Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has a new prompt for this month. The theme is Waves of Love. I’ve already done one story with Robin and Isellta. This time, Hildreth and Elsie get the spotlight! Hope you enjoy!
Hildreth sat on a hard plastic barstool at In The Waves, the beach’s fresh juice bar. He took a sip of his Cactus Water Mumsadaisial and shrugged. It wasn’t the worst drink in the whole world, but it certainly wasn’t the best. It tasted like really bland coconut water.
He would have bought a different drink, but the other ones had fearsome sounding ingredients like aloe vera juice and something called spinafloria essence. Cactus water had sounded like the sanest option.
Turns out, it was the most boring and bland option. But he drank it anyway. After all, the drink was cold and the weather was get-a-bad-sunburn-sitting-in-the-shade hot.
A cluster of bikinied teenagers enthusiastically oogled Hildreth as they careened past him. He didn’t say or do anything to encourage them. He thought about Elsie and he smiled.
Sorry, little darlings, but none of you stand a chance against my frizzy-haired Marauder.
A petite freckle-faced redhead broke out of the cluster and sashayed over to him. “Hey!”
He took a long sip of his drink as she took her time giving him a full body scan.
She licked her lips, either in approval or nervousness. It was hard to tell. “You look all sorts of lonely, sitting here by yourself.”
He shrugged. “Not lonely at all. I’m just sitting here, drinking my drink and living my best possible life as I’m waiting for my wife to make her grand entrance.”
“Wife?” She stared at him as if such a concept was inconceivable. “What? As in real life wife? Wedding vows and wedding gown wife?”
He held up his ring hand. “Yep!”
Her expression was that of someone watching her family’s boat sink. “Oh.” It was a small word, but she put a lot of hurt feeling into it.
He lowered his hand. “I’m sorry.” He was about to do the whole “It never would have worked out between us. I’m old enough to be your father.” spiel.
But then Elsie walked under the juice bar’s flapping canopy.
Her frizzy black hair was completely down. The humidity in the air made her hair frizz out a little more than usual. She wore a white halter bikini top with a sheer coral-colored cover-up wrapped around her waist. She was barefoot.
Hildreth rose from his seat. He couldn’t stop looking at her, couldn’t look away. Maybe the redheaded teenager stayed there with her face set in sorrowing. Maybe she slunk back to her girl squad. Hildreth had no idea and it didn’t matter. “Elsie.”
He could have waited for Elsie to finish making her approach, but he didn’t want to wait anymore.
He ran to her. His drink sloshed like mad, oopling and doopling over the edges.
Hildreth wanted to hug her, but he came to his senses and remembered his drink’s existence. He stopped in front of her. “Hey there, gorgeous. You are looking so hot today.”
She laughed. “With these kind of temperatures, who isn’t looking hot?”
He grinned. “Do I have to answer this question?”
“If the answer is Ambrose Smith, no. Don’t even go there.”
She gave his front side an appreciative scan.
He felt wonderfully aware of his open short-sleeved shirt, of his swimming trunks, of his bare legs. “Elsie.”
She took the plastic glass out of his hand and set it on a nearby table. The people sitting at that table glared at her. But Elsie smiled at Hildreth and took his hands. “Let’s go catch some waves.”
“Okay. Wait.” He thought about it. “Is that an innuendo?”
She laughed and said, “No comment.”
He smiled and let her lead him away.