Authors: Roxy Emilia Means
Roxy Emilia Means
Copyright 2011 Roxy Emilia Means.
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Cover art curtesy of
Does each soul have just one mate?
If love failed before being tried
Is that just laughing fate?
People of every style
Find love pure and lasting
While here I am, alone all whiles
If all souls have just one mate
And mine is gone, not just late,
Then what laughing fate!
And how I hate what future brings,
If I am forever to be alone,
Love- forever missing from life’s silver wings.”
-Poem by Puck Berri
This novel has a very special dedication to my husband who is sweet and macho and sensitive…everything I could ask for and much better than any fictional man and to my many friends (hopefully you know who you are).
Chapter one- Little warrior
The sun was slowly rising over the ocean, casting hues of vibrant colors across the ocean shores. It was summer, but the constant sea breeze guaranteed that it never got hotter than the high seventies. By the look of the blue skies, however, it would be a clear sunny day at the coast. A young woman sat on the sand watching the surfers rip along the seven foot waves. She was an average looking girl with a determined air about her that made her seem a force to reckon with. Energy rolled off of her, her fingers tapping steadily on her knee as she watched the scene before her.
There were five people out today, a young clan of men headed by Potter Sanders, a twenty one year old man who had surfed since he was five. He was a legend in their small town, well liked and popular with the ladies. He could surf better than any of the locals and rumor had it that he had turned down Billabong for a sponsorship.
It just showed how stupid he was, thought Puck, as she watched him shred another wave. The town idolized him as a god, but Puck hated him. He was everything she didn’t trust: popular, handsome, cocky, and worst of all, a guy.
Puck knew all about guys. She had two older brothers; both were grown men with families of their own. While she loved them and even liked them as people, she had been taught very well about guys from both them and their stupid friends. Guys were sexist pigs who very rarely thought of anything but sex. They were all intimidated by a strong woman and very rarely looked past the physical to see the real woman.
Watching Potter, she had to admit that he was technically good looking, if you liked the whole surfer look. He was tan and muscular from surfing, and had a lean sort of grace to his body. His wetsuit fit snugly, outlining his broad shoulders and lean hips.
His hair was just a little too long and was constantly falling across his forehead. He had laugh lines around his mouth, evidence of his tendency to smile often, and his eyes were dark and intense. Hidden by the wetsuit was a tribal tattoo around his right bicep, which Puck personally thought was just a little trite. Couldn’t he have thought of anything more original? Oh wait, he was just a man and couldn’t be depended upon to use his brain. Puck smiled wickedly as she continued to watch the surfers.
Ok, mused Puck, this man was better than good looking. He was a freaking God, but he didn’t have to be so smug about it! He thought he was God’s gift to women, which he wasn’t! Looks were not all that mattered. Having grown up in the same small town as him, Puck knew all about Mr. Macho over there.
He worked part time at the local surf shop, Salty’s, where he fixed old surfboards and designed new ones. Although he made major bucks selling his long boards (they were about as famous as one of Greg Noll’s woodies), he always seemed to be broke.
The man didn’t even live on his own; he lived with his Mom and crazy Aunt Rose. His dad had left when he was just a little kid, so Potter became the man of the house, which attributed to his ‘lord it over everyone’ attitude. He was a lazy surf bum, whom everyone idolized, making him entirely too full of himself.
Stupid Mr. Macho. Puck forced herself to look away from that particular annoying man and watched the other surfers. They were all skilled surfers, making it look easy. She felt rather wistful as she watched them, wishing that she could surf.
The swell was a nice seven foot, the crashing of the waves beckoning her to join in the fun. She had always found the crashing of the waves hypnotic, the constant swells pulling her towards the sea. ‘That’s not weird is it?’ Puck wondered as she stared out at sea.
As tempting as the ocean was, she didn’t really want to go out there with the surfer clan. Surfers could be touchy about sharing the ocean with body boarders, and they would probably laugh to see a twenty-two year old body boarder. Most body boarders were children, they called it boogey boarding, the exception being professional body boarders who could shred the waves with amazing skill. Puck was not a professional body boarder by any means. Puck, miserable soul that she was, could not surf.
Sighing, Puck decided to brave the macho clan and march into those waves. No agro locals were going to keep her from the ocean, right? Right. Besides she had body boarded while they were out before and nothing too terrible had happened. For the most part, Mr. Macho and his gang ignored her. At the worst they sometimes stared at her as if she was from another planet.
Also, today was a special day for Puck. She had a special mission to accomplish that could only be done at the beach. Her parents (the ones with a cruel sense of humor that led them to name their children after pixies: Puck and Perri) were living on a boat somewhere in the Pacific. Every couple months she wrote a message in a bottle and threw it out to sea.
Not very original, she knew, but it was a ritual that made her feel closer to her parents. They weren’t unloving parents, they just had a misplaced trust in their oldest daughter to take care of things during their ongoing vacation. She had no idea when they were going to become sick of exploring the seas and come home, but until then she would take care of things and keep up the ritual of the message in the bottle.
It was a kind of therapy for Puck where she could express how she really felt. She was the strong one in the family, capable, and dependable. She put up a strong front, forced herself to be brave, and sacrificed of herself to care for those she loved. She wasn’t a saint by any means, this was just a noble side of her personality, the rest of her was pure heathen.
In her letters to her parents she wrote of the pressures of holding down two jobs, pleaded with them to come home and take over paying the bills, and complained of being lonely. She talked of past hurts that she had never told a soul, and expressed her fears of growing old alone. She was too young to be head of the family and the stress of it was slowly choking her. In her letters she was sometimes melodramatic, definitely a little selfish; but Puck felt like she was entitled to a little whining in secret.
Not all the letters went on like that; some were upbeat and perky, full of optimism and pride. She talked about how much she loved them, how everything was going good. She bragged about adventures she’d went on, mishaps that befell her. Puck’s ritual made her feel like she was communicating with her parents even though she hadn’t talked to them in more than a year.
Stealing herself, Puck pulled off her oversized Roxy hoody and walked toward the sea. With bottle in hand and her body board in the other, she walked steadily into the sea. She made sure to give the surfers a wide berth; they tended to get annoyed if their waves were too crowded.
She flinched only slightly at the familiar bite of the cold salt water. God, the sea was beautiful, she thought, as she threw the bottle as far as she could. She breathed deep the smell of the salt and oceans, letting it fill her soul with the essence of the sea. She loved everything about the sea. The stinging cold was refreshing, the smells were heavenly, and the pull of the tide hypnotic; the waves were awe inspiring. Smiling brightly, Puck lifted her body board and began to battle the majestic sea.
Sitting on his board, in between sets, Potter watched the girl on the beach. She was an average looking girl with light brown hair that fell past her shoulders, an athletic body, curves in the right places, blue eyes that frankly freaked him out, and oh yeah, she was freaking crazy.
The list against her was long. She was aggressive, apparently she had ADD because she never sat still, and she was a man hater. You could see it in her face whenever she looked at you. It was a look full of scorn and distaste as if she was saying, “What a stupid man, and inferior in every way.” There was battle in her eyes. She had the same exact look the seagulls got when eyeing its prey.
For some unknown reason, Potter was terrified of sea gulls. Pretty ironic, considering that he was a surfer and around the dang things all the time. There was just something about them that sent chills down his spine. Instinct told him to stay away from Puck, the same way he knew to stay clear of sea gulls. They were predators, evil to the core.
He watched as Puck battled the ocean, body boarding quite well and crowing with glee after each ride. That was another thing about Puck, she was loud. Whether happy, bored, or angry, Puck was loud.
She would make one heck of a surfer, Potter thought idly. Her love for the sea was evident in her face; she glowed whenever she was near it. That old poem, Sea Fever, sprang to mind: “
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied…I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life…”
Puck definitely had sea fever; he had seen her at the beach many times, battling with the sea. He had never talked to the crazy lady, but he had watched her, keeping his enemies closer and all that, and he was convinced that she would be a great surfer. She had grace and stamina, often staying in the cold water for hours. The crazy lady didn’t even wear a wetsuit. Her usual swim wear was a shirt and shorts, although sometimes she wore a tankini.
“I wonder why she doesn’t surf?” he muttered to himself. Dave, his best friend, was sitting a few feet over on his long board and had evidently over heard Potter.
What’s that, bro?” Dave was a twenty one year old hick who had been friends with Potter since grade school. He had a square looking face with dirty blond hair cut short and was usually worn spiked up. He was medium height but made up for it with strong muscles. In Potter’s humble opinion, Dave was the best dang surfer out there, even if he was goofy footed and married to the antichrist, Shannon.
Just thinking to myself, bro.” Potter was still watching Puck; she could be quite entertaining when you were a safe distance away.
Dave followed his gaze to Puck, who was yelling some obscure comment in what sounded like a Jamaican accent and crowing like a fool. Dave started laughing so hard, he nearly fell off his board.
“Dude! You cannot be serious! Puck? She’d eat you alive! She’s like a million times scarier than a seagull, well just about anything is scarier than a gull, but dude! Puck? She set the school on fire!”
Dave screamed like a little girl when he mysteriously tipped over, pitching into the cold water. He quickly got back on his board and grinned at Potter. So his friend was crushing on Puck, was he?
“It’s not like that! I was just wondering why she doesn’t surf. Besides, I have a girlfriend, remember?”
You’ve only gone out with her for about a month, it doesn’t count. Besides, we both know you don’t love Baby,” Dave said as he stared out at sea. A good swell was coming. He nudged Potter, to get him to pay attention and then grinned. Potter couldn’t seem to take his eyes off the girl; he never stared at Baby like that. Maybe she had hypnotized him?
Potter grunted at Dave in reply and paddled with strong sure strokes toward the shore. With a lazy kind of grace he caught the wave and rode it all the way in. Grabbing his board he ran back to his gear, which he’d left next to a washed up piece of drift wood.
All this talk about relationships was making Potter crazy. Waving good bye to all of his friends, he quickly scanned the area for sea gulls. No sign of either gulls or Puck, the world was good. Why was everyone so interested in his love life anyways? So what if he didn’t love Baby? Baby didn’t want a serious relationship, it was enough that they cared for one another and had a good time together. Besides, there was no way that he’d ever want Puck Berri, she was crazy!