Thanks so much to author Jean Joachim for sharing this delightful picnic scene. It’s from Now and Forever 3 – Blind Love, and at this point in the story, the heroine is blind. Later she recovers her sight. The story’s hero is a womanizer who has agreed not to seduce Lara, but he’s having a hard time keeping his promise. Enjoy!
Saturday came quickly. Peter picked up the picnic lunch at the deli before he called for Lara.
“Any suggestions on a secluded spot, Dad?”
“A little last minute…oh, wait. I’ve got just the place. Hold on.” Sam went to the desk and took out a small pad of paper.
“Not too far away, okay? I don’t want to get lost.”
“Simple directions…you might see a pair of cardinals there, Pete. Definitely black-capped chickadees and some gold finches maybe even a downy woodpecker.” Sam finished scribbling then tore the piece of paper from the pad and handed it to Peter.
He nodded to his father then picked up the bag of food.
“No seduction, right?”
“A deal’s a deal.”
His father smiled and patted his son on the shoulder.
“Have a good time.”
“I could have a better time if…”
“Deal’s a deal.”
Lara was waiting outside her uncle’s house with a small CD player and a blanket. She wore a full cotton print skirt in pink and a low-cut matching tank top. The drive was a pretty one, through a stretch of state forest. The sun beaming down on the trees highlighted the varying shades of green. Peter felt a twinge when he remembered Lara couldn’t see any of it.
“I love the smells here. The air is so fresh. Where are we?”
“Passing through Major State Park. It’s beautiful.”
After they got through setting up, Peter unpacked the basket. Cold fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw and blueberry turnovers were accompanied by blue and green striped paper plates and white plastic utensils. Between bites of chicken, Peter did his imitation bird calls he learned from his dad. Lara heard the birds respond. She shared stories about her ballet friends.
“Tell me about your life in the city.” He lounged back on one elbow on the blanket, chewing on a chicken leg.
“After I left the ballet…I hung out with a…a…fast crowd. Some of my friends did cocaine and stuff. I never did drugs. A dancer is an athlete. Respect for your body, you know?”
Peter sat silently, his gaze sweeping over Lara’s form. I have a lot of respect for your body.
“You there?” She asked nervously.
“I’m listening. Cocaine and fast friends. Go on.”
“At night we went to clubs…drank, danced till dawn. It was one big party.” She chewed.
“Sort of… Not anymore.” She turned away from Peter.
“Hey, it’s okay,” he said, taking her arm.
Lara turned around, groping for her plate. Peter handed it to her and she quietly finished her potato salad.
“Have you ever been in love?” he asked her.
“I don’t remember. Maybe.”
“Did you have many men waiting for you at the stage door?”
“Some.” Lara picked up a chicken breast and took a big bite.
“Did you go out with a lot of them?” He asked.
“A few. We went out a lot in groups. I had a few boyfriends…”
“Anything serious?” he asked, and finished the last of the chicken leg.
“Not that I can remember.”
“Did you sleep with a lot of guys?” He sat up straight and threw the chicken bone in the bag designated for garbage.
“Well?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Have you slept with a lot of women?” she countered, easing back on her elbows.
“I asked you first,” he parried.
“Not a lot. I don’t think…I’m not a virgin, if that’s what you’re getting at,” she said, changing position, raising herself up on one elbow.
“I didn’t think you were. I’ve slept with a lot of women. I admit it.”
Lara shifted her position again, moving away from the sound of his voice.
“At least I’m honest. You asked. Those days are over. Now I want only one woman…you,” he said, inching closer to her.
“But what about tomorrow?”
“Today, tomorrow…only you,” he said, moving even closer. “You look beautiful. Always wear pink…”
About the author:
Jean Joachim, wife and mother of two sons, is owned by a rescued pug, named Homer. She’d been writing non-fiction for what seemed like forever until she got up the nerve to try fiction. It was love. Now she spends her days in New York City in the company of her characters, with a cup of tea and a secret stash of black licorice.
Jean’s books include:
Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights
April’s Kiss in the Moonlight
Now and Forever 1, a Love Story
Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny
Now and Forever 3, Blind Love
The Marriage List
Champagne for Christmas
The Renovated Heart… and others.
- Picnic Time (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- Sensational Sunday ~ Stalking Jean Joachim 🙂 (sslyblog.wordpress.com)
- Review ~ Renovated Heart by Jean Joachim (sslyblog.wordpress.com)
- Southern Potato Salad for a Perfect Picnic (southernfood.answers.com)
- How To Plan the Perfect Picnic (wholesalehalloweencostumes.com)
- Review – Now and Forever 3- Blind Love – Jean Joachim (sslyblog.wordpress.com)
- Picture Perfect Picnic (inspiredhealthyorganized.wordpress.com)