Selene Parish is a hard-working lawyer in need of a vacation. A legal conference in Key West, Florida, seems like the perfect combination of work-turned-vacation. When she arrives and everything seems to go wrong, she starts to wonder if she's doomed to have no fun at all. Luckily, she's already met Gilberte Martin, a former artist now living in the Keys who is willing to make all of Selene's wishes come true.
Gilberte "Gil" Martin has never known where she would truly end up. A runaway at age sixteen and accidental cult movie maker at twenty-six, she's nearing her forties and still trying to understand how she came to live in the middle of a beautiful beach with amazing friends, a great boss, and a mentor queen down the street who showers her with love and affection. When she's invited to a tenth anniversary screening of her cult film, she figures the ghosts of her past might be over. She’s proven wrong almost immediately. The only thing that saves her trip is a casual run-in with another woman having an equally hard time with her travels.
When Selene's vacation ends and Gil gets her itch for art once more, their love story seems to be over. But is it? Will they be able to see a future together with both their pasts absolved? Or will their stories be condensed into souvenirs and films for later viewing?
She wore loose jeans slung over nice hips with a wide belt. A tank top revealed an ample chest, while her plaid shirt was open and loose around her shoulders as a way to fight off the October morning chill. Her hair was dark, pulled back in a ponytail, and seemed flattened from a baseball cap.
She exuded sexual energy like a flame.
And Selene felt her heat as if she was a moth.
Her face immediately went red, because she was going to throw up again.
"Whoa," the woman said as she did just that. She hesitated putting a hand on Selene and looked around the bustling airport. "Can I call someone for you?"
"I have a plane to catch."
"Really?" The woman smiled so wide it reached her eyes. "Usually people do this on the plane. Or after the plane ride. But you're not even on it yet. That doesn't exactly bode well."
"Thanks. You're very helpful."
"I am though, sort of." The woman gestured to the crowd of people coming and going. She extended her stance, as if to cover Selene. "I'm keeping the riff-raff away."
Selene removed her mouth from the bag and sealed it tight. She was still shaky on her feet, but she was sure that she was empty now. Truly. Hopefully. "And you're ...?"
"A bartender. So I see this sort of thing a lot. A pretty woman throws up and it's practically a mating call in my place."
"Ew. That's not exactly --"
"Kosher? No. You'll notice I didn't say it was my mating call. I just go into protector mode. So is there someone I need to kick out of the airport? Call you a cab? Or ... take you back home?"
Selene had to look away. The woman was so cunning, so audacious in her flirting. How did she even know Selene was gay? Toronto was huge. This airport was huge. There was no way she could know anything about her, yet she felt pegged almost immediately.
Then she wanted to be pegged.
"I'm fine," Selene said. She shook away her lingering nausea and her latent horniness. "I just need to catch my flight."
"And I should probably get a cab. It was lovely meeting you..." The woman extended her hand. She waited for a name, a gesture of kindness, something that Selene wanted to give but was still holding out on. "I'm Gil, by the way. So we're not strangers. And I work at the See-Shell bar in Key West, so you can check into me later if you're so concerned. That's See as in I see, not sea as in The Old Man and The Sea. It's a pun. Sort of."
"I see." Selene blinked. Gil laughed. Her smile lingered against her pale cheeks and her dark hair framed her heart-shaped face. Damn, girl. Selene extended her hand in a shake. "I'm Selene."
"Selene," she whispered as their handshake went on a beat too long. "Nice. Pretty name for a pretty girl."