3 weeks earlier

The sun hung eternal in the empty sky, perpetually baking the strip of Rio de Janeiro coast as if the star itself had passed out from heat stroke, content to recover as close to the beach as possible. But the water was chilled by a far off current, and past it, sweltering heat melted the tops off enough bodies to make the stay worth it.

There was, on the far side of the sand, a man not present for the ocean or the sun, nor the barest of breasts. He had a peculiar air about him, a young, voracious look, stance relaxed- though eyes intent enough to glare through sunglasses. He remained perched under a wide umbrella, shade hiding him from inspection, keeping him in a tiny world of his own.

For a time he sat and watched, calm, unmoving, having more in common with the umbrella above him than the people elsewhere. Upon closer inspection, a liberty not taken by the pleasure-seekers present, the man was waiting. And not like a human waits, not with an impatient, swiveling gaze or a recurrent glance to wristwatch, but with the patience and fortitude of a spider awaiting dinner.

Soon a woman tread across the sand near his umbrella, and ever-so-slightly gazed to her side, eye catching his long enough to connect.

His teeth, enamel-white and glowing, split his face and continued to do so through his beckon. The woman failed to conceal a laugh, and moved towards him. He spoke, London fog in the pitch of his voice.

"I recognize a Lady from the Isles any day. You look like a Manchester lass." By then she had reached him, oversized sunglasses obscuring her face, though her blonde locks were revealed, tumbling down onto her curves, tan and barely covered. 

She smiled, and spoke like champagne, bubbly-sweet and intoxicating. "A fair guess. You sound like a London boy." He nodded, removing his sunglasses. "I concede. What brings you to Brazil?"

"Escaping the homeland, of course." she answered.

"Pleasure, then? We have so much in common."

Her grin turned impish, he was handsome, though one rarely went to other countries to find men from their own. He extended a hand to her, through her thoughts.


After a pause, she let her hand slip out, as if she'd made a decision.


The End

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