Old Friends and New Beginnings

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The atmosphere in the cabin was icy cold, despite the sun beating down upon the roof above. The sound of the road outside seemed deafened somehow, and not just because of the acoustic system of the 2015 Range Rover. Bella didn’t see any reason to break the silence, navigating down the winding coastline. The guy in the seat next to her didn’t deserve that. She felt him shift awkwardly in his seat and turn back towards the window.

The sound of the GPS prompt made both of them jump. “Could you turn that down?” Bella asked, throwing a turn signal to make their next exit.

“I already did!” Nicholas said, grabbing his phone and scrolling through the settings. “You didn’t have to take me, you know.”

Bella turned the wheel to the right a bit harder than she intended, and they lurched onto the offramp. “I told you, I need a plus one for this.” She glanced to her right. The slim form of Nicholas was outlined against the light coming from outside, and she could see his long bangs hanging over his forehead the way that they did whenever he concentrated.

She sighed and grabbed the phone from his hands, dropping it on the dashboard. As insane as he drove her, she was almost glad to be with him again. She shoved that thought down and focused on the road. “How far are we from the beach?”

Nicholas threw her an exasperated glance. “We’re like 5 minutes out, relax.”

The truth was, Bella was so mad that in normal circumstances she wouldn’t even talk to Nicholas. But these were not normal circumstances: her best friend from college had just gotten married, and if she was going to celebrate with them, she couldn’t let them see she was single. In desperation she invited Nicholas, even if they were coming off of the tail end of an awkward relationship. Or lack of one.

She pulled her sedan into a sandy parking lot by the roadside, and she immediately noticed her old friend Thea with both her husband and new baby. In the reflection of the rearview she took in how tall he was and his long hair, before pulling into an empty spot. The lot was completely deserted.

Gently pressing her foot on the gas and putting the car in park, Bella quickly checked her hair in the rear view – from what she could see, her black curly locks were mostly staying in place. Running her hands through her hair she shifted slightly, feeling her two-piece swimsuit sit uncomfortably under her. It was going to be a nice change to see her friend again, but she did feel incredibly self-conscious – especially with Nicholas there.

She felt rather than saw him watching her. She felt the tension between them vibrate like a string, about to snap. “You ready?” he asked simply. Breaking free of the spell, she flung open the door putting on a huge smile, and stepped out of the car.

The heat immediately blanketed Bella, and the breeze blew calmly in her hair. She ran towards Thea and gave her a big hug; she was surprised how wonderful it felt just to be with her old friend again.

“Bella!” Thea squeaked from the tight embrace.

As they separated, holding each other at arm’s length, Bella noticed just how wonderful Thea looked. Her freckled cheeks and small lines under her eyes didn’t detract from the beautiful of years prior; rather, they accentuated the dirty blonde tangle of hair that framed her beaming smile. It had been years since their college days, but Thea seemed to have gotten more attractive over time.

“Listen, Thea -“

“You don’t need to say anything. It’s so good to see you again!” Thea stepped back, and beamed, letting Harvey into the conversation.

Although Thea and Harvey had been married some time ago now, Bella still felt shame for not coming to their wedding. Seeing her friend standing there with the love of her life, however, Bella couldn’t help but feel happy for her.

Shortly after Thea introduced Harvey, and Bella introduced Nicholas, and everyone took a peak at Samantha, they began their preparations to make their way to the beach. They briefly considered driving onto the beach, before Nicholas mentioned it might not be allowed. Besides, they figured, Bella was the only one with a car that could handle the sand. Thea’s convertible was definitely not beach certified Thea popped open the trunk of their small car with one hand and lifted it open. From inside, Harvey roughly pulled out and unfolded a black baby stroller. Thea carefully lifted Samantha into the cart, and together the convoy began moving down the path in the direction of the beach.

“Everyone says it’s all different when you have kids, but Samantha has been an angle so far”, Thea happily disclosed as the two girls winded their way down the winding dirt path after the boys. Bella glanced up at her smile, the color of her twisted hair seemingly picked straight from the yellow grass waving on the side of the walkway. Her stomach seemed to pang slightly; was it something akin to jealousy?

“You don’t think you’ll try for another one, do you?” Bella asked furtively, mostly to move away from the thought.

Made starker by the Anadolu Yakası Escort dappled lighting, Bella tried not to notice as Thea blushed fully. “Well, Harvey wants to stay with one for a little while. But…”

“But what?”

“He doesn’t know that I’ve stopped taking birth control.” She smiled impishly, playing with the tips of her curled locks.

Bella’s mouth gaped open and taken by surprise she let out a laugh. “Thea!”

“Shh, quiet!” Thea giggled, as they trundled along the sandy path. “He can’t find out yet.”

Bella stared with a new sense of appreciation at Thea – it seemed only yesterday that her old friend had gotten married, and now she was trying to start a small family. Had that much time really passed since their days in college?

“How long ago did you stop taking it?” Bella giggled.

If Thea was flushed already, her entire face seemed to have spent far too much time in the sun in the flash of an instant. “Well… it’s been a little while since my last period.”

Before Bella had the chance to ask any further, the dirt path they were walking on suddenly seemed to turn to sand, and from around the corner emerged the sight, sounds, and smell of the wide ocean. Water audibly lapped on the sloped sand and echoed across the expanse of empty sand. She stepped forward to embrace the welcome sight, before suddenly realizing that Thea wasn’t besides her.

Bella looked to the side for her friend and saw the stroller a few steps back. Only she wasn’t walking anymore but seemed to be having trouble pushing. Bella looked down, seeing that the tall rubber wheels of the small cart had dug straight into the soft sand and were buried already halfway up the rim. Thea was pushing gently against the cart, her feet pushed into the hot sand front half buried in for extra leverage, but the wheels wouldn’t budge. They slipped in and out of their sandy ruts, but only seemed to dig deeper. The sun reflected bronze off of Thea’s shaped thighs as she strained with the effort, before she straightened up and bent down sideways to look at the chassis.

“It won’t budge!” Thea said in disbelief. “They said this was a beach cart at the store, but it’s completely stuck.”

“Let me help!” Bella quickly moved to the front of the cart; she began to pull it forward by the front of the frame. She dug her heels into the sand, leaning backward. Immediately she understood why Samatha’s cart had sunk in so quickly: the sand was sugar fine, and warm as bed linen. Her feet slipped in the stuff as she began to try and leverage the cart backward – it was heavier than it looked. She looked across the cart at Thea, biting her lip slightly with the effort. She immediately noticed Thea’s generous girth leaning just above the cart, and just how beautiful and full she was beneath her suit. Was it her frustration with Nick that made her notice, or was it something else entirely? Bella quickly raised her eyes – directly into Thea’s. She averted her glance to the side instantly; now it was her turn to blush, she only hoped Thea didn’t notice. Carefully together with Bella pulling and Thea pushing, they maneuvered the sunken baby cart onto the beach, plowing the sand with its immobile wheels.

They heaved the cart into place, having maneuvered it directly in front of the water. The boys had already jumped right into the water. “Had I known it was so heavy, I wouldn’t have bought it.” Thea panted, opening the roof of the carriage to look in on her child.

Bella stared at her in disbelief. The flushing, the panting, the fullness – it all hit her at once like a sack of bricks. “Thea, are you pregnant?” Thea swung around with a huge grin.

The beach was as perfect as Nicholas had ever known it to be. The sand was untouched and rough, the water rocked gently against the slope of the shore. Tall weeds obscured the beach from the back, while roughhewn rocks provided some privacy on either side of the beach. They were completely alone, and the sun shined in front of them as if through a huge window, illuminating the crystal blue water. Even if it was a private beach, he didn’t see any reason to tell the others. Besides, only locals knew about it.

Harvey flung off his shirt beside him, and stepped forward to take it in. The sound of the girls drifted towards them from behind. “What is this place?” Harvey asked with disbelief.

Nicholas grinned and whipped off his shirt, feeling the warm sun hit his chest. He held his hands up against the sun. “It’s good, right?” He turned around to see if Bella and Thea had made it, but they were still a ways off.

“It’s not private, is it?” Harvey asked apprehensively, the sun shining through his curtain of hair.

Nicholas shifted slightly. “Don’t worry so much! Race you to the water?”

The two men bounded forward, feeling the rush of the wind as the loose sand became firm. They splashed into the gentle shallows, and Nicholas watched as Harvey dipped his head underneath the surface and flung it back up again, spraying water behind him. Kadıköy Escort Nicholas dropped into the warm water, enjoying the sun on his back.

“This place is perfect!” Harvey laughed.

They swam deeper into the perfect blue water. The warm surf beneath him and the sun above him made Nicholas feel like he was on top of the world. He brought his hands up past his shorts to feel his belly. Abs still there? Good, they were. He half hoped Bella would notice. Maybe she would change her mind and sleep with him again. He looked up and saw the two girls maneuvering the baby cart in the sand. Bella did have a tight butt, illuminated in the light of the sun as she backed the cart towards them.

Almost as if reading his mind, Harvey spoke up. “You and Bella are cool now, right? I heard you two have a history.”

“We’re tight”, Nicholas said quickly, while treading water. “Sometimes we’re together, sometimes not. It’s whatever.”

“She’s not still mad at you, is she?” Again, Nicholas felt that apprehensive look from Harvey. He wasn’t sure yet whether he liked the guy, but Bella trusted Thea and Thea trusted him.

“No, we’re chill man.” Nicholas affirmed. Bella and Thea had planted the cart in the sand, seemingly engrossed in a deep conversation. “But you’re a lucky man, Harvey.”

Harvey shook his head again, and water danced across the surface. “Well if you two are chill, you’ll have your shot tonight too, right? Let’s get the girls in the water!” With that, Harvey dove into the water and began to swim powerfully towards shore. Nicholas watched him take off, took a deep breath, and dove his head under the liquid glass surface to follow.

The early evening day in the sun somehow went by far quicker than any of them could have imagined. Their time on the sand was like a dance. Nicholas noticed that Bella seemed to be avoiding him, both with her eyes and in conversation. They were all having such a good time however, that he didn’t even care that much. Nicholas, Harvey, and Bella tossed a disk, while Thea laid on the sand with the baby watching. They all drank to good times on a towel, everyone tossing back (except, Nicholas noticed, not Thea). As they played and swam on their own beach, the sun sank lower and lower down onto the horizon until it just played against the water in the far distance. They even took a few photos to commemorate the day. In full view of the sun and the ocean, Bella and Thea opened their bras and held hands, flinging their arms to the side completely topless. After promising not to look when they turned around, Nicholas snapped a photo. It didn’t particularly end up mattering whether he looked or not; the two girls threw their bras to the side and pulled on tight tops, which Nicholas tried hard not to stare at. They moved with every step.

Before Bella even was aware of it, the sun had touched the horizon and the light had faded slightly. The day had been such a good time, that she lost track of it completely. She even had enjoyed Nicholas’s company, although whenever she caught herself about to talk to him she stopped – he wasn’t going to be forgiven that easily.

Not only did the sun have enough, but baby Samantha had been out just a bit too long and was starting to get cranky. When she started crying, Thea and Harvey made their excuses to leave. Bella and Nicholas followed behind them, the sound of the crying baby drifting from in front.

When they reached the parking lot, Samantha had become very cranky indeed and it seemed like Thea and Harvey were in a rush to get home. Only once they began to climb into their small convertible, did they realize that they all had forgotten the baby carriage on the sand.

“Are you sure you can get it on your own?” Thea said imploringly, as Samantha wailed behind her. “It’s really so heavy.”

“It’s fine. Really, fine. Don’t worry about it. Nick’s here.” Bella said, beckoning behind her.

As if on que, Nicholas appeared next to her. “We’ll bring the carriage right around to your place, no problem. We can actually pull the car right onto the beach, it’ll be much easier.”

“I thought you said that might not be allowed!” Bella retorted.

“We’ll be quick.” Nicholas said, turning away towards the car.

Thea gave Bella a piercing look, one with genuine care and forceful kindness behind it. “Are you sure you’re okay?” – being alone with Nick, Bella knew the end of the question her friend was asking. Bella nodded.

The two hugged one last time, and Bella hugged back fiercely. “Congratulations,” she whispered into Thea’s ear.

Beaming, they separated. With one last longing glance back, Thea stepped into the car with the crying baby. To the sound of crunching gravel, they pulled out of the lot and towards the open road. Bella knew she would have to see her friend again very soon.

Nicholas hopped into the car, and slammed the door shut behind him. He watched through the dashboard as Bella stepped gingerly through the parking lot, opening the door. It was only when she Ataşehir Escort threw her sandals in the back seat that he noticed she still was barefoot, as she closed the door and turned the ignition.

She turned to him. “Okay, so what’s the way to the beach?” Her expectant gaze made his insides lurch; she was completely gorgeous, even after a day of rough and tumble on the beach.

Nicholas pointed towards an open gate adjacent to the walking path. “That leads right onto the beach, it’ll be easy.”

The car lurched as Bella maneuvered it into drive, and they pulled passed Thea and Harvey and towards the gate.

“Private property?” Bella asked, her shapely frame and curly hair bouncing slightly with the undulations in the road. Indeed, there was a sign on the gate: PRIVATE PROPERTY – NO TRESSPASSING. “Are you sure it leads to the beach?”

Nicholas shifted slightly. “Yes, I’m absolutely sure.”

He felt the car suddenly roll to a stop, right in front of the sandy gate entrance. Bella turned to look at him, her small nose scrunched slightly. “Nick, are you serious?”

“What?” He asked innocently.

“Is this a private beach?”

“Well, it’s always empty.” Nicholas said defensively.

Bella moved her hand to her forehead, rubbing it gently. “Nick, if we were caught here, we’d have been dead.”

“Well we weren’t!” He said indignantly. “Let’s get the baby carriage and get out of here.”

She gave him another look, one that could scare the living daylights out of anyone. But then miraculously, she seemed to soften, and turned back forward while placing the car in drive. “Let’s do it then, this’ll be quickest.” The engine revved as she urged the car over the rocks in the lot, right through the entrance.

He almost felt something like excitement for the adventure as they rumbled forward. He would do anything to spend time with her again, but there was something else there. He loved the way she shifted gears, slightly massaging the steering wheel as they traveled. He loved the slight lurch that accompanied every inch of force her foot applied. Above all, he loved being with her. It gave him a huge high. He forced himself to push those feelings down, should he say anything stupid.

Unlike the path, there was no transition between dirt and sand. Nicholas felt it in his seat immediately, the car seemed to be drifting on a cloud and sand kicked up in the wheel wells. He almost felt that he liked the sensation of floating. “Are you sure you can drive in this? ” Nicholas asked.

“Come on Nick, it’s a range rover. It’s not 2-wheel drive.” Bella said, sitting up straight in her seat to get a good look at the road ahead. Nicholas looked too, and saw the headlights had just come on and were illuminating the drifts of sand. Deep tire treads continued down the sandy road, which Bella navigated through expertly. The engine gently rumbled as they spun down the sandy ruts.

Before long, after a few turns, the ocean stretched out before them. Spinning out of the service entrance, Bella inched the wheel to the right. The tracks, Nicholas noticed, had disappeared and were replaced by rolling hills of sand. Keeping up speed, the range rover tumbled gently over the divots, and clouds of sand flew up in the side mirrors behind them.

Nicholas drew a breath in, drawing sudden courage. “Listen Bell. Why are we doing this?”

As Bella navigated the sandy beach, making sure to keep a consistent speed, she felt her cheeks flush. First, he brings them to a private beach, now he wants to argue again? “We’ve already talked about this Nick! I’m not some toy you can use and get rid of.”

“I never said that you were!” Nicholas said, his voice rising. “I just think we have a great time together is all.”

“Not good enough I guess!” Bella retorted, feeling the wheel wobble from side to side. She could see their spot some 50 meters ahead of them, and the cart standing there too. Only 50 meters til this day could be over. “Otherwise, you’d actually want to be with me!”

“I do want to be with you! But what’s all this stuff with being ‘official’?” Nicholas responded loudly. “We can be whatever we want to be!”

“I don’t want to talk about this.” Bella said, watching the site draw closer. 25 meters. She had hoped this wouldn’t happen. The question had been avoided all day. Actually, she had just started to enjoy being with him again. She actually was starting to ache physically wanting be with him. Until now.

“But I do!” Nicholas said forcefully. “I miss you Bella!”

She pushed down on the gas with her entire foot suddenly, feeling the car rock to a halt in the sand. She lividly turned to face him. Prickles ran down her arms and up her neck. “Do you want to talk about this now? We’re finished Nick!”

Nicholas looked at her, surprised. “Then why did you invite me here?”

A pit fell in her stomach as she looked back at him. She had avoided all of this until, but looking at him clearly, she almost lost all her momentum. She adored the way that his hair flopped over his face. His muscular body lay beneath a face that was cute enough to die for. His insolence, his attitude – it all made her forget how mad she was. Almost. “I want to be with you Nick. I do.” She said, feeling her pulse rise. “But I can’t do this on and off thing.”

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