Every year, as part of the build-up to Coastal Magic, I participate in a blog series on Literary Escapism called At the Beach. I write a short scene set (where else?) at the beach, featuring two or more of my existing characters.
I asked the Temptresses for input about who should have the starring roles this year. The response was varied . . . but I did choose one couple. I’ll share that when the post goes live on Literary Escapism.
But there was so much interest in some of the others . . . and because this year I have time for this kind of writing . . . so I decided to share some other At the Beach posts here, featuring different couples.
Today it’s Jake and Harper from the Career Soldier series. Enjoy!
“Hey, babe, did you remember the sunscreen?”
I stood just inside the bedroom of our rented condo and waited for Harper’s answer. From the kitchen, I heard a growl and a muttered curse. That was followed up shortly by my girlfriend stamping down the hallway toward me.
“No. No, I didn’t remember the sunscreen.” Her pretty face was flushed pink, and strands of blonde hair stuck to her cheek. “It’s packed up and probably somewhere between here and California, along with my favorite pair of panties and your sweatshirt.”
“Okay.” I could feel the waves of frustration rolling off my girl, but I ventured one hand out to touch her arm, anyway. Hey, I was a soldier, fearless in the face of danger. Mostly. “Harper, chill, babe. It’s not a big deal. We’ll run down to the drugstore and pick up some more sunscreen.”
“It’s not the sunscreen. It’s the principle of it.” Her chest heaved, and for a moment, I’ll admit it . . . I was distracted by the way her luscious tits bounced within the low-scooped bathing suit top. No one filled out a bikini like the woman I called my own.
“Uhhh . . .” I tried to focus on what she was saying. “The principle?”
“Yes, Jake, the principle of it. The sunscreen doesn’t matter. The panties and the sweatshirt don’t mean that much. But taken together, all of that means that I’m a failure when it comes to Army life.” She brushed furiously at her eyes, where I noticed suspicious moisture gathering.
“Whoa there, sweetheart. Take it down a notch. Why’re you getting so upset?” I threaded my fingers through hers, my heart swelling a little when I felt the warm gold ring on the third finger of her hand. I realized it made me a little bit of a caveman, but I fucking loved seeing my diamond on her hand, marking her as a taken woman. Marking her as mine.
Harper sagged into my arms, resting her forehead on my shoulder. “I’ve always been able to do anything I set my mind to do. I’m the best chef in three states. I’m strong. I’m capable of running a restaurant, managing a kitchen staff and taking care of myself. But apparently, when it comes to managing a simple cross-country move that Army wives seem to handle every two or three years with no problem, I’m utterly incompetent.”
“That’s just not true.” Nudging her chin up, I forced her to open her eyes and look at me. “Harper, you rocked this whole thing. You were there for the movers, and you made sure they packed the right stuff and didn’t pack shit like the trash can filled with garbage. You worked out all the details. You set up this week at the beach for us between checking out of Fort Lee and reporting to Fort Ord. You’re amazing, babe. Seriously.”
She blinked for a minute, sniffled and then took a deep breath before managing a smile. “I kind of am, aren’t I? I mean, when you look at it that way . . . and considering I’ve never done anything like this before . . . maybe forgetting sunscreen, one pair of underwear and a sweatshirt isn’t such a big deal. Right?”
“Abso-freakin’-lutely.” I framed her face with my hands and kissed her hard. “And since you are so amazing and spectacular and—did I mention that you’re also smokin’ hot and the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen?”
Her smile widened. “You didn’t mention it until now, but better late than never.”
“True. Anyway, I suggest that you and I take our incredibly hot and sexy selves down to the beach and lie in the sun for a little while . . . and then maybe cool off in the ocean together and do stuff that might scare the fish.”
One of her eyebrows cocked up. “That’s an intriguing idea, Captain Robinson. And I think it’s one I can definitely get behind.”
I smirked. “I figured I’d be behind you. I think it’ll work better that way. But we could definitely try some different positions, if you’re game.”
Harper pressed a kiss to the sensitive spot just under my jaw. “I’d think you’d know by now that I’m always game, baby.”
“You know . . .” I trailed my fingers down her spine to fasten my hand on her ass. “We could always skip the sun part and go right for the ocean.”
“We could do that. I’m already heated up enough to need a swim.”
Nuzzling her neck, I murmured into her ear. “See? I told you that you’ve got this Army thing down. You’re adaptable and ready to roll with anything. That’s the only real requirement for this life.”
“Rolling with it is practically my middle name. Now let’s hit the beach before I decide to just drag you into the bedroom.”
I slid my sunglasses over my eyes. “Beach now, bedroom later.”
She laughed. “Love the way your mind works, baby.” She tugged on my hand. “But even more than that, I love the way your body works.”
Who could argue with logic like that?