Ashley Callantine looked across the neatly manicured rose garden past where two men were trimming roses representing every hue of the rainbow.

She couldn't see him anywhere. Tom pulled out a dying rosebush near the garden house and Frank trimmed one growing her mother's favorite tea roses. But where was Cagney?

She brushed a strand of her blonde hair back from where it fell over her shoulders. Her face betrayed concern as she approached Tom who looked up from where he worked with a smile.

A leer actually because she didn't feel entirely comfortable around him. He'd disapproved of her meetings with Cagney in the garden because of their differences. After all, she was the daughter of their employer and Cagney was a member of the gardening staff.

She didn't care about all that. She just cared about how good she felt when Cagney held her in his strong arms, when he brushed his callused thumb against her cheek…when his lips brushed hers with a kiss. None of the boys at the boarding school nestled in the hills surrounding a small town in Switzerland kissed the way that he did. None of them sent her heart racing and nearly made her go weak at the knees.

Tom looked up and tipped his hat at her.

"Miss, it's a beautiful morning isn't it?"

She gave him a half smile because she knew that he'd told the rest of the gardening staff that she had a thing for him which was not true at all. Tom was way too old for her and once she had first set eyes on Cagney digging a new bed for the blue roses, the rest of the world had faded away.

"Yes it is…is Cagney around?"

She saw the glance exchanged between the two men and just ignored their reaction. If they didn't like the relationship she enjoyed with Cagney, tough on them. She didn't feel like wasting her time chatting with two men she knew were imagining what she wore beneath her cotton slacks.

"No…he's gone to pick up a delivery for the petunias that are growing in one of the other gardens."

She nodded; knowing the estate where she lived had many gardens, some of them larger than the one growing her mother's roses. Their spread stretched for acres and parts of it ended right at the ridge overlooking their private beach where the waves crashed and where she and Cagney had some of their picnics. She'd make him a special lunch in a basket and they would meet each other in the shadows near the cave. They would eat lunch; take walks along the beach holding hands and sometimes they would kiss while the sunlight sparkled on the ocean like diamonds.

Oh she couldn't get enough of seeing him. No, not since she had graduated from boarding school and returned home again to spend the summer before heading off to Yale in the fall. Her father, Ivan Callantine who owned Callantine Enterprises, Callantine, Inc. and also one of the biggest charity foundations on the west coast had purchased a new music library there which just happened to be her field of study. Her father had told her not to worry about taking anything too serious like business or economics or even political science because his oldest son Derek would be next in line to take over the family business. He had done everything just right to be groomed for that role, went to Stanford University for undergrad in Business and pre-law and then gotten his law degree from Yale not long after Ivan had donated a new wing to the law library.

Derek was quite a bit older than her, 33 to her 18 because he'd been born of Ivan's first wife Whitney who Ivan had paid off and put up in a posh estate in the most exclusive area of San Diego so he could marry his second wife, Simone. Simone had two children, Justin and Ashley though Ashley had heard the story third hand from a couple of the house servants that she'd been somewhat accidental.

Unlike Derek who had his conception written up in all the society columns and had been raised to be the golden boy. She loved him dearly except for the fact that he had joined in on this insane plan of her father's to marry her off to the oldest son of one of his business rivals.

She left the two men to do their work and strolled through the pathway through the garden. The man her father had set her up to marry was a certified accountant named Craig Winslow. He had been in school with Justin, was handsome in a preppy kind of way but was married to his quest to work his way up through the corporation owned by his father, a subsidiary to be added to Callantine Enterprises the day after their wedding.

The trees loomed largely over her providing shade from the sunlight as she left the rose garden. She walked closer to where their property met the sky. A 100 foot drop down onto a pebbly beach embracing an ocean that stretched out as far as she could see. She then reached into her pocket and pulled out a joint that Cindy had given her from her stash. Lighting up, she puffed away letting her mind unwind from the life that had been mapped out for her since she'd been born. Her body relaxing and she sunk down onto the ground beneath the base of a huge redwood and dreamed of how her life could be instead.

If only Cagney would sweep down onto the canvas and take her away from her prison.

Derek looked at the woman's face as he slid in between her thighs. Their bodies were slickened by exertion as she tightened her legs around his waist awaiting his first thrust.

"Oh god…I heard you were good…"

He listened to her purring as he deftly thrust inside and was rewarded by her pussy squeezing him in a way he liked. The woman writhed on the bed too early he thought but then the set that his family ran with had always been good at living large. He had met Tanya at the tennis club after she had returned from a jaunt at her family's chalet in the South of France nicely tanned and her body toned from swimming and playing tennis. They had played a few matches on the asphalt court and then had moved it to the bedroom of a bachelorette pad she and a couple of her group set up for fun without their husbands. Tanya had married young, at 18 to one of her father's oldest colleagues and her eyes had started even before her husband Chad had started working his way through the towel girls at the Club. Derek thought that when she fucked him she was screwing her husband in a whole different way but he didn't care because he enjoyed a good round of sex in between business meetings and court appearances as counsel for his father's conglomerate.

And sometimes he fantasized about other women himself.

"Let me be on top babe…"

He rolled her over on top of him while he settled on his back and she sat up, lowering herself on top of his erection and then she moved up and down and side to side, moaning while he watched.

Then a flash of another woman with wavy dark hair and the most intense green eyes appeared, her body joined intimately with his while his hands gripped her hips because all of a sudden, he needed to be that much closer.

The sweat that broke out on the back of his neck was cooler than that on the rest of his body and he blinked his eyes to break the vision of the woman looking down, her hair framing her face, her face intense with her own pleasure. No, not her, he could never think about her that way.

A woman like Kelly Prescow was all into busting balls not fondling them. She always looked at him from the opposite side of the conference table at a meeting or from the opposing table in court like she wanted to break his ass. He'd look at her and suddenly, all he could think about was what her mouth would feel like sliding her lips around his balls one at a time while one of her hands worked his shaft.

He must have sighed suddenly because Tanya looked at him suddenly.

"That good is it? Well, Chad always did say…"

"Shut up about your husband."

So she did and she ground her pelvis against him and her face told him she was getting close to getting off. Well so was he, as he felt the tightness of his cock and braced himself.

But when he came not long after Tanya's moans filled the room, he knew they were both thinking about someone else.

"Cagney get your ass down here."

Kelly sighed as she stood by the waterfront looking back at the deck. Her younger brother was inside the house having just gotten out of bed. He'd gotten the day off so he could meet with a prospective employer to explore a new career opportunity. His sisters had been at him to line up something else so he could quit his job at the Callantine estate.

She heard running footsteps and smiled when she saw a little boy with a mop of dark hair instead. He was the five year old son of her middle sister Alex and her late husband Denny who had died along with the rest of the crew of his fishing boat two years ago during the storm of the century. The night when she and…never mind.

"Auntie K…."

Denny Jr. couldn't quite finish her name but she smiled at him as he joined her by the water.

"Where's your mommy?"

He picked up a couple small rocks and started throwing them in the water. A habit that reminded her of someone else.

"She's going to take me to summer camp."

Alex worked as the editor of the newspaper in their town. She had graduated with honors from a journalism program at Humboldt University and then come to work as a reporter at the newspaper where she moved her way up to an editor's position. It hadn't been easier for her not since the days she had first tangled with her childhood friend Justin until she had fallen into bed with him. That had only worked professionally for them for a little while. Justin hadn't hung around either, being too filled with wanderlust to ever stay in one place for too long.

"Where's Uncle Cag?"

Denny smiled widely.

"He made my cereal," she said, "and mommy's got him working on my lunch."

Atta girl Alex, Kelly thought though she knew their older sister Felicity would scold them both for being too hard on Cagney. But ever since they lost their parents to another storm years earlier, they had raised each other and Cagney being the youngest, they had pushed him the hardest. Well, she and Alex had but Felicity had interspersed their tough love with small doses of spoiling. Fortunately for the most part Cagney had turned out just fine. In fact, he'd gone into the military and done two years before coming back and apprenticing to be a landscaper. But Kelly knew his dreams didn't stop there. He wanted to go back to school eventually and be an architect.

Money had been tight for dreams like that but Cagney had been socking money away to get a little closer each day. Not much distracted him…except for whatever he had going with Ashley. Now she was a nice enough young woman if quite spoiled and without a clue of what she wanted in life but Kelly didn't want anything distracting her brother from his goals. After all, Justin had been quite a distraction for Alex; thank goodness she had found herself a steady man like Denny after Justin had crushed her heart, at least for a little while.

Long enough to give birth to a son not long after the wedding, and unlike Felicity Kelly hadn't counted backwards. No need to go looking for problems.

She had enough of them with the oldest Callantine spawn, Derek.

Facing off against him in the boardroom and in the courts invigorated her because he kept her at the top of her game and she knew their legal skills were closely matched. But she also knew she was better than him. Because her life hadn't been an easy one and she'd never been handed anything to her on a plate. Not the case with the golden boy who though he had everything, still generated a scandal now and then with his exploits at the country club and the yacht regatta last month. She kept away from that whole scene but her nephew Denny loved boats and a legal colleague had invited her to watch the races that took place on the ocean on a picture perfect day.

Derek had been a skilled sailor, perhaps not as talented as Justin had been but more determined. He'd won his race and she had watched him and his sailing partner pour champagne over themselves in the victory celebration. Her body had warmed at the sight and suddenly, she imagined it was just the two of them celebrating.

Only they were both naked and he'd been licking droplets of liquor off of her body, while she tried to keep herself from going crazy with desire.

"It's quite warm today isn't it," someone had commented to her.

Definitely warm, yes she thought as she tried to slow down her breathing getting her mind off of where her fantasies took her. That's all they were really, harmless flirtations of what could never be. After all, they were both so different. Their backgrounds and family histories put them on different levels of the food chain and their philosophies and values…they couldn't be more different. So far they couldn't find even one thing to agree on and she'd quit trying.

"Go get your uncle;" she said suddenly, "He needs to get going to this job interview."

Denny nodded and raced back up on the deck and into the old ramshackle house. She'd be getting her own place soon. She'd just been staying with her sister and nephew since Denny's death. Cagney crashed here while renovating his bungalow when it was inhabitable like now when he was figuring out how to reroute the ancient plumbing. At least Felicity had her own place a mile down the coastline, on top of a bluff overlooking the ocean where she did most of her writing. Both as a society columnist for the newspaper and as a novelist of heated romances, none of which of course were based on real life.

That reminded her she had to drop by and read through Felicity's latest contract with her publisher. Or so her sister had said but she knew better. She knew that her sister was going to try to set her up with another one of the men in her stable and she didn't want her sister's castoff men anymore than she'd enjoyed wearing her clothes growing up.

She wondered if she should call and cancel but no, that would just increase her sister's resolve to get her to break her ahem, dry spell.

Something she could really do in her own time and place…and no, not with the guy who filled her imagination.

Some miles away, the man put on his helmet and powered up his motorcycle having adjusted his duffel before riding off down the highway, the ocean spreading out on his left way back thousands of miles from where he had come from.