Since her divorce, Mara has been moldering. Or at least that's what her best friend tells her when she drags Mara to Cancun for a pick-me-up.
Mara finds more than a pick-me-up. On the beach, she meets two beautiful men who, though they're obviously into each other, are very much into Mara, too. And when they invite her into their unique world, it's an experience unlike anything she could ever imagine.
Praise for Mara by the Sea
"Mara of the Sea is a beautifully written story that features a ménage that takes place mostly – interestingly enough – in the ocean."
4.5 Cherries! -- Dandelion, Whipped Cream Reviews
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Mara by the Sea
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2009 Faith Talbot
"Do you know what your problem is? You don't know how to have fun. Plain and simple. You are funless."
Mara gaped at her friend Cor, offended. "I am not funless. I'm... funful. I have lots of fun."
"No, you don't." With a slight flip of her shoulder length chestnut hair, Cor looked pointedly at Mara's Diet Coke. Cor herself was drinking a margarita. "Seriously, when was the last time you had fun?"
"I went to the movies last weekend," Mara shot back, defensive.
"Wow." Cor's voice was deadpan. "Really daring."
Mara sank back in the booth, annoyed and chagrined at the same time. "Well, what would you suggest, Miss Ultimate Fun?"
Cor looked smug. "That actually is my name, you know." She drew something out of her purse, holding it hidden under the edge of the table. "So of course I have ideas."
"Of course you do." Mara stared at the edge of the table as if she might suddenly develop X-ray vision and be able to see what her friend was hiding. "So what are these ideas? Should I be scared?"
"Of course you should be scared. I'm going to push you right out of your comfort zone."
"I like my comfort zone. It's comfortable. That's why it's called a comfort zone."
Cor leaned over the table, a conspiratorial gleam in her eyes. "You know what else is comfortable? Hot guys fucking you senseless" -- she revealed the envelope she held -- "on the beach at Cancun."
Mara stared, then reached out to take the envelope. "You didn't." She opened it hesitantly, as if a poisonous snake might leap out and bite her. Inside the envelope were two tickets to Cancun, one for her and one for Cor. Mara sighed. "I hope my passport's up to date."
"It is. I checked." She grinned brightly and snatched the tickets back. "You've been moping around for eight months, ever since the divorce was finalized. This will do you some good. Trust me."
Mara looked mournfully at her Diet Coke, then Cor's margarita. "I guess I'll have to."
Cor's grin turned to a smirk. "Damn straight."
* * *
The sand between her toes and the mojito in her hand helped a bit, but Mara still felt out of sorts. This just wasn't the kind of thing she did. It wasn't a Mara thing.
That's the point, her little voice said. Doing Mara things isn't going to get you anywhere. Mara things are boring.
She took another sip of the mojito, enjoying the tang of mint and citrus. Maybe that little voice was just the rum talking. Maybe she should quit worrying so damn much about it and just enjoy herself. She might not break down and have a crazy sexual fling, as Cor insisted she should, but at the very least she could relax for the weekend. God knew she could use some relaxation.
She took another sip of her mojito, then leaned back in the beach chair and closed her eyes. The sun was warm, the breeze off the ocean vaguely cool, and the rum was working its way into her system, leaving her nicely limp and relaxed.
Mara wasn't sure why that particular sound, out of all the sounds around her, caught her attention. She wasn't alone on the beach, after all. There were couples all around, lotioning each other, running up and down the beach, smooching, doing God only knew what under beach blankets, kids tossing beach balls and squeaking like kids do -- but that giggle rose above everything else and set something off in her brain. Maybe because of the incongruity. It wasn't a woman giggling, or a kid. It was a man, the sound of the giggle strange when paired with the deepness of his voice.
The sound came again, this time a bit more toward the laugh end of the spectrum than the giggle end. Mara turned her head and zeroed in on the source.
Two young men were sprawled over a blanket not far away. The giggling seemed even more incongruous now; the giggler was a big, lanky man, easily six feet three. And young. He'd be lucky, Mara thought, if he'd seen his twenty-fifth birthday yet. The other man looked to be a few years older and a few inches shorter. He sat bent forward a bit, a wry smile on his face, while the younger man slathered suntan lotion over his wide, muscular back. The younger man's hands were huge, engulfing the older man's broad shoulders. As Mara watched, he leaned forward to kiss the hollow of his friend's shoulder, then laughed again. The sound was deep and melodious, and made Mara strangely warm. Friend, hell. Lover, more like
. The older man reached up to cup his friend's face, smiling, and Mara gulped down more mojito.
They were just so... pretty. Unselfconscious, relaxed, obviously enjoying each other's company. She remembered feeling that way once on a beach with David, curled up into his wide body on a beach blanket while he combed his fingers through her wet hair --
She pushed that thought back. No sense thinking about that right now. She was here to have fun, to forget about the divorce and everything having to do with David.
The men moved closer together, the taller one draping his arms over his friend's chest. They looked happy to her.
And hot. She sipped at her drink again, but at this point she was pretty sure the heat building in her body had nothing to do with the rum. It had much more to do with the way the young men touched each other, fingers tangled in front of the smaller man's chest, the larger man's arm draped over his shoulder. Cozy. Intimate. Not quite sexual, but so tacitly indicative of a sexual relationship. A picture flared in Mara's mind of the smaller man bent in half under the larger, back arched as his lover fucked into him in deep, slow strokes, kissing his face, one hand tracing the curve of his cheekbone...
The younger man looked at her. Straight at her, as if he'd known she was watching him. Dark brown eyes framed by overgrown, sun-bleached bangs took her in. Mara felt her face go hot, but for a moment that seemed like an eternity she couldn't look away. And as his eyes held hers, he smiled. His mouth curled up at the corners, a warmth rising in his eyes. Had he not been idly playing with his lover's chest hair, Mara would have taken the look as a come-on.
She jerked her gaze away, stuffing the straw from her drink back into her mouth and sucking frantically. Just a friendly smile. Nothing else.
And when she carefully looked back up, he was bent back into the other man's body, lipping the back of his ear.
God. This was insane. She felt like she was going to fly into a zillion pieces right there. They were just so beautiful together, and the pictures racing through her mind didn't help...