Claudia Mackenzie and Martin Grey take a short break between ghost hunting jobs and head for an island in the Bahamas. They want to get into the spirit of the place—and the spirits want to get into them.
“We’re here, folks.”
Claudia came to with a start and realized she’d drifted off to sleep in Martin’s arms. The boatman’s comment accompanied a loud clatter as his shipmate stood in the bows ready to secure one of the jetty’s mooring cleats with a boat-hook.
“Wow.” She sat up and looked around at the teal-blue waters of the Bahamas. “I could swear we only just left Hope Town. An hour sure passed quickly.”
“Didn’t it just?” Martin unwrapped his arms from around her waist, his fingers brushing the undersides of her breasts in a slow, deliberate caress. He turned his attention to the island. “It looks nice, anyway.”
“Typical British understatement.” She grinned. “It’s beautiful.”
The boat had entered a small bay on the eastern side of Bronze Island, mooring alongside a short jetty of gray weathered wood. Palm trees fringed the beach, their dark leaves a strong contrast to the pale gold coral sand. Small waves lapped the shore, the water turning from teal-blue through aquamarine to a deep royal blue where it met the channel. Away to the west, she could make out the olive-green line of Eleuthera Island on the horizon.
Martin stood and stretched as the boatman passed the two suitcases ashore to his shipmate. “Do you think you could tolerate a few days here?”
“Just watch me.” She lowered her voice. “It sure does compensate for being fired.”
“I hoped it would. You can put all that crap behind you now.” He grinned. “You’re no longer a realtor—you’re a ghost hunter!”
Claudia laughed and hugged him. “Maybe, for now, we can just be beachcombers.”
The boatmen’s teeth shone white in their weathered faces as they grinned at them. Releasing Claudia, Martin leaped onto the jetty and then helped her across the narrow gap of water. “Welcome to Bronze Island, madam.”
“Thank you, kind sir.”
The senior boatman pointed to a path running between the palm trees. “Your cabin’s at the end of that path, folks. You’ll find it has adequate cell-phone reception if you need it. The fridge is fully stocked. We’ll be back in a couple of days. Enjoy yourselves.”
Martin shook the man’s hand. “Thanks.”
“No worries.” The boatman nodded to his shipmate, who released the boat-hook from the cleat.
The boatman opened the throttle, guiding the motorboat around and away from the shore in a long lazy loop. In next to no time the boat dwindled out to sea and rounded the point, disappearing from view. The sound of its engine faded into a profound silence.
Claudia put her arms around Martin’s neck and pulled him close to look deep into his eyes. “Alone, at last, Marty.”
“Oh yes.” He smiled. “We can do whatever we want.”
“I look forward to that,” she purred.
They picked up their suitcases and followed the sandy path up the slight rise and between the palm trees. It curved around to the left for a hundred yards or so before emerging into a cleared area where a solid-looking brick bungalow stood overlooking the sea.
Claudia eyed the wrap-around veranda, the ocher walls, green door and window shutters, and the pyramidal red tiled roof. Solar panels glinted on the south-facing roof, and a small wind turbine whirred on top of a mast located behind the little building. A climbing plant bearing bright crimson trumpet-shaped flowers with a white center had colonized one of the veranda posts. The air almost hummed with their rich perfume.
“Some cabin. I’d call it a ranch house.”
Martin walked up the short flight of wooden steps and nodded to where two hammocks swayed in the breeze, their ends secured to the veranda posts. “Two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen—and those for lounging in.”
“I’ve never fucked in a hammock.” Claudia pushed one and watched it sway.
Martin chuckled. “Nor have I.”
“Do you feel anything supernatural here?”
“Oh, there may be something about.”
Claudia eyed him. “You said that in an airy kind of way.”
Martin gave her a gentle smile. “There’s nothing hostile around, I can tell you that. Seriously, you and I can both relax and forget about the New York case for a while.”
“Well, okay then. I’ll hold you to that.”
Martin’s gentle smile took on an amorous guise. “You can hold me to anything you like.”
They entered the cabin, and as Martin set down the cases, Claudia stroked his arm. “I’ve something new I’d like to try out, lover.”
Claudia knew Martin as well as anybody, trusted him more than anyone in her life, yet she still felt a frisson of trepidation at suggesting they try something out of the ordinary.
His smile widened. “Oh yes?”
She lowered her voice to a purr. “Oh yes.”
They unpacked in the larger of the two bedrooms. A bright, airy room painted creamy white with a stunning view over the sea to Eleuthera. Claudia held up her bikini and studied it for a moment before tossing it aside. “We’re all alone out here for two days, Marty. Why the hell do we need to wear clothing?”
“Your logic is impeccable, my dear.” Martin took her into his arms and kissed her deeply, tongue flicking to meet hers. He slowly broke the kiss and stared at her with his roguish smile. “Why indeed?”
He stepped back and peeled his tee-shirt over his head in one swift, fluid motion. Claudia watched as his shorts followed, then his sandals. The huge bulge in the front of Martin’s briefs held her attention. Claudia’s heart began to beat faster as Martin tucked his thumbs into the waistband and lowered the briefs in a slow, steady motion.
“Oh, myyy! I’ll never tire of that, lover.”
Stepping up to Martin, Claudia stroked her fingers over his shaft, running her nails up and down its stiffening length. He held her by the shoulders and kissed her.
“You’re wearing too many clothes for one who wants to walk naked for three days,” he whispered.
“So I am.”