(continued from Serendipity 14.2)
After dinner, Joe and Jonnie came up with the great idea of building a bonfire on the beach. The moon was out and the air was balmly and calm – perfect conditions, the guys said.
They all sat and ate ice cream around the fire. Jess was laughing at something Pansy said when Jeremy caught her eye. She slowly licked ice cream from the spoon, her eyes steady while she looked at Jeremy. He remembered exactly what Jess did with her tongue and mouth that morning – and she knew that he was thinking about it too.
“So, Jer, how are you going to do it?” Jeremy suddenly heard Jonnie ask.
“Uh, excuse me?” he asked in return, warmth spreading on his face.
“The long distance thing – you know, Houston and New York?” Jonnie explained.
Jeremy cleared his throat. “Oh… we’ll try to squeeze in some travel time both ways or meet halfway, I guess,” he answered.
As he talked with Jonnie, Jess watched him from across the bonfire.
“Jess, I’m going for a swim,” Karin whispered.
“Be careful,” she told her friend.
“Always,” Karin smiled.
She had her swimsuit underneath the shorts and blouse, so it was just a matter of undressing. She left her towel, shorts and blouse on a soft pile on the sand.
Karin needed some time alone – to think.
She sighed as the water lapped against her body – it wasn’t cold at all – and she waded until her chest was covered. She looked up at the stars, visible even with the moon shining brightly. As she looked up at the sky, she marvelled at how the moon and stars looked the same, no matter where in the world she stood. They were a constant, she decided. What is constant gave her comfort, like family.
I’ll be home soon, Karin thought.
Landry noticed Karin’s retreat while he talked with Jeremy and Jared. He only had to look at them and they knew he needed to go. He followed Karin discretely, watched her undress in the moonlight and walk quietly to the surf.
He noticed everything about her tonight – how sad her eyes were, even while she laughed at Jonnie’s jokes, how she avoided eye contact with Landry and how she had not uttered a word with him since they first saw each other.
Did I put that sorrow in her eyes? Landry thought. He didn’t want to. All he wanted was Karin.
When Karin took a dive and did not quickly re-surface, Landry felt fear. He ran to the water and was already waist deep in when Karin popped up a few meters away.
Karin spotted Landry; she stood motionless as he came closer.
“You’re okay,” he breathed a sigh of relief.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” she told him.
“You disappeared for a while and I thought…” he trailed off.
Karin was quiet. He was worried.
“Thanks for the concern,” she told him.
How diplomatic, Landry thought, hurt bubbled up in him.
“It’s not just concern,” he said, unable to hide his feelings. “Damn it, I love you.”
Karin was quiet for a moment. No, he did not mean that. They barely knew each other. Too much, too soon… she shook her head.
“No,” she told him.
“Yes. Don’t fight it, Karin,” he argued as he took her face in his hands. “Don’t fight us,” he whispered as he kissed her – softly and gently, with a bit of a tremble.
Karin’s feelings – all that she’d tried to push away – came rushing back.
“Damn you, Landry,” she said in frustration.
“I love you. I will keep on saying that until you accept it,” Landry repeated. He felt confident that he was getting through. “I’m sorry if I made you angry today. I was hurting. God, I missed you so much,” he said as ran his hands down her back.
Karin buried her face in his chest, still unable to say anything.
“I realize now that you’ve been hurting as well,” Landry whispered.
“I didn’t miss you at all,” Karin said in one last attempt at defiance.
“Liar,” Landry chided. “Of course, you missed me. You can’t live without me.”
Landry lifted her face against the moonlight. He wanted to see her eyes.
“Tell me you don’t love me,” he challenged.
Karin bit her lip, “I don’t…” Landry interrupted her with a deep kiss. When Karin sighed, he pulled back.
“Please tell me you love me,” he begged his voice hoarse. Karin felt her heart skip faster at his words.
“I love you, Landry,” she whispered.
They stood in the moonlight, lips locked and unable to let the other go.
Landry sighed, “If I don’t bring you back soon, they’ll send a search party.”
“I think they have an idea of what’s going on,” Karin told him.
Landry chuckled, “God, I hope not, ‘cause I want to have many things going on with you tonight and they’re not meant for others to know.”
Karin laughed. She knew exactly what he meant.
When they re-joined the others, their linked hands didn’t go unnoticed.
“Will you look at that,” Pansy whispered as she nudged Jess in the arm. Jess looked at Karin’s smile; Landry had the same quiet smile on his lips.
She still wasn’t sure what to make of their relationship. Unlike Jeremy and Jess who have known each other since they were practically babies, Karin and Landry have only known each other for less than five months.
But if it makes her happy, Jess accepted.
They sat beside each other by the fire. Landry slung his arm over Karin’s shoulders to warm her up.
“Any plans for the off-season, Landry?” Jared asked.
“Well, I’ve decided to travel to Sweden,” he answered and instantly felt Karin stiffen beside him.
Everyone’s eyes were suddenly on Karin and Landry. Jess looked shocked and Pansy was slack-jawed at the news. Jeremy was trying not to laugh – this was so Landry.
“What’s in Sweden?” Jonnie asked no one in particular.
“Hockey players,” Joe deadpanned, but no one laughed.
“I’m from Sweden,” Karin told the younger men. “This is news to me,” she told Landry.
“I just decided,” he replied with a huge smile on his face.
“We can talk about this later,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Okay,” Landry replied.
Their friends didn’t know what to say.
“Well…” Jared was trying to break the awkwardness, “if I don’t see you before you leave, I hope you have a great trip.”
“Thanks, man,” Landry told him. Karin was irritated; he could feel her body against his. He wasn’t worried at all. In fact, her reaction just gave him a bigger reason to go through with it.
As the conversation and the bonfire died down, people slowly left to tuck in for the night.
“Wanna join me for a walk?” Landry asked Karin.
“Sure. What about you guys?” she asked Jeremy and Jess.
Jeremy and Jess looked at each other, smiled and said no.
On their way down to the beach, Landry suddenly said, “Okay, I really have to ask. Do you think Jess and Jeremy have…?”
“Yes, they have,” Karin answered without hesitation. “And practically everyone in that house knows – well, maybe not Joe and Jonnie.”
“Really?” was Landry’s comment. “’Bout damned time, I guess,” he laughed.
It looked like they were the only ones out. The moon shone bright and illuminated the shore and water. Karin thought about what Landry said earlier that evening.
“Landry,” she said with a bit of exasperation in her voice. “Can we talk about us instead?”
“Okay, I know I surprised you about that trip to Sweden,” he replied as he lifted her hands to his lips.
“Floored is more like it,” Karin said as she tried to ignore how sweet his gesture was. “You can’t just decide to travel with me like that.”
“Why not?” Landry argued, “I have nothing on my calendar until the start of the season. I want to see Sweden – someone told me it would be awesome to experience midnight sun – and I’d be with you.”
Karin couldn’t argue with the last part, unfortunately.
“I get to meet your parents, right?” he asked.
“You want to?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Landry replied. “In fact, why don’t you stay with me in LA for a couple of days – to meet mine?”
Whoa, Karin thought. Wait a damned minute.
Her silence was disconcerting. “If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea, it’s okay,” he assured her. “I’ve just been talking about you a lot that my parents have been asking when they’d meet you, specially Celena,” Landry gushed out.
Karin felt a warmth spread in her heart at Landry’s words. It was hard not to adore him right now.
Carpe diem, Karin, a voice told her.
“Okay,” she finally said. “I had been planning to stay in Palo Alto for a couple of days anyway.”
Landry lifted her in joy and swung her around. When he kissed her, she felt giddy.
“I’ve never done it in the ocean – have you?” she murmured against his ear.
Landry put her down, once again amazed at how she can throw him for a loop.
Karin was already lifting her shirt over her head. When she stood in her bikini, she tilted her head. Landry took his shirt off. When Karin tugged at the waistband of his surfer shorts, he reached for the knots on Karin’s back to release her bikini top. She shuddered when Landry’s fingers found the waist band of her bikini bottom and pushed it downwards.
Their clothes lay in a heap on the sand.
“You look like a water nymph,” Landry whispered as he ran his hands from her neck to her back and loved how the moonlight shone on her body. “You enchant me.”
Karin reached up to give him a soft kiss – full of tenderness and promise.
She gave a shriek when Landry suddenly lifted her in his arms. He carried her over the water.
“Landry?” she protested – having a good idea of what he was planning to do.
He chuckled and said, “I love you, remember that,” just before he threw her into the water.
Karin came up sputtering from a meter away, the water barely covered her breasts. She stayed put – wanted him to come to her. Oh, she was planning payback for that move.
Landry was chuckling. “Are you okay? You’re not mad at me, are you?” he asked as he moved towards her.
Karin shook her head; Landry reached out for her. Her slippery body swam by his and Landry could only grasp the curve of her hip – only to have it taken away.
“Playing hard to get?” he asked.
Karin smiled, “I don’t play games… unless I win,” she teased. She swam quickly past him again, this time brushing her hands downwards – Landry felt an instant tightening on his lower body.
“Come here, my mermaid,” he groaned. He took advantage of his height to catch her. Karin felt a pair of hands grip her waist. He pulled her up against him – his grip firm but caressing.
Karin groaned and moved her hips to tease him; Landry gasped at the friction of skin against skin.
She ran her fingers through his hair as she kissed him – and tasted every millimeter of Landry’s lips.
He lifted Karin up and felt her wind her legs around his waist. The position pushed her upper body upwards, bringing them eye to eye. She sucked at Landry’s neck, tickling him. Karin pushed herself backwards without releasing the grip her legs had around his waist. The water’s buoyancy supported her weight and made her float. Karin could feel the pressure of Landry’s arousal against her pelvis; she could already feel the heat from within.
Landry gazed at Karin’s prone form – her head tilted towards the moon, her arms spread to the side. He touched her breasts that were half underwater; his thumbs grazed the pert aureoles of her nipples that stuck above it. Karin rotated her hips in response- and rubbed against Landry’s thigh. When his hands trailed downwards towards her abdomen, she sucked a breath in. He leaned down to kiss her neck, causing more pressure between their pelvic areas. Karin groaned from frustration. When Landry took her against him, she raised herself in his arms as Landry’s fingers found her core – to guide himself in – all of him in her.
Karin moaned against Landry’s neck. She held his gaze as she moved up and down on him. Landry rubbed her butt as he supported her. She kept her rhythm and rotated her hips as she continued to ride him.
“Say you’re mine,” she murmured against his lips.
“All of me,” he moaned, as he felt her tighten around him.
When Karin gasped in release, Landry let go.
They held each other for a while – only acutely aware of where they were.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to walk,” he whispered as he kissed Karin softly.
“Neither can I,” she chuckled.
They slowly made their way back to the shore – found their clothes and walked to the beach house.
The house was quiet.
“Where’s your room?” Landry asked Karin, but she was already pulling him towards it.
He pushed her against the door as soon as the door closed behind them.
“I need a bath,” he murmured against her neck. “But my bag is next door.”
“No it’s not,” Karin giggled. “Is that yours?” she pointed at something on the floor.
Someone had indeed moved Landry’s bag there.
“Do you feel like more than one person in this house came up with that brilliant move?” Landry wondered.
“I don’t care.” Karin answered. “I need a bath too.”
“Awesome,” he laughed, as he carried her to the bathroom. “I scrub your back and you scrub mine.”
They cuddled tight that night – finally getting the peaceful sleep that had eluded them for a while.