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"Island Recess" by Sonora Rayne

Heat Scale: 3 of 5. (Adult Language And Situations)

Chapter 1.  Chapter 2. Chapter 3.  Chapter 4,

Chapter 5,   Chapter 6.   Chapter 7.    Chapter. 8

Chapter.   9.     Chapter 10,     Chapter 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13   Chapter 14   Chapter 15    Chapter 16

Chapter 17

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"Island Recess" An Island Romance Set In The Virgin Islands, By Sonora Rayne. 

 

About the author.       

As a single woman, Canadian-born author Sonora Rayne lived and traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean. Her stories are based on real life experiences in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas and Panama. She is currently married and resides in Austin, Texas. For information on purchasing the rights to her works, contact Island Romance Novels here. Contact Island Romance Novels

The following story contains adult language and situations. For Ages 18 and Above

Island Recess, Chapter 1.
Breathing heavily from her recent exertion, Helena stood at the top of a steep incline, one foot on the pedal of her mountain-bike, the other steadying her on the rough terrain. A few errant curls strayed from beneath her bike-helmet and fluttered across her forehead with the warm breeze. Far below, the waters of the Caribbean unfurled in smooth waves and spilled along a white stretch of sand. Shielding her eyes from the glare of the noon sun, she scanned the town-site below for a sign of the apartment she had leased for the summer. Located near the local ball field, the tiny building was sadly in need of repair. Even from this distance, the moss-covered roof looked in imminent danger of collapse. Helena smiled as she recalled her first encounter with her summer home.
Shrouded in a damp linen suit that had proven not to be wrinkle-free she had stood in the middle of the bachelor apartment and cried. This was not the seaside villa she had envisioned as she and her prospective landlord had tapped out queries and responses via e-mail. She tried in vain to recall the somewhat blurred electronic image of a pastel condominium complex posted beside the unit‘s description. Helena had book-marked the site on her computer, visiting and re-visiting the advertisement numerous times before finally leaving her e-mail address. Charming Mediterranean style sea-side villa, the claim had read. Even though it was after dark when her taxi driver took her from the landing dock at Cruz Bay through a bewildering array of twists and turns to her new home, she could see that it was a long way from an all-inclusive paradise. A sagging screen door slumped from its hinges, causing Helena to visualize a nightly invasion of rodent-sized arachnids. Helena had heard on the radio just that morning that the average parson eats five spiders in their sleep over a lifetime. She had hoped that the average inadvertent arachnid-consumption was not any higher in the Virgin Islands than in Seattle. Thick green aloe plants twined along the walkway, their branching fingers catching at her bare ankles. Dragging behind her an enormous wheeled suitcase, Helena had sworn under her breath as she attempted to negotiate the narrow concrete steps. Her elderly landlord had shuffled to greet her with surprising speed in response to her banging on the screen door. Although her first instinct had been to articulate her frustration with a salty string of expletives, one look at the encouraging smile of her e-mail correspondent and she swallowed the words with a sigh. Beneath thick prescription lenses, his eyes swam like trapped brown fish. With myopia of that extent, he likely did not even realize the dilapidated condition of the building he had inherited from an elderly aunt.
She had extended her hand and forced a smile her aching face could ill afford.
“I’m Helena Travis,” she said, “I’ve come about the apartment.”
“Ben Holmes,” he had uttered in a booming voice, extending a wrinkled hand. “Of course, of course; follow me.” Picking up one of her bags, he had gauged its weight, then dropped it and motioned to the taxi driver to assist. Slowly, he had ascended a stained set of linoleum stairs, and then paused, rooting about in his pockets for a key. When he turned to face her, he swung open the door on her new apartment. “Welcome home,” he had uttered with dramatic flair.
She had waited until she had handed Ben an envelope with the first month’s rent and heard the door creak to a close behind him. Then, she had burst into tears. Sitting on the edge of a dusty suitcase she had wept onto the sleeves of a cream linen jacket, heedless of the smears of caramel make-up and globs of mascara that now decorated the sleeves. When the last of her ragged sobs had died, she forced herself to look around. The apartment was of the “efficiency” variety, with a hot-plate and fridge and an old Murphy bed that pulled down from the wall. She had stood and walked the length of the room, fingering the bubbling paint and wincing at the bare bulb swinging from the ceiling. The dim light illuminated a depressingly weathered linoleum floor and ancient slipcovers. With a sigh, she pushed aside a set of faded print curtains, stepped out onto the balcony, and gasped. The air on her face was cool and sweet, smelling of tropical flowers and the tang of salt water. Although the lights of the town-site were few and dim, the moon cast a pearly glow on the rushing waves and sandy strip of beach. She had stood spellbound, watching the breathing of the ocean a stone’s throw from her bare feet. Smiling, she turned and saw her home with new eyes.
In the weeks that followed, Helena had devoted her spare time to making the apartment seem more like home. Borrowing a ladder and brush from the elderly landlord, she had set about painting her walls a sunny shade of yellow. In the local tourist shopping area she struggled to choose among a myriad of gorgeous batik fabrics. When she finally settled on a dazzling mix of indigo, royal and teal blue with splashes of yellow for curtains, she made sure she had enough left over to make a new slipcovers and an assortment of plump cushions for the small wicker settee. In the evenings, she pulled the settee out onto the balcony and sat with her arms wrapped about her knees, watching the wind whip the tops of the waves into foam.Leaning against her bicycle and looking down at the pastel buildings spread below, Helena smiled and shook her head as she recalled her initiation into the languid rhythms of island life. Time seemed to move more slowly here, a leisurely, gentle pace in which neighborly visiting took the place of the faceless telephone and fax communications that were so much a part of her urban Seattle life. Glancing down at her slim tanned arm, Helena noted wryly that she had once again forgotten to wear her watch. Although only a little over two months on the island, she was already learning to gauge the hour by the height of the sun and the length of the shadows. A few minutes past noon, and the sun was high overhead, cutting through the sparse clouds like a lance. Against her damp face, the air was warm and scented with the promise of summer. Stretching languidly, Helena pushed out the kick stand and left her bicycle standing by the path. She slipped her backpack to one shoulder and meandered slowly across the open clearing toward the drop-off to the beach, marveling at the vast spread of indigo ocean coming into view. In the small bay, dozens of sailboats bobbed gently with the swelling waves. Unzipping her backpack, Helena pulled out a fluffy beach towel and spread it out over the sparse grass. The small crescent beach below the steep drop-off was accessible by the main road and appeared to be nearly empty, despite its being a Sunday afternoon. Although she knew the warm sands of the popular tourist beach to be as soft as a sprinkle of talc, Helena didn’t want to risk any interruptions to her temporary solitude. The appearance of the towel was quickly followed by that of a cheap transistor radio, a thick paperback novel and an even thicker sandwich. Biting into the concoction of fried fish and ketchup, Helena drew her legs under her and sighed, knowing that she had but weeks left until she returned to her home and to all the questions she had still to answer. With great reluctance, she allowed her thoughts to drift into a still painful re-run of the reasons behind her impulsive move to St. John.
For a little over a year, Karl, her fiancé, (ex-fiancé, she reminded herself for the thousandth time) had seemed like the proverbial perfect catch. Helena grinned briefly over a mouthful of sandwich filling as she compared Karl to a bushel of slippery, pungent-smelling, decidedly dead-fish, then resumed her reverie. Everyone had commented on the suitability of the match: the much anticipated alliance of the “perfect couple” about to embark on a fairy-tale life. The compassionate school teacher, devoted to a life filled with children and learning, was to wed the charismatic millionaire, and join him in expanding the charitable portion of his business enterprises. In a year filled with what she now saw to be every imaginable cliché: weekend jaunts by private jet, elbow-rubbing with the rich and famous, and more material acquisitions than she had imagined possible, Helena had fallen under the spell of Karl’s charm and sophistication. When, on a moonlit stroll down the Champs Elysées, he had asked for her hand in marriage, her response had been a breathless affirmative. With the unanimous support of friends and family, she had begun immediate preparations for a wedding that promised to be of elaborate and epic proportions. Weeks later, she had begun to question her decision, but afraid to admit her fears to anyone but herself, had remained silent but watchful. What she had seen, and could no longer deny, was a dramatic transformation in Karl’s behavior. Her formerly attentive suitor had become distracted, forgetful, easily angered and increasingly remote.
After the umpteenth ruined dinner and sleepless night alone in the bed they now shared, Helena had removed the heavy platinum and diamond setting from her finger and dropped it with a angry clatter on the glass-topped bedside table. Wrapping an over-size silk robe about her slim figure, she had padded barefoot down the hall to his office. Lifting the corner of his leather desk blotter, she had found what she was looking for. She had seated herself in the deep swivel chair before the computer, switched on the monitor and hard-drive, and logged on to the well-known web-site. Then, consulting the scrap of paper, she used Karl’s password to access his e-mail account. Taking a deep breath, she had waited for the machine to catch up with her typing, and then studied the screen in horror. From the addresses and titles before her, she had understood instantly the source and contents of the messages. Or sources, for there were several. Until the early hours of the morning, when Karl tiptoed through the door with rumpled clothing and familiar excuses, Helena read and re-read intimate messages her fiancé had relayed to and received from women on both sides of the continent. Coupled with these adulterous communications was confirmation of her worst suspicions. Under the guise of a thinly-veiled code, were a number of messages alluding to criminal activity, of which Karl was obviously either source or coordinator. Her confrontation had been the controlled and confident response of one who knows the undeniable truth. There were few tears and fewer recriminations. Her mind was clear. Karl had responded to her accusations, first with anger, and then with wheedling apologies. Even as she strode through the door with suitcase in hand, her fiancé had reached out to her, called his despair and clutched his forehead in seemingly theatrical distress. Turning one last time, she had seen his face contort with animal fury, had heard him snarl, “You bitch!” and saw him pick up a heavy crystal vase. The door closed to the sound of glass shattering, and a piercing scream of rage.
As she rode that night by taxi to her mother’s home, she had been unable to stop shaking, terrified by what she had done, and the consequences she feared would follow. Reluctant even to leave the house, Helena had passed a week in ready tears, curled up in her childhood bed, nurtured by a confused and concerned mother. Each day she had called in sick to the school where she taught second grade, and tried to field the increasingly threatening phone calls and e-mails of an increasingly persistent, and angry Karl. Finally, she herself had turned, with the support of her best friend, Julie, to the computer, and begun searching for a home and temporary employment somewhere Karl’s threats and obsessive attentions could not reach. She had found both in the Virgin Islands. Her funds were tight, having invested the majority of her small savings in a recent business venture of Karl’s that he claimed would double her money in a matter of months. Having terminated their relationship shortly after, Helena had not had the opportunity to see if his generous claims had come to fruition. After arranging for a teacher to take over her class and selling the few items of valuable jewelry still in her possession, Helena had purchased an economy ticket to St. Thomas and arranged inexpensive accommodation on the nearby island of St. John. Her Mediterranean-type villa, she thought with a smirk. Her position at the Caribbean school was temporary, taking over for a staff member on emergency medical leave, and was due to expire at the end of June. Helena planned to stay in St. John until the end of July, and the end of her stress-leave, when her job with the Seattle school board would have to be resumed, or relinquished. Her finances were limited, and she knew she would have no choice but to return.
Gazing out at the harbor, and the boats dancing with the waves, Helena felt a tug in her throat. How could she possibly leave the friends she had made, or the children whose toothy smiles and ridiculous antics lightened her distress on even her lowest days? Thanks to the kindness of the islanders, and to her own eagerness to make connections, Helena no longer felt like an outsider. Lying back on her towel, Helena stretched and sighed. “Carpe Diem,” was her motto. “Seize the day.” “Better make hay while the sun shines,” was her mother’s. Less Latin and just as apt, she thought to herself, as she shucked off her shorts and tank top and stretched out on the towel clad only in her red string bikini. The warmth of the sun on her back was soothing and she sleepily reached around to undo the strings fastening the suit around her neck and back. If she was going to return to Seattle in another month, she would do so without tell-tale tan lines. Helena propped herself on her elbows and looked to left and right. The grassy bluff was wide and bathed in sun, but too far off the beaten path to be frequented by tourists. Far below on the beach, the oiled bodies of the few sunbathers were as tiny as dolls lain out in the sand. Finding herself completely alone, Helena wriggled out of her bikini bottoms and stretched out nude under the midday sun. Turning her head, she extended a hand toward her book, then, reconsidering, flicked the switch on the cheap radio. A reggae tune was playing and although the sound was tinny, Helena liked the beat and turned the volume up as loud as the dial would allow. The glare from the sun left points of light dancing against her eyelids. Under the soothing touch of the tropical heat, the tension in the muscles of her compact body seemed to melt away, leaving only hazy daydreams in their wake. Groggily, she wriggled her bare bottom, nestled her naked breasts into the soft terry towel and gave a tremendous groan of pleasure.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” a loud voice cut sharply into her near-dreaming state.
“Whaat?” mumbled Helena as she pulled herself to a sitting position. Rubbing her eyes in confusion, she looked up from a pair of tawny muscular thighs to an equally cut set of abdominals and a decidedly ripped-looking chest. A piercing set of blue eyes surveyed her under furrowed brows. As she noticed their owner’s gaze drop to her breasts, she suddenly remembered her nudity and scrambled to cover herself.
“Didn’t you read the sign back there?” He waved wildly off to his right, then gestured angrily as he continued.
“This is a nesting area for terns and they’re very sensitive to disturbance. You need to turn that radio off and get out of here!”
Shaking with embarrassment and raging inwardly at his rudeness, Helena reached a free hand out to the radio, switched it off and grabbed at her towel. Still seated, she couldn’t cover herself with the terry without further revealing her nudity. Attempting a semblance of dignity, she contented herself with pressing her legs together, leaning in toward her knees and covering her breasts with her arms. All the while, her intruder continued his angry diatribe.
“And don’t you know there’s no nude sunbathing on this part of the island? What the hell are you doing up here anyway? You seem to have wandered away from the tourist zone.”
The owner of the muscular legs was frowning and gesticulating down toward the beach, his shock of blond hair waving in a sudden gust of wind. Helena flushed furiously as she squeezed her upper arms around her hardening nipples and attempted to wind her legs together for further concealment.
“I didn’t see the sign and I wouldn’t be here if I had. And I’m not a tourist. I’m living here. At least, I’m living here for now. I’m living here until the end of the summer.”
There were angry tears biting at her lashes. How dare he! Helena struggled to think of something else to say that would prove her quick, sophisticated wit. Before she could sort through her racing thoughts to find the perfect rebuttal, from a perfectly shaped raspberry pout set in an impossibly tanned face he provided the final denunciation.
“Well that definitely makes you a tourist. And if you don’t have respect for the places you choose to visit, then you might as well go home to wherever it is you came from.”
With those words, he pushed his hands in his pockets, turned on his heel and began a noisy stomp down the same incline she had ridden up. Given the volume of his retreat, she could not fathom how she had not been woken by the mere sound of his approach. As she gazed in grudging admiration of his retreating physique, she could not help but notice with a stab of satisfaction, that the stranger had turned around for a last glimpse of her tanned figure. Then he rounded the bend and disappeared from view.

 Chapter 2.

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