Excerpt from Light My Firecracker

                Like the park, the beach was filled with sightseers and tourists.  They sat on blankets and folding chairs around their ice chests and hibachis, talking and eating and drinking as they waited for the fireworks display to begin.  Children ran and played.  Everyone stayed out of the water this time of evening.

                As she neared the lighthouse, Amberly could see two large trucks parked just beyond the spit of land where the tower and the keeper's house was located.  Despite the increasing darkness, there was enough light coming from lanterns and campfires to help guide her.

                She paused to adjust the melon, adding a small weightless spell to it to make the fruit easier to carry.  Although she had never met Mr. Millner personally, she figured it shouldn't be too hard to find the man.  Or at least hand the melon over to someone who worked for him.

                As she rounded the lighthouse, she could make out the work area, including the tables and crates that had been unloaded.  Beyond the small piles of rocks that created an artificial jetty, the buoy marking the outer perimeter of the harbor cast its green light.  On the other side of the harbor she could make out the lights of the seafood plant.  A couple of motorboats cruised by, sightseers looking to get the best view of the pyrotechs from out on the water.  Amberly smiled.  The weather was perfect for tonight, as she knew it would be.  She and her father had arranged for a small summer storm to hurry through early that afternoon, leaving them with a calm, cloudless night.  It would be warm, but not too humid.  Perfect conditions for the show.

                One of the company's trucks was not too far ahead.  The words MILLNER'S PYRO, along with a picture of an exploding firecracker, were painted on the cab's doors.  The silver aluminum sidings were blank.  She found the door unlocked and laid the melon on the seat where it would easily be discovered.

                "Okay.  Mission accomplished."  Which was fine and good, but now what? Should she just walk away without telling someone she'd left the gift?  "Geesh, won't Mr. Millner know who left the watermelon?  Crap. Decisions, decisions."  Common sense told her to find someone and let them know so they could tell Mr. Millner that his friend hadn't forgotten him.

                Another test rocket suddenly shot into the air.  It shrieked as the lights in its wake twirled around in a crazy spiral. For a moment she could see where a shrimp boat had towed the barge beyond the harbor and tied it to the buoy.  It was a fire-prevention measure in case there was an accident. In the brief glow several figures could be seen moving about on the large floating deck.

                Amberly parked her hands on her hips.  "Oh, great.  Everyone must be on the barge.  Well, I guess they'll have to figure out on their own where the watermelon came from without my help."

                She turned around and started to head back to where her family was camped out when she heard the screechy squawk of a walkie talkie. It was immediately followed by the sound of someone answering it, but the voice was too low to make out what was being said. She paused.  Apparently not everyone is out on the barge.

                It was curiosity that made her walk around the truck and approach the one parked parallel behind it.  Whoever was left on shore was on the other side facing the harbor.  She rounded the front of the cab when her body went on instant alert.

                It was as if she had walked into an invisible web of energy.  Every inch of her skin tingled as if a mild electrical current was flooding her system.  All trace of weariness vanished, leaving her full of energy, like a battery being recharged.  At first she was surprised, but in no way did she feel alarmed or threatened.  Amberly wondered if it had anything to do with the amount of equipment sitting on the tables a few feet away when the walkie talkie called again.

                "Milo to Matt."

                "Go for Matt."

                Two long folding tables had been set up parallel to the side of the truck.  Several spotlights hung from portable poles, bathing the tables in soft but adequate light.  Amberly glanced behind her.  Apparently the trucks and the lighthouse were enough to keep the lights from interfering with the audience's view of the show.

                All sorts of unrecognizable gear and open boxes were set on top of the tables, as well as stacked underneath.  More impressive, however, was the enormous board set up at the end, along with a computer monitor and keyboard.  The board reminded her of one she'd seen in a magazine once.  The kind music studios used when mixing music, with lots of sliding switches and toggles.  A young man stood over it, making minute adjustments on the knobs.

                The walkie squealed.  "We're not getting any kind of response from U47y.  Is she live?"

                "Let me check," the man replied.  He sat the walkie talkie on the table next to the console and moved over to type on the keyboard.  His concentration enabled Amberly to get a good look at him while he worked. 

                He was perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties, although it was hard to tell without getting a good look at his face.  His hair was long.  Past his shoulders, but thick and clean.  And dark.  The light shined off of it with an almost blue luster.  

                He wore a dark yellow t-shirt with an artistic rendition of a guitar on it.  The shirt fit his snugly, revealing nicely-muscled arms and a broad chest.  The narrow waist was cinched in with a wide belt, and the jeans hugged what appeared to be a perfectly-shaped ass.  The man silently obliged her wish as he turned slightly for a moment.

                Yep.  A perfect ass.  Not a wrinkle or sag to be seen.

                "I'm showing U47y as active," the man told whoever was on the other end of the walkie.

                "Well, we're getting nothing here.  Let me see if I can't find the problem on this end.  Milo out."

                The man grunted and set the walkie down, then strode over to the far end of the table, and Amberly felt her body being tugged in his direction.  The impossibility of her next thought was realized when the walkie called again.  Exasperated, the young man let out soft shit and held out his hand.  The walkie sprang up from the table and zipped over to where he could snatch it out of the air.

                Amberly's eyes widened.  At the same time the man must have caught sight of her standing in the shadows at the corner of the truck.  He straightened.

                "Who's there?"

                The invisible net lessened but didn't go away entirely.  But it was enough for her to move into the light where he could see her better.

                "Milo to Matt," the walkie repeated.

                "Go for Matt."  His actions were automatic as he continued to stare at her with hooded eyes.

                The tingling sensation grew.  Little rivulets swirled around her breasts where her nipples could be seen through her shirt's thin fabric. An invisible hand squeezed her, sending warmth and chills down into the pit of her stomach.  The trail traced across her flat belly to the top of her cut-off jeans.  A definite tug on the waistband only increased her rising need.  And when the swirl touched her between the legs, Amberly could feel herself becoming wetter and hungrier than she had ever felt before in her life.  The man stood nearly twenty feet away, and he was driving her sexually mad.

                "We have a green light now for U47y.  How are things on your end?"

                Matt raised the walkie to his mouth, hesitated for a moment as he appeared to gather his thoughts, then answered, "Just waiting for your signal."

                "Great.  Countdown will begin in seventeen minutes.  Milo out."

                Amberly shuddered as the man set the walkie down and walked around the table, quickly advancing on her.   Immediately her eyes were drawn to the obvious bulge in the front of his jeans, making her wonder if he was also feeling the effects of the invisible net.  She never had the chance to ask him when he descended upon her and almost slammed her backwards against the side of the panel truck.  His mouth claimed hers, and it took everything in her not to rip the clothes from his body.