Choosing a favorite scene from Love Burns is difficult, but their fishing lesson is one of my favorites:
“Grip the rod in your right hand.” He turned the long rod so the reel hung below and adjusted her grip. “Get the base of the reel between your middle and ring fingers and grip firm. How’s that feel?”
Her grip felt strange, but more balanced. “Good. This reel is different from yesterday.”
“That was just a spincaster. Good for the kids. You’ll like this spinning reel better.” He nudged her, sliding a slow hand over her hip. “Move that foot a little, there. Good.” He caressed her rear and let go. “Now, you want about six inches of line there free between the tip and the lure. Then, pinch the line between your finger and rod.” He adjusted her index finger. “There. Nice and firm. That keeps the line from moving when you open the bail. You’ll flip open the bail with your left hand. Ready?”
“Ready as I get.”
“We’re going to cast overhand first. After we get this way down, I’ll show you sidearm. Keep that finger tight on the line, and you’ll cock the rod back over your right shoulder, so the reel’s kinda pointed up.” He skimmed callused fingertips over her, and drew her into the gentle cage of his arms and hands, his chest brushing her back, sun-warmed bare skin meeting bare skin. “Like this.”
As he guided her through the move, needy heat swiftly turned resolve to be sensible to melted fudge, and focusing on his lesson and off pressing her body into his took effort. Oh, yes, how skillfully he’d used those hands yesterday…
“You’re ready to cast. Now, feel the motion. Most of it’s in the wrist and forearm.” His breath feathered over her cheek as he led her into bringing the rod back, their bodies swaying together. “You’re going to do that, but fast, and when you stop, here”—he paused with the rod pointing nearly vertical—“take your finger off the line and let her fly.”
Oh, she wanted to fly. She sighed, body softening into his as he reset their position.
“Ready to do it?”
Do…Oh, right. Casting, not…the other. Focus.
He patted her hip. “Livie?”
“For real this time. Here we go.” He slid his hands, easing her into position. A swift draw back of the rod, a swift flick forward and, at his “Now!” she released the line and the plug whizzed through the air to plunk into the water.
“Great job. Reel on in and try it on your own.” Teasing a kiss to her neck, he patted her rear, and stepped away.
Wanting to whimper at her heightened frustration, she frowned at the line spooling onto her reel. Well, he did ask if you wanted to go fishing.
The toughest parts of casting, overhand or sidearm, were pinching the line hard enough and letting go at the right time. However, with Dave’s cheerful coaching, she landed the plug where she intended more than she miscast. Even when she snarled the line, he helped her without criticism to untangle and rewind while he shared funny stories of past fishing mishaps.
Despite her frustrations, sharing this peaceful time together and seeing Dave at ease lightened her heart. After his opening up yesterday, she better understood his need for quiet and escape that seemed so at odds with his restless energy. She’d felt the strain snapping in him as he spoke of his family, and she ached for him and his losses. She had an uneasy sense he’d glossed over deeper troubles.
Casual touches and brushes of his hands kept her simmering in desire. Yesterday had been amazing, a defining learning moment for her that she would always treasure. She wanted that again: sex being what she’d always imagined. He’d cared about her comfort, her pleasure.
Yet, doubts slithered. Weeping all over him…so not sexy. Maybe yesterday was just a fluke. Maybe she was misinterpreting—
Stop. Just enjoy the day.
She frowned, reviewing how perhaps their morning interactions might seem to Dave. She’d passively enjoyed his every touch, but not once asked for more. How would he know what she wanted? Why couldn’t she let Dave know?
Curious, she deliberately bumbled her next cast. As before, Dave stepped right in, steadying her hand on the rod and repositioning her arm. However, this time, as he grazed his hands over her, she twisted around and pressed her body to his, halting against one very hard erection.
Make that a yes on his interest. With a sizzling blush, but very amused and excited at how easily she diverted his attention, she rose up on her toes, and nipped at his jaw, brushing her lips over warm skin and new stubble, drawing herself over the solid length of him. If that wasn’t clear…
Dave groaned. “Do that again.”
Catching her free hand onto his hip, she rode up and nibbled more kisses to his jaw and throat as he tilted his head and arched his body into hers.
“Yes!” He ran his hands over her back, fingers hard and searching over her bare skin. “Damn, sweetheart, what you do to me.” On a ragged draw of breath, he plucked the fishing rod from her hand and dropped it aside on the beach chair. “Fishing lesson’s over.”
Then his mouth crushed down on hers, and he gripped her rear, drawing her closer than close, a greedy, hungry kiss, the kiss she’d been craving all morning.
Come fall in love at the river!
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Come fall in love at the river! Get your copy today at:
Photo: Morning at Lake Mohave, © by Babette James