Will lay back, hands clasped behind his head, enjoying the sight of the beautiful woman who’d chosen to spend the night with him. She was so dainty, she looked as if a slight breeze might blow her away, but he’d already discovered her looks were deceptive. Behind the seemingly frail exterior, was a determination to equal his own.
By the time he’d showered and dressed, the aroma of frying bacon and percolating coffee was drifting in from the kitchen. He went through to see Cleo busy cooking breakfast.
‘I wasn’t sure what you would like for breakfast,’ she said, turning from the stove, a frown marring her lovely face. ‘I don’t normally have a cooked one, but I thought…’
‘This looks perfect.’ It was more than he ever bothered to cook for himself in the morning, usually settling for toast with a banana or vegemite before heading out to the surf. But he wasn’t complaining. After this, he’d need to go home to change and get ready for his morning classes.
‘Thanks, Cleo. That was an amazing breakfast,’ he said, when he had demolished the large plate of bacon and eggs she’d provided, mopping up the egg yolk with the remains of a slice of toast. He noticed she ate very little herself, settling for a small piece of bacon on a piece of toast. ‘I’d best be going,’ he said, wishing he didn’t have to.
At the door, he hesitated. What did you say to a woman you’d spent the night with? He was out of practice. But one glance at Cleo’s face looking up at him, decided him. ‘Can I see you on the weekend? Maybe we can have a meal, go to a movie or something? Last night was… out of this world. I never expected to feel like this again. I hope…’ He met her eyes.
‘It was good for me, too. And I’d love to see you on the weekend.’
‘I’ll call you.’ He gave her a quick kiss on the lips and walked over to his scooter. Cleo was still standing in the doorway when he rode off. She was holding the edges of her robe together to stop the breeze from blowing it open, and it took all his will power not to go straight back, pick her up and take her back to bed.
Will had another shower when he got home – a cold one. Then, dressed in a pair of board shorts and one of his tee-shirts bearing the logo of the surf school, he was ready to start his day.
The morning passed quickly. The groups were Year 8 students who were keen surfers requiring little encouragement. Zack Crawford was in one of the classes and Will marvelled again how he was a chip off the old block. If he wasn’t mistaken, Zack was another Bellbird Bay champion in the making.
‘Well done, Zack,’ he said, when the boy returned to the beach with his peers.
‘Think he’ll win the championship, sir?’ asked one of the other boys.
‘Maybe not this year,’ Will replied. ‘But I’d be willing to lay bets that he will one day.’
‘Is it true his grandad was champion three years running?’ asked another, nudging Zack good-naturedly on the shoulder.
‘He was. Ted Crawford. If your parents ever take you to the surf club, you’ll see him on the mural on the stairway. He’s a local hero.’
‘You were champion, too, sir, weren’t you?’ asked another.
‘And Mr Rankin’s son has every chance of taking out the championship again at this year’s carnival.’
Will looked up to see Jack Wells, the teacher who’d accompanied the group to their lesson, coming down the beach to join them.
‘Right, Will?’ he asked. ‘I don’t think any of the others stand a chance.’
‘We’ll see.’ Will hoped Owen would win the championship again this year, but the injury to his ankle had put his training on hold, and it wasn’t clear if it would hinder his chances.
He checked his watch. Time to meet Martin at the club, though, after the breakfast Cleo had provided, he wasn’t very hungry. On his way there, he mentally reviewed the information he’d managed to garner since they last met. It wasn’t much, and the trip to Dolphin Beach yesterday had strengthened his resolve to keep up the opposition to the development, but he wasn’t sure what their next move should be.
‘Hey, mate. The usual?’ Martin greeted Will with a clap on the shoulder.
‘Beer, yes, but I’ll pass on the burger today and have a salad. I had a big breakfast.’ As soon as the words left his mouth, Will knew he’d made a mistake.
Martin’s eyes widened. ‘A big breakfast? Not like you.’ Then it dawned on him. ‘Someone cooked it for you. Cleo?’
Will shuffled his feet and blushed. ‘What if she did?’
‘Wait till I tell Ailsa. She was sure you two would hit it off. She’ll be stoked she was right.’
‘No need to broadcast it,’ Will muttered, as Nate came to take their orders.