Leo & Jacinta, “Drinks on the Dock” – Late spring and late afternoon, lakeside, warm sun, and a duo set to enjoy seclusion and the voters’ aim for a love match. Competitors have now been confined to Lake Somewhere for seven days. Week Two, Leo and Jace won a date after Wilder and Paige’s boat date gained 4000 readers but L&J received 25% of the vote!
The LOVESCENE2020 producers left sangria, nachos, and guac on the dock for this New Mexico-born kayak guide and Miami-born salsa teacher. Interacting here and there around the house since day one, they were sincere that they felt like they found each other among the others, and that they were different. Whispers in the house hinted that they were sparking too quickly and, like a firecracker, would explode and burn out fast.
Leo arrived first at the dock and toyed with the setting, fine-tuning the romance. He wore cargo shorts and a dopey-happy face. Jacinta was all he had thought about since they celebrated second place, Week 1, and dove into the lake for a swim. He heard footsteps and saw Jace standing in sinking sun. Her peach bikini and brown skin were sweet accessories to vivid orange sunrays on shiny brown lake water. Their first date.
Perhaps he’d fallen in love…
“Hey, Leo.” “Hey, Jace.” “You’re the first to call me Jace. I like it.” They sat on wooden planks with feet kicking water. “What do you want to know about me?” he asked first.
She smiled. “Actually, I’ve learned a lot about you, our snippets of conversation this week and…well, observing you around the house. Plus, you swam naked on our first day here.” Her eyes made large circles and she giggled.
He grinned. “You didn’t tell me not to… Are you interested in anyone else, Jace?”
Jacinta’s head bobbed side to side. “Too early to say, don’t you think?”
“No, I don’t.”
Her face whipped toward his. “A nacho and guac?” She handed him a chip. “Such a gorgeous day.”
“Yes, perfect. For a gorgeous woman.” They snacked and sipped.
Leo reclined on the dock first. She followed. On their backs, his hand found hers, which she allowed. “Are you going to teach me salsa? I like to dance.”
That possibility lit her face. “I’d love to! Now?”
“Soon. For now, tell me more about you.” Leo was a gorgeous guy, fully muscled and easygoing. Perhaps Jacinta wouldn’t notice anyone else after all. She talked about her life in Miami and her big family, a jovial mom and dad and five boisterous brothers and sisters. Leo talked of mountains and rivers and boats and trails. Their conversation was as easy as everything else had been for them so far. They shared details for an hour. Until the sun was shadowy.
Music drifted from the house. Other competitors had been invited to share cocktails on the patio. Leo asked her to dance on the dock. As soon as his arms were around her, he veered them toward the open door of the tiny boat house. The cool, fresh air on the water turned woodsy and damp inside. Jacinta, shorter than Leo by several inches, knew he was about to kiss her when he leaned in. Then he did. A delicate kiss, his mouth touched hers for mere moments, to inhale her breath and taste her lips. His kisses didn’t escalate, teasing her with softness. He danced them deeper into the boat house. Her hands pushed his chest lightly. “The others are gossiping. Saying we’ll burn out quickly.” Her words sounded breathless. “That we’re a fluke, you know, disillusioned by all the votes.”
“This has been my favorite first date ever, Jace. Kissing you wasn’t a fluke.”
“Agree.” Her voice still sounded airy. “The party sounds fun.” Happy voices and laughter floated down to them along with the music. “Maybe we should join them? Slow things down.” She couldn’t look at the very appealing Leo when she added, “We haven’t even noticed anyone else.”
He motioned toward the doorway. “Okay…after you.”
~ ~ ~
The party was in full swing when they arrived on the back lawn bedecked in white lights and dusk. Their housemates drank sangria and gabbed. Mamie and Erik seemed to be tiptoeing into their own little world since Skye was voted off. Dansby and Andee conversed with Paige. Jacinta had tied a turquoise, gold-beaded sarong at her waist. She entered the scene with, “Hi, everybody! We had a fantastic first date.” Her fingertips touched her lips. “Leo is a catch and the best kisser.” She winked at him as everyone watched them curiously, then she tinkered with the sound system and her phone. “Anyone up for a salsa lesson?” There were murmurs of agreement. Sultry beats came from the speakers.
Wilder stepped out of the house onto the scene with Caroline on his heels. The first thing he noticed was Paige. They’d been awkward since their boat date and swift kiss. She was a beauty, especially tonight in a fitted top and flowy skirt; it surprised Wilder when his breath caught. Their eyes met. She did a butterfly wave with one hand. He walked over and said, “You are extra beautiful tonight, Paige. Thanks again for a great date. We should make a point to chat soon.” She swallowed visibly. “Sounds great.”
Upbeat Latin music leading the way, Jacinta purposely alternated between Leo and Dansby, who, therefore, alternated between her and Andee. Wilder took Paige and Caroline each by a hand and announced, “A bucket list moment. To dance with two pretty ladies.”
After Jacinta’s brief lesson and the first full successful song completed, everyone had partnered with everyone, left out of breath and loosened up. A slow song began; Leo had changed the music. He took Jacinta by the hand and into his arms. “You said you wanted to slow things down. This is a good song.” Ed Sheeran, it made her smile. “I’ve noticed everyone now, Jace.” He whispered into her hair. “I don’t see anyone but you.”
Wilder happened to be standing in front of Andee. Blonde hair shiny and straight, sexy orange clingy dress. Where had she been for seven days? “Let’s dance,” he dared and swished her into a pose. Andee, a live for the moment kind of girl, abandoned Dansby for a turn with big, handsome Wilder.
Mamie and Erik had moved away from the scene, closer to the shore, not to partner with anyone else. Caroline slipped into the house, disappointed, although she had a sultry salsa dance memory with Wilder. She would get another chance. Their bedrooms side by side, he couldn’t wake up or go to sleep without running into her eventually…
Dansby felt he was unintimidating to bold Wilder and dissed by flighty Andee. He was shocked! He and Andee had been getting up each morning before everyone else. They had a blast in the kitchen. She was a pathetic cook and he was a master chef. They had shared six breakfasts and six kisses. Yet, Paige, right before his eyes that minute, was perhaps the most naturally appealing woman at Lake Somewhere. That, he had noticed before tonight. “A dance?” he offered. “I guess it’s you and me.” Paige’s eyes flitted in Wilder’s direction, then she accepted. Having Andee out of Dansby’s arms nearby, and Paige surreptitiously watching Wilder, Dansby said, “Wilder thinks he came here for a soulmate, but that guy’s never played the field. I think he’s flattered by the votes and female attention, a surefire way to break your heart.” Paige showed Dansby vulnerable, lovely eyes. The windy outdoors took her hair off her shoulders. “You think?” she finally uttered.
“I’m thirty-one, Paige; I know what I’m looking for. I’m here because there’s someone here I’m supposed to meet…”
Paige swayed, attempting to pay attention to the gentle beat of the love song. “I’d like to think that’s why I’m here, too.” Her eyes checked Andee and Wilder once more; they were making a mockery of the romantic music by twirling and swirling and dipping and chuckling. It looked fun. “Meet in the kitchen in the morning for bagels and coffee? I’ll be wearing at least an apron.” Dansby offered her a sympathetic smile. Paige decided to give him her full attention for the rest of the dance.
~ ~ ~
This week, WHO do you want to see? They are vying for a chance TO KEYS TO THE JEEP- a surprise date off-site! This week, the female AND male with the LEAST VOTES are going home! VOTE in the comments or by PM (Clare Cinnamon Author FB) before midnight, Sunday 4/12.
BE SURE to check out the additional “MEANWHILE” scenes below before voting!
Stay safe. Prayers for our world. -CC
EXCERPT from Week 1, Caroline and Wilder:
At the end of Paige and Wilder’s boat date on Day 1 at Lake Somewhere: “No woman would mind being kissed like that,” Paige had said between heartbeat flutters. She noticed Wilder’s eyes watching something else. She looked up. Caroline stepped from cover nearby. She called out, “Hi. Hope your outing was nice! Wilder, may we chat for a minute?”
He said to Paige, “Thanks for a good time,” and walked in Caroline’s direction.
Caroline had invited Wilder to join her in Adirondack chairs on the lawn. “Wilder, I’ll be honest. I felt a spark when we were the first two to arrive here and discovered our bedrooms side by side.” Her emerald eyes boldly stayed on his mildly surprised expression. “I saw you kiss Paige, and before things progress with her, I wanted a chance to get to know you.”
He clicked his tongue. “Truth is, you and Paige are pretty women, but I came here hoping for something unexpected. You two are basically what I’m set up with back home.” He had the decency to grin. “Although your gorgeous red curls are a new twist.”
Pleased, she lifted her shoulders. “Good! I’ll bank on that.”
Wilder leaned back on his chair. He glimpsed Paige making her introduction to others at the dock, glimpsed her attractive backside in jeans. “The date with Paige was really nice.”
Caroline nodded. “And the kiss?”
“Too rushed to judge.” Wilder smirked. “And partly interrupted, wouldn’t you say?”
“Wilder, I don’t apologize for going after what I want. So, tell me about life on a dairy farm in Wisconsin…” They talked until the sun went down, well beyond the others going inside, which left them climbing stairs to adjacent rooms in semidarkness.
“It’s just the first night here.” Wilder had a broad smile as he turned his knob. “I guess we’ll get used to this…”
Caroline made a flirty move of her hips. “It’ll be interesting! Goodnight.”
Andee and Dansby- Looking back at the first seven days… Six mornings, they shared the kitchen before everyone else got up. It started like this on Day 2, Morning 1 of Lake Somewhere:
“Flour, butter, sugar, spice. I’m trying to impress you.” Andee, in a camisole and pajama pants with cute, crazy-bun hair, lifted a shoulder at Dansby behind her.
“Good morning. I had a feeling I’d find you here, hoping to find me here. What are you…trying to bake?” he jibed.
Dansby saw a recipe card on the countertop. “No need to make buns, Andee. You already have great ones.” He swatted her hip. She laughed loudly and turned around.
“It smells good, but I confess, I’m doubtful.” Dansby glanced between her cheery morning face and the oven. They stood close. “How much longer before they’re ready?”
Andee frowned. “I forgot to check the clock.”
Dansby chuckled. “I’ll take it from here.” He intended to kiss her quickly, their first kiss. Instead, they kissed in the kitchen until his chef’s nose told him the buns were done.