Where Sea Meets Sky(3)

By: Karina Halle



“Maybe he wanted to shag the both of you,” I say and then try not to wince.

She gives me an exasperated look but still smiles. She has the cutest dimples. “Maybe. But I don’t like to share. My parents never taught me to play very well with my toys.”

“Sup, Drogo,” the bartender says. I swivel my head and eye him, slightly annoyed at being interrupted. He’s dressed as a hot dog.

“Sup, dog,” I say. “Is that costume supposed to be a hint or something?”

He nods, completely deadpan, which only makes it funnier considering there’s just a small cutout for his face in the wall of wiener. “It’s a complete metaphorical representation of my penis, if that’s what you mean.”

Gemma laughs. “You Canadians talk about your dicks a lot.”

I casually lean one arm against the bar top. “Well, have you seen our dicks? It’s a point of pride for our country.”

“No, actually, I haven’t,” she says and a million clever follow-ups flow through my head. Unfortunately, half of them are serious propositions so I don’t dare say them.

“Oh really,” the hot dog says, beating me to it. “You know, that can be arranged.”

“I’m sure it can,” she says sweetly but her eyes are telling him not to bother. “Could I get a beer please? None of that Molson Canadian stuff, though. Do you have any craft brew?”

The hot dog plucks a bottle of Granville Island Winter Ale from the ice chest and plunks it on the counter. “Seven dollars.”

I sigh and order one for myself, fishing out my money from a small leather satchel around my waist that I thought maybe Khal Drogo would use when he wasn’t slicing people’s arms off. “I thought the point of a house party was to have cheap booze.”

He shrugs, apparently hearing that complaint all night. “Blame government regulation. Still better than being stuck at some bullshit club downtown.”

He has that right.

“Mojo” by Peeping Tom suddenly comes on over the speakers and the rolling beat of one of my favorite songs gives me another boost of confidence. I’m about to suggest to Gemma that we find somewhere to sit, maybe in another room, when she asks if I want to go to the roof deck.

I can’t help but oblige.

“It might be still raining,” I tell her as we squeeze through the crowd of people and up the carpeted stairs to the second floor. “It’s almost winter here, remember.”

“Nah, I love the rain,” she answers.

“Then you should seriously consider moving here.” Suddenly there’s a bit of traffic near the door to the roof and she stops in front of me. I’m pressed up against her ass and it’s like I’ve gone to heaven. It’s so firm and round that I’m starting to think that she’s magic. Of course, I’m also growing harder by the second and I know, I know, she can feel the magician’s wand.

I cringe inwardly. I really don’t want to be one of those guys. In fact, I start thinking that perhaps I need to apologize for my public displays of erection but she actually presses her ass back into me. It was subtle but it was there.

Before I drown in over-analysis of the moment, the foot traffic moves forward again and suddenly there is space and we find ourselves up on the flat roof of the building.The air is sharp, cold, and damp, but I have enough alcohol in me that I don’t mind the chill. It’s stopped raining. There are a few dripping lawn chairs scattered about and scantily-clad girls shivering in their costumes, trying to puff down their cigarettes or joints.

In the distance, you can see the dark mass of English Bay peppered with tankers and the night-skiing lights of Grouse Mountain. The glass high-rises of downtown Vancouver twinkle and set the low clouds an electric shade of orange.

Gemma grabs my hand and leads me to the edge of the roof, away from everyone else. Her grip is strong but her hand warm and soft, and before I can give it a squeeze, she lets go. She leans against the railing, not caring if her arms get cold and wet, and stares out at the view.

“I do have to say, I always thought Auckland one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but Vancouver has totally blown it away,” she muses wistfully, her eyes roaming the cityscape.

“How long are you here for?”

She sighs. “Not long enough. Ten days.”

“Did you go to Whistler?”

She smiles. “So I could be surrounded by Aussies and other Kiwis? I was there for a day. Nice place. But we have mountains like that back home.”

I ask her if she was in other parts of Canada and she tells me she originally got a work permit because she wanted to live and work on Prince Edward Island out east.

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