Taking Action: Chapter 17
Still Charlaine Harris’ world, folks.
When we got into the rental car, I felt Sookie’s emotions explode, but they seemed to be a mix of sadness and joy. I was confused and worried that maybe I should have picked Hawaii instead, but then she seemed genuinely happy that we were here and I felt relieved.
She was asleep in the car when we pulled into the drive of our vacation home (I liked the sound of that), and I didn’t want to wake her. I opened up the house and found the master suite upstairs on the beach side of the house and pulled down the covers on the bed. Then I went back and retrieved my sleeping beauty, pulled off her jeans and bra (without removing her t-shirt—it’s a gift) and deposited her into the big soft bed.
The house was rustic but quite nice. I opened the windows all along the wall that faced the ocean. The strong salty scent of the ocean was powerful and magnificent. I knew the sound of the waves would help Sookie to relax and sleep as well. I turned out the lights and went down to retrieve our luggage.
I will have to send Sookie’s friend Tara something nice for her thoughtfulness. As I unpacked Sookie’s new suitcase (that she knows nothing about yet), I couldn’t help but admire all of the clothes and shoes and jewelry that Tara had selected. She knew that our destination was a beach town, and her selections reflected that. Then I unpacked the smaller suitcase that Amelia had packed and put Sookie’s things away for her. I wish I could see her face in the morning when she sees her closet full of new clothes. I hope she lets me spoil her on this trip. It’s really nothing. If she only knew how I really wanted to spoil her. Oh well, it doesn’t matter.
I unpacked my things into the vampire bedroom and checked that the refrigerator was stocked according to my specifications, and then went out to see our beach.
It was stunning. Wide white sand as far as I could see in either direction. I turned back to see the row of houses behind me, all darkened now. The only light source was the giant moon and the stars. This is perfect. I know she will be pleased now.
I woke to the sound of waves and the smell of the ocean. This must be heaven. I jumped out of bed (and then remembered to take it easy. Ouch still.). I looked out the opened windows to see the most beautiful beach I had ever seen, and not a soul on it. Paradise.
I found my robe at the foot of the bed (Hmm. I don’t remember taking my jeans off. Or my bra.), and headed downstairs. I was starving and found the refrigerator full of goodies. I ate my breakfast and had my coffee at the little table on the screened-in porch facing the beach. The sky was overcast, but the temperature was perfect.
I washed my dishes and went up to see if Amelia had packed my bikini. I opened the closet to find it was full, and I mean full, of clothes that I had never seen before. Wow. Then I went through the dresser. Cute tops, shorts, bathing suits (one, two, three, four, five of them!), and a small pouch filled with earrings and necklaces and bracelets. Everything looked like what they call resort wear in the catalogs and fashion magazines. I pushed my first feelings aside and reminded my new self that I was a gracious receiver now. This must be what Tara was giggling about. I couldn’t help but smile as I picked out my new favorite bikini. Then I went into the closet and found a cute cover up to match, flip flops with little flowers on them and a big beach hat. Where’s a fashion photographer when you need one?
I went into the bathroom and saw a note stuck to the mirror. (I had used the downstairs bathroom earlier and missed this.)
I hope you like our new vacation home as much as I do. There is food in the kitchen. If you go outside and under the house, you’ll find a room with beach chairs and such. The towels are in the linen closet in the hall. I hope you don’t mind that I took the liberty to put your things away. I promise that I took no other liberties although I was sorely tempted.
The car keys are on the kitchen counter. Feel free to roam and enjoy your day.
Enjoy my day, indeed! I found a big fluffy towel and threw my sunglasses and sunscreen (don’t want to burn on the first day), cell phone, and ibuprofen in a bag (yes, a cute new one, thank you, Tara. And thank you, Eric.).
Then I went downstairs and scanned the bookshelves for something to read. I usually like mysteries and romance novels, but I found several little books about ghost stories from Pawley’s Island. Interesting. I thought, when in Rome…and threw them in my bag as well. I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and headed out to the sand, stopping to pick up a beach chair from under the house (that Eric, so thoughtful). I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the big bucket full of bright plastic toys to make sandcastles. I took those too.
The weather was just perfect all day. I read and napped and then read some more. I made a huge sandcastle just like the one I had seen in my dream with a young Gran in it. I looked out to the ocean and said, “I’m here, Mama. I made it after all.”
My head hurt, and had there been more people around, I would have been embarrassed about the bruises on my body, but I only saw a handful of people all day. One woman alone in the morning, jogging along the water. An older couple with a big black dog carrying his Frisbee. And then later, another woman a little older than I am. We passed each other walking along the water and said hello.
I went in at lunch time and fixed a sandwich and took it back out to picnic on the sand. I could just live here!
After what seemed like pretty much the most perfect day I’ve had since I don’t know when, I reluctantly headed in. I knew that Eric would be up soon and I couldn’t wait to tell him about my day.
I took a long shower and found a soft yellow cotton sundress in the closet to throw on. It was a halter dress that tied behind my neck, but managed to look relatively un-slutty in spite of my going braless. I ran a comb through my wet hair and went down to investigate that hammock that I had spied on the screened-in porch earlier.
The breeze was blowing and the sun was setting, and before I knew it, I was drifting off to sleep in my new favorite rope hammock.