Chapter 5

Their dinner finished, Kirk walked Demaris from the restaurant.

"I probably talked too much," Demaris remarked as they stood by their cars in the nearby parking lot.

"It's the first time you talked at all," Kirk smiled.

"Well, goodnight," she replied, slightly embarrassed.

"Why don't you follow me in your car to my place?" Kirk suggested.

She was surprised by his proposal.

"It's early," he explained.

"It's not that early," she replied, glancing at her cell time. "It's nearly 10:30."

"Well, it's not too late for us," Kirk replied.

She gave him a funny look and he smiled.

"Come on," Kirk encouraged. "You don't have to stay long if you don't want to."

She hesitated for a moment and then nodded her head okay.

A few minutes later, their cars were parked in Kirk's driveway on Ivy Street and he was leading her into his house. She was amused when she glanced out the back deck and saw the in ground swimming pool in the backyard.

"There's always a Lifeguard on Duty here, De," Kirk told her.

She glanced at him. "You think you can rescue me?" She asked with interest.

"I'd like to," he admitted honestly. "We can save our own little worlds together."

Demaris kept looking at the swimming pool on the other side of the glass door, keeping her back to Kirk who stood a few feet behind her. "Are they worth saving?" She wondered aloud.

"Yes," Kirk answered convincingly.

"I was so desperate for love," Demaris said with a sigh. "Or at least an idea of love. I thought Speedex offered that. A chance to forget about my mother and the way I grew up."

"You saw the world," Kirk replied.

"Now I'm in my forties and I wonder where my life went," she said sadly.

"Would you kiss me?" Kirk asked quietly.

She turned and faced him. "What?" She said with surprise.

"I want you to kiss me."

Demaris studied him for a long moment before stepping into him and kissing him.

"Okay?" She asked when she broke the kiss.

"Yes," he smiled.

"Is that why you brought me here?" Demaris asked.

"Do you want to go for a swim?" He asked.

"You mean naked," She realized.

"I'd rather chase you around the chair," Kirk revealed.

"I should probably go," Demaris decided.

"What are you afraid of?" Kirk wondered.

"The ghost of my mother," she admitted.

"Put her to rest," Kirk advised.

"And what happens then?" She worried.

"Regret nothing," Kirk replied.

"Not even Speedex?"

"He's no longer a part of your life."

"I felt so diminished and humiliated when he left me for someone else," Demaris said with a tear in her eye. "I hated myself for being so unlovable, rejected and dumb. I stopped caring about anything."

"You care about your job," Kirk reminded her.

"That's all I have," she said with defeat.

"You have me," Kirk countered.

"I'm too old for this."

"No you're not," Kirk laughed. "Trust me, I hit rock bottom the moment Caitlin left for Florida but then I decided that lifeguarding was the best thing I could do for myself."

"And going skinny dipping with you is going to cure me?" Demaris asked, rolling her eyes.

"Wear your status like a badge of honor," Kirk advised. "You're here. You're running the recreation department. You're important. You're a leader. You're smart. You're attractive. I like you."

"You can't save me," she warned.

"I let you save me," Kirk replied.

Demaris turned and opened the glass sliding door, stepping out on the cement apron of the pool area. She pulled off her dress, tossed aside her bra, pulled down her panties, and stepped naked off the side of the pool into the water.

"Rescue me," she said when she came to the surface.

Kirk was already naked and he joined her in the water.

"Lifeguards on duty," he grinned as he reached her and kissed her.