At the beach with Vivian and Charlie

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 Vivian and Charlie from FIFTY FROGS. Enjoy!


“I’ve never seen a more beautiful sunrise.”

In front of me, the ocean was calm as the sun painted streaks of pink and orange over the sparkling blue. Next to me, Vivian yawned and rested her head on my shoulder.

“If I agree with you, can we go back to the bed and breakfast and sleep some more?”

Smirking, I turned my face toward hers and brushed a kiss over her forehead. “This is romantic, baby. This is what chicks dig.”

“Hmmm.” She burrowed into the crook of my neck. “I prefer my romance a little later in the day. Maybe around lunchtime. This chick digs her shut-eye.”

“That’s not exactly a shock to me. But it would’ve been a shame to come to the beach and miss this show.” I pointed to the sky. “And call me a sap, but I don’t want to miss a minute of our anniversary celebration.”

“Now you’re making me feel like I’m an old cynic. I’m excited to be here, too. This was a wonderful idea you had.” Vivian slid one hand around my back and snuggled closer. “Coming back to Crystal Cove a year after our first visit was the perfect surprise. I love it, and I love you.” She leveraged herself up and kissed my cheek. “And I’d love to get off this damp sand, take you back to bed and show you how much I love you.”

I snorted. “Let’s be real here. If we go back to bed, you’re going to fall asleep before I can strip off my clothes and join you.”

She considered for a moment. “You might be right, but once I wake up for real, in about three hours, I promise, I’m going to be on fire for your hot bod and rarin’ to go. And there we’ll be, already in bed and ready to . . . you know. Get it on.”

“If we go back to sleep, though, we’ll miss breakfast. And you know how much you enjoyed the food at the Hawthorne House last year.”

“That was one of the high points,” she admitted. “Not the only one, of course. But this time, we’re here for three days, so if I sleep through breakfast today, I can always make sure to be up for it tomorrow and the next day. Right?”

The woman had a way of turning every argument in her favor. I had to admire that. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” My voice must’ve sounded a little glum, because Vivian frowned up at me.

“I’m a failure as an appreciative girlfriend, aren’t I? Here you arrange this amazing getaway to mark our first year together, and I’m being all grumpy and grouchy, wanting to go back to bed. I’m sorry, babe. We can sit out here and admire your sunrise for as long as you like.”

I smiled. “The nice thing about sunrises is that there’s a new one every morning, and I plan to have decades worth of sunrises with you. If we go back to bed now, we can always catch another one another time.”

She didn’t look convinced. “Are you wishing that you’d never helped to rescue that turtle . . . that you never met me, and that you’d ended up with a woman whose capacity for romance matched yours? Are you second-guessing choosing me?”

“Never.” I wrapped both of my arms around her and pulled her body into my lap. “I have no regrets, and I never will. I love every piece of you–the romantic parts, the practical parts, the sleepy parts and the sexy parts.” Pressing my lips into her neck, I growled. “Especially the sexy parts.”

Vivian leaned back into me, a little hum of desire escaping her mouth. “You know, I’m pretty wide awake now. I think if we go back to bed, I could show you how much I love your romantic side . . . and still make it downstairs for breakfast.”

Standing, I lifted her into my arms as she gave a little shriek of surprise, startling the sandpipers that were darting around us. “Sweetheart, when it comes to romance . . . you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

She fluttered her eyelids up at me. “Show me what you got, big boy.”

“Gladly.” I turned and headed back to the bed and breakfast, where I spent the next two hours making sure that my girl had no doubts about the appeal of romance . . . or my love for her.

You can read Vivian and Charlie’s story here in FIFTY FROGS.

Peace, love and romance~

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