Excerpt from Sunshine and Shadows

     When she sensed a lessening of intensity, she made a soft sound somewhere in her throat and realigned her head to make it more comfortable for him, and his lips renewed their quest, his tongue seeking more, more, until she opened her mouth and clung to him in unabashed passion.
     He was the one who ended it, pulling away and staring at her in the moonlight, his breathing rough. She closed her eyes, willing her heart to stop leaping about inside her rib cage.
     "I didn't know anyone could kiss like that," he said in clear bewilderment, which helped bring her back down to earth.
     "I didn't, either," she whispered.
     "That was—"
     "Was what?" she asked.
     "Wonderful," he said, his hands on her shoulders positioning her so that her face rested against his chest. He hadn't expected it to feel so right.
     "Are you cold?" he asked when he felt a little tremor run through her.
     "Warmer now," she murmured, her voice muffled by his shirt.
     He pulled away. "We should have brought jackets. And, maybe, a blanket."
     "I'm comfortable," she said.
     "I feel like a crazy kid, kissing you on the beach out here in front of strolling senior citizens and tourists and skateboarders," he said. He struggled to control his voice so that it wouldn't tremble.
     "I feel like—" she said, but she stopped.
     "Feel like what?" he asked.
     "Like doing it again," she said, sounding more helpless than he felt, and he laughed and pulled her close.
     "In that case, we will," he said, and this time he spent more time at it, reveling in the softness of her lips, the sweetness of her breath, the delight he felt at indulging himself in something that was pure perfection.
     Up on the bike path the teenage skateboarders whooped as they rolled past, their wheels noisy on the asphalt path.
     "Are you ready to go?" Jay asked.
     "Perhaps we should," she said, not sure if she meant it. She wished the skateboarders would leave.
     Don't analyze this too much, Lisa warned herself. Even though she knew that he now realized the impact of the attraction between them, he might not feel any real emotion for her. She couldn't dare to hope for love, didn't dare even to think the word, even though she had known in her heart from that first day that she could easily love this man and perhaps already did.
     At Jay's place, Lisa followed Jay into the kitchen and sat on a stool to watch as Jay piled turkey on thick slabs of pumpernickel bread.
     "Did you roast the turkey yourself?" she asked.
     "Yes. It's one of the few things I eat that doesn't come already cooked out of a zip-open bag at the supermarket," he admitted. "Mustard or mayonnaise?"
     "Mayonnaise, please," she said.
     "Mustard for me," he said, applying it with a heavy hand.
     The sandwich was good, but it was Jay who was the real treat. She liked sitting across from him, liked the way he seemed to enjoy watching her. She found herself growing more animated as they sat and talked. Sometimes his eyes flickered with appreciation at something she said, and she fought the impulse to become reckless with wit, to laugh louder, to toss her head, bat her eyelashes—anything to impress him.
     But that would be a mistake. He was impressed. She was flattered. And the attraction between them was magnetic.
     After dinner, Jay turned out the overhead light, leaving their faces illuminated only by the hood light over the stove. She held her breath and felt her heart fluttering in her chest. Almost ceremoniously he put his arms around her and kissed her.
     "You're a girl who really knows how to kiss," he said after a few minutes. "You must have had lots of practice."
     "Not with the right person."
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