It sure looks like Dia de Muertos, but it’s actually a Mexican themed New Year’s Eve party…

…and it’s going to be an interesting celebration for Bran and Ava.

Over the last hour, she’d taken great care to alternate between inside the house and the garden, always in direct opposition to his location. And thank God, he was nowhere in sight now. On a spark of excitement, she twirled around like a nine-year-old brimming over with light. When she came to a halt, there was the rotter himself standing right in front of her, beaming away. And what a nice picture he made. She could call it, ‘My Own Personal Catastrophe – Holding Two Margaritas’.

Ava, avoiding Bran unsuccessfully, at Izzy’s New Year’s Eve party,  Siren’s Wave.

SONY DSC
Altar Dia de Muertos by uteart

A lemony coconut scent mixed with something earthy assailed her senses, and she wondered if it was aftershave or deodorant. Either way, it made her limbs feel heavy.

Arm engulfed in heat, she looked down at his hand still wrapped around it and tried to draw his attention to the inappropriate holding thing by narrowing her eyes at him.

It must have sent a different signal because without breaking eye contact, he stepped closer and moved his thumb slowly over her skin, pressing his fingers into her muscle like he was … was …

Ava, bamboozled by Bran who’s busy bamboozling himself.

Befuddled Surfers, Fish and Chips, and Thieving Seagulls…

“Get away, you beast. Ah, you absolute rotter!”

Bran’s eyes flicked up from the plate of fast disappearing fish and chips in a flash of guilt. Relieved, he watched Ava flap her hands at the seagull who was taking off with one of her chips. She sure liked her salt. She practically crumbed her food in the stuff. Laughing along with the others as she wiped her hands in irritation, he wondered what he had to feel guilty about. Oh yeah, probably the sleazy way he’d scoped her out at the beach, that might be it.

They sat at bench seats pulled up to a wooden table on the deck of the pub. It was some view. The breakers cruised into the sand in a rhythm he could set lyrics to. Sparkling-green hills. Darkening shadows. Girls with luscious asses. What? Bran shook his head to clear the unwelcome image of Ava in her bathers, swallowed a too greedy mouthful of food and chased it down with a gulp of beer.

Bran and the Silva boys at the Rookery Nook – Wye River Hotel, Siren’s Wave Novel.

 

wye-river-sept-06-009_fs-3
Rookery Nook Deck – Wye River, Victoria.

 

 “Hey, that seagull likes you, Ava,” said Ben, eye-fucking her like a great jerk. “He’s coming back for more.”

“Yes, I’m sure he does. I think you’ll find, Benjamin, that I’m a great favourite with creatures of the web-footed variety.”

Bran felt himself smiling a stupid grin at her and for some reason looked down to inspect his own feet.

Before he could wrest a clever comment from his slow firing brain, which had been lulled witless by his senseless contemplation of Ava over dinner, he was annoyed to hear Ben say, “Oh, is that why I like you so much? I knew we were meant for each other.”

Dan shot a funny expression at Bran, a one eyebrow raised, what-are-ya-gonna-do-about-that kind of face. Bran did somehow feel put out. The fuck if he knew why though.

Bran – fascinated and befuddled, Siren’s Wave.