[before this: sailing vacation.]
“I think I could sleep here all day,” she murmured.
“Is that because you didn’t sleep at all last night?”
Francesca sat up on her elbows. “Giulietta!”
“Sorry,” her sister-in-law said. “I was just curious, because I slept wonderfully last night. At least nine hours.”
“I’m sure you did,” Francesca giggled. Maybe this would be fun after all. Maybe they could start drinking now.
They spent the day sailing and sunning, drinking and eating, playing backgammon and smoking cigarettes. After three bottles of prosecco, a pack of Marlboros, and a seafood lunch they took a lazy, sloppy swim off the side of the yacht.
“We used to spend our summers doing this,” Ricci said to Selim, treading water beside him. Selim kept his head above water, a lighted cigarette in his mouth.
“Ummm hmmm,” he answered.
“Francie’s a great swimmer,” Ricci continued. “She used to swim laps forever–hours, it seemed–when she was a kid, all by herself.”
Selim removed his cigarette with a damp hand. “That doesn’t surprise me at all,” he replied.
Francesca overheard them and swam over. “He thinks I’m the most fabulous, glamorous woman born,” she told her brother. “Don’t ruin it by telling him the truth.”
Selim used his free hand to splash her.
[after this : above decks.]