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Bodega Bay was north of San Francisco but west of Napa. It was in the same county as Napa, but it seemed far enough from Jim’s family that he didn’t feel too guilty not swinging by to see them.

He’d talked to all three of them more than once over the last week and he was steadfast in his decision not to introduce Spock to them.

Admittedly, he had somewhat selfish reasons for it. For the limited time he was to have with Spock, he wanted that time to himself. Which was also why he’d told Nyota no when she wanted to double date for dinner with him bringing Spock.

Another reason for not wanting to introduce Spock to the family unit was that years from now he didn’t want Spock to be someone they all talked about in the past tense.

Gary the creep, Ruth the snooty bracelet thief, and Spock the one with pointy ears.

No thanks.

Bodega Bay was a beautiful seaside town, though most people knew it from the 1960 s Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Of course, Spock had never seen that movie and Jim was kind of glad. He didn’t want Spock giving the side eye to  every bird they spotted while they were there.

He’d booked them a way too expensive room with an ocean view that was just steps away from the beach and right next door to an elegant seafood restaurant. He had reviewed their menu before making reservations there for dinner and did find a couple of sparse vegetarian choices. Spock had assured him it was fine.

After they got settled in, they went walking through the town, which really wasn’t very big. It was quaint and idyllic. If you came there expecting a great deal of nightlife, you’d be disappointed.

It was cool and breezy and even a little foggy as it often was in the summer by the northern beaches. Only natives knew that fall, winter, and spring brought much sunnier skies than summer. The fog rolled in every night in the summer. Or just about anyway.

Spock’s little knit cap didn’t seem out of place at all and both of them wore light jackets.

“It’s very pretty here,” Spock commented.

“I like it. Not that I come here that often. But I’ve been a time or two.” He shrugged and smiled. “I actually lived here in a cliffside cottage for about a year.”

“Did you? A rental?”

Jim shook his head. “Nah. I was a kept man.” He laughed.

“Pardon?”

“Surfer days, Spock. Or tried anyway. Never was all that great on a surfboard, but I looked the part. The beaches here aren’t that far from the vineyard, so I’d come out here and hang around, pretending I was straight out of one of those old fifties beach movies.”

He laughed again. He knew he was blushing, but Spock was staring at him intensely, like he was enormously interested in whatever Jim had to say. Not many ever seemed that interested.

“One day, this older lady, Mavis Vanderholt, very wealthy and sophisticated was Mavis. She was a widow. Not that old, really, but older than me. Her husband had died off a fishing boat in Bodega Bay. I was nineteen and she was in her late thirties. She started talking to me, you know, and then pretty soon I went to her little cliffside cottage, and we slept together.”

Spock arched a brow.

“She was a sexy older woman. I kinda never left for days and then pretty soon she said to me, I guess you live here now.”

“Wow.”

“Uh-huh. We spent our days having sex and going to the beach. It was lazy and bohemian. It went on for about a year. One afternoon after sex, Mavis looked at me and said, ‘Jim, it’s time for you to leave’. So I did.”

“A most unusual woman.”

“Pretty much. Never saw her again, to be honest. Five years ago, I saw an online obituary for her. Killed herself. She had a sister who sold the cottage. No idea who owns it now.”

Spock stared at him again. “You have led an interesting life, Jim.”

“You mean a weird one.”

“Not at all. I find you…fascinating.” He took Jim’s hand as they continued to walk along the beach. “I am glad you invited me to do this, Jim. I do not think I will ever forget this place.”

Jim smiled, leaned in and kissed him. “Yeah, me either.”