As I stand here gazing out at the ocean, it really hits me how tiny and insignificant I am. The wind caresses my skin and the sun warms it. How beautiful this is. I stand at the edge of the dock and absorb everything from the fishy smell to the glowing orange ball rising over the horizon. The sound of the waves gently lapping at the dock is almost enough, to send me into a doze, as I lean against the chipped wooden railing. I sigh as I finally feel as content now, as I've felt in weeks. It's funny how something so simple can put my mind to rest and erase the aches from my body. The therapists couldn't even fix the turmoil inside her, but this could. This she thought, was exactly what she needed.
"It's not many days I come out here to see two beautiful things."
A man stood behind her casually leaning against the wooden railing beside her. How didn't I hear him approaching? She eyed him warily and looked around. They were alone. He raised an eyebrow at her, hand that was now braced against her chest. "You startled me."
He nodded in understatement and held out his hand. "My name's Daniel O'Brian and yours would be?"
Catherine eyed him suspiciously and after searching his sea green eyes figured, he was as harmless as a handshake. His hand engulfed hers and she couldn't help, but notice she felt a slight jolt as their skin met. His gaze seemed to sharpen on hers and it became hard to breathe. She slipped her hand from his and clutched it behind her back.
"My name's Catherine. Nice to meet you as well."
It might be best if I keep my distance from this strange man named Daniel. She turned back to the view of the ocean and had to bite back a very relaxed sigh. It seems that the stranger was too caught up in his own thoughts to attempt at conversation, yet so she sneaked a peek to her left, to look at him closely. He was well-built and had golden skin that he probably acquired from working outside in the sun. He had a strong jaw and high cheek bones. His black hair was ruffled by the wind and curled around his ears. He probably has some native American ancestors, she thought. All in all the package was delicious. He wore old tattered khaki's and a white wrinkled t-shirt. If she was correct, she smelt some type of cologne that smelt of sin and desire. Her brows knitted together at the thought and she stood up straight. Why was she paying so much attention to this stranger?
"You seem pretty caught up in whatever you're thinking sugar."
His light playful tone had a rare but quick smile forming on her unpainted lips. "I seem to think too much. So people tell me." She turned her head to look at him and absently tucked stray strands of blonde hair back behind her ears.
"I'm not much of a thinker myself. More a feeling type of guy. In both ways." He flashed a quick grin at her that could've melted butter and she felt her cheeks turn pink.
"Do you always meet random beautiful women on the docks in the morning Mr. O'Brian?"
She braced herself for his cocky answer. He probably woos the ladies, she thought solemnly.
"To be completely honest. No one has wandered onto my property before you, so the answer would have to be no."
She turned around so fast the world spun. "Your property? You mean you like, own this?"
He flashed her another one, of the quick cocky grins and leaned back as if enjoying her bewilderment. "Yes. I own this whole beach and most of the road you traveled on. You must've taken the wrong turn sugar."
The wrong turn, she thought. Marvelous. "I'm terribly sorry then. I should get going." She began to turn away, when the far away sound of thunder echoed through the air. Lifting a hand to shield her eyes from the sun she saw that a cluster of storm clouds were approaching. They look nasty, she thought suddenly worried she'd have to drive in this. "Drat. I really hate storms."
"Well you could always stay at my house."
The invitation sounded so casually delivered that she almost didn't feel any need to deny it. Yet, I don't know this man really. He could be a murder who bought all this land, so he could torture innocent people who got "lost" on the way to one of the beaches. The thought had her nibbling at her lower lip. "I wouldn't want to intrude."
"Nonsense, I rarely get any visitors." He gazed at her calmly and watched as the clouds began to roll in over them. The sky grew dark and the cold air had her shivering.
"I guess I could stay just until the storm passes over."
Then I'll be on my merry way, she thought.