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Better Late – 8

A scene faded in. A beautiful sailboat with a glossy, black hull sat at the edge of a wide wooden dock, tied with its stern toward the viewer.

The name of the boat, ‘SABBATICAL’ was lettered in gold leaf across the spotless transom. Below the name it read ‘Sequester Island’ in smaller letters. The boat rocked gently at its mooring when a man emerged through the hatch from the cabin below. He crossed the teak deck in two strides, stepped over the edge of the boat onto the dock and approached the camera with a steady, confident walk until his head and shoulders filled the frame.

Shaynah stared into the dark blue eyes that looked out at her from the monitor screen. She felt like he could really see her, and unconsciously fluttered her hands at the high throat of her heavy tweed dress. She wondered at the warmth that she thought she saw in his eyes, but Shaynah was no fool. She reminded herself that this man was doing a selling job, and would obviously project as positive an image as he could. He might even be a professional actor making the ad for money. His body in the tight, white T-shirt could be a movie star’s. His skin was tanned golden brown everywhere it showed. His legs were well muscled and moved with graceful masculinity like a dancer or an athlete when he walked toward the camera. A large, lean, black dog walked happily at his side.

He smiled before he spoke, and his white, even teeth shone out of his handsome, tanned face. She guessed him to be about thirty years old. When he spoke, his warm, gentle voice sent a shiver through Shaynah’s body.

‘Hi! Thanks for your interest in Sequester Island. I’m David Goodman and I’d like to show you around my little island. If you like what you’ll see, I hope you’ll call me to talk about a personal visit.’

Shaynah’s mind half stopped at that, and she didn’t really hear what David Goodman’s magnificent electronic image was saying. She was aware only of the silken tones of his voice rumbling easily from his tanned throat and floating into the clear, sunny air like warm honey through his full lips.

The camera followed David through the house, showing room after room of calm, rustic elegance. It followed him out of the house and down a flat stone path through dense foliage and mature pine trees to a boathouse at the water’s edge on the far side of the island. A broad wooden dock similar to the first one was in front of the cabin. Shaynah was mesmerised watching his tight buttocks undulate in his form fitting blue shorts. After he conducted a gracious tour of the boathouse, David showed off a splendid apartment up a set of outdoor stairs over the indoor docking space. Finally, David Goodman strode to the edge of the gallery that was cantilevered out over the front entrance of the boathouse. He turned to the camera with his dazzling smile.

‘Thanks for your interest. I hope you’ll get in touch.’ He turned and dove from the high gallery into the sparkling blue water, and cut into it like a knife with barely a splash. The image zoomed in on the sparkling water where he’d disappeared beneath the surface. He did not resurface. An e-mail address and a phone number faded onto the screen. The picture in the background faded away, and the information remained on a black screen. Shaynah quickly wrote the information down before she clicked the image away.

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