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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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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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Love Takes a Swim Part 23 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallKai goes home for a nap, waking when the family comes in. He and Cody put up groceries while Nina tells Paisley about the steamy romance novels she bought.

“I love when she reads them,” Brad said, putting his arms around her from behind as he kissed her neck. “Cause then I score.” He nibbled her neck more, concentrating on the curve of her shoulder.

“Dad! Jeez, get a room!” Cody yelled, throwing a roll of paper towels at his parents. “Old people—sheesh!”

Kai laughed, pulling Paisley close in front of him, imitating Brad’s movements.

“Dammit!” Cody threw another roll at his brother, and stormed from the room.

“What’s wrong with him?” Nina asked the room in general.

The men exchanged a look, saying nothing.

“Well?”

“Guy stuff, Mom. He’ll be okay after a long shower.” Kai winked at Brad, and finished putting the groceries away as his step-father laughed.

“Guy stuff,” Nina sniffed primly. “I don’t want to know, I’m sure.”

“No, baby, you don’t,” Brad assured her, kissing her neck again. “So, how was work?” He asked Kai over Nina’s shoulder.

“It was okay. First day was rough, but it got easier. Thad was talking about firing Greg, but now that Randi’s pregnant….”

“She’s what?” His mother interrupted. “God, I just had one leave for that. They usually come in threes. You two—no fooling around. I’m serious. I can’t lose anymore personnel.”

“Mom, we haven’t even been out on a date yet. Would you not panic.”

“I know how the men are in this family.”

“Oh? And how are we?” Brad asked, trying not to laugh.

“I believe she’s insinuating that we’re naughty, Brad. I think I’m offended.”

“You set the precedent,” his mother said angrily, shaking the roll of paper towels at him. “With what’s her name—the lunatic.”

Kai blushed, looking at his feet. He swallowed hard, unable to meet her irritated gaze.

“There’s no way of knowing if that kid was even mine,” he said quietly. “For your information, I’m always very careful. To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any little mistakes out there with my genetic code.”

He rushed out of the room, hitting the deck at a dead run. His mother tried to apologize, but he slammed the door to her words. Hands on his knees, he gasped for breath. The sliding door opened and shut behind him. He didn’t turn around. If it was his mother, he didn’t want to talk, and he didn’t think he could face Paisley.

“She didn’t mean to upset you,” Brad said quietly, lighting a cigarette as he sat at the table. “That was a tough time for your mother.”

Kai started to protest, but Brad held up his hand.

“I didn’t say it was easy for you, either. She didn’t want to see you make a mistake like she did. Not that you’re not a great kid, Kai. And she doesn’t regret having you. She regrets how it changed her life, having a child so young. It hurt, losing her grandchild. It hurt more, nearly losing you. She didn’t deal with those emotions any better than you did. I reiterate my opinion that you both should talk to somebody about it.”

“I talked to counselors, Brad. You know I talked until I was blue. All they said was I shouldn’t have had sex so early. None of them offered any real advice on how to cope. All they wanted to do was tell me how to run my life. I was hurt physically and emotionally. I didn’t need a lecture.” He sat across the table from his step-father.

Brad nodded, taking a drag of his cigarette. “So, Paisley…. She said you’re planning to go out tonight?”

“Yeah. So?”

“And afterward?”

“Afterward I’ll take her home. This isn’t gonna turn into a lecture on my behavior, is it?”

“I’d hate for it to. I think at your age you know everything I’m gonna say, anyway. Can you promise me you’re not going to go too far?”

“How can any man promise that? I promise to show restraint. If she gives me the proper encouragement, I’m not backing down.” Kai’s anger was rising. It irritated him that everyone was making comments about his ability to control himself. He’d shown restraint plenty of times.

Brad heaved a heavy sigh. Shaking his head, he rubbed out his cigarette. “Son, we’re men. As such….”

“I know, okay? You never bothered to give me this lecture before. Why now?”

“You never dated a girl like Paisley before. She’s—delicate.”

Kai gulped down a sob, running his fingers through his hair. “What do you want from me, Brad? Do you want me not to date her?”

His step-father said nothing, merely lit another cigarette.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 22 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallPaisley’s class makes everyone happy, even the ones who usually complain.

Kai was pleased at their response. Paisley beamed proudly as she accepted their compliments. He walked her inside where she was teaching the Zumba class again.

“Do you think they really liked it?”

“I’ve never heard so many good things from that bunch. They’re hard to please. You’ve scored major points, babe. Congratz.”

“Thanks.” She blushed, pleased that she was doing well. “I want to make you proud of me.”

“I couldn’t be anything else. You’re fantastic. Beautiful, witty, talented—you put up with my sorry ass schedule without a complaint, and you get along great with my family. What more could I ask for?”

His arms circled her, pulling her close. Kai’s kiss lit a fire in her belly. Paisley wondered how he could have that effect on her without really trying. Her ex had never filled her with such desire. His kisses didn’t excite as much as they disgusted. She’d never been sexually attracted to Ralph at all. Kai was all kinds of exciting.

He stopped suddenly, yawning. “I need to go get some sleep, babe. Mom will bring you to the house. I’ll take you home to change before we go out.”

“Sounds good. Sleep well.”

“I’ll dream of you.”

“Good. Be sure to tell me what I’m wearing in your dream.”

“Nothing but a satisfied smile,” he replied, nipping her lip. “Bye.”

He let go reluctantly, backing toward the door as the ladies started coming in. Unable to pull himself away, he walked back toward her, kissing her once more.

“Hello, Kai,” they all said.

Some saw the kiss and raised an eyebrow. Others fanned themselves, smirking at Kai behind his back. He continued to kiss Paisley, raising a thumb to the assembled ladies, all of whom clapped and cheered, getting progressively louder as the kiss continued. He prolonged it as long as he dared. Dizzy and aroused, he gave Paisley one last, short kiss before departing.

Not sure who that buzzed more, me or her. But he was pretty sure it was him. He knew what they were missing out on, she didn’t.

Kai got home to a quiet house. It was weird to be there with it so empty and silent, like it was waiting to come alive with the presence of his family. He got a shower and shaved before heading to bed. Glad of heavy drapes, he closed them before lying down. He unplugged the phone by his bed, rolled over, falling almost instantly asleep.

The sounds of his family coming in, woke him from a deep sleep. He looked at the clock and saw that it was almost 7:00. He took another shower and brushed his teeth before pulling on his jeans. Tossing a shirt over his shoulder, he padded out to the dining room barefoot. He came up so quietly behind Paisley, she didn’t hear him right away. Spinning around, she greeted him with a surprised smile.

“I didn’t hear you come in!” Her arms went around his neck as she stood on tiptoe to give him a kiss. “I smelled your cologne.”

“Must be soap,” he said quietly, his forehead on hers. “Not wearing any.”

“It smells great,” she said, smiling.

Cody cleared his throat as he brought groceries to the refrigerator. “You could help bring food in, brother mine.”

“I could,” Kai mused, focused on Paisley. “Or I could stand her with the most beautiful woman in the world, in my arms.”

Cody thumped him in the back with a gallon of milk. “Or—you could go grab groceries and help out, bro.”

“Chill, would ya?” He kissed Paisley on the nose. “Be right back. Kick him in the ass, if he gets mouthy, huh?”

“Sure thing.” She took a fighting stance, hands clenched. “I’ve studied kick boxing for ten years, Cody. Make one wrong move, I’ll kick your sorry ass to Nebraska.”

“Could you make it Colorado instead? There’s mountains there, and I can go skiing,” the young man said as he put the groceries away.

“Nope, Nebraska. Cause it’s boring.”

Kai chuckled as he went out to his mother’s car. He loaded up a bunch of bags and carried them inside, thumping them on the counter. He and Cody tossed things back and forth, putting groceries away quickly and efficiently. Their mother came in a few minutes later, smiling, a pile of mail in her arms.

“Yea, the books I ordered came in from Amazon. Now I’ve got something to read.”

“What did you order, Nina?” Paisley asked her.

“Mom only reads romance novels,” Cody intoned solemnly. “The more sordid the better.”

“I don’t read sordid romance novels,” Nina said pompously. “Though they do get steamy,” she told Paisley with a delighted shiver.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Love Takes a Swim Part 21 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallKai manages to get a little bit more sleep, but the morning alarm is unwelcome. He doesn’t want Paisley to ride the bus. Besides, he has to stay for his shift anyway.

Greg showed up early for his weekend shift, grinning and cocky. Apparently he and Randi had been quite busy on their days off.

“We got married!” He told them all excitedly. “I know it was kinda sudden, but we just found out a little Greg’s on the way, so we decided to tie the knot.”

Kai wasn’t sure he felt very enthusiastic about it. It meant that in a few months time, they’d be short at the club, as well as the station.

“I can’t fire the guy now,” Thad said to Kai later. “Not with a baby on the way. They’ll need the insurance.”

“It’s just as well, Thad. That schedule would’ve half killed me. I’d like a little time to spend with my new lady. Except for driving her to work, I’ve hardly seen her. And the good morning kisses aren’t doing it for me, ya know?”

Thad laughed, thumping him on the back. “Go home, get some rest.”

“Gotta do pool duty, then I can.”

“I promise to give Greg the most wretched jobs I can think of. He’s gonna have to scrub Sparky’s kennel with a toothbrush.” Sparky was the station’s Dalmatian.

“Make him lick it.”

“Ouch! You need to get laid, kid.”

“Don’t remind me. See you later.” Kai trudged across the street to the pool and changed into his baggies.

With his T-shit over one shoulder, he grabbed the noodle container, rolling it onto the deck. Paisley, who’d ridden that morning with Cody, had her back to him when he walked up. She hadn’t seen him since his arrival, because Cody was helping her set up.

“Thanks, Cody. Could you get me a bottle of water? I forgot mine.”

Kai said nothing, just got her a water and walked back with it, putting it on her shoulder. Checking her class notes, she still didn’t turn around, so he decided to get her attention. He set the bottle on the chair next to the speaker and slid a hand around her waist. Once his other hand was free of the bottle, it joined the first, circling her body, pulling her close to his bare chest. His lips descended on her shoulder, kissing her lightly.

Paisley screamed, jumping away. She turned with her clipboard raised, but burst into laughter when she saw who it was. “Oh, you brat! I was wondering what the hell Cody thought he was doing!”

“He’d better not ever touch you like that. I’d hate to kill my own brother.”

Paisley laughed, walking into the circle of his arms. “You wouldn’t kill him.”

“No, but I’d rough him up, so only his mama would love him. I sure missed you.”

She raised her face to his, lips parted expectantly. Always one to oblige, he kissed her long and deep. He didn’t care that they had an audience. There were people swimming laps as well as those coming in for class.

“So, we going out tonight?” Kai asked hopefully.

“If you’re not too tired.”

“I won’t be. I’m doing my couple hours here, then going home to bed.”

“Good.”

“Wish you could go with me….”

She pinched his ribs. “Behave!”

“I’m behaving like a perfect gentleman. Well, maybe not so perfect, but a gentleman.”

“You’re perfect for me,” Paisley said quietly. “Get your tight ass up on the tower. It’s time to start class.”

He kissed her again, lips lingering near her ear. “Thanks for noticing.”

“Put your shirt on, you’re distracting my little old ladies.”

He looked around, leaning closer. “You sure it’s not you that I’m distracting?”

“Not at all, I’m a professional. I’ve seen men’s broad chests, finely sculpted abs and—chiseled muscles before….” She turned away, puttering around with something unimportant. “Just not all put together quite as well as yours,” she mumbled.

Chuckling, Kai pulled his shirt over his head and climbed his tower. Paisley’s class went well. For the first time, he was really able to observe her during the class. She moved like a dancer, with ease and grace unmatched by any woman he knew. He was sure she must have a dance background, because she gave the little flourishes and hand positions he’d only ever seen dancers like Ginger Rogers use. His mom was an old movie buff, who she loved Fred and Ginger. Kai had seen all of their movies dozens of times.

The applause after class was loud and enthusiastic. People who usually complained about everything, came up to him and Paisley, complimenting her class.

“The music is just amazing!” One old lady remarked to anyone who would listen. She was one of the ones most likely to complain. She went off humming one of the tunes.

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Love Takes a Swim Part 20 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallKai and his team responded to a house fire before heading back to the station. Too keyed up to sleep, they decide they’re hungry.

Cherise and Kai made pizza and they sat around eating and drinking root beer.

“So, a new woman,” Davis said out of the clear blue.

Davis was next to youngest, a man in his mid twenties. Also single, he had a new woman nearly every week. Kai’s love life wasn’t nearly as active, so for him to have a new woman was big news.

“Yeah,” Kai said around a mouthful of pizza. He chewed and swallowed quickly. “Her name’s Paisley. She’s an instructor at the club. Just started Monday.”

“So, good figure?” Davis asked.

“Of course. She’s hot, too. You come onto her, I’ll break you in two,” Kai said with quiet menace.

“Dude, chill! You have my word I won’t hit on your woman. Never stole another man’s woman in my life.”

“Good. I’d hate to have to kill you,” Cherise added coldly.

“You too? What’s up? I’m a nice guy!”

“You’re a predator,” Cherise replied, her eyes flashing.

“Me? I’m a pussy cat!”

“You’re a pussy hound,” she replied angrily. “I’ve seen how you operate.”

“I’m just a guy, Cherise. Not a man here can deny he’s used his edge to get laid.”

“I’m not sure I know what you mean by your edge, but if you mean you’ve coerced a woman into having sex with you….”

Davis looked away, ducking his head.

“Okay, be fair,” Tommy, an EMT said. “We’re men. It’s kinda in the genetic code to be persistent. It’s not something to be proud of, Cherise, but I’ve coerced a woman or two.”

“Me too,” Kai admitted shyly. “Couple times.”

Cherise sniffed, nose in the air, her arms crossed over her chest. “Bunch of leches.”

Kai laughed, tipping his chair. “I don’t deny that! Hell, that’s part of being male! Don’t hate us. Pity us.”

“And why would I do that?” Her dark eyes flashed.

“Cause how would you like it going through life perpetually horny? I mean, seriously. I see a hot woman, I’m gonna get sprung. It’s a fact of life. Not like I can control it, you know?”

Schwing!” Tommy said, chuckling.

“Do I even want to know what that means?” Cherise asked with a frown.

“Nope,” the men answered in chorus.

“Without man’s persistence, the human race would die out,” Tommy intoned solemnly.

Cherise shook her head, trying not to giggle. “You guys are so damn full of shit. Why do women put up with you?”

The men exchanged a look, tipping their chairs in unison. “Orgasms,” they said as if they’d rehearsed it.

Laughing loudly, Cherise bid good night, and went back to bed. Tom and Davis cleaned up, following Kai to the dorm, where they all went back to bed. Kai found sleep easy.

However hearing his alarm go off the next morning, was hard. He got a quick breakfast for himself while the others slept. The day workers, like Thad, came in and got coffee from the pot Kai had fixed.

“You’re up early,” Thad commented as he poured his coffee.

“Got to pick up Paisley and do my morning shift at the pool.” He yawned loudly. “Sorry, that two o’clock fire really messed me up. I slept, but not well.”

“Do you think you can handle this? I know it’s a lot to expect from you.”

“Needs doing. I’ll try to train one of the others to do my job. Paisley could, but she’s got the whole class to look out for. Might miss something.”

“How about your mom?”

“Panics too easy. She could do it, but I’d be worried about her judgment.”

Thad nodded. “Too bad Cody’s so young. He’s a sharp kid, very capable. I wish I had two more just like you boys. I’d have the perfect team.”

Kai chuckled, sipping his coffee. “Thanks. I’d better get going. Gotta pick up Paisley.”

“That’s somewhat out of your way.”

“I don’t want her riding the bus, Thad. That’s not safe.”

“Agreed. Okay. See you later.”

Kai picked up Paisley, and stayed for the two water aerobics classes. Afterward, he gave her a quick kiss and headed across the street.

Fortunately, the rest of Greg’s shift was quiet. Kai fell into a hectic routine between the pool and station, that by Friday, wasn’t too bad. He knew if he had too many nights like the first one, he was going to be exhausted. He hoped he could find someone to take the pool job, so he wouldn’t have to do both. He didn’t hold out much hope. None of the others had enough training. Only Paisley came close, and she couldn’t teach and act as emergency contact.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Julia, Maya and Rami

We’ve got a great show planned for Wednesday, June 26 from 4-6 PM EDT.Joining us today are two familiar folks, and one new one.

First up is a fellow Tirgearr Author, Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! She still believes that “True Love’s Kiss” is the most powerful thing in the world. Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.

Second is the happiest horror author I know. Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer. Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, will be released June 21st, 2019. When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.

Third, and new to the show, is another Tirgearr Author. Julia Byrd lives and writes in Chicago with her handsome dog and scruffy husband. She tells people she enjoys books, wine, baking, and architecture as plausible cover for her secret double life. Her second Gothic romance, Soil and Ceremony, was published by Tirgearr Publishing in June 2019.

Be Sure to Join Us!

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 66

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Cover image from Free Stock Photos: Railroad Track On A Fall Day by Curtis Dean Wilson

“Is something wrong?”

“What? No. Just thinking…. They’ve offered me Mona’s job.”

Deirdre knew there had been a temporary manager in her place, since her arrest.

“Would it mean moving?”

“No. They want me at this store. It might mean a change down the line, but unlikely. I’ve worked at the same store since it opened. I know it better than anyone else. It would mean a few business trips for meetings, but no more jaunts for set ups. What do you say? You want to be the wife of the store manager?”

“Yes! It’s a wonderful opportunity for you!”

“I hoped you’d say that, because I accepted almost as soon as the words left the district manager’s lips. This would put me on a fast track for his job, in a few years. But he’s bucking for tri-state, so that would be okay with him.”

“Really? Wow! I think I’ve had my limit of excitement for the night.”

“I hope not,” Fred cut his eyes at her, giving a seductive smile. “Because I have plans for the rest of the night.”

“You do, huh? Am I to be party to these plans?”

“You’re the main recipient of the plans. And I’ve saved a special treat or two.”

“What could you possibly have in mind, that you haven’t used in the last twenty years?”

“You’d be surprised.”

And she was—happily so. As they snuggled into one another’s arms, she lay with her head on Fred’s chest.

“I finished my book.”

“I remember. We celebrated.” He kissed her forehead. “Much as we just did.”

“I found someone to edit it for me. And I want to submit it for publication.”

“Really? That’s fantastic! My wife, a published author, eh?”

“We haven’t gotten that far yet, but maybe one day.”

“Not the Great American Novel, though.”

“Sadly no. It will never be that, but it’s still good—at least I think so. Maybe one day, I’ll write one of those, but for now, I’m happy. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.”

“Let’s hope that with the next one, you don’t have anything interfere. I don’t think I can take anymore of that kind of excitement.”

He nuzzled her throat and she knew what kind of excitement he did want. She let him kiss and fondle her a few minutes before turning to face him.

“Are you trying to distract me, my love.”

“Yes. Am I being successful?”

“Yes!” Her voice caught in her throat as he nibbled and licked.

“Good….”

THE END

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Sidetracked by Dellani Oakes Part 65

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Cover image from Free Stock Photos: Railroad Track On A Fall Day by Curtis Dean Wilson

Deirdre smiled, wiping her eyes, as she nodded. She listened to that song nearly every day, and loved it.

“Without further adieu, mes aimes have more great music for you. Join us in celebrating this special night. And if Fred and Deirdre recall, this is the anniversary of the first time I met them, and was welcomed into their home and family.”

The evening progressed with a variety of music that Deirdre and Fred loved. After they ate, they joined others on the dance floor, to one side of the stage. Near the end of the program, Eoin took his place center stage once more, now dressed as Angelique.

“This is the last dance of the night, ladies and gentlemen. Your boys tell me this is the first song you ever danced to as husband and wife. I hope they’re right, or I’m going to look like a fool.”

The introduction began, and Deirdre burst into happy tears. This was their song, the first time they made love, it was playing, and they chose it as their first dance at their wedding. Eoin did the old Otis Redding song, I’ve Been Loving You, great justice. His voice rose and fell, alternately crooning and growling out the words.

The audience went wild once more, demanding an encore. Eoin grinned at Deirdre.

“I’ve got the perfect song in mind, but I need help. You lot,” he pointed to Fred and Deirdre. “You come up and help me.”

She’d had just enough alcohol to think it would be fun. They were helped onto the stage as the bass and drum began. Eoin took the first verse without telling them the song, but both of them recognized it. Their voices joined his on the chorus, and they sang the unedited version of Space Lord by Monster Magnet. By the second chorus, the entire audience joined them on, “Space Lord Mother f**ker!”

Eoin and Deirdre did a silly, sexy dance. Not to be left out, Fred turned her around to face him, and continued the seductive dance with her. When the song ended, he pulled her close, kissing her deeply. Giddy and lightheaded, Deirdre clung to him as their kiss continued.

They didn’t hear the thunderous applause, or the cheering, for a good minute. Once Eoin cleared his throat twice, and tapped Fred’s shoulder, they came up for air. Blushing and finger combing her hair, Deirdre was persuaded to take a bow. Fred’s was more awkward, but they both made a good showing for themselves.

They followed Eoin and the others off stage, where they were hugged and kissed by the cast and crew. Everyone congratulated them on their performance, and several offered them a job. Politely declining, they finally were able to follow Eoin to his dressing room. He went behind a screen to change, while they sat and talked to him.

“Did you like the show?”

“It was fabulous! How did you know what songs to pick?”

“You sing a lot around the house, and I’ve seen what you posted on Facebook. Also, your boys were a fountain of information. What about the encore?” He came around the screen, dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, still with his Angelique face on. Sitting at the makeup table, he proceeded to remove this as they talked.

“It was f**king perfect,” Fred declared. “I love that song. I don’t know why, but I do. Embarrasses the hell out of our boys, perhaps that’s why?” He winked at his wife.

“You’ll be all right on the road? Didn’t drink too much?”

“Yes, Mum. I know my limits.”

“Good, I don’t have to take your keys and lecture.” Once his face was clean, he turned around with a grin. “I’ve asked Fonda to move in with me. I wanted you to be the first to know.”

“That’s fantastic! We’re so happy for you!” Deirdre said, smiling.

“I couldn’t have gotten to this point without the two of you. You have done more for me than my own parents. I want to ask her to marry me, but that can wait a bit. We need to get used to this first. We are having a house warming in a couple weeks, and you lot will have to be there.”

“Absolutely. You’re both invited for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years!” Deirdre said, bouncing with glee.

“One holiday at a time, but yes. We’ve neither of us any family but you. It means so much to us both that you’ve adopted us. Thank you.”

“You’re family,” Fred said. “Son of our hearts.”

They said their final farewells and drove home. Deirdre chattered happily, recapping the evening. Eventually, she realized that Fred wasn’t saying much.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes