Phyllis Lapin Vance was a July baby, and when her forty-sixth birthday rolled around, her husband Bob insisted on throwing her a big party. As they just had a built-in pool installed, it was decided a birthday-slash-barbeque party was the perfect way to christen it.
The pool party turned out being a rather large gathering, with nearly everyone from the Dunder Mifflin and Vance Refrigeration offices attending. Phyllis hadn't actually intended on it ending up that way, but an error importing her address book into the Evite webpage resulted in invitations going out to everyone, and Phyllis just wasn't the type of person who could even imagine un-inviting someone to a party.
Despite the company of her teenage nieces and nephews, all juvenile behavior of the day came from one direction: Michael Scott. Between his screaming cannonball splashes into the pool that soaked people like Angela who hadn't even bothered to bring a swimsuit, to trying to convince Bob Vance to let him grill the steaks, Michael was probably the least welcome guest of the day. Fortunately the Vances had stocked up on alcohol and mixers, and so with the help of some strong margaritas and different tropical fruity drinks most everyone was able to get along.
Jim and Pam had arrived reasonably early to help with the decorating and food preparation. Pam was feeling a little giddy, and was really looking forward to trying out the new pool. She thought it funny that today was the first time she and Jim had ever gone swimming together, despite all the years they'd known each other.
Underneath her red flowered sun dress Pam had on the brown and white polka dot swimsuit she wore to Lake Scranton back in May. That is, the one she wore but never got to show off. It was an adorable two piece, almost retro in style with a halter top that hooked at the back and tied at the neck, and a mini swim skirt that flattered her hips and drew attention to her waist. Jim still hadn't seen her in it, but then again she had never seen him in a swimsuit of any sort, either. She only knew the trunks he brought with him were red because he commented on them matching her dress.
As the guests started arriving, Bob made sure each of them had a strong drink and nudged them in the direction of the pool. It took about a margarita and a half for Pam to get up the nerve to take off her sun dress. The flash of appreciation in Jim's eyes as he requested a twirl to show off her swimsuit made Pam flush more than the alcohol ever could.
"So where's your swimsuit, Halpert?" she demanded as she sat back down.
"It's in the duffel bag we left in the hallway," he replied, jerking his head toward the house. He finished his drink and stood up. "I'll be right back."
"Don't forget to bring the sunscreen out," she called after him. The cloudless sky was a sure sign she'd look like a lobster before the day was over if she wasn't careful.
Jim had arrived at the party in khaki shorts, and a white tee layered under a green/blue plaid camp shirt. When he walked back out to sit with Pam, he was dressed in longish red and black print swim trunks and was still wearing his white t-shirt. He was now wearing the sunglasses he'd had stuck in his camp shirt pocket. He held a fresh drink in one hand and a bottle of SPF 30 in the other.
"Shall I rub some lotion on your back?" He offered, pulling his deck chair closer to hers.
"Please," she replied, "I don't want to end up burned to a crisp today."
They had been a couple since mid-May, and in a more private situation Pam would have relaxed into the massage as he carefully applied the sunscreen on her exposed skin. Jim certainly seemed to be enjoying the task. But with so many other people present, Pam felt a little self-conscious, even as she knew that nobody was really watching. Well, almost nobody. One person who seemed to be watching them with obvious disdain was Angela Martin, who sat on the other side of the pool in a large sun hat and modest walking shorts and whose body language told Pam exactly what she thought of women who wore next to nothing in public and then let men touch them openly.
"How is it that can I hear Angela calling me a hussy from all the way over there and her lips aren't even moving?" Pam mused.
"It's a skill she's spent years and years honing to perfection," Jim replied, stroking her shoulders gently as he applied the lotion. "Just ignore her. She's jealous of how great you look."
"Oh, right," Pam snorted. "All men want me, all women want to be me."
Jim turned her to face him. "That sounds about right," he grinned, giving her a quick kiss.
"Please don't give her anything else to seethe about," Pam fretted.
Jim kissed her again. "To hell with Angela, Pam," he smirked. "Let's have some fun today, hmm?"
Everyone's attention turned toward the pool as Bob and another member of Vance Refrigeration started setting up a volleyball net in the shallow end of the pool, followed by Dwight (in yellow plaid swim trunks) jumping in the way to try and start setting up teams. Pam and Jim exchanged a knowing glance and wondered how much more beer Bob Vance was going to need to drink in order not to kill either Dwight or Michael.
"Jimbo, you are definitely on my team," Michael called loudly. "Let's get in the pool, my man."
Jim groaned slightly. "If I've got to play, you've got to play," he said to Pam. When she agreed, Jim stood up and took off his t-shirt, draping it over the back of the chair he'd just vacated.
In the nearly two months since they had started dating, their relationship had progressed as one might expect. Seeing Jim shirtless was something she witnessed at least once a day, most days. Certainly it wasn't anything out of the ordinary for Pam by this point. Which was why she was so surprised that the sight of Jim standing in front of her, dressed in only his swimsuit and sunglasses, was enough to make her feel like her heart was going to pound out of her chest.
Maybe it was how broad his shoulders looked, or how the abundance of hair slowly decreased as her eyes followed it down - from his chest to his stomach where it tapered to the waistband of his swim trunks. It didn't help she knew exactly where that line ended; she'd traced it so many times already.
"You should put some sunscreen on," she said, her voice sounding suddenly breathless.
"Good idea," he nodded. He sat back down, his back toward her. "Do you mind?"
"Of course not," she replied, reaching for the bottle. She warmed the lotion between her hands, and tried not to think to much on how much she wished they were somewhere - anywhere - alone right now.
"I thought I was pasty," she joked to prevent herself from leaning in and kissing his shoulders. "You are truly the definition of white."
He turned around as she started rubbing the lotion down his arms. "Thanks," he said, rolling his eyes. "Good to know I'm the pinnacle of something."
"Oh you're the best at lots of things," she replied, just loud enough for him to hear.
"Really now?" Jim leaned closer. "Care to share this list?"
She glanced up, biting her lower lip to resist a smile. "Maybe later. If you're good." She closed her eyes for a moment as her hands ran over his chest.
"Tease," he pouted.
"Me?" She replied, one eyebrow arched. "You should look in the mirror sometime." She continued to run her hands across his chest, though it was clear all traces of lotion had been absorbed some minutes ago. "Let's go play," she finally said, standing up.
Michael was not entirely thrilled to see Pam entering the pool. "Pam, volleyball is a man's sport," he said as she slowly acclimated to the cool water.
"Michael, can it," Phyllis said as she too stepped down into the pool.
It was Bob, Phyllis, Dwight and Bob's nephew Matt against Michael, Jim, and Pam. It soon became apparent that only Dwight and Michael were serious about winning. Bob and Phyllis kept chatting to Matt, as well as family members seated besides the pool, and Pam was more interested in finding ways to try and dunk Jim. Given their height and weight differences, most attempts usually involved Pam being the one to go under.
As more people got in the pool, Jim eventually managed to free them from the game, and they floated over to the deeper end to watch the others play. Well, that and discretely grope each other beneath the surface. One particular attack by Pam nearly resulted in a successful de-pantsing.
"Whoa, Beesly," Jim complained, pulling his swim trunks back up. "What the hell are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" She grinned.
"It looks like somebody's getting a little too frisky."
Pam laughed. "Frisky? Do people still use that word?"
"Hey, if it fits."
Pam swam closer. "What can I say, I'm dazzled by your attractiveness." She said it jokingly, but she knew she wasn't kidding.
"Yeah, I get that a lot," he replied sardonically, taking another opportunity to grab her and push her under the water.
They took a break to eat and sing happy birthday to Phyllis, but nearly all of the afternoon was spent splashing around playing games and stealing moments of affection when they thought no one was looking. As the sun fell lower in the sky, Pam swam over to Jim.
"I'm started to get cold. I think I'm going to get out."
"Wimp. We still have at least a few more hours in here."
"I didn't say you had to get out."
"But what fun is that?" He raised his brows lecherously. "Stick closer to me and I'll keep you warm."
"Yeah, in front of a whole backyard of people? Thanks, but no thanks. I'm going to get changed into some dry clothes."
After a brief conversation with Phyllis, Pam found herself in the guest bedroom, running one towel through her wet hair while her damp swimsuit lay in a pile on the floor. She had another towel secured around her in an attempt to warm up.
Her back was toward the door when she heard it open, and instinctively she clutched the top of her towel to make sure it was secure. When she turned around, she was only slightly surprised to see Jim standing there, leaning back against the now closed door, a look of complete mischief sparkling in his eyes.
"I thought you didn't want to get out of the pool?"
He shrugged as he pushed himself away from the door. "It wasn't as much fun alone."
"You weren't alone. You could have had another round of Marco Polo with Dwight and Michael."
"Oh, that is not what I would consider fun by any stretch of the imagination." He noticed her swimsuit on the floor and glanced appreciatively in the the direction of the towel around her. "Now that I'm here, however..."
"Don't even think about it," she warned playfully, although she was well aware it was too late for that. "We are guests here, and someone could come through that door at any minute."
"Not likely, seeing as I locked the door." He stood in front of her, his hands resting on her shoulders. "And this is the guest bedroom. That means it's for guests like us."
"No," she laughed. "That's not what it's meant for."
"Then we should take advantage of an opportunity previously unthought of."
"What are you doing?"
"I think it's pretty clear what I'm doing."
"Jim, your trunks are still soaking wet!"
Jim quickly removed the offending garment, and with a sploshy thud dropped his red swim trunks onto the floor, then reached for Pam again.
"You're still wet," she protested. "Here, use my towel."
"Better now?" He asked a moment later.
"Oh my god, your skin is freezing!"
"That's why you need to lie down here with me for a few minutes."
"Yes, don't you know anything about preventing hypothermia? Sharing body heat is the quickest way to warm another person up."
"I doubt you are at risk for frostbite."
"You can't be sure of that. It can strike without warning. Now move a little closer."
"But your stomach is like an ice cube!"
"Then help a man out, Beesly. The sooner you do, the sooner I'll warm up."
"Jim, people are going to notice we've both left the party."
"Which is why I'm still trying to figure out why you are dawdling."
Pam looked down at him, stretched out and naked on Phyllis' blue and green quilted guest bed. She thought about this afternoon, and how she'd been more aware of his physical presence than at any other time she could remember, except maybe the first time they undressed for each other. She wasn't nearly as opposed to his current suggestion as she let on.
"Move over then," she grumped teasingly. "I'll stay here just until you warm up. Can you grab that blanket behind you at least?"
"Sure. But you should know there are more than a few parts of me feeling the cold right now."
"Oh, I'll bet there are."
"And it's important they all benefit from your body heat."
"If you say one more thing I swear I will leave you hear to freeze alone."
Jim complied with kisses, and soon the only voices to be heard were coming from the pool area outside their window.
"Can I ask if that feels alright?"
"Hmmm," she sighed. "You can and it does."
"How about this?"
"Are you sure you locked that door?"
"Then it feels wonderful. Do it again, please?"
By the time Jim and Pam returned to the party, Bob had lit up the fire pit, and people were gathering around it with drinks and snacks and enjoyed watching dusk settle in. If anyone noticed their absence it wasn't immediately obvious, and they grabbed a spot on the grass to relax and join in the conversation.
A little while later Pam went into the kitchen to grab a few Cokes for them, and met Phyllis already there opening up a new bag of ice. Phyllis greeted Pam with a smile and a knowing wink.
"You really hit the jackpot with him, didn't you?" Phyllis teased. "I mean, I always knew Jim was a cutie but I had no idea that under those suits he looked that delicious." Clearly the piña coladas were making the birthday girl talkative. "I'd certainly be green with envy if I didn't have my Bob."
"Yeah, he's okay," Pam smiled, more amused than embarrassed by Phyllis' comments.
"Okay? Honey, he is so much more than okay! When he took his t-shirt off this afternoon and I saw that chest, and those shoulders - whew! Well, let's just say I thought 'Happy Birthday to me!'"
"Phyllis!" Pam giggled.
"I saw the way you were looking at him today," Phyllis grinned. "Don't tell me you weren't thinking the same thing."
Pam self-consciously tucked a stray curl behind her ear that had fallen loose from her ponytail. "No, yeah - I admit it. Jim is very attractive."
"To be honest I was just surprised you two held out for as long as you did today. I thought for sure you'd have pulled a disappearing act or two long before you finally did."
Pam's eyes widened guiltily, which made Phyllis laugh. "Your secret is safe with me, Miss Beesly," she said in an extremely artificial whisper. "and I can't blame you in the slightest. Nope, not at all." And with that, Phyllis headed back out into the garden.
As Pam sat back down next to Jim, he greeted her with a warm smile. "What took you so long?"
She wondered how well he'd take the news that they'd been busted. "I was talking to Phyllis," she grinned. "Apparently she appreciated all the eye candy you provided her with today."
"What?" Jim laughed, leaning in closer. "What did she say??"
"I'm not sure I remember the exact wording, but she mentioned something about how she had no idea how delicious you really were under those business suits."
"All she ever had to do was ask," he replied lightly.
Pam took a casual swig of her Coke. "Oh, and she knew what we were doing in the guest room."
Jim said nothing but his eyebrows practically disappeared into his hairline. "Shut up," he whispered.
"I told you we'd get caught."
"What did she say?"
"She wondered why it had taken us all day to do it."
Jim laughed again. "I love Phyllis. Remind me to give her a big kiss before we leave."
"And a peek down your shirt while you're at it," Pam grinned. "She seemed pretty taken with that chest of yours."