Book: Prisms- Isle de Baraja.

Series: Light, Water, Muses.

Rating: PG-13 to R, possibly tilting a bit to NC17 late in the tale.

Category: A sequel of sorts to Broadway and a corner of LWM that I've been wanting to explore for a long time.

Pairings: Dace and her various playmates as well as a generous sampling of groupings we should all know well by now!

General Disclaimer: This site contains stories between mature, consenting adult females. All characters are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. All TV show disclaimers are in earlier parts of this saga.

Spoilers: Outside of Broadway, there is nothing specific, except for the several characters from earlier sections of Light, Water and Muses, and aspects of their characters and backgrounds that were established there.

Summary: A working vacation does wonders for the extended family of friends.

Part 5

++ Dace ++

"I don't know if I can do this," Lee whines and I can't help but grin gently.

"You know this is the only way off, songbird. And you have Dugan at the ropes this time, so it'll go even smoother."

"That's right!" The first mate thunders in his happy voice and makes Lee squeak in surprise by wrapping those massive hands around her hips and bodily lifting her up to step into the yawl. With my steadying hands cradling hers, I get my pet settled and kiss her crown as Dugan joins us.

Quickly, the yawl reverses her journey, lowered gently to the small waves below to await those that will ride with us. "Hey Sunshine," I purr at Lee, who eagerly climbs into my lap when I sit down and gesture that she's welcome to do so. "Ready for solid ground again, hmm?"

"God yes," she groans and I chuckle warmly and cuddle her close.

Rose and my twins are delivered via the crane along with Rachel while Catherine and Alex gamely climb down. We're joined by the other House leaders and Dugan starts up the outboard to putter us across the couple hundred feet to the big dock.

In the few minutes I have, I look around and take in the lush island. Despite our human presence, the wild growth of the place is very much evident everywhere the eye falls. Greenery spills down the cliffs that make up half of the harbor and towers over even the fifty-foot tall main building that crouches far above the pier.

"Mama?" Katie suddenly pipes up from where she's nestled into my side and I nose aside Lee's rich hair to smile at my child.


"Can we come out in this little boat later? This is pretty."

"Oh, I bet if we ask nice, the captain and Dugan here could arrange that. There might even be fish to catch!"

While the girls enthuse over that last idea, I wave at the small crowd on the dock as we draw close. Covering Lee's ear, I shout up, "hey Boxer! You look like you just rolled out of bed!" She and Cindy share sweetly embarrassed glances and I'm glad to see my old partner finally got a clue.

There are a couple of impeccably dressed employees awaiting us at the small floating dock. They quickly tie off the yawl and assist each of us in disembarking with a smile and a hello.

++ Lee ++

I'm both amused and annoyed with myself, clinging to Dace like she's a lifeline. Rather than showing any annoyance at me, the remarkable woman has been attentive and very sweet. After two weeks of Jaye's loving hovering, it's a good change for me. I've even started humming again, the broken bone healed enough for that, even as I'm still desperate to sing again. At this point, I'll take what I can get.

While she talks and jokes with the people on the taller deck, her hands are firm and stable on my hips while we ascend the ramp. The touch makes me feel very safe on the moving surface, the dynamic movement of the water translating through the ramp's structure. And, at the top, back on firm footing, she uses her own mass to protect me while she enthusiastically greets her friends and coworkers. It makes me feel both included and apart. This is very much like my real life, at least while at work.

The tall brunette that dominates Dace's attention recognizes me, I can tell by her quizzical expression. It leaves me once again in that strange head-space that popularity forces on me. Numerous total strangers knowing who you are is tremendously odd.

Distracted as I am, Dace's attention refocused on me takes a long moment to register.

"Starling?" The familiar voice is amused, colored with concern and mild aggravation. "You okay?" Yawning in her face was probably not the answer she was looking for and I blush furiously in embarrassment. Both the tall brunette and her smaller redheaded companion grin kindly as Dace introduces them. Then my tall lover tilts my chin up with a gentle finger and nuzzles me, her mouth brushing mine. "You didn't get decent sleep last night; I can see it in your eyes. Cindy will take you to my room to get in a nap." When I start to object, she shushes me. "You're here to recuperate as much as anything, sweet girl. Humor me, okay? I'd love to join you, but I think I have a few hours of business before that can happen."

Knowing I'm beat, I sigh, "yes Daddy," and pout a bit until I get a real, but admittedly brief, kiss. Then I turn to the smiling redhead, who accepts my small bag from Dace. "I guess I'm all yours now."

"I'll take good care of you," Cindy chortles happily, linking arms with me on the opposite side of where Dace has been hovering over my injury. "So, it's either your side or your back, right?" ignoring my startled glance, Cindy continues on her ramble. "It wasn't just Dace that gave it away, but the way your body moves. Though, you're in great shape, so I bet the injury is worse than it appears to be. So what happened? Did you leap away from an incoming car with superpower agility?" My shake of the head makes her smile deepen. "No? Wrestled an alligator? Darn, I thought that might have been the one. Broke up an international spy ring?"

Chuckling, I keep her guessing every time I shake my head. I think I like this girl.

++ Jesse ++

Endless times over the years, this speck on the map had seemed like one gigantic waste of time and money. Really, what on earth were a bunch of business savvy perverts going to do with a geographically challenged rocky jungle island in the Bahamas?

The end result is mind-boggling.

Even just looking at the main building, coined 'The Chevron' for its shape, is impressive. A sprawling and elegant central foyer and the like that is bigger than a large house, is flanks by a pair of massive wings that seem to hug the edge of the cliff that towers over the only real beach in the place. In those wings is a grand variety of rooms that rival any classy hotel on the planet.

To the east, just underneath East Peak, is 'The O', a more private hotel, smaller than the Chevron, but with a distinctive central courtyard that is a lush oasis even in this heady place. We even toured one of the dozen yurt scattered about the island and we're all quite pleased. They are elegant and luxurious while still being in touch with their wild surroundings.

"I'm glad this is done," I muse mostly to myself, but get a pair of grins from Dace and her dark counterpart whose name I keep blanking on. "I have to say that I was a bit… skeptical over the years."

"Oh be honest, sir," Dace teases. "You thought this was insane. Luckily, the Red Queen doesn't give up easily." The bittersweet expression that flits over her expressive face doesn't last long. Over the years, that pain has become more of a scar than a wound.

With Bubba at his place by my side, I'm rambling along the rough-looking concrete track that snakes from one end of the main island to the other. The east side of the island is long and sloping, unlike the dramatic cliffs of the west-facing sides. It's blatantly obvious how wind and water has shaped this place. There is a second dock near the employee's bunkhouse, both of them more utilitarian.

"What is this strange-looking road made of?" Bubba asks suddenly and Dace's natural smile returns.

"It goes with the keep it as close to nature theme of the place. It's porous concrete, so the rainfall seeps through and prevents erosion. The staff just has to pick little weeds out of it occasionally." The rest of us chuckle at the joke as she gets animated in her descriptions, gesturing about. "The designers had to keep this place reasonably wild not just for aesthetics, but because disrupting this teeny little ecosystem would wreck the whole place. And all power and sewage and water and all the sundries had to be taken care of onsite with few exceptions. Running a garbage scow out of here twice a week is unacceptable, as is dumping masses of dirty water into the ocean. So there's a discrete mini treatment plant built in beneath the Chevron that services the O too. Both the Bunkhouse and Building D have septic fields. Fortunately, it's highly unlikely that there will ever be more than a couple hundred people at any given time here."

"Well, let's hope so," I cringe dramatically and relish the chuckling.

++ Michael ++

"Come on, Salix," I tease my fellow King of cards, turning around so that I'm jogging backwards like a showoff. A baleful glower makes me laugh, but she suddenly picks the pace up, forcing me to turn and play catch up. It's more of a dash to catch up to the others than a leisurely jog, but we don't have that far to go. But it's worth it to have goaded Salix into the brief competition to watch her run in those chunky fetish boots. In silent apology, I let her win easily so that she can take the respected right hand spot at Silverback's side.

The rest of the walk past the Bunkhouse and back towards the west is filled with casual chatting. It's the north end that is our true destination, though we take at least a cursory glance at everything since that's technically why we're here.

There's a roundabout at the end of the road with two of the little utility vehicles parked neatly at the smallest of the island's permanent buildings. It's also the only the single-story structure, the point of its 'L' shape pointed to the north.

"So, the Gatehouse here also doubles as the electronics and security nerve center," Dace explains as we all file into the space. It's a smartly furnished lobby with a great bank of windows to the west that look over one of the more striking features of the island. "The special clients will check in here and go through any necessary security checkpoints. The computers are already slaved into the card system." Grinning, she whips out her platinum Suits' ID card and passes it over the familiar scanner. The rest of us behave and do the same, gratified that the pair of employees pay close attention as we do so. It's good practice.

When the great glass wall whooshes open seemingly of its own will, the roar of the surf rushes over us. Between the two pieces of the island is a chasm, some eighty feet at its narrowest point, where the restless sea churns nightmarishly amidst the jagged rocks. Even when the tide is low, the rocky exposed bed is completely inaccessible. On the opposite side of that is the smaller part of the island, a towering pillar of stone without a flat surface anywhere, sloping up into the point of North Peak. At the foot of the peak, clearly visible from the deck where we stand, is the final building. Only a seemingly fragile wooden footbridge connects the two islands.

"Pictures have not done this justice," I speak up and several of the others nod in agreement. Unable to resist, I step onto the bridge, feeling the faint vibration of my movement echo through the entire structure. "At least it's bigger than it appears from a distance!"

Truthfully, the bridge is wide enough that two of the little utility vehicles could pass each other. The deck boards aren't actually wood, but appear to be that plastic and sawdust material that needs little maintenance. As I stride out towards the smaller island, the land abruptly drops away, truly revealing the terrifying beauty of the rocky chasm below.

"The rocks are about one hundred twenty to one hundred forty feet below," Dace calls over the noise of the ocean. "The bridge is one hundred seventy feet long and fifteen feet wide and a hell of a lot sturdier than it looks. It's effectively a bunch of heavy-duty cables strung back and forth with these deck boards laid across it. Both ends are sunk into the concrete foundations of the buildings on either end, which are sunk into the rocks. So, yeah, even the hurricanes shouldn't hurt this thing."

On the far end of the gently moving bridge is the real showstopper of Isle de Baraja.

++ KC ++

All those years ago when I started up this whole impossible business with my pals and we became the Four Suits, things like this were a distant fantasy. A dangerous and romantic sail aboard a masted sailing ship, a rocky and isolated jungle island…

And this building.

This is a microcosm of sorts of the success of our venture. As we leave the bridge, there is yet another deck of the same materials, large enough to park several full-sized vehicles and trimmed in ornate railings and stiles. A close glance shows the symbols of our Houses wrought in the metal. That same theme draws the eye to the wall of black glass, tastefully trimmed in red. Soaring overhead, the building itself reveals one of the more striking things about it. The northwest side that faces the water is typically flat, with glass and balconies. But the opposite side gradually slopes to the rocks as though the whole thing were inflated from the very earth and then chopped in half. North Peak looms over the thing, the dark stone contrast to the white of the painted building.

"Very nice," I smile at the effect and the strange feeling of safety provided by the lines of Building D.

With a flourish, Dace steps up and draws open the door, bowing us within. The lobby is perfect, sleek, modern lines in our colors of black and red, warmed with rich woods, the lighting discrete and calm. A sprawling coat check stands ready and neat to the right and bathroom doors to the left.

Stepping over to an honest-to-god 'you are here' signboard mounted and well-lit in the wall, Dace takes up her tourguide role again. "This level is mostly public type areas, an open-forum playroom, a cafeteria, a theater and three conference rooms. The basement level is half back of house and half old-school dungeons. The two floors above are playrooms of every size and theme, as well as hotel rooms."

Scanning the names of the themed rooms, I match the names up to the plans we've all been staring at for decades now. They cover the entire spectrum from looking like a child's room scaled to adults, to a reed hut in a primitive jungle, to jails to interrogation rooms, to sleazy motels.

Jesse rubs his hands together with glee, chortling, "it's like a kinky Disneyland!"

Laughing, the rest of us disperse out into Building D to explore.

++ Ingle ++

In my many centuries and millenniums of living, I have seen much. Being immortal does have some benefits. This island is a particularly spectacular speck of our world, a curved spur of mountain peak thrust above the eternally restless ocean. I appreciate the danger and consistency of the endless waters. Not to mention the simple feel of warm sunshine and the dry sand between my toes.

Falling in with these people really was a stroke of fortune that I am thankful for over and over again; particularly now that so many of them know the truth about me. This is a whole different feeling of freedom, not having to hide my true nature.

An unexpected noise in one of the cabanas anchored into the base of the cliff catches my attention over the sound of the waves. Coughing… and a wounded cry of pain. Intrigued and concerned, I glance around to see Cindy loitering about with some of the new arrivals from the ship, but no one too close by. So I follow my ears and the tingle across my magics to the cabana.

The woman sprawled out in the bed within the flimsy drapes of white fabric is an enticing tableau that gets a faint smile. One doesn't need my gifts to see that she's in pain, one hand resting protectively over her ribs. I flinch guiltily when she abruptly awakens, alarmed at my presence. "Sorry, sorry," I quickly apologize. "I heard you cry out and was concerned. My name is Ingle; I'm a friend of the Suits."

Groaning expressively, the woman nods briefly at me, but is obviously more concerned with the pain in her side. "Lee," is all she manages to grind out between her teeth. "God, why is this so fucking bad today?"

"There's a storm system not too far away. You might be reacting to pressure changes."

"Oh great," she growls. "That's all I need, a weather-wise ache."

Well, she's obviously a friend of friend or she wouldn't be here on this particular outing. So, this is a chance to repay something to the Suits. Stepping in, I unceremoniously plop my weight onto the bed and raise a hand to stave off her alarm. "Let me try something. It won't hurt, I promise."

Glaring halfheartedly at me, Lee nonetheless allows me to place both hands on her side, one near her armpit, the other just above her hip. Casting out with my crippled magics, I trace the faint threads of the Patterns that make up the whole of her, seeing the damage therein. I can draw on the power of the ocean and this spur of mountain to cover what I'm about to do. There is danger in manipulating magic in this world, in this time. Danger is attracted to the power I wield and I must be careful. Not to mention that even simple tasks are hard as hell.

But I can do this.

++ Lee ++

Blurry with hurt, I make no effort to defend myself against this stranger. It's not like me to do so, but how the hell would she be here if she wasn't okay? It's not like anyone can just drop in on this place. No to mention that there's something about her that demands trust and I'm just too sore and tired to resist. All I've noticed is that she's unusually tall, even more than the towering Karen, has dark blonde hair, colorless, pale grey eyes and androgynous good looks. And now I notice that her hands are calming and warm as they rest against my side, cradling the break between them.

Sleepy heat washes over me, like slipping into a relaxing hot bath or stepping into sunshine after being cold. Ingle is talking softly and I sort of follow along. "I run a bar in New York and I know Olivia and Jo from ages back when they were green rookies. More recently they introduced me to Michael and Gabe and the others."

"I'm from New York," I murmur sleepily and relax further under the influence of the strange and welcome heat from her hands.

"Well, then you'll have to come visit; though you'd be quite the change from my usual clientele, pretty girl."

There's no mistaking the smile in her deep voice and I query, "why's that?"

"Oh, you'll have to see the place to understand. I dressed it up to look like something out of a Dungeons and Dragons game. I collect odd things and it seemed like fun setting. Though I do get a pretty eclectic clientele after all these years."

The snerk of amusement isn't feigned. "A D&D bar? I've had acting teachers that would get a kick out of that."

"Ah, see? Now you've gone and told me something about yourself. What's your poison then? Theater, movies, TV?"

"Yes," I yawn, drugged by the heat and the pain draining out of my body. "Whatever the hell you're doing, you have about a million years to stop."

Her rolling chuckle reminds me of Dace and that comparison eases me further towards inevitable sleep.

++ Dace ++

Exhausted but exhilarated, I excuse myself from the others and stride along the edge of the cliff that the Chevron perches atop. The view is incredible, the harbor spread out with the Major Arcana bobbing placidly at the anchor buoy, surrounded by lush green and towering peaks. Everyone's really happy at how the island has come together and we haven't even had any events yet!

"Hey Dace?" Boxer's voice draws my attention from the view and I'm surprised at the towering figure at my pal's side. "I forgot to mention the stowaway."

A smile quirks Ingle's well-formed mouth at the comment and she looks fondly down at Boxer. "I had to come see what the big deal was about your little jungle hideaway here."

After a moment, I narrow my eyes at the tall woman, more playful than annoyed. "You snuck onto the island."

"I did."

"Aw dang," I drawl and haul myself upright. "So, how'd we do?"

"Quite well, actually. There are a few holes in the physical security I noted in my report and Autumn picked up on my presence pretty quickly. Some other trip, I'll test the security without your super-soldiers on guard." Abruptly, Ingle's smile goes playful and not a little suggestive. "I ran into your cute little playmate down on the beach. Nice girl, pretty eyes."

Annoyed, I make a mental note to spank the hell out of Cindy for taking Lee down there while the poor thing is feeling fragile.

"Don't scowl, Leonacouer," I'm gently berated by the impossible elder in our midst. "No harm came to the minx. In fact, she's feeling much better now. I took her up to your rooms if you'd like go check on her."

There's something in the deep, smooth voice that grabs my libido and tugs it awake. Her suggestive and kind smile reinforces that. And, while Boxer doesn't completely get all of this, she's gamely trying to keep up, grinning along.

"Well, far be it for me to keep that sweet thing waiting. See you two around!"

Their combined chuckles drift through the gathering dark of evening as I trot to the Chevron with eager anticipation.

++ Lee ++

I'm positively giddy, high as a kite on how fucking good I feel! Whatever the hell the mysterious Ingle did to me, I haven't felt this fabulous since breaking my damn rib.

Humming happily, ecstatic to be able to make music once more, I luxuriate in the wonderful, fluffy towels after a long, hot shower. Still drying off, I pad silently across the tightly woven, natural wool carpet to the balcony, which has been designed with flowing, gauzy curtains at the sides for privacy. With a few mental reminders, I'm able to ignore my nakedness and bask in the warm breeze gently rippling the thin curtains.

"God, I have to retire here in the winters," I giggle to myself as I dance over to the wooden patio furniture and their thickly padded covers that turn out to be cotton canvas. Tossing down the towel, I stretch out on the lounger and just lie still for a long moment, eyes closed.

Gradually, my hand wanders over to my still-discolored side, gently prodding at the long curves of rib bones that I have been unable to touch for so long. There is tenderness, enough to make me hiss several times, but I carefully rub every bone and the soft strips between. Every breath is monitored as it whisks in and out of my throat and lungs.

I'm nearly done relearning my body when the main door clicks and opens.

Adrenaline spikes through me; fear at my nakedness being discovered, of not knowing who is there and excitement at the thought of who it must be. It takes a real effort to remain still and relaxed on the lounge chair, listening for the small sounds of someone moving in the rooms carrying over the breeze.

My patience is rewarded with the steady thump of the bootheels I remember clearly and my hard swallow of anticipation translates right down to the flood of hot wet between my legs. For what seems like a long time, there is only silence where I swear I can feel the weight of her gaze over my nakedness.

Then she makes that purring sound and I'm even wetter.

Some primitive instinct keeps my eyes closed, drinking in the sounds and smells and sensations surrounding me, inside and out. With a faint rustle of sound, my predator moves and I twitch in surprise at the faint tickle of breath on my shin. The breath becomes a stream of air, cool in the jungle warmth and I stifle a groan. The soft breath and the streams of air paint my calves, knees, thigh, belly, breasts. It has become difficult to breathe steadily, my entire nervous system tuned to this primitive seduction and the heated weight of her body suspended over mine.

When the gold hair tickles my chin and jaw as Dace leans in to press her mouth to my sternum, I moan evocatively, completely in her thrall.

++ Dace ++

Finding Lee naked and peacefully relaxed on the porch is a delightful treat. Scenting the new, sweet smell of her changed body is at least as good. Fascinated by the change, I cannot resist the siren song of her, bending to scent at her skin. My animal instinct produces a soft sound of surrender, the green eyes deliberate remaining closed. Far be it for me to resist such an eloquent, unconscious reaction to this usual touch! So I breathe my way over her luscious body, both in reassurance and seduction.

Two weeks of pain and bed rest have not changed her stature, the smooth muscles beneath her softness shifting and flexing in response to my stimuli. There appears to be no real pain in her torso, despite the ugly bruising that has yet to fade much.

The soft, sensual sounds deep in Lee's body escape in a long, soft moan as I lean in to press my mouth to her breastbone, needing to finally touch her skin. Her chin subtly rubs against my crown and I smile.

"Come with me," I speak softly and carefully stand from my uncomfortable crouch over her much smaller body. Nodding shakily, Lee blinks her eyes open and carefully stands and watches me surreptitiously. Satisfied that she is moving pretty damn normally, I make a mental note to thank Ingle profusely when I see her later.

One hand in the small of Lee's back gets her moving. The master bedroom is a sumptuous but elegantly simple affair of dark woods and shades of pale. Leaving Lee standing beside the enormous bed with her back to me, I take a moment to tie a pillowcase around the door handle for privacy.

"Pretty bird," I purr and lean back against the door to admire her for a moment. She is a beautiful woman in all ways. The trim, curvy figure, the sparkling green eyes as she grins coyly over her shoulder, her humor and intelligence. A self-proclaimed lover of smart women, one of Karen's best legacies on my soul, I have no problem adoring this new one. "Will you sing for me?"

Before she can ask what I want, I stride over to tuck my larger body to her back, one hand on her belly, my forearm cradling her purpled ribs, my other hand holding hers in the classic dancing pose. Swaying my hips, I set the beat, her well-trained and well-loved voice picking up the tempo as her body moves with mine.

Spinning her carefully away from me, I release her to stand there with a wide grin while I quickly toe off my boots to drop my height down to a more manageable level and quickly reel her back into my body. Face to face with this woman, I find myself smiling and fighting the urge to hum along.

++ Lee ++

Dace is a sexy creature; there is no doubt of that. She can be overbearing and gentle by turns, but I think this sweetly playful lover is the facet that is most enticing. Unaccountably shy from her adoring smile, I tuck my body close to hers and tuck my head under her chin.

"Thank you for bringing me here," I murmur against her throat and revel in the soft chuckle.

"My pleasure. Now," her voice is suddenly businesslike as she holds me at arm's length to study me closely. "Happy to be able to sing again?"

"Oh yes," I grin wildly.

"Excellent. Though I don't think you're here just to impress with those golden pipes of yours, hmmm?"

Giggling at the playful waggle of golden eyebrows and the cartoon leer, I shake my head. In an instant, the playful Dace goes dark and intense, her blue eyes shading gold, expression hungry and I once more find myself wildly aroused.

"I'm going to kiss you now," she tells me solemnly and I nod faintly, dying for it. Slinky as the cat she so closely resembles, Dace steps in close, her body burning even hotter against my nakedness and ducks down to breathe sweetly over my face. Eyes hooded, I see only shapes and shadows as I wait for the touch of her mouth on mine.

It's no shock that she makes me wait, brushing her silky cheeks against mine, her mouth teasing my skin. The seduction appeals to my vanity and passivity, readying me further for her touch and taste.

When she does finally kiss me, it's a feather brush I resist chasing, only a small, supplicating sound making her chuckle once more. Then, the playing is over, her lips and tongue making me hers once more, reminding me of our games that I have never forgotten.

Forgetting any potential rules or repercussions as my upper brain shuts down in the sensual onslaught, I wrap my arms around her neck and really lose myself in this proper hello. By the time she lets me up for air, I'm ready to shove her onto the bed and ravage her.

++ Dace ++

Not really being in the mood to play Daddy, I'm happy to just kiss Lee until she starts getting urgent, nipping at my mouth and clinging harder to my body. Chortling in amused delight, I shift abruptly to sweep her into my arms and head for the bed. "Well then, pussycat, shall we take this to the bed?"

Giggling girlishly, Lee presses butterfly kisses all over my face as I kneel on the bed and gently lay her down among the soft bedding. With those strong, slender arms wrapped around my neck, I'm trapped and carefully sink onto her body. Some part of me had intended on this being more in character as her bossy playmate, but the mood has shifted and she is an equal lover now.

We kiss some more, bringing the heat up to a slow boil with wandering hands. As I did earlier with my sense of smell, I trace the terrain of her body, barely dusting over the bruises. "I can't believe that you're not reacting to that," I marvel and she laughs happily.

"We need to do something nice for that Ingle. I feel terrific!"

"I agree."

As my caresses get her hotter and wetter, while still loving and playful, I bask in bringing this damaged woman pleasure, cumulating in the jungle heat between her thighs. Moaning and clinging, Lee rocks her hips against my teasing hand as I feel her up, quickly going squeaky and breathless as orgasm washes over her frame.

"Livewire," I tease affectionately and prop myself on an elbow to watch her and stroke her warmed skin.

"Enforced celibacy sucks," she hums and carefully stretches like a cat, arms over her head. "My job wreaks enough damn havoc on my love life, y'know?"

"I remember," I commiserate, feeling the bittersweet tug of my past. But Lee will have none of it, abruptly grabbing me to expertly roll me until she's straddling my hips. Cackling, she preens arrogantly at her accomplishment before wrestling with the leather vest I'm wearing, the gift from her back during our romp in New York.

My laughter is not at all feigned.

++ Ingle ++


Through abilities this modern has all but forgotten, I am aware of my surroundings in ways that outdo even the Sentinels. Every action and reaction makes a ripple that I can feel, like a spider in her web. From the clouds in the sky to the fish in the sea, to the silent patter of nimble female feet stalking me.

"Boo," I drawl wryly and peer over the edge of my sunglasses to see Lee pout prettily.

"Aw, I thought I had you!"

Chortling deep in my throat in response to her kittenish huff, I sit up and pull my feet from the ottoman to give her my full attention. Despite the warning of her flirtation personality, I'm still mildly taken aback when the pretty thing drapes herself into my lap to give me a full-bodied squeeze.

"Thank you so much," she whispers softly near my ear and I slowly return the hug. "Being able to sing again has saved my sanity."

Yes, little phases me after all these impossibly long centuries of existence, but I can certainly still be delighted.

Dace walks across the field of view before the cabana that I have taken over, with a knowing smirk on her face. Cheeky, that one is, impertinent and charismatic as all of her ilk. I should know, because in the old world, I would have probably taken her on as an apprentice. She prowls into the crowd of family and friends on the beach and greetings are passed about with much affection.

That's why I chose this spot, because people watching never grows old, no matter the centuries.

The small young woman with the flaming red hair shrieks like a monster flick victim when Dace pounces on her. The children think it's quite funny and much shenanigans ensue. In the pleasant glare of the late-afternoon sun off the water, surrounded by family and friends, a pretty girl on my knee, the trip has definitely panned out nicely.

After all, everyone deserves a little vacation every now and then.