Tag Archive | Love Under the Sun Romance

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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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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