following is a work of fiction regarding sexual relationships. If you feel
that it is illegal, immoral, or otherwise improper for you to read this,
then DON'T READ IT.
Adrienne Brown Est. word count: 5800 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A PIXEL ON THE BEACH
About a half hour after Meg arrived in the office at Pacific Fleet
Intelligence on Monday, she checked her e-mail. As the waiting mail list
scrolled down the screen, she noticed a message from Carl. She went
directly to the message. He would be arriving at Hickam Air Force Base
shortly before noon on Thursday; he had managed to snag three days of
leave, enroute to a Temporary Duty assignment in Australia. She felt like
jumping up and shouting 'hallelujah!' But that would be inappropriate
behavior for the office. Even though she was a 'short-timer'--she expected
orders to a new duty station within a month, there was a dignity to uphold.
Then Meg read the rest of the message. Carl had arranged for them to
stay in the new vacation cottages near Nohili Point at the Barking Sands
Military Reservation on Kauai. He had included a telephone number and
asked Meg to contact Matilda Kalikimaka at Barking Sands to confirm these
reservations; apparently, there was a local requirement that they be
confirmed by someone on active duty in the islands.
She was baffled. What was he thinking of? Damn it! It had been
thirteen months since he had been transferred back to the mainland. For
thirteen months, she hadn't seen him. For thirteen long months, she'd had
to practice the art of unisex.
They could easily have gotten a cottage at Barber's Point here on Oahu.
Beautiful beach there. The sand didn't 'bark,' but it was less than 30
minutes from Hickam; they could drive to Barber's Point and back to Hickam
in her car on their own schedule. Going to Barking Sands required
scheduled inter-island air transport, a half hour's flight, a rental car,
and perhaps an hour's worth of driving on Kauai. What a waste of time that
could be otherwise used!
Carl had done it again. That was infuriating, at times. Obviously
he had a reason, but he hadn't let her in on it. He really took
'need-to-know' to an extreme. He liked to keep secrets, he liked to
surprise her. Meg fumed silently; if she were neutered, would she still
love him this much? Damn it. Why couldn't she be like Heinlein's Friday?
Able to treat sex as a natural act, like eating? able to go to bed with
whoever was available? regardless of gender? It would be so much more
convenient than to be hung up on one man.
Well, she had to admit that Carl had pulled a nearly impossible deal,
getting leave on his Temporary Duty orders. And, even though they were
engaged, there was no law that he had to take his leave with her. She
whipped out a leave request, filled in the blanks, and headed for the
division officer's office.
Lieutenant Commander Berriol looked at the request and then at Meg,
"Rather short fuze on this request, Sloan, isn't it?"
"Yes, sir!" came the prompt reply. "I just got word on my friend's
orders a few minutes ago."
Berriol had long been wondering why Sloan had taken no leave since a
year ago September; officers, on their first tour of duty in Hawaii
often ended up running out of earned leave. But not Sloan. Now he
understood: the 'Ice Queen' actually did have a friend; her rumored
engagement was a fact. She had been saving leave for a 'special occasion.'
He smiled inwardly. Let the bachelors in the office eat their hearts out.
Sloan was going to get her leave. She was one of his best analysts: she
liked to work, she worked hard, she did excellent analyses, she would be
gone in a few months. But he wanted to appear reluctant; other officers in
the division might get the idea that leave would be routinely approved on
short notice. He spoke loudly enough that those eavesdropping from the
outer office could hear, "What's the status on your reports?"
"I'll be staying late tonight and have the summary on the new Russian
overhead surveillance satellite on your desk by close of business tomorrow.
I can come in on Sunday to finish up the analysis on the new Russian
Pacific Fleet anti-submarine organization for Monday's brief."
Berriol was running out of questions. Several seconds of grumpy silence
should do. Finally, he groused, "This office has a tight schedule for
producing reports. I like to have plenty of warning on leave requests so
that I can adjust assignments. If you were in my position, how would you
handle a case like this?"
Meg answered promptly, "I'd reward good work, sir. It helps to keep up
He scowled, but agreed with the logic. He checked 'approved' and
deliberately signed the request as slowly as possible while still making a
legible signature. He pushed the form back across the desk toward Meg.
Silently, he wished her a good leave, but maintained a slightly put-upon
look. There were too many flakes in the office who might be encouraged by
Meg thanked Berriol and returned to the outer office. She immediately
went to the desk of Lieutenant Julie Perez, the senior analyst in the
office. Perez had overheard enough from Berriol's office to know what was
up. But she continued to check the duty lists.
"Lieutenant Perez, ma'am?"
Perez looked up with a feigned look of slight surprise. "Oh, . . .
Yes, Sloan. What can I do for you?"
"A personal emergency has come up. I just got leave approved for
Thursday through Saturday. But I have duty on Thursday. I know this is
very short notice, but could you take my Thursday duty day?"
They had talked about this before. Perez knew what 'personal emergency'
she was talking about; it had been over a year since Meg had seen Carl
Munsee. But Perez decided to take this opportunity to reiterate to the
office her estimation of Sloan; a Lieutenant was willing to take the duty
day of a JG. She repeated the details of their deal, "Okay, you'll take my
duty on Sunday and on one other weekend of my choice, too. Right?"
"Right!" Meg beamed. She was home free. She thanked Perez, returned to
her desk, and dashed off a e-mail reply to Carl. She paused, should she
make the call to Kauai from her desk? or should she use a public phone?
She decided to save time; she was a master at making short phone calls.
She dialed the number Carl had provided and asked for Matilda Kalikimaka.
Ensign Donna Elwood, who had the desk across from Meg's, could not help
but note the conversation. Elwood was a brand new officer and looked up to
Sloan, who, with more than 20 months at Pacific Fleet, had been assigned as
her mentor. Elwood admired Sloan's telephone manner and often listened to
pick up pointers.
The male voice which answered at Barking Sands said that Matilda was not
in the office today. Yes, a cottage had been reserved by Captain Carl
Munsee, but it had not yet been confirmed by someone serving in the
islands. Meg cheerfully said that she was calling to make that
confirmation, gave her name and duty station. The voice asked whether the
reservations she was confirming had been made by her husband. Meg lowered
her voice; she didn't want to spell out for the intelligence office what
she would be doing on leave, "No, the reservations were made by Captain
Carl Munsee, United States Air Force. Last name, Mike, Uniform, November,
Sierra, Echo, Echo."
The voice asked, "So, you are Mrs. Munsee. Who is this M.A. Sloan?"
"I'm M.A. Sloan, Lieutenant JG, U.S. Navy, Pacific Fleet."
After a pause, "Would you spell that last name?"
"Sloan, Sierra, Lima, Oscar, Alpha, November." Meg was becoming
frustrated; with anyone else on the other end of the line, she would
already be off the phone. Perez was looking in her direction; there was a
policy that the telephones should not be tied up with lengthy personal
The male voice now said that a cottage was available; in fact, no one
else would be at Nohili Point until the weekend. But the voice continued,
listing all sorts of inconveniences. To begin with, it pointed out that
the Officer's Club at Barking Sands was closed in mid-week. Meg had
learned this when she had checked out all military recreational facilities
in the islands shortly after her arrival. She patiently responded, "My
friend is travelling half way around the world. If we wanted to eat and
drink, we could stay on Oahu. We just want a place to get away and be by
The voice responded, saying that all food services would be closed,
including the Burger King restaurant. The Base Exchange was closed; no
food would be available anywhere at Barking Sands. Meg answered testily,
"We plan to buy our food on the way in from the airport. We'll cook it
ourselves in the cottage. We don't need any food service."
The voice pointed out that during the off-season, no recreational
facilities would be available, no movies, no bowling alley, no arcade, no swimming pool; no lifeguards would be available on the beach.
Meg realized that she was just not getting through to the voice. She tried
a new tack, "Besides fixing and eating food, all we'll be doing is what
newlyweds do on a honeymoon."
Ensign Elwood made it obvious that she had been eavesdropping on the
conversation; she choked on her donut and coughed moist scraps of it across
the papers on her desk. Meg realized that with her reputation as the 'Ice
Queen'--a good-looking (excuse the pride), healthy, and eligible woman who refused to date, as far as anyone could tell--there was intense
curiosity elsewhere in the office about a telephone conversation that
obviously had nothing to do with intelligence. She wished that she had
been more patient and had placed this call from a public phone where she
would have had some privacy.
Nevertheless, the voice continued and told Meg that there would be no
maid service. That was the last straw; she was about to explode, but
instead spoke quietly, with exaggerated diction. She didn't want the
office to hear, "Captain Munsee and I won't be out of bed long enough for
any maid to have time to make it up."
From over the phone she heard a now comprehending "Oh." She also noticed
the absolute quiet in the office. She looked around to see all the other
analysts hurriedly turn back to their work, or whatever it was on the desk
in front of them. She was mortified and began to blush.
Now that the voice on the telephone understood that Meg wanted the
cottage for immoral purposes, it was helpful. In less than a minute, she
was able to hang up, having finally confirmed the reservation and obtained
directions to the office which would have the necessary keys. She decided
that she should have said right up front, "We need a place to get laid."
Meg looked around the office again; all heads were down, busy at work.
She could feel the blush rising from her neck and burning her cheeks. She
had to get out of there. She tried to be inconspicuous as she stood up and
walked out of the room. She refused to look around.
Berriol looked up from his desk in the inner office; the outer office
was just too quiet. He noticed the studied busy-ness of most of his
subordinates and the crimson blush on Meg's face as she walked out of the
office. It contrasted so starkly with her hair. When the door
closed behind her, he asked, "Would someone please tell me what that was
For several seconds, the office was silent. Finally, Lieutenant (Junior
Grade) William T. O'Bannon, a handsome, self-assured Academy graduate,
spoke up irreverently, "The 'Ice Queen' is going to get laid on Thursday."
One of the women in the office tossed a printer manual at O'Bannon's
Ensign Elwood spoke up, "You're just jealous, Mr. O'Bannon, sir. You
hit on her for a date just about every time she turns around. How many
times has she turned you down? Sir!"
A female voice rose above the hubbub, "God's gift to womankind is an
expert on Sloan."
Lieutenant Perez eventually spoke up, "O'Bannon, you know what that
She continued without waiting for the ring-knocker to answer, "Sloan
shows good taste in choosing who she goes to bed with."
Berriol looked disgusted. He finally bellowed, "Okay, okay. Back to
work, people. We have work to do."
He muttered, as he went back to his desk, "Women! Goddammed hormones!"
Perez noticed Berriol muttering as he went back to his desk. She
guessed what he was thinking and, as she turned back to her keyboard,
mimicked him, talking to no one in particular, "Why can't a woman be more
like a man."
- - - -
When dawn came Thursday morning, so did Meg. She had been awake since
half past five--0530 hours she reminded herself. Unable to sleep, she had
let her fingers do the walking, hoping that it would reduce the tension
that had built up in anticipation of her fiance's arrival.
It hadn't discernably helped, she realized, as she stood near the
arrival gate at Hickam Air Force Base in the late morning sun and watched
Carl's plane swing around on the nearby apron to debark its passengers.
She felt more moisture than just her own perspiration. Suddenly, she
laughed to herself: she had called that jet out there 'Carl's plane'; but
he wasn't the only passenger on board.
Wincing and involuntarily ducking against the scream of turbojet
engines, Meg realized that her morning had passed in a blurry haze; she
couldn't even remember the drive into the base from her apartment. She
reached up and touched the hibiscus blossom in her hair. Yes, it was
there. Then glanced down at her right hand. Yes, again. She had the six
plumeria leis for Carl's arrival.
The whine of the turbines died and soon passengers were debarking. Meg
felt herself trembling as she saw the first arrivals pass through the
nearby gate. She had to force herself to keep her right hand from
clenching in anticipation. She had decided that her fiance should receive
the traditional greeting; she glanced again at her sweaty . . . 'Sweaty'
was the right word, she decided; perspiration was not descriptive enough of
what her body was doing to her right now. She glanced at her sweaty right
hand and hoped the plumeria blossoms would not be too damaged.
Suddenly, she saw him and then there was only one other person anywhere
in the world around her. Yes, there were colors and blurs here and there
and an occasional muffled sound that made absolutely no sense. How could
it? The only thing that mattered was that smiling brown-haired, blue-eyed
man in the light blue short sleeve and khaki cotton slacks, carrying
the gray flight bag.
Meg had started to take the leis in both hands, in order to place them
over his neck, when she realized that neither he nor she wanted to delay
their first embrace long enough for that silly ceremony. She swung her
right hand and the leis free, just as Carl reached her, grabbed her, and
crushed her to his chest. In a flash, the thirteen months apart
Meg had no idea what it was that brought her back to the present. But
suddenly it seemed to her that it was incongruous for them to be French
kissing in such a public place. Shortly, they broke the kiss and the
embrace, and she remembered to drape the leis around his neck. She
marveled that she had had the presence of mind or something and had not
crushed the fragile blooms during their welcoming mutual grope.
"What did you say?"
Meg realized that Carl was almost shouting to make himself heard above
the noise at the gate. She stood on tiptoes, leaned close to his ear and
answered, "I said, 'Aloha.' Remember? It means both 'welcome' and 'I love
He grinned and, as he leaned down to pick up the flight bag he had
dropped at some time or another, said, "Isn't that redundant? I mean, what
more could you have to say, after the kiss you gave me?"
Though she blushed, Meg seized the opportunity and grabbed his arm.
"Carl, why don't you just get your luggage and let me show you what else I
could have to say. I want to. It's only fifteen minutes to my apartment.
We don't need to go to Kauai."
The grin disappeared from his face as he recognized how serious she was.
He seemed to pause a moment, then said, "Oh, Meg, I'd love to. But my bags
are already on their way over to the International Airport."
"We can call and have them send them back. Or we can go over and pick
them up." Then very hesitantly, she added, "You won't . . . need . . . to
wear . . . much, . . . if you don't want to, . . . 'til Saturday, . . .
when you leave for Australia."
"My bags are checked through to Lihue, Meg. And I put some government
equipment that I've signed for in them. . . . Besides, haven't you seen
enough of Oahu? You haven't been to Kauai yet, have you? You can't leave
the islands, go back to the mainland without seeing Barking Sands."
She realized that he was correct about Oahu. She had seen all there was
to see on this island. And, before he had been detached a year ago last
September, they had gone to the Big Island twice, to Maui, even to Molokai.
They had planned to go to Kauai, but that trip had been scrubbed by a
hectic weekend she had been required to spend working on PacFleet's input
to PacCom for the latter's input to the JIEP.
However, their canceled trip would have taken them to Wailua, just a
stone's throw up the road from the airport at Lihue. She wondered why he
wanted to go to Barking Sands this time. What was the big deal about sand
Meg was about to renew her invitation that he spend his leave in an
extremely private, thoroughly intimate, though quite unspectacular locale,
when she recognized the look in his eyes. No matter what she might say, no
matter how long it might take, he would work her around to going to Kauai.
She surrendered: it would be better to save her breath and energy and spend
the time instead enjoying his company.
She was smiling again when they arrived on the opposite side of the
airfield at the main terminal for Honolulu International Airport. He
remarked on the dark hibiscus bloom in her hair as they sat down to
eat. She learned that he had been awake for nearly fourteen hours as they
consumed what was dinner for him and lunch for her; he had not been able to
get any good sleep on the flight to Oahu. Although the flight to Kauai was
smooth as glass, he stayed awake. She didn't blame him; after thirteen
months apart, she couldn't keep her eyes off him either. Besides, there
wasn't much else to do: neither of them had a fantasy about using an
aircraft's bathroom that way. And the plane was far too crowded to let him
feel her up under her muumuu.
Meg was somewhat amazed at the discussion Carl initiated as she drove
them away from the Rice Shopping Center in Lihue. He asked about the
Russian overhead surveillance satellite that she had studied before going
on leave. At first she was reluctant; but they were both cleared for this
level of intelligence and, in fact, he had provided her some of the
information that she had used in finishing the briefing summary. Soon she
was absorbed in their 'shop talk.' It seemed that he wanted to ensure that
she knew the capabilities of the new Russian infrared sensor. Much higher
discrimination due to a major advance in optics and greatly improved
sensitivity to temperature differences.
Meg agreed that, under the right conditions, against the right
background, it might be possible to detect small groups of humans, perhaps
even individuals. But she would want to make her own calculation of the
proportion of a single pixel a human body would occupy and verify the
expected skin temperatures and background temperature that Carl suggested.
Suddenly, she had a list of doubts. Clothing would probably act as
shielding and reduce the IR emissions available to the sensor. Besides,
human beings would be very small targets from overhead. Even a jogging
bald would probably not generate enough heat within the space of a
pixel to create the needed temperature gradient to be detectable.
Carl let the topic drop with Meg's doubts and changed the subject,
commenting once again that the dark hibiscus bloom was stunning in her
hair. She glanced over at him and smiled from ear to ear before turning
back to look at the road. That was the impact she had wanted; she always
appreciated his compliments.
Carl had been quite alert, even enthusiastic, while they talked on the
way to Nohili Point. And yet, by the time they finally reached the cottage
and unloaded their groceries, he had been awake for over twenty hours. He
barely got through dinner, bravely changed into his sleeper shorts, told
her that he wanted to go swimming early in the morning, but fell
asleep--despite her new sheer negligee, his head in her lap, the clock
showing not quite 1930 hours.
Meg ran her hand through his hair, there was no response. He was dead
to the world. This was not fair! She had kept her hands off of him since
before noon, for more than seven and a half hours. And this was her reward
for that restraint? She pulled the dark bloom out of her hair and
threw it toward the open window. Perez would be disappointed in her.
Elwood would never believe it. If O'Bannon ever got wind of it, he would
make some stupid remark like "that's what you get for dating Air Force."
She should have pulled the car off into that cane field right outside the
airport in Lihue and torn his clothes off when she had had the chance.
Carl had sprawled diagonally, taking up parts of both sides of the bed;
she took a pillow and finally found a position in which she could share the
bed with him. It would have been more comfortable to sleep on the couch;
but she wanted to be close. She didn't think she was tired, but fell
Some time later, Carl woke up, scooted over to one side of the bed and
gently moved Meg into a more comfortable position before he went back to
sleep. She was barely aware of this; it seemed like a dream. But when the
alarm clock went off, she was jolted awake.
Meg was sitting up before she recognized that it was still before dawn.
She looked at the clock; in glowing numerals, it said 0500 hours. No
wonder it was dark outside; it wasn't even morning twilight. She flopped
back down on the bed. She was going to kill that man. She had not set the
alarm; there was only one guilty party. Then she realized that Carl was up
and moving around the room. Light from the full moon streamed in the
west-facing windows. She saw the moon low in the western sky not far above
the horizon. Carl was putting a beach blanket and various other things
into a beach bag. Obviously, he was going to go swimming. Shortly, he
came back to the bed, "Come on, sleepy head, time to hit the beach."
"Carl, you've got to be kidding. Swimming at this hour?"
He sat on the bed beside her and gave her a caress guaranteed to ensure
she was awake. That was more like it; she threw her arms around his neck
and pulled him down to the bed on top of her.
Carl spoke softly in her ear, "Meg, we're going down to the beach."
She petulantly replied, "Only if you carry me."
As if it were preplanned, he scooped her up and somehow worked the
handles of the beach bag over his right wrist. When he got to the door of
the cottage, he asked for her cooperation. She opened the door and then
put her arms around his neck. Surely, once they got outside, he would stop
and they would go back to bed. They were dressed only in sleepwear.
But Carl did not stop. Surprisingly for late October, there was a warm,
friendly, gentle breeze blowing in from the sea. If he had not pinned a
wee bit of the bottom hem of her negligee between her hip and his chest,
the garment would have blown up over her head. Rather than try to keep
herself covered, she simply closed her eyes and buried her head against his
neck. Anytime now he would stop and they would laugh and go back to the
Meg felt the movement of his walk change and heard a slight crunch. She
opened her eyes, they were in the midst of white coral sand dunes. She was
astounded, "I hope you have my swim suit in that bag, sir."
"Don't worry, Meg. It's there. So is mine."
She told him to put her down. They silently walked hand in hand through
the dunes, listening to the barely audible "bark" of the sand beneath their
feet, and onto a beautiful, wide beach. A band of golden light from the
full moon flowed across the ocean from the horizon to the beach. She
looked up at her companion. He had surprised her; for a remote sensors
engineer, Carl had become unexpectedly romantic.
As they started down the gently sloping beach, she noticed that there
were hardly any waves lapping at the water's edge. Beyond the high water
mark, the sand felt cool under her feet. The ebbing tide had taken the
previous day's heat out to sea with it. She looked at the distance to the
softly lapping waves. It was probably near low tide.
Carl stopped and started to spread the beach blanket well below the high
water mark. Meg was perplexed. Although the sand was practically dry
there, she questioned the wisdom of his choice. The Air Force captain
listened to the advice of the Navy JG, but continued to spread the blanket
in this intertidal zone. She tossed the towels further up the beach toward
the high water mark, fished her bikini out of the beach bag, and then
pulled her negligee over her head.
Carl surprised her, enfolding her in his arms from behind. His left arm
crossed her chest. She felt the coolness of his metal watchband against
her left breast; he cupped her right in his hand. His right arm
went lower and he caressed her abdomen. With a shriek of half-surprised
laughter, she indicated her consent to what would happen, dropped her
bikini, let her negligee blow up the beach in the breeze, and, opening her
thighs to his hand, leaned back into him. Carl knew the loci of all the
erotic buttons which were arrayed throughout her body; he also knew the
codes to press.
Meg mused that they were being very reckless. If some one were on the
beach, . . . Because of the full moon, no one who viewed the beach could
fail to see them; no one could doubt what they were doing. Under other
circumstances, she would have been beside herself in embarrassment.
Perhaps it was the sea breeze, but tonight this openness acted as an
aphrodisiac. They slowly went down to their knees. Given the attention
she was receiving, she had no idea how long it was before he laid her down
on the blanket. Nor did she care.
When they were done, they held each other closely, still coupled,
unwilling to break the physical bond. As her breathing finally slowed and
her head began to clear, she opened her eyes and looked up into the sky
beyond his shoulder. She dreamily noted the beautiful stars overhead.
Procyon was almost directly overhead. Almost due south, but easily visible
over Carl's shoulder was Sirius, the brightest star anywhere in the sky.
Slightly to the west stood the constellation Orion, with Betelgeuse,
Belatrix, and his three-star belt. During their thirteen months apart, she
had often imagined that the mighty hunter was her Carl. And had taken
comfort in seeing those stars. She smiled: she had fantasized about, but
had not anticipated making love beneath the giant's watchfulness.
After a few moments, as she noticed a slight lightening in the east, the
weirdest question entered her mind: why had Carl worn his watch to go
swimming? Several soft kisses, however, distracted her, until he asked,
"Do you remember what we talked about regarding the capabilities of the
Meg thought that he had asked a highly inappropriate question, given the
circumstances, but answered, "Yes."
She could see a big grin on his face as he spoke, "I hope you smiled.
We were on candid camera."
She stared at him, not understanding what he was talking about. He
glanced at his watch and continued, "There's a special project, highly
classified, being prepared only about two miles south of here, a couple
hundred yards back from the beach. The Russian satellite passed overhead
about five minutes ago. In two weeks, my office gets their images; we're
doing a cooperative project that I can't tell you about. But I decided to
conduct an experiment, an informal test of the sensitivity of their
Meg began to comprehend as he touched her nose, grinned again, and said,
"You were my lab partner."
She abruptly pushed him off of her and sat up. "Carl, you didn't!"
"Think of it. Two human bodies, in the horizontal position--not
vertical, no clothes--to use your words, 'no shielding.' I don't know what
the average skin temperature would be during sexual intercourse, but it
should be rather elevated. The sand here is cool. Nice background."
Meg burst out laughing. "So that's why that damned alarm went off at
0500. God, what an exhibitionist you are! This must be the most
imaginative flash ever staged on earth."
Carl sat up and dragged the beach bag to his side, "If we even show up,
all we'll be is a pixel on the beach. But before we go, I have to get a
GPS fix so I'll know where to look for us on the image."
Meg demanded, "If we do show up, I want a copy to remember this
He temporized, "We'll see. Shouldn't be any trouble."
As she watched him open the receiver and begin to operate it, a question
formed. "Carl, what would you have done, if it had been rainy this
morning. Or even cloudy."
He looked up, grinned at her, then reached over and ran a hand up the
inside of her leg as he said, "We would have slept in and I would have
gotten you up quite properly."
She pulled her leg away and scowled, "No, I'm serious. It doesn't sound
like you to take a chance on a one-time thing. I mean, we're spending all
your leave here on Kauai, taking a chance on one overhead pass?"
Without looking in her direction, he pulled a slip of paper out of the
receiver case and handed it to her. "That's from the emphemeris on the
satellite. We would have had another chance tonight when it passes
In the dim twilight, Meg strained to read what was written on the paper.
"So we would have had more than one chance to do this?"
She began to smile. The smile turned into a grin. For the first time
in her life, she knew when she was going to get laid. Down to the minute.
It was there on the paper.
She tried not to sound gleeful when she spoke again. "Carl, you're the
scientist here. Why didn't you talk this experiment over with your 'lab
partner'? Isn't that proper procedure?"
He paused and turned once more to look at her. "Yes. But what does
that have to do with--"
She interrupted him triumphantly, "We're just going to have to do it
again. Tonight. Your experiment wasn't conducted under optimum
Even if she hadn't been able to see his puzzled expression, his response
indicated incomprehension, "Huh?"
"Have you ever seen infrared photography of a and a woman, ah, . . .
doing what we just did?"
"Don't tell me the Navy takes those sort of photos."
Meg frowned, then guessed that he was jerking her chain. So she pulled
her punch and only slapped at his shoulder as she replied, "No, silly.
Open sources. In fact, cable TV. The Learning Channel. TLC has some of
the best stuff this side of the Playboy Channel. . . . Anyway, if you'd
seen the you'd know that a woman emits more heat when thoroughly
aroused than does a man."
She paused for a moment to let the information sink in. With a big
grin, she continued, "For best results, I should have been on top.
Besides, if you do me right--and you can, I can last longer. All the way
through the pass."
Carl grinned from ear to ear. "Meg, I'm surprised at you."
"I'm easily corrupted. By the right man."
"Okay, okay, you're on for tonight," he said, turning once again to the
GPS receiver. "But for now, woman, let me get our position recorded."
Meg patiently waited as Carl fiddled with the receiver and jotted down
some figures. When he had finished their location, she struck
him over the head with her bikini bottom. "Now, sir. Before we go back to
the cottage, we're going swimming. That's what you got me up for at this
Carl held up his swim trunks and shook them, "We weren't very careful,
Meg. They're full of sand. Itchy."
"Why the sudden modesty, Carl? You think the dolphins care?" Meg jumped
up and started for the water's edge, "Last-one-in's a . . . ."
She didn't finish the sentence. Carl was getting to his feet; she
bolted for the water, heading straight toward the setting moon. If he had
gotten her to pose for a Russian satellite, then he owed her something
special before they came back ashore, even if it was already morning
and constructive criticism are sincerely welcome.
Copyright 1998 by Adrienne Brown - mailto:email@example.com.