Decisions in Paradise Ch. 03byeroslit©
The man behind the counter stood like a statue with his hands behind his back. His eyes scanned the women in the jewelry store. He would offer assistance when his senses indicated help was needed. Twenty years behind the counter provided him that talent.
Until then, he gazed at the customers with the usual questions in mind: Which of them was rich enough to buy anything? Which were tourists simply taking advantage of the air conditioning while they strode around the Caribbean island? What would the good looking ones look like naked?
One woman in the store he already knew something about. Adam, the jewelry company's local representative, had introduced him to Abbey, who was due a discount only Adam could approve. She appeared to the salesman to be around forty years old, ten years older than Adam, but he didn't rule out the possibility that she had earned the discount using her striking body. He knew Adam's tastes in women.
She wore shorts and an unassuming top with a dipping v-neck. The simplicity of the outfit didn't hide the generous breasts, thin waist, and curvaceous ass that would have made a twenty year old jealous. Her wavy, brown hair had been blown by the island winds, but it only added to her natural beauty.
Abbey stood with her head bent over a display of gold and silver bracelets. The salesman's trained eye told him the swell of her breasts against the top, and the pointy nipples, indicated she wasn't wearing a bra. Her tan cleavage begged to be touched by the right pair of hands, or mouth.
He took his eyes off Abbey just long enough to peer around the store at the other customers. His gaze lingered on a young, tall blonde. Her body was the equal of Abbey's, but this woman was clearly a tourist. Her expensive sleeveless blouse and short, tight skirt was something an island woman would never wear into his store.
She answered his first two imaginary questions in the positive: rich tourist. As to the third, the salesman's cock quivered at the thought of her blonde hair becoming disheveled as she rolled naked in his bed.
Abbey and the blonde were on opposite sides of the store and he had no reason to believe that one woman even knew the other was there.
But Abbey knew.
In the mirror behind the counter Abbey could see the young woman hover over a display of watches, her tiny ass pressed against the back of her skirt. A posh leather purse hung from her shoulder. The curvature of her hips and skinny waist were evident under the form fitting blouse.
Abbey strolled to another counter, seeking to steal a look at the woman's breasts. When the opportunity finally presented itself, Abbey was not disappointed. This girl had it all, and Abbey's heart quickened. She tried to formulate a plan of attack in the few seconds she might have before the blonde decided to leave the store.
Abbey slowly slid from counter to counter until she and her target were at least on the same side of the large store. Then they were within one counter of each other. The salesman looked on silently, taking it all in and fantasizing.
The blonde made eye contact with Abbey. They exchanged friendly smiles. A couple seconds later, without even looking at the other woman, Abbey said, "I'll take one of everything."
They looked at each other again.
"Everything's so beautiful," the blonde said. "And so much cheaper than back in the States."
"I know. Were you looking for anything in particular?" Abbey asked.
The woman shrugged. "Bracelets, mainly."
Abbey's eyes lit up. "Oh, I just saw some on the other side. The gold is really reasonable. Want me to show you a couple?"
This was where Abbey knew the brief encounter could end. Her intrusion could be rebuffed and they'd never meet again.
Instead, the woman said, "Sure. I can use the help."
Abbey led the woman across to the display of bracelets, taking pleasure in the simple act of watching her feminine style of walking. She was graceful for her height, Abbey thought. Highly educated; professional; big Midwestern city hometown, were her other conclusions.
Abbey pointed out her favorite bracelets, but then let the woman scrutinize the remainder of the collection on her own.
"You're right. These are wonderful. Of course, they hide the prices of the ones I want," she said, glancing at Abbey with a playful smile.
Abbey quickly turned toward the salesman. "Bernard!"
He was immediately at the counter.
"The young lady would like to look at some bracelets," Abbey said.
Bernard was opening the back side of the display case even before she finished the sentence. The woman peered at Abbey with a look of appreciation and bewilderment.
"You shop here so much you're on a first name basis?" she asked.
Abbey laughed. "It's a long story. And, no, I'm not a plant to lure you into buying bracelets. I just happen to know some of the employees. I'm lucky."
"Hi. I'm Cindy."
Abbey smiled at the cleverness of the introduction and shook the woman's little hand. "You can call me Abbey."
Bernard had a half dozen bracelets on the counter, and asked, "These are some of our best. Did you see others you liked?"
Cindy pointed out three she wanted to see close up. Bernard made them available and Cindy began the process of sliding them on and off her wrist. Abbey instantly noticed the large ring on her right hand and the magnificent diamond and wedding band on her left hand. Adding up all the clues and conclusions she'd reached so far, Abbey assumed this woman could afford anything in the store.
Abbey picked up one of Bernard's choices, which Cindy had not tried yet. "Do you like this style?" she asked.
"Love it," Cindy replied.
Abbey took her hand and slid the bracelet on, not releasing the fingers for an extra couple seconds while Cindy adjusted the jewelry.
"This is awesome. Just beautiful," Cindy said, turning over the tiny price tag. "And so expensive."
"Madame, do not expect to pay that price. Any friend of Abbey's can expect one-third off. You are no exception," Bernard said. "And may I say that goes extremely well with your beautiful skin and handsome rings."
Abbey nodded in agreement. She fully appreciated the Frenchman's ability to flirt, but now felt somewhat threatened by him. Abbey knew, however, that she had an advantage over him: she could walk out of the store with Cindy.
Cindy looked up from the bracelet around her wrist and smiled at Bernard. "Thank you. That price would be much more reasonable."
She looked at Abbey. "It's still a lot of money. Do you think it's worth it?"
"It's not my money," Abbey said. "But it looks beautiful on you. Of course, anything would. But that one in particular seems to fit your style. Elegant. Not ostentatious."
Cindy looked at her with curiosity. "You've known me for, what, ten minutes?"
"First impressions are the most important," Abbey countered.
There was silence for several seconds. Cindy twirled the bracelet on her wrist a couple times. Then she said to Bernard, "I'll take it."
"Marvelous. I'll ring it up."
Bernard withdrew to the cash register.
"Thank you for your help," Cindy said to Abbey as they wandered towards the register. "I think I'm going to like it."
"Would you like to join me for a drink to celebrate?" Abbey asked quietly.
Cindy looked up with surprise.
"I'll buy," Abbey said.
That earned a smile from her new friend; a shy grin; and, finally a 'Yes'.
After the purchase was completed and the bracelet properly packaged, Cindy and Abbey walked out of the store together, leaving Bernard with only a vision of their shapely figures rounding the corner onto the narrow sidewalk.
"Where do you recommend?" Cindy asked.
"I don't know the name of it, but there's a place down here that overlooks the water. It has a patio. Is that OK?"
"Fine with me," she replied.
The breeze blew through Cindy's wispy hair. Her delicate face looked even younger to Abbey now that they were outside in the sunlight. The perfection of the skin around Cindy's neck and cheekbones could be seen under the windblown hair that normally wrapped around her face.
Whatever man had won over this woman's heart was a lucky soul, Abbey thought to herself.
"Isn't that a neat outfit?" Cindy said, slowing down and pointing inside a shop window.
Abbey had to swerve to avoid bumping into her. Then she saw the beach wrap hanging around the waist of the disgustingly perfect mannequin.
"Oooooh, yeah," Abbey cooed. "I love the pattern."
Cindy kept walking. "I've spent enough for the rest of the week. But it won't stop me from shopping."
"Is that all the longer you're here?" Abbey asked.
"Two weeks, actually," Cindy said. "How about you?"
"Just one more week, I think. But we have an option to add a week if we want."
Cindy nodded as they walked up the path to the front of the restaurant. A leisurely clad young man escorted them to a table on the patio and took their drink orders.
Numerous fans hanging from the low ceiling circulated the air; a good thing since the patio seemed to be less wind-blown than the sidewalk. Thatch hung over the edge of the ceiling, and in three directions the hills of the island and the surrounding sea could be seen. A handful of people sat at the adequately spaced tables. Otherwise, the two women were by themselves.
"You're married?" Abbey asked.
"Yes. Do you think Bernard was disappointed?"
Abbey smiled. "I'm sure he was. But, Bernard has his pick of women in there everyday. I've only known him a short while and I notice his French accent comes and goes depending on who's in the store."
Cindy giggled. "I thought he was cute."
"Don't tell HIM that."
"And thanks for the discount. Maybe everybody gets that. But I do appreciate the help. I'm always afraid of getting ripped off," Cindy said, as the drinks arrived.
"Don't believe for an instant the store didn't make good money even with your one third off," Abbey said, taking a sip of her rum punch. "I do honestly know the supplier for that store and I know you paid a reasonable price. That's all you can ask."
Cindy nodded in acknowledgement. She took a drink and looked out over the water. Abbey took the occasion to gaze more closely at the silky smooth skin leading down to the firm breasts peeking out from under the blouse's opening. Abbey had guessed Cindy to be thirty years old, but the skin was that of a much younger woman.
"How about you? Married?" Cindy asked when her eyes returned from the scenery.
"Yes." Abbey tried to sound ambiguous, but it sounded even to her as though she was disappointed in the fact.
"We have one thing in common: husbands who hate to shop," Cindy said.
"I think that's universal. But it has its advantages. Would you have bought that bracelet with your husband tagging along?" Abbey inquired.
Cindy shrugged. "If I'd whined and put my arm around his waist and whispered in his ear—yes."
Abbey raised her eyebrows. "That would have worked with me, too."
"You mean you would have paid for my bracelet?!"
"If you had done that, sure," Abbey said.
Cindy laughed. "I don't whisper in other women's ears."
Abbey looked at her more critically. "You should try it."
"Does it work?" Cindy asked in an understated voice.
Abbey took a long sip through her straw. "Depends on what you want."
"When you do it, what do you want?"
Their eyes met and stayed locked together without blinking. This woman was proving to be more than a match for Abbey. But she wasn't about to admit defeat.
"I want her to pay attention to me," Abbey said.
Cindy allowed her gaze to wander over Abbey's upper body and the tan legs stretched out beside the table. "If you're whispering in her ear, she's already been paying attention to you. You must want more than that."
Abbey decided to take a direct approach. "Have you ever been with a woman, Cindy?"
Looking as if she realized the game was over, Cindy said, "No."
It had the tone of pacification, with a twinge of guilt tossed in. Abbey wasn't one hundred percent sure she was telling the truth.
"Is that by your own choice?"
Cindy was surprised. "Isn't it always?"
"Oh no. Sometimes it occurs and you never saw it coming."
Cindy stared at the water again. When she turned her head back, she leaned her elbows on the table and put her chin in her hands. "You mean, like two people meeting in a jewelry store?"
Abbey stared into the green eyes that sparkled in the daylight. Cindy's entire face seemed to glow. Her lips begged to be kissed.
"Yeah. Something like that."
Cindy immediately leaned back in her chair and said, "Nope. Never had that happen. But it sounds cool."
Abbey's heart pounded and her head spun. She no longer knew which woman was trying to pick up the other. She tried to take back control of the situation.
"You've never wondered what it would be like to be with another woman?" Abbey asked.
"I didn't say that," Cindy replied. "But if I've ever had the opportunity, I didn't take it. I don't remember ever having the opportunity."
Cindy spoke as though she was talking to somebody about the weather. No emotion. No indication she was looking for a response or explanation from Abbey.
"You'll know," Abbey said.
By mutual consent, the subject was changed and they spent another half hour talking about each others vacation up to that point. Abbey left out most of the 'good parts' dealing with Eileen and Kate and Adam. Maybe on another day, she thought.
They eventually left the restaurant and headed back towards their condos. They zigzagged through the narrow streets and down short alleys before getting to a fairly deserted strip of beach used primarily by the locals.
"Let's sit here for a few minutes," Cindy suggested. "Do you have time?"
"I have all day." It was a lie, but Abbey didn't want to leave her new friend just yet.
Cindy chose a bench protected from the sun by a towering palm tree. Various other bushes concealed it from the sidewalk pretty well. The closest swimmer was a couple hundred yards away.
The women chatted for a short while. Abbey couldn't help but fix her eyes on the long, tan legs extending out from under Cindy's little skirt. She had them crossed and the sleek line of her thighs implored Abbey's hands to touch them. But she fought the urge as long as she could.
During a lull in the conversation and with Abbey looking out over the island, Cindy lightly put her hand on top of Abbey's.
"I really meant what I said about being thankful you helped with the bracelet. I'm very happy with it," Cindy said.
Abbey smiled. "I'm glad. You could have ignored me, and I would have been fine with that. But you didn't. I'm glad for that, too."
Cindy tightened her grip on Abbey's hand. "What made you do it?"
"To save you from Bernard?"
Abbey posed it as a question, and Cindy chuckled.
"I couldn't let a pretty young woman like you get taken advantage of," Abbey said more seriously.
Cindy let go of Abbey's hand after one last squeeze. "You're too sweet."
Abbey pivoted on the bench to more directly face Cindy. At the same time she chose to boldly move her hand to the top of Cindy's leg, she said, "I mean it. You're very cute. Your husband's very lucky."
Cindy made no effort to remove Abbey's hand or otherwise act uncomfortable. She may have blushed a bit, and looked down at the sand.
"I suppose," she said softly. "But he's a bit older than me and, well, sometimes I...oh, sometimes it's lonely. It's hard to explain."
Trophy wife was the first thought that came to Abbey's mind, and conflicting feelings flowed through her. She certainly didn't feel sorry for a woman fortunate enough to have the looks and age to pull off such a marriage and reap the financial benefits. But if Cindy was telling the truth about being lonely, that was sad.
"You don't need to explain. Do you have friends—male or female—that you can lean on?" Abbey asked. She lifted her hand off Cindy's leg.
"Some. Not many. I'm busy traveling and entertaining at home and stuff related to my husband's job. I hardly have time."
"You need to make time," Abbey said. "You're too young to let it all slip past."
"How do YOU do that?"
The question caught Abbey off guard, but she used it as an opening to go in another direction. She inched closer to Cindy and leaned over until her face was next to the side of Cindy's head.
"I whisper in somebody's ear," she said softly, and then kissed Cindy on the cheek.
"Well, you have my attention."
Abbey put her hand back on Cindy's leg, this time a little higher.
"See. It works," Abbey said, stroking the leg.
"What do you do after you have their attention?"
"I leave that up to them most of the time," Abbey said. The women were very close and Abbey's hand brushed up against the edge of Cindy's skirt. "Friends need to feel comfortable around each other, no matter how long they've known each other. Different friends have different needs, also. Some just like to talk. Others..."
Abbey paused, making it clear she wasn't going to finish. Cindy said, "Are more physical?"
Their eyes hadn't left each other for several minutes. The breeze picked up and Cindy's hair fluttered once more.
"Which are you?" Abbey murmured.
"Physical," Cindy said, so softly Abbey almost didn't hear her. But she saw the word on Cindy's luscious lips. She felt the puff of air leave her mouth.
Abbey leaned into her and their lips touched. It wasn't a kiss. Abbey's hand slid down the side of Cindy's leg and she felt the cool skin that led up to the ass under her skirt. Abbey spread her lips and allowed her tongue to touch Cindy's lips.
Before Cindy could respond, Abbey moved her mouth down onto Cindy's cheek. She stopped for a second, and then moved up to Cindy's ear. Her tongue emerged for just an instant.
After a single light swipe, Abbey sighed, "Good answer. I love physical."
"You seem to be very good at it."
"You make it very easy," Abbey said. Her mouth worked its way back down to Cindy's. This time they kissed.
Abbey moved closer, her hand sliding even farther up the inside of Cindy's skirt. Her fingers touched the edge of a pair of panties and she stopped. But the kiss lingered, even grew in intensity. Their tongues touched. Their bodies came closer.
"Someone like you should never be lonely," Abbey managed to say between kisses.
"Maybe lonely isn't the right word."
Abbey leaned back and stared at the beautiful blonde. "Then what is?"
Cindy smiled broadly. Her face was reddened from the heat, sun, and stimulation. If it was possible for her to be even lovelier, she was. "Remember? I'm not good with words."
"That's right. You're physical."
Abbey's hand had been pulled out and rested on Cindy's knee. Cindy looked at it and patted it. "I really have to be going, Abbey. It's been a fun day."
"Can you...is it OK if you come back tomorrow?"
The smile Abbey was beginning to love so much came back to Cindy's bright face. "Sure. What time?"
Abbey thought for a second. "Noon. In front of the shop with the bikini cover-up you liked so much."
Cindy laughed. "Perfect. Do I get to shop some more?"
"If it makes you happy."
"It does." Cindy leaned over and kissed Abbey's cheek. "I need to get back now."
Both women spent the evening with friends and family, but their minds were elsewhere. Cindy, in particular, had a lot to ponder. Not only did she make a new friend, but that friend had taken her somewhere she never expected to go. Cindy couldn't stop thinking about the feel of Abbey's lips on hers, the light touch of her fingers on her leg, or the single lick of her ear lobe.
She kept trying to recapture the exact emotion—the exact sense of skin on skin. Even when her husband drew her on top of him in the night, Cindy thought about Abbey. No, Abbey could never fill her body the way he did. But no man had ever made her feel the way Abbey did in those few, short minutes. No man ever excited her with mere words, and whispers, and light touches, and kisses.