“I thought we were going to do a spiritual retreat,” Lucy told Fawn that afternoon, stifling a yawn as she stepped into the large public hot tub next to the lap pool. The pool complex was covered with a protective tent about fifteen feet high at the center and looked like a giant, hollow marshmallow. The warm, quiet humidity inside was a nice change after the relentless wind outside.Fawn glanced at the pool tent entrance, then settled down under the water. Tendrils of steam rose up around the blond hair she wore on either side of her head in two round, braided pigtails—Princess Leia the supermodel. “I wanted to talk to you privately first.”Uneasy with the serious tone, Lucy slipped down into the water to hide her face. She’d called from the B&B to admit her descent into sin, but Fawn hadn’t said anything other than “Okay,” and “Can you be back by four?”“Are you angry with me?” Lucy asked her finally.She looked at the door again. “Not exactly.”“I’m sorry about Alex.”Fawn’s eyes were suddenly on her. “Are you?”“I know how—awkward—it must—might be—”“For him? Or for you?”“For you,” Lucy said. “I asked you to set me up, and then I blew him off in front of everybody. Well, not that I blew him at all. Ha, ha.”“You’d had a lot to drink. Was that it? You weren’t quite yourself?”A vision of riding Miles on the beach flashed through her mind. She felt her already rosy body get rosier. “You could say that.”“Because I don’t think it’s too late to explain that to Alex, but I had to tell you—”The high-pitched whir of the pool bubble’s zipper opening caught their attention. Krista stepped in wearing a white bikini, Betty right behind her in a black wetsuit that went down to her knees.Fawn swore. Her eyes darted between them and Lucy.“What?” Lucy whispered at her.But their friends were already at the edge of the hot tub, stepping down to join them.“Damn, it’s hot in here,” Betty said, reaching for the zipper at her neck.Krista held up her hands. “Please don’t get naked again. I can’t take it anymore.”“I’ll melt!”“Why didn’t you just wear a bathing suit?” Krista jumped down to the bottom of the pool and strode through the water to Lucy’s side. “I have seen that girl’s boobs enough for a lifetime, God help me. I deserve a medal.”Betty stuck out her tongue and peeled the suit off. After a shimmy for Krista, she stepped down into the bubbling water, completely naked, while the rest of them openly stared.“Is that a tornado under your belly button? I’ve never seen that one before,” Lucy said, studying her tattoos before they disappeared under the surface.Betty wiggled her eyebrows. “The vortex of love,” she said, and as they laughed, she went on, “Speaking of which, where were you last night? Not to mention—ouch!”Fawn bobbed over and put an arm around her bare shoulders. “Sorry. Guess I slipped.”Biting her lip while the others laughed, Fawn said, “Sorry,” and bent down to say something in Betty’s ear.“Fawn, what’s going on?” Lucy asked. “You’ve been acting funny all afternoon. If it’s about me, forget it. They obviously know already.”“Know what?” Krista asked, looking alarmed.Fawn dropped her face into her hands.Did she really think, after last night, there could ever be anything between her and Alex? Lucy hadn’t made her decision with the clearest of heads, but it was done now.“I slept with Miles last night,” Lucy declared, understating the events for the sake of simplicity and what shreds of privacy she had left.Krista gaped at her. “What?”“Miles,” Lucy said. “We spent the night together. Sorry, thought you knew. Just wanted to get it out there.”Looking like she’d been slapped, Krista’s mouth fell open. After a long moment, she asked in a little voice, “Alex was there?”With an awkward laugh, Lucy said, “Only at the beginning.”Krista closed her eyes. “I see.” She sank down into the water and disappeared. Only her curly dark hair was visible, floating on the surface.“Your hearing aid!” Betty cried, splashing over. She jerked Krista to the surface. “Your hearing aid!”Eyes downcast, Krista shook her head. Water trickled down her miserable face. She was crying.Betty hopped out of the pool, flashing them all a labia piercing Lucy didn’t want to see. Then she grabbed a pile of white spa towels from a nearby basket. Squatting down, ignoring Krista’s tears, she popped a hearing aid out of one ear, then the other, wrapping each carefully in a towel. “You dork,” she said affectionately. “Not that you can hear me.”Wishing she knew what the hell was going on, Lucy tried to read the glistening faces of her friends. “Did she…like…Miles?”Ignoring her, Betty jumped back in the water, her naked breasts bouncing, and took Krista’s face in her hands. Face to face, so she would read her lips, Betty said, “He wanted you. You. Are. Hot.”Krista shook her head. “He was drunk!”“It gave him the excuse he needed,” Betty said.“I was just a rebound girl!”“You’re the one he really wanted.”Lucy met Fawn’s eyes across the pool, finally understanding. “Alex and Krista?” she asked, and Fawn nodded.That was fast. Lucy sank deeper into the water and pondered the steam rising up between them. She felt a ridiculous surge of relief. If Alex had slept with Krista, she was off the hook. They were even. Neither of them wanted the other.“He wants to have dinner tonight.” Krista looked at Betty and wiped her eyes. “In our cabin.”“I’ll get lost,” Betty said.“But he’s not the one I wanted! I wanted Miles!”Uh oh, Lucy thought.Betty started to put a hearing aid back in her ear before Krista took over and put them in herself. “I had it all figured out. Now it’s all a mess.”“Was it that bad?” Betty asked. “Last night? Because sometimes those preppy ones are rockin’ in bed. All that pent up energy. Give them a chance and they explode. Oh, was that it? I’m not an expert on penises but I can imagine the letdown if he starts squirting too soon all over the place and you haven’t even—”“It was fine!” Krista said while Lucy and Fawn tried not to laugh. “Really good, actually.”“So what’s the problem? Did he text you pictures of himself naked? Secret video? What?”“I had it all figured out and at the first opportunity I jump in bed with the first guy that shows any interest in me. What’s my problem? What if I can’t be faithful because—” she dropped her face in her hands.“It’s kind of early to worry about faithful. In my opinion, it’s always too early,” Betty said.“—because I’m so friggin’ pathetic I need to please every man who might want me?”Betty put an arm around her. “Of course you’re pathetic. Everyone’s pathetic about love.”“But I don’t love him. Maybe I could, but—”“Not that kind of love. The need to be loved. You’ve always been a little extra deprived in that department. Your parents are OK, but they’re kind of cold. Measuring everything out like you owe them something.”“They’re a million times better than your parents and you don’t have a problem,” Krista told Betty.Betty removed her arm. Sank back into the water. “I’ve slept with two different women since Monday.”Lucy exchanged glances with Fawn. The chance to slip away had long passed. Plus this was too juicy to miss.“Two? How? You were with Jaynette both nights,” Krista said.“Jaynette’s a teacher. She’s used to working in a group,” Betty said.
The working title for this is The Supermodel’s Best Friend, and I’m hoping to have it available in eBook in September.