Summer Rental

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Lying in the chair, stretching lazily beneath the summer sun Nikki heard the rowdy voices of her new neighbors. It was just after ten in the morning when the signs of life had started to show next door, and by the sounds of things, the party was in full swing again. Nikki listened. Loud voices talking over the loud music. The phone ringing, someone calling out to another. A young female squealing with laughter, male voices cheering with obvious approval. She had to smile at what she heard. Their whole lives right now centered on having fun. The real world be damned… at least for now. ‘To be young and free again,’ she thought. Then remembering her own freedom, she gave another cat like stretch, tilted her smiling face to the sun, and let it warm her.

The last 2 years had been tough for her. She thought of all she had lost. Then sitting up and looking at the tiny house, she remembered all that she gained. Inside was barely 1,000 square feet of living space, but it was hers and hers alone. To Nikki it symbolized something more, something Joseph could never understand. It was more than just a home; it was a sign of her coming into her own, a symbol of her freedom. Moreover, it was a clear sign that she would never be dependent on anyone again.

Of course, Joseph, her ex-husband, had gone off the deep-end when he’d heard she bought the small beachfront property. Whether she was dependent on him or not, he wanted the whole world to believe she was. He had phoned her in a frenzy and all but begged her not to do this to him. “Nicole be reasonable… it’s tiny. It’s run down. It’s in a bad neighborhood,” he argued. When she refused to listen, Joseph let his true feelings shine through. “Jesus Nicole! What are people going to say?”

Of all the arguments her ex-husband had protesting her new purchase, the latter she felt was the most truthful. What would people say? For goodness sake, the rumors would be terrible. Joseph R. Cronin’s pretty ex-wife living in a dumpy little beach house off the strand. Gasp! Surely, one of LA’s best attorneys wouldn’t allow for such a horror! Nikki’s lips curved into a twisted little smile and thought to herself, ‘Life is such a bitch, isn’t it Joseph?’

Nikki was brought back to the present by a young girl yelling. “God Dammit, Eric! You asshole, knock it off!”

Glancing towards the sound of the commotion, Nikki could see a group of kids standing on the second floor balcony. A pretty little Asian girl was trying to fix her bikini top. Though Nikki didn’t see exactly what happened, she had to assume that the dark-haired kid grinning smugly was Eric, and he was the responsible party for exposing the girl’s breasts.

From what Nikki had seen yesterday when her temporary neighbors first arrived, they looked to be all of 20 years old. They were just kids, maybe in their first or second year of college, if that, and they were obviously without parental supervision.

Reaching for the oil on the table next to her, Nikki heard a telephone ring. Unsure if it was coming from her house or the one next door she tilted her head and listened again. Realizing it was her phone she muttered, “Dammit!” Jumping from the lounge chair Nikki raced toward the house forgetful of two things – One: she was in a small bikini. And two: regardless of their age, or lack of, they were still male.

Nikki reached the phone just in time to be greeted by a dial tone. “Damn,” she said again. She thought of using the call back feature, but decided against it. Whoever it was would call back.

With that, she returned to the backyard, put the phone on the table and reclaimed her place in the sun. Nikki took the oil and began to slather the coconut scented liquid on her already sun kissed legs when she noticed that the sounds from next door had dimmed somewhat. Peeking over the rim of her glasses, she was suddenly aware of the attention she now drew. From their raised vantage point, they had a perfect view into her yard. Why she hadn’t thought of this before was beyond her. All of them now gazed down upon her, watching as her hands moved up her legs. The oil glistened on her limbs in the hot sun. One of them began calling out to her. She looked in his direction, smiled politely and turned away, hoping that she conveyed her disinterest to them. But again he called out, and again she turned to look at him. And as young inexperienced men often are, his cheers were unrefined. But Nikki had been semi-amused by his youthful enthusiasm. She chuckled and shook her head.

One of the young men who had been sitting in the shadows had moved forward and now stood leaning against the railing watching Nikki’s reaction. His forearms rested on the banister, and he was holding a bottle of beer out in front of him. He looked as though he’d just awoken and threw on whatever was handiest; his ball cap sat backward on his head, and his shirt hung opened. Even from this distance Nikki had a decent view of his young body. Nikki had to admit he was rather cute, but she guessed she was at least ten years his senior.

Though she didn’t mean fikirtepe escort to openly stare, she was intrigued by his silence; he didn’t join in the rambunctious antics of his buddies. Instead, he watched her as she absentmindedly smoothed the oil over her brown skin. When a smile touched the corners of his mouth Nikki realized what she had been doing. Immediately Nikki dropped her gaze, embarrassed by not only her ill manners, but she also worried about what signals she was sending.

As her oiled hands passed over her rib cage, the obnoxious kid standing in the center of the pack called out to her again. In the typical grand bravado of young men driven by too much testosterone, and not enough brains he yelled out, “Hey baby… show us your tits!!” Which of course was followed by great laughter and slapping him on the back.

‘Oh, such a witty young thing,’ Nikki thought dryly to herself. Though he no longer amused Nikki, she didn’t let it show. Instead, she leaned back in her chair, and tilted her head down slightly, as if contemplating the suggestion of exposing herself to them. Smiling coyly at them from beneath her lashes, she dragged her hands higher, barley brushing over the swell of her breasts – to which more cheers followed. Nikki looked up at all of them, smiled defiantly and gracefully extended both middle fingers. A huge uproar of laughter erupted.

“Bitch!” the kid yelled, as he returned the gesture and retreated into the house. Nikki saw the flash of anger and humiliation as his friends congratulated him on making such an ass of himself. The young man that had been watching her silently was now howling with laughter.

Nikki donned a set of earphones, pushed her sunglasses up on her nose, and flashed him a brilliantly satisfied smile. With that, she laid back in her chair. She turned up the volume on her IPod and began tapping her fingers to the music and grinning to herself. She felt rather smug; proud of the way she handled that pretentious little shit.

Eventually the smile faded from Nikki’s lips as the fingers of sleep were beginning to reach for her. She didn’t have any appointments for the rest of the afternoon and the idea of a nap just seemed to envelop her so completely. Even though she knew that falling asleep under the hot sun would be a very bad idea, Nikki just couldn’t raise herself from the inviting grayness. But the sudden shadow that was cast in front of her quickly startled her from the verge of sleep. Dazed and afraid, Nikki sat up and used one hand to shield her eyes from the glaring sun. She saw a figure of a man in front of her. He was speaking to her, but she didn’t understand him. Realizing that she still wore the headset, she reached up and yanked it from her ears.

“Who the hell are you?” Nikki demanded.

There was such a defensive quality to her movements that the man took a step back, trying to show her he wasn’t a threat to her. “I’m… I’m sorry,” he stammered. “I really didn’t mean to frighten you.”

Nikki saw his face, but still had no clear idea of who he was. And though the stubborn tendrils of slumber had let her go, she was still agitated. “What do you want?” she asked brusquely.

“I don’t want anything… really.” He looked down, suddenly fascinated by his shoes. “I just wanted to come over…” he trailed off.

When the realization of who he was dawned on her Nikki said, “Oh god, you’re the kid next door.” Immediately she felt a pang of guilt for snapping so rudely at him.

Lifting his eyes to meet hers, he smiled a bit and said, “Yeah.” His face seemed to flush with embarrassment and Nikki couldn’t help but smile at his boyish manner.

Nikki’s whole demeanor changed; her furrowed brow softened, and the annoyed tone of voice was gone. She smiled apologetically and offered, “God, I’m so sorry. But you scared me to death.”

“I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to.”

Nikki chuckled and waved off his apology, “It’s okay. My fault really. I was drifting off to sleep and didn’t hear the gate over the music.” Pausing briefly, she added, “Anyway, I’m Nikki,” and extended one hand.

Billy smiled his best as he stepped forward bending slightly, and shook her tiny hand politely. “I’m Billy. I guess we’ll be neighbors for the next two weeks.” He had a Tom Cruise-like smile that was both warm and sincere. And Nikki was sure it won him over with a great deal of women.

“It’s good to meet you Billy,” Nikki said with her own best smile. “I’d ask you to sit down, but…” she said, trailing off. A gentle sweep of her hand indicated that she didn’t have another chair.

Elated that she hadn’t immediately sent him away, Billy said, “I don’t mind the grass, if you don’t.” Without waiting for an answer, he sat on the grass. He pulled up his long tan legs, and rested his elbows casually on his knees. Again, Nikki had to smile; he seemed so at ease and comfortable, as though he’d done this a thousand times with her already.

Billy looked pointedly at her and said, “I have to be honest with you. I actually came gebze escort over here for a reason.”

Nikki raised an eyebrow, “Oh?” She had thought as much, but figured her bitchy attitude had kept him from saying so.

“To tell you that I was … impressed by what happened earlier.”


“Yeah, it’s not every day that Eric is put in his place by a beautiful woman.”

At this Nikki had to laugh. “I see,” she said lightly.

Although Nikki could easily see what this kid was up to, she let him go on. “And personally,” Billy said looking down, as if he was too shy to look her straight in the eyes. Then he titled his head, and looked at her with that dazzling smile once again, he added, “I have to admire anyone that does it so well.”

Billy was cute, and he knew it. He was also very charming, and she was pretty sure he was aware of that as well. “Does Eric always make such… bold requests?”

“Usually worse,” he replied.

“And he’s not used to being turned down?”

Shaking his head Billy answered, “He rarely is. That’s why I was so impressed.”

“Ah, I see,” she said again. “And where is Eric now?” Not that she really gave a damn, but she was definitely intrigued by Billy’s presence.

“Down at the beach… with the rest of them.”

“Uh huh. And why didn’t you go with them?” she inquired. Again Billy became very interested in his feet. Nikki smiled as she watched him from behind her dark glasses. He did have the most incredible gray-blue eyes she’d ever seen; they were the color of the ocean on a sunny day. And his smile was absolutely electric. He still wore his shirt unbuttoned and Nikki couldn’t help but take in the sight of his nicely kept body. He was so young and vibrant. She pulled her eyes from his chest and stomach, forcing herself to focus on his face.

“Well… I… uh… wasn’t feeling well,” Billy said grinning sheepishly.

“Mmhmm,” she said with a soft smile. “You don’t think it had anything to do with that keg of beer you guys killed off last night,” she asked jokingly. As Nikki dressed for her daily run, she’d seen it laying in their yard; apparently having tossed from the deck when it no longer served its purpose.

Billy grinned, “Maybe.” It was all he could think to say. His mind was total chaos. There was a flirtatious tilt in her voice and in the way she smiled at him. And although he liked it, it seemed too good to be true.

The two smiled at each other, not really sure what else to say. Finally Nikki asked, “Okay, seriously, Billy. Why are you here instead of with your friends?” A valid question considering she knew there was quite a bit of difference in their age.

Billy opened his mouth to speak then snapped it closed again. Looking past her for a moment, squinting against the glare of the shining water behind her. When he looked at her again there was no forced boyish behavior, no coy smiles – just the color of the sea staring back at her. Simply he said, “Because of you.”

An uncomfortable laugh escaped her, “Me?” His admission made her a bit uneasy, but she forced herself not to squirm beneath his pointed stare.

“Like I said, I was impressed by what I saw.” By the hint of seriousness in Billy’s eyes, Nikki knew he didn’t necessarily mean the episode with Eric. Perhaps realizing he was coming on a bit too strong, Billy shrugged his shoulders and added, “And besides, anyone that thinks Eric is an ass, can’t be all that bad.”

Nikki laughed. “Well he did deserve it.” Billy laughed too and nodded in agreement.

Before the conversation could go any further, the telephone rang again. “Excuse me for a moment,” Nikki said picking up the cordless.

“Should I…?” Billy asked politely as he moved to get up.

“No, no, it’s ok. It’ll just take a minute.”

From the beginning, Nikki tried to cut the conversation short but the caller would not be dissuaded. As the voice droned on in her ear, most of Nikki’s attention was focused on Billy. Behind her dark glasses, she was eyeing his youthful body. From head to foot, Billy was well conditioned — firm, tanned and toned. Flat stomach, nice pecs. He obviously worked out. Maybe not in the I-can-bench-press-a-Volkswagen sort of way, but he definitely took care of himself.

Nikki wondered if he was still a virgin. ‘Doubtful,’ she thought, ‘…not with those eyes, and that smile.’ Then without warning, an image formed in her head; a picture so vivid, so graphic that she almost groaned aloud. She saw their bodies entangled, so enrapt in the other, it was difficult to distinguish where one began and the other ended. Nikki had to bite back another groan as more erotic images flashed through her mind. She chastised herself for letting her mind run away like that. Regardless of his flirtatiousness, and their obvious attraction, he was much, much too young for her.

Billy didn’t want to be rude and listen in on her conversation, but that was difficult since he was sitting just a few feet in front of her. Although she seemed to be looking içerenköy escort elsewhere, he could feel her eyes on him. Billy tried to concentrate on something… anything… in the yard besides Nikki. But it proved to be less than successful; his eyes kept coming back to her. As he glanced at her again, he caught sight of a single bead of sweat forming on her right breast. In that moment, everything around him began to disappear. Her voice became distant, joining the vague sound of the waves crashing somewhere behind her. Billy’s entire world had become that single droplet glimmering on her brown flesh. He watched it roll hypnotically down the swell of her breast and disappear somewhere in the deep valley of her cleavage, leaving a glistening trail behind it. Finding this to be one of the sexiest thing he’d ever seen, Billy couldn’t tear his eyes from her.

Unsure of how long he stared at her, he heard Nikki abruptly say, “Listen George, I have company, I’ll call you later.” Not waiting for an answer she hung up the phone.

“Well,” she said smiling at Billy, “I’m about done out here. Would you like to come in for a bit?” Her heart pounded loudly in her ears as she thought about what she was doing. And in the back of her mind, the battle had begun. Nikki heard that little voice begin to nag at her.

Billy beamed back at her and said, “Sure, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all,” Nikki said getting up. That voice, you know the one — the one that always sounds like your mother, was elbowing its way to the forefront of her mind, making it difficult to think.

When she turned her back to gather the things from the table, Billy saw that although it was not technically a thong bottom that she wore, it was damn close. Without looking back Nikki headed toward the house. However, Billy lingered behind for a second or two, just so he could watch her from behind, enjoying this view as much as he did the one from the front. He saw her kick off the sandals at the door and disappear inside. He lifted his face to the sky and uttered a silent, “Thank you!” Following suit when he reached the door, he toed off his shoes and stepped inside.

“Make yourself at home,” he heard her call out.

Billy stood in the doorway for a moment while his sun-blinded eyes adjusted to the dim room; all the shades had been drawn to prevent the sun from heating the small house. At last the blindness past and he began to look around this unfamiliar setting.

Although it was small, it was by no means cramped. To his right and in the corner was a workstation, littered with the normal clutter of anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis. In another corner sat a small leather sofa with a large palm tree sitting quietly behind it. It’s fronds swaying delicately thanks to the ceiling fan that circulated the cool air. There was a hallway that led to another part of the house, which was apparently the direction that Nikki had gone.

Between the computer and the sofa was a set of shelves that housed an expensive looking stereo system, numerous CDs, DVDs, and other personal items. Curiosity drew Billy to the shelves. Running a finger along the cases of the CD’s he was impressed by her eclectic collection of music. Scattered about on various shelves were a great many books, but one author in particular interested Billy. Plucking one of the thick books from the shelf, and turning it over he wasn’t at all surprised to see Nikki smiling prettily at him from the back cover. The name Nicole Scott had been indelibly branded into his memory.

While Nikki was upstairs wiping the oil off her body before she got dressed, her mental battle had turned into a fierce argument. She knew the thoughts she was having about Billy were wrong, she couldn’t seem to help herself.

– ‘He’s too young,’ her mind screamed. – ‘No he’s not,’ she argued. – ‘He’s just a child,’ that mom-voice stated. – ‘He may be young but he’s definitely not a child.’ Nikki countered. – ‘Well, it’s still wrong,’ the snide and nagging voice told her. ‘And you know it, Nicole.’ She looked at her reflection in the mirror and muttered, “Oh for Christ sake, shut up and go away!”

Standing at the top of the stairs, Nikki called down to Billy, “Hey, I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. What’d ya say we go get some lunch?” The motherly voice seemed to calm somewhat at this.

“Sounds good to me,” Billy answered. “But I have to run back to the house and get my wallet.”

“Meet me out front then,” Nikki replied.

Hearing the door slide closed and gate linking the two yards slam shut, Nikki quickly dressed in a pair of cutoff shorts and a sheer blouse over her bikini top. With a grin across her face, Nikki bounded down the stairs feeling better than she had in years.

Next door Billy wore much of the same smile as Nikki — a rather self-satisfied grin. Everything was going better than he had hoped. And he was grateful that he hadn’t let doubt keep him from going next door to begin with. He wasn’t sure where it would all lead, but he certainly liked the direction it had gone already. Before racing out of the house to meet her, Billy found some paper and scribbled out a note letting his friends know he’d be gone for a while. Not that they would really care; they probably wouldn’t even miss him but he did it out of common courtesy.

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