Archive | January 2020

First Meeting from Driving Blind ~ A Florida Families Romance by Dellani Oakes

First Meeting imageI thought of this story when I was driving down State Road 44 into New Smyrna. The traffic is horrible at certain times of day, particularly in the summer. I can’t remember now why I was there, rather than taking I-95. There had to have been a good reason for it, because it’s usually a drive I avoid. In any case, this story, Driving Blind, was born as I languished in traffic.

It makes a fun First Meeting because it’s so random.

It had been an indescribably horrible day. Zenobia drove with the top down, listening to Battle Without Honor or Humanity at full volume. Her red VW Beetle zipped along Interstate 95, her sun-streaked blonde hair billowing behind her like a standard.

She pulled off at the New Smyrna, eastbound exit, slowing way down for the sharp curve. Checking traffic, she eased her VW into the flow heading toward town. At the stoplight on the east side of I-95, she slowed as the light changed to yellow. She could have driven through, but there was a motorcycle cop three cars behind her on the left. She turned down her music and waited for the light to change. The left turners eased across State Road 44 and the police officer on the motorcycle pulled up next to her.

Zenobia risked a glance at him. She couldn’t see much because of the helmet and glasses, but she saw a strong chin, broad shoulders and tanned arms covered in silky black hair. She smiled and looked away when he turned toward her. The light changed and she carefully put the car in gear, moving forward slowly in the heavy traffic.

As luck would have it, the next light was also red. Slightly frustrated, Zenobia checked the traffic to see how badly it was backed up. Another look out the front window showed the cars were thick ahead as well as to the rear. The police officer was a car behind her, but eased up once more, crowding the SUV ahead of him. The driver peeped over her shoulder guiltily, but the officer did nothing.

Zenobia felt eyes on her and looked around to see the officer staring at her. She smiled again, nervously, and flipped her hair to cover her face. A furtive glance in her rearview mirror showed the officer staring at her, smirking. He had full lips and a hint of a five o’clock shadow. Of course, with hair that dark, he probably had a shadow right after he shaved. What little she could see of his hair was so black, it had a bluish cast to it.

The light changed and the car behind Zenobia honked. Flustered, she forgot to put her car in gear. Scrabbling around, she put it in first, took her foot off the clutch but not the brake and the car stalled. More honking followed. Mortified, she got the car started, put it in gear and jack-rabbited through the intersection as the light changed to red.

Flashing blue lights and a whoop of a siren warned her to pull over. There was an abandoned driveway from a long defunct business. Zenobia rolled over there, turning off her car. She pulled out her license and registration, ready for the officer. He was busy on the radio, calling in her humiliation and probably checking to see if she had any priors or outstanding warrants. Thankfully, her driving slate was clean. She lived a steady, boring life. At 29, she lived with her parents, putting her advanced computer degree to less than great use working on the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Far from ideal, her circumstances couldn’t be helped. She’d had a lot of difficulty finding a good paying job in her field that was also close to home.

Feeling an overwhelming desire to cry, Zenobia put her head on the steering wheel. “This is the worst day ever!” she sobbed into her lap. She forced the tears down, but couldn’t keep her shoulders from shuddering.

The clearing of a deep, male voice got her attention. She looked up in the the darkest brown eyes she’d ever seen. Black eyebrows arched over thickly lashed eyes. His nose was almost too big for his face, but he made up for it by having a square jaw and a cleft in his chin. He smiled down at her.

Zenobia handed her license and registration to him. He gave them a cursory look, jotted something down on a pad with his left hand and gave them back to her.

I’m sorry about the mess back there,” she apologized quietly. “I’m still getting used to standard.”

No big thing,” he replied. His voice was deep, husky and flavored with a true Southern accent.

Are you gonna write me a ticket?” Her voice cracked making her feel even more foolish.

You okay?” He frowned, taking a step closer.

Unable to control herself another second, she burst into tears. “I’m sorry. I’m not trying to get out of the ticket by crying,” she sobbed. “I just don’t know what I did wrong and I can’t afford a ticket and I’ve had the worst day ever!”

Rather than being sympathetic, he laughed. Zenobia glared at him. He laughed harder.

I’m sorry,” he gasped. “I’m not laughing at you—well, I am—but not because you’re crying. I pulled you over to make sure you aren’t having car trouble. You had such a problem at the light, I thought maybe your engine stalled. I wanted to get you out of traffic.”

You—you aren’t giving me a ticket?”

No. No.” He chuckled again. “I’m really sorry, Miss Vlachos. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Zenobia squinted up at him, surprise replacing worry. “You pronounced it right. No one ever gets it right.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 27 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallFinally at the steakhouse, Paisley is a little uncomfortable that their waitress knows Kai, and kisses him on the cheek – until he explains that she’s his cousin.

“So in other words, don’t freak every time a woman talks to you?”

“Please. Unless she grabs my dick, or puts her tongue in my mouth, then you can freak all you want. But don’t worry. I don’t want anyone but you.”

They had a great dinner. The steaks were perfect, the atmosphere pleasant and not intimidating, the conversation light and animated. More than one person dropped by the table for an introduction. Kai wasn’t kidding, he knew damn near everyone. At least ninety percent of the restaurant workers or patrons were friends, relatives or clients.

Although the beach was officially closed, they went for a walk along the boardwalk, hand in hand. The moonlight spilled across the water, limning the choppy waves with silver. Paisley looked so beautiful in the moonlight, Kai stopped walking. Taking her face in his hands, he kissed her gently.

The waves crested and broke on the shore, but they barely heard them over the beating of their hearts. Kai’s breath caught in his chest, until he reminded himself to inhale. Paisley’s arms snaked around his waist, as she pulled him close. Releasing her face, his hands sought her hips, pulling her even closer, pressing against her. If she had any doubts he wanted her, they were gone now. His desire was obvious, and for once he wasn’t embarrassed. He wanted there to be no doubt in her mind that there was no one but her.

Sometime later, they parted slightly, smiling. Kai rested his forehead against hers, kissing her nose.

“Wow!” Paisley gasped, unable to formulate a coherent thought.

“I guess I should take you home,” he mumbled, his lips close to hers once more.

“Yeah.”

“I don’t want our first official date to end,” he admitted shyly. “This is the best first date I’ve ever had.”

“I never really had one before. I mean, we went places and did things, but only so he could be seen in the right places and show me off. I was always on display, like a trophy. I couldn’t figure out why he wanted me. He didn’t love me, he wanted to possess me, like I was something valuable. Even if I’m pretty and a virgin, is that enough? It doesn’t make sense.”

“Did you have anything in common?”

“Not really. He didn’t really like stuff that I liked. We didn’t have any friends in common—I hated all his friends. They were just as obnoxious as he was.”

“What’s his name?”

“Does it matter?”

“I wanna know the name of the man that’s got you so tied up in knots, you can’t give yourself to me. And I don’t mean just sexually, Paisley. That’ll come in time. I mean here,” he put his hand over her heart.

“Every time you kiss me, it loosens a little bit. So keep kissing me.”

“Pretty soon that won’t be enough for me. Every time I kiss you, it makes it harder not to take it further.”

“Pretty soon, I’ll let you.”

Kai’s heart missed a beat. He was so shocked, he almost couldn’t move. Again, it took a conscious effort, on his part, to respond.

“Sweet,” he murmured, rubbing his lips lightly across hers.

They kissed awhile longer, hardly feeling time pass. Kai only noticed because he had to bend over so much to kiss her, it was making the small of his back ache. He wanted to sit down on something soft to continue. Paisley shivered when a cool breeze sprang up rather suddenly, blowing across the water.

“I need to take you home so we can continue this more comfortably,” he said smiling. “I need to sit down.”

“And I need to pee,” she said with a giggle.

He drove back to her apartment. They were having a big party down the way. Loud music was playing. People were drinking and dancing in the street. Kai rushed her in the door, closing and locking it behind them. He wasn’t scared of much, but a lot of drunk thugs were potentially dangerous.

Paisley made coffee and they sat around drinking it, making polite conversation, acting like civilized human beings. Eventually, neither of them could keep up the pretense. The urge for one another was too strong. Coffee cups aside, they scooted closer together.

Kai pulled her legs onto his lap. Her arms wound around his neck. Paisley felt wonderful in his embrace. His body tingled everywhere it touched hers. It was the most erotic sensation he’d ever felt. She smelled amazing. He inhaled deeply as his lips descended on hers.

Paisley wiggled closer, her full, round breasts pressing against his chest. A faint sound escaped her, as his lips moved from her mouth to her neck, and down. Gasping with pleasure, she arched her back, bringing her breasts closer to him. Curious lips dropped further.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 26 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallAfter Sherri breaks up their moment on the swings, Paisley is a little worried that he’s a player and a cheat—especially then a beneficial friend, Toni, calls him.

He clicked the button. “Okay, go ahead.”

“Hello? Paisley, is it?”

“Yeah. Hi,” she sounded sullen.

“You’ve got a great guy here,” Toni said. “I’m jealous as hell. He’s one of the best, in more ways than one, and has an endless supply of the greatest orgasms ever. Treat him right, he’ll keep you happy forever. Oh, and grab that fine ass for me at least once, ‘k?”

Paisley couldn’t help laughing. Kai looked proud but embarrassed.

“Has he got that hangdog expression on his face, like he doesn’t know if he should strut his stuff, or sink into a hole?”

“Yeah, he does.” Paisley laughed louder.

“I’m opting for a hole right about now,” Kai mumbled.

“There’s only one hole you wanna sink into, baby. Behave! Make him work for it, Pais. I promise it’s worth it. God, I could kill him. I didn’t get a crack at him before you hooked up, cause he won’t share. Kai, any suggestions who I can call?”

“Andrew. He’d be thrilled to hear from you. He just broke up with what’s her tits.”

“Oh, yeah? He’s almost as hunky as you. Hell, who am I kidding? I’d take Buddha if he offered. Night, y’all!” Toni hung up.

“Satisfied?” Kai asked, tossing his phone on the dashboard.

“Yeah.”

“Good. Then let’s get some dinner. I’m starving.”

“Me too.”

Kai drove to Sonny’s Steakhouse. Having made a call while she was changing, he had a table reserved. The owner greeted them himself.

“How’s your son doing?” Kai asked after he introduced Paisley.

“He’s doing well. The doctor hadn’t counted on a sudden growth spurt, so his medication was wonky, but he’s doing better. Came home the same day. Thanks again for the quick thinking. He said he could hear you talking to him, and it made a big difference.”

“My brother’s the one who called EVAC, I just kept him calm. I’m glad he’s okay. Tell him I said hi. He’s a good swimmer, is he on the team?”

“He’s planning on it in the fall. He’ll be a freshman.”

“I help coach the team. I look forward to seeing him.” They shook hands.

After the waitress took their drink orders, Kai and Paisley sat quietly looking over the menus.

“When did you date Sherri?”

“We were seniors in high school. She dated a buddy of mine the year before. He joined the Army and she was lonely. It just sort of happened. I think there was a lot of tequila involved, but I don’t remember well enough to say.”

“What did she mean about the way you behaved?”

He flushed a brilliant scarlet. “I think you can use your imagination, and figure that one out. But we’d known each other a long time.”

“Was she like me? A virgin?”

“Noooo. Teague took care of that.” Kai looked away, uncomfortable with the conversation.

“I’m sorry. Let’s find a different subject. Your past love life really isn’t my business.”

“It is, but maybe not all at once. I really like you, Paisley. I hope you realize that by now. I’m not after a one night stand, or a snatch of virgin pussy….” He stopped abruptly when their waitress, predictably someone he knew, walked up.

“Interesting subject matter, Kai. What can I get you for dinner? Sonny said it’s on the house, so eat hearty.”

“I was planning on paying for Paisley’s….”

She waved his comments away. “He said both. Who’s gonna argue with the man? Roy’s a good kid, real sweet. I want to thank you, too.” She leaned over, kissing his cheek. “Now, food. I recommend the Porterhouse.”

“Sounds good,” Paisley said.

“Good. You’ll each have the twenty-two ounce.”

“That’s almost two pounds of steak,” Paisley protested.

“That’s what take-home boxes are for,” the waitress said with a grin. “So? How do you want ’em?”

They told her how they wanted their steaks and decided on sides. She walked back to the kitchen, to put in their orders, leaving them in semi-uncomfortable silence.

“I didn’t date her,” Kai said quietly. “She’s my cousin.”

Paisley smiled, a hint of relief tinging it.

“It’s inevitable we’re going to encounter my ex-girlfriends, friends—with or without benefits. I’ve lived here twenty-two years, and worked at the pool since I was fifteen. I know damn near everyone.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Drenched ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes

First Meeting imageSome first meetings don’t occur in person. That’s the case for Elizabeth Stanton and Dylan Marshall. She’s applied for a job at a local senior citizen facility, which he runs. She had to miss her appointment earlier that day, due to weather and not knowing her way around, so Dylan decides to call her instead. She’s sitting in her new home, listening to the rain on the roof, wondering when the electricity is going to come back on, when the phone rings.

Elizabeth couldn’t help hoping her power would be sooner than two hours. She didn’t like being in the dark, especially in a house that didn’t yet feel like home. To occupy herself, she pulled out her computer, only to realize she couldn’t go on line, because, of course, the Wi-Fi was out. Rain hammered her roof, sounding like hail. She was tempted to look, but didn’t fancy going out in the dark just to check the weather. Her car was covered, the roof sturdy. She wasn’t worried—too much.

Her cellphone rang, startling her. It wasn’t a number she recognized, but since it was local, she answered anyway. “Hello?”

Elizabeth Slaton?”

Yes. Who’s this?”

Dylan Marshall. We spoke earlier about the job.”

Of course.” Her heart fluttered. Had he found someone else? Was he calling to cancel their appointment? She hoped not. She needed the job and he was the only one who had called her back.

Could you possibly come in earlier than one? I got handed a job I don’t really want and can’t say no to. I have to be at a Yacht Club cruise and schmooze luncheon. I don’t know when I’ll get back.”

Certainly. Until I have a job, my time is entirely open.”

Great! I look forward to it. Hey, did you get home okay?”

Yes, but my power is out. I’m sitting here in the dark and it’s a little creepy.”

Seriously? I love sitting in the dark. It relaxes me. Of course, Darla thinks I’m totally crazy. My dog, Darla. She’s a fawn Doberman.”

Your dog thinks you’re crazy?” she giggled.

Yeah, well, since I think that, I probably am, right? I don’t know, she has a very disapproving look on her face when I do it.”

Maybe she’s just trying to see.”

Dogs have good night vision—don’t they?”

Mine didn’t. Stone stupid and blind as sticks.”

You don’t mean blind as bats?”

No. Bats see just fine. But have you ever seen a stick that had good vision? I ask you.”

He paused. “I have not. Okay, I’ll give ya that.”

What time tomorrow?”

Nine thirty or ten. Which works better?”

Let’s make it ten. I’m not sure enough of your location. I don’t own a GPS. I never needed one until I moved here.”

Where are you located? I can give you great directions and can almost guarantee you won’t get lost.”

Almost? That sounds dubious, Mr. Marshall.”

Well, I can’t factor in your ability to follow directions, so I can’t say they are definitively, one hundred percent fool proof.”

Gotcha. I’m over on the beach. I can get mainland without difficulty.”

Okay, north or south end?”

South.”

Sweet. Okay. Once you cross the causeway, turn north on US-1.”

Hang on, let me get a pen.” She scrambled around finding paper and a pen. “Okay, north on US-1.”

Have you been to the city limits to the north?”

No.”

It’s not quite five miles. You’ll want to be in the left lane. Pass the airport, pass Tops and Bottoms.”

What’s up?”

Tops and Bottoms. It’s a strip club. You can’t miss it.”

I had no idea this town was so cosmopolitan.”

He chuckled. It was a very warm sound and made Elizabeth feel comfortable.

Two blocks past, turn left onto North Street. We’re on the left, but parking is on the right. Got that?”

Yes, I think so. We’ll see how well if I’m on time tomorrow.”

Take down my number in case you get lost.” He gave her his cell number. “Where you from, Miss Slaton?”

Denver, most recently. Ever been there?”

I spent the night at the airport once. We got snowed in on Halloween. Kind of a shock for a Southern boy like me to see snow in October. You went to college, I assume. Was that in Denver, too?”

That’s why I initially went there. I went to University of Denver. I graduated with my Bachelor’s with 3.9 and started my Master’s.”

What field?”

Business management.” She laughed a little, puzzled by the conversation. “I thought we were doing this tomorrow.”

Why wait? I still have to see you in person, but get the boring stuff out of the way before you get here. How many hours before you have your masters?”

Six.”

Why’d you leave, if you don’t mind me asking.”

Never date a cowboy.”

I don’t plan to. But why?”

I never met one who could spell or adhere to monogamy.”

Oooh, gotcha. So, you’re single?” He sounded way too happy to hear that.

I don’t date my boss, Mr. Marshall,” she replied in a bone chilling tone.

No worries. We just sometimes keep some odd hours. I don’t want a husband or boyfriend thinking I’m getting a lap dance from my secretary after hours.”

Tops and Bottoms is close, you can always go there.”

Exactly! That’s what makes this location ideal.”

She sincerely hoped he was kidding, and strongly suspected he was.

You’re actually more qualified for my job than I am. I’m not that close to my Masters. I’ve got the in-house experience. I’ve been doing this sort of work for seven years now. How fast do you type?”

I can do a hundred words a minute. I know Word….”

He made an impatient noise. “Do you have an above average IQ?”

I graduated with a 3.9,” she reminded him.

Can you put up with a man who’s slightly ADD and hops from subject to subject like a squirrel on crack?”

I’m not sure I’d describe it that way, but if you’re describing yourself, I’m keeping up with you.”

Can you multi-task?”

Depends on the tasks. I can’t type and stand on my head, but I can jog on a treadmill and read.”

Can you eat and talk at the same time?”

Not with food in my mouth. I mean, I am physically capable of doing that, but ew. Why? Is that part of the job description?”

No. I’m inviting you to dinner. It’s early yet, I’m hungry and a girl’s gotta eat.”

Mr. Marshall, I….”

Have no plausible excuse,” he concluded. “And please call me Dylan. You can meet me somewhere, if you like.”

I don’t know where anything is around here. And I’m a little nervous going out in this weather. I’m not used to it.”

Okay, tell you what. I’ll come pick you up and I’ll risk the shitty weather. Will you join me then? Please? I’d really like to get to know you.”

Elizabeth sighed. “All right. I don’t usually go out with men I don’t know, Mister… Dylan.”

I don’t usually ask out complete strangers, Elizabeth. But I hate eating alone. I have no food whatsoever at my place.”

How soon will you be here?”

Twenty minutes okay?”

Yes. That’s fine. Don’t expect perfection. It’s dark and I can’t see to put on makeup.”

I don’t care. We won’t do fancy. Do you eat meat?” He paused. Elizabeth thought she heard him curse softly. “I mean like steak,” he added sheepishly.

Elizabeth burst out laughing. “I wish I could see your face! I bet it was priceless. Yes. I like steak. And I occasionally eat meat.”

Dylan groaned softly.

I mean like chicken and pork, duh!”

I’ll see you in twenty minutes. I’ll be the guy who’s got his foot in his mouth.”

Neat trick. Isn’t it hard to drive like that?”

Amusing. Yeah….”

Bye, Dylan. See you soon!”

Bye.” He hung up.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 25 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallOn their date, Kai and Paisley go to the park and play on the swings. Soon, it turns into a seductive make-out session, until they get interrupted.

They looked up to see a female police officer. She held a flashlight, pointing it at them.

“Sherri? My God, girl. Is that you?” Kai let the swing down slowly, helping Paisley stand as he spoke to the woman.

She was medium height with a compact, athletic build. Her skin was a rich mocha, her eyes dark and her lips full. Kai hugged her, kissing her cheek.

“I want to introduce you to my girlfriend, Paisley. Baby, this is my friend, Sherri. I didn’t know you were a police officer now. When did that happen?”

“It’s been a few months. He neglected to tell you we used to date.” Sherri shook Paisley’s hand. “I’m engaged to Patrick now,” she told Kai.

“McMurtry? No shit? Still a geek?”

“Patrick’s not a geek!” She punched his shoulder.

“Hey! Police brutality. There’s nothing wrong with being a geek. He’s the smartest guy I know. I wish I had half his brains.”

“You do,” Sherri said, walking them to Kai’s Jeep. “Have half as many brains. Nicer build, though. I’m trying to convince him to workout more. But nobody has as tight an ass as you. I have to admit, it’s a thing of beauty. Don’t you think?” she appealed to Paisley.

“She’s not had the pleasure of seeing it up close and personal, yet, Sherri.”

“Oh, sorry. I assumed by the level of groping I saw going on, you’d progressed at your usual, dexterous speed.”

Kai opened the door for Paisley. “One second.” He walked Sherri a few feet away. “Look,” he said softly. “I really like this girl. I don’t want to spook her, so could you not?”

“Spook her? What are you talking about?”

He looked around furtively. “She’s never been with a guy. I’d rather not make her nervous.”

“You’re not behaving yourself very well, under the circumstances.”

“Could have been worse.”

“Oh, you mean like the way you behaved on our first date?”

“Be fair, I’d known you nearly four years by that time. And you weren’t protesting.”

Sherri punched him again. “I’ll be nice, if you’ll forget that night ever happened.”

“I’ll never forget—it was incredible. But I won’t bring it up.”

“It was pretty good. Deal.” Sherri held out her hand.

Kai took it, kissing her fingers. “You be happy, Sherri. Pat’s a good guy. Little goofy…. But he’s been one of my best friends forever. He better take good care of you, or I’ll kick his ass.”

“Oh, you won’t need to. Trust me, I can do that myself.”

Laughing, they hugged and Kai walked Sherri to her squad car. He joined Paisley a moment later.

“Have you had a lot of girlfriends?”

“A few. Not that many. Why?”

Paisley shrugged, shaking her head. She wouldn’t look at him.

“Five,” he said quietly. “Five serious girlfriends, and a handful of friends who happen to be girls. We hang out, have a few drinks….”

“Have you had sex with them? The friends, I mean.”

“A couple of them, yeah. Okay, more than a couple. But it didn’t mean anything. Just friends with benefits. But never when I’m in a serious relationship. Ask Officer Sherri. She’ll vouch for me.”

“And if one of these beneficial friends called you tonight?”

“I’d say, Hi, how ya doing? I’m in a relationship. Nothing would happen.”

His phone rang. Kai looked at the ID, laughing. He turned it to show her, continuing to laugh. It was, predictably, one of the beneficial friends.

“Yeah, Toni. Hi. Sup?” He listened with the phone pressed to his ear.

Paisley could hear a woman’s voice, but not what she was saying. Kai blushed, clearing his throat uncomfortably. Toni was being very explicit about the reason for her call. He hoped that Paisley couldn’t hear her words. Since she hadn’t killed him yet, he had to assume she couldn’t.

“Whoa, Toni—hold up. No can do.”

“Why not?” she screeched. “You always have before!”

“Cause I’m in the Jeep with my new lady. You know I’m a one woman guy.”

“Bastard,” she said loudly. “Why do you have to be so damn honorable? I need your lovin’ touch! Nobody does it for me like you.”

“Toni, can I put you on speaker a second, and have you assure Paisley that I didn’t, in any way, coerce you to make this call?”

“Oh, sure!”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 24 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallKai and Brad are having a conversation about his relationship with Paisley.

“Cause I can’t promise that. I swear, it would kill me to end this relationship.”

The older man continued to smoke silently.

“If someone had told you to stop pursuing my mother, could you have done it?”

Brad smiled, shaking his head. “Sure. Then I would have walked into the ocean and drowned myself. A man can’t live without his heart.”

Kai held out his hands, acknowledging the comment. He gave a that’s what I’m talking about motion, nodding emphatically.

“I wasn’t any older than you when I started dating Nina. She wasn’t even Paisley’s age. God, that girl could make me do back flips to please her. She had me so tied up in knots, I couldn’t stand it! Every day, it was something else, some other reason she’d refuse. It took me a month just to get a kiss. Two before she let me go any further than that. And it was nearly three before we first made love. That was just about the best day of my life. Only our wedding and the birth of your brother and sister were better.”

Kai waited, wondering why Brad was telling him all this.

“Take it slow, son. Don’t rush into anything. Going off fully loaded is a good way to end up pregnant. Use what’s between your ears, not your legs, and pay attention. You will have to tread very lightly with Paisley. You don’t want to make a major mistake, and lose her forever—a man can’t live without his heart.”

It took a moment for Kai to process what Brad was telling him.

“So you aren’t telling me to end it?”

“I’d only do that if I thought it was a destructive relationship. I want you to be careful.”

“I’m always careful, Brad….”

“Not that kinda careful, though that’s important. I mean careful so neither of you ends up hurt.”

“I’ll do my best. I won’t ever hurt her on purpose.”

“I know. But you need to be careful not to hurt yourself.”

“How am I gonna get hurt?”

Brad shook his head, stubbing out his cigarette. “We’d better get back inside, so the ladies don’t think we’ve run off to get drunk.”

Kai chuckled. He and Brad rarely drank.

They walked back in the house and Nina ran to Kai, throwing her arms around him.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” She took his face in her hands, looking him in the eye. “Can you forgive me? I promised I wouldn’t bring that up—and I did.”

“Sure, Mom. It’s okay.” He kissed her on top of the head. “It’s okay,” he repeated, holding her close.

Before leaving for Paisley’s apartment, Kai changed into a royal blue Polo shirt, khaki pants and boat shoes. His mother pronounced him acceptable, and they headed to Paisley’s. She changed from her workout gear to jeans, a pink Polo and sandals.

Once she was ready, they headed to Manatee Park on Riverside Drive. The place was virtually deserted. The occasional adult walked by on the boardwalk, but they had the park to themselves.

“How about we sit on the swings,” Kai invited.

Paisley sat on the swing. He pushed her gently until she got going well, then he joined her. Laughing and giggling, Paisley tried to outdistance him. Although she had a head start, he soon caught up. His powerful legs pumped harder and faster until he passed her.

“So not fair!”

“I was King of the Swing at my elementary school. I can’t tell you how many times I got sent to the office.”

“Why?”

“For doing this.” He leaped off the swing when it was at its apex, landing on the ground several feet away.

“Oh, my God!” She dragged her feet to slow down. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“You jumped like ten feet in the air and landed. Oh, my God!”

Laughing, Kai grabbed the chain of her swing, halting her. Standing in front of her, he walked her swing back until her face was level with his. With his hands on the chain, he fluttered kisses across her nose, mouth and cheeks.

Paisley wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him between her legs, as his kisses got more interesting. She could feel his tall, lean body pressed seductively against hers, his excitement obvious. Kai sighed contentedly, snuggling closer. His body fit perfectly, conforming to her curves. Her scent changed as she got more excited, making him crazy with lust. Rubbing against her, he felt himself thicken, wanting to fill her.

“You kids need to move along now,” someone said from a few feet away. “It’s dusk and the park’s closing.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Down the Drain ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes

First Meeting imageAlthough technically Vanessa and Dario already know one another, this is the first time they’ve actually considered taking their friendship further. Since it’s a defining moment, it makes for a good first meeting.

Music played loudly and Vanessa heard voices in the back. Rather than walking through the house, she wandered around the well maintained lawn and found the party around the pool. Deb saw her coming and let her in the back screen door.

You look good enough to eat!” she teased.

I’ll take my compliments where I can get them. Thank you.”

Nessa!” Dario rushed over. He wasn’t a quiet or a subtle man, but he was good looking, above average height, muscular build with black hair and the darkest brown eyes she’d ever seen.

Taking the bowl from her, he offered her a beer, or other beverage, and bustled into the house to put the bowl in the fridge. He came back with two bottles of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, handing one to her with a flourish.

A lady as lovely as you, should have the best.”

Thank you.” She took the proffered bottle and sipped as he watched. “Oh, that’s good! Yum!”

Dario smirked, ducking his head slightly. “Glad you approve. I have a cousin who works at the brewery in California. He keeps me supplied.”

Can’t you buy this at the liquor store?” she smirked, raising an eyebrow as she sipped.

Yeah.” He stretched, extending his legs, exposing a tasty patch of sculpted abdomen. “But it sounds better to the ladies if I tell them how much trouble I went to, to get it.”

Vanessa laughed, tossing her head back. “Should you tell me that? Doesn’t it spoil the mystique?”

Maybe, but you aren’t the type of woman a man should lie to.”

That sobered her slightly. “Do I—come across…. How do I—? Do I seem—mean?” she stumbled and stuttered, trying not to seem needy or bitchy.

Dario laughed, shaking his head. “Vanessa, you are a whole lot of intimidating. But underneath beats the heart of a passionate woman—who can be scary as hell.”

That doesn’t make me feel better, Dario. Just saying.”

He scooted closer, lowering his voice. “But the scary isn’t the real Vanessa. There is another, very different woman under all that intimidation. And it takes a brave, confident man to find it.”

Are you saying you’re that man?” she raised an eyebrow.

I’m saying that I’d like to find out if I am. You willing to give me a shot?”

She gave him a once over, taking in his thick black hair, fathomless eyes, full lips and square jaw. Dropping her gaze, she examined his broad shoulders and firm chest, washboard abs, powerful thighs and tight ass. He waited patiently for her decision.

Yeah. I’m willing to give you a shot.”

Cool.”

Don’t think you’re getting lucky after this party.”

Hadn’t entered my mind,” he lied.

Sure, it hadn’t.” She nudged him, laughing.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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