“I’ve changed my mind,” Bob said.
“No, Master!” begged Brian. “No, you mustn’t. We’ve come so far. You’ve come so far!” Brian put the finishing touches of sunscreen on Bob’s face, giving him a nose covered in white lotion.
Bob stiffened, pulling at the flower-pattern shorts covering his pale bottom. “I look ridiculous,” he said. His eyes darted to and fro, seeing the various beach-goers who were giving him thorough inspection. “I don’t belong here. I want to go back to my lair.”
Brian closed the bottle of sunscreen with a snap. “Master, I will not let you go back there. You gave me specific orders, even in the event of your wanting to leave, to not let you off of this beach once you were here. You ordered yourself to take a vacation, and you ordered me to ensure it happened.”
Bob glared, remembering the words with regretful clarity. “That’s not what I meant,” he attempted.
“It is!” snapped Brian. “And to be frank, master, I want a vacation too. It’s heartbreaking to be stuck up in that fortress over looking such beautiful scenery and not being able to enjoy our own beaches.”
Bob rolled his eyes. “Brian, you know why we can’t go out there.”
“Yes, yes, the satellites. I know! But it doesn’t mean I like it. It’s torture if you look out those windows for too long!”
Bob felt unease overcome him as Brian’s raised voice drew even more attention to the two oddities of the beach. A small group of women, all wearing revealing bathing suits, giggled at the pair of men. “Keep your voice down, Brian.”
The minion stamped his foot into the sand, drawing more giggles from the women. “You’re going surfing and that’s final!” He picked up the two long boards, one for himself and one for his master, and marched toward the water. Alone, Bob felt exposed on the beach. His white skin reflected more light than it absorbed, and his attire, a straw hat and obnoxious sunglasses to match his bright shorts, were more of a distraction that his bright white chest. Feeling the eyes fall upon him, he scrambled after his minion.
The water was cool and refreshing. Brian set the boards afloat, and Bob clung to his as though it were the last lifeboat in existence. Not too far off, crystal blue waves rolled in and crashed into white water. “Aren’t you excited, master?” Brian asked.
Bob glared. The sunlight reflected off the water and into his eyes. Salt water splashed onto his lips and he tried to spit it away from his tongue. “Oh, yes,” he said sarcastically. “This is so lovely. My god, what have I done with my life?”
Just then, a set of waves rolled in, a nice swell the peeled perfectly from right to left. Bob watched the waves form, the floating surfers lift up and over the edge, and saw a young woman paddle in. The board caught, and she hopped onto her feet. Her tanned legs glistened with water, the shadows of the sun showing every muscle and curve, as she carved down into the trough and turned back up into the face, sending salt water spraying into the air. As her board came around, her eyes met Bob’s and she smiled with pure joy. She guided her board safely away from Bob as the wave carried her toward him, and Bob was consumed by crashing water.
When he reemerged, the woman was gone and Brian was scrambling to his side. “Master!” he called out. “Master, are you okay?”
“That woman,” Bob said, wiping water from his eyes. “She’s beautiful.”
Brian looked and nodded. “Yes. There are often beautiful women on the beaches.”
Bob looked out across the water and found her paddling back out to catch another set. Her arms were powerful and moved her slender body quickly through the water. “With the proper training, she would make a wonderful assassin,” he said.