Lick Me (Must Love Dogs) by KC Kendricks

 

A short, sweet (and sexy) vignette of lovers reuniting... 


Jordan Kendall ran away from his mistakes and the man he loves. Riddled with self-doubt he knows the only way to slay the twin demons of his shame and embarrassment is to return home to face Preston and try to mend fences. If Preston forgives him, Jordan can forgive himself.

Second-guessing his decision to allow Jordan to leave is a daily pastime for Preston Townes. When Jordan comes home to his sister’s house, Preston knows it’s now or never to see if they can pull their relationship back together. With a little help from some four-footed friends Preston gets the opening he needs to show Jordan the past is forgotten, and their spark is stronger than ever. 

INTRO 

New York City

Oh, if only. Who hasn’t looked wistfully upon the past and uttered those words? I’d certainly done it often enough in the last year. “If only” was my favorite bed partner. 

Lady Fate had smiled on me. I was about to get the chance to rectify the biggest “if only” in my life. The one that began with “if only” and ended with “I hadn’t been such a fool.”

I had been a fool, an idiot, and an ass all rolled into a single stupid moment when I’d ruined the best thing that had ever happened to me. I’d lost a good man and a lot of self-respect in one fell swoop. I’d turned coward and ran, stopping only when I’d run out of ground in New York City. The Atlantic Ocean was too wide to swim and I had no money for passage on a big ship. 

That was almost a year ago and now I prayed redemption was at hand. My sister had driven all the way to my dingy lower Manhattan apartment and asked me to come live with her again in the family home. I closed my eyes against the myriad memories of the last night I slept under her roof. 

I wanted to say “yes.” I needed to get back to Pittsburgh and the life I’d run away from. I knew my former boss would give me my purchasing specialist job back – he kept in touch via email. My sister and I were alone in the world and she needed me as much as I needed her. 

Come for a week, she’d begged, and see how it goes. She needed someone to stay at the house and care for her two dogs while she went on a business jaunt. She wanted it to be me. I wanted to do it. The house had belonged to our parents and it was home to both of us, but I had to ask a question. 

Did Preston still live across the road? 

She said he did. 

I agreed. 


EXCERPT

Preston crossed the back porch and eased into a chair at the table. I sat across from him, wishing I’d left the kitchen light on. If I had, the light would spill through the window to illuminate where we sat and I could look into his eyes. 

“Maura told me you called her precious pups Frick and Frack.” 

I heard the humor in his voice. He’d always laughed so freely, and I was relieved his sense of humor was intact. I hung my head in mock shame. 

“I’ll never do it again, I assure you. Can I get you something to drink while they play?”

Preston’s slight pause was somehow at odds with his words. “Another time. I can’t stay long. Tomorrow’s a workday for some of us.”

“Hey, I’m entitled to a vacation, you know.” I immediately wanted the words back. My cynical attitude about going on a four-day weekend with him had sparked an argument that led to so many unpleasant things.

“Yes, Jordan, you are and I’m glad to see you’re actually taking one.” He took a deep breath and sighed. “I should be going.”

My thoughts blanked. I couldn’t let him walk away. I needed him.

I reached out and laid my hand over his. I’d already proven myself a fool. How much worse could it get?

“Please, Pres. Stay a little while longer.”

Preston shifted in his seat. His face caught the moonlight and turned his deep-set orbs to silver. He closed his eyes leaving me to stare in forgotten wonder at how his long, sooty lashes were so dark against his pale skin. He opened his eyes and looked at me and then down at our hands. “What do you want, Jordan?”

“To say how very sorry I am. I hurt you. I acted like an ass. I’ve wished every day I could go back and make it right.”

He fisted his hand beneath mine, but I refused to pull away. He raised his gaze and I saw the flash of temper in his eyes. 

“Is that really why you came this week? Guess what? We can’t go back.” He paused and shook his head. “God, how can I figure out anything when all I can think about is fucking you again?”

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LICK ME (MUST LOVE DOGS)

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KC Kendricks

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