Here is the scene:
April asked, "What would he do if I came in here when you weren't home?"
"I'd have to teach him you're allowed. He loves Lanny." He filled the glasses.
"What about your dates?"
"They've all been scared of him. None of them would dare come in alone."
"What about leaving them in bed?"
Russell rolled his eyes and huffed. "Lanny talks too much, but if someone comes in with me, he knows they're okay. However, once they go out, they shouldn't come back in unless I've taught him, like Lanny. He knows she belongs."
"Why do you have him? You have two guns."
"I don't take the gun when I run."
"That needs more explanation."
"Okay." Russell took a deep breath and a sip from his margarita. "A year and a half ago, I went running early, before light. I like the solitude. It's my quiet time, my 'me' time. Sometimes, I even pray. Suddenly, out of nowhere, someone hit me in the back with a baseball bat. I went down. Then, the bat was across my face." He tapped his nose. "The broken nose. Cracked cheek bone, too. I never had the chance to fight back. Two masked thugs were there. As if the baseball bat wasn't enough, one of them thrust a knife into my spleen. They told me if I lived to drop the story I was working on. I lived, but I lost my spleen. Now, I don't run alone. Wolfgang is three years old. He's former K-9. He was shot in the line of duty. He lived, but he can't be a cop anymore."
Russell drank more of his margarita and refilled April's glass as it was almost empty.
"Did you drop the story?" she asked.
"Hell, no! I just put it on hold."
"What's the story?"
"Toxic dumping at The Dunes. I know it's going on. I want to know who. It's killing people. The city council won't approve the dumping, but somebody's doing it anyway. When they've been lulled into false security, I'm going to find out."
"You could get killed."
"Naa. I'm too ornery." Russell shook his head and finished his drink, pouring the rest of the pitcher into his glass afterward.
"Bullets don't recognize ornery," said April.
"Show you what?"
April nodded. "Stubborn. Show me."
"That would mean taking off my shirt."
"You're a baby."
"No, Russell, I'm not."
"How have you always been able to manipulate me, even after years apart?"
"It's in the stars."
He untucked his shirt, and she took the hem in her hands.
"Shhh." April lifted Russell's shirt; he allowed her to slip it over his head. She ran a finger along the puffy jagged scar on his otherwise rock-hard torso.
Russell closed his eyes as April put her lips to the scar.
"Oh," he groaned. "I didn't bring you here for this."
"Why did you bring me here?"
"Time to get to know you. You're right. You're not a baby. You're an alluring temptress. You are a woman. I never expected you."
"What did you expect?"
"Mmm. Not this," Russell breathed.
April moved her mouth to Russell's neck and chin. She let her full lips hover over Russell's. He tipped his mouth toward hers and opened his eyes. Putting a hand on each side of April's heart-shaped face and entwining his fingers in her hair, Russell kissed her deeply, ending with a nibble to her upper lip.
Russell felt April's hands at the top of his slacks. "Stop," he whispered. "Too soon. Stop."
"Is that what you want?" asked April.
"No. I want to be inside you, but I want you to be more than sex."
"I want to make love to you."
"Oh, April, in time. Let's not jump to the end without a beginning."
April straddled Russell. "Okay. Just this then." April moved her body against him, feeling an instant response through his pants.
"Mmm," Russell moaned. He unzipped April's dress and slipped it off her shoulders. His mouth found her breasts.
"Oh," she gasped with the arousal. Russell slid his hand beneath her dress and under the thong she wore, and his fingers were inside her. Fifteen minutes later, April shivered and Russell exploded as they climaxed in unison. Both breathed heavily at the release.
Russell murmured, "Oh, April, I haven't come like that since before I lost my virginity. God!"
She kissed him. "Wait until it's real sex."
"Oh, God! If you do that again, you'll make me lose my resolve." He kissed her breasts. "Are these real?"
"Mmm." He softly bit her left nipple.
"Russell, if you want to wait, don't do that."
"Do you like that?"
He gave the other side some attention before he touched a small discolored spot between April's breasts.
"My scar," she whispered.
Russell relaxed and pulled her dress back onto her shoulders. She leaned into him and laid her head on his shoulder. She kissed his neck, and he caressed her arm. With her still on his lap, they fell asleep on the sofa considering the fact that someone had tried to kill both of them, perhaps, the same someone.