It's the final night of her summer job on Maui. Her last chance to see him alone. Maggie plans to make it a night she'll never forget--one of amazingly hot sex with her coworker Gabe.
Gabe wishes he'd said something sooner, taken their friendship to the next level. He's more than willing to slip away with Maggie for a private farewell. But he's the one all the other summer workers turn to when the party gets too wild, and this is definitely the wildest party of the summer. Is the island big enough for them to escape their meddling friends and release the passion burning inside them?
You can catch up with Gabe and Maggie when they meet again fifteen years later, in Maui Rekindled.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Maui Heat by Ari Thatcher
Gabe Brashiers stood a head taller than the other dancers, and his skin tone was a shade darker. The bonfire turned the native guys golden, and Gabe a warm yellowed brown. Their pecs and abs stood out in relief, shadows deepening the outlines.
Maggie Pearson watched him use his body to tell a story, but the plot in her mind had nothing to do with the early island mythology of their chant. Her version had them ending up alone, away from the fire.
The men performed a kahiko dance in their Hawaiian print shorts, leafy woven bracelets wrapped around their wrists and ankles. Since this was the last night her coworkers would spend together, she wished the dancers had worn the traditional malo, the loincloths that bared thighs and hips. She'd love to have that memory to take back with her to the mainland when she returned to classes at the university.
Her roommate, Sarah, elbowed her side. "You should go dance with him."
"Like, no way," Maggie said. "You've seen me dance."
Several of the local girls came in on cue, grass skirts rustling as they shimmied and rolled their hips. The drums picked up the pace, the singers keeping time. Maggie glanced away to see Tommy carrying a pair of mai tais. He handed them to Maggie and Sarah before sitting on a log on the edge of the clearing and pulling Sarah on his lap.
Maggie took a big gulp of the cold drink and sat a few feet away on the log. Cigarette smoke mixed with the smell of the bonfire and some guy's cheap cologne. Looking around the crowd, she wondered if she would ever hear from any of these people again. The local ones would continue to work through the off-season, but most of the rest were headed home now that summer break was ending. In the morning they'd say their goodbyes and hop on jets to various colleges across the continent. Classes were due to start next week.
The music shifted to rock, and more of her friends joined the writhing frenzy around the fire. Totally primal. Fire, music, dancing. The alcohol hadn't been pouring long and already the mating dances had begun.
By now she knew who would end up with whom as the evening progressed. The couples had formed in their first few weeks of work. Like Tommy and Sarah, who tongue-tangoed next to her. Tommy's hand cupped Sarah's breast, her bathing suit top providing no protection from his groping.
Maggie dropped her chin, letting her hair fall forward to screen the couples out, and peered into the mass of bodies. Where was Gabe? There he was, still dancing. The Palakiko sisters ground their hips against him.
She let out a sigh and took another sip of her mai tai. She should get up and dance. No one cared how good anyone was. It wasn't as if they were performing for tourists. This was a private party for the employees of the Maui West Resort, crashed only by friends of the locals.
She should talk to Gabe. Tonight was her last chance with him. If she chickened out, she'd regret it the rest of her life. She didn't want to be that woman, the one who spent her later years saying, "If only I'd asked..."
One of the busboys grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward the fire. She waved her hands in the air, wiggled her hips and tried to imitate some of the moves that one of the waitresses was doing next to her. A quick swallow finished her mai tai and she tossed the plastic glass aside.
"Yeah, girl, there ya go," the busboy encouraged.
The waitress beside her stepped closer, thrusting her pelvis at Maggie, then circled and pushed back with her butt. If they hadn't all danced together for the last two months, Maggie might feel uncomfortable with the overtly sexual moves. But tonight she could let go, be the person she wanted to be. Tomorrow she'd be on her way home, back to being the good daughter, the honor student.
God, she wished she could try those dirty dance moves with Gabe.
His laugh broke out toward the shore and Maggie rose to her toes to see in between the bobbing heads that separated them. "Gabe!"
She couldn't see "here" but followed the sound of his voice. People wiggled and writhed against her, drawing her into their private convulsions as she pushed on through. It felt somewhat freeing being lost in the middle of a constantly moving amoeba where no one could see her lack of grace.
Rolling her hips, thrusting and squirming, she got into the groove. She humped the leg of some guy she hadn't seen before, then the crowd broke and Gabe stood shadowed by the fire behind him. Somehow, the darkness made his presence that much larger.
He tugged on her wrist and she flattened against him. One muscular arm wrapped around her, cupping her butt and pressing her closer.
Holy shit, was that his erection rubbing against her belly? Gabe wanted her? She separated her legs, allowing one of his thighs to press between, as far as the skirt of her sundress would allow. Staring at his hairless chest made her salivate. If they were alone she'd lick his skin, sample the taste of the sweat that flickered when he turned toward the dancing firelight.
But they weren't alone. And it wasn't as if they were in the midst of an orgy and no one would notice. What would Gabe do if she kissed him?