Tag Archive | kiss

A Walk in the Woods (Serial Short Story Romance, Part 2 of 4)

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

They continued on the trail in silence for the better part of a mile. Finally Jax spoke. “I’ve been trying to figure out what to ask you, without it sounding like some pick-up line.” He had been impressed that she had kept up a pretty good pace as they hiked the trail through the woods.

“As in—do you come here often?” Candace giggled and he liked the sound of that. “Well, let me answer that one and we’ll see where we go from there. I don’t come here as often as I would like. Life’s just been—I don’t know—stressful. Today I wanted to get out and try to unwind while getting some exercise.”

“Do you mind, Candace, if I ask what’s so stressful? I mean, other than the dead car on the side of the road.”

She nodded. “Well, there is that. Probably time for a newer vehicle but I’ve never had to make that kind of decision on my own before. I’ve been putting it off but now . . . Anyway,” her hand flipped in the air as if whisking away an annoying bug, “I’ve been through a rough year and still haven’t found a good normal for my life.”

“Normal? What would normal look like?” He was genuinely curious.

She shook her head. “That’s part of the problem. I don’t know. I mean, I get up every day and go to work. I go home at night and make dinner, clean up the kitchen and maybe watch some television and then go to bed. I have no hobbies and haven’t even been attending church like I used to. It’s just too hard to go back.”

“Why?”

“Because everyone there knows . . . and while I didn’t really do anything wrong, I just don’t feel like I fit in anymore.”

“I’m confused. What do they know?” He put up a hand to stop her and they faced each other on the path. Her face was pink from exercise and a slight sheen of sweat as plastering her bangs to her forehead. She was cute.

She let out a deep sigh. “My husband was a bit of a gigolo, enjoying the favors of any women he met. He finally decided that he would prefer to not live with the stress of trying to hide that and divorced me. I had no clue until the papers were delivered. We had gotten married at that church, been in small groups, served together . . . to be there alone is tantamount to walking in with a big D plastered across my chest.”

“Now don’t get me wrong, Candace . . .”

“You can call me Candy.” She gave him a small smile as they set off again on the path.

“Okay, Candy. How much of that is just your perception and how much is reality?”

He watched as her nose wrinkled. “I’m not sure.”

“There are other churches if you need to start fresh, pick a different church.”

A loud blast rang through the woods.

“Drop!” Jax hissed as he grabbed Candy and dropped with her to the ground, shielding her with his body. Through the sweat and dirt the scent of apples taunted him and made his mouth water. Focus, Jax!

“Was that a gun I heard?” Candy whispered. She trembled beneath him and he rolled to his side to be able to look at her.

“Are you okay?” He ran a free hand through his hair, having lost his cap when he dropped to the ground.

She nodded her head.

“Good.” He pulled out his phone and called in. “Yeah, Jax here out at Peterson’s preserve. Just heard gunfire.” He paused. “No. I’m with the only other person I’ve observed in the area. There were no cars in the lot when we arrived. We’re both safe for now.” He hung up and sat.

Candace looked at him as she raised herself off the ground to sit with her arms wrapped around her knees. She rocked. “What now?”

“I’m not sure. If it were just me I’d be running toward that area and trying to find out who was shooting, but I’m unarmed and I can’t leave you.”

“But this is your job, right? A cop is never really off-duty, is he?”

He dropped his head and closed his eyes. Lord, what do I do? I can’t endanger Candy, but I came here to do a job . . .

Her hand touched his arm. “Let’s go after them.”

He shook his head. “It’s not safe.”

Candace stood up and put her hands on her hips. “Well, maybe I’m tired of playing it safe.” She turned and headed down the path.

He leapt to his feet, ran up beside her and grabbed her. He halted her progress and stared down at her. He swallowed hard. What was it about this woman? She intrigued him, but they’d only just met. She licked her lips as she gazed up at him, waiting.

Waiting for what?

He bent his head and placed his lips to hers as she gasped in surprise. His arm wrapped around her holding her close and hers snaked up around his neck. Another gunshot rang out in the woods followed by a scream. They broke apart.

“What?” she gasped. But she had a silly smile on her face.

He grinned back. “Let’s go. Run!” He held her hand as they took off in the direction of the gunfire.

Stay tuned for part 3 of 4 tomorrow! 

Her Salesman (Short Story)

She dreaded attending the company picnic. Erik said he would come. They had talked several times a week about business and at times about their personal lives. He was in sales and she was in support. He had never failed to make her laugh and his deep voice had given her dreams that a single Christian girl should never have.

Today she was going to meet him face to face. At least it was in a crowd of over a hundred employees and most from her department were here. Home was only an hour’s drive away so if she needed to escape it wasn’t out of the question.

She spied him. She had the advantage because being in sales, his photo was on the website. She had always envisioned him in his suit like he wore in the picture she had drooled over. Today was casual. He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that fit him well and khaki cargo shorts and flip flops. His hair curled around his ears.

He was a hunk. She was about to leave but he turned and his eyes caught hers. She was caught. A slow smile spread across his face. He made a quick comment to the man he was with and walked towards her.

She swallowed hard. Run. You can still go! Her feet didn’t obey. She bit her lip and a breeze blew her tresses across her face.

His hand came forward and brushed the locks behind her ears. “Alycia?”

She nodded, her mouth dry. “Hi, Erik,” she squeaked out.

He reached for her and enfolded her in his arms and she could hear his heartbeat as her head nestled against his broad chest. He smelled of Irish Spring and sunshine. He released her but stood close. “I have been waiting months to have a chance to finally see you face to face. Come, let’s sit over by the lake and talk.” He grabbed her hand and pulled her along.

Remember, he’s a salesman. Alycia, don’t get sucked in by his charm and good looks, it’s what makes him successful.

They sat side by side and he put an arm around her and hugged her to himself again but did not release her this time. She tried to pull away.

“Erik, we hardly know each other.” She protested in a soft voice.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

He looked down at her with a grin and twinkling blue eyes. “I know you better than I know any member of my family or even my best friend Chad. We’ve been talking for months. You’ve listened and shared with me on your lunch breaks and you’ve given me ideas that have helped me meet and exceed my quotas. You’ve made me laugh on those hard days and you’ve made me long to come and wipe your tears away when life was hard for you.”

She opened her mouth to speak but a finger came to rest upon it.

“Let me finish. Your favorite color is blue. You love brandy old-fashioned sweet but rarely drink alcohol because of your depression medication. You have a greyhound named Bingo that you rescued and who practically pushes you out of bed during the night. You love country rock – especially if it’s Christian and you’ve not yet met a man who knocks your socks off.”

Alycia giggled and let her head rest against his shoulder. “I can’t believe you even want to be seen with me.”

“Why?” he pulled away to turn to her, “what’s wrong with you that you would say that? Your hair shimmers in the sun and your eyes remind me of toffee, which is my favorite candy if you remember. You come to my shoulder and you look adorable in that outfit.” He sniffed at her neck making her giggle some more. “You smell like a pina colada. So what’s the problem? Why wouldn’t I want to be with you?”

“I’m short and rounder than I should be.” She felt the heat rise in her cheeks.

“Stand up.” He pulled her to her feet and stepped back, putting a hand on his chin as he looked her over.

“You told me you were a woman.”

She nodded, trying to avoid his eyes and resisting the urge to fold her arms over her ample chest.

“And I’m a man.”

“I noticed.”

“Did you? Good.” He pulled her back to the bench and put his arm around her again and leaned to whisper in her ear. “Did you know that men like girls with curves? I have to admit I’ve been having some not-so-nice thoughts of what I would like to do with yours.”

She pulled away, “EriK!”

“Why are you shocked? You are a gorgeous woman and I’ve come to know the girl inside before I ever managed to get Rick to snap a picture of you so I could see what you looked like on the outside.”

“Afraid I was a fifty year old frump?”

He chuckled and she could feel the rumble in his chest. “Hold on.” He moved his arm and reached around to pull out his wallet. He flipped it open as he leaned back next to her. He flipped it open to a picture – of her!

“How did you?” She had to admit was a good photo of her, candid, laughing, as she talked to someone on the phone, the headset mic almost hidden in the angle. “Rick?”

Eric nodded. “Wanna know who you were talking to at the time?”

She placed her hand on his chest. He nodded.

“Listen, I’ve been wanting to go out on a date for months and you have always resisted. Now we’re here and you are still resisting me. Why? What have I done wrong?”

Tears sprang to her eyes as she shook her head. “Nothing. You’ve done nothing wrong, Erik. It’s just you seem too good to be true.”

“Too good to be true? Didn’t I tell you about how messy my car is and how I hate folding laundry so I live out of the basket and spend a fortune in dry cleaning because I’m too lazy to iron my own shirts?”

She nodded as a tear escaped.

“Alycia, what’s the problem? I fell in love with you months ago. I want to have a relationship with you.”

She leaned her head against his chest and felt his arm come around her again, holding her close. She knew this man, how good he really was. So why did she hesitate? Erik loved God and he had tried to pursue her for months even when she put him off out of her fear that he would meet her and it would destroy what they had. Erik hadn’t rejected her. She tipped her head back and he looked down at her with those baby blues that took her breath away in the photo she had of him and even more so in person. She pulled her other hand up to caress his cheek with the light stubble growing there.

“I’ve loved you for so long, Erik, I think I’ve been afraid I would wake up and find it was all just a wonderful dream.”

He grinned, “I’ll give you something to dream about, Alycia.” His lips met hers and all her fears melted away as her arm moved to pull him closer to her. He pulled away and took a deep breath. “Maybe we should skip dating and go straight to the wedding?”

Alycia smiled. “No. We’ll date first. This has been worth the wait and all the sweeter for it.”

“If you insist.” He leaned down and they kissed again. When she pulled away she kissed his cheek.

“You were wrong about one thing.”

“What was that?”

“I have met someone who knocks my socks off—if I were wearing any!”

It took a few seconds for him to understand what she was saying and  his grin widened. Alycia laid her head on his chest. No man had ever wanted her like this before.

“As much as I would love to canoodle the day away here in this fashion, I think it would be prudent to engage in some other activities here.” Erik removed his arm and stood to his feet and extended a hand to her.

“What did you have in mind?” She took his hand and looked up into his smiling face.

“How are you at volleyball?

“I love the game but play horribly.”

“Then we are a perfect match.” He pulled her to her feet and kissed the top of her head. Grasping her hand they headed off to the courts.

The Pure Widow (Short Regency Romance)

A tingle of anticipation worked its way down her spine as she caught the eye of the man a few feet away from her. It took all of her courage to hold his gaze and not drop her eyes. She had nothing to fear from any man. She was no longer a debutante in her first season but a widow fresh out of mourning.

She had not come to this ball looking for someone to warm her bed. Not that it had ever been that warm anyway with Lord Chase.

The man disengaged himself from his companion, and headed in her direction.

Oh, My. Now what should I do? She let her eyes scan the ballroom. Was there any reasonable way to escape?

“Lady Penelope Chase.” The tall man with piercing green eyes bowed but his gaze never wavered. “Perchance you remember me?”

Penny dipped and nodded her head, daring herself to hold his gaze. “My Lord Hadley. Of course I remember you. I’m not in my dotage yet.” Her first crush. How could she ever forget?

“Far from it. May I say you look better than you did at your come-out ball five years ago. The years have been good to you.” A crooked smile appeared under the aquiline nose. His eyes bored into her as if ferreting out her secrets.

Penny tipped her head and looked away to the crowd. “La, I am immune to Spanish coin, my Lord.”

“I could never fool you, Penny.” He leaned closer and his breath tickled her ear, “but only a fool falls in love with a woman he cannot have.”

Penny refused to glance at him as he pulled away. Love? What did he know about love? For that matter, what did she know? She had lost in that game. She unfurled her fan and languidly moved it back and forth in front of her, refusing to show how much he had unsettled her. “Lord Hadley, I cannot imagine you being denied the object of your desire should you truly love someone.”

She glanced up at him and his eyes moved to scan the crowd, for once avoiding hers. A frown marred his handsome features. Auburn curls breached the border of his cravat at the back of his head and his sideburns almost hid the muscle working in his jaw that indicated his own tension. Her eyebrows rose as she awaited his reply. It was not long in coming.

“I never lied about my feelings for you Penelope. They remain as real now as they did the day I proposed and you refused me.” He glanced at her, pain and sorrow clouding his eyes, making them more mossy in color but no less compelling for that. He gave a curt nod and walked away disappearing into the crowd.

He still loved her? Her shoulders dropped and her fan stilled even as her heart increased its tempo. Follow him! Don’t let him get away! Without realizing it she was moving through the crowd but soon lost sight of her quarry. She found herself near the doors to the garden. Sweat trickled between her shoulder blades under the silk gown. Seeking the cooler air she stepped onto the stone balcony that overlooked paths beyond.

She ignored the lovers in the shadows and skipped down the steps into the flower lined trail. The moon was bright and the scent of roses and honeysuckle filled the air. Her feet carried her forward but she had no destination in mind. No plan. Had she just let her one chance at real happiness escape her?

She chuckled at her own dramatic thoughts. Your first ball of the season and you already feel like you’ve failed a game you never sought to play? What kind of folly is that? She shook her head and snapped her fan closed, letting it dangle from her wrist. Almost as much folly as marrying the charming wastrel at her father’s insistence only to find that he had a preference for the male persuasion, leaving her as pure as the day she was born.

She found a bench and collapsed onto it and closed her eyes. She inhaled and let the air out slowly. Vanilla assailed her nostrils. She opened her eyes and found him before her on one knee. He reached for her hand and while holding it slowly peeled off her glove. He turned her hand over and his lips met the pulse in her wrist and her heartbeat quickened. His lips traveled further up, to the inside of her elbow. Tremors of delight traveled throughout her body. She giggled.

He broke the kiss and looked up. “Please, Penny. I’ve waited so long. I have loved you and never stopped. Make me the happiest man here and say you will marry me.”

She swallowed as she looked into his eyes. She lifted her hand to stroke his hair and then the side of his face as he leaned into her naked palm. This was the only man who had ever stirred her, body and soul. She was forced to say no the first time. How could she say no again?

She leaned forward and her lips met his. The kiss that started out tentative but grew in hunger as her entire body caught flame at his touch. He broke it off and she gave a mewl of protest.

“Is that a yes, Penny?” That crooked smile she had always loved was back but uncertainty flickered in his eyes.

She smiled and nodded. “Yes, Nigel. I will wed you under one condition.”

An eyebrow lifted on his high forehead. “And that would be?”

“That we do so quickly. I have waited far too long to be yours.”

“With all due haste, my Lady. I will acquiesce to your demands.”

She leaned forward and held his face with both hands she leaned in for another kiss.

The Heart Needs a Hero (Short Story Romance)

She was back in her old stomping grounds for a few hours. Heart heavy, she grabbed a table at Starbucks to nurse her Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte. With a deep sigh, she hung her head and felt her shoulders droop. When could find something to live for? She needed a hero. Her heart needed a hero.

Yes, she had Jesus. She pulled out her journal and scribbled out a prayer to him.

Jesus, please help me fight this loneliness and despair. I can’t believe how lost I feel right now. I only have you to lean into. The pastor I’m closest to is on vacation for a few more weeks and my dearest friend is out of town on business. Family? Ha! Lotta good they do. Just help Lord. Please give me a tangible sense of your presence. I’m afraid. She signed her name to the prayer on the lined paper. Julianne.

Setting down her pen she brought her cup to her lips and felt the warm drink radiate throughout her body but not quite to her cold nose and toes. It was early spring but lately she just couldn’t get warm. Low blood sugar? She shrugged and shook her head. Did it even matter why?

She picked up her pencil and doodled a bit as she scanned the other occupants of the small café. What was it about this place that attracted people? Sure the drinks were good – but expensive. The environment, cozy. But it seemed almost every table was filled and her tiny one was close to several others. There wasn’t much space to maneuver much less have a private conversation.

“Julianne?”

She looked up into smoky grey eyes framed by dark lashes behind wire-rimmed glasses.

“Tristan?” She gulped and flipped her journal.

“Is that seat taken? It seems this place is filled to capacity today.” He motioned to the chair across from her tiny table.

“No. Go ahead.”

He nodded to her journal. “If you would rather be alone…”

She shook her head. “Anything but that, please, have a seat. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. What have you been up to?

The chair squeaked against the tile floor as he pulled it back and sat down, loosening the red scarf that was tucked into his black trench coat. “Well, after working for other IT companies I finally got around to starting my own business and so far, we’re doing pretty well for ourselves. Remember, John?”

She nodded. How could she forget the screwball of their class? Intelligent but always making people laugh.

“He’s my partner and it’s been a great thing to have him on board. He keeps me from letting the challenges get me down.”

She smiled and nodded. Yeah, she could see John doing that.

“So, what have you been up to? You look more beautiful than when I saw you last, which was, what, about a year ago?”

She swallowed and raised her cup to her lips to take a sip. How was she to answer that? She set the cup down. “I work for a company downtown shuffling papers and answering phones. I’ve got a day off today.”

“Let me guess, you are Executive Administrative Assistant to T.J. Banks.”

Her eyes widened. “How would you know that?”

His grin was as cute as it ever was with those straight teeth and those lips she always dreamed of kissing. But he had never looked at her that way.

“I make it a practice to keep up with my competition. I suspect T.J. wouldn’t be half as successful if you weren’t managing his life.”

“I don’t…”

He put up a finger to stop her. “Julianne, I’ve known you for years, you love to be in charge and keep things flying along and rarely do challenges throw you for a loop as you seem to anticipate far in advance of everyone else the troubles that may present themselves.”

“Maybe at work, but it doesn’t translate well in everyday life.” She reached and folded her journal closed and stuck it in her bag.

“Whoa. Hold on Julianne, I didn’t mean to offend you. T.J. and I play racquetball every other week and he speaks highly of you. But why so down? You look great and have a fantastic job.”

“I may need to quit soon.” She spoke just above a whisper but he heard her and frowned.

“Why?”

She reached down to pull out the local paper, folded but open to an article. She placed it in front of him. “That’s why.”

She watched Tristan scan the article. He looked up at her puzzled. “Why would you want to quit?”

“Management is trying to throw me under the bus with this. I had nothing to do with any of those deals but someone has it in for me and the rumor mill is moving at warp speed.”

“They can’t fire you over this even if you were a part of it.”

“T.J. wouldn’t fire me. He doesn’t believe it and tells me to ignore it.”

“But they are making it difficult for you to work.”

She shook her head. “They are making it difficult for me to even breathe. I’ve started getting panic attacks when I walk into the office because of the harassment.”

His strong square jaw dropped. “And T.J. allows it to continue?”

“Neither of us knows who is behind it. It’s phone calls and unsigned notes and we can’t find the source.” She let her finger trace the edge around the top of her cup cover. She blinked back the tears.

A strong hand grabbed hers and gave a squeeze. “Julianne, I know it’s been a few years, but I feel like you’ve been one of my dearest friends forever, I’m worried about you.”

She looked up into those eyes that had never failed to mesmerize her. “I’m worried about me too.” With her one free hand she leaned her head forward and scratched her scalp and leaned her forehead into it.

“Julianne?” His voice was as rich as chocolate and as sweet to hear. His other hand came across to wipe away a tear that had started to make a run for her chin.

“Hmmm?”

“Why did you leave me?”

My head snapped up. “What? I never left you. You wanted Anna and she seemed perfect for you. You made it clear you didn’t want me around. Third wheel and all that.”

He wasn’t smiling anymore, his eyes looked sad. He pulled her other hand down and now both were held captive. They finally felt warm in his and that tingle of something trickled up her arms straight to her heart.

“Anna wanted a job and thought she could get there by climbing over me. I was an idiot to let myself be snowed by her act and I was foolish to have tuned out your words of caution. When I finally realized what had happened I was alone and you were long gone. I didn’t realize I had driven you away.”

“Well, you pretty much told me to mind my own business and find someone else to love, you weren’t interested.”

“I said that?”

She nodded. “I’m not surprised you don’t remember, Anna was quite a distraction for you.”

“And yet, as I stepped back and tried to assuage my wounded ego, all I could think of was you.”

“You never called.”

“You changed your number. It was like you had disappeared. You moved and didn’t tell anyone.”

“Not true. John knew.”

“He did?”

“But I had asked him to only contact me if there was an emergency.”

Tristan shook his head. “I guess my broken heart wasn’t an emergency to him – but it sure felt like one to me.”

“I’m sorry, Tristan. I really am. You deserved better than her.”

“What I never deserved though, was you.”

“You never even wanted me.”

“Now that’s where you would be wrong, Julianne. I wanted you very much then and even more so now.”

“You don’t know me anymore. I’m not the same girl.”

“According to T.J. you are and even more than that. You’ve grown up, matured and even with that bulky coat you still fire my blood.”

She tried to pull her hands back. “I think I had better go.”

“Please. Stay. Just a few more minutes.” The plea in his eyes did something to her brain, making her unable to move her legs. He squeezed her hands and smiled.

“I have been praying for months for an opportunity to run into you. I’ve looked for you everywhere I could think of. T.J. refused to help because he thinks I want to steal you away from him.” He chuckled. “Little does he realize what I really want to steal is your heart.”

She turned away from the entreaty in his eyes. “You took it a long time ago and never gave it back.”

“Maybe it’s time I fixed that.”

“How?”

“Maybe an exchange? I keep your heart and I give you mine.”

Her eyes flashed to his face. He was serious.

“I don’t like being the consolation prize, Tristan.”

“Never that, Julianne. You could never be that. You were the first prize I never felt worthy of qualifying for.”

“What is it you really want from me?”

He grinned, “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes. Please.”

“I want you by my side as my wife, in my bed as my lover and in my home as mother to our children.”

Her jaw dropped and her heart skipped a beat.

“But I’ll settle for dating you first until you are comfortable with the idea of the rest.”

“Just like that?”

“I told you, I’ve been praying for months over this. It’s always been you in my heart that I’ve wanted.”

Tears came and she bit her lip before responding. “You think meeting me here today was an answer to that prayer?”

“Sure, why not?”

“Because it was definitely an answer to mine.”

He leaned forward and wiped a tear away with the pad of his thumb and then let that same appendage trace her lips.

“I really want to kiss you now.” He said, his voice husky.

“I really want to be kissed.” She gave a feeble smile. Was this really happening?

He leaned forward and pulled her face towards his across the tiny table. Their lips met in a soft kiss and finally she felt warm, all the way to her toes.

He released her and sat back with a soft smile on his lips, and a hint of moisture in his eyes. “Julianne. Please don’t make me wait too long to say yes to my ultimate plan.”

“Why?”

“Because right now I wish I could take you home and finish what that kiss started, but I can’t do that unless we are married.”

She felt the heat rise in her face and she grinned. “The feeling is mutual, Tristan.”

He tucked his scarf back into his coat, rose and finished with his buttons. “I think we need a walk. He grabbed his coffee and hers and waited for her to rise and zip up her jacket.

She looked out the glass windows. The sun was peeking through the clouds. She put on her gloves and grabbed her drink and threw her bag over her shoulder. “Yeah, a walk sounds good.”

She thanked God for bringing a hero back to help heal her broken heart. God, you are so good! She smiled up into Tristan’s eyes.

“What?” he asked.

“Just thankful.”

“Me too.”

He bent and kissed her again on the sidewalk, letting this one linger a bit longer. He pulled back and groaned. “The shorter the wait the better.”

Julianne, leaned into his side as he put an arm around her, “I agree.”

Salsa and Speedbumps (excerpt)

This is a tiny excerpt from my current work in progress, Salsa and Speedbumps, a contemporary romance set in the Northwest Suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin against the backdrop of a viable faith community (aka “church”).

Rachel finds that one private sin has a ripple effect and the opportunity to wreak havoc on so many lives including her own. Can God bring something beautiful out of the chaos?

I admit  is unfair to share something with you that is so far from publication. I have three other fiction manuscripts that are further along in the revision process and this one is not even finished! But it was too sweet to not share because it makes me smile and ask, “Did I really write that?” To be honest, my characters just simply “take over” the writing of the story and I just dictate.

Enjoy. . .

“Christmas is just around the corner.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed, Rob.”
“Come on, Rachel, I didn’t do too badly with the getting a tree up and decorated.”
“You did a fine job. Much better than I could have managed with my bulging belliny getting in the way.”
“I happen to be fond of that bulging belly. Reminds me of Santa Claus.”
“Very funny.” She snuggled up to Robbie’s side. “If you had a wish for Christmas, what would it be?”
“That forty years from now I would be as in love with you as I am today.”
Rachel smiled. “I like that.”
“Did you have Christmas wish?”
“Mine isn’t big enough.”
“What was it?”
“Really? You will laugh at me.”
“Really, I want to know.”
“I want a puppy.”
“A puppy.”
“Yes, a puppy.”
“We may need to wait awhile for that one. Dogs are not allowed on our lease.”
“I know, but you asked. Wishes don’t have to be realistic.”
“No, they don’t. How about I lick your face and pant in your ear. Will that do in the meantime?”
Rachel grinned and gave her husband a kiss, “Oh, that will do.”