MeiMei had fortunately headed the right general direction and when she saw glare of lights from the Cancun hotel zone she used them to guide her jouncing flight from the pursuing gang. Twenty minutes after starting to look for it, she made out the outline of Isla Mujeres and headed straight for the South Point lighthouse. She’d gained some lead on the thundering Lords, but could hear them, relentless, behind her. She headed in close to the lee shore of Isla, aiming past the dock lights at Garrafon Park, trying to run closer to land. The Lords followed, keying on stray light catching the white robe that flapped out behind her like a comet’s tail.
Because she’d figured out the only place she really had a chance to find safety. Anywhere she tried to stop, those goons would be right on her, and there was small hope of any cops or vacationing Green Berets being around at this hour. So she nosed in close, meanwhile making what few preparations she could think of. She retrieved the camera and knotted the little lanyard around her left wrist. She used her teeth to tear a big strip of whatever Victoria’s Secret Weapon material the robe was made of. She had experimented a little once she figured out the Doods couldn’t catch her in a straight-out race, and learned that releasing the grips caused a deadman switch to cut power. But not when it was lashed down tight with the fuzzy, glittery hem of the of the robe from the Roman Polanski Collection.
Which made it easier to shrug out of the robe, which had been impossible when her velocity required her constant grip. She knotted the pulled the sleeves of the robe and looped hooked them on her right elbow. And nudged in closer to shore. Which was scaring the hell out of her because at the speeds she was going there would be no chance to avoid any sort of obstacle. Hope nobody’s out skinny-dipping tonight, she thought as she rocketed along the coastline, threading under the series of long, high docks that extended out over the silty shallows of the sheltered side of the island. Then she was there.
She reached under her butt to tuck the robe’s sleeves into the grab strap on the seat, then had only a second to set the Kawasaki on a course that would take it out away from the other piers. Then, as it passed into the shadow of one of the lower ones, she jumped off and splashed quickly to cling to one of the crusty pilings. She ducked her head under water as the four vengeful watercraft screamed through the gap under the wooden walkway, none of the Doods capable of being craven enough to run outside the piers when a mere bitch was slaloming under them. As soon as the Lords of Xibalba careened past she headed madly for the shore.
As soon as the flying Kawasaki came out of the moonshadow of the island and broke into the relatively open water off the Turtle Farm it was obvious that it was currently an unmanned projectile. The sudden deceleration of howling jetskis caused them to nose into the water, expertly flipped into little dive/turns by the various surviving Lords. Corcho, who’d trailed them since he’d been on the yacht when they took off, pulled up and summed it up. “The bitch bailed. We backtrack.” All four of them revved up and whizzed back along the shore, keeping a sharp eye for naked castaways.
It was only forty yards to shore, but tougher than she would have guessed. The bottom was gooey and gross, with creepy grass and god knew what else. But swimming was no picnic, either, especially in the dark beneath the pier, where odd things floated bumped squishily against her. Finally her crawl strokes were brushing relatively clean sand on the bottom and she put a tentative foot down to stand up in waist-deep water. Only to belly flop back as she heard the first jetski. The Lords were moving much slower now, their tweaked two-strokes grumbling as they poked along shining headlights under docks and scanning the beaches. MeiMei crawled in further, seeking the deeper darkness where the dock met the beach. When the last of them putted off to the south, concentrating their search around Casa O, she jumped up and sprinted for the house.
Which was totally dark. Maybe nobody was home. Setting up her next exercise: how to get out of this area and back to the Maria Del Mar in the middle of the night with no money and no clothes.
She approached the house from the side where there was a simple door, not wanting to be silhouetted slinking past the big sliding glass that covered most of the front. Once there she couldn’t decide how to do the simple act of knocking on the door. She hadn’t seen anything to cover up with and was too anxious to get out of sight to do much searching. Finally she located a spot under an arching bougainvillea, moved to the door to pound on it loud, long and desperate, then dashed back to the cover of the bougainvillea’s bower. Where she waited shivering and exposed and generally ready to freak out. She’d done a damned good job of keeping it together, she thought. Getting caught in a crime, then being an attempted rape victim and seeing her friend shot to death, then–face it–probably killing those two water bikers, then leading a hound chase across open sea at night, most of it stark naked. So what she wanted was to achieve a spot of relative safety and security, get some damned clothes, the exercise then exquisite luxury of falling completely apart.
No such luck. The door didn’t open, but three huge lights came on, the big kind they use for ballparks and prisonbreaks. One of them was directly over her head, so the bougainvillea provided no shelter at all. She grabbed one of the leafy branches, only to discover that it was covered with very nasty thorns. Then the door opened and Tuan DeTomaso stepped out, holding one hand behind his back and staring at the nude honey who had decided to call on him at four in the morning.
There was no point in being coy at that point, MeiMei decided. She stood up straight and walked over to Tuan as naturally as if she’d been wearing her jeans and lab coat. As he gaped, she said, “Help me, O.B. Tuan. You’re my only hope.”
Mitsy Fortnum liked lolling naked in the warm dark water. And last night it had been a real turn-on; sneaking out of their rooms in the wee hours to do a “From Here To Eternity” number in the gentle waves on the sheltered beach at Rolandi’s. But that was last night, and now it seemed, well, So Last Night. Tommy was all over her, as usual, but she just didn’t get that same forbidden tropical fantasy kick and was starting to fret. It was nice to go with a guy who had a Porsche and could take her places like this, but she was starting to wonder about the wisdom of a continued relationship with a guy who was basically just a dull ex-jock, when you got down to it. And was proving less and less capable of lighting her fire.
She tapped him on the shoulder as he moved over her in the warm shallows, incidentally grinding her Pilates-honed booty against some kind of unpleasant vegetation that had washed up there. That didn’t work so she grabbed a handful of his hair and pulled his head back sharply to make eye contact. “Listen, Tommy,” she said, but didn’t get any further than that.
Largely because something came whooping and screaming out of the night. It was big and black and she caught a flash of huge white teeth in an evil, gaping grin as it thundered up on them with a deafening roar. Whatever it was just missed plastering them or gobbling them up or whatever its hell-sent mission was, but might have grazed the back of Tommy’s thighs as it whined past them. He jumped to his feet in one spasm, coming out of her like a champagne cork. As she turned to see what it was–her stomach doing flipflops and triple axels–it rained all over them with this like fireboat waterspout out of its ass end. Just before it tore up the beach like that Normandy movie, knocked a couple of tables and umbrellas from there to eternity, and smashed into the stone wall supporting the restaurant deck at what must have been close to eighty miles an hour.
Tommy was standing there staring, all those lovely muscles clenched up, shaking like a wet Spaniel. She lay gaping, her innards doing odd things, her fists and pink little anus clenched tight as a streetfighter’s fist. Then the Kawasaki burst into flame.
That brought her to her feet as well… you could see burning gasoline splattered all over the beach lounges and massage tables, and even floating on the water. Holy shit, would they get burned in the ocean? She stared at the flames, her mouth lolling open and her belly churning.
Tommy turned to face her, no sign of that big, proud boner now. The fire seemed be spreading and lights were coming on in the hotel. She looked down and saw a play of hot colors all over her wet, beautifully augmented torso. “Come on,” he whispered urgently as he tried to pull her over to the lounge where they’d left their robes. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Mitsy asked rhetorically. She turned to him and just tackled him like a blitzing linebacker, grabbing him around the knees and carrying him over backwards into the water. “This is getting me so fucking hot!”
She broke off communications at that point, taking advantage of her position to get a mouthful of action and start the process of working herself into an oblivious frenzy.