“Go on,” he said softly, his deep voice resonating in my ears; “jump.”
I grinned brightly, and without turning to look at him, I shook my head. My hair, which was coiled into a ponytail at the time, swished across my shoulders. As it did, I sensed that it hit something. Before I could swivel around, his lips were on my neck, his breath warming my cheek as it exited his nostrils. A squeal escaped my lips, and I curled my arm backward around his neck, giving him a funny side hug as I drew him closer.
“The water can’t be that cold,” he said, and I could hear the smile in his voice.
“If you think so,” I proposed, “go ahead and see for yourself.” I took a step forward on the dock, bringing him with me. The wooden platform groaned beneath our weight.
“Quit foolin’ around.” He came up around my side and gave me a side hug with both arms; I could feel his heart beating against my triceps. “Hop in.”
Shifting my right foot to one side, evening out my weight, I studied the water for a moment. The dock protestingly creaked again, and I stiffened when he said, “Or I’ll make ya.”
I turned my head toward him, smiling again when my auburn ponytail softly whipped his face. “You wouldn’t do that to me fully dressed, would you?” I said imploringly.
Holding my gaze, he lowered his right arm and let it slide down my spine until he reached the back pockets of my jean shorts. I raised my eyebrows ever so slightly, at the same moment he smiled coyly and slid my phone out of one of the pockets. “Now you’re ready,” he said matter-of-factly.
In a couple of quick movements, I unstrapped the gold wristwatch from my wrist, placing it where he’d dropped my phone on the grass, a safe distance from the water. “No, now I’m ready.”
At both of us moving our weight around, the wooden planks let out another loud complaint. I hardly noticed as I moved out of his reach by prancing down the dock.
“I’ll only hop in if you make me,” I declared with another smile.
Unfortunately, the dock had other plans. With one final creak, it broke loose from whatever was keeping it tied to land and sunk down, plunging me into the water with it. Before I could rise to the surface, he was in there right beside me.
We spent the rest of the afternoon laughing as we composed short conversations back and forth, splashing the other with the water from our very own lake in between smiles. My phone rang and buzzed several times, but not once did I respond to it. As the sun set in the sky behind the tall trees, we crawled out onto the bank, wringing out our clothes and continuing to talk, a very sweet way to end my favorite night of the summer.