“WHAT happened?” Trisha asked, looking to Tommy for help. His face was a mild shade of crimson. He and Ken were definitely hiding something from her. She arched an eyebrow, tilting her head so her eyes locked with his. Just what was bubbling under the surface? “Did something happen before I got here?”
Tommy’s already flushed face deepened to a deep scarlet, and he averted his eyes, staring instead at the cards stacked on the table in front of him. “Wha—? What do you mean? What could have happened? Ha, ha, ha.”
Curiouser and curiouser…His poor attempt to laugh off her question only made his deception more obvious. Something was definitely up. “Did you two have a fight?” She made a second attempt to catch Tommy’s gaze, but he kept his baby blues glued to the table.
“Tommy?” She used his given name to let him know she wouldn’t let this go.
He shrugged. “I’m still conscious, right? So, obviously not.” He gave another nervous laugh. He was definitely lying, but why?
“We should go talk to him,” she said, touching Tommy’s shoulder lightly.
“I’ll go. Ken’s probably just jealous. He’ll be embarrassed if you go too.” Tommy moved to stand. As he rose, she was eye-to-eye with the jutting cock bulging beneath his last stitch of clothing. If she hadn’t been so worried about Ken, she might not have been able to overcome her desire to reach out and paw at him. Wait, did he say jealous?
“Jealous? Why?” Trisha’s gaze washed over Tommy’s muscular limbs before scooting upward across his cock and fine toned abs. Before her obscene gawking could became too obvious, she reluctantly brought her attention to his face. Tommy’s hair swayed to the side as he put his weight on his right leg and tilted his head to the left.
Offering her a sweet, shy smile, he said, “Don’t you know?” With her heart creeping into her throat, Trisha couldn’t speak so she shook her head. Tommy gave a slight sigh. “For someone so insightful when it comes to other people, you are pretty clueless when it comes to stuff about you.”
Huh? What kind of answer was that? Trisha’s nervous stomach was starting to react to all the beer she had poured down her gullet. Placing a palm on her tummy, she applied light pressure, trying to settle the cola and pop rocks feeling brewing there. “Tommy?” she said uncertainly, lifting her chin to get a better look at his face.
“We’ll talk after I get Ken.” Tommy turned to leave, making his way into his own room and leaving her to sit on pins and needles. Was Tommy saying Ken liked her, or that he liked her? Could she hope for both? Her heart was palpating so fast it scared her. Grabbing the remote control, she turned the television back on and caught the latest on Fran. The bitch was dumping a whole lot of water on their little coastal town and the winds were fierce. Fran had dithered in the ocean for most of the day, but now she was right off the coast, bearing down on them. Nervously, Trisha swayed back and forth where she sat, hugging herself. Had she and the guys made a huge mistake? Maybe they should have evacuated when they had the chance.
A loud buzz accompanying an electronic surge announced the darkness that fell suddenly. Trisha reacted with a startled scream, trying to jump to her feet but failing miserably. Somehow she managed to smack her knee on the table, hop around in pain and trip, letting out another scream as she belly flopped face first. Luckily, her nose smacked into a pillow stacked on the floor with some blankets. The clank of one beer bottle being displaced by her left hand did little to warn her of the one her body’s inertia toppled next to her, leaving Trisha’s chest a wet mess, stinking of alcohol, but she had dodged a bullet by not landing on top of the hard, unforgiving glass. “Fuck!” she yelled as she rolled over on her back. She groaned at the mild pain stirred in her muscles and bones, and was equally as displeased by the wet playing cards adhering to her skin at various places on her body. She shook her head, mortified by her clumsiness. Looking upward, she stared at the darkness covering the ceiling above. I’m such a jackass.
“Trish! Are you all right?” She turned her head in the direction of Tommy’s worried voice. Ken was on his heels, flicking a cigarette lighter.
“Here,” she called out in abject humiliation. “I was just doing another one of my graceful tricks.”
“Are you hurt?” Tommy asked as he turned on a nearby camping lantern.
“Just my pride, but now I’m filthy, wet, and miserable.” Her eyes welled up as she reached out, grabbing Ken’s bare ankle. “Please don’t leave me again.”
He knelt beside her, touching her cheek. “Sorry.” She propped up on her elbows and huffed before pushing off to sit upright. Running her hand back through her sandy hair, she pushed it back away from her face before she flicked a card off her forearm.
“It’s not your fault that I can’t walk two feet in the dark without falling on my face,” she said with a bitter laugh.
Glancing toward Tommy, she caught him staring at her. Oh yeah, she didn’t have on any pants, and her only garment was now bunched up around her waist. Trisha Harper—One Woman Wet T-shirt contest. Pulling down on the beer-splattered undershirt, she rolled her eyes and scolded him. “Seriously?”
Ken jumped into action. “There should still be some hot water in the tank, and we have some candles. I’ll run you a bath and set everything up for you.”
Trisha flashed him a smile. “Thanks, Kenny.”
As he headed back toward his room, he stopped abruptly, glancing over his shoulder. “Will you help her get there, Tommy?”
“Of course,” Tommy said, nodding. Another look Trisha was not quite sure of passed between the two, but at least they were working together again. Thank God! The synergy was back! From here on out, she would have to be more honest about her feelings and let the chips fall where they may. Tommy offered his hand, and she grasped it, accepting his help as he pulled her to her feet.
“I’m okay. It just took the wind out if me,” she said as Tommy placed an arm around her waist for support while carrying the lantern with his free hand.
“Does anything hurt?” he asked.
Trisha’s knees felt weak but only because he was touching her. “Yeah, my pride.”
Tommy chuckled lightly as he helped her along. True to his word, Ken had drawn a bath and lit several tealight candles. There was also an emergency flashlight plugged into an outlet that had come on when the lights went off. No wonder those two were able to move so fast. Ken had even wrung out the clothes she had left in the sink and hung them over the side of the shower stall to dry. “Can we all fit?” Trisha eyed the small tub.
“What?” Ken’s head jerked in her direction and Tommy laughed as if she were joking. Without answering, Trisha removed her soiled top, rinsed it in the sink, wrung it out and added it to the others flopped over the shower stall. Lifting her head, she gazed in the mirror at the two deer caught in headlights standing behind her. Turning around to face them, she smiled bashfully before replying, “I’m showing you mine so I expect to see yours.”