Hungry Eyes

I’ve been meaning to tell you
I’ve got this feelin’ that won’t subside
I look at you and I fantasize
You’re mine tonight
Now I’ve got you in my sights

With these hungry eyes
One look at you and I can’t disguise
I’ve got hungry eyes
I feel the magic between you and I

Ess arrived at the CBS Productions headquarters and filming studio on Kapiolani Avenue, more than a little nervous. This was her first day in her new job. A whole different career path had opened up for her. After years in the sports and remedial massage field, she had finally bitten the bullet and taken a completely different direction. Not that she hadn’t loved her previous career, but she had always wanted a job that allowed her creativity to come to the fore, and her interest in colours, combined with months of study and a determination to land her dream job had ultimately led her here – to the beautiful state of Hawaii – land of sun, surf, and pineapples. But best of all, to the place where her favourite TV show was filmed. And where her new career as a makeup artist was about to begin.

She made her way to ‘base camp’ – the name given to the area that housed the production crew and hair and makeup trailers. She had been instructed to report to the third assistant director, but she was nowhere to be found. The second assistant director had taken over and he inventoried Ess’ kit then handed her the call sheet, so she would know when her assignments would arrive for their makeup. He pointed her in the direction of the makeup trailers, and she nervously made her way to the first one.

Pulling the door open, Ess stepped inside. Flipping the light switch, she took in her surroundings – the bright lights and mirrors reflecting her face filled with excitement. She ran her hands along the back of the makeup chairs and grinned like an idiot. She had finally realized her dream and here she was in Makeup Trailer Number 1.

Ess’ new office

Too bad this was only for the extras and minor cast members. Oh, how she would have loved to be doing Alex’s makeup! Still, if she applied herself and showed what an amazing makeup artist she could be, maybe she could step up and land that coveted job one day. At the very least she could fill in if someone was sick. A girl can dream, can’t she? On the plus side, she’d be able to see Alex working – maybe she’d ‘bump’ into him on set. A silly little giggle escaped her. If she bumped into him, she would land with a big THUD on the floor!

Ess had closed the door behind her and now it swung outwards with a crash and a frazzled brunette practically fell into the trailer. She was obviously running late and flashed Ess a startled look. ‘Oh. Hi.’ She looked down at the clipboard she was carrying. ‘You must be Ess, our new makeup artist’ she said. Ess responded that indeed she was and the other girl introduced herself. ‘I’m Justine, the third assistant director. It’s my job to make sure you know where you should be, who you’ll be making up and… you do realize you’re in the wrong trailer – this is for the main actors.’

Ess apologized and started to gather her makeup kit. Justine held up her hand for Ess to stop. ‘You know what? Fk this. Why don’t you stay here and do makeup for Alex?’ Ess’ jaw dropped. On her first day?

‘But surely the senior makeup artist would have something to say about that?’ she asked Justine.

The other girl waved her hand dismissively in the air. ‘Well, yeah, but lately the senior makeup ‘artiste’ has been doing a fkn koala of a job covering Alex’s tattoos. I think she’s getting bored with doing his makeup, and the powers that be aren’t too happy with her at the moment. Maybe someone with a fresh eye can do better.’ Ess could hardly believe it. Her very first job as a makeup artist and she was going to be doing Alex! Oh Em Gee.

‘Seriously?’ Ess asked Justine. ‘How could she be bored doing Alex’s makeup?’ Justine laughed. ‘I know, right? I’d fkn kill for that job.’ She shrugged then added ‘Possibly the fact that she’s a lesbian might have something to do with it. Anyway, she’s wasted on Alex.’

‘So,’ Justine continued, ‘Alex will be here in about twenty minutes. Here’s a list of his scenes and the makeup required.’ She handed Ess another call sheet and took back the one she had originally been given. ‘You won’t need to worry about makeup for Scott – one of the other girls does his.’ Ess nodded. If she had to make up one of the stars of the show, Alex was definitely the one for her.

Justine turned to leave, and then looked back. ‘Have fun, Ess! And don’t make me regret my decision’ she said with a laugh as she left the trailer. Ess had a sudden need to sit down. Alex would be here soon!

She studied the call sheet. The first scene was McGarrett and Chin returning from fishing. Alex would be emerging from the ocean in that scene, so she’d better make sure the makeup she applied was waterproof. She jumped up and rummaged through her purse, pulled out her lipstick and perfume and applied both with shaking hands. She still had ten minutes until he arrived. Taking some deep, calming breaths, she was about give her makeup kit a final once-over when there was a knock at the door. Oh, please don’t let this be Justine saying that TPTB had overruled her and Ess was to be relegated back to her original duties.

Ess opened the door and was greeted by a sight she had only ever imagined and perhaps fantasized about a little (ok a lot) every night before she fell asleep. Standing before her in all his beauty and adorableness, was Alex. Ess blinked hard. Surely she was dreaming. Should she pinch herself? He was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt – and he looked gorgeous.

“G’day’ he said, his Australian accent so different from that of Steve McGarrett. Not as deep, not as raspy. ‘You’re new here, aren’t you?’ He gave her a lopsided smile. ‘I’m Alex.’

Alex says G’day.. He’s wearing plaid. THUD.

Ess was having difficulty breathing and struggled to respond. How very ‘Alex’ of him to introduce himself. As if she wouldn’t know who he was. As if there was a woman on this entire planet who didn’t know who he was. She finally found her voice, and told him her name. ‘Nice to meet you, Ess. We better pull our fingers out, hey. Don’t want to be late for shooting’ ‘ he said as he settled his long, lean, exquisitely muscled body into a makeup chair. He moved his ass around a little until he was comfortable. For a moment, Ess wished she was that chair.

Ducking her head, Ess busied herself with her makeup kit. She wanted to do the best job possible, and selected several tubes of Visiora makeup. She had discovered this brand worked best on male skin. Taking a deep breath, she turned around. ‘I might have to try a couple of diff….’

Her voice trailed off. Alex had removed his shirt and Ess found herself staring at his magnificent chest. The AC was cool in the trailer, and his nipples hardened almost immediately. She couldn’t move. It was as if she was hypnotized. Paralyzed. Mesmerized. Fkn Life Ruiner! She thought she might require medical attention. Those pecs! All she wanted to do was lay her hands on his pecs and caress them, making slow circles across his chest with her palms.

Alex seemed puzzled. ‘Are you ok, Ess?’ he asked, looking up at her.

Alex wants to know if Ess is ok. He’s shirtless. She’s NOT ok!

She licked her lips and swallowed hard. For God’s sake, she was acting like a twelve year old fangirl! Pull yourself together, she told herself sternly. She closed her eyes briefly. ‘Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine’ she said, her voice a little squeaky. ‘Uh, as I was saying, I might have to use a couple of different shades of makeup to cover your gecko tattoo. And #theonethatsnotthegecko also. We don’t want it to look too…orange.’

‘No worries, mate’ Alex said. ‘The other makeup chick does a pretty bodgy job. I’m confident you can make me at least look halfway decent.’ He winked and grinned at her.

I’m so ordinary looking. I’ve just got one of those faces. Ess is going to make me look faaaabulous.

Ess laughed, her tension easing a fraction. ‘Well, I don’t have a lot to work with, but I’ll give it my best shot’ she said. She was enjoying this light hearted exchange and feeling much more relaxed. His ability to soothe her nerves was remarkable.

Alex leaned back a little more in the chair to give Ess full access to his chest and Ess decided to begin with the gecko tattoo. What a pity he was forced to cover it up – it was so cute. She should start a campaign to #freethegecko. She began applying the makeup, striving to be calm and professional. Fk, it was hard! Just touching him made her tingle. She smoothed and blended the makeup with the tips of her fingers, then stepped back to survey her work. The trick was to choose a colourt hat held up in several types of different lighting. She tilted her head to one side, chewed on her lower lip and shook her head. Alex looked at her questioningly. ‘No good?’ he asked.

Ess wrinkled her nose. ‘Nah, I’m not really happy with it. I’ll remove it and try a different shade.’

Alex nodded. ‘Whatever you need to do, love.’

Whatever she needed to do? WHATEVER.SHE.NEEDED.TO.DO?? What she needed to do was climb up in his lap and do to him what she dreamed about every night. Giving her head a little shake, she turned and grabbed a container of tea tree wipes and began to gently remove the colour.

Ess carefully worked her way around his nipple, but as precise as she tried to be, one of her fingers brushed against it. Alex inhaled sharply. Ess froze for a second, the container clattering to the floor. She dived down to the pick it up. She wanted to stay down there forever. Oh God, how had she let that happen!

Crikey!

Slowly getting back up, Ess apologized profusely. ‘Oh God, I’m so sorry, I –I ‘ her voice faltered. She was so embarrassed.

Alex assured her everything was ok. ‘Don’t worry about it, Ess. It was just a bit ummm…you know, unexpected. Really, it’s fine.’

Strewth! Ess touched my nipple. Unexpected, but it felt really nice.

She apologized again, and he smiled reassuringly. Ess was mortified. How could she continue to work on this man? Despite his assertion that it was ok, would he think she was less than professional and just some silly woman who couldn’t keep it together in his presence? It was hard to tell by his expression, but all she could do was keep working and hope to God nothing like that ever happened again. The skin on her hand burned where she had brushed against him.

Taking a deep breath to calm herself, Ess turned to her kit and spent a few seconds selecting another tube of makeup and began the application. This time she would do it right. No unexpected touching, no embarrassment, no awkwardness. With fierce concentration, she covered the gecko, then began working on that other weird tattoo on his left pec. When she’d finished, she stood back again to check out her work. She was satisfied that this was a much closer match.

Ess now had to do his face. Still unable to meet his eyes, she chose a tube of makeup more suited to his facial complexion. Thankfully, he closed his eyes and she could relax a little. Ess applied the makeup lightly, blending it well. He hadn’t shaved, and the slight scruff on his jaw line was so damn hot. While his eyes were closed, she took time to study his face. His slightly long, but still perfect nose. Those eyelashes that really should be illegal on a man. The dimple in his chin – she wanted to lay a soft kiss right at its centre.

Finishing off with the lightest dusting of powder to set the makeup, Ess said briskly, ‘Right, that should do it.’ She really needed him to leave so she could collect her thoughts before the next person came in. And maybe, just maybe, to relive that moment when her hand brushed against him.

No evidence of the gecko. And #theonethatsnotthegecko. Ess has awesome makeup skillz. Dammit.

Alex’s eyes opened. ‘Don’t forget you have to add my scars’ he reminded her. Ess groaned inwardly. She picked up her call sheet and studied it. Alex leaned forward in the chair and pointed. ‘See? Right there. It says I need the scar near my shoulder and the shank scar.’

His head was dangerously close to hers. She was never going to be able to concentrate in this job. And the shank scar! The positioning of that one would require absolute attention. Her hands would be trembling – imagine if she brushed his…

She would never live that down. She’d have to pack her bags and leave Hawaii. Not that she’d mind touching it – the FOY – but after the totally accidental nipple grazing, what would his reaction be? What would her reaction be?!? This day was turning out to be much more nerve-racking than she had anticipated!

If Ess touched the FOY, would it be an accident? Or her subconscious telling her that resistance is futile?

Ess located a file of photos so she could re-create the scars and position them correctly. She started with the bullet scar – maybe this would give her a little more time to collect her wits and prepare for the one which she was certain was going to cause her a lot of grief.

For easy and comfortable removal of the scar later, she shaved a small area on his chest, up near his shoulder. This very nearly made her cry, leaving him with even less chest hair than before. Damn you, Atplenkov! Why was Scott Caan allowed to keep all his body hair, yet they forced Alex’s chest to be almost completely manscaped. She could practically count the hairs on his chest.

Stretching his skin tautly between the thumb and index finger of her right hand, she applied a thin layer of latex, waited a few seconds for it to dry, then repeated the process. Ess gradually built up the scar, sponged some foundation over it and blended it in. She could feel his eyes on her, but was determined not to make eye contact, for fear that she might lose all focus.

Comparing the scar with the photo, she thought she’d done a pretty good job. ‘Well, it looks ok, I hope it’s in the right place’ she said.

Alex laughed. ‘I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Ess. The other sheila moves it around to a different spot every time she does it. Sometimes she doesn’t even bother. It’s not like anyone’s going to do an in-depth study of it.

He grinned. ‘Time for the shank scar.’ Ess felt her face grow hot, turned back to her kit and busied herself gathering more supplies. Alex smiled to himself while her back was turned. He liked teasing her. ‘I’ll just move over to the massage table and lie down.’

Alex is a bad boy. He likes to tease Ess.

When Ess felt her blush had subsided, she turned around and almost died. He was lying on the table and had undone the button of his jeans and lowered them just enough to allow her better access to the area where she would create the shank scar. He seemed quite at ease doing this, probably because he was used to it. Or because he was a professional.

If she didn’t want to melt into a puddle of goo right now, she’d better damn well act professional too. But how the hell was she going to be able to handle this? Working on his body, in such close proximity to the FOY, could she maintain a businesslike approach? Or would she become a complete klutz and make an absolute fool of herself? She was pretty sure tomorrow morning, she would be back where she was originally intended to be – doing makeup for the extras and minor cast members. Walking over to the table, she was determined not to let her proximity to such an intimate area get the better of her. Ess steeled herself to get on with it.

Sleeping Beauty. Waiting for his PrincESS.

Oh dear God. There it was. The Happy Trail. That line of hair from his belly button that snaked down the flat of his belly and disappeared invitingly into the top of his unbuttoned jeans. She wanted to follow that trail with her hands, her lips – and discover that magical place where it finished. Everything in Ess’ world was in a state of suspension as she gazed at its beauty. She couldn’t move. If she could just capture this moment and stay in it forever…

Some trails are happy ones, others are blue
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts
Here’s a happy one for you!

A slight cough interrupted her reverie. ‘Is something wrong, Ess?’ she heard Alex ask, for the second time that morning. Oh, crap. He had caught her again in a trance like state staring at his amazing body.

Alex asks Ess if everything is ok. Again.

Bending her head slightly, she concentrated hard and started to apply the shank scar. Ess didn’t require photographic references for this one. She had studied that scar enough times to know exactly where it had to be positioned. Not having to look him in the eye made things a lot easier. Before long, she became so focused on her job, she almost forgot her surroundings. Almost.

Alex was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. Although this was a process he had undergone dozens of times, this time it was affecting him in a way he couldn’t quite understand. Ess had such soft hands, and although she was stretching his skin tightly between her fingers while she applied the latex, her touch was gentle. The heel of her hand was resting on that area of his abdomen just above his groin. He looked down at the top of Ess’ head, bent low over his stomach. He imagined grasping the back of her head and bringing it down to – ’Stop it!’ he admonished himself. Bloody hell, he was acting like a horny teenager! If she didn’t hurry up and finish, he was pretty sure he was going to embarrass himself. It would make her grazing his nipple pale into insignificance.

He started to fidget. Ess, still immersed in what she was doing and not daring to look up, said ‘Almost done. You’ll have to stop moving or I’ll have to start all over again.’ He was immediately still. No way did he want to go through any more of this torture. All he wanted was to get the hell out of there! She blew gently on the scar to aid in its drying time. Alex almost whimpered.

FOY! Stay!

‘Ok’ Ess finally said, ’it’s finished.’ She lifted her head and smiled at him. ‘You can put your shirt back on now.’ Wow, that was something she never thought she’d be saying to Alex.

He practically jumped off the table and thrust his well-muscled arms into the sleeves of his plaid shirt, leaving it unbuttoned. Glancing quickly at his watch he said ‘Damn, I’m supposed to be in wardrobe. Uh, thanks Ess,’ and was out the door before Ess could say a word.

Must.Get.Out.Of.Here.

Ess stood there dumbstruck. Alex had left so abruptly, she wondered if she’d done something to offend him. Had she touched him inappropriately without realizing it? She doubted it – if she’d copped a feel of the FOY, she’d know. For sure. His manner had changed so quickly from the earlier lightheartedness – she was baffled.

Before she could ponder it any more, Justine returned with another girl in tow. ‘Hey Ess,’ she said ‘this is Steph. She’s one of the other makeup artists. She’ll be doing Scott’s makeup today, so why don’t you take a break and grab a coffee or something before we’re all needed on set?’ Ess and Steph smiled hello, then Justine asked ‘Hey, what did you do to Alex? He just about knocked us down on his way out!’

Ess shook her head. ‘I have no idea. We seemed to be getting along really well, then suddenly he started acting all weird.’ Justine and Steph laughed. ‘You didn’t touch anything you shouldn’t have, did you Ess?’ Justine asked with a giggle. Ess blushed slightly.

Meanwhile, Alex – a little calmer now – had made his way to the catering area, picked up a coffee and headed back to his trailer. He was at a loss to understand his reaction to Ess touching him. He really hoped he hadn’t offended her by rushing off like that, but he’d seriously had to get out of there in a hurry.

Did naughty FOY cause Alex to hurt Ess’ feelings?

The rest of Ess’ first day on set was busy – there was a lot of re-touching to do for the cast after filming of a scene had finished, and in between, she chatted with Steph and Justine. Everyone seemed friendly and she thought she was really going to enjoy working here. Occasionally, she saw Alex, but they didn’t make eye contact until she was called on to re-apply his facial makeup. There was a touch of awkwardness between them initially, but soon Ess was too busy to take much notice. She had decided that whatever it was that had bothered him was his problem, and she would simply maintain a professional approach until he got over it. Whatever ‘it’ was.

Alex felt unsure around Ess. He knew he owed her an explanation for the way he had run off after she’d finished on the scars. But how the hell would he explain his behaviour? He couldn’t admit the real reason for leaving the way he did. She did seem to be ok though – her manner was efficient and business-like. Maybe he should just pretend that nothing had occurred, and start afresh. Tomorrow morning, he would make sure he acted normally. So long as there were no scars for her to create.

He’d found himself looking for her between takes, when she was busy with someone else and not likely to glance up and find him staring.

Looking at Ess when she’s not looking.

Still looking…

Ha! Alex puts his sunnies on so he can look at Ess without her knowing. He’s so sneaky!

Over the next couple of weeks, Alex and Ess worked their way through any awkwardness, which was a good thing as it appeared that she was now officially his makeup artist. TPTB were pleased with her work, and the senior makeup artist had quit.

They both came to appreciate that first hour every morning in the makeup trailer, where they shared jokes and stories of their lives, offering each other advice, slowly building up a quiet friendship. Sometimes they were alone, or Scott would be there, having his makeup applied by Steph, and they would all joke and kid around. Although Ess dreamed of more with Alex, she was realistic enough to know that any kind of romantic relationship between them was unlikely to happen. He was a celebrity, she did his makeup. End of story.

But it did seem that Steph and Scott’s relationship was progressing. Ess sensed a vibe from them, and caught them stealing glances at each other. She hoped something would eventuate – she knew Steph was crushing hard on Scott. They would make such a cute couple.

Today they were all in the trailer and Alex and Scott were making plans to go surfing the next day at Queen’s Beach, teasing each other about who was the better surfer. As their makeup was done and they were leaving, Scott turned at the door and asked the girls if they’d like to join them tomorrow.

‘We’d love to’ Steph answered for them both. Ess shot her a quick look. ‘Great!’ Scott replied. ‘Alex and I better get to wardrobe – we can sort out details later today.’

When Scott told Alex that Steph and Ess would be joining them at the beach, Alex was hesitant. Scott remarked teasingly that he always had to do Alex’s dirty work for him, aware that Alex was interested in Ess but reluctant to jeopardize the new friendship they shared by asking her out.

‘Just ask her out, man.’
‘Ok.’

Ess looked at Steph. ‘I’m not sure I want to go,’ she told her. She had so far managed to catalogue Alex into two areas of her life: work and fantasy. While they shared a friendship, it was restricted to one between colleagues. At night, alone in her bed, she allowed him to invade her dreams. There was no in-between. If she saw him outside of work, outside of her dreams, she was scared that she wouldn’t be able to isolate the two, that the line separating her reality and her fantasy would become blurred. And she was in no doubt that this could only lead to heartache.

‘Of course you want to go’ Steph said encouragingly. ‘This is your chance, Ess. It’s not really a ‘date’, but it could very well lead into one. Sometimes…you just have to go for what you want.’

Ess wasn’t entirely convinced it was the right thing for her, but allowed Steph to persuade her to go. For the remainder of her day, she couldn’t stop thinking about her ‘date’ with Alex tomorrow. Ah, who was she kidding? This wasn’t a date – it was simply Scott’s way of getting to spend time with Steph. Maybe it was a date for Scott and Steph – Ess and Alex were peripheral to his plans.

Steph later told Ess they would be meeting Scott and Alex at the beach. The two guys had decided to catch some early morning surf, and the girls would come down later, about 9am, bringing breakfast.

Ess woke to a gorgeous day. Perfect beach weather. She put some coffee on, took a shower, and dressed in a red bikini, jean shorts and a white tank. Not much point putting on makeup, she decided, then settled for just a little eyeliner and mascara.

A horn honked. Steph was here to pick her up. Gathering her bag, she shoved her feet into a pair of flip flops, and went out to meet Steph. They had decided to stop at Liliha Bakery and pick up some coco puffs to take to the beach. Hopefully, Alex and Scott had worked up an appetite after a couple of hours of surfing.

When they arrived at Queen’s Beach, Steph scanned the waves looking for the guys. Spotting them, she waved madly until Scott acknowledged her. Ess cast a sideways glance at Steph – she looked so happy and excited to be here, sharing the day with Scott. Whereas Ess was a tangle of emotions.

Alex and Scott emerged from the ocean, their boards under their arms. It looked like they were arguing about something, arms gesticulating wildly, but by the time they reached the girls, they were all smiles.

‘You can’t own a wave.’

Alex and Scott check out two hot sheilas in bikinis.

Steph and Scott gave each other a quick hug while Alex simply smiled at Ess. She sighed softly. He was so adorable. The water glistened and fell in little droplets from his body. Her gaze was riveted to one that slowly trickled between his pecs. She so wished that it would continue on its path until it reached his board shorts. At which point she wanted to flick out her tongue and catch it. She felt hot, and the sun had nothing to do with it.

That puddle of goo on the beach? That used to be Ess.

Steph’s voice interrupted her daydream. ‘So, I hope you guys are hungry. We brought coco puffs and malasadas’ she said. Scott’s eyes danced. ‘My two favourite foods!’ he said, pouncing on the box and grabbing one each of the light, delicate cream puffs and the flaky, fried pastry. Steph offered some first to Ess and then Alex, who laughed and said to Scott ‘Easy, mate. The way you’re shoving those things into your cakehole, Wardrobe will have to let your shirts out soon.’

Alex also ate with enthusiasm while Ess nibbled on a pastry. She was too conscious of him sitting opposite her to have any kind of appetite. They all finished eating and Scott and Steph decided to go in search of drinks, leaving Ess and Alex alone. There was silence between them for a few moments as they gazed out at the ocean.

Alex broke the quiet. ‘Well, I’m up for another quick surf before it starts getting too crowded out there – do you surf, Ess?’ he asked her as he stood up. She laughed as she answered ‘No way. I tried it when I was a teenager, but the whole concept of being upright on the board totally escaped me. I’ll just sit here and work on my tan.’

Alex smiled. ‘Yeah, it certainly takes a lot of practice.’ Taking his board, he took a few steps toward the water then turned around to look at her. ‘I hope you’ve put sunscreen on?’ he asked . ‘The sun has a real bite to it today, won’t take much to burn.’

Ess removed her sunscreenfrom her bag and began to apply it to her arms first. Alex watched for a few seconds then said ‘What about your back? You won’t be able to reach there.’ ‘Oh, that’s ok’ Ess replied. ‘I’ll just lie on my back.’ He rolled his eyes good naturedly.

‘You didn’t put any sunscreen on? You’re such a naughty girl.’

‘You know, where I come from, sun protection is a big deal’ he chided her. Standing his board up in the sand he gestured ‘Here, give me the bottle.’ Ess reluctantly handed over the sunscreen.Surely he wasn’t going to rub it on her back? She honestly didn’t think she could handle it if he did. Holy crap,his hands on her?? She would die.

He squeezed a large dollop of lotion into his palms and rubbed them together. Ess couldn’t tear her eyes from his hands. Dear God, they would actually be touching her soon. ‘Turn around’ he commanded. She turned slowly and offered him her back. Alex began at her shoulders, gently rubbing the lotion over the tops of them, making his way down to the middle of her back. Despite the heat of the sun, she was covered in goosebumps. The lotion was cool, but she could feel his hands, hot on her skin. He worked his fingers under the thin strap of her bikini top, making sure not to miss a spot, continuing down until he reached the top of her bikini bottom, then up again until he had covered every inch of her back.

This shouldn’t be happening here, now, Ess thought. This was something that was supposed to be part of her dreams. Afraid now that the line between reality and fantasy had been breached, she wanted him to stop. No, she didn’t. Oh God, she was so conflicted. This was such sweet agony.

When he had finished, Alex let out a long, slow breath. Her skin was so soft and silky under his hands. While smoothing the lotion over her shoulders, he’d felt her trembling. He’d fought the urge to lean into her and allow his hands to continue their path over her shoulders, down her chest. To wrap his arms around her waist and pull her into him.

They heard a shout. Steph and Scott were returning with some cold drinks. Ess quickly tried to compose herself, self-consciously thanking Alex. ‘No worries, Ess’ he replied, his voice a little shaky, wiping his hands on his shorts.

Alex picked up his board and he and Scott went back into the water. Steph looked at Ess quizzically. ‘Are you ok, Ess?’ she asked, concerned. Ess shook her head. ‘Not really’ she answered. She told Steph all that had occurred. ‘Whoa’ Steph said. ‘That sounds intense! See – I told you coming here today would be good for you.’

Ess wasn’t totally convinced that Steph was right and all she wanted to do was leave to be alone with her thoughts. To relive the feel of Alex’s hands on her body. Maybe she could borrow Steph’s car – the guys would be able to drop her off at Ess’ place after they’d finished surfing.

Seeing that Ess was genuinely shaken, Steph agreed and Ess drove home. Closing the front door, she leaned back against it and closed her eyes. This situation with Alex was becoming too difficult. Ess wasn’t sure how she was going to continue to work with him and just be friends when she wanted more from him. Much more.

******************************************************************************************************

Alex couldn’t sleep. Ever since Ess had left the beach so suddenly that afternoon, he’d worried that he had done something wrong. She had left so soon after he’d put sunscreen on her, and although Steph said Ess had a headache, he wasn’t buying it. She had seemed fine right before. He had to see her. It was late, but he didn’t care.

Alex was restless. What had made Ess leave the beach so suddenly?

He had to go and see Ess. Find out what was wrong. He got out of bed and got dressed.

Maybe he should wait until the morning?

He couldn’t make up his mind.

Dammit. Why couldn’t he make a decision?

No more fking around. It’s time to sort this out.

Will she answer the door?

Ess couldn’t sleep. Her emotions were so high right now, she doubted she’d ever sleep properly again. She was DMing Steph on Twitter, pouring her heart out to the other girl. There was a loud knock at the door. Who the hell could that be, she wondered as she looked at her phone and saw how late it was. She was undecided on whether she should answer it or not. But the lateness of the hour convinced her. Something must be wrong. Nothing good came out of late night visits or phone calls.

Jumping out of bed, she threw on a short robe and made her way to the door. She had left the porch light on as she always did, and could see through the glass who was there. She gasped. It was Alex. What on earth could he possibly be doing here?

‘What’s wrong?’ she asked worriedly as she pulled open the door. ‘I have to talk to you, Ess. I’m sorry about the time, but I really need to talk’ Alex said softly, his hazelly blue eyes fixed on her.

‘Well, come on in’ she said, still concerned. What was it he needed to speak to her about? His whole demeanor was alarming her. She had never seen him like this. Had something happened to one of his family members back home? She stepped aside to let him through, closing the door softly. He just stood there silently in her living room, looking lost.

‘I’ll put some coffee on’ she said, passing him to go to the kitchen, touching his arm in a gesture of comfort. Alex grabbed her shoulder and turned her around. He ran his hand up her neck, his thumb caressing the velvety skin beneath her ear. Their eyes locked, and Ess felt like she was drowning. She couldn’t breathe. His dipped his head and his lips gently brushed hers.

Alex groaned and kissed her harder, releasing all the longing and want he had experienced since they had first met. Ess moaned softly as the kiss deepened.

The Conclusion

Password: HappyBirthdayEss

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44 comments

  1. FOYeur · · Reply

    Oh dear….I couldn’t stop reading…..BRILLIANT Westy, just brilliant…..what more can a girl want for her birthday……sigh….(well apart from the real McCoy or McFOY…..sorry where was I again….?)

    1. The Real McFOY? I’ll have one of those thanks 🙂

    2. Oi, FOYeur…I hope you saw your shoutout in the story.

  2. paula · · Reply

    Oh Westy! What an amazing story 🙂 I´ve been grinning the whole time while reading this. Ess is going to go nuts over this b-day greeting. Brilliant work!

    1. Aww, thanks Paula. It was a labour of love. Helped along by your pics 🙂

  3. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

    Haha I loved all the Aussie lingo! And ya know, the pictures.

    “‘You know, where I come from, sun protection is a big deal’ he chided her. ”
    TOTES right Alex!

    1. That was a little shout out to you, Infant 🙂

      1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

        Well I didn’t want to assume…..so yay. 😀

  4. NeridaAHart · · Reply

    Ditto, ditto and ditto…. I couldn’t stop reading, had a grin on my face and the pics were perfectly chosen and placed! You are one very talented lady…. and a great friend to construct this special gift. Lucky birthday girl!

    1. Thank you! Yay! Another Aussie!

  5. LaHagela (The Tinkler) · · Reply

    I have to leave work now……oy vey…..you killered me dead! dead!

    1. Oh, Justine…I had great plans for you and Adam further into the story but it just got too big!

      1. My birthday is in August!!!!

        1. Got it! I think yours can be X-rated 🙂

          1. FIlthy please!!!!! Hugsies!!!

      2. The Adventures of Justine, 3rd Assistant Director, is I think the natural spin-off here…

  6. spurschick · · Reply

    Wow. The work that went into this. Brilliant.

    1. You know, having to trawl through thousands of pics of Alex was the worst part.

  7. That. Was. Amazing.

    I need a cigarette now. Anyone got a cigarette?

    1. I wish I had one!!!!!!!

      1. No you don’t! I’ll have one for you.

    2. Apparently it was no accident that today was teh first and only time I ever posted a pic of Alex smoking! I was right, he WAS watching me ..and waiting..

  8. Wesssssty!!! I am only 1/4 way through and I have to stop and have lunch with my Mom! ARRGHHH!! Would it be rude to cancel on her? think i can read & drive? No..no…I need to pay special attention to this story. I could be tested on it later. I’m pretty sure it’s an important piece of writing here. Like the Declaration of Independence or something. *Grace will know what that is*

    Sigh….i just HAD to post something so ya’ll knew how much I was loving this!! Stay tuned for my further ramblings!!

    **I may or may not have wasted a few minutes looking at the chest/nipple gif. (but was it really time wasted??)

    1. I’m so happy you’re enjoying it. I’m so freaking glad I finished it. Time wasted looking at the nipple gif? I think NOT! Have a nice lunch 🙂

      1. I love that she didn’t get to the end yet. Heh heh heh!!

    2. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

      Not only do I know what it is, but I’ve seen it. 🙂

  9. This was so HOTTTTT! I was equally captivated by the story and all the beautifully distracting pictures! There really needs to be some sort of law to regulate how hot Alex is allowed to be. He’s driven us to such distraction that our lives are RUINED! F/king. Life. Ruiner.

    1. Seriously. My appreciation for Alex has increased a gazillion billionty this past two weeks. While looking for pics to go with the story, I must have spent days gazing at his beauty. Hence my twitter post recently where I asked ‘WHYYYYYYYYYY can’t I stop looking at pics of him?’

      I really, really ‘get’ the term FLR now. And I think I really, really have a problem.

      1. Welcome to my world, Westy…. F. to the L. R.

        1. At least I’m in good company. 🙂

  10. KimmerNY · · Reply

    Holeeee hell. This is a complete masterpiece. I can’t even imagine how long it took you to do this. The pictures are PERFECT. You, dear Westy, are a friggin genius, and I bow down to your awesome.

  11. Mary Jane · · Reply

    Westy, this is FANTASTIC!!
    Crying with laughter here, I had to leave the room! It’s so funny and well written. When I’ve calmed down I’ll make more sense.

  12. Karin@notMcNerd · · Reply

    Westy, how amazing! Great writing and great imagery! Where does one sign up to be featured in one of your fantasies? Is there a line?

    1. Why, yes there is a line. It forms to the right. Or is it the left? Or just jump on the sl.tpile!

  13. WESTY
    WESTY WESTY
    WESTY WESTY WESTY

    First & foremost… congratulations on your achievement! This is an amazing piece of work & heart!!! So well done. That moment when you hit the “publish” button though, huh? EEK! Scary but a rush.

    Oh gosh what can I say. A story set in an Alternate FUCUP Universe. Pretty darn perfect if you ask me. This story is funny & sweet. So Much Love!

    THE CAPTIONS!!! Ess! Justine! Meeeeeeee! 😆 Yes, thank you for putting me in your story. Fictional me that chows down on coco puffs & still looks good a bikini. Go fictional me! Woooot!

    Also… it’s just so obviously crafted with love for Ess… probably my favorite thing about it. #chickflickmoment

    1. Ah, Steph. If not for you, this would never have made it out there. ❤ ❤ ❤

    2. I def felt the love… 🙂 so much love. Today I can actually talk about it without being too emo. lol

  14. I’m overwhelmed.
    Really. Just.
    I love you. So. Much. Love.
    That is all I can manage right now
    currently full on ’emo’…

  15. The ending gif collage of Alex’s “thinky faces” is killing me right now. Such a great collection, I am so giddy with giggles!

    1. Yes, I love them too. Thank God for Paula and her gifs!

      1. I love your captions. Seriously seriously love them. All of them. (And the pics & gifs too. Obvi ;))

  16. Great story – was so happy for Ess and steph – appreciate all the work you put I not it. Now, I must take up smoking!

  17. Thank you all for your comments. Steph is right, hitting that publish button is the scariest thing in the world. Especially when publishing does not go according to plan. Things went Horribly Wrong with the publishing, but I think it all worked out in the end.

  18. […] since high school (where I hardly sketched anything at all) and the first thing I drew in ages worked so well I did what I always do when I try something new and it seems to work: freak out, chalk it up to […]

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