Caught by the Tide Ch. 01
'Sorry about that. ' I glared at him, my midriff still stinging from the impact. 'Well that's okay then, isn't it?' 'Whoa. ' Fixing me with a stare from astonishingly blue eyes, he tucked the ball under his arm and held up a hand.
'I said I was sorry. There's no need to get your knickers in a twist. ' 'Oh great,' I muttered, hearing the jeers of his mates as he jogged back to join them. 'Brilliantly handled, Rebecca.
' I gazed down in dismay at my sand-covered belly, realising that nothing short of a shower or a dip in the sea was going to get rid of all of it. But I already knew the sea wasn't warm enough for that and it was much too early to go back to the hotel. With a sigh, I brushed off the worst, retrieved and re-donned my sunglasses and lay down again.
But it wasn't so easy to phase out the guys' voices now. They seemed louder somehow. Nearer. And after a few moments, I lifted myself up on my elbows to see exactly where they were.
Big mistake. This time, I was too stunned to swear. . .
'Oh shit!' I heard one of them shout as the rest of them dissolved into raucous laughter. 'Whoops!' I couldn't speak. My nose was throbbing, my mouth full of sand. It felt as though my sunglasses had been rammed into my skull.
'Hey, are you okay?' It was the bloke in red shorts again, crouching at my side. 'I'm really sorry. Bloody Tim--he can't kick a ball for--' 'Just leave me alone,' I gulped, gingerly wiping sand away from my face with the back of my hand. God, it hurt.
So much so I wanted to cry--and that really wasn't an option with him sitting just there. 'Please!' 'I promise we didn't do it on purpose,' he said with what sounded like a genuine note of apology in his tone, though the others were still laughing. 'Look, we'll move further down the beach--somewhere where we can't--' 'Don't bother,' I murmured, longing to spit out the sand--to spit it all over him.
'I'm going. ' With all the dignity I could manage, I shoved my book in my beach bag and snatched up my towel, sweater and flip flops. And knowing he was watching me--knowing they were all watching me, I padded away, horribly conscious of the fact I was wearing only a skimpy red bikini, the matching sarong tucked out of reach in the bag.
There was a narrow strip of sand between the sea and the rocks at the furthermost edge of the beach. Sensing a chance to escape without having to face the humiliation of passing them again, I headed towards it and rounded the bottom of the cliff. To my relief, there was another sandy cove, albeit a much smaller one--less than fifty feet across.
Even better, it was completely deserted. Dumping my things on a patch of dry sand, I went down to the shore and knelt in the surf, washing my face and tummy, the cold water making me shudder. Bastards. So much for thinking my luck had changed.
But then again, why shouldn't those guys have fun? As I trudged back up the beach, the wind further chilling my dripping body, I had to concede that getting married ought to be cause for celebration. Just because it hadn't exactly turned out to be a celebration for me was no reason to resent the joy of others.
. . . .