Traci kicked off her sandals and buried her feet in the warm, white sand with a sigh of pure relief. Dealing with the tourists at the resort on the other side of the island where she worked was the price she paid for this kind of pleasure. She might doubt that it was worth it while she was at work, but once she was alone, far from the noisy, drunken antics of people with far more money than brains, she knew that she'd gladly endure her job and more for her little slice of paradise.

Suddenly eager to feel the cool water of the ocean on her flesh, Traci dropped the net bag she carried to the ground and her hands moved to the knot of the wrap-around skirt she wore. She dropped the garment to the sand and her hands flew over the buttons of her white silk shirt. Soon she'd shed her work-clothes and stood clad in her play-clothes; three tiny triangles of bright turquoise spandex. The native islanders laughed at her for the bikini, teasing her about her delusion that it covered anything and calling her "our shy little American". Traci giggled at the thought, thinking just how shocked most real Americans would be if she were to wear the indecent little suit at any of their beaches.

Glancing down at her body, Traci smiled. She wasn't shy, not really, though she couldn't deny that the first time she'd seen a group of island women playing in the surf, their brown breasts bare, nipples crinkled from the cold water, she'd been a bit shocked. She wasn't a prude, though , and it wasn't shyness that kept her in the little blue bikini. Not by a long shot!

Reaching behind her and pulling the combs from her thick blond hair, she ran her fingers through the soft curls, fluffing them down over her shoulders and breasts and rubbing her tender scalp. She played with a curl for a moment, admiring the contrast between its rich gold and the vibrant color of the cloth, a contrast that was also present against her sun-bronzed skin. She half closed her eyes, remembering the first time she'd worn the suit to one of the "residents only" parties held on the far side of the island. Those heavy-lashed eyes were the same shocking turquoise as her suit . . . the reason she's given into impulse and bought it in the first place, and she'd known she looked good that night.

Traci wasn't a teenager anymore, but neither was she past her prime. At 27, she still attracted plenty of male attention . . . an unwanted amount, actually, particularly from the tourists she'd been hired to herd from scenic vista, to gift-shop, to luau, to over-priced restaurant, to native ruin, to . . . over and over again, the entire time resisting the subtle passes and not-so-subtle groping that she'd quickly come to loathe. Her body was still firm and sleek, though it was definitely a woman's body, with lush hips and large, soft breasts. Years of teaching aerobics had left her with a beautifully defined musculature and a tiny waist that looked almost impossible between her curvy hips and ripe breasts. She'd long ago stopped bemoaning her hourglass figure, though, once she realized that, a) you can diet all you want, but you won't change your bone structure, and b) it drove men absolutely insane.

She wasn't looking for a date the night of the party, though the quiet, handsome islanders had intrigued her with their laughing black eyes and their silent, respectful appreciation. She just wanted a chance to relax, to get away from the pressures of having to be pleasant to men who honestly deserved a good, swift kick. The dancing and singing, the promise of moonlit swimming and the delicious smells that drifted out from the cooking pits were totally irresistible. She didn't think her swimsuit . . . decadently sinful for an American beach . . . would draw much attention when set beside the bare-breasted beauty of the native women. She'd been wrong.

The island men had been enchanted, unable to keep their eyes away from the barely covered flesh. The bright color grabbed their attention and held it. Traci had realized, with wicked delight, that to them, she was the exotic one. They'd been so sweet, too, in their admiration . . . embarrassed by their own reaction, and determined to treat her just like everyone else, to make her feel welcome in her new home. The women had laughed about it, and teased them mercilessly, but not cruelly. That had been a relief. Traci couldn't help but feel that a group of American women in a similar situation would have turned into absolute bitches, shunning her and punishing her for the attention 'their' men gave her.

Since then, Traci's suit had become somewhat of a signature item for her. She'd indulged herself with enough of the island men . . . and once, memorably, with a pair of the women . . . that they all knew by now that she wasn't really shy, but they loved teasing her. And Traci loved her new home, her new friends, and her new life.

Except for her work, which grew more and more annoying. She sighed and shook her head, turn ing her back on the pile of clothes and walking towards the water. Sometimes I'm so embarrassed to be an American! There has got to be something else on this island I can do that doesn't involve dealing with tourists. No way I'm going to leave, but . . . Sighing again, she dived forward, her strong arms pulling her through the clear water as she stroked steadily through the gentle waves.

Traci let the cool water soothe her frazzled nerves for a while. She dived beneath the surface and letting her long hair stream out behind her as she stroked towards the sandy bottom, schools of brightly colored fish scattering at her approach. She surfaced with a splash, flinging her wet hair out of her face with a laugh. Smiling now, she turned over on her back and kicked lazily towards the floating buoy platform that marked the safe swimming zone of her little patch of ocean. When she reached it, she hauled herself onto the little wooden barge with practiced ease.

Sitting on the gently rocking platform, Traci grinned and reached behind her to untie the top of her suit, revealing breasts that were only very slightly paler than the rest of her golden skin. She carefully draped the top over one of the crossbars of the little tower and then did the same with the bottom. The tiny patch of curls between her legs was a darker gold than her hair, but had still, obviously, seen its share of sun, and the carefully depilated skin around it was the same lovely golden brown as her breasts. Traci stretched out on the buoy platform, tucking her hands beneath her head as she watched a few wispy clouds drift across the sky. She daydreamed for a bit, but then the motion of the waves started to lull her to sleep. Yawning, she turned to her stomach, letting her kinky wet curls fall over her eyes and pillowing her cheek on her arm. Within minutes, she was asleep.

She wasn't sure what woke her, but it startled her enough that she nearly rolled off of the platform. Clinging to the lower rungs of the buoy tower, she shook her head, trying to clear the cobwebs from her mind. Then something bumped the wood beneath her.

Traci's turquoise eyes widened and she went deathly pale. Big sharks were rare in these peaceful waters, but not totally unknown. Her fingers tightened, white-knuckled, on the wood as her imagination filled with visions of a menacing white shape, rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth. She was paralyzed, totally unable to move, knowing that there was nothing she could do, anyway.

The bumping came again, and Traci whimpered. But she had to know, she just had to. Inch by inch, she forced herself to turn her head and lean over, looking into the crystal clear water.

Relief flooded her when no huge torpedo shape slid through the water, no sharp fin broke its tranquil surface. But the relief was quickly replaced by amazement when she saw what i>was floating beside the buoy. "That's the biggest damned jellyfish I have ever seen," she murmured, voice full of awe.

A glistening island of gelatinous flesh gleamed just beneath the surface of the water, stretching some thirty feet across. The mass of pink, white, and lavender tentacles underneath seemed large enough to embrace a good-sized building, and each of the four spongy, convoluted oral arms hanging from its belly was as thick around as a barrel. For the most part, the creature was almost transparent, a crystalline blue with hints of pastel swirls of iridescence. Within that softly undulating body, though, were four masses of dark color; three a deep, deep blue, and the fourth, biggest organ was a brilliant crimson that matched the rippling ring of color around the outer edge of its bell-shaped body.

Traci eyed the drifting tentacles that seemed to fill the ocean around her and knew, beyond all doubt, that there was no way at all she could get past the thing. And at that size, with that many tentacles, even if it were only mildly toxic, she'd still have no chance of surviving its sting. And even if, by some wild miracle, the thing didn't sting at all, she still wouldn't be able to swim through its entangling limbs . . . she'd be caught as surely as any fish in a net.

Still, strange as it seemed, it wasn't a giant shark. It wasn't going to bite through the wood of the platform in an aggressive rage to get to her. All she had to do was wait for it to go away, or for someone to miss her. Oh, she might be out here a while, get a bit dehydrated, but she was in good shape, so it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. Missing dinner wouldn't kill her.

Traci leaned back against the tower to wait. "So," she said to the jellyfish, "where the heck did you come from, big guy? I've never seen anything like you, and I thought the biggest jellies only got a couple of meters across. You've got to be a world's record. I wish I had a camera on me. Bet the tabloids would pay for a pic of you." She laughed. "I can see the headlines now; Giant Jellyfish Terrorizes Small Equatorial Island!" She shook her head, still grinning. "Though you did just about scare the shit out of me. I thought you were a shark."

She reached for her swimsuit, intending to put it on. It wouldn't do for rescuers to find her stark naked, after all, and if she got a sudden chance to swim for it, she didn't want to abandon her suit. At that moment, however, the jellyfish bumped into the buoy hard, rocking it violently and slamming her into the central tower. The bottom half of her suit flew from her hand and landed right in a thick nest of tentacles. "Shit! Damn it, that cost a fortune! Give it back!" Almost tempted to reach for it, she glared at the slowly sinking panty, watching as the translucent threads writhed around it, exploring the material. Within seconds, it was totally enveloped by them, just the barest hint of blue showing where it had been. "You did that on purpose!" she snapped, then stopped, laughing at herself. "Bad enough I'm talking to a jelly fish, but now I'm accusing it of stealing my bikini bottoms. The sun must be getting to me." Sighing, she tied the top in place, thinking she'd at least still be able to wear it with shorts and skirts. "Going to feel awful silly if I do have to be rescued, though." She dropped her voice theatrically, "Hey, little American, what happened to your pants? They get eaten by a jellyfish?" Traci giggled despite her chagrin. It was funny, after all.

Traci lay back down on her stomach to increase her stability on the rocking platform and leaned her chin on her elbows. She kicked her feet idly in the air as she studied the jellyfish, which was showing no sign of leaving anytime soon. "It's going to be a looooooong night, Mr. Jellyfish. Don't suppose you'd back off and let me swim to shore?" She figured she was just imagining it, but the damned thing actually seemed to crowd closer to the platform. "Guess not. Oh well." She sighed, then smiled almost fondly at the creature. "You know, you're kinda pretty."

It was getting prettier, too. Its colors, originally barely visible pastels, were darkening and taking on a bit of luminescence as the sun sank towards the horizon. The vivid red band around the bell almost seemed to pulse, as did the large red blob inside the creature's body. Even the tentacles seemed to glow faintly as they moved languidly in the calm water. Their movement was vaguely hypnotic, as well, and and Traci found herself slipping into a sleepy, trancelike state as she watched them. Her mind wandered down strange avenues, disjointed concepts and pictures flitting through her head with no rhyme or reason. She made no effort to stop it . . . it wasn't an unpleasant sensation, and laying flat as she was, she wasn't likely to fall from the platform into the nest of stinging tentacles.

The almost surreal quality of the images that kept arising in her mind was fascinating. At first, they were only splashes of color, obviously derived from the living light-show she was watching, but as she relaxed more into the trance, they took on definite shape. She saw herself, glowing with brilliant turquoise light, swimming smoothly through waves that sparkled with rainbow iridescence. The water surrounding the ghost-like figure was full of small, darting shapes, recognizably fish and other ocean dwellers, but painted in such intense, shining color that they were positively alien looking. Into the picture swam the giant jellyfish itself, moving with strange grace. It drifted ever closer to the blue Traci-shape.

Her avatar didn't try and avoid the dangling tentacles, however. Instead, it dived beneath the surface and swam straight for the center of the mass. The tentacles moved aside for its passage, only closing around it once it was completely surrounded. Traci shivered, feeling a sudden, intense curiosity about how it would feel to have those slick, living ropes wrapped around her body. She imagined the feel of it, soft and slippery, sliding around her legs, running up her thighs, wrapping around her slender waist. The strangeness of the image jarred her back to wakefulness, a deep blush spreading across her cheeks at the sensuality of the imagined touch.

Or maybe not imagined!

She gasped in alarm when she realized that a cool, crystalline tentacle had snaked up onto the platform and was wrapped around her calf, the fringed end rubbing the back of her thigh.

"What the fuck!?" Jellyfish couldn't do that. They move their bell, not their tentacles. The damned things certainly weren't prehensile, either! And they were fragile! One of them shouldn't be able to exert the kind of force this one was on her leg without destroying itself. And why would it want to, anyway? At least it wasn't stinging her . . . or was it? Her leg was starting to tingle strangely. Not painfully, though.

Not painfully at all. Kind of the opposite, really, Traci mused, as the slick, cool, feathery tip left a trail of goose bumps behind it. "This is so weird!" Carefully, not wanting to startle or hurt it and make it sting her painfully . . . if it could . . . she tried to gently pry the tentacle from around her leg.

It didn't work. In fact, the tentacle flexed against her leg, spiralling even higher. She couldn't loosen it at all. It had a tough, rubbery feel, not at all like the fragile gel a person would expect a jellyfish to be made of. It honestly felt more like she imagined a squid's arm would feel than anything else. As she tried to work it free, her fingers started to take on the same pleasurable tingle as her leg.

Traci wondered why she wasn't panicking. She really should be panicking. A giant sea monster had wrapped itself around her leg and was probably injecting her with some sort of weird neurotoxin and would shortly drag her off the platform and eat her. But as another tentacle snaked up and brushed against her hip, she didn't even fight it, just let it wrap itself around her waist. It was starting to feel so good. She realized that this bizarre unconcern was almost certainly a product of the creature's toxin. Looking at her fingertips, she could see that they were dusted light blue, as was the skin touched by the tentacles around her leg and waist. The blue dust was obviously the jellyfish's stinging cells, and she wondered vaguely whether or not the venom was toxic on it's own, or if she'd simply drown when it pulled her beneath the water. Try as she might, she couldn't muster any concern at the thought.

Thought of any kind was becoming increasingly difficult. At some point, another tentacle had emerged from the water and was slithering along the underside of her breasts, producing the most exquisite sensations she'd ever felt. Demonstrating remarkable dexterity, it followed the bottom line of the bikini top around to the back and tugged the bows free, then snaked beneath the material, dislodging it so that it fell, unnoticed to the wood beside her. The n it moved quickly back to the front of her body, the frilled tip feeling cool and slightly sticky against her breasts.

Traci moaned out loud, her nipples crinkling almost painfully hard. Her breathing was coming faster, though whether it was an effect of the toxin or arousal, she honestly didn't know. She'd never been so turned on in her life. It was unbelievable, insane, impossible . . . but it felt so good! Wherever the tentacles touched her, leaving their powdery blue trail, they left pleasure in their wake. Her skin tingled as if being expertly caressed by dozens of lovers. And where the tentacle was actually in contact with her skin, it was incapacitatingly intense, more intense than any orgasm she'd experienced, and it didn't stop, just went on and on and on, anywhere they were touching her. When one of them wrapped tightly around her right nipple, she screamed and fell backwards, thrashing and arching into the touch.

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