The wind kissed the top of the grasses, playing with them, ruffling through them. The sand was warm underneath her and her skin shone with the sun’s caress. It wasn’t late, not much past dinnertime, really. The day had hours left in it yet, but morning or evening, she’d never seen anyone else up there at the top of the sand dunes. It was a perfect spot, an unseen platform above the beach, looking down, with all the warmth of the day and the protection of the long grass.
She turned, rolling onto her back, and let her book slip away from her fingers. Her eyes closed and she let out a long, happy sigh.
Suddenly, a shadow cast over her. She opened her eyes, wide, but the figure was in front of the sun, a tall block silhouette against the bright light behind him.
“Hey,” he said.
He had a low growling voice, matching his wide shoulders and bulky physique.
“I said, Hey,” he said, again, the Russian clear in his intonation. “Don’t you remember me?”
She blinked, then shook her head. She was certain she’d never seen him in her life. She’d surely remember someone who looked like that, never mind the voice that rippled over her, its deep, throaty resonance sinking right to her groin. No, she'd definitely never met him.
Again, she shook her head.
“No?” without warning he dropped down, over her. He grabbed her and spun her over so she faced the sand, then pressed himself on top of her. “You think no?”
She pushed out her hands but he was too strong – he grabbed her skirt and yanked it up, then took hold of her white cotton panties and in one crazy pull he ripped them away – then he stopped, froze.
“Maria?” he said. “Oh, God, you’re not Maria, are you?”
She lay still, her face pressed into the sand, her backside on display, naked. The breeze tickled her skin, and again, she shook her head.
“Oh my god,” he said. “Miss, I’m so sorry, I’m –”
She lifted her head. He was incredible. Whoever this Maria was, she could only imagine what they’d planned.
Looking down, his hand was next to hers. His fingers were long and wide, and rough. They were hands that knew how to take hold of something, hands that knew how to touch.
She wasn’t Maria, but – but what if she were?
She looked up at him.
She looked up at him.
“You have no tattoo,” he said, gesturing to her bottom. “I thought… I can only apologize, Miss. Really, I had no…”
Her eyes burned into his, and he stopped. Slowly, she ran her tongue over her lips, and swallowed.
“You’re not the woman I thought you were,” he said. “I had arranged, I had…”
She nodded, letting her eyes travel down his body. His shirt was open to mid chest and even with the sun behind him, she could see the outline of muscles – muscles on his arms, muscles on his body and down, below his belt –
Holy Mary, Mother of God! She brought her eyes right back up to his face.
You’re not Maria,” he said. “And yet, you do not move, when I put you there.”
“You do not speak?” he said.
No, she thought, not trusting herself to try.
“You do not cover yourself, when I… expose you,” he said.
Moving slowly, he let his finger travel up the back of her leg, up, up. She shivered, took a sharp breath, but the finger kept on going, up and over her bottom, and around and around on her plump cheek.
“Here,” he said. “Here, Maria has a little tattoo. I did not see her face, but I saw here.”
Around and around, he smoothed the skin, then he stopped. Watching her face, he brought back his hand and spanked her, hard.
“So you do speak,” he teased her. "Interesting."
He leant over her and she tried to turn back to see him to watch what he was doing, and as he lowered himself down beside her, he tipped her head to look into her face.
“You like that, little stranger?” he said.
Again, his hand moved to her bottom. Where he’d spanked her, the skin tingled and spiked.
She went to shake her head, she went to stop, to speak, but –
He moved his hand down, between her legs, and she couldn’t lie.
Was she really doing this? She looked around, peering between the grasses – her heart raced in her chest, her mouth was dry but –
He was there. Whoever this stranger was, whoever Maria was, she didn’t know. All she knew was his hand, his touch - the sun on her skin, the sounds of the sea, the whistle of the wind - and the space, where he stopped touching her. With his other hand, he touched her chin, again, raising her eyes to his. He’d stopped, he’d pulled back, and she knew – her body knew – she could feel him readying.
This time he spanked her twice, both on the same place, one then the next, the slap reverberating around the dunes. Pulling away, she breathing in, she –
Oh God, she moaned.
The pain receded and from underneath, came the burn.
She shook her head. She’d promised herself she wasn’t going to play these kind of games any more – she was done with that stuff, she was done with men, she was –
She was absolutely soaking wet.
His hands stroked her, again, up and over her bottom, around her waist, his fingers rough against her soft skin, his hold complete.
“What’s your name, little stranger?” he said.
She shook her head. She couldn’t have spoken if her life depended on it.
“So fine, I don’t give you mine,” he said. “Just tell me – tell me, what do you want?”
She looked back at the strong silhouette, and opened her mouth.