Sarah looked around her suite at the island resort. It was luxurious, with marble in the bathroom and a balcony looking out to the ocean.

She unpacked quickly then she lay on the double bed and stared at the ceiling with tears in her eyes. This was the bed she had been going to share with Roger, her fiancée until two months ago when he had called off their marriage. She had been devastated. She adored him, they had been living together for two years so happily, he was perfect for her, they had talked so much about sharing their lives together and the family they would have.

She had thought of canceling the reservation but over the two months she was in grief. Grief from missing Roger, grief from missing her relationship and grief from loneliness. It had been unnerving to go to parties without a partner and going home alone to her apartment afterwards was even worse. It was the loneliest time of her life. A lot of men would have liked have to changed that, but she compared them to Roger and none got past polite conversation.

Sarah owned a boutique and with her flair for style, her flair for fashion and her hard nosed business sense she was successful and she never had to worry about money. But her mind had become preoccupied with Roger and her loneliness, she had become stressed, her business had suffered and her accountant had said she needed a holiday.

She poured a glass of wine and took it to the balcony. The beach was bordered by palm trees, the sand was white, there were windsurfers scudding across the bay and gentle waves lapped onto the beach. She looked to her right and saw a big swimming pool surrounded by deck chairs. She took in the view for ten minutes then started to pour another glass.

“No, I haven’t come here to drown my sorrows. It’s time for a swim.”

She took off her clothes and looked at herself in a full length mirror as she put on her bikini.

“35 and not too bad. Not too bad at all.”

She was tall and slim with waving black hair which came to her shoulders. Big brown eyes, chiseled cheek bones and generous lips. The only small lines she had were where she smiled. She was a competitive age group swimmer, with lightly muscled arms, abs and legs and her B cup breasts looked larger than that as they proudly jutted out from her slim torso. Her media people always liked it when she modeled the clothes for her boutique.

She wandered through the lobby, looked at the resort shops, looked at the postcards and decided there was no-one she wanted to send one to. She resolved that she had to do something, so she booked a bus tour for the next morning and a fishing trip for the next.

The gardens were huge and lovely with towering palm trees, a blaze of color from the bushes, buzzing from the insects and brilliantly colored tropical birds flitting through the trees.

Only half the deck chairs around the pool were taken and Sarah found one in the shade. She looked around. There were some family groups and some couples. Her heart sank, everyone was sharing this holiday with family and friends. Everyone except her.

She heard shouts of laughter and looked around. There was a group playing volleyball. College students on vacation she guessed. About 10 young men and young women with tanned bodies were having the times of their lives. Her loneliness sunk in more and she opened her book.

After an hour Sarah was hot so she took off her sundress and swam in the pool. The cool water was refreshing and she pushed herself to swim 25 fast lengths. When she got out she was aware of men’s eyes on her but she was used to this and comfortably ignored them and returned to her book.

When she was dry she put on her sundress and decided to walk past the volleyball court to go to the beach. A girl walked close to her to pick up the ball and gave her a friendly grin.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi,” Sarah smiled and replied.

As she was walking away from the court the volleyball bounced at her feet. She picked it up and turned around. A tall, young, blond haired man was coming to collect it.

“Catch,” Sarah smiled and threw it to him.

“Thanks.” He caught it and went back to the court.

“Did he blush?” Sarah asked herself.

The beach was white sands, palm trees, an almost tranquil sea, seabirds soaring in the sky and lots of couples and people in groups. It was a paradise and Sarah wished she had never come.

In the evening she overcame her inclination to have a meal in her room, strolled into town and found a small restaurant for dinner. The ethnic food was delicious, the service was friendly, there was a noisy, boisterous atmosphere and everyone was having a good time. Except for Sarah. The other restaurant guests were all couples or groups. She looked at her book but couldn’t read.

She wandered through the town, poking into some of the small shops, then she heard some music and followed it to a night club. Dancing was one of the passions of her life.

Everyone there was younger but that didn’t bother her as she was confident with her appearance. One young man asked her to dance. She enjoyed it as he was a good dancer but after two dances the music slowed, he put an arm around her waist and Sarah made her excuses and went to the bar. Two good looking men came to talk, but she wasn’t interested and soon they took the message and left her alone.

The girl who had said “Hi” to her at the volleyball came over to the bar and they started to talk as she waited for her drink. Her name was Jeanie and she was studying fashion so when she learned that Sarah had a boutique they kept talking. They were joined by a confident and enthusiastic young man who had a winning smile.

“Sarah, this is my boyfriend Brad. Brad, Sarah owns a fashion boutique. It’s really interesting, I’d like to do that someday.”

Brad joined in the conversation and the three of them struck up a rapport.

“Sarah, why don’t you come and meet the others?” asked Brad.

He introduced her to all the young women and young men. They were a happy group and welcomed her and, as she had thought, they were students who had come for a holiday after their exams.

The last she was introduced to was the boy who she had thrown the volleyball to. He was tall and gangly and looked awkward as he came over.

“Al, this is Sarah.”

“Hi Al,” Sarah smiled at him.

“Hi.” He glanced quickly at her then looked away. Sarah’s attention was diverted for a moment and when she turned back he was gone.

Two of the boys asked her to dance and she happily joined them. Once she noticed Al looking at her but as soon as he saw her glance he blushed and turned away. She sat a table and talked with Brad and Jeanie. She worked out that Jeanie was a sort of mother hen to the group and Brad just carried everyone along with his enthusiasm.

Sarah saw that a lot of them tried to help Al join in. Some girls dragged him onto the dance floor where he danced awkwardly and sat down after one song.

“Al is very shy isn’t he,” said Sarah remembering his blush when she had thrown him the volleyball.

“He is, always has been. And his father died a year ago after a horrible long illness. We don’t think he has recovered yet. He and Brad are in the same class and basketball team and they used to room together until Brad and I got together.” said Jeanie.

“We were surprised when he said he would come here,”

“Look at him dancing, he’s so uptight and awkward. You wouldn’t think it was the same person if you saw him on the basketball court, he’s like a gazelle there.”

“Never had a girlfriend as far as I know. I just wish he’d find someone and get laid.”

Brad gave Jeanie a big squeeze and she kissed his cheek.

Brad took Sarah onto the dance floor. What he lacked in natural rhythm he made up for in enthusiasm and Sarah became happy and relaxed. She talked and danced with a lot of her new found friends. Then the music slowed and the couples started to embrace as they danced. Sarah watched some of the girls clinging tightly to their partners and kissing them. Her loneliness swamped her again and she went back to the hotel.

Sarah thought about the kissing couples. She loved sex. For her it was an intimate and passionate time of excitement and giving and receiving. She had never been into one night stands, but she didn’t have to be engaged to do it either.

She thought about the tragic story Jeanie had told her about Al’s father. She thought about how terrible it would be to watch a loved one die like that. That put her own issues with Roger into perspective and she resolved to stop wallowing in self pity. She thought about that awkward and gawky and vulnerable young man and wondered how it would have been for him.

The next morning she went on her a tour of the island with its white sand beaches. Some were developed and built up but others were absolutely deserted. It was all very beautiful but Sarah realized that sightseeing alone was an empty experience. She felt loneliness and depression clouding over her.

It was more crowded at the pool when she went there in the afternoon and there was only one free deck chair in the shade. She saw that Al was sitting and reading in the one next to it.

Sarah thought for a moment about how awkward and isolated he seemed to be, how vulnerable he seemed to be and so shy and how he had blushed when he had seen her. It was almost a maternal instinct which made her decide to sit beside him.

“Hi Al, how’s things?”

He looked up and Sarah saw him blush again.

“OK . ah . ah . thanks.”

“Is anyone sitting here?”

“No, y , you’re welcome.”

She sat down and tried to make some conversation.

“What’s the book?”

He held it out.

“I’ve read that, it’s great. Are you enjoying it?”

“Yeah, it’s cool.”

“Well, I won’t tell you what happens,” she laughed as she sat down.

She tried to talk more but he only stammered brief replies. She noticed he couldn’t look her in the eyes and sometimes a little of that blush returned. He made obvious efforts to return to his book so Sarah picked up hers and they sat side by side reading in silence.

It was time for Sarah’s swim and she stood up and took off her sundress. Al glanced over his book. He had already seen her long, slim and shapely legs.

As Sarah’s dress went up he saw her bikini briefs. They were white and they were small. The shape of her pubic mound could be seen in the fabric which stopped only just above. Then her flat stomach and thin waist and navel. Her bikini bra only covered half her breasts and he saw the smooth roundness of the bare skin.

Sarah lathered sunblock over her face and front and legs. He glimpsed her breasts moving under her hands, saw her fingers rub up the inside of her thighs right up to her briefs.

Sarah was aware of his glances but she didn’t mind and took no notice.

“If you don’t want men to look at you, don’t wear a small bikini” was her attitude.

“Al, can I ask a favor please?”

He looked up.

“I don’t want to get sunburnt on my back. Could you put put some sunblock on please?

Without waiting for answer, she lay down on her towel, undid her bra strap and held out the tube of sunblock. There was no ulterior motive in her request; she simply didn’t want to get sunburnt.

Al looked down in confusion. From the first moment he had seen Sarah the day before he thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Maybe she was seven years older but she was stunning. He had never been close to such a woman wearing a bikini before, let alone touch one. His shyness had always made it almost impossible to talk with girls and his only two sexual experiences had been one night stands when both he and the girls were drunk.

Now here was Sarah with her naked back wanting him to touch it. He could see the side of her breast. He looked down her slim straight back and saw that her tiny bikini briefs showed a lot of perfect, smooth and rounded buttocks, even the start of cleft between them above her briefs and he could see right to the top of her thighs.

Sarah was holding out the sunblock expectantly so he knelt down beside her. She brushed her hair from her neck but a few strands were still there and tentatively Al stroked them away, touching her skin.

“That tickled,” giggled Sarah.

At first his hands were trembling but he brought himself under control as Sarah chatted.

“Where are the others?”

“Gone into town to do some shopping.”

“Didn’t you want to go?”

“You can only do so much shopping and sometimes I like to read.”

“So do I. There’s nothing like a good book.”

“Brad says you’re an ace at basketball.”

“Anyone is an ace compared to Brad.”

They laughed together and Al relaxed a little.

“What are you studying at college?”

“Computer science. I’ve just finished the second year.”

“So you must be 19 or 20.”


“20. That makes me feel so old.”

“You’re not that old,” he said. “You must be about 27.”

She turned her head and smiled at him. “Much older than that.”

“Well you look like 27 to me.”

“Al, you do say the loveliest things.” She laughed and he turned crimson red.

“Why did you come on holiday by yourself? Isn’t it lonely?”

Sarah thought this was a bit personal but turned and smiled and answered truthfully.

“Well, I was going to come with someone, but he changed his mind.”

“He must be mad.”

Sarah laughed. “Either him or me.”

Al put down the sunblock.

“I think that’s pretty much all.”

“Thanks. I didn’t want to get burnt.” She noticed he hadn’t gone right to the edge of her bikini so she did that herself.

Sarah had intended to go swimming straight away but changed her mind since she had broken down some of his barriers. She waved to a waiter.

“I’m going to have some tea. Would you like something?”

He settled for a coke.

She asked him questions about his college and his interests. Basketball was his favorite, he swam a lot for exercise and he liked skiing.

“How long have you been skiing?”

“My Dad first took me up when I was six.”

His eyes glazed over and he stopped talking.

Sarah patted his hand. “Jeanie told me about your father last night. I thought it was so sad. You must miss him so much.”

Al turned towards her and saw that her sympathy was genuine from her misty eyes and anguished face. He made an effort to pull himself together.

“What’s it like having your own business? I’m going to have one and be my own boss.”

She laughed. “Al, when you have have a business you have more bosses than ever. Your customers, the tax inspectors, your bank manager, your landlord and your staff and just about everyone else.”

Sarah stood up.

“So, you reckon you can swim a bit, do you Al?” She pointed to the pool. “25 lengths is 750 meters. Are you up to that?”

Al saw the challenge in her smile. He stood up and grinned at her for a moment.

“How much of a start do you want?” he asked. But now he looked at her straight in the eye.

He took off his T shirt and she saw that he was a swimmer. He had a slim waist and hips but had powerful shoulders and pecs.

Sarah was a competitive person and all thoughts of sympathy went from her mind as she started. She set a steady and demanding pace but each time she looked across she saw him swimming beside her with a slow, long armed style. At 400 meters she decided to burn him him off and upped her efforts, but there he was, his arms moving in that same relaxed tempo. She made a charge over the last 60 meters but they touched the rail at the same time.

“Dead heat” said Al.

She splashed him with water and laughed. “You could have beaten me easily.” But she was glad to see that he was panting.

“We’re all going to the club again tonight.”

“I’ll see you there. I’m having dinner with a couple I met today. I’ll probably come later on.”

She had a pleasant evening with an elderly couple she had met on the bus. They excused themselves at 11 and Sarah went to change. She was looking forward to the club. There were great kids and good company and no-one minded that she didn’t have a partner.

“27 did he say? OK, let’s see what we can do.”

She didn’t let her hair flow as she normally did, she drew it back tightly. From her modeling she knew about a good deal about makeup and a few understated touches were applied. She put on one her favorite dancing dresses. It was red, skin tight to her waist but flared below. It started half way down her breasts and finished six inches above her knees.

She drew admiring glances as she went into the club and the boys all wanted to dance with her. The girls took it in turns to dance with Al and this time he danced for at least two songs. Once they danced near each other and Sarah gave a little wave. This time he didn’t blush and he smiled at her

Sarah sat a table with Brad and Jeanie.

“Look at Al, he looks as if he might actually be enjoying himself,” said Jeanie.

“Yeah, I think he’s coming out of his shell at last,” replied Brad.

Sarah had been waiting for Al to ask her to dance, but realized that she would have take the initiative and walked over to him.

“Al, you’re the only one who hasn’t danced with me. Do you think I’m too old for you?” She looked at him with the same challeging smile she had at the pool when she had wanted to race and grabbed his hand and pulled him up.

She toned down her style so that it wasn’t too much for him. Gradually he relaxed and started to copy some of her movements and Sarah saw some small traces of that gazelle. She wriggled her hips a little more expansively and in a few moments he followed. He looked at her and they grinned at each other. He watched her and other dancers and soon realized there really wasn’t too much to learn. It was how you did it, not what what you did.

Sarah could see what was happening and started to raise the pitch again and soon he responded. He didn’t just copy her and they danced as a couple.

Others of the group joined them and the music was turned up louder. Caught in the atmosphere and following more people’s moves, Al’s gazelle emerged and Sarah let her inhibitions go. She swayed her hips and moved closer towards with her hands over her head, they looked into each other’s eyes and grinned again.

She knew she danced sensuously. It wasn’t something she did all the time, only with a partner who was good and interacted with her on the floor. She didn’t do it calculatedly but just as Al was responding to her, she was responding to him. Al looked at her and had never seen anything so sexy in his life. He picked up the atmosphere more, picked up the beat more and the gazelle in him was fully set free.

Sarah taught him how to jive and he was thrilled to the hold her hand and waist. His confidence increased and he was strong as he twirled her around the dance floor. The more strong and assertive he became, the more Sarah responded. She had her challenging smile and a twinkle in her eyes as she held out her arm for him to take. As she swirled, her dress flared showing her thighs and knickers.

“You take your eyes away from that Brad,” hissed Jeanie.

“It’s Al I’m looking at. He looks like some sort of matador. She’s done that in half an hour.”

The music changed and they switched dancing styles. Sarah was carried away, she loved dancing so much and she danced with her body writhing like a python. Al watched for a moment then joined her. She smiled her challenging smile, came closer, put her hands on his shoulders with her arms almost straight and they matched each other’s rhythm and movements. She changed from a sideways movement of her hips to thrusting, which Al matched, then she pulled away again. Al watched her coming to him with his confident grin and when she put her hands on his shoulders he put his on hers. They looked into each other’s eyes, their faces only half a meter apart as they bounced their hips towards each other.