Today for my Friday Feature, I'm sharing one of my favorite scenes from MY KIND OF CRAZY. Who can resist a moonlit walk on the beach with two cute guys, even if one of them is furry and has puppy breath?
(Okay, maybe I should've named the book Must Love Dogs... but that was already taken.)
Midget strained against his leash in the darkness, pulling Kendall at a fast clip but she didn’t mind. The pace cooled her overheated skin and cleared her head. Jon walked beside her, giving her pointers on puppy training, a safe, neutral subject. Jon showed her how to give the leash a short, sharp tug to let the dog know to slow down. Midget glanced back at him in surprise, but
slowed his pace to a more even keel.
They soon left the warm glow of the streetlamps behind and headed down the empty beach. The rising moon gave off little light, letting the stars twinkle all the more brightly. It was low tide, but they stayed far enough up the beach so as not to worry about stray waves curling around their ankles in the darkness.
“I guess I have a lot to learn about training,” Kendall said. “I’ve never owned a dog before.”
“He’s still just a puppy.” Jon took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “He’s supposed to be a little headstrong, but you need to make sure he knows who’s alpha. Otherwise you’ll always have these clashes of will.”
She frowned. “Alpha? That sounds so primitive. Can’t I just be his friend? Won’t he listen to me because I’m the one who feeds him? After all, food seems to be his big motivator.” At the mention of “food,” Midget stopped short and whipped his head around, mouth spreading into a wide grin.
Jon knelt to ruffle the fur around the dog’s neck. “Even the word food is enough to make you smile, huh, boy?” The dog barked once and licked Jon’s cheek in obvious agreement. They wrestled in the sand more like a pair of small children than a grown man and a half-grown dog. Midget seemed to have practically doubled in size in the short time he’d been living with her. How was that possible? His name seemed more and more incongruous, and she shook her head at the irony. What were those people thinking when they named him?
Jon lay sprawled on the sand, Midget on top of his chest like a champion wrestler awaiting the buzzer. Kendall burst into laughter when he asked for help. “You’re the one who started it! You shouldn’t start something you can’t finish.” She reached for Midget’s leash and Jon grabbed her by the wrist, yanking her down next to him on the sand. She squealed as she fell, and in a flash Midget was at her side to make sure she was okay, panting and licking her face with his hot puppy breath. “I’m fine,” she managed to tell the dog in between licks.
Jon was laughing now too. He rolled toward her, so close she could feel the warmth radiating from his body, in contrast to the cold sand beneath her. Midget stopped licking her face and raised his head like he’d heard a noise. He bounded over to the sand dunes where he disappeared into the tall seagrass.
“Midget!” Kendall pushed up on her elbows, not sure whether she should follow the dog.
“He won’t go far.” Jon reached over to brush the loose hair away from her eyes. “He’s already pretty attached to you.”
“Like I said before, I’m the one who feeds him.” A shiver ran through her where Jon’s fingers brushed her skin. She eased back onto the sand, Jon’s face shadowed in the darkness and barely visible. Overhead, shining pinpricks of stars pierced the inky blackness.
His steady breath warmed her skin, and she wondered what it was she’d been afraid of earlier. Her pulse quickened in response to his closeness—he’d had this effect on her since that first time they met. Kissing him had only increased the effect. She needed to taste his mouth again, right now. Lifting her head slightly to meet his mouth, she parted his lips with her tongue and kissed him slowly and deliberately.
Her mouth tasted like wine and curry, salt and something else, something uniquely Kendall. Jon’s heart pounded as she pushed against his chest with one hand, rolling him flat onto his back as she took control, exploring his mouth with her tongue, pausing to nip at his lower lip.
His mind raced. Didn’t she just tell him she wasn’t ready for this? If this was her feeling not ready, he couldn’t imagine what “ready” would feel like. Because this felt good. Too damn good. His pants grew tighter with every nip of her teeth against his bottom lip.
Between the sparkle of the stars on the water, the slight breeze off the ocean, and the cool, soft sand under him, Jon knew the situation couldn’t be more perfect. And yet…
Reluctantly, he untangled his lips from hers. She moved to nibble on his earlobe instead. “Kendall.” His whisper sounded hoarse. “I thought you said…”
She groaned. “I know, I know. I said I wanted to take it slow.” Her voice trailed off as she giggled. “But then, we’re here…in the starlight…” She licked her lips and smiled. “It just seemed like the thing to do.”
Want more? Grab a copy on AMAZON and get ready for beach season!