Vision of perfection.

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As Maria walked towards the beach that morning she had a nervous feeling in her stomach and a bead of sweat on her brow.
Even this late in the year the beach was still heaving with happy holiday makers sunbathing or playing in the sea. There were lots of bronzed muscled bodies seemingly working with the water sports company – taking people out on boat rides and renting various kayaks, pedal boats or inflatables. Maria chose an inconspicuous spot amid the other bathers, far enough away but also near enough to see, she rolled out her towel and got comfortable for (she supposed) the rest of the day.

The mid-day sun was blazing down on her now oiled body as she lay on the beautiful golden sand. It was calming letting the small grains run through slowly her fingers. She felt more relaxed now as she’d managed to get it all clearer in her mind. Maria was also comforted that she had chosen the lime green bikini to wear, as she felt confident and beautiful, she was a vision of perfection.

Suddenly, over the sound of the waves rhythmically lapping the shore Maria noticed a different noise in the background, a crunching dragging sound – like a car skidding slowly on a dirt road. Maria soon realised that it was a kayak being dragged along the sandy beach. Her heart skipped a beat, was it him? She wanted to open her eyes to look, but she wasn’t sure how far away the sound was and she didn’t want him to see her looking, not yet. Slowly, she lifted her head a little and strained to see through her dark sunglasses. With butterflies in her stomach and a glint in her eyes she gradually pulled down her sunglasses down to peer over the top of them.

It wasn’t a mistake she was here; she knew exactly where to find him, as the previous evening she had almost met him. He was the most beautiful man you had ever seen, and he had been watching her through his huge brown eyes from the bar as she sat with her friends. Her friends knew of him as they had a holiday cottage at the seafront and they had gossiped about him for a long time – telling her where it was that he had his own, very well ran business and what he did there. They were amused at his obvious interest in her, as he was locally known as a bit of a lady’s man and they told her to watch out.

Now it was her turn to study him, hopefully unnoticed, at first anyway. It was definitely him. Maria put her sunglasses back on properly and then she reached into her bag, and pulled out a big floppy hat and a book and positioned herself so that she could still watch him and make it look like she was reading.

He looked even better with no clothes on, just some shorts and a tan, his muscles rippled as he pulled the boat up the beach. Maria was aware of the other girls admiring him. Yes, he must get that all the time. He put the boat down, not to far away from her. He looked like he was fixing something on it. She watched him, she was actually enjoying this. Unexpectedly he turned and looked in her direction. He must have felt her watching, she knew that feeling, it was strange how sometimes you could just sense someone staring at you. She looked down quickly but felt her face burning with embarrassment. Will he know it was her from last night? Surely he couldn’t see through her disguise. Maria felt uneasy, this wasn’t going to plan, she wonders if she can leave the beach with him noticing but he is far too close, not such a great spot after all.

Maria took a chance and looked up again, she saw him walking into the building where he worked, she could see right inside the big barn type doors. It looked very old from the outside but inside was very modern and stylish for a boat company, looks like her friends were right, he does do very well for himself.

She’d seen enough for today, if she was going to go, now was the time to do it. She gathered her things and started to sexily saunter up the beach to the road. She knew he was watching her as she swung her hips, and she couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not.

The next day Maria arrived at the beach earlier, hoping to get more time; to take things in, and hopefully as it was a Sunday he wouldn’t even be here this early she thought.

As she had guessed, the building was all locked up and he didn’t appear to be on the beach. She walked close to the building studying it; nervously she moved away, what if he was inside! She went almost to the same spot she had yesterday but just a little closer to the building. There weren’t so many people around yet, so she felt a little open, a slightly vulnerable. Maria positioned herself exactly as she did yesterday and waited.

It wasn’t long before she heard a jangling of keys; she looked over toward the building and saw brown eyes, opening up the big doors. Wow, he had a nice butt too, she chuckled to herself.

Whilst she watched him opening up, again he looked around and straight at her, what was it with him? This time she smiled and stretched seductively and went back to pretending to read her book.

Some time had passed before she could chance looking around again, and when she did she saw that he was sitting on the beach looking out to sea, maybe watching one of his boats, maybe just not very busy today. Taking the bull by the horns she got up and strolled over to him.

“It’s a beautiful view,” she states, as she sits down next to him facing out too sea with him.

Startled for a second, Antonio replies, “yes, the sea is very calming to watch too.”

“Yes it is. Stressful day?” Maria asks.

“Not really,” he replies, as he looks at her intently for a few seconds.

They sit there for a few minutes not saying anything, just looking out over the glistening sea. Maria worries that it was a mistake to talk to him so early.

“I saw you at the bar the other night didn’t I?” he asks, the penny dropping maybe.

“Oh yes, that’s it. I thought you looked familiar, but everyone is so friendly here I wasn’t sure where I knew you from.”

“Yes, you are right. That bar, it isn’t the best here, you should try Shorelines bar, along the high street it’s much better.”

“Oh yes I’d love to thanks, you see – you are all just so welcoming,” Maria smiled, she’d found a way in.

“Oh. Erm, oh great, maybe I could take you there one evening,” he stuttered, thinking how lucky he was right now, she was hot! He held his lucky stone in his pocket.

“That would be great; I am free tonight actually if you are. Where should we meet?”

“Ah, well…” He stalled, thinking fast,’ I am meeting a client there tonight but I’ll be finished by about 8pm, if you want to meet me in there?” He was unsure of himself; he didn’t want to let this one go.

“That’s great, I can’t wait, see you later then,” she said standing up; she put her hand out to shake his.

He stood and shook her hand and said.

“I’m Antonio, by the way. And yes, it will certainly be fun.” Antonio nodded, almost to himself as she walked away calling back, “I’m Maria.”

While she packed her suitcase back at the hotel she couldn’t believe how perfectly it had worked out – she presumed he would be with the client for at least an hour before they were due to meet, so this would give her plenty of time. Maria had booked a flight at 10pm which was a bit earlier than she had hoped for, but the later one was far too late.

It was 7pm when she pulled up in her rental car at his work place; it was just getting dark, the beach was empty and quiet, and the sea still. Expertly Maria picked the lock on the door and let herself in. Making sure she wasn’t being watched, she shut the door quickly behind her. When Maria found his office, she knew what she was looking for, there was no way he would leave it lying around or on show, there had to be a safe.

Finally, she found a small safe behind a painting that was hung on the far wall, it was easy for Maria with years of experience to crack the combination and at last, in front of her was, the Carbonado Diamond, a dark-brown rounded octahedron, approximately 15mm across, with a cubic termination at one end, missing from Brazil for many hundreds of years.

Maria sat in her comfortable first class seat on the aeroplane wondering which of her important contacts she would allow the pleasure of buying this rare historical specimen – at the same time Antonio paid the bill and walked out of the restaurant playing with the lucky brown stone in his pocket that he took everywhere with him, wondering if it was lucky at all.