Ahhh... Summer. The season for mint juleps, sweet smelling jasmine, picnics, and summer love. We're celebrating our favorite time of year with a Sweet Summer Love Blog Hop and giveaways, sponsored by Christina Cole and Devika Fernando.
But before you scroll down for blog hop details, join Derek and Elly from BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY on a picnic she'll never forget. Would you follow Derek into the woods?
Derek strode around the truck and opened Elly’s door, then took a large picnic basket from the truck’s storage bin. Together they walked down a well-worn path. Winding beneath overhanging branches, they made their way through a stand of cedars. Their clean, fresh scent made Elly think of summer.
Derek squeezed Elly’s hand and whispered, “Shhh.” He nodded toward a patch of wild greens growing near the path. Leaves rustled and within seconds, an armadillo scuttled ahead of them, its armored body hobbling along on short stubby legs. It paused, studied the two humans for a second, and then disappeared into the underbrush.
Derek nodded toward the retreating critter. “A nine-banded armadillo—the official small mammal of the State of Texas.”
“No kidding?” Elly giggled. “They’re weird little animals, aren’t they?”
“Sure are. They won’t hurt you, but they can cause plenty of trouble for landscapers, rooting up plants and digging in lawns.” He tugged Elly’s hand and led her farther down the path.
After about ten minutes, Derek stopped and pulled a red bandana from his pocket. “From here on out, you’re blindfolded.”
Elly laughed. “You don’t have anything kinky in mind, do you?”
“Not at the moment, but don’t tempt me.” He folded the bandana into a triangle, draped it across Elly’s eyes, and tied a knot at the back of her head. “No peeking.”Derek grasped her hand firmly and guided her along. He stopped at times, warning Elly to lift her foot for a tree root or to veer left or right to avoid a rock. At times she leaned against him, relying on his firm grasp and steady voice, giving him the trust he’d shown he deserved.
After a few more minutes, Derek stopped, took her hand, and curled her fingers around a branch. “Hold on here while I take care of a few things.”
The swoosh of wind in the trees, accompanied by the calls of birds, surrounded her. A woodpecker hammered away in the distance, and a sweet earthy scent made her wrinkle her nose. With her eyes covered, sounds and scents seemed more intense and closer than before. Even the buzz of insects seemed loud in her ears. A warm breeze brushed her cheeks and ruffled her hair. Then she smelled Derek’s clean soap scent and sensed his presence beside her.
When he loosened the blindfold, she blinked and squinted in the dappled light.
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