brent! Kristy! I want you to meet Hilda Pierson. Hilda is my new security and communications person.”

Hilda nodded to them and stuck out her hand for them to shake in turn. “Security and Communications Director,” she said. She wiped her hand against her blazer and her sharp, dark blue eyes perused the clipboard she held in her hand.

“It is nice to meet you Ms. Cole, Mr. Jendanon. I see that you are both to report to work tomorrow at nine in the morning.” She peered at them over her glasses, her eyebrows raised.

“Sure enough, Hildy,” Brent replied.

“It’s Hilda. Hilda Pierson.” She turned to Asher. “Do you mind if I inspect the fire exits now, Mr. Peters?”

“No, not at all, Hilda. I hope you’ll join us for a drink after you’re finished.”

“Thank you, but no, I don’t drink. I’ll see you at the office tomorrow morning at 7:30 A.M., if that’s all for this evening” And with that, Hilda Pierson, the new Security and Communications Director for the lodge, strode off toward the far corner exit near the fireplace, scanning the room as she did.

Kristy, who was simply trying to absorb it all, burst into laughter. “Wow, really Asher?” She and Brent leaned in together, laughing.

Asher put his finger to his lips, “Shhh. She has great hearing.”

“What is the deal, Ash? Do we really need a ‘Security and Communications’ czar, or whatever,” Brent asked.

Asher shook his head. “After the tower incident, I realized we need the help - and she comes highly recommended.”

The three turned to watch as Hilda made notations on her clipboard and continued to stop at various points around the large room. She seemed to have no interest in the festivities, deftly stepping around and out of the way of the revelry as needed.

“Well, she seems very - ” Kristy began.

“Uptight,” Brent finished.

“C’mon guys!” Asher groaned, “She’s just very professional.”

“Efficient,” Kristy said, elbowing Brent. “I was going to say efficient, Asher.”

“Thank you , Kristy,” Asher replied.

“You’re welcome, Asher. I’m sure she’ll loosen up once she gets to know everyone,“Kristy added. “Besides, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

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