Author's Notes: Self betaed and written entirely on a complete caffeine and raging hormones high. Errrrr, insomnia's not in the equation this time.
I stand on the low podium watching the contestants getting ready for the race, a race that seems to have been inspired by lifeguard selection trials. The contestants have to swim out to sea, drag the weighted buoys back to shore, then a run down the beach, another swim to the high pier, climb up the ropes hanging off one end of the pier, cross it, jump back in, swim to shore and another short run to the finish line. This is one contest that requires endurance rather than speed or strength.
This is my second year as reigning Queen and I try to decipher who I might be crowning King of the Beach this year. I recognise practically every face in the crowd, the same lot of macho men who come back every year, trying to prove they're tougher than their peers. I gaze suddenly rests on two men I've never seen before. It's not so much the unfamiliar faces that get my attention as the fact that there's something different about them. I get the feeling that they're here more for the fun of a physical challenge than trying to prove themselves superior to others. Not to mention they're both extremely good-looking.
I check out the stockier of the two first. Short, spiky sandy hair, bright blue eyes, full lips, cute dimples that flash in his cheeks as he smiles and a fit muscular body. He's positively bouncing with enthusiasm and his companion watches him with amusement.
And what a companion. Although his expression is calm, his eyes sparkle with the excitement of a challenge. And what eyes. Large, light and well spaced, they seem to be perpetually changing colour depending on the angle of the light and his dark eyebrows make them stand out even more dramatically in his face. And the rest of his features do more than justice to those mesmerising eyes. Thick dark hair that shines in the bright sunlight, high sculpted cheekbones, a generous mouth and a firm chin. I check him out a little more thoroughly and I'm not in the least bit surprised when I'm not the least bit disappointed with what I see.
He's about the same height as his friend, an inch or so taller at the most but with a much slimmer build. Sturdy shoulders, muscular arms that end in slim hands and long, supple fingers, lean tautly muscled chest and abdomen, narrow waist and hips and powerful toned legs, all covered by smooth, lightly tanned skin. This, I decide, is a guy that's built for endurance.
The contestants are called to take their places and the two of them join the others at the starting point, indulging in what looks like good-natured ribbing as they do so. Their positions give me an unimpeded view of their backsides and I can't help but let my gaze linger for much longer on the dark-haired man. I suddenly find myself really wanting him to win as traditionally, I as Queen of the Beach have to stay with the King throughout the party afterwards. Not that the tradition is always followed to the letter but I know I'd have no objections to it if he's King.
The start-gun is fired and they're off. The sandy-haired guy immediately takes the lead while my dark-haired hunk remains within the first five. But he moves steadily and I sense that he's pacing himself, reserving his energy for when he'll need it the most. I relax and enjoy the race or rather enjoy watching him. He moves with an easy fluid grace, his streamlined body easily slicing through the water.
His friend still maintains his leading position as they start to head for the pier but now my man as I've come to think of him has moved up easily into third place, running lightly and effortlessly across the sand before diving gracefully into a wave and swimming strongly for the ropes.
He easily moves to level with his friend as they climb up the pier, both of them shinning up the ropes as if they do it for a living. I think his strategy of sticking to the same speed throughout is a much better idea than his friend's short bursts of high speed followed by a tiny breather but then I'm no expert at that. But whatever the case he's definitely closed down the gap between them. They're both neck and neck as they gracefully dive off the pier and the crowd eagerly cheers them on.
The sandy haired guy once again manages to get a slight lead during the swim but I get the feeling he's starting to regret letting his enthusiasm get the better of him earlier as he's clearly starting to tire as they race towards the finish line leaving all the other contestants far behind.
I smile in delight as my man starts putting the pressure on his friend, once again bridging the gap between them. His strategy of pacing himself earlier definitely pays off as he easily overtakes his friend in a sudden energetic burst of speed and crosses the finish line a good five seconds ahead of him.
A cheer goes up through the crowd and I have to admit it was an exciting race. I watch, waiting as patiently as I can for the rest of the contestants to finish so that the crowning ceremony can begin. They watch the remainder to the race as they catch their breath.
There appears to be a perpetual friendly rivalry between the two of them as the sandy haired guy mock scowls at my man before grinning and congratulating him, saying something that I'm sure is something along the lines of next time he's going to be the winner. My King, for now he is the King, laughs at his friend's words and with a perfectly innocent expression on his face, which is completely at odds with the wicked glint in his eyes, retaliates with what has to be a good comeback as Spiky gives him a look that's halfway between a scowl and a grin before both of them start laughing again.
Finally it's time for the ceremony and I watch with eager delight as the judges announce my King, one Sam Curtis. I like that name, it seems to suit him just perfectly. He approaches me and I just hope I'm not being obvious as I once again am unable to resist raking my eyes over his body, still clad in only his swimming briefs. I feel a bit better as a quick glance tells me that the rest of the female population of the beach is doing the same thing. I can feel myself blushing slightly as I see an appreciative look in his eyes as he quickly checks out my bikini-clad body.
Those stunning eyes again. Now that he's so close I can see that they're an unusual but beautiful shade of green, sometimes becoming grey and even silver. As if the colour of his eyes wasn't enough they're framed by the most exquisite eyelashes ever. Mine never appear that long or lush even after I've applied mascara and I feel a small pang of envy. No man should have lashes like those. I hurriedly pull myself together and will my unruly body to behave itself.
We swiftly go through the motions of the 'ceremony' and finally the time comes to officially crown him King of the Beach. Of course there's no actual crown as such, but the ceremony is concluded by the Queen kissing her King. The butterflies that were fluttering around in my stomach suddenly go into a frenzy as I approach him, praying that I don't make an idiot of myself.
He smiles at me and I feel my knees, why stop at the knees, my entire body turn into jelly. Deciding to get this over with before I do something to really embarrass myself, I place my hands lightly on his shoulders and kiss him, relishing the moist, soft feel of his lips against mine, the warmth of his smooth skin under my hands and the feel of his hands resting lightly on my waist.
The crowd bursts out into a thunderous applause, hooting, whistling and cheering. I manage to bite back a cry of protest as he slowly pulls away and hope that everyone mistakes the flush I feel on my face for embarrassment at the crowd's reaction rather than the effect he has on me. I'm further unnerved by how cool he looks. If he's embarrassed, he sure as hell is doing a good job of hiding it. The crowd starts dispersing and I'm trying to think of something to say to him when the judges come up and inform us about the party.
"Well, I guess I'll see you at the party, My Queen," he says in a soft, dulcet voice as they walk off. He raises my hand to his lips and kisses my fingers before winking at me and heading off to join his friend who's watching us with an amused expression.
"See you at the party," I manage to say in a surprisingly steady voice before forcing my legs to move in the direction that leads to my place. His accent certainly surprised me, unmistakably British, which only adds to his charm. Now that the ceremony is over, I just can't wait for the party. This time I just know that, unlike last year when I found myself paired up with a human octopus, I'm going to have fun.
I check myself in my mirror one last time, before heading back to the beach. I know the party's casual but I want to look my best and I'm finally satisfied with my appearance. My dress is simple but elegant and fitting for a Queen of the beach.
When I finally arrive the party's already in full swing with lively music and people dancing around the huge bonfire that's been lit. I casually greet people I know, all the time keeping a look out for my King. A voice behind me makes me jump.
"May I have this dance, my Queen?"
I whirl around to find him standing behind me, a flirtatious grin on his face and I have to struggle to stop my jaw from dropping to my feet. He looks absolutely stunning. He's dressed casually in a loose white shirt that flutters slightly in the breeze and pair of fitting black cord trousers, a simple ensemble but it makes him look positively regal.
"You certainly may, my King," I flirt back, thrilled when I see the admiring gleam in his eyes.
He laughs and leads me towards where the other people are dancing and I feel a shiver of delight run down my spine at his touch. As I expected, he's a wonderful dancer, graceful elegant and completely natural. I derive a wicked sense of glee from the envious glances of the other women watching us.
As the evening progresses I find out that Sam, as he insists I call him, is not just good looking but also extremely charming, witty, intelligent and the perfect gentleman. His friend Chris, who seems to be Sam's polar opposite in almost every sense, also seems like a really nice guy and appears to be having great fun dancing and flirting with almost every pretty girl he can find.
As the party starts to wind down, I find myself in Sam's arms, swaying gently in time to the slow music. I sigh contentedly as I press myself closer to him, enjoying the feel of his warm, sculpted body against mine and the intoxicating blend of sand, surf and musk emanating from him. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun.
"Enjoying yourself?" he asks softly and the sound of his cultured voice sends shivers down my spine.
"Definitely," I reply, looking up and smiling at him. "You?"
He smiles back at me, nodding his head slowly in reply. Our gazes lock and looks at me intently for a few moments before leaning forward and brushing his lips against mine. It's a gentle, almost tentative kiss but it still turns my insides into liquid fire. He slowly pulls away, a question in his eyes. I shiver in delight and nod slowly at him.
"My place?" I ask, standing on tiptoe to whisper in his ear.
He smiles at me and I can feel my bones dissolving. "How about a walk down the beach first?" he asks, nodding in the direction of a more secluded section of the beach.
"Love to," I agree.
We leave the party area, strolling slowly along the moonlit sands. Rather than feeling nervous I just feel more and more relaxed in his company and lean happily against him as he slips an arm around my waist. A moonlight walk on a beach has never been so beautiful and after this...
Summary: You want a summary? Guess Sam/Damsel in Distress pretty much covers it.