Today’s post is by RC Bonitz, author of A Blanket for Her Heart and the A Little Bit of … series. This story isn’t his usual style. Enjoy.
Revenge is Sweet – and Sometimes Soggy
“Is that who I think it is?” I hissed.
“Bill Jackson? Yup, he’s the jerk who ran into us,” Brenna murmured.
“And cursed us too. Somebody ought to teach him the right of way rules.”
She nodded. “He thinks he’s God’s gift to sailing.”
“Really?” I said and started across the room.
God’s gift beamed as I approached wearing my best coquettish expression.
“I hear you’re a really great sailor,” I murmured.
“You could say that,” he said with a supercilious smile.
“I’m Jen. Would you give me some lessons?” Fluttered my eyes quite well I think.
He positively bubbled with enthusiasm. “Let’s go.”
Ten minutes later we sailed out into the harbor, me sitting helplessly, offering compliments as the water passed beneath our bow, him lecturing and preening with each comment I made. He obviously hadn’t noticed me when he crashed into Brenna’s boat during the race and filled the air with foul language.
“You’ve never sailed before?” he asked.
“Once or twice.”
His grin widened just a little. “You want to steer?”
I sure did. “Okay.”
“Take the tiller. I’ll give you instructions.” He moved aside so I could take his place.
He proceeded to give me ten minutes of the different ways to direct a sailboat. My eyes on his, I attended to his every word.
“That’s good,” he said, “You’ll do.”
We were far enough from shore to make my move. No other boats within a mile, we had complete privacy. God’s gift looked quite pleased with himself, with his bare arms and muscles showing under his yacht club T shirt. It was time. I turned the charm up to sizzle.
“You’re beautiful,” he said abruptly.
“You look good yourself.”
“Actually I was thinking you look hot,” he said. “Can I help with that?”
“Steering? I suppose you could,” I purred.
He stood and moved to get closer to me. “We should probably stop sailing –”
I slammed the tiller over. The boat tilted sharply and he staggered. I smashed my fist into his chest. The stagger became a lurch that heaved him over the side of the boat. Splash! Into the water!
“Hey,” he shouted before he went completely under.
He popped up, spitting water and flailing. “Hey, come back. I can’t swim. Hey!”
But he was swimming, sort of, not well, trying to keep his head above water. And he was wearing a life jacket.
“Stop! Just float. I’m coming back,” I shouted. Great. I was teaching him a lesson and who knew he’d panic? Could you drown wearing a life jacket? Oh God, I’d get the chair, or the needle, or whatever they used now.
“I’m coming. Hold on.” I shoved the tiller to the side and the boat heeled into a tight turn, then headed back at him. Fifty feet, forty, the boat was closing fast. I had to get the jib down, control the boat, tie it to him.
The boat was almost on him. I threw a line as I went by. He ignored it, grabbed for the boat, got his hand on a cleat and was practically jerked out of the water before he lost his grip.
“Grab the rope! I have to turn to stop!”
He went under, came up, caught the rope and hung on.
Thank you God. Desperate, I swung the boat around and almost hit him I was so close.
He began to pull himself to the boat, almost dragging me overboard with him. His face was gray, that look that came with exhaustion. Weary and frightened, he was, his eyes showed that.
“You’re crazy,” he sputtered, his voice high and almost squeaky with emotion.
“Save your strength. You’re not in the boat yet,” I barked, but a touch of sympathy softened my heart. Just a teeny little bit.
He swore and tried to heave himself up on the deck. Halfway he went, fell back, went under and came up glaring.
“Use the rope,” I said and tied it to the far side of the boat. “Try now.” Once more he heaved his body up, and this time dragged himself into the boat.
“It’s a good thing you’re strong,” I said pleasantly.
He rolled over and stared at me. “You’re crazy. And you know how to sail.”
I grinned. “You could say that. I do have a few first place trophies at home.”
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Catherine A. MacKenzie