I’ve got a double- first kiss in the book, first kiss ever for hero and heroine. It’s a flashback to their teens. So it’s a sweet excerpt this time.
From Tidal Wave
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.
Tidal Wave releases July 21st from Samhain Publishing
And now…for a whole lot more kissing, follow the links and have fun!
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