America X Reader: A SUMMER ROMANCE STORY
On a dark moonless summer night, with only occasional bolts of heat lightning to
relieve the blackness, ___________ stretched her stiff legs as best as she could
while driving the rented moving van. All her worldly possessions were stuffed
behind her as she drove the long five hour trip. She turned left onto a gravel
road, almost there now, almost to her new home in the country and to her new
life in nearby New York City.
Off in the distance, an orange, yellow, and red glow flickered on the horizon.
“ A… Fire?!”
_________ pulled into the long winding driveway as flames leaped, dancing in the
wind, while devouring the old weathered wood barn. She jumped from the van and ran
toward the blaze. That barn was supposed to be an animal shelter and headquarters
for her new job. _____________ felt like she was watching a funeral for her new
life. What kind of sign was this for her new beginning?
The fire, hot as the hinges of hell, singed her (hair color) hair as she ran into
the choking cloud of billowing black smoke. She collided into what felt like a
brick wall and her knees buckled.
"Whoa, little lady." Large gentle hands clasped her shoulders to stop her from
falling upon impact, and then guided her back out of the heat.
__________'s heart caught at the sound of the deep, rich voice. His blue eyes
locked onto her (eye color) ones then widened with surprise. Or was it appreciation?
Perhaps the scorching heat was roasting her thinking processes? Something soft
squirmed against her chest before she realized his brawny arms were filled with
whimpering pups. He was rescuing the baby animals! Although glistening with sweat
and smudged with charcoal, too sooty to distinguish his features, he seemed like
a knight in not-quite shimmering armor.
"Who are you?" she whispered.
"I'm Alfred." Alfred remembered his manners at the
same time as the wiggling weights in arms.
"Here." He thrust the bundle of panicky pups into her arms before brushing a
stray lock of her hair from her lovely face. He took a giant step back, away from
the temptation of her feminine form. Alfred wondered why no one warned him that
she was such a beauty.
"You must be __________, the new vet," he tossed back over his shoulder
as he again ran toward the barn to save more animal shelter strays.
______________ settled the newborn pups on the grass, well away from the blazing
barn, as fire engines roared into the driveway. Firemen hollered out directions
to each other, working in harmony with hoses to blast water into flames. Alfred
hauled out the baby pup's mother, handing it and three more strays to her, before
dashing back for another rescue.
Professionals that they were, the firemen had the inferno down to a smolder in
no time. One of the fire fighters led ___________ to a large neighboring ranch
house at the end of the lane and told her the owner said for her take care of
the rescued animals there.
Although she kept her hands busy by washing the smoky scent from the pups, her
mind zoomed from one worry to another like the speed of a NASCAR race. What would
she do now? What about her job at the animal shelter? Now that the barn burned,
where would she live if not in the loft? Did God have something personal against
her, for her fresh start to begin with disaster? Wasn't it all but a flashing
neon sign advertising that she'd made a wrong decision to move here?
Oh no. Would her new veterinarian partner want to rebuild the animal shelter? She'd
never spoken with him directly, but had been interviewed by the relocating vet who
was to hire a replacement partner. What did the future hold for her?
__________ sighed deeply. Only two hours ago she was giddy with glee, full of
positive attitude, and excited at the potential for the new direction she was
taking with her life.
Despite the animal shelter in ashes down the lane, again and again, she wondered
just WHO precisely was Alfred? Where had he come from and would she see him again?
He wasn't what she would call handsome, covered head to toe in grime, but there was
something about him -- something she liked. Something she hadn't felt for a very
long time. Something that happened instantly when their gaze met. Well, she conceded,
their head-on collision could have knocked her senses out of whack. She'd simply
misread their physical impact. It WASN’T chemistry.
She no sooner settled the pups into a make-shift bed, than she heard the smooth
voice that she recalled from earlier. She turned her head toward its source and
her mouth went dry. Surely this wasn't Alfred? This man was freshly showered,
his features no longer smudged and indistinguishable. She inhaled deeply as she
detected the pleasant sensation of his pure masculine scent. With his tan
coloring, blonde hair, and blue eyes that also held a mixture of humor, wisdom,
and kindness, the man before her could give any number of professional male models
a run for their money in the fluttering-of-the-female heart department. The smoky
voice was saying something, but her heart was thudding too unevenly to hear.
This man couldn't possibly be Alfred-the-pup-rescuer, could he?
Yet he smiled slowly at her gaping mouth and that
rich deep tone rumbled, "You okay, __________?"
Wow! Swallowing hard, she forced her gaze away from his blue one before her
face could betray her thoughts. He looked like a modern-day gladiator with
broad shoulders, corded neck, and perfectly sculpted face. When she dared
another glance, he stared at her for a moment. From the twitching at the corner
of his mouth, ____________ guessed he was trying to hold back a laugh.
She wasn't sure if she wanted to slap him or kiss him now.
Instead, she cleared her throat. TWICE.
"I'm fine thanks."
Alfred leaned his back against the wall and stuck his hands in his belt loops,
regarding her with that same lazy, sexy smile. Disturbed, she looked away.
Alfred held out one large hand. "I'm Alfred Jones by the way." When her much
smaller hand gripped his in a handshake, Alfred attempted to regulate his breathing.
He'd prayed for God to make the way clear, to make the path obvious in the direction
Alfred should take his life. Now this woman was fresh-out of places to live until the
barn was reconstructed. How do you invite a gorgeous woman you've just met to spend the
night without making it sound like a pick-up line?
"Welcome to New York City, __________."
She snorted ineloquently. "Yeah sure. I arrive just in
time for heat lightning to strike and start an inferno. Some luck, huh?"
Alfred tried to catch his breath, reminding himself of why he couldn't let
himself like her. Or touch her body. Yet he couldn't release her smooth hand
in his. Her touch was affecting him like being struck with a white-hot bolt
"Hmmh. Start an inferno is right."
He reluctantly released her hand when she tugged. She nibbled on her bottom lip
as her eyes narrowed on him. Her honey-sweet voice seemed to pick up a little spice
when she asked, "How was it that you were there at the fire so quickly?"
"I live here."
She swallowed hard, then practically squeaked her realization. "YOU!"
It wasn't a question. For the first time, Alfred wondered if the attraction
went both ways. She didn't sound necessarily pleased about it. In fact, her
next statement sounded more like an accusation.
"YOU are my new partner!"
Alfred nodded. "Yes, ma'am. Dr. Alfred F. Jones D.V.M. at your service."
When she all but growled her frustration, he added, "Don't worry. We'll rebuild."
She tossed her hands in the air before hitching a thumb back toward the lane.
"I can't exactly live in that moving van while the shelter is under construction."
Alfred took a step toward her and closed the gap. He watched her breathing speed up.
"You can live with me until then. There's lots of rooms to choose from. I look
forward to a long and fruitful relationship."
She shook her head; flipping her hair back over her shoulder, then tipped
her stubborn chin in the air. "That's partnership, mister. Not relationship."
"Yes," Alfred agreed. "That too. It takes an equal partnership for any
relationship to work. After you interviewed for the job, the vet you're
replacing told me you're sweet, big-hearted, and a good doctor. He failed,
however, to mention how beautiful you are."
She grumbled, "He failed to mention my future partner could double for a male
model if he needed a change of employment." She whipped her eyes off his
Alfred shook his head. Oh yes, this would be interesting. She was definitely
interested in him whether she wished it so or not. God had definitely handed
Alfred a blessing when He sent her. The animal shelter burning down was like
a flashing neon sign for Alfred's life, sending _________ into more than his
business, sending her into his home as well. God was looking out for her, too.
She just didn't realize it yet.
Alfred motioned toward the hallway. "Pick a room, any room, for your stay.
Then I'll help you carry in your suitcases so you can shower away the smoke
and soot from the fire. In the morning, I'll help you unload the moving van."
He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Welcome home, Dr. ___ (full name) ___~!”
With that, she spun around and practically stomped toward the hallway.
Alfred smiled after her. Feisty. Dang… As if he didn't like that about her too.