In the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere, too—I don’t know), today is Father’s Day. My dad passed almost six years ago, at the ripe age of eighty seven, having lived a fantastic and satifying life. Still, not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. I’ll have some new adventure that I know he’d appreciate and want to tell him. I’ll read something and think about sending him a copy. It’s only an instant, before I remember he’s gone. The love that fills me is bittersweet.
He and I were always close. We shared many passions: for books and stories, especially tales of magic and mystery; for history; for railroads and the sea. I suspect I would not be a writer if not for his influence. His original songs and poems, recited long before I could read, sensitized me to the music in words. (Actually, he was also a musician who played half a dozen instruments.)
So my snog today is dedicated to him. The kiss comes from a short paranormal story up on website called “Last Dance”, one of the few sweet romance tales I’ve written. “Last Dance” is set in a location I strongly associate with my father, an old-time amusement park on the banks of a lake in New England. He took my siblings and me there once or twice, and the place made a lasting impression.
The park was a relic even then, when I was in my early teens. It’s undoubtedly gone now. In its heyday, though, crowds of summer revelers would arrive there by trolley, to ride the amusements and twirl the night away in the open air ballroom.
Somehow I found the place incredibly evocative. The shadows of those dancers haunted me, pulling me back to a simpler, sweeter time. Finally, I had to capture them in words.
"Please don't cry, Jen."
A male voice, full of warmth. A strong hand on her shoulder. Jen turned to the source, blinking to clear her vision. A young man stood beside her, dressed in a brown uniform she didn't recognize. His straight black hair was parted on the side. His even-featured face wore an expression of concern. Something tickled the back of her brain, some vague sense of familiarity.
"Do I know you?" she asked. She must look horrible, she realized, with her eyes swollen and her skin blotchy. She sniffled and stood straighter.
"Well, not exactly." His grin made him look more boyish. He had a cleft chin, she noticed, and dimples in his pale cheeks. "It's complicated." He laughed, and Jen discovered she couldn't help joining him.
"What do you mean, complicated?" she continued when her giggles subsided. Something about her companion made her feel totally at ease.
"I'll explain later," he said. He brought his hand out from behind his back. Between his thumb and forefinger he grasped the stem of a single red rose. "For you, lovely Jennifer. A token of my esteem."
How did he know her name? She took the blossom. Its heady perfume surrounded them. "Thank you. But if we've never met..." she began.
"I'm Daniel," he interrupted. "You can call me Dan." He leaned on the rail next to her, gazing out over the lake. "It's lovely here, isn't it? Even with the music, there's a quiet calm that's healing to the soul."
Jen didn't answer. It didn't feel necessary. On the opposite shore, the amusements twinkled like a faraway galaxy.
"In the old days, there was a dance pavilion here on the point. On summer nights like this it would be crowded with couples of all ages, from seventeen to seventy. The trolleys brought us here from town. The whole place was strung with lights. It was a fairy land."
Daniel took her hand. It felt so natural that she scarcely noticed. She was caught up in the picture he was painting of a happier past.
"The orchestra played from dusk until midnight. Admission was a nickel. Over there"—he pointed toward a clump of trees to their left—"they sold refreshments: sweet corn, lemonade and shaved ice with syrup..."
"The night we met," he said, slipping his arm around her shoulder, "I bought you a raspberry ice. It made your lips purple. I just had to kiss you..."
Just like that, he did. His mouth was gentle but Jen still felt the passion as he pressed his body against hers. Strange electricity sparked between them. He kept his mouth closed. Wanting more, wanting to taste him, Jen teased the seam where the lips met. He relaxed and allowed her to entangle their tongues. Pulling her to his chest, he ran his hands down her back to her waist. Her nipples peaked under her thin dress. She rubbed them against the odd, rough-woven fabric of his shirt. Between her thighs she began to melt.
The kiss made her dizzy. Perhaps she wasn't getting enough oxygen. The world spun around them, but there was no chance of her falling. Daniel held her, strong and secure.
You can read the full story on my website: http://www.lisabetsarai.com/lastdance.html
Let me know what you think!
Let me know what you think!
And when you’re done, don’t forget to visit Sunday Snog Central, hosted by Victoria Bliss, for more delicious kisses.