Author’s Note: Dear Reader, This scene takes place during Janie and Quinn’s honeymoon, so within a few days after the end of Neanderthal Marries Human. I hope you enjoy. 


I knew before we’d departed for the private island paradise—on our honeymoon in the Caribbean—that I was not good at lazy vacations. Therefore, I brought a list of various tasks and research I hoped to accomplish.

Obviously, since it was our honeymoon, we had a lot of sex. I think we christened every surface of the cottage, the beach, the ocean, the inside shower, the outside shower, the ottoman, the wall outside the cottage, the hammock—THAT WAS FUN!—the hot tub… I really had to focus to have sex in the hot tub, however, because it’s the ideal environment for the multiplication of microbes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it…

After seventy-two hours of reenacting the Kamasutra (yes, I did bring the illustrated guide, because it felt like if we were ever going to get a chance to test out all possible sexual positions, our seven-day honeymoon with no access to or interruptions from the outside world was that chance), I think Quinn was experiencing orgasm fatigue.

“Can’t we just…hold each other?” Quinn asked, then groaned—half tortured, half aroused—as my hand moved from his chest to his stomach, my mouth at his neck, biting.

“What about talking? We could talk,” he offered.

I giggled; I couldn’t help myself. Of note, I was giggling a lot. Maybe it was all the intercourse and being dominated by Quinn’s body in all the strange places and positions, but I was feeling giddy, girly, and giggly.

“There are several passive positions in the guide. You can just lie there if you want,” I suggested, my hand drifting lower.

He gritted his teeth, his blue eyes flashing at me, “I can’t ever just lie here, not when you’re so close.”

I lifted my eyebrows, wondering if I could turn this into a challenge of some sort.

I quite enjoyed the fact that I’d worn him out, especially since he’d been responsible for packing all of our clothes—or overseeing the packing of all of our clothes—and had seen fit to bring only string bikinis for me. That’s right; no underwear, no pajamas, not even a sundress. I had my wedding dress and string bikinis.

Our day-one conversations went something like this:

“Quinn! Where are my clothes?”

“In the bag.”

“The only things in here are string bikinis and suntan lotion.”

“I would consider suntan lotion a type of clothing.”

“That’s preposterous.”

“It covers your skin, you put it on, it shields you from the sun. It’s clothing.”

“It’s not made of material, and you can’t take it off.”

He shrugged. “Semantics.”

Another example:

“What do you want to do after dinner?”

“We could play poker.”

“Yes! I have cards. We could use seashells for chips.”

“Or…we could play strip poker.”

“Quinn, you have one article of clothing on. I have two.”


“So, it would either be one or two hands at the maximum.”

He blinked and frowned at me. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

And another example:

“Did you know we can go clamming?”

He grinned like he was impersonating the devil. “The only kind of clams I’m interested in are the bearded ones.”

And now he was groaning, sounding tortured, tired, and spent. My giggle turned into a full-fledged cackling laugh, and I took pity on him, withdrawing my hand from his pelvic region and bringing it back to his chest. He grabbed it and flattened my palm against his heart.

“I love your laugh.” He sighed the words, as though he were speaking to himself. His eyes drifted shut, and I felt him relax.

I smiled against his arm and give his bicep a kiss. “I think I’ll go for a walk.”

“No, stay with me…” His words were sleepy.

I propped my elbow on the bed and rested my head in my free hand. I watched him drift off to sleep. He’d tanned during the last four days, whereas I’d freckled. I was constantly applying sunscreen, but still I’d freckled. At least I hadn’t burned.

I waited until I was sure he was completely asleep then slipped my hand from his. With a light peck on his lips, I left the bed and crossed to the small bag in the corner that held my plethora of string bikinis and dressed.

I would go for a walk. In fact, I’d gone for a walk every day since we’d arrived, enjoying the small respites of alone time. For the first time in my life, I may have preferred being with someone—Quinn—more than I preferred solitude, but I still craved the moments to myself, the quiet time for contemplation.

I tiptoed out of the room, shutting the door behind me after I made sure the fan was on high, because I knew he liked taking naps with the fan on high. To me it felt like a windstorm, but this was something new I’d learned about him on our honeymoon.

We’d never taken naps together prior to our honeymoon.

After slathering myself in 50 SPF sunscreen, I grabbed several two-gallon ziplock plastic bags and a towel from the second bathroom. I departed for my walk, all the while happily thinking dirty thoughts about the naked man back in the cottage.


I made two complete loops of the island before returning. My plastic bags now full and heavy, I placed them in the freezer then reached in the fridge for a bottle of water.

I’d come to a conclusion on my walk: we were just going to have to slow down the Kamasutra reenactment. We had another three days and, really, no rush. I picked my way through the living room gulping the cold water. I reached into my task bag and pulled out a binder I’d packed just in case we found ourselves with some conversation and/or discussion time.

I was just straightening when I felt Quinn’s hands slide from my bottom to my ribs, making me stiffen then instantly turn to jello.

“Where have you been, Kitten?” Quinn’s low, close whisper against my ear gave me goosebumps and sent an enchanting shiver down my spine. Instinctively, I leaned backward and against him, offering him my neck.

“Oh…here and there,” I said. My hand not holding the binder covered his where it caressed the slope of my waist.

“What’s in the binder?” His voice was still raspy from sleep, but his hands and body were definitely awake; apparently he’d recuperated from orgasm fatigue… I tucked this away as a data point for future exploitation.

Naps plus Quinn equaled carnal rejuvenation.

I leaned my head back against his shoulder; one of his brilliant hands slipped into the flimsy cup of my string bikini and massaged my breast. His touch was greedy, possessive, almost domineering. I loved how he touched me.

“Vaginas,” I sighed.

His hands stilled. Actually, he stilled. He was frozen for several long seconds.

“What did you say?”

“Vaginas. It’s a binder full of vaginas.”

Quinn’s hard torso stiffened, and his fingers flexed where they held me. “What are you talking about?” He sounded completely bewildered.

I swallowed my lust and cleared my throat, remembering my earlier decision to slow down our reenactments. I propped the binder in one hand then opened it to a random page.

“See. Vaginas. All kinds.”

Quinn choked on nothing. He yanked his hands away.

I turned my head and leaned back, attempting to obtain a good view of his profile and reaction to the pictures. He looked horrified.

“Obviously they’re all over eighteen, of course,” I said quickly, trying to anticipate the source of his horror. I assumed it was because he worried about the exploitation of women. “The salon that loaned me the binder was very adamant that the pictures were all taken with explicit consent and everyone is over eighteen.”

His eyes cut to mine. He didn’t look pacified. “Janie…why do you have a binder of vaginas?”

“For discussion.” I turned and stood next to him, thumbing through the various grooming designs and vagazzlings. “I got the idea when the ladies and I were at the spa in Las Vegas. Someone mentioned vagazzling, so I looked it up, and—even though I think it’s rather silly and maybe unsanitary—I wondered what you thought. So I called that fancy salon downtown, the one on Michigan? Well, they have a binder of different waxing patterns I could get, grooming styles, the whole nine yards…”

I glanced up and found Quinn still staring at me; he didn’t look upset or concerned any more. But he did appear to be oscillating between amused incredulousness and dazed speechlessness. Not sure what to do, I gave him a hopeful smile.

“I thought we could pick out some designs.”

His mouth opened and closed; his eyebrows were doing an odd dance on his forehead. He was completely discomposed.

Finally, he blurted, “I think I need a drink.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah…” He watched me for a moment, his eyes narrowed and assessing, then shook his head as though to clear it. “Yeah. I just need a drink. Do you want a margarita?”

I shrugged. “Sure. Sounds good. But then you’ll come back, and we’ll finish going through the binder?”

Quinn grimaced and pulled his hands through his hair. He turned away, “I’ll be back with margaritas. I hope you like them frozen and strong.”

I nodded absentmindedly as I flipped through the pages of the binder. “Sure, sure. Strong and frozen.”

I’d never been waxed before; it was supposed to be quite painful, especially the first time, but I definitely wanted to give it a try. Waxing was superior to shaving as it was a form of semi-permanent hair removal. Most hair would take four to six weeks to grow back after waxing, which was just fine with me. Four to six weeks would give us plenty of time to enjoy whatever design we chose as well as choose the next.

I absentmindedly sat in one of the living room chairs as I studied an intricate waxing pattern that left the remaining hair in a design that looked suspiciously like a cutout of the Eiffel Tower.

“What the-?” Quinn’s voice thundered from the kitchen.

His What the was followed by string of loud and creative expletives. I sat straight in my chair then turned to look over my shoulder. I couldn’t see him from my position, so I leaned to the side, trying to catch a glimpse of the kitchen.

“Quinn?” I waited for a beat, then asked, “Is everything all right?”

“Janie!” his voice boomed, “Why are there giant frozen frogs in the freezer?”

Oh. Damn.

I stiffened, winced, and sucked in a breath.

After a moment of startled shock, I jumped to my feet, the binder of vag-scaping abandoned, and I jogged into the kitchen.

“Sorry, sorry, sorry!” I called before I’d made it all the way to the freezer. “I’m sorry. I meant to bury those before you found them.”

Quinn was standing at the door to the fridge—it was open—and he held a giant ziplock bag in his hand. In the ziplock bag was a very large, very dead frozen toad. As well, around his feet were several more bags of murdered toads.

And I’d murdered them.

He held the eternally-sleeping carcass between us, his mouth moving soundlessly; his eyes were jumping from me, to the frog, to the freezer, to his feet, then back to me. His typically cool façade was annihilated, replaced with severe and dismayed disbelief.

Finally, he managed, “I don’t understand. Why are you freezing frogs?”

I grabbed the murdered frog—more precisely, a toad—from his grip and tossed it back in the freezer with the others. He watched me do this, his eyes wide and troubled.

“I can explain.” I tucked my hair behind my ears then held my hands up between us. “I’m actually doing a good thing.”

“A good thing,” he repeated.

“Yes. These, all of those, are Cane Toads. They’re an invasive species.”

He blinked at me.

Good news: Quinn looked less horrified.

Bad news: Quinn looked more displeased.

“So,” I rushed to explain, “I’ve been making traps for them around the island. Then I bag them and put them in the freezer.”

Good news: Quinn looked less displeased.

Bad news: Quinn looked more irritated.

“Why are you putting them in our freezer?”

“Because it’s the most humane way to kill a toad! I know, I know—I don’t feel great about murdering them either—but they’re really bad for the ecosystem. And they secrete poison, so they’re really like giant, ugly, serial-killing toads.”

Good news: Quinn looked less irritated.

Possibly more good news: Quinn looked like he was trying not to laugh.

“Janie…” Quinn shook his head, closed his eyes. His long fingers pressed against his forehead, and I heard the beginnings of his rumbly laughter.

I managed a half smile and watched him warily. I hoped the laughter meant that he was no longer dismayed, horrified, displeased, or irritated. He took a step toward me but tripped slightly on one of the bagged toads.

I reached forward, grabbed his forearms. “Watch out, there are giant, ugly, serial-killing toads on the floor.”

Quinn charged forward, through the tripping toad landmines, and reached for me. I squeaked involuntarily as his hands gripped my thighs, wrapped my legs around his torso, and marched us back to the bedroom, biting, and licking, and kissing my shoulder and neck.

“Wait! What about the vaginas?”

“I got married so I wouldn’t have to look at anyone’s vagina but yours for the rest of my life.”

He threw me on the bed, then gripped the two strings at my hips, pulling them and releasing my swimsuit bottoms.

“B-but…” I stuttered.

Quinn peeled back the scrap of fabric, pushed my knees apart and up to my shoulders as he knelt between my thighs. He brought his mouth to my center.

“Wait,” my words were breathless. “Don’t you want to help me pick a design?”

“No.” He licked me with a flat, soft tongue; then he said, “Surprise me. I love your surprises.”

I bucked, panting, watching the top of his head as he loved my undecorated and unadorned vagina with his mouth. “But—wait—we’ve done this position already.”

“Shhh, Kitten. I’m hungry for you…” Quinn gripped my hips and bottom with his large hands, staying any potential shift or modification to my position.

One more pass of his tongue was all that was required for my unconditional surrender. With a deep sigh, I closed my eyes, gave myself over to him, just as I’d done countless times before.

Paradise wasn’t an island in the Caribbean; it wasn’t a place. It was being with the person you love and working through the illustrated guide to the Kamasutra, even if you repeat positions from time to time.

I loved it.

I loved him.

And I planned to stay in this paradise forever.

** THE END **

If you enjoyed this exclusive content, sign-up for Penny’s newsletter where you will receive more exclusive shorts! Don’t miss the release of the next book in the Knitting in the City series, Marriage of Inconvenience:

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

Coming March 6th, 2018! Pre-order your copy today:

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