tagRomanceAmy's Island

Amy's Island

byilamont©

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Author's Note:

This is an amended version of the original in which, as many readers pointed out, there were a number of errors—most regarding the military. These errors combined, tended to detract from the overall impact of the story. I apologize for those errors, and hope that they have been adequately corrected.

Some locations in this story are utterly fictional. 'Powers Island' does not exist, nor does the Iraqi compound on the outskirts of Duhok. All of the characters and events chronicled below, until recently, existed only in my somewhat simple mind.

I hope you enjoy Amy's story.

IL


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Amy's Island

Amelia Stephanie Powers was luxuriating in her favourite place in the world—a half mile stretch of beach on the southern shore of her family's ancestral summer home and island, roughly in the center of Delaware Bay. The beach was actually a series of rolling sandy dunes and berms, created by countless millennia of winter storms rolling in off the Atlantic.

In the early 1800's, her great great grandfather, Alexander Basil Powers, had won the island in a late night poker game in Philadelphia, from a French aristocrat whose family had been ceded the land for favours granted during the revolutionary war. The Frenchman—having failed to draw the last card required to complete his flush—had never set foot on the island, and considered himself fortunate to avoid the loss of the thousand or so dollars that he owed the pot, piled up in the center of the table. He doubted that the bloody island was worth a hundred dollars much less a thousand, and was glad to be rid of it.

"Comme ci; comme ça..." he said to the other bemused players.

Alexander Powers and his wife first visited the island in 1827, in a sailing vessel they'd chartered in a tiny fishing village called Cape May, at the southernmost tip of New Jersey. The island did not appear impressive as they approached—an hour ashore confirmed there was no harvestable land, nor permanent water supply—just a small brackish pond near the western end, that obviously dried up in the heat of the summer. There was no protected harbor to moor boats. The entire island was only a mile long and a half mile wide.

While Alexander could see no immediate opportunities for the island, he understood that there likely would be in the future. There was also something about it that he liked—it had a special ambiance; he felt invigorated, just being there. He and his wife sat on the beach on the southern shore, and enjoyed a picnic lunch she'd prepared, before walking back across the island and rowing out to the sloop that had brought them here.

Alexander was getting a bit 'long in the tooth' when the American Civil War broke out, but he was sharp enough to lease the island to the Union for a small garrison and gun emplacement to guard the entrance to the Delaware River. It was largely ineffective—Delaware Bay was so large that the southern navy simply sailed by Powers Island to the north or south, well out of range of its battery. The lease required that all traces of the garrison with all its associated gun batteries, bunkers, and living quarters, be eradicated at the end of the war, and that the island be left as pristine as the day they arrived. The Yankees agreed; they'd considered expropriating the island and likely would have, except for the lack of water and a protected harbor.

Amy's father was born on Powers Island in the mid-40's, in the family summer home, built on a small hillock near the center of the island. Back in the 20's her grandfather who'd made a fortune manufacturing heavy machinery for the allies during WW1, hired an architect to design a 6,000 square foot summer home. They dredged a small protected cove in the northern lee of the island, for barges bringing building supplies. A sturdy wharf was built there a few years later, making it safe to moor the family yacht. Instead of a basement, the house was built on a 10,000 gallon concrete cistern that collected and stored natural rainwater throughout year. Since the late 20's the family had never run out of water during the blistering hot summer months. They even had a small swimming pool built near the house, although the family didn't use it much, preferring the beach and ocean. Amelia Powers was named after one of her mother's great aunts, Amelia Earhart. When Amy first visited the island, she was two weeks old. She'd spent her summers there until her late 20's, when she'd married, enlisted in the US Navy, and been deployed to an aircraft carrier in the middle east.

That had been her final summer of carefree innocence.

*****

It would be difficult for a stranger to peg Amy's age, lying naked here on the beach; her breasts were no longer those of a teenager, but were still well formed and firm as she rolled and shifted in the sand. The flesh on her limbs and buttocks was firm and muscular—her stomach flat and hard and there was no excess puffiness under her jaw or below her eyes. If you looked closely, there were occasional strands of gray hair in the heavy honey blond hair that swept nearly to her shoulders. There were crows' feet at the corners of her eyes, especially when she laughed or frowned. But depending on the light, she might be mistaken for mid to late 30's. In fact, she was 47 and in remarkable physical health for a woman her age.

Amy, as her friends and family called her, snuggled into the deep white sand. Ever since she'd been four or five, and old enough to decide what she liked and didn't like, she had preferred to lie directly in the sand, rather than on a towel or beach blanket. After swimming, she'd liked the feel of her wet body molding itself into the sand as she moved about to get comfortable. She even liked the feel of the sand between her buttocks and grinding into her belly and breasts when she lay on her stomach.

Now in the late afternoon sun, she rolled onto her back, squirming and writhing, causing her shapely buttocks and shoulder blades to mold themselves into the hot sand. She could feel the heat of it, radiating up into flesh and joints. The overwhelming worries and stress of her life and career seemed to melt away as she teetered in that delicious zone between wakefulness and sleep.

She was somewhat aware of her surroundings—a naval ship of some kind slowly steamed westward, a half mile or so offshore. Her husband Con was wandering around somewhere; he'd been her with her until thirty minutes ago, when he'd headed up the house to fetch a couple of beers and maybe a snack of some kind. He'd slipped on a pair of cargo shorts and a shirt—there were a number of staff working up there.

She could hear an aircraft circling the island, but high enough that it wasn't too annoying—she'd gotten used to it. Many years ago, her family developed a trick of hanging a large square of white gossamer-like material between four corner posts, and lying under it. The material tended to reflect the hottest rays of the sun, and help prevent sunburn. Enough sunlight still penetrated the material that a pale-skinned visitor could still burn, but it took longer. It also helped hide naked sunbathers from low flying aircraft—this had developed into a minor problem over the past couple of decades, and a much more serious issue recently.

Amy presently had this section of the beach entirely to herself and was confident she wouldn't be disturbed. There was still an hour or two of wonderful loafing and rest remaining, before she had to think about getting back to reality. With the temperature in the low 90's, she could feel the skin of her thighs, her flat muscular stomach, and her breasts, cool slightly as a gentle breeze off the bay evaporated the light sheen of sweat covering her body. The breeze also caused the white cover above to slowly undulate. Being utterly naked under a hot August sun felt perfectly lascivious—the warmth spread deep inside her loins and made her squirm even more as her thoughts wandered.

Nudity here on the southern beach of Powers Island had been a way of life in her family for over 180 years. Family legend suggested that her double-great grandfather and his wife had skinny-dipped, the very first day they'd visited the island, while having a picnic lunch right on this very beach. Amy hoped the story was true. There was no question that each generation since, had spent many hundreds of hours on this beach, socializing, swimming in the cold waters of the bay and laying naked in the white sand. Most of their company understood that this was the way of life here, and either agreed to participate or stay up at the house. There were lots of decks and a small pool up there, where the more prudish could spend their time.

Over the years, Amy had grown up on the beach in full sight of friends and family. She had advanced through childhood, puberty, and blossomed into a truly lovely young woman, while sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing the full length of the island, exactly as her maker had brought her into this world. She'd had her first kiss here, her first awkward fumblings with a series of high school boyfriends, and lost her virginity not a hundred feet from this spot, just after midnight, wrapped up in a beach blanket. The memories of that night made her smile.

On this long strip of sand and scrubby saw-grass, on separate occasions, she had grieved the loss of grandparents, and her parents a few years later. She had convalesced here, from her injuries sustained in Iraq. She had suffered through the failure of her first marriage, and celebrated the utter success of her second.

She was still friendly with her first husband—they'd reconnected and patched things up to avoid uncomfortable press coverage. It had been a few years since she'd last seen him—her current occupation made it difficult to socialize with anyone who lived more than a hundred or so miles away.

Greg been a good looking son-of-a-bitch; she still occasionally fanaticised about him—more specifically about his 'endowment'. While attending college, she'd slept with a dozen or so young men, but that first time with Greg, she had been shocked when he'd pulled off his shorts and she'd seen his rapidly inflating cock. She'd seen porn in her friends' dorms, and this guy could compete equipment-wise, with any of those leading men, although he was just average in bed—a 'meat and potatoes' kind of guy, without much imagination. But for her, the bulk of his fully erect 'Johnson' had been mesmerizing. While with Greg, size did matter—even if that was all he had going for him in the boinking department.

She and Greg were married for six years. He'd been a good husband and friend, but he had been unable to adjust to her success and wealth. Her full inheritance had come through from the trustee when she turned 30; overnight she became worth somewhere in the order of a half-billion dollars. Family lawyers had insisted that Greg sign an ironclad 'prenup' when they'd married. While attending ivy-league schools in the east, Amy had earned two degrees; Bachelor of Mathematics and then Law, while he'd struggled with his Bachelor of Arts.

They did have a common love of flying. Amy believed hers came from her namesake—Amelia Earhart. Amy had bought and sold several light aircraft since her teens, and joined the Navel reserves in her early 20's. Her father had served in the navy in WW2, and her grandfather in WW1. After graduating with her second degree, she'd been accepted into the 'Navy's Officer Candidate School', and a few years later became one of the country's first women fighter pilots, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Rather than enlisting, Greg had gone directly to work for a small private airline, earning a fraction of what pilots for the big carriers were making. Again, he was privately embarrassed at her amazing achievements over his own.

She was eventually deployed to a carrier, the USS Enterprise, patrolling in the Persian Gulf, when six months later she learned through her family's security firm, that Greg had a mistress.

A week later towards the end of operation 'Desert Fox', she was flying her F/A-18C Hornet on what should have been an uneventful patrol over northern Iraq. She was absently thinking about that cheating, no-good bastard Greg, and did not react as quickly as she should have, when her aircraft's sensors detected an incoming surface-to-air missile. While not a direct hit, shrapnel from the missile caused enough damage to her airframe that minutes later, after descending to 5,000 feet, she activated the explosive ejection mechanism beneath her seat. Seconds later as the system parachute deployed, her circling wing-man could see that it was slightly tangled—she was falling faster than optimal speed.

She hit the ground hard, knowing instantly from the pain that her back was injured—perhaps seriously. Her left arm was also fractured and swelling, just below the elbow. A half hour later, before a rescue mission could be launched, a small band of ragged Iraqi soldiers, waving and shooting their assault rifles into the sky, came roaring up in a battered Toyota Tundra. She offered no resistance and was immediately captured.

When they discovered that the pilot was an attractive young woman, the Iraqi soldiers immediately ripped away her uniform and undergarments, and would almost certainly have raped her on the spot, but she was saved by an older Iraqi officer. He seemed to understand that the repercussions of sexually abusing this young woman pilot would be brutal. The Americans' vengeance would be cataclysmic, perhaps even escalating the war to a new level. Not on his watch... But he did allow his men to beat her unmercifully, until her nose was smashed and bloody; her eyes blackened and swollen shut. One of her front teeth was missing; her lips split open where the rifle butt had connected.

At a small compound on the outskirts of Duhok, she was thrown into a filthy cell with a cement floor and equally filthy bucket that would serve as her toilet. Her injuries were ignored by her jailers. She was humiliated on a daily basis; often paraded in front of her Iraqi guards and their officers. Occasionally she was marched in irons, through the adjacent village and markets, dressed in a ragged prison uniform and filthy dirty. Often she was stripped naked in her cell and subjected to the guards leering at her through a barred opening in her door. She didn't mind the nakedness—she'd been seen naked throughout her life. It was the fact that they forced her to do it, that made her crazy with rage, although she was careful to never let them know that.

Six months later, a guard quietly opened her cell door a few hours after dark. At first she thought this might be an attack, but he simply slipped a package through the door and disappeared, relocking the door behind him. The package turned out to be a burlap sack; inside she found a tiny maglite, two bottles of water, a dozen or so energy bars, and a silenced semi-automatic handgun with spare clips. At the bottom, she found a tiny recorder with a coiled ear-bud. Five minutes later after listening to the coded message, she understood the plan and had carefully hidden the contraband in her cell.

That night at 3:00 AM, she was wide awake when she heard the first 'whomp whomp whomp' of the incoming helicopter. It had descended at the same approximate speed as a dropped anvil, from a height of almost three miles, so the prison staff only became aware of its presence as it landed inside the compound—eight members of an elite navy SEAL team pouring out through the open side hatches. A second helicopter circling the compound, poured devastating waves of machine gun fire into anything other than the SEALS, moving inside the compound. It launched missiles into the four gun emplacements positioned around and on top of the prison, quickly blasting them all out of commission.

Amy was ready as she heard one of the more sadistic night guards running down the hallway towards her cell—this guy had especially enjoyed leering at her naked body through the opening in her door. As he opened her cell door and rushed in, he was shocked to see her grinning at him in a two-handed stance; a large handgun with a shiny steel suppressor leveled at his face. Six months had gone by, and while her arm had not healed perfectly straight, it felt just fine as she pulled the trigger and felt the recoil. The bullet caught her tormentor in the center of his right eye; he was dead before his body hit the floor—a good portion of his brains splattered against the cell wall. Another guard appeared behind the first, not having heard the shot; she dropped him in his tracks, too. She remained where she was, rather than trying to run on her own. Then there were many people running in the hallway yelling her name—the troops had arrived.

As the two helicopters rose and headed away from the prison, an order was relayed to a Navy bomber flying 40,000 feet overhead. It took the massive bunker-buster bomb almost a minute to land precisely in the center of the prison compound. Fifteen minutes later, when the dust cleared enough that anyone could see, there was crater a hundred feet in diameter, with no identifiable structure remaining standing around it.

Amy was a month in the Mayo Clinic, recovering from back surgery to correct the damage done during her landing in Iraq. She'd also had extensive plastic surgery to repair the facial scars and flattened nose, from her beatings at the hands of her jailers. Her broken arm had been straightened—this operation would cause the most pain over the following weeks. A skilled dental surgeon had fit new embedded teeth, replacing those lost or too damaged to repair. But it was the mental wounds that seemed to linger the longest.

As she recovered there, one of her occasional visitors was 35 year old Connor McCallum, one of the SEAL team members who had raided the prison. Her rescue mission was his last assignment before retirement, after fifteen years in the Navy. He'd registered a little start-up company in DC, providing special protection and security to anyone who needed and could afford it. Amy's family already had several full time employees to provide security, but she hired Connor's company anyway—it might help him get established a little quicker—he sure as hell deserved it.

As soon as it was safe for her to leave the hospital, Amy took herself to Powers Island to recover. It was early June and she spent almost three months there, lying naked on the beach on every warm day, swimming in Delaware Bay, and on cooler days, walking for hours all over the tiny island. The sun, sand, and the powerful memories of her family and their ancestors, had been more therapeutic than a year of talking to the 'shrinks' at Walter Reed. By the end of the summer, the swelling and scars from her facial wounds and surgery had almost disappeared.

Although there was very little threat to her security, Conner McCallum spent time there that summer too, ensuring that she was safe. At night they sat together drinking wine and beer, as she relived her time in the Iraqi prison. He was one of the few people in the world who could understand what she had experienced there and the effects it was having on her in the months afterwards.

After her recovery, she went to work for a respected law firm in DC. Her grandfather had started the firm back in the 40's; her father had inherited it, and worked his entire career there—now she owned it. Having dropped Greg's last name after their divorce, her maiden name was already on the wall. She prospered there; the sensitive work came naturally to her. She'd known and understood the kind of people who were now her clients, all of her life.

Her foray into politics came naturally, too. She was retained by a Republican presidential candidate, to sue a newspaper for libel for something they'd printed about him. After some investigation, she learned that much of what the paper had printed was true. She'd convinced her client not to sue, but instead to make a short statement about the situation, at his next stump speech—she wrote the bit herself. It was hilariously funny, mostly self-deprecating humour, but also telling an anecdote about the reporter who'd written the offending story—even the reporter had laughed when he read the transcript the next day. But the trick worked—reduced to ridiculousness, the issue was quickly forgotten by both parties. The candidate was eventually passed over for a run at the presidency, but no one forgot how efficiently a potentially ugly situation had been neutralized by an emerging power-broker named Amelia Powers.

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