Read Forever Lovers Online

Authors: Suellen Smith

Tags: #romance, #action, #dogs, #country, #military, #western, #cowboy

Forever Lovers (3 page)

Lily just began to realize just how rough the
waves had gotten. If she hadn't been so distraught and worried, she
might have noticed just how dark and dangerous it had become as
well. She was about to turn around and go back to the beach when
this mammoth foaming wave just came out of nowhere and swallowed
her up like some giant whale. She felt herself being pulled and
tugged under the surface even though she was struggling to go
skyward. She fought and kicked viciously, but to no avail. She
tried not to panic, but at that moment she just knew for sure that
she was going to Davy Jones Locker, exactly like Quinn said she
would if she didn't use good judgment. Just as the last bit of her
strength was about to give out, a familiar pair of very strong and
powerful arms encircled her waist and plucked her from the ocean
floor. He began to drag her upwards towards the top where the gray
daylight of the hazy sun welcomed her with open arms.

Quinn could feel Lily beginning to go limp
about half way to the surface. Realizing that she was probably
about out of air, he put his lips on hers and gave her the last of
his air as he made a finally push to the surface. Lily greedily
sucked the oxygen from Quinn's lungs before he tore his mouth away
and broke from hers as he inhaled the wonderful air at the top.

Breaking the earth’s surface between water
and air, Quinn immediately headed for his surfboard that was being
tossed and thrown with each passing wave, towing a limp Lily along
with him. He shoved Lily aboard and crawled right behind her with
half of his body covering hers. He wrapped his arms securely around
her and the surfboard. Lacing them tightly together as one, Quinn
maneuvered their lifeboat over the choppy water toward shore with
the ease of a sailor in spite of the rough waters. As they glided
to safety, Quinn nuzzled Lily’s soft cheek with his day old
whiskers asking, “Are you all right?”

Lily didn't answer immediately. Quinn's
stomach sank to the bottom of the ocean for the second time in the
past few minutes.

Lily shook her head. Then, she began to
tremble. By the time Quinn got her on shore, she was shaking so
badly, he was afraid that she was going to go into hypothermia. He
immediately gathered her into his arms trying to provide some

“Jade!” Quinn shouted. She jumped to
attention like a firecracker had been lit under her, followed by
Jasmine. Both of them immediately knew something was wrong by the
tone of their brother's voice. “Bring your towels!” They came
running, surmising that Lily had gotten in water trouble. If his
little sister's hadn't been there, he would have wrapped them both
together as one with any available towels. As it was, he pried
Lily's hand from around his neck and began rapidly wrapping her up
like he was swaddling a small child.

Picking Lily up and with the twins still
hovering, he began to bark out orders. “Jade, run back to the house
and get a hot shower going for Lily. Jasmine, go make some of your
hot tea.” They both took off like jack rabbits with Quinn right
behind them.

Quinn was in the bathroom with Lily almost as
soon as the warm shower spray hit the walls. He stepped inside the
shower still holding a quivering Lily in spite of two beach towels
wrapped around her. He got under the hot shower with her, letting
the towels soak up the warmth. Knowing that she would warm quicker
without the towels, he started unwrapping his shaking package. As
soon as he did so, he held her back against him as they showered
together and he inhaled the smell of ripe strawberries. It was an
intimate feeling.

Quinn had just finished reminding himself
that Lily was only sixteen, when she suddenly turned in his arms
enveloping him around the waist as she began to sob into his wet
chest. Holding her, he started trying to calm her by rubbing
circulation in her arms and over her back, hoping to comfort her.
Suddenly, he was kissing her and she was kissing him back – like a
woman. It happened so quickly that no thought was given to the
mutual impulse. To this day, he wondered how far it would have gone
had it not been for Jade sticking her head inside the bathroom
saying, “How's she doing?” Fortunately, it was too steamy to tell
what had just happened.

“Fine,” Quinn croaked hoarsely, putting some
distance between them, realizing that they had both warmed up more
than necessary. “She needs to get out of her wet swimsuit,” he
shouted back over the sound of the shower beating against the wall.
“While you're helping her, have Jasmine get a warm cotton t-shirt
and flannel bottoms.” He stepped out of the showering sauna and
Jade stepped in as he left for his own bedroom.

What was he thinking?
! It was all he
could do not to strip Lily down himself. She just needed some
reassurance after a near death experience, not some prick putting
the make on her when she was so vulnerable – and young. The kiss
just seemed what she needed, he tried to convince himself. If

were being honest with himself, it was
exactly what he needed at the time as well. He was smart enough to
know that it might have ended so differently and he was extremely
grateful that it did not.

Quinn ran his hand through his wet hair. He
suddenly realized that he would have been just as devastated if
anything had happen to Lily, just like he would have if it had been
Jade of Jasmine. He, however, would never have kissed them like
that of course nor did he have any desire to do so. So, what had
changed with Lily? Not wanting to examine that thought too closely,
he stepped under the cold shower in his own room trying to put his
thoughts in prospective with some difficulty.

Later that evening, after Lily drank some
Jasmine tea and was sleeping quietly as though she were no longer
thinking about her ordeal, Quinn asked Jade and Jasmine the
question that had been eating at him since the accident, “Do either
of you know why Lily went into the rough waters today?” Jade and
Jasmine looked at each other communicating in silence like twins
often do. “Spit it out,” he ordered.

“Well,” Jade nibbled on her lower lip like
she was trying to figure out how to put into words what she was

Jasmine filled in and finished her sentence,
“We think she was worried.”

“About what?” Quinn asked puzzled.

“About you?” Jade finished for Jasmine.

Surprised, Quinn raised his eyebrows, “Why
would she be worried about me?”

“She hadn't seen you in the water for a
while. She asked us if we were concerned. We totally assured her
that you were fine,” both Jade and Jasmine shook their heads up and
down showing that they both agreed with that statement. Jade
shrugged, “I guess, she didn't want to take our word for it –
apparently, she found you.”

“Not exactly,” replied Quinn grimly.

“We didn't even know she was gone until you
started shouting at us.” Jasmine looked directly at him.

“It could have been serious, couldn't it?”
Jade added, twisting her hands.

“Yeah, but it wasn't. We were lucky – this
time. I just happened to catch a flash of red hair before she went
under a turbulent wave. I don't think she could have battled the
lethal water by herself.”

Quinn looked at his watch, “I think we should
all go to bed and think about the day and how we can make sure it
never happens to any of us again. By the way, I'll be sleeping in
Lily's room tonight.” It was a statement and not a question asking
for their approval. No one objected, they knew he'd do the same if
it had been either of them and they were comforted by his

Quinn turned out the lights. A subdued group
went to their own bedroom thinking about how the day turned out and
how it could have ended so differently. It wasn't a pleasant
thought to dwell upon.


Quinn went into Lily's bedroom and closed the
door softly. He stood over her bed and looked down at the sleeping
cherub with the mahogany curls that lay against the lacy blue
pillow case, which matched her sky blue eyes that were feathered
with a fringe of black spiky lashes. She looked like her head was
resting on an ice blue fluffy cloud. He reached out to touch one of
those corkscrew curls. On its own accord, it reached for his pinky
finger pulling him closer like the tempting snake in the Garden of
Eden, wending around his little finger and leading him where he
should not be going.

Suddenly, Quinn felt like he was being sucked
under the water with Lily again. Only this time, he was the one
devoid of oxygen and unable to breathe. He looked down at her
porcelain complexion, with her pink bow-like lips that began
beckoning to him. He began to remember how soft they felt under his
own – in the shower. He recalled how they had tempted him with no
longer that of a child, but those of a fully grown woman. His mind
began to lecture, reminding him that she wasn't a grownup, not yet,
but his body had thought differently when she had leaned into him
asking for something his good sense told him not to give.

Besides, Quinn knew
dad would cut
off his balls if he stepped over that boundary –
would probably hand over the knife. Quinn's hand drew back like it
had been struck by lightning reminding himself once again not to go
down that path at least until she was no longer a babe, but legally
an old woman or more. He promised himself that he would come back
for more of Lily then.

The windows were open on either side of
Lily's bed, letting in the cool ocean breeze of the Pacific where
Lily lay sleeping peacefully. It was as if she knew angels were
still standing guard over her as they had earlier today. Quinn
tried not to think how he might have been standing over her in the
morgue instead of over her in the bedroom. Rubbing the back of his
neck, he walked over to the sliding glass door off the balcony and
went outside. As he rested his elbows on the railing, he looked out
over the rippling waves with the moonlight twinkling down, thinking
how much fun he'd had growing up on the ocean. He'd surfed, swam,
boated, and fished in and under the massive water almost every day
of his life. In all that time, he'd never had a serious scare like
this, not for his sisters nor for himself. Today, was just a good
reminder to all of them, how lethal the ocean could be and that
caution needed to be taken at all times as you are rarely lucky
enough to get “do overs”.

The guest room of Lily's was sandwiched
between the twins. It used to be his room before he left home and
Mom had redecorated it. Fortunately, it had two wing back light
blue striped chairs on either side of the small fireplace that was
lit only in winter. He dragged the chairs together as far from
Lily's bed that the room would allow and stretched out his legs
with his laptop resting on them. He began sending an email to his
dad letting him know the events of the day. He would pass that
information onto Lily's parents. He knew he could expect an
interrogation by early tomorrow morning.

Quinn dozed in his chair. He woke up around
midnight to check on Lily thinking that he had heard her cry out.
She had kicked off the light blue satin coverlet and was all curled
up in a tight little ball like she was trying to crawl inside
herself. The only thing that peeked out from under the ball were
her tiny toes painted a bright “teeny bopper” pink. He smiled and
gently pulled the blue downy comforter over her, but she cried out
again reaching for him and seeking solace. He hesitated momentarily
as his heart did a double beat, but denied her not.

Against his better judgment, Quinn crawled in
bed with Lily. He knew it was a mistake the minute she wrapped her
arms around his waist and glued her chest to his. The feel of her
warm ample breasts squished up against his with only a soft cotton
chemise trimmed with a touch of white lace between them, almost
took his breath away. His reaction surprised him. It wasn't like he
hadn't had an active and very sexual last weekend, but that's all
it had been. He was surprised and a little shocked that it was
almost sexier holding this child/woman and not doing anything than
doing the actual sexual act. He tried not to rationalize, but he
told himself that part of his feelings may just be the thrill of
tasting forbidden fruit that seemed to be his for the taking. But,
it nagged at him that it could be more. It just might be that he
had feelings for Lily that he had suppressed perhaps for a very
long time – a startling realization. When he thought about losing
her to the clutches of the ocean depth, he had this sudden feeling
of being empty and hollow inside. He grimly realized that he never
ever would have known the feeling of holding her in his arms with
the euphoric feeling that she belonged there like no other.

Quinn knew that he would never do anything to
jeopardize Lily's trust or his parents. He also realized, that he
needed to do something other than think about how nice and warm
Lily felt cuddled up against his body. Since counting sheep was not
an option, he decided it was a good time to practice his breathing
techniques for his upcoming under water SEAL testing. He found it
to be more a trial of control and endurance than he could ever
imagine twenty-five feet under water – concentration did not come
easily nor did peaceful sleep. It was a rough and restless


No shocker, Quinn's phone started vibrating
early the next morning just he knew it would. He opened one eye to
see that it was five o'clock – his dad was calling. Trying not to
groan, he rolled out of the warm bed disentangling his body from
around Lily's as she, too, gave a little muffled sound of protest.
He looked down at her as he got up and almost crawled back in
again. She lay on her back with one arm thrown out like she was
reaching for him as her nipples turned to tiny points when the cool
air hit them. It was a delicious sight. It made him extra annoyed
that his dad had woken him up so early, but he had to admit that an
interruption was a good thing under the circumstances. It was
almost like his dad knew.

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