Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day Greetings!

            Julia sniffed. “I am impressed you can recite poetry, Washburn. Rather like a counting pig at the fair. One watches in amazement, wondering how an animal can do that.”
            “Now that hurts! I can say pretty things, too.”
            He crossed to where she stood beside the bed, and took her hand in his. His touch was warm, and she gave an involuntary shiver having nothing to do with the night air.
            He stroked the ball of her hand with his thumb, soothing over the nicks and calluses raised by the chores of daily farm work. He took his other hand and lifted her chin, looking deep into her eyes.
            “Y’know how when you whack the woodpile, and all them big ol’ palmetto bugs come scamperin’ out? Your eyes are just as brown and shiny as a palmetto bug runnin’ in the sunlight, darlin’.”
            Julia made a strangled noise and pulled back on her hand, but Washburn was holding it tight, a smile dancing in his eyes despite the soulful tone of his words.
            “It is clear that pretty words are not your forte, Washburn. Best you stick to smuggling salt. And you can fetch your pallet after you let go of my hand.”
            “Aw, now I’m gettin’ warmed up. Let me think on it.”
            Washburn moved in closer, and still holding on to her hand, moved the other down her back until it rested on her backside. He began stroking her, a slow circular caress that seemed to facilitate his thinking if his furrowed brow was any indication.
            However, it was putting paid to her thought processes.
            “Your eyes are like pecans, Julia. Brandy brown, and like the nuts, you’re hard on the outside, but buttery on the inside. It’s a chore getting to that good stuff, but that’s part of the fun, workin’ your way past the shell to the rich meat. And when you crack a pecan and the nut comes out whole, have you ever noticed how it’s like two lips, plump and tasty and just waitin’ for the right someone’s mouth to enjoy all the pleasure trapped within?”
            A faint smile at that one. “Better, but not quite Byron.”
            “How ’bout this then?” He moved in even closer, and released her hand, running his finger along her eyebrow down to the outer corner of her eye, where he feathered it over the soft skin at her temple, a touch as light as a moth’s wing passing in the night. The hand behind her back pulled her in until she was standing between his legs, and could feel how seriously he was taking this wordplay.
            “Your eyes are the smoky bronze of coffee, rich and deep. It settles in your belly and warms you from the inside out. Hot, and able to get a man up in the mornin’, and keep him up all day. Without coffee, the day is dull, flat, lifeless. But with that first taste of the stimulatin’ brew, you know you can face anythin’. It makes your heart beat a little faster, and the colors all seem sharper, the air brighter.”
            Her mouth was dry as she swallowed. “Much better.”
            He angled his head toward her, his own lips a fraction from hers. “Jamaican rum,” he breathed against her mouth.
            She pulled back and looked at him, one eyebrow raised.
            “Your eyes are like Jamaican rum, darlin’, golden dark and potent. It goes down smooth but it has fire to it. A man has to be careful, too much can make him lose his head, drownin’ in honeyed dreams.”
            “Don’t lose your head,” she whispered.
            “Too late.”

--Smuggler's Bride


Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're celebrating with your sweetie or taking a day to pamper and love yourself (and that's very important), remember that love and the words of love come in all forms. You don't have to be a poet to say "I Love You", and sometimes the simplest sentiments are the most heartfelt.

And don't forget, an entertaining romance is a delightful gift any day of the year. Treat yourself or treat someone you love. Hint--they go well with chocolate.

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