October is going to be a lot about love~~ starting with today, and first loves. I have to share this one- a first kiss from Tidal Wave. Not sure if it’s love from now, but it certainly sets the stage for love later in the story.
Slippery when wet…
Forces of Nature, Book 1
From her first kiss to her first sight of dolphins dancing on the waves, Alexia Colten has always held a special place in her heart for Jaffrey’s Cove. Now that she’s back to help her grandmother settle into a home, she discovers this place has lost none of its remembered magic. In fact, it seems more magical than before—and more erotic.
After she’s gifted with a beautiful, dolphin-etched medallion, she finds herself surrounded by the golden boys of summers past. Her body is filled with longings she can’t explain and dreams of blue lights that turn into lovers.
Joshua Marley and his cousin Anthony are merfolk, a people capable of living beneath the waves as either dolphin or human. Alexia holds the medallion that marks her as the next in line to lead their people—if she can prove she can transform. Working in tandem, they’re sure they can arouse her passion and protect her from those who would use her simply to gain power.
But their strength alone may not be enough to help her face the challenge of her new position…
Warning: This title contains a conniving granny, naked men in the surf and shifters who take fun in the water to new depths. Snorkels not required.
A shadow fell over her as she knelt in the sand, finishing the moat.
“It’s a beautiful castle.”
She glanced up at the unknown youth and froze. He must be there with the reunion, but he wasn’t one of the safe little children she’d spent the afternoon with. He looked like one of the top ten boy-band singers, blond and all-American. Tanned skin and bright surfer shorts completed the picture. He loomed over her and Alexia sputtered for a minute as she tried to find her tongue.
“Thanks.” She checked around for anyone nearby to hide behind. She wasn’t shy. Much. This good-looking fellow made her hot and cold at the same time, and she wished some of the seven-year-olds would return so she’d have a chaperone.
He sat next to her, blocking her path of escape. There was no retreat without destroying the castle. She was suddenly conscious of her old swimsuit. The tightness, the worn patches.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” he asked, staring over the water.
She nodded before she realized he couldn’t see the motion. “Got here last Saturday.”
He turned brilliant green eyes on her and she hurried to grasp some more shells and place them on the castle. If she didn’t have to look at him she’d be okay. Maybe.
“You having fun on your holiday?”
His voice was quiet and she had to listen hard to understand him over the crash of the surf behind them. “It’s been great. I’ve never made a sandcastle before.”
He gave a startled gasp and she swung toward him. His jaw hung open. “Never made a…really? Where do you live?”
“Saskatoon. It’s in the central part of Canada.”
His eyes grew thoughtful for a moment before he laughed. “I guess you don’t have a lot of ocean in the prairies.”
She shook her head and resumed building.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
He held out a hand. “Joshua.”
They shook hands. Alexia cringed as her sandy fingers touched his clean ones and rubbed grit together.
“Alexia, would you do me a favor?”
She sat back on her heels. She knew her face was beet red and she hoped it would just look like she’d had too much sun. Talking to boys was so hard.
Joshua pointed toward the water and Alexia noticed a gaggle of other boys grouped together, all watching closely. “My brothers and cousins.”
She waited. Joshua was the one fidgeting now. She checked his ears and they were either burned to a crisp or he was blushing harder than she was. She understood about being embarrassed. “What’s wrong? What can I help with?” Alexia glanced cautiously toward the boys. “Wait, you said they’re your family. All of them?”
Joshua gave her a wry smile. “I’m the youngest of five and I’ve got seven more cousins. And yup, it sucks big time.”
Alexia laughed and he smiled, like there was finally a common bond between them. She screwed up her courage. “What do you need help with?”
He mumbled something too low for her to hear, his face turning even redder. He met her eyes and must have seen her confusion. He took a big breath and let it out in a slow, uneasy stream before speaking louder. “Can I give you a kiss?”
She collapsed onto the sand as her legs gave way in surprise. “What?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude and I know it’s strange for me to pop up and ask something like that when I don’t even know you and I can understand if you say no but…” His gaze swung back to the boys who whispered behind their hands and slapped each other on the backs. Joshua squared his shoulders and looked Alexia straight in the eye. “They’ve been teasing me about being the baby of the family and one of them said I’d never even kissed a girl and before I knew it, they were daring me to kiss someone on the beach and they don’t think I will and…” He shook his head. “Man, it sucks to be the youngest.”
Alexia felt for him, even as blood rushed through her and made her squirm. She heard one of the brothers give a catcall and suddenly her embarrassment turned to anger. She knew what it felt like to be teased, and she wasn’t going to let the fact he was gorgeous stop her from fixing his jerks of brothers. She crawled to her knees and faced him.
Joshua stared at her, then his eyes widened. “You mean it?”
She nodded slowly. “Just a quick kiss, right? Nothing else?”
He shook his head in denial so fast she smiled. He cleared his throat a few times before holding out his hand to her again. “You are a true friend, and if I can ever come to your rescue, I would be honored to repay the favor.” His grin went from ear to ear.
Alexia smirked back at him as they shook hands, conspirators together against the bullies of the world.
She closed her eyes. That was about the extent of her knowledge when it came to the kissing deal. She waited, barely breathing. His lips brushed hers, cool like an ocean breeze, before he pulled away quickly.
Alexia opened her eyes. Her cheeks were hot and flushed, but she was still there and hadn’t melted from embarrassment. The hooting and hollering faded away in the distance, and she turned to see the rest of the boys retreating down the beach.
What was she supposed to say? “You’re welcome. Will they leave you alone now?”
He nodded. “I know it seems silly to let them get to me, but they are family and I guess I figured…” He gave a wry smile. “Anyway, thanks for helping me. They’ll stop teasing me, for a while at least.”
He rose to his feet and Alexia stood too, feeling strange to remain kneeling at his feet. Joshua shyly passed her a shell. “Here, for your castle. Or to take home as a memento of the holiday.”
She dropped her eyes to see a perfect shell, the edges intact and the spiral tracing counterclockwise to a fine point. “Thank you, it’s beautiful.” Alexia lifted her gaze to his. She caught a glimpse of something in the water beyond his shoulders and sucked in air. “Look!”
Fins surfaced in the water near shore. Suddenly a smooth body rose into the air, somersaulted and dove back in nose first.
“You’ve never seen dolphins at play before?”
She shook her head, refusing to take her gaze off the beautiful creatures. “They are so amazing. Do they plan it in advance? Are they playing or is it something they do to hunt or—”
Joshua laughed as two of the creatures leapt into the air and passed each other at the height of the arc. “It’s just play. Dolphins don’t have much work to do and lots of time to play.”
They stood shoulder to shoulder and watched until he squeezed her hand. “I have to go. Thanks, and I hope to see you again.”
Alexia watched until he disappeared from sight before making her way back to Gram’s remote beachfront home. Walking the steep stairs up to the main house, she stopped again and again to admire the dolphins as they frolicked in the waves.
Her first kiss. How very strange.
For more first loves, visit the rest of the Snippet Saturday authors
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