"Real fast," he added.

"That scare you?"

"I like it that way."

She simply looked into his eyes for a few seconds before kissing him again. There was electricity in her kiss and John had forgotten about everything he had been worried about just a few minutes ago.

She stood and pulled him up with her. "We should be partners," she said, sounding as if she was kidding.

"You're serious?"

They walked back over to the open door. It was as if the sea pulled them toward it. Just outside the door, they stopped and held each other. The two boys with the kits were back but this time the kite was barely off the sand. "I would like to be some kind of partner," she said.

"That's the worst marriage proposal I've ever heard."

She playfully hit him on the arm.

"I'm sorry. You'd be willing to join a failing business? I don't think you realize what you're getting into."


"Don't worry about me," she said.

"Well, don't think about this." He lifted her chin and kissed her. "But please give the thought of getting in this business a second thought."

"You're problem is money?"

"You got it."

"So if you leave and close down there's not a chance for business, but if you have the money to stay open. Then your dreams live on."

"In a way, yes."

She pushed away and quickly said, "I gotta go do something." She turned and then turned back to give him another kiss. She left only her perfume in her wake and John stole a lung full of pleasure.

"Where are you going?"

She waved as she got into her car.

Not knowing what to make of her or what she was doing, John went back in the office to close up for the last time. He hauled two of the bigger boxes out to his Jeep and then got the refrigerator. He left the desk and the chair for the next day when he could get some help from Brad.

Something made him stop as he was leaving. Something tugged at him. He looked over to the answering machine and saw the light still blinking. He needed to get it cleared off but he did not want to hear Joyce's voice again. Not that he totally disliked her, but he needed to finally make a stand and turn away from her for good. He was not going to be a private eye any longer and he was quite interested in a beautiful young singer. He pulled the answering machine's plug out of the wall.

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