Geri stretched out on a flat, sun-warmed rock by the edge of the lake. It had been too long since she had a chance to relax like this. Due to her career she spent most of her time in the city, but she enjoyed vacationing in the country. She and her friend, Dee, had been planning this weekend for months. It was almost like they were kids again -- no business worries, no hustle and bustle and best of all no men.
Geri had split up with her fiance over a year ago and she still felt like she'd just made parole. Thinking back on her life to when she'd first noticed the magnetism of the opposite sex, she wished it had never happened. Men were nothing but trouble. In her experience, they were all high-maintenance egomaniacs who ignored you when they had you and stalked you when you finally kicked them to the curb.
"Geri! Hey you should come in the water. It's great," shouted Dee from where she swam several feet from the shore.
"No thanks. All I want is some sun and sleep," Geri said.
"Nothing like a swim to wake you up in the morning."
"I just said I don't want to wake up. I want to go back to sleep."
Dee had always been the jock. Her idea of a vacation was waking at the crack of dawn and jogging through the woods. At that time, Geri had still been curled in her sleeping bag, grateful that she didn't have to fight traffic to get to a meeting on time. Not that Geri didn't like to get in some exercise for her general health, but Dee took workouts to an extreme, which probably explained why she had once been among the best female mixed martial artists in the country.
Geri once again closed her eyes and smiled, enjoying the feel of the sun on her bikini-clad body. It had been so long since she'd worn a bikini. Brandon had made her feel so self-conscious, always gawking at the scrawny model types. She'd finally said, "Fuck it, if that's what you want then go get it, pal and while you're at it stay out of my life." Geri had curves. She had brains and it was about time she started using them in her personal life, not just in business. It was only after they'd broken up that she learned he'd not only ogled other women, but had a wife and another girlfriend hidden away.
Dee had been her biggest supporter during that depressing time when she'd learned the truth about her fiance.
"Hey! Help! Geri!"
Geri shot to a sitting position and stared toward the middle of the lake where Dee struggled in the churning water. Strangely, the rest of the water was calm.
"Shit!" Geri sprang to her feet and jumped into the river, swimming as fast as she could toward her friend. Her heart pounded and the thought crossed her mind that if Dee was in trouble and she was the athletic one, how the hell was she going to fight the water and rescue her?
The current grabbed hold of Geri and she tried to fight it. By now she was close enough to touch Dee. The women reached for each other before they were sucked beneath the surface.
Geri panicked. She couldn't breathe. The water dragged her so fast that she was forced to close her eyes and spin in the cold, wet blackness.
They were going to die. She knew it.
Then a tremendous forced hurled them past the surface of the water. She kicked her feet, gasped and choked. Blinking water from her eyes she glanced around and saw Dee a short distance away. They screamed as the force of the rough water pushed them downriver. Somewhere in the back of her mind, past the terror and confusion, it struck Geri that their surroundings had changed completely. Most of the trees had disappeared, replaced by grassy fields. She thought she saw a group of half-naked men fighting on the shore, but she didn't have time to stare. Just ahead the river dropped severely to what had to be a waterfall.
She screamed louder, as if that would help. At least it made her feel better.
Iron danced and ducked, dodging his brother's powerful punches and kicks that could easily knock him into oblivion, should they actually connect with his body. This sparring match was a classic example of speed versus power, but that's what made them such an unstoppable team -- they were the best of the best in their branch of the gladiatorial games.
"I'm going to knock your teeth out when I get you, you skinny bastard!" Rock growled, jabbing his fist toward Iron's face. Shit. That was almost too close.
Iron danced around Rock and curled his lip in a sneer that never failed to piss his brother off. "When you get me? You mean if you get me, lardass!"
Taunting Rock further, Iron darted behind him and kicked him in the butt. Rock spun and this time his fist grazed Iron's cheek, staggering him. He recovered quickly and attacked Rock with several speedy kicks that Rock blocked and dodged.
Iron was about to shout another jibe, but the sound of screaming brought their match to a halt. The brothers glanced toward the river and saw that a small boat belonging to a couple of females had toppled over in the fierce water. The women screamed, then disappeared beneath the surface.
Rock bolted for the water, Iron close behind him.
"Stupid women!" Iron snapped. "What the hell were they doing out there anyway?"
"Hurry up!" Rock shouted, leaping into the water. "I see them ahead."
"They're moving toward the cascade!"
Iron and Rock swam hard, fighting the current. Good thing they were accustomed to swimming in the river as part of their endurance training.
As Rock reached for one of the drowning women, Iron swam for the other and managed to grab hold of her. They headed for the shore and when they reached the shallow water, all four dropped to their knees, panting.
"Hey." Iron brushed the woman's long, dark blond hair aside as she coughed and sputtered. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah," she gasped, lifting her blue gaze to his.
A strange feeling swept over him and his cock and gut tightened simultaneously. She was the cutest female he'd ever seen and very different. Most Amazurian women were tall and stout. She was rather short and though she wasn't stout, she certainly had curves. Her swimming attire was also strange.
It took him a moment to realize she was staring at him with the same stunned expression.