"Longing on Las Olas" is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events or locales is completely coincidental.
A special thanks to Rupal Amin and Patricia Bartos for the sentences that inspired this short story.
"Longing on Las Olas" is the property of author Othy Jones and may not be redistributed or posted without prior written consent.
WARNING: The following short story contains adult language and explict situations making it inappropriate for children. Reader discretion is advised.
Longing on Las Olas
By Othy Jones
“Now who put that in the cupboard?” asked Chloé as she removed a plain white envelope from between a stack of dishes and bowls. When she opened it partly to peek inside, she saw two plane tickets to Fort Lauderdale. “Yanna, you shit! Is this for real?
Her roommate, Yanna, entered the room in her fuzzy pink pajama bottoms, white tank top and bare feet. She was very much the opposite of Chloé whom was already dressed in her business clothes. “I told you, we both needed to get away,” Yanna stated with her cocky Grecian grin.
“But,” Chloé took the tickets out and tossed the envelope down on the kitchen counter by her box of red berry bran. “These tickets are for this weekend. How am I ever going to get the time off?”
“You’ll think of something creative,” Yanna declared as she made her way over to the counter and dug her hand into the box of cereal. “After all, you are in advertising.” She removed the box from her arm with a fist full of dehydrated red berry bits.
“I work for their HR department. I don’t do commercial projects. You’d know that if you ever paid attention when I talked to you.”
“Well see,” she added crunching into the berries. “You’re in HR, they can’t touch you. Who better to know the ins and outs of the system than you.”
“You’re a slob,” Chloé chuckled. “You ever hear of a bowl?”
“Bowls are for snobs. Better a slob than a snob!”
“I can’t figure out why you can’t keep a man, you’re as much of an animal as any of them.”
“You should talk, my little French princess!” she burped. “Besides, we’re not going to Fort Lauderdale for relationships. We’re going to get away from Chicago’s cold ass March and get laid on the beach!”
“I’d be happy just lay-ing out in the sun with a margarita.”
“You lay in the sun then, I’m going to get laid!”
Three days later, Chloé and Yanna stepped out of the airport shuttle bus, still in their winter coats, and onto Las Olas, the main strip in Fort Lauderdale. There were art galleries and quaint restaurants, tiny cafes and bathing suit shops. But in front of them rested the tiny boutique hotel where they’ll be spending the next six days.
“That bitch at the travel company lied,” cursed Yanna, dropping her duffle bag of clothing. “She said we’d be on the water. The beach is like three miles down the strip!”
While Yanna stripped out of her heavy coat revealing yet another tank top, this one hot pink, and a pair of black leggings, Chloé gazed up at the lavender façade before them trimmed in purple. The sign overhead read: The Orchid Inn. “Well,” she offered Yanna. “It’s quaint.”
Yanna gave her a sour face.
A short time later, the two girls entered their room and Chloé immediately realized that their room overlooked a little river. “Seems the travel agent was right,” she said. “There’s your water!”
Yanna threw her coat on one of the beds and tossed open the lace curtains for a better view. The river was maybe six car lanes wide and peaceful looking. “Still no beach!”
Chloé shook her head and pealed out of her own coat, which she’d opened on the way up. She wore a simple pair of retro flared designer jeans and a thin top with an orange and white daisy like paisley pattern that laid loosely on her shoulders. It was light and airy and perfect for the climate. “What now?” she asked Yanna.
“We eat! I’m frickin’ starving,” she complained while rummaging through her duffle bag for her pocket book. As she bent over Chloé couldn’t happen but notice her leggings were practically see-through and her pink underwear with the words You wish written in black were clearly visible.
“You’re such a slut,” stated Chole.
“What? Why?” asked Yanna, emerging from the depths of her poor packing with the tiny purse in tow.
“Never mind. Let’s just go eat.”
“I can’t believe the airlines charge you for that bag of crappy peanuts,” Yanna continued to complain, going on as if Chloé had never said a word.
A few moments later, the girls hit Las Olas and made their way down to a sidewalk café with a mermaid theme. It was cheeky but sophisticated and thus fit the personalities of them both. They plopped down, ordered, received their drinks and waited for their food.
Chloé sipped her passion fruit tea with an accented flower whilst Yanna chugged down her glass of perspiring water. Yanna looked all around, her black lined eyes as intrusive as her personality. “Boob job, rich old white guy, gay, face lift, sun spent, rich old white guy-”
“Yanna!” Chloé scolded. “Keep it down.”
“Oh and check this one out,” Yanna laughed as she pointed behind Chloé. “This little Mexican’s dancing to his own beat. Seriously, look!”
To appease her ill-mannered friend, Chloé turned her head as inconspicuously as she could. When she saw him her face flushed. To her, he was gorgeous. His hair was shaved low to match his beard and his tan looked like more of a natural skin tone than Florida sun kissed. His eyes were closed and he was moving his head in time with the flow of the music on his noise-cancelling headphones.
“He’s got headphones on,” said Chloé defending the guy. She turned around to face Yanna with a far off look in her eye.
“I don’t believe it!” shouted Yanna as her own eyes widened. “You’re hot for him!”
“Oh shut it. He can’t hear. He’s wearing headphones, you said it yourself!”
“Still,” Chloé added as she gingery turned her head for another quick peek.
“Tell him you want him. Tell him he makes you wet! Tell him…” Chloé became deaf to the remainder of Yanna’s bashing. She was tracing his chin, noticing the muscles on his arms and when she returned to his face she realized his eyes were open and he was looking back at her.
Chloé’s head whipped back to Yanna, whom was still going on. “Tell him you want him ins-”
“Yanna,” Chloé said firmly to cut her off.
Yanna grinned, “Do I think he noticed you? I’d say it was a good bet.”
The two girls continued to talk quietly and giggle amongst themselves. A waiter came by and handed Chloé’s guy his credit card and receipt and thanked him for coming. Though he obviously had to leave, he took one last look at Chloé, from a proper angle, before he left. Neither girl seemed to noticed.
The next two days were otherwise uneventful for Chloé and Yanna, yet restful. They had fallen into a pattern of sleeping in, grabbing some breakfast (usually fruit or yogurt), heading down to the beach for a few hours so Chloé could tan and Yanna could show off her bikini body. Then they’d grab a late lunch, kick back a few drinks at some of the bars (Yanna could always get some guy to pay), then crash late into the night and start the whole cycle over the following day.
By the third day, Chloé grew tired of the routine. She wanted to go exploring but Yanna, uninterested, found some poor guy to spring for her lunch, leaving Chloé to venture out on her own. She’d heard of a water taxi that went up and down the river and decided to see where it might take her. The boat was crowded when she got on but she enjoyed the trek none-the-less. Her captain or driver, she didn’t know what to call the man, was fairly knowledgeable about the mansions along the riverside and filled the passengers in on all the historical gossip he could recollect.
After a while, the boat mostly emptied out and soon Chloé found herself staring out blankly at the river’s edge when she saw him. He was on the dock of some cluster of condos reading from what looked like one of those black and white plain lined paper journals she used to write in as a student. He had his shirt off and wore some board shorts and flip-flops. She was transfixed.
“Oh Captain!” called a sixty-something woman from the back of the boat. She had brittle red hair and a fair complexion, clearly a tourist. “This is my stop.”
The man in charge nodded and turned the wheel taking them closer towards the shore where Chloé’s guy sat.
“You can thank me later, honey,” the woman mentioned to Chloé.
“Uh, um, excuse me?” she asked the lady.
“I believe this is your stop too. Am I right?” she asked with a wink.
Chloé couldn’t believe her luck or that she’d been so frickin’ obvious. “Uh, yeah, yeah this is my stop too.”
When once they reached shore and the water taxi pulled away, Chloé went to thank the woman.
“You want to thank me?” she asked. “Go get his number.”
Chloé couldn’t help but laugh at that. “We’ll see. Though I’m not quite sure how I’d even approach the top-”
“Young man!” the woman called. “Young man, could you help us out?”
Oh God, thought Chloé with her face turning red.
The guy took immediate notice, second guessed himself to make sure it was he they were referring to and then joined them near the dock. “You needed some help?” he asked in a voice that made Chloé’s knees tremble.
“Yes, thank you,” stated the woman. “You’re so kind. This young lady here is trying to find a good restaurant to get some seafood at and, I being a tourist myself, don’t know any. Could you make a recommendation?”
“Great, well I’ve got to run. I’m meeting a girlfriend of mine at a hotel spa. Have fun, dear,” she said to Chloé with a final wink as she departed.
“I’m sorry,” Chloé began.
“For what? I wasn’t really doing anything anyway,” he replied. “Wait, have we…have we met?”
“You look familiar,” he added as he studied her face. “Wait, were you having lunch a couple days back at the Mermaid café?”
“Yes!” she declared with a little too much cheer that she’d later regret. “Is it… is it really called the Mermaid café?”
“If not it should be,” he chuckled. “They’ve got them all over inside there. Even in the men’s room by the urinal, they’ve got a mermaid staring back at you.” Upon realizing what’d he said he added, “Sorry, I don’t mean to talk about urinals.”
“Oh hey, I’m cool with anything. It takes a lot to scare me off.” Scare me off? She thought to herself. “Not that I’m trying to stick around…uh…not that I’m not trying to stick around-”
He laughed. “Follow me, I think I got a restaurant in mind you might be in to.”
As he slowly led her back to the main Las Olas strip, they maintained light idle chit-chat. She learned his name was Danté and that he was Dominican by heritage but had been born and bred in New Jersey and now lived in some city called New Brunswick.
When they arrived at the restaurant, they took an outside seat as dusk set in and sat down to get to know each other better.
“So what do you do in New Brunswick?” she asked.
“I’m a nurse,” he replied. “Some people might think it’s a little girly but I love it. Nothin’ girly about it to me.”
“Are you kidding? I think it’s awesome that you’re a nurse. The world should have male nurses. Who said all the nurses had to be female anyway?”
“Exactly. Now how about you, what do you do for a living?”
“I work in HR for an Ad company up in Chicago. It’s not like I’m saving a life or anything but it pays the bills.”
“Nah, come on, don’t knock it. HR’s an important function. Who do you go to when you have an issue with somebody? HR! Who do you talk to when you need a leave of absence? HR! There are tons of reasons why your job’s important.”
“Thanks, that’s sweet. I don’t think I ever really thought that much about those things.”
“Any time,” he said with a hopeful smile.
“So what brought you down here from New Jersey? An early spring break like me and my friend?” she asked while taking a sip of red wine.
“If you count using vacation time to come down here, then yeah. But I really came down to keep a promise I made to friend.”
“Oh? What’d you promise?”
“It’s hard to explain, really,” he sighed. “But I don’t want to focus on that now. We’re having a good time. Hey speaking of a good time. Tomorrow afternoon I was planning on going parasailing. You want to come along?”
“You’re serious?” she asked, knowing full well that he was serious. “Oh God, I don’t know if I could handle that.”
“Have you ever tried?”
“Neither have I.”
“Then why go?”
“Why not? Life’s too short,” stated Danté and she knew he was right.
“Parasailing?” Yanna would ask later, once the two girls were back in their room.
“Yeah, he was offering, I wasn’t about to say no,” stated Chloé as she sat at the edge of her bed painting her toenails a merlot color while Yanna wore one towel around her bust and used another to dry off her wet mop of hair.
“You, parasailing? That’ll be a first! He must be hotter up close.”
“I don’t know,” Chloé cooed coyly, “he’s pretty hot from far away too. You should have seen him with his shirt off on the dock.”
“Well while you were out drooling over topless guys, I was out with this little prick form South Beach who kept trying to get down my pants.”
“But you didn’t?!”
“What? Please! The lunch he paid for wasn’t that good! He was a little too stuck on himself. But,” she said as she licked her lips. “At the end of the night, I did let a little nip slip out of my bikini top just so he’d know what he’d be missing out on.”
“You’re such a tease,” Chloé added rolling her eyes.
The next day, Chloé experienced a whole new plethora of emotions as she and Danté were yanked up out of the ocean as the wind caught their tandem parasail taking them higher and higher as the speed boat towing them sped faster and faster. She couldn’t help but scream out. Whether it was from the rush of the wind, the thrill of the speed, the terror of the height or because she was dangling hundreds of feet in the air beside one of the sexiest men she’d ever met, she didn’t know. Somehow though, she reasoned that it must be all of the above.
When he looked over at her it was like he saw her, not her cleavage, not her body but her spirit, her true self. This would be a moment she’d never forget. He reached out and she took his hand. They stayed that way until they touched back down into the water a short while later.
That night, they made a clam bake on the beach and, when the stars came out, so too did the pheromones that neither could deny they both sensed. It started with a simple touch. She’d brushed up against his arm when reaching over him to grab her sarong to keep out the slight night chill. But she slipped and landed in his lap. They both laughed until the energy turned suddenly sensual.
He kissed her softly as his right hand gently stroked the back of her neck. It seemed he found all of the places that turned her on the most. As they continued to kiss she began to realize how much she craved him and she knew they’d need to get indoors or, at least, away from the visibility of a public beach. “My roommate will probably be back at our hotel by now,” she whispered as she broke away.
“No worries, we can take the night back to the condo I’m renting.”
A half an hour later and that’s just where they were. His condo was on the top floor of the ten story complex overlooking the same river that flowed by her hotel just down the bend. It sported great views with floor to ceiling windows with nothing else directly in view save for the starry night sky. But there was only one view he was interested in and she was going to give him a full one.
He put on some classical romance music, a violin that pulsed to an erotic beat that personified the passion between them. Next he filled two wine glasses half way with some expensive Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, and beckoned her over to a spot on a plush rug beside a gas lit fireplace.
Their conversation was light and short lived as their bodies longed for a different kind of connection. He crept closer, drawn in by her exotic perfume, and kissed her neck. It was light and subtle yet it stirred something deep within her. She reached out for his lips but he only smiled slyly and kissed her neck on the other side. Unbeknownst to their own conscious minds, their hands had already found each other’s bodies and pressed each other closer until they finally did kiss, deep and long, wet and carnal. She nibbled a tad on his lower lip. He smiled.
She helped him lift off his shirt. He untied her bathing suit top. Their chests collided as they embraced once more. Feeling her bare breasts squozen against his chest sent a fresh supply of energy down to his pelvis. He pulled her up onto his lap. She felt it immediately and now it was her turn to smile slyly.
Gently she rocked her hips. The violin was playing ever so slightly faster now, as if it were guiding them, egging them on. He leaned forward, kissing her left breast, taking her swollen nipple into his mouth. She quietly moaned. A new music took over then, the sounds of their own lovemaking. As he positioned her down onto her back he could see the moisture built up on her bathing suit bottoms and that was all he’d needed to see. Soon they were both exposed, naked by the light of the moon filtering in from the bay windows. His muscled Dominican chest and biceps were clearly on her mind as her clean shaven mound lured him in.
The moment they shared that night was blissful. It was something they’d both needed, though neither had seemed to know it when they came to Florida. He treated her tenderly, respectfully. She, in turn, gave him what he’d wanted and got even more of what she’d wanted. Afterwards, they lay in each other’s arms entwined as they fell asleep, one naked body with the other.
When she woke, she was still naked but alone in his bed. When she peered out the bedroom doorway, she saw him off over on a plush chair wearing his boxers and scribbling into the same little black and white journal she’d seen him with on the dock the other day. She decided to find out what it was.
First though, she reached into her overnight bag, a girl’s always got to be prepared after all, and pulled out a mesh lavender thong. She’d need something to occupy him she suspected, since she still didn’t know exactly why he was in Florida but had a gut feeling it had to do with that notebook.
“Good morning,” she stated, emerging from his bedroom wearing the thong and nothing else. He looked up, startled but suddenly comforted.
“Morning,” he replied.
“What’s got you up and out so early?”
“Nothing,” he added as he tossed aside the journal.
“What’s in the notebook?” she asked as she lowered herself down onto his lap.
“It’s a little complicated.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Actually,” he lifted her up and onto her feet. “It’s a little personal.”
“Personal?” she questioned as her tone changed. “Wasn’t what we did last night a little personal?”
“Chloé, I like you, a lot. But we just met the other day. Some things take time, you know?”
“But getting in my pants isn’t one of them?”
“What? No, it’s not like that.”
“You know what? I don’t care. You don’t want to tell me why you’re in Florida or why you’re writing in some secret diary the morning after having sex with me. Fine. Keep your secrets! I’ll keep things to myself as well,” she sneered as she covered her chest and tore off back into the bedroom to get her things.
He sighed then his face contorted and he struck the open air with his fist in anger.
“He didn’t even try to stop you from leaving?” asked Yanna as they walked, each with a pink smoothie in hand.
“No, that’s the worst part of it,” complained Chloé. “The least he could have done would have been to stop me from going or come after me. But no, he just let me run back to his room, with my ass hanging out and leave him to his journal.”
“He sounds like a real dick,” offered Yanna.
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” she stopped suddenly. “You don’t think I was overreacting do you?”
“Overreacting? Please Chloé! This guy’s clearly got issues. You were right to get out of there when you did. This one time, I shacked up with a guy and woke up to find him wearing my bra and panties! My panties, Chloé! The world’s full of sickos.”
“He just seemed so normal so-”
“Too good to be true!”
“He was good. I mean, let me be honest. He was the best.”
“Focus, Chloé! He shut you out.”
“Well we have only known each other a couple days.”
“This is what I hate about you. You’re all over the God damn place!”
“Maybe I should call him.”
“You want to call him, fine, go call him! I’ll be getting my nails done, like we planned.”
Though she wanted to believe Yanna knew best, somehow Chloé knew that Yanna always seemed to know and do the opposite of what was best for her. That realization was really the tipping point that took her back to his condo. While she tried to muster up the courage to buzz his number, she decided instead to go out to the dock to think things over. That’s where she found him. Well, they saw each other at the same moment.
“I’m sorry, I should’ve told you why I was in Florida or at least not let you leave without some kind of explanation.”
“No, I shouldn’t have persisted like that. I mean I threw a tantrum like some four year old. God, no wonder I’m still single.”
“I’m lucky you’re still single,” he declared forcing a smile to spread out across her face. “You want to know why I’m in Florida? A couple weeks ago I lost a patient of mine. A little girl on the cancer ward, she was eleven.”
“Oh I’m so sorry to hear that,” she replied as she put her hand on his arm.
“We’d gotten close, Ellie and I. She became the life of the floor. She had more heart in her than anyone I ever met. She had all these big plans. She wanted to travel the world,help out a bunch of charities and…go parasailing.”
A tear came to Chloé’seye as the puzzle pieces started fitting together.
“The day before she died,” he began to choke up a bit. “She asked me if I might go p-p-parasailing for her, since she knew she never would. I promised her more than that. I promised her I’d do all the things she’d felt she’d be missing out on. She thanked me and we hugged. Then she gave me this notebook and told me to write about my adventures in it and she’d be able to read them from-from heaven.” Tears now streaked down his face and Chloé held him, not knowing what else she should do.
“That was very big of you to promise that,” said Chloé.
“Her family used to vacation down here in Fort Lauderdale. She said it had the best sun rises. My first day here, I went out to see it for myself. You know what, she was right.”
“So where do her dreams lead you next?”
“Well, see I kind of enlisted in a volunteer program over in Namibia. I fly out in two weeks.”
“Oh wow,” Chloé stated, taken back by the gravity of his situation.
“I never thought I’d get involved with anyone when I came down here. Now, I don’t know what to do.”
“How long is your tour there?”
“I’m sure you’ll make her proud.”
“I want to make you proud.”
“Then make my last two days here the most memorable,” she challenged.
“That, I can do,” he replied with a smile.
And the next two days he did just that. There were long walks on the beach, dinner at the Riverwalk, an afternoon yacht cruise, late night drinks, passionate lovemaking and other secrets seared into their psyches for all time.
When it was their final day in Florida, Danté drove Chloé and Yanna to the airport in his rented sports car. They kissed one last time as Yanna rolled her eyes and that was the last time they saw each other in Fort Lauderdale. That night he slept uneasy. He was miserable, longing her on Las Olas, in that big empty condo that wasn’t his.
Three days later, Chloé stepped outside her apartment as her phone rang. The number was Danté’s. She answered right away. “Danté?” she questioned.
“You know, one of the things on Ellie’s bucket list was seeing the old Sears tower. But I hear it’s got a new name. You think you could show me where it is?”
“Pack your bags, cause this time, I’m taking you on a tour!”
“I was hoping you’d say that,” he added as he came around the corner and took his phone away from his ear. She ran over to him and they kissed. Their worlds were never the same again.