Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Tim Smith
Word Count :9811
Publication Date :2020-04-03
Series : Key West Heat#4
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2872-3
A down on his luck writer runs away to Key West and meets a Cuban spitfire with lust on her mind. The tropics just became a little hotter.
Take one newspaper writer who goes to Key West for an assignment, add a cute Cuban vixen looking for a good time, stir carefully with a Key Lime twist and let the beach party begin. Brad didn’t know what to expect when Chiquita set her sights on him at the bar, but he certainly didn’t think she’d change his cynical outlook on life. The free-spirited pixie with a natural flair for hustling opens his eyes to a different world, but can he adapt to her laidback, carefree lifestyle? Is there a future beyond the sunset?
Key West at two in the afternoon in late July had to be one of the hottest places on the planet. The thermometer topped out at 98 and the humidity easily added another 10 degrees. Even the faint but steady breeze that blew in from the Gulf did little to ease the discomfort and only served to make the palm fronds sway gently overhead.
Brad Swanson sipped his second Mojito of the afternoon while sitting waist-deep at the in-pool tiki bar of his hotel, wearing swimming trunks and no shirt. The water cooled off his lower parts, but his lean upper body was covered in a sheen of sweat. A middle-aged couple occupied stools on the other end of the oval bar, but the ones next to him were empty. He sipped his drink, then looked at the plastic cup. Not the best Mojito I’ve ever had, but not the worst either. That prize would go to a seafood restaurant with a phony tropical motif back home in Dayton, Ohio.
He set his cup on the bar, then looked around. About a dozen people spanning ages twenty to sixty were lazily swimming about, with another dozen stretched out poolside on chaises, absorbing as much Florida sun as they could stand. Occasionally one would dive into the water to cool off.
Brad glanced down at his torso and legs. His white skin had picked up some sun since his arrival, but at this point he looked more pink than tanned. He brushed his thick brown hair back from his face and noticed that it, too, dripped with sweat.
He had been in town for two days on an assignment for the newspaper he worked for in Ohio, writing a story on the latest hurricane that had ravaged the Keys a week earlier. The publication was a left-leaning tabloid that took great delight in pushing political buttons. His editor, a potbelly with no fashion sense, who belched too much, had sent him there to document what type of disaster relief the federal government wasn’t providing for those who had lost their homes and livelihoods. Brad tried to recall the name of the last big blow—Rita, Thelma, Zelda? Something like that. It had been a long storm season and the weather folks had already exhausted this year’s alphabet.
His problem wasn’t with the assignment or taking a paid vacation in this tropical paradise, although he would’ve preferred it in December. His dilemma was that after spending two days traveling the lower and middle Keys, taking photos and interviewing impacted residents, his result was little more than a bunch of profanity-laced opinions he couldn’t print. This is what I get for abandoning the novel festering in my soul and selling out to some radical rag, run by a publisher who’s probably a closet communist. The bad thing is, when I get home in a few days, Potbelly is expecting to see an award-worthy exposé, but I haven’t gotten squat so far. Maybe I’m too focused on it. I think I should spend the rest of the afternoon in this pool, at this bar, drinking too many of these so-so Mojitos.
Writer’s block and a lack of creativity were only part of Brad’s problem. He had made the trip alone because he recently broke up with his longtime girlfriend after he discovered she had been seeing a former boyfriend behind his back. The wound was still too fresh to dwell on and he thought this would take his mind off it. He’d been here many times and had hopes of meeting an attractive, unattached woman who was as lonely in paradise as he was. So far, he hadn’t been that lucky.
I thought I had a shot with that woman I met at the raw bar last night, even though she was traveling with two of her friends. We seemed to hit it off and after a couple of drinks, I was ready to make my move when one of her besties said they decided to hit another bar. I forgot that even in paradise, when there are two or more women in a group, they hang out the do-not-disturb sign. Good thing my room has adult pay-per-view and hand lotion.
He took another sip, then nearly choked when he felt a splash of water from behind. He turned around in time to see a young woman climb onto the stool next to his. Brad automatically glanced over her frame, clad in a string bikini with a floral print. She looked to be about five-two and slender, with skin the color of café au lait and sun-bleached blonde hair with light brown streaks, cut into a shag style that covered her ears. Her figure was so petite that handle-with-care was the first thing that came to mind, while a posture that said don't-mess-with-me was the second.
She looked at him and offered a shy smile. “Sorry,” she said in a thick Spanish accent. “Didn’t mean to get you wet.”
Brad recovered from his initial shock and smiled. “No problem. I was getting too hot anyway. It actually felt good.”
The young woman giggled, making a pleasant sound, not nasal or forced. “You mind if I sit here?”
“Not at all.” He hesitated for a moment to summon his courage. “Would you care for a drink?”
She released a deep breath. “Yeah, that’d be nice. Whatever you’re havin’.”
Brad signaled for the bartender and ordered her drink plus a refill for himself. When they arrived, she took a long sip.
“Gracias,” she said. “You not from ‘round here, are you?”
“How can you tell?”
She gestured at his torso. “Not enough tan.”
He laughed. “Looks like you got me. I’m from up north.”
Her eyebrows arched. “Atlanta?”
“Further north than that. I’m from Ohio.”
Her face scrunched in confusion. “Not sure where that is.”
Brad eyed her for a moment. “I’m guessing you’re not from around here either.”