A Summer Dream
Chapter 1
    “Do you have any sunscreen?” Lillah asked Kat, annoyed that she hadn’t remembered herself. Richard had always packed for the two of them whenever they went to the beach. Her habit of relying on her husband wasn’t quite broken, even though her marriage was.
    She had received the final divorce judgement yesterday, a Friday evening surprise waiting for her when she got home from work. And now it was done. She and Richard were finally, officially over.
    Lillah hadn’t thought it was possible to feel any worse about the situation, expecting to be relieved at least, if not downright happy.  
    But she was wrong. The way her emotions were churning was overwhelming, and she couldn’t stop her mind looping around a brand new set of what-ifs that hadn’t even occurred to her before.  
    “You brought everything but the kitchen sink, and that’s what you forgot?” Kat teased her gently with a mock scowl, tossing her a small white bottle.
    If it wasn’t for her best friend, Lillah would have spent her entire day the same way as she had last night. Endlessly going over her failed relationship, analyzing every detail, trying to figure out where everything had gone wrong.  
    Lillah smoothed the lotion over her bare skin, wishing there was a man doing it for her, strong fingers tracing their way lightly all over her body, working underneath her straps. Maybe someday.

    Kat was determined take Lillah with her when she showed up at her place this morning. And when Kat set her mind to something, she always got the job done.
    Lillah didn’t put up much resistance. She didn’t want to waste a gorgeous day in mourning for what could have been, she just needed some help to get herself out of her own head.
    “Grab your stuff, we’re going to the beach,” she told Lillah, bursting into her living room, bikini straps peeking out from under her dress.  
    “I can’t,” Lillah had protested.
    “Of course you can. Come on, if we don’t get going we won’t get a good spot.”
    “I can’t go to Venice. Not yet. It’s too soon,” Lillah said. She and Richard had gone there all the time, it was their favorite. It held too many good memories. If she didn’t hold tightly onto the bad ones, regrets would come flooding back. It had taken all of her strength not to pick up the phone to call him last night.  
    “No, not Venice. I’ve got something else in mind.” Kat took her by the arm and led her to her bedroom. “Let’s get going. Bikini. On. Now.”
    “Where?” Lillah asked, reluctantly rummaging through her dresser.
    “It’s a surprise. Trust me, you’ll like it.”
    If there was anyone she would have wanted to spend the day with, it was Kat. Her best friend for most of her life wouldn’t judge her for being upset over the arrival of the papers.  
    Even though they had been separated for two years now, it was still a big deal to Lillah. Kat got that.
    With a flash of gratitude that she hadn’t driven Kat away, even after all the time she had spent analyzing Richard and her marriage, over and over again, Lillah went to her dresser to find a decent swim suit.
    Anyway, it might be fun. Kat had already found her new beach bag in the closet and was off to grab a towel.

    Kat pulled her convertible off the highway at an exit Lillah wasn’t expecting, but it wasn’t until they parked that she realized where they going.  
    Jewel Beach. She hadn’t been there since high school. But when they reached the sand, Kat turned left, away from the most popular part.
    “This way,” Kat told her.
    “Where are we going?” Lillah asked.
    “The west side.”
    “Really? Why?” It was the unofficial but well-known gay side of the beach.  
    “It’s time for you to be surrounded by some hot men,” Kat said, searching for a free spot as they picked their way across the crowded sand.
    “But they’ll all be gay!” Lillah protested.  
    “So what?” Kat said, peering over the top of her sunglasses. “We’re here

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