Together In Sydney
I may have been a bad influence on her when we were kids, but this new side of her is going to ruin me…
They were the best of friends. Then they shared a night of passion and in the morning she was gone and Alex has spent years trying to move on.
But then an email arrives out of the blue and suddenly he finds himself boarding the first plane bound for Australia with nothing but his passport and an overnight bag. He’s no idea what he’ll do, or he’s going to say, but one thing’s for sure…
He’s not going home without her.
Together in Sydney is a Second Chance Romance full of steamy scenes and bad language. It’s only recommended for readers 18+. No cliffhanger. Guaranteed HEA!
Together in Sydney is part of the Deliciously Sinful Liaisons Collection.
“This really shouldn’t take any longer than an hour, Alex, I promise,” Sarah assured him as they walked along a cobblestone path that traversed the edge of a stretch of beach along Sydney’s eastern coast.
Panting heavily as the sun beat down on them, Alex could do little more than grunt in acknowledgement as he struggled to keep up with her.
Sun-kissed and dazzling, the beach reminded Alex of something from the old David Hasselhoff show ‘Baywatch’ he’d watched as a kid. The only thing missing was a scantily clad Pamela Anderson running into the water in slow motion.
Everywhere he looked, beneath clear blue skies, there were dunes of sugar fine sand leading down to turbulent white-capped waters of turquoise and deep cerulean. Despite the picturesque conditions, the sandbanks were sparse for all but the occasional dog walker or, of course, lifeguard.
“So, what exactly is it you do again?” Alex asked before using the back of his hand to wipe away the sweat trickling down his brow. Never in his life had he felt more overdressed. His heavy denim trousers felt stifling and his shirt was sticking to his back like a second skin. Thank god Sarah had insisted he leave his leather jacket in the car.
Still a good four or five strides ahead, Sarah glanced back over her shoulder and flashed him a mischievous smile in way of an answer before adding hastily as she walked on “You’ll see soon enough.”
She was completely at ease in the sizzling temperatures. Cursing himself for not checking the Australian weather before he’d left for the airport, Alex couldn’t help letting his eyes linger on her buttocks for a moment before hurriedly glancing up to see if she’d noticed.
His throat was parched but to his relief, a light breeze began to blow, ruffling his hair and cooling his skin. Grateful for the reprieve, Alex turned his head up to the horizon and caught his first glimpse of what could only have been their destination.
Against the glare of the sun, the scene was at first hard to discern, but as they approached, he began to make out the shapes of a dozen men and woman milling around two caravans. Further down the bank, down by the rolling surf, a cluster of chairs were overshadowed by a huge parasol and faced three tall light stands fixed with umbrella covered strobe lights
A makeshift photography studio? he thought. It certainly wasn’t what he’d expected. Although Sarah had forever been a fountain of information and opinions, he had never heard her express an interest in photography.
They were just approaching the closest caravan when a young woman with styled and dyed dark red hair dressed in a pale blue shirt and snug fitting grey jeans, and holding a clipboard, stepped out of the open doorway in its side. She looked to be deep in thought but that evaporated the moment she caught sight of them.
“Sarah!” she called, raising the hand with the clipboard over her head in greeting as she broke into a run towards the pair. “Oh, thank God! You have to hurry, Rodarick is going ape. He’s even threatening to sue if we miss the light for this shoot. I tried to tell him there’s always tomorrow, but he just starts screaming shit at me in Fren-oh. Hi,” she said, noticing Alex for the first time before leaning in close to Sarah and saying, “say, girl, who’s your cute friend?”
Blushing, Sarah avoided the girl’s gaze. “Jules, this is Alex, Alex this is my assistant Julia.”
“Alex-wait you mean the Alex.”
Plainly growing uncomfortable with the conversation, Sarah made an extra effort to look offhand as she said “yes, Alex Rike, we went to school together back in England. Look I’ll deal with Rodarick, can you please escort Alex over to the viewing area while I get ready.”
“Sure, oh, I can’t wait to hear what juicy stories he has.”
Then before Sarah, or Alex for that matter, could object, Julia had run up to him, seized his hand, and began dragging him towards the roaring surf. Not sure what to say, Alex could only look back, but Sarah was already making her way towards the open caravan.
“So, you’re the famous Alex Rike. You can’t imagine how long I’ve waited to meet you,” she said after a moment, her voice silky.
“What… I mean… um oh, why’s that?”
“Sarah often speaks of you. She said you were the most amazing man she has ever met and that she has never had a truer friend. When she told me that, I knew I just had to meet you. Good men are a rare commodity and Sarah’s just too smart to be so wrong about you.”
“I’ve never known Sarah to be wrong,” he murmured, suddenly feeling especially warm under the blazing sun. “Has she ever mentioned anyone else? From England, I mean.”
“No one in particular. She spoke of some bloke…Robert…something Wallaby a few times, but it was mostly just in passing, though once she said that he was the most insufferable ignoramus she had ever encountered.”
Alex couldn’t help but snigger.
Richard might be many things, but ignorant wasn’t one of them. He’d known the truth well enough, but that didn’t stop Sarah’s ex being a cunt whenever he deemed it appropriate. And it certainly didn’t stop me from introducing his perfect nose to my fist.
“So, what was Sarah like, back home? She doesn’t talk about the old days much.”
“Sarah doesn’t talk about anything much.” His Kris Kristofferson impression was as rusty as the actor’s Texan growl, but it made Jules chuckle nonetheless.
“No, she was…” Alex paused, how often had he pondered that question? Though the answers rarely eluded him, the prospect of picking just one to sum her up entirely made his pulse quicken and his mouth dry. Or perhaps it was merely the heat. “Brilliant,” he continued. “There was no challenge she couldn’t master. Anything she set her mind to, she could do, but she could also be a real ball breaker. She always followed the rules to the letter. Though she’d always denied it, I think a part of her secretly liked my frequent attempts to get us into trouble.”
She giggled again. “So, you were a corrupting influence?”
“Absolutely.” Alex grinned and this time they both laughed. They were almost at the surf after skirting the edges of the milling mass and Alex could smell the rich saltiness of the sea air. For a moment he thought she was about to lead him into the turbulent waters when Jules suddenly veered right and led him up the bank to the shade of the parasol. The viewing area, as Sarah had called it, turned out to be just a group of seven or so unfolded camping chairs with a cooler.
Bending down, she withdrew a chilled bottle of coke and handed it to Alex before helping herself to one. Unscrewing the lid, she took a long swig of the soft drink before moaning happily. She screwed on the lid and dropped it back into the blue box, closing it with a kick of her heel.
“Okay, make yourself comfortable and Sarah will be down in just a few moments.” Without waiting for a response, she turned on her heel and began walking back towards the caravan, pausing a moment before she left the shade to throw one last glance back at him and say “Hmm… I guess it’s true what they say about tall thin men.”
Alex almost choked on his mouthful of coke. Feeling his cheeks flush with embarrassment, he turned away quickly before Jules could see the blush and instead looked down onto the sea. What the hell has Sarah been telling people?
Remembering the drink in his hand and his parched throat, he half drained the bottle in a single long swallow. It was warmer than he would have liked, but the fizzy liquid was sweeter than ambrosia and he finished it off with just two more swigs. He was about to look for a rubbish bin when a portly middle-aged man with heavily tanned skin, greying military cut hair, and a curled goatee, strode between the set of light stands. Dressed in a long white robe and leather Jesus-creeper sandals, he would have reminded Alex of a born-again prophet had he not also had a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses around his neck and been holding an expensive camera.
Caught up in his own private tempest, he was shouting and ranting at anyone who dared to step too close, in what Alex thought to be French.
The man’s presence caused a tremor to run through the throng of people around the site and they began to fall back behind the light stands, just in time for Alex to glimpse a figure swathed entirely in a hooded robe of billowing white silk, strolling through the surf. Realising the show was about to start, Alex looked back towards the caravans in the hope of catching a glimpse of Sarah walking down the beach. However, there was no sign of her on the dunes or amongst the crowd of onlookers, all of whom he noticed happened to be staring in the same direction.
Following their gaze back to the robed figure, he watched the individual step out of the surf and walk up the bank towards them. The silk masked them completely, but the damp sea air caused the silk to cling to their skin and he was treated to a thrilling peak of golden flesh as the figure passed. For the briefest moment, he was certain he had glimpsed rosy lips smiling at him from beneath the hood. Suddenly anxious, he had to fight the urge to leap over the folding chairs and pull the figure’s hood down as the urge to see who lay beneath nearly drove him mad. His world began to slow as the figure, long-legged and graceful, took the last few steps towards the onlookers before reaching up and pushing the garment clear and letting it fall to the sand.
The sight stole his breath away.
Sun-kissed and gorgeous, Sarah Snow stood upon the sand in nought but the pooling silk at her feet and a seashell two-piece bikini. The top only just hid the swells of her bosom. Her skin aglow with the midday radiance, she followed the photographer’s direction as he shouted at her to lay on her side with her back to the surf. Alex could feel his breath catching as he watched her throw an arm carelessly high and arch her back, pressing her breasts in his direction. She lay still for a moment, then her eyes shifted in his direction and she winked…
Rodarick’s camera began to click, the flash blinding.