Convict: A Bad Boy Romance - Roxie Noir

1

Stone

The ocean is bullshit.

I surface and gasp for air, just in time to see the next wave coming for me, its curve glinting in the morning sun, the froth at the top arching over my head.

Fuck surfing, I think, as I hold my breath and duck underneath it.

At least this time I don’t get knocked on my ass. It’s close, though. My surfboard is still attached to my ankle by its leash, and it gets caught by the wave, tugging at me nearly hard enough to pull my feet from under me.

I’ve got salt water up my nose, in my eyes, and in my lungs, thanks to losing my balance yet again and flying off the board and straight into the breakers.

I don’t know why I fucking bother, I think. I’m not getting any better at this, and I’m just getting shown up by a bunch of long-haired pussies who probably sit down to piss.

One of the long-haired pussies looks over at me as I try to blow salt water out of my nose. He’s ten yards away, and with the sounds of the ocean there’s no way I could hear him, but he gives me a thumbs up and raises his eyebrows.

You okay? he’s asking.

I just nod once, then yank on my surfboard’s leash, pulling it back to me. There’s a lull in the waves, and for a moment I think about just leaving, going home, and having a shower and some coffee before work.

But that would be giving up. That would be letting the bullshit ocean beat me. I wrestle my board back to me, climb on, and start paddling hard.

In a few minutes all the muscles in my arms and back are screaming, but I’m out past the breakers. I stop, floating on my surfboard as the swells pass under me. It feels like I’m riding a very quiet, very gentle motorcycle over a hilly road.

I run my tongue over my teeth and spit sand into the water, then sit upright on my board, watching the horizon and taking deep breaths. I force myself to relax and let the anger dissipate.

After a few minutes, I don’t want to punch the ocean in its stupid face any more. Hell, surfing is supposed to make me less angry, less aggressive, and more patient.

When I got kicked out of two bars in two weeks for fighting, Tony suggested I start meditating. There was no fucking way I was going to sit around with my fingers in circles and chant om, so he suggested surfing.

I had to do something about the anger issues if I was going to make it on the outside, so I tried it. Turns out surfing is harder than it looks. Just getting to the part where you sit on a board and wait for a wave is exhausting the first time you do it, because swimming in the ocean is hard as shit.

I think I wiped out a dozen times before I caught my first wave, but I’ll never forget that wave. I’ll never forget the feeling of getting something exactly right, of the ocean moving under me like it was lifting me up. I’ll never forget the feeling that I was flying.

Fucking magic, even for a jaded asshole like me. Besides, sitting here in silence as the sun comes up behind me and slowly lights the waves isn’t so bad. It’s peaceful, quiet, gives me some space to think. Sometimes I see dolphins further out, and that’s pretty cool. I’ve never seen dolphins in the flesh before.

One more deep breath. There are no good waves coming,