The Beach House

Jim Prince knew how lucky he was. He had written a science fiction novel which had far outsold expectations and was immediately optioned for film rights. So, he found himself, at thirty six years old, on solid financial ground and was about to begin work on a sequel. With that goal in mind he found himself, on a beautiful day in May, pulling into the driveway of a beach house he had rented to begin his work.

In person the house far exceeded Jim’s expectations. First of all the powder blue painted house looked bigger than he thought standing two stories tall with a large balcony on the second floor and a wraparound porch on the ground level. Palm trees flanked the porch and it looked like a tropical paradise. He knew it was a much bigger house than he needed but he liked the idea of having multiple spaces where he could get inspiration and work. As he got out of the car, he turned his back to the house and marveled at the view of the gulf. The beach was directly across the street and he could be dipping his toes in the warm water in minutes. He smiled and was anxious to see the inside of his home for the next three months.

When he had gotten off the plane and was standing at the rental car counter Jim had received a text message. “HI” the message read “I’m Morgan, Sally’s daughter, and she asked me to meet you when you arrive at the house. Could you text me when you get there? I’ll be right down the street. Looking forward to meeting you!”. Most of the properties along the beach in Florida’s panhandle were run by management companies but Jim’s sister Rose and her husband had made friends with Sally Harkin who, while she lived in New York, owned several beach houses and managed them herself. Rose had sworn by Sally’s properties and had talked about the people she hired to help run them and how satisfied they had been the previous December when they rented one for their summer vacation. Jim had liked Sally immediately and quickly signed a rental agreement. She explained that someone would be in touch as soon as he got to the house. True to her word Morgan had texted him when he arrived in the state. As soon as he was done admiring his new surroundings, he texted Morgan that he had arrived. “Great! She replied, “see you in a few!”

Jim sat on the porch and waited and within minutes a cute blonde girl came walking from down. The street and approached him on the porch.

“Hi” the girl said reaching out to shake his hand “I’m Morgan so nice to meet you!”

Jim shook her hand and smiled “likewise”, he said. He was a little startled at how young she looked. He guessed 18 or younger. Young or not the girl was extremely cute. She had medium length blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, a bright smile and, he couldn’t help but thinking, a very nice body. She was wearing short denim shorts and a pink flowered sleeveless top. She was petite standing about 5’4” and had athletic and toned legs. She also had nice round breasts showing just enough cleavage to catch any red-blooded male’s eye. Easy Jim, he told himself, she’s your landlord’s daughter and way too young for you.

Ignoring his inner voice, he shook the girl’s hand “Hi Morgan, I’m Jim Prince” he said “Nice meeting you. I’m happy to be here”
The girl grinned “Want to see your house?” she asked entering a code into door lock and waving Jim inside.

Much like the outside, Jim thought, the reality was better than the pictures. The front entrance opened up to an enormous room decorated in beach décor and in much better shape than one would expect for a rental property. The main sitting area looked out a picture window with a nearly completely unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico. To the left was a big kitchen and eating area straight ahead was a wall of glass that led to an enclosed area that housed a partially indoor pool that opened up to a fully screened in lanai. He laughed to himself, as Morgan was going over the particulars, that it was ridiculous that he had this huge house to himself as it would have easily accommodated two or three small families. He knew that when he rented it but he wanted the space and he definitely had it.

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