That First Kiss
Since it’s already January 20th, we’re rapidly approaching the month of February. Which means that magical day is almost here again. You know the one, that day reserved for all things romantic. February 14th. Valentine’s Day.
The various short stories in The Wild Rose Press’s new Candy Hearts Series all revolve in one way or another around Valentine’s Day and those eternally famous candy hearts that for many decades have featured a variety of sayings that deal with love. All of the books have a fun, flirty, romantic tone, including (I hope) “Adore Me,” the title I contributed to the series.
I know that Angela, whose contribution—“Got Love?”—will have its release on February 3rd, is graciously showcasing the books and their authors on her blog during the months of January and February, and I thank her for letting me visit today so that I can describe my personal experience with one specific part of the romantic journey.
So here it is. What’s the one thing we tend to focus on when we think of that cute little half-naked cherub with his miniature bow and arrow? I mean besides the yummy chocolate candy that 99.9% of us probably desire and receive, or the genuine golden, gem-encrusted jewelry that 99.9% of us probably desire and don't receive.
All right, it's basically a no-brainer. Love, of course.
Usually one of the major expressions of love in all its many wonderful permutations—parent-child, friend-to-friend, sexual—is the kiss.
But since Valentine’s Day is all about romantic love, I want to concentrate on the last kind. More specifically I'd like to talk about the first kiss.
At least my first kiss. It happened a long, long time ago, but who can ever
forget a first kiss? So do I still remember mine and the guy I shared it with? Ha! Do I ever.
His name was Lawrence, and we were classmates who also lived on the same block. It was February 14th, and he came up to me as I was on my way to the store and said he’d like to kiss me for Valentine’s Day because I was special and he liked me better than any other girl he knew. Well, what can a girl say to a request like that except “Go for it, Lawrence”?
I mean who doesn’t want to be special to a cute guy? So, of course, my answer was a resounding YES!
Okay, I admit my mom was there at the time, and before Lawrence kissed me, he said his mom told him he could do it if he asked permission first. But when you’re in fourth grade, you sort of expect your mothers to be hyper-vigilant.
Anyway, it was still my first kiss. Granted, if you’re nine years old, a kiss is usually just a small brushing of skin against skin, especially with mom there to keep an eagle eye on things. But no complaints. After all, it was definitely a certified, if tepid, kiss.
It was only later that day, after I’d met a few of the other girls in our class, that I learned he’d done the same thing to them. In fact, it seems Lawrence had made a complete circuit of the area targeting every girl he knew and giving her the same line. But, hey, it was still my first kiss
So, wherever you are today, Lawrence, I want you to know that I still remember you and fervently pray that your wife has managed to reign in those raging Romeo instincts of yours.
As a follow-up, I have to admit that the later kisses I shared with other men were considerably different. Mothers no longer had to give their permission or be in attendance, and by then I was pretty sure the man involved really meant it when he said I was special to him.
Since this is the release day of my Candy Hearts story, “Adore Me,” I’d like to share a little something about it. So here’s the blurb and a short excerpt that I hope everyone will enjoy.
First, her relationship with Vlad heats up to the sizzling point, then Meredith’s given the chance to snag a wealthy customer who could put her company’s bottom line permanently into the black. It seems like a dream come true, until the persistent hacker turns her “Divine Desserts” website into an X-rated marketplace, the wealthy customer demands a discontinued decorative item or else no sale, and her relationship with Vlad begins to unravel under the pressure of her obsession with professional success.
For a woman who deals with creating intricate wedding cakes and luscious muffins, life has suddenly become the ultimate recipe for disaster.
“After all the trouble I’ve had with my office computer, I decided to check my company site several times a day. As of four-thirty this afternoon, everything was fine, so it hasn’t been long.” Meredith sighed. Just long enough to turn her business into an X-rated paradise for horny consumers.
“Message just came in for you,” Vlad said, and she stopped pacing and went back to the desk, silently praying it wasn’t like the twenty-seven other messages she’d received in the past fifty-two minutes.
As she leaned over his shoulder, she tapped the message tab, stared at the screen, and couldn’t restrain herself when she read the thing. Angry, frustrated, and seriously at the end of her rope, she gave a growl and stabbed her finger at the message.
“I just got another order, this one for two sets of edible underwear in chocolate mint and two sets in blueberry. That’s twenty-eight orders in less than an hour. I never did this good selling desserts.”
She swung away from the computer and went back to her pacing. “I can’t deal with any more of this today. I’ll contact those people in the morning and return their money.”
“Okay, did it,” Vlad said, pushing his chair away from the desk and turning to her. “You no longer sell X-rated sex toys.”
Meredith sank into a chair. “Thank God. If my parents ever saw that, they’d disown me.”
“Actually, I’m a little sorry to see that site go. Some of those toys looked sort of interesting. I mean what’s not to like about frosted condoms?”
She narrowed her eyes at him, trying to look forbidding even though she was feeling much too relieved to be angry. With Vlad on her side, her sense of helplessness was gone and she could even appreciate the crazy, if sick, humor of the situation.
“Interesting?” she said as she took a handful of rubber bands from a bowl on the desk and tossed them at him. “Now you’re really in for it, buddy.”
Vlad ducked and pushed to his feet, coming at her in a crouch. “I’m in for it? Think again, and then tell me who’s in for it.”
Laughing, Meredith sprang from her chair and ran, but he caught her at the door and swung her into his arms.
“Think you’re going to get what you want, eh?” she said, pushing at his chest.
She kicked her feet, and her shoes went flying. But they both knew her resistance was a sham.
He bounced her a little in his arms to get a firmer hold and began walking.
“I think we’re both going to get what I want,” he said, flashing a victorious grin. “And from the feel of things what you want too.”
BUY LINKS FOR “ADORE ME”:
Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble:
And here’s a little info about me.
I was born in a big city and grew up amid pavements, pigeons, and the near-constant clamor of bumper-to-bumper traffic and testy pedestrians. In acknowledging my brick-and-asphalt background, my college roommate, who hailed from a small town filled with lush greenery, once actually said, "When did you see your first real tree and did you know what you were looking at?" She later insisted it was a joke, but since she seemed dead serious at the time, I still have my doubts.
A writer and researcher, who has dealt with subjects as diverse as international organizations, multiple sclerosis, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and the Soviet Union (when there still was a Soviet Union), I enjoy taking long walks, visiting the Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Etruscan and dinosaur exhibits in museums, doing sudoku (but only the easy ones) and concocting stories about everyday people who laugh a lot, cry a little and ultimately find the happily-ever-after they deserve.
At the moment, I still live in a big city, but now thanks to the diligence of the local Parks Department, I can always recognize a real tree when I see one.
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Again, Angela, thanks so much for letting me visit you today and for being such a gracious host.