It’s First Kiss Friday and today’s guest is fellow Bluestocking Belle, Lizzie Tremayne. Lizzi is sharing the first kiss scene from her Contemporary novel, Once Upon a Vet School. Be sure to leave her a comment to be in the running for her giveaway. Happy reading, my lovelies, and take it away Lizzi!
Hello! Thanks for coming by today, and thank you, Sherry, for having me here!
Once Upon a Vet School #7: Lena Takes a Foal.
Did you ever want to become a veterinarian? Didn’t quite get there?
Now you can live it with Once Upon a Vet School—tales of a girl who dreamed of becoming a vet… her life on the way and beyond.
Once Upon a Vet School is a new series of contemporary veterinary fiction. Share Lena’s escapades, and that of some of her classmates, from the time they decide to become veterinarians, through their education and practice time in the USA, to their careers, Lena’s as a rural equine and sometimes zoo-dentistry veterinarian in New Zealand.
In my excerpt, life had been going from bad to worse for my heroine, Lena, and she’d finally spilled the beans to Kit, her veterinary school resident… who was also something more.
He was about to become something more, anyway!
We pick up our story as Kit is holding Lena close, her tears flowing…
I stared at him, then slapped my jaw shut.
“I can’t believe you’d do that. Not you,” I argued.
“I may not have abandoned her for another woman, but I abandoned her nonetheless… for my practice, my clients, my patients. I was there for them… always… but never for her.” He swallowed hard, his jaw locked tight. I took a deep breath and held it, then let it out slowly. “So, with nothing left, I came back… back to the place I loved the most, where horses were king and caring for them could be my life… without hurting anyone else… or letting anyone in that could hurt me. It was easier just not to feel…” He stopped and looked down at me. “And then you come along.”
“You. You with those sea green eyes…”
“Same as yours,” I whispered.
“Same as mine,” he agreed. “I tried to leave you alone, stay away… but…” He closed his eyes for a moment.
“And so, you see, I find I want someone to care again… and I want to care about someone… you, specifically. I fought it, damned if I didn’t try to keep you away, keep you at arm’s length, but you kept coming back for more… your desire to help horses… it was like a drug to me.”
I swallowed hard. I wanted it so much, but…
My memory of why I shouldn’t get involved with anyone was fading fast.
“I’d always wanted to do a surgery residency here…” Kit hesitated, “and now I’m here and almost done, it’s not nearly enough. I want to stay, permanently, to teach… get on a tenure track, become a professor.”
“You’ll be the best they’ve ever had.” He let out his breath in a snort.
“Hardly,” he gave me a soft smile, “but I’d like to think I could at least make a difference to a lot of horses and students.”
“You already do that,” I said, and leaned harder against his solid chest. “And you’re easy to talk to.”
“And you understand how I feel about horses.”
I tried to look away, but his eyes drew me back.
“But we can’t…” It came out on a sob, wrenched from me, unwillingly. “I’m a student, you’re faculty.”
“There are no written rules on that, by the way,” he said, with a twist of his lips. “I checked.”
“But it couldn’t help your chances with the faculty — it would be ‘frowned upon’…and the way I see it, you’ll need every point in your favor — plenty of people want tenure here.”
“And, as others would say, and maybe they’re right, I’m too old and you’re too young,” he said, with a wistful smile.
“That’s not true, actually,” I said. “You’re over ten years younger than my last fiancé.”
“And…” I whispered, “the third argument, I don’t want to get hurt anymore.”
“That makes two of us.”
“You’ll never get that professorship, though, if you hang around with students, much less sleep with them,” I said flatly, and turned my head away. “I don’t want to wreck your chances.”
“I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter… as much as this…” Kit turned my chin toward him with the side of his finger, then lowered his lips to mine.
I could have fallen into his warm lips, his touch… and I let it happen. I returned his kiss with all the feeling I’d kept hidden for so long.
“So…” I said, panting a bit, when he finally let me breathe again.
“What are we going to do about it, you mean?”
“Yes,” I said. My firm tone came out as more of a breathy whisper.
“Well, first, we’re going to get you over this fear of foaling.”
I gulped and the chill started up in my guts again.
“Hold on, there. It’ll be okay. Just hold on. Again, you were how old? And had how much veterinary training?”
“Fifteen, no training.”
“Think about this, with your head and not your emotions. Is that reasonable?”
“Y — no,” I said, and the tears began to fall again. “But my heart, it just…locks up and I can’t breathe, or think.”
“We’ll fix all that. Deal? I help you do that and you help me fix my heart and learn to trust again?” He was silent for a moment. “Maybe you can start learning to trust again too, eh?”
“That’s a big ask, with my history, but — ”
“— deal?” he cut in.
I turned my face up to his and we kissed again. He leaned back against the wall, holding me tightly in his arms.
The warmth, the closeness, the safety.
I wanted it to go on forever.
But nothing lasts — I stopped myself.
Why not? Why not you?
That blasted little voice again.
I focused on Kit’s eyes. For the first time ever, no vagueness — or had it been avoidance? — showed in their depths. His green eyes were nearly black, intense, close before me.
I froze as a flash of green — a figure in surgical scrubs — showed, silhouetted, in the doorway behind Kit’s head.
About the story:
She needs help… he needs to stay away…
Lena’s got a problem–one that might prevent her from graduating. When her horse flips over and lands on her, it has to be the dashing resident, Kit, who finds her. Luckily, she’s sworn off relationships after her last debacle and sea-green eyes and rugged good looks are the last things on her mind. Besides, to a veterinary school faculty, relationships between residents and students are like oil and water; they just don’t mix.
Digital: Free on Kindle Unlimited or buy from Amazon here: https://lizzitremayne.com/OnceUponVet7
Paperback: from Amazon here: https://lizzitremayne.com/OnceUponVet7
Paperback: for New Zealanders, buy direct from the author: https://www.fishpond.co.nz/q/Lizzi+Tremayne
Be the first to know about new releases, special offers, and news by signing up for Lizzi Tremayne’s Newsletter and get a copy of her Lizzi Tremayne Sampler for free! It’s here: https://lizzitremayne.com/signupsampler/
Lizzi writes about the Old West, Russia, and Colonial New Zealand, as well as veterinary fiction and non-fiction—all with a horsey flair. She’s also one of the newest members of the Bluestocking Belles!
She grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and practiced in the California Pony Express and Gold Country before emigrating to New Zealand.
Lizzi has two wonderful, grown-up boys, a new grandbaby, and an awesome partner in this sea of green. When she’s not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding, driving a carriage or playing on her hobby farm, singing, or working as an equine veterinarian or science teacher. She’s multiply published and awarded in fiction, special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.
Sign up for Lizzi Tremayne’s Newsletter and get a copy of her Lizzi Tremayne Sampler for free. Be the first to know about new releases, special offers, and news here: https://lizzitremayne.com/signupsampler/
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