Read Wishful Kisses: A Fountain of Love Novella Online
Authors: Krista Lakes
Wishful Kisses: A Fountain of Love Novella
Published by Zirconia Publishing, Inc., 2014.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
WISHFUL KISSES: A FOUNTAIN OF LOVE NOVELLA
First edition. March 11, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 Krista Lakes.
Written by Krista Lakes.
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Thank you for reading "Wishful Kisses: A Fountain of Love Novella" by Krista Lakes
irds chirped outside my window, waking me in true princess fashion. Unfortunately for me, it meant they had interrupted a wonderful dream. Tony was in my dreams. My handsome, charming, and wonderful Tony. Recently, I had been dreaming of him almost nightly. I couldn’t seem to get him out of my mind. I stretched my hands over my head and groaned, wishing the birds would just shut up. There was no Prince Charming for me; there had been, but he was gone.
If looks could kill, those birds would be on a platter with gravy. Today was my day off. I had planned on sleeping in, but I had accidentally left the curtains open, just a sliver, and now the sunshine was directly in my face. Add in the noisy birds, and there was no way I was going to be able to fall back asleep. With another groan, I threw back the covers and sat on the edge of the bed.
My knees creaked as I stood up. Getting old was hard. The wood floor was cold on my bare feet as I shuffled through my studio apartment to the kitchen. I loved this place. I was successful enough to be able to afford a beautiful apartment just outside of LA. It was a big open space with hardwood floors and giant windows that let in the golden California sunshine. Once in the kitchen, I pulled out a coffee mug and went to start the coffee pot.
"Damn," I swore at the mostly empty bag of coffee. "Figures."
It was an accurate metaphor for my life. Great coffee pot, mug ready, ready for coffee, but the Joe was gone. The pot and the mug didn’t matter much when there was nothing to fill them.
My metaphorical coffee was Tony, and despite the fact that he had been gone for almost twenty years, I still wanted him. I had tried my best to forget him and move on; I had dated, even got engaged, but things never seemed to work out. The dates went stale, the men stopped calling back, and even my one-time fiance called it off. Despite my best efforts, I had never found another man like Tony. At this point in my life, I was pretty sure I never would. I had resigned myself to being the lonely old cat lady. All I needed now were some cats.
I put my mug back in the cabinet. I could still salvage the day. There was a coffee shop down the street that made a killer latte. It wasn’t as convenient as a cup of coffee in my pajamas, but it would get the job done.
I exited the kitchen and headed for the closet, stopping on my way to look at my most recent painting project. In college, I had been renowned for my unorthodox pieces, but it was those pieces that had gotten me my internship in Hollywood. My painting had landed me a job in set design, and then I made my own artwork on the side. It was my dream job. I loved doing it and I was successful enough that I didn't have to worry about money.
The painting in front of me was full of abstract lines in warm browns and earth tones. Hints of green and gold shimmered on the edges, reminding me of sunlight flooding a wooded glen. I had been working on this particular piece for months. For some reason, I couldn't seem to perfect it. There was something missing in the colors to give it the life I wanted. I just couldn't put my finger on it.
I sighed and left the painting to go put on clothes. Yoga pants and a comfy shirt were almost as good as pajamas. On the counter by the door was the invitation to my friend Rachel's wedding. I still hadn't replied to it, but maybe that was what was causing me to dream of Tony. I left the RSVP sitting on the counter. It could wait another day. I locked the front door behind me and headed out into the warm sunshine.
June 5, 1990
he first time I saw him, my two roommates and I were sitting out on the beach, enjoying our well-deserved vacation. The three of us had just graduated from college and were "renting" my aunt's condo for the week. We were out on the beach pretending to read, but really we were people-watching.
Rachel had handed me the sunscreen and requested I keep her from burning. I was now drawing designs in the white goo by connecting freckles on Rachel's back. I loved finding patterns in things and drew every chance I got, even when putting sunscreen on my friend's back. There was a reason I had loved my time in art school.
"Are you painting her back?" Jenny asked, flipping her brown side-ponytail over her shoulder. She liked to tease me about my proclivity to make art on anything. I deserved it since I had "modified" our pancakes that morning to make them prettier. We had to go get breakfast at the local diner because pretty did not equal edible. She was never going to let me live it down.
"Just seeing a pattern in her freckles," I answered, tracing a perfect circle around her shoulder blade.
"You get me burned with one of your abstract designs, and I will put cockroaches under your pillow," Rachel threatened, looking back at me over her Ray-Ban sunglasses. I knew she was just teasing, but I quickly finished rubbing the rest of the sunscreen into her back.
"There, all done," I said, adjusting my hat on my head. Rachel grinned at me, her black hair gleaming in the sunlight. "You get any responses on those internships?" I asked Rachel as I took the sunscreen bottle and put a little bit more on my arms. I had the type of skin that burned just by me thinking about sunshine.
"I talked to my aunt last night, and there haven't been any phone calls," she said, trying to hide her disappointment. "She checked our mail, but all we have is an electric bill."
"You'll hear something soon," Jenny promised. "Your stuff is good. You know I wouldn't be able to get dressed without you half the time."
I snickered quietly. Jenny loved anything that had color and didn't seem to understand that striped tiger pants and a neon yellow tank-top shouldn't be paired together.
"Well, at least I've still got my job at Charlie's," Rachel replied. She was trying her best to sound upbeat, but I knew she was having a hard time. Not having an internship or any job prospects while Jenny and I had gotten our dream jobs was hard on her.
I smiled gently at her and tried to go back to my book, but I was distracted. Three men were standing at the water's edge, one of them dripping from his swim trunks. They were each different and yet still delicious. There was the wet man with dark hair, a blonde man with muscles that looked like he could throw a horse, and then one with a delectable tan, dark hair and a tattoo. An eagle spread across his perfectly muscled shoulder, something caught in its talons as it screamed in defiance.
I realized all three of them had the same tattoo, but it was the one I noticed first that had my attention. Tall, with dark hair and perfectly tanned skin, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He was a living, breathing version of my ideal man. I was about to get up and introduce myself, but the three men walked away. I could see Jenny's eyes following them, and I knew she would want to go out looking for them tonight. For once, I was glad she was such a flirt. I needed to find him.
he bar was called
The Pirate's Revenge
, and it was the biggest bar in town. If I was going to find that man, it would be here. I had dressed in my favorite acid-washed jeans with a form-fitting neon green top. I knew I looked good since my top contrasted nicely with my blonde hair and brought out the green of my eyes.
When we stepped inside, I saw him almost immediately. The three men from the beach were leaning against the bar, talking and laughing. The one I had seen earlier was wearing a bright red shirt and jeans that hugged his perfect ass. I could feel myself heating up just looking at him.
Jenny, ever the bold one, sidled up to the bar, wedging herself between a bar stool and the dark-haired man who had been swimming. "Hey, Soldier."
I cringed a little inwardly. She was too audacious for her own good. The dark-haired man looked her up and down, but my eyes were on Redshirt.
"Hey, yourself," the dark-haired man answered. He set down his drink.
"Can I buy you a drink?" Jenny asked. I wondered how she could be so brazen, but guys always seemed to like her. I was way too shy to ever do what she did.
"Of course." The man smiled. "Whiskeys all around, then."
"I'll take one too," Rachel chimed in. The light in her eyes was focused entirely on the dark-haired man. I hoped she and Jenny weren't going to fight over him.
"What are we toasting to?" the blonde asked, raising his glass.
"To meeting new friends," Jenny shouted and downed her drink. I looked at my shot of whiskey and tried my best not to gag too much as I shot the burning liquid into my stomach.
"I'm Jenny. This is Rachel, and that's Kimberly." Jenny nodded at each of us.
"I'm Dean," the dark-haired man said, smiling at Rachel.
"I'm Matt," the blonde spoke up, "And this here's Anthony."
Anthony. I even loved his name.
"Call me Tony," he said. Our eyes met, and he smiled. His eyes were brown and warm, like hot chocolate and sunshine. There was a charm to his smile that drew me in and made me never want to leave him.
Jenny continued to flirt with Dean and Matt, but I only had eyes for Tony. Tony held out his hand, and I took it, following him to a booth. I didn't care what Jenny, Rachel, or the other two men were doing. I would have run off into the sunset with Tony in an instant.
"Kimberly, right?" he asked as we sat down. I nodded. "I've always liked that name. Was it you I saw earlier on the beach? With the hat?"
I nodded again. "I didn't think you had seen me."
"How could I have missed the prettiest girl on the beach?" He sipped on his drink, pretending that he hadn't just given me a compliment. I felt my cheeks paint themselves with blush.
"Now I'm really glad I found you here tonight," I said honestly. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I had never felt this level of attraction to someone so early on. I could barely believe how much I already loved just looking at him. How much I wanted him to touch me. How much I wanted him. It was intoxicating and almost frightening.
"I actually only came because I thought you might be here. I'm not usually big on bars," he admitted.
I laughed. "Me neither. I'm not really a big partier."
"You want to get out of here?" he asked suddenly. He raised his eyebrows, inclining his head toward the door. I would have followed him anywhere, and the idea both excited and scared me a little. Jenny was always accusing me of being too trusting, but I couldn't help it with Tony. It was like I had found a piece of myself I hadn't even known was missing until he spoke to me. Now I couldn't imagine not at least following him out of the bar.
"Yeah. Let's get out of here," I said with a grin. I looked over to see Jenny hanging on Matt while Dean and Rachel flirted at the bar. I didn't even care if the other girls saw me leave with him. Tony's face lit up. It had been less than two minutes, and I already felt like I was head over heels in love.
We stepped out into the humid darkness, our ears still ringing from the music in the bar. Everything sounded muffled. Tony shook his head as if he were trying to rattle his hearing loose, and pointed toward the beach.
"You want to walk on the beach?"
I nodded and we headed in the direction of the water. We walked side by side, our hands almost brushing but not quite. Every time they came close, I could feel electricity prickle my skin. I wanted to touch him so badly it almost hurt. I didn't want to appear too forward and scare him off, so I just let my hand hang to my side, waiting for our fingers to brush one another.
The night was beautiful. I couldn't have imagined a more romantic setting if I had tried. Moonlight glinted off the waves, turning each ripple into a magic mirror of the sky. A warm breeze ruffled my hair and filled the air with the smell of saltwater. Throw in the most handsome man I had ever met walking beside me, and I was fairly sure I was dreaming.
We stepped onto the sand, and I took my shoes off, carrying them in the hand that wasn’t close to Tony. The tide was going out, leaving us a space to walk. The warm, dry sand changed to cool firmness as we moved closer to the waves.