The waves lapped the golden shores of Presence, and then headed back into the sea. Jake Geary and Kassie Tom, both in their mid-twenties, were sitting on a large couch overlooking to ocean. They lived in a beach house along the Pacific coast, and they loved every minute of it.
“I love you,” Kassie whispered into his ear. Her face glowed of a bright innocence.
“I love you, too,” was his simple -- yet satisfying -- answer. Jake kept a tough exterior
They sat a minute longer. Kassie then got up from the couch. Her long, blond hair trailed behind her; she began walking.
“Where are you going?” Jake asked playfully.
“The bedroom,” she replied. “I’m getting kind of tired.”
With that, she disappeared into another room off the hallway. Jake sat there a minute, looking if she was coming out.
She didn’t. Jake then immediately crossed the room, passed through the hallway (tiptoeing, of course), and made it to the front door. He opened the door and looked out across the street. He saw a red-haired woman exit a car in the driveway. He always loved looking at her. She was beautiful and mysterious.
His heart ached for the right love. Kassie gave him a innocent love -- the kind of love he believed his parents had. But Gillian looked like she could give him a wild love.
He just wanted to be loved.
As Gillian Evans exited her car, she wiped the red hair on her face from her eyes. She noticed a second car in the driveway.
“Mom, you little…” She didn’t finish. She stormed up the pathway to the front door. She swung the door open to greet her mother, Addy Evans.
“Mom!” she cried, throwing her purse against the wall.
“Oh, Gilly,” her mother stammered, obviously surprised. “I thought you were out with Iris tonight?”
“She cancelled,” Gillian answered. “She needed to work overtime at ‘Natural Exposure.’ Something about an ad campaign. Anyways, who do you have here?”
“I …” she stuttered.
“Never mind." Gillian circled the living room, her mother in the middle. “I know there’s someone here. He mind as well just show his face right now!”
Gillian's "red-hair-genes" seems to get the better of her. She had a temper that was something fierce. Her mother lived with her, and this constant closeness was driving them apart.
Addy nodded. “Come on out, Giovanni.”
Addy was a complete 180 spin from her daughter. She is constantly amazed at how she managed to produce a daughter like that. She believed that her father was the source.
Giovanni stepped out into the hallway. He was handsome, rugged… and much too young for her mother.
“Adam,” Iris Torres cried out to the neighboring cubicle. “Which one of these photos are we using for the ad layout?”
Adam King rushed over to her desk quickly and looked down at the photos. “They’re all pretty good.”
Iris nodded. “Yeah, I know. I think that new photographer you got actually knows what he’s doing. It's a refreshing change.”
“Giovanni is the best there is,” Adam agreed. “I think you should pick.”
Iris thought about it. “How about the one on the left? The light contrast is wonderful, and it really catches my eye.”
“That’s the idea.” Adam moved back to his desk. “They’re going to be placed in glossy magazines across the country. ‘Vogue,’ ‘US,’ ‘Mademoiselle,’ ‘Good Housekeeping.’ This is big.”
Iris’ eyes glowed. “ ‘Natural Exposure’ will be big. You just wait.”
“I don’t doubt it for a second.” Adam was now firmly in his work. The quick typing of his keyboard could be heard
Iris was sorry she had dumped Gillian for this, but it was important work. She wasn't a wild woman like Gillian. She was more laid back and shy. They both retained properties that kept them from finding the right men.
“Mrs. Torres to the front.” The message on the paging system was heard loud and clear.
Iris remained puzzled. “This hour?”
“Tess is working late, too,” Adam replied. “I guess you got a message.”
Iris got up, walked through the maze of empty cubicles, and to the front desk. She saw Tess at the desk, talking on the phone. A brown paper envelope sat on the desk. The name ‘Iris Torres’ was scrawled on the front. Tess made the gesture for her to pick it up. Iris grabbed the envelope and tore it open. She peeked at the inside.
a naughty girl, Iris, and I know what you did!’
Like any other evening, Mateo Consuelos was walking along Presence Beach. The waves rolled up the sand, but he was much too far away for them to touch him. He passed a cottage and stared at it.
Jake and Kassie... he thought. Such a great couple.
He walked a little further passed their home to his. He was their neighbor, and it was great to have such nice people around all the time.
Mateo looked back out to the ocean. There were mounds of seaweed and kelp washed along the shore. It looked beautiful from where he was walking, but they were dangerous if they attached to your feet when you were swimming.
Then he saw something!
Mateo squinted his eyes slightly, but he knew he could see it. The shape of a body washed up on the shore.
“Oh, my God!” he cried out. He rushed out to the beach. The person was very close to the water, and the waves were washing on them.
He made it to the body. He shoes were soaked, but he was fine. He could tell it was a woman and that she was unconscious. He reached down o grab her arms to pull her out and …
A wave struck him with force and they were both dragged into the sea.