The pages she’d been reading held her cheek off the towel, keeping any grains of sand from seeping into her eyes. The erotic scene on page 94 had been a disappointment. She could write better than that! Dozing, languid and as relaxed as a floppy limbed baby, her mind arranged words, shuffled them to new places and rewrote the scene’s beginning:
‘The sun bounced off the white wall of the shed, blinding her gaze for a moment and in the shadow of the porch she couldn’t see his face.
“Yes?” Who was this man? “Can I help you?”
“I hope so,” he murmured, taking a step toward her, causing her to step back and trip. Damn mat. How many times had she thought to remove it? Strong arms caught her as she fell and, her sight clearer in the shade of the hallway, she recognised their gardener.
“Maxwell, thank you for catching me.” She struggled to stand but he held her tight against his chest. She inhaled, breathing in the smell of tree pruning, earth and sweat. It all seemed rather nice and she gave up her struggle, resting against the smooth fabric of his shirt. She stroked his back thinking it funny how her hands found their way around his waist and slid down his tight buttocks to grasp them. As if all her daydreams had been answered he lifted her, his arms under her knees, and carried her into the conservatory, placing her gently on the daybed.
“Are you hurt, M’am?”
“I will be if you leave. Here,” she patted the space beside her, “sit beside me for a moment until I recover……’
That would read better than the original draft. She sat up and pulled her duffle bag closer, searching in the bottom for a pen, snagging her notebook at the same time.
“I’m pleased to see you working?”
She gasped and wrapped her arms across her naked breasts. She recognised his gnarly toes. His legs dripped, the hairs stuck in dark rivulets. There was sand between his toes. Even on holiday he haunted her - her editor.
“What do you want?” she asked, echoing her heroine’s words.
“Have you finished those edits yet?”