Peregian Beach

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This story is by Wanda, for Clare


The Sunshine Coast is an area to the north of Brisbane in the state of Queensland in Australia. It extends from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north. Sunshine Beach is immediately south of Noosa; Peregian Beach is a few kilometres further south. The climate is sub-tropical.


She had almost said she couldn’t go. Mick was away and everyone else would be in couples and she did not like driving at night. But Susie had insisted and as the boys were away on school camp she really couldn’t think of a good excuse, so she had said yes. She told herself that she wouldn’t have to stay very late and at least she would know everyone there.

She put on the bra and panties that she had bought in Paris in September. She loved the way the bra cradled her small breasts and the satin panties sat flat against her skin. She walked in her underwear to the wardrobe and took out the dress and inspected it carefully for dust and creases, but it was perfect. She unhooked the fastener at the back of the neckline and removed the dress from its hanger. Making sure that it was straight, she slipped it over her head and arms and let it fall. It dropped perfectly into place, the neckline centred and the waistline level. She re-fastened the hook at the back of her neck.

She sat at her dressing table to make up her face. She knew she was not beautiful, not really even pretty, but she had learned to live with that fact and to make the best of herself. She had looked after her body, watching what she ate and exercising regularly. She had cared for her complexion. She had learned that she was best suited by keeping her dark hair short and full-bodied; she had learned what shade of lipstick suited her pale ivory skin, and how much eye-shadow and mascara was too much and how much was too little. She had learned what colours suited her and that solid colours were better than patterns; she had learned that a fitted dress suited her tall, straight, small-breasted, wide-hipped figure; she had learned that her long legs, still slim and hard and sharply muscled from running on the beach, were her best feature.

A very light coating of foundation came first, with a slightly darker shade on each side of her nose to make it appear finer. Blusher gave definition to her cheekbones. Brown shadow on her upper eyelids, a lighter shade on the lower lids, and black eyeliner made her eyes appear larger and clearer. Glossy dark crimson lipstick, applied with a brush as her mother had taught her, was the final element. She brushed her thick dark hair and gave it the lightest touch of spray to hold it gently in place.

She took from a drawer the heavy silver drop earrings and tulip brooch that Mick had given her last year. She fastened the brooch above her left breast and passed the hooks of the earrings through her ears at the first attempt. She stood, went to the wardrobe, took out the dark red patent shoes and slipped them on her feet. Then she walked over to the full-length mirror, accustoming herself to the heels she had not worn for over two weeks, and stood there to inspect herself.

She loved the dress and she knew she looked her best in it. At first glance it was unremarkable. Its round neckline was modest; the skirt fell almost to her knees. It was only after a few moments that the subtle glow of the silk became apparent, and the simple grace of its lines as they followed the contours of her body exactly, neither tight nor loose, narrowing with her waist at precisely the right point before widening at her hips and then falling straight to her knees. She shifted her weight and saw the dress move with her body. The crimson silk set off perfectly the paleness of her skin and her dark eyes and hair. The silver brooch gleamed quietly at her breast. She turned to the left, then to the right, gazing at her reflection, then returned to the dressing table to pack her silver evening bag.

* * * * *

The traffic was light between Peregian Beach and Noosa and it took Sarah only 15 minutes to drive to Susie’s house. Susie had said 7.30 and it was 7.45 when Sarah arrived, but she saw only four cars outside the house. She parked at the kerb and got out of the car. Susie and Brian’s house was up on the hill at Little Cove and even on that still night there was the touch of a faint breeze. It was very dark; only a small sliver of the moon was visible and it was too early for the stars. She heard a soft burst of laughter; they must be on the deck at the front of the house. Sarah walked to the gate and pressed the button on the intercom; it buzzed a moment later and she passed through to the house.

Susie and Brian appeared, beaming, as soon as she walked out to the deck at the back of the house. Champagne followed immediately behind them. Most of the next half hour was passed in greeting people, those who were already there and those who arrived after her. She explained four or five times how Mick had had to go away for a fortnight, how she nearly hadn’t come, how Susie had insisted, Beylikdüzü escort and of course how glad she was now to be here. There were four or five tables set out on the deck and inside the adjoining living room; caterers were preparing a meal of fish and salad. Sarah drank a glass of champagne. She recognized Ella Fitzgerald in the background on the sound system. She moved from group to group, chatting and listening, enjoying the warm, still, evening and the gentle music and the soft, friendly conversation. It was not a particularly special birthday of Susie’s, her 43rd in fact, and Brian proposed the toast almost as soon as everyone had arrived and then said that there would be no more formalities. Fifteen minutes or so later dinner was announced and the guests began to sort themselves into groups to eat together.

“It seems we’re both widows tonight.”

Sarah was momentarily alone when she heard these words, finishing her champagne standing at the edge of the deck looking out over black water of the bay at the lights of the restaurants on the beach, listening through the hubbub of voices and music to the faint hiss of the sea. She turned to see who had spoken and her heart leapt.


Adele was superb. She was confident, she was free, and she carried with her an air of unpredictability, extravagance, recklessness; even, somehow, ever so slightly dangerous. She was a little older than Sarah, about 44 or 45. From the moment she had met Adele, from the moment she had first seen her, Sarah had been fascinated, drawn to her. She had held herself back though, reluctant to appear obvious. As a result she had encountered Adele only incidentally, as a friend of friends rather than a friend directly, but she had been able to find out things about her. She knew that Adele liked to spend time in Europe went to a lot of opera there. She knew that Adele’s husband, Vince, had become very rich through property development along the whole of the Sunshine Coast and further north as well. She had been told that Adele had played a big part in Vince’s financial success and knew the business as well as he did. She knew that they spent a lot of time apart.

“How are you, Adele?” she asked. “Is Vince away too?”

“Sure is,” said Adele. “Some environmental conference in Sydney. I sometimes wonder. He’s spent his life turning wilderness into suburbia, now he’s spouting about the evils of uncontrolled development. Still, I shouldn’t complain, I suppose. I’m happy enough to spend the money he made out of it. I love the dress, by the way. What a colour! You look gorgeous.”

Sarah smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “It’s an oldie, but I love it. And you look just fabulous. As always, I should say.”

She meant it. Adele was as tall as she was herself, comfortably over six feet in her heels. Her looks were striking. Her face was oval in shape; her hair was blonde and thick and straight and cut just above her shoulders; it was held back from her face with a thin gold clip at each temple. Her skin was very lightly tanned. Her eyes were grey and clear and alert; her brows were darker than her hair and sharply defined. Her nose was prominent and slightly curved and below it her mouth was wide, with a long upper lip that protruded a little above the lower. Her jaw and chin were strong and her neck was long. The light makeup she wore accentuated the outlines of her eyes and mouth and although it softened the lines on her face, it did not conceal them. Her body was straight and strong; her bust was fuller than Sarah’s and her hips were narrower. Her movements were swift and decisive. She was wearing that evening a loose-fitting, full-skirted silk dress with broad diagonal stripes of pale blue and white, the sort of flamboyant dress that only a woman fully sure of herself could wear. She wore a necklace of thick pearls and a pearl bracelet. She was a woman in the prime of her maturity. She had two married children.

“Thanks yourself,” said Adele. “It’s time to eat, I suppose. Come and sit with me. If I don’t get you tonight, I don’t know when I ever will. We can compare notes on the different ways women find to amuse themselves when their husbands are away.”

“Good idea,” said Sarah. “You can probably give me some lessons.” She wondered what Adele had meant by “get you”.

They were the last to sit down and there was only one table left; it was set for four, but the other two chairs were empty so they sat down alone. Brian immediately came over to them.

“We can’t have you sitting here on your own like a couple of wallflowers,” he said. “We can fit a couple more on our table. Come and sit with us.”

“No, we’re fine,” said Adele. “I want her all to myself. We’re going to give each other lessons in self-amusement and drink this chardonnay. Don’t you worry about us one little bit. We’ll be having a lovely time.”

Sarah smiled and nodded at Brian her agreement with Adele. She had no desire to move.

“Well, if you’re sure,” said Brian. “But if you get lonely just come and say hello. Don’t bother Beylikdüzü escort to bring your chairs. You can each sit on one of my knees.”

“Well,” said Sarah, “that’s something to look forward to.”

Adele had a mocking, teasing, style of conversation that Sarah also liked to adopt, and she was feeling alert and alive and wanting to continue it. There was a bottle of chardonnay on the table, and Adele, without asking Sarah, poured glasses for both of them.

“Bottoms up!” she said, and they drank some wine. A waiter arrived and placed salad and bread on the table and a moment later a plate each of grilled fish. The food was delicious and the two women ate with appetite and they talked. There was a hubbub of conversation and laughter from the other tables and they moved closer together to hear each other better. They had been to the same university although they had not known each other there, and they talked about that time and about their subsequent lives. Adele asked where Mick and the boys were and Sarah said that she was alone for the next three days. They talked more and Adele told her that she was also alone that night. Each drank another glass of chardonnay, and then the small glasses of chilled sweet wine that arrived with the dessert. They took their coffee together to the edge of the deck when the meal was over, leaning against the rail and looking out over the bay. It was still warm despite the light breeze.

Couples and groups came and joined them, chatted for a while and moved on. Sarah and Adele each had another glass of chardonnay. Jazz music from the fifties and sixties played on the sound system, all songs that Sarah knew and loved, and a number of couples were dancing. Sarah thought about them both being alone for the night and watched Adele tapping her fingers and swaying with the beat. She wondered what Adele was thinking. She saw the shape of Adele’s body under her spectacular dress: the slimness of the waist, the swelling curve at the front of her thigh, the fullness of the buttocks. She looked at the curve where Adele’s waist met her hip.

Suddenly Adele said, “Dance with me.”

The question was unexpected and Sarah could only respond, “You want to dance with me?”

“Of course I do,” said Adele. “I thought I’d made that clear. Maybe a bit too clear. Come on. Listen for the wolf whistles. There’s nothing the guys like better than two chicks getting it on.”

She took Sarah’s hand and led her to the area on the deck where the other couples were dancing. Sarah did not resist; she was thinking only of the softness of Adele’s hand in hers and what Adele had just said. “I thought I’d made that maybe a bit too clear.” And earlier she had said she wanted Sarah all to herself. And that she wanted to get her.

There were no wolf whistles but there were a couple of cheers and a smattering of applause. Adele took Sarah’s right hand in her left and put her right hand on Sarah’s back and Sarah automatically put her left hand on Adele’s shoulder. They moved together and as their bodies touched Sarah involuntarily drew her breath sharply. They began to dance.

Sarah was clumsy at first; she found it difficult to recover her breath. She held herself stiff, hesitating to let her body do what it desperately wanted to do and mould itself against Adele’s. She had never danced properly with a woman before and the sensation was strange. Mick was a good dancer and Sarah was used to the feel of his body against hers, the straight, strong movements of a man directing a woman. Adele was strong too and she was directing their movements confidently, but it was different; she was smaller than Mick; she was slimmer and her body swayed and bent. Sarah thought of what Adele had said and she thought of Bernie.

Bernadette Watson. The opposite of Adele. Adele was not beautiful but she was stunning; Bernie was not beautiful and she was ugly. Quick-witted, funny and malicious, but overweight and ugly. Bernie had seduced her with her mind. Sarah had been one of the clever girls at school, but Bernie at university was cleverer than she was, quicker of wit, sharper of tongue. Bernie had told her that life was there to be experienced in all its richness and that sex with a woman — she had used the word woman, though they were both just 18 — sex with a woman was just as valid — that had been her word, valid — as sex with a boy. And Sarah had listened and understood and believed. And that was how she had found herself in Bernie’s bed, Bernie’s mouth fastened on hers, her tongue sliding against Bernie’s, Bernie’s hand between her legs, Bernie’s fingers in her cunt, Bernie bringing her to orgasm, not once but many times. And then her own mouth on Bernie’s cunt, her tongue inside Bernie, licking Bernie’s clitoris until Bernie’s hips bucked and convulsed against her. For a month she and Bernie had been one, inhabiting their private female universe, their shared bed the centre of it. She had loved Bernie completely: her smartness, her malice, her ugliness, every part of her.

Then Mick had come and Escort Beylikdüzü that had been the end of it. She realised suddenly that she ought to be grateful to Bernie. Not just for the bliss that she had known in Bernie’s bed, but for the utter absence of struggle, of histrionics, when Mick had taken her away. Perhaps Bernie had seen that anything like that would have been useless; perhaps, despite her malicious tongue, Bernie was fundamentally kind. She had no idea what had become of Bernie.

She knew what to do. “I’ve been thinking about what you just said,” she said to Adele.

“Mmmm?” responded Adele.

Sarah lifted her head a little to look at Adele’s eyes. “I’m assuming you were playing straight with me,” she said.

“I’m playing completely straight,” said Adele. “I’ll be explicit if you like but I’ve told you what I want.” Her grey eyes were very large.

“I’ll be straight too,” Sarah said. “I want the same thing.” She had betrayed Mick before, twice, with men, and she knew that she could betray him again. Adele would tell no-one. Mick would not find out.

Adele smiled. Sarah smiled back.

Every part of her was alert now, but at the same time she found that she had relaxed in Adele’s arms. As they danced she allowed herself to think for the first time not only of the strangeness, but the femaleness of the body that was held against hers. Her concentration was centred on the movements of Adele’s body. The point where her own belly pressed against Adele’s became the centre of the world from which currents emanated throughout her body. Their bodies seemed to have melded together, become a single unit. She felt Adele’s breasts lightly brush against her own. Her head was close to Adele’s and she could feel, very lightly, the touch of Adele’s hair against her cheek. She moved her hand on Adele’s bare shoulder, feeling the flesh and bones beneath the soft skin. She felt that Adele’s hand on her back was not so firm now and she could feel her own body moving against it. She moved her head even closer to Adele’s. She felt again the touch of Adele’s hair and the warmth from Adele’s face.

The song they were dancing to ended and there was a pause. Couples began to leave the dance floor. Adele moved away, turning to her left, keeping hold of Sarah’s hand, keeping her left hip in contact with Sarah’s hip, pressing lightly against it. Sarah did not withdraw.

The party had begun to break up. Sarah and Adele said their farewells and left together.

* * * * *

They walked in silence to Sarah’s car. The night air was still as warm and liquid as when she had arrived. There was nobody else in the street. She unlocked the car doors with the remote control and they both got in and closed the doors behind them. She turned towards Adele and saw Adele already looking at her. She met Adele’s eyes. They leaned together and kissed.

The kiss was gentle, earnest, peaceful; Adele’s hand lightly rested on Sarah’s arm above the elbow. Sarah had not kissed a woman like this since Bernie.

When it was finished Adele asked, “You’ll stay with me tonight?”

“Yes,” said Sarah.

“You know where I live?”

Sarah nodded. She knew Adele’s house on top of the hill at Sunshine Beach.

They said nothing on the short journey. Sarah concentrated on driving, noticing the road, the oncoming cars, the trees at the side of the road illuminated briefly by her headlights and then suddenly in darkness again. She wondered at the contrast between these impersonal, concrete realities and the mystery of this living, warm, wonderful woman sitting next to her. She drove directly to Adele’s house and stopped outside it and turned off the engine. They got out of the car and Adele keyed the code into the pad by the gate. They walked inside and Adele opened the front door of the house with a key. They walked through and the door closed behind them with a solid click.

Inside the house the air-conditioning was not on and there was no movement; even the sea was barely audible. There was a single light on in the house in the living room at the end of the hall. Sarah stood in the near darkness as the front door closed behind them. She and Adele turned to each other.

Sarah took the step that separated them. She put her hands on Adele’s waist and simultaneously Adele put hers on Sarah’s shoulders. Adele bent slightly forward and they kissed again. Sarah closed her eyes and abandoned herself to the kiss. She felt the softness of Adele’s lips, the slight slipperiness of Adele’s lipstick. She inhaled the scent of Adele, her perfume and beneath it the scent of her body, a faint tang of sweat from the heat of the evening. She felt the touch of the length of their bodies, Adele’s breasts against her own, Adele’s belly against hers, the fronts of her thighs touching Adele’s. Their lips still locked, she slowly slid her hands down to Adele’s hips, feeling their swell and power, and then to Adele’s buttocks, then up the length of Adele’s back to her shoulders, feeling the smooth slippery silk of her gorgeous dress and under it Adele’s firm, strong body. She felt Adele’s hand lightly caress the back of her head and neck and then move to her right breast and gently grip it. She felt deep inside herself, right deep down in there inside her, the punch of desire.

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