Sierra is the working title for this novel. I don't have a name for it yet, so it's named after the main character.
Sierra McLaughlin finds herself sitting beside David Anders on her way from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Daytona Beach, Florida. She's on a trip to interview at Stetson University for her Masters in art, and David, having just graduated, is heading home. They hit it off and she shows him some of her pictures for her portfolio.
David took the pictures as she took back the coffee. He opened the book and grinned. "Great shot of the Inlet," he commented happily.
"I like to tell a story with the pictures. I took a few landscape shots when I got there."
He flipped through three more. The next picture was of four surfers in silhouette, the sun and water in front of them. One was bending over putting on his wet suit. His tight ass was nearly center of the frame. The guy to his right was profile, looking down at him. The other two were checking the waves, eyes shielded against the glare. Their boards were planted upright in the sand.
David chuckled, pointing to the ass shot. "Very nice composition. What's this part of the story?" He mimicked a female voice. "I got to the beach and saw this great ass and had to take a picture?"
Sierra grabbed for her book, but he held it away from her, out into the aisle.
"He has a bathing suit on!"
"Yeah, but still! I didn't think Stu had that good an ass. Mine's better."
"You know him?"
"Yeah. I know all of them." He pointed to each in turn from left to right. "Tom, Stu's ass, Brent and yours truly."
Sierra squinted at the picture. The guy shading his eyes and turned slightly to his right, watching the waves was very familiar.
"Oh, my God! It is you! How weird is that?"
"Not very when you figure I spend every available minute on my board."
"But that we should meet on a plane, when we've been at the same school for several years. It's weird."
"When you put it in that perspective, yeah."
Suddenly excited to have met one of her subjects, Sierra leaned over the album eagerly.
"Any more pictures of you in there?"
"Let's see." He laughingly brushed her hand away as the flight attendant passed by.
"You'll have to put your trays up now."
"No problem," David grinned. He put the album in his lap and put up his tray.
The pictures started to fall off his lap. Sierra, not really thinking, made a grab for the album and missed. The flight attendant looked down at them and gave her a knowing smile. With a twinkle in her eyes, she walked to the front of the plane. Red faced and mortified, Sierra watched the photo album fall to the floor. Unmoving, she stared at it until David picked it up and dusted it off.
"No harm done," he smiled, white teeth flashing in his tanned face.
"I'm so sorry," Sierra muttered as the plane began to move.
"Grabbing at the book. I missed," she whispered as she blushed a deep red.
"Not everything," he smirked, raising an eyebrow. "I thought it was some strange Mississippi greeting. Hi," he held out his hand to her again. "I'm David and these are my balls. Would you like to sample a handful?"
Sierra laughed suddenly, realizing he wasn't making fun, just making light of a very embarrassing situation. Putting on her best Southern Belle accent, she replied with a flutter of her eyelashes.
"Why, Mr. Anders, I believe you're a bit presumptuous. I never grab a man's private parts on the first date."
"Too bad," he sighed. "I rather liked it. You can grab my photo anytime you want."
Sierra giggled and nudged him playfully in the ribs.
"You're awful. No wonder they're sending you home."
"I can't be expected to behave," he agreed. "It's true. Cannot play well with others is on all my report cards."
"Mine all say, cannot be trusted with photo albums," she added. Gasping, she grabbed his hand as the plane left the ground. "I hate flying," she whispered and clutched his fingers more tightly.
"It's okay. I'm here. We'll do this together."
"Thanks," she murmured and closed her eyes as the plane climbed.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes