I’m a Chicagoan — yes, even in Winter. I love how beautiful the city is and often include some of my favorite places in my books. I was a little heavy-handed with the sites in my book Wildflower. Here’s an excerpt featuring the beautiful Buckingham Fountain.
Preston signaled for the check then he and Iris left the noisy restaurant for a more peaceful walk, hand-in-hand, through Grant Park. As they approached Buckingham Fountain, Iris turned to face him, walking backward slowly, smiling, and pulling him along until they could feel the mist from the fountain.
“Make a wish,” she said.
He smiled and dug in his pocket. Closing his eyes, he mouthed a few words, and tossed the coin into the fountain.
“What did you wish for?”
The setting sun gave the sky a vibrant hue. The colorful lighting on the fountain glowed, spotlighting the blonde highlights in her hair. Preston reached his hand around the nape of her neck, under her hair, easing her closer to him. She closed her eyes at his touch. He liked when she did that. It made him want her more.
“You,” he said.
He leaned in and kissed her lips tenderly. She opened her eyes and smiled at him. Spotting the ice cream vendor cycling around the trail just outside of the boundaries of the Taste of Chicago event, she got excited. She jogged to the cart and waved for Preston to hurry. There was really no need to hurry — there were only a few kids who reached the vendor ahead of her —so he took his time.
Preston finally arrived and they ordered two waffle cones. Preston had chocolate walnut and Iris, butter pecan. He watched, enraptured, while she enjoyed her ice cream, the way she toyed with it, licked it — how she took the full mound of the creamy delight into her mouth, allowing it to melt in the warmth of it – and pulled it out slowly. Yeah, Preston watched, imagining — no, wishing — that he were that ice cream cone. He got lost in it for a moment. He took a step closer, so close that she backed up. He took his napkin and moved towards her face with it. She flinched a little, not knowing what to expect. When he saw her shudder, he pulled back.
“May I?” he asked, holding up the napkin and gesturing in the general direction of her face. “You have a little ice cream right here,” he said as he dabbed the creamy mess from her face.
“You didn’t want to lick it?”
Preston surprised himself with his wide-eyed silence.
“…So disappointing, Preston,” she joked.
“Oh, you continue to surprise me. Do I get a do over?”
“Ah, too little too late, my handsome knight in shining armor.”
“Your kni… When did I become all of that?”
“When you kissed me at the Peach Frog,” she giggled.
“Lick your cone.”
“Uh-uh. You missed your chance, Mister.”
“Just lick your cone, woman.”
She laughed playfully then complied without taking her brown eyes off of him.
She managed to smear ice cream on the tip of her nose and chin. He knew it had been deliberate and fully planned to take advantage of it. He took the cone out of her hand and tossed it, along with his, in the receptacle next to them.
“Hey!” she shouted. “I was still eating that!”
“I can’t watch you eat that anymore — making a mess of yourself,” he grinned.
“You know you can’t resist,” she teased.
He slowly leaned towards her, hands in his pockets to control himself from doing anything inappropriate. He wanted her, right then and there. The public be damned.
Her soft, sticky palms cupped his face. He kissed the ice cream from nose, then her chin. Before he could pull back, she wrangled him closer and kissed him gently on the mouth. Her lips were like pillows against his. He felt a rise in his pants that he needed to subdue. But when her tongue toyed with his, he lost the battle. He stretched out his leg a little, trying to be inconspicuous. He needed to adjust himself, and that was the best way he could do it without bringing attention to the situation. Iris noticed and smirked.
Cutting through Grant Park, Preston walked with Iris to Michigan Avenue, arm-in-arm, sometimes hand-in-hand, until they reached her brother’s building.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” she said poetically, as if those words had been her own composition.
“Tomorrow?” he asked. “May I see you again.”
She stepped back, positioning herself under the awning near the lobby door, then dug in her purse.
“Give me your hand.” She used her teeth to pull the cap from the black Sharpie.
“Here’s my phone number.” She wrote it on the medial side of his arm. “Use it wisely.”
He opened the lobby door. She stood, gazing into his eyes wantonly.
He reached for her hand and pulled her close. He pushed her windblown hair from her face and kissed her forehead, her nose, her lips – gently and passionately. She didn’t want to break from the warmth of his touch. When they reluctantly parted, she went into the building. Preston watched as she disappeared around the security desk.
Don’t stop now! To read more of Wildflower, get your copy NOW.
[Wildflower, Excerpt from Chapter 8]
(c) 2014 Michele Kimbrough