Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Acrobatics with an Ammonite
Beneath Aquatica's Waves: Book Twelve
World of Aquatica: When a man swims in private waters, he discovers more than he ever thought possible.
Deckart Waldorf knows he’s not supposed to be swimming there, but he needs to get away. Sneaking onto the private beach seems like a good idea. His ex would never think to look for him there. After all, Deckart has always followed the letter of the law, in every area of his life. He’s never even had a parking ticket.
While snorkeling, Deckart spots what looks like the largest sea snail he’s ever seen. He figures it has to be almost five feet in diameter. Unable to help himself, he takes a closer look. Deckart swims around it and even touches the animal. After a few minutes, the beast reaches out to him, revealing tentacles that help it move swiftly, telling him it isn’t a snail.
Deckart has no idea what it is, but it doesn’t seem dangerous, joining him in playful acrobatics. When he tires and heads to shore, it follows…and turns into a man…a huge light-browned skinned man named Rawlins who claims they’re mates. Can Deckart come to grips with Rawlins’s nature before his ex tracks him down again?
Excerpt - Acrobatics with an Ammonite
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Finally, the rocks gave way to a sprawling beach almost fifty yards across and thirty yards deep. At the top were trees for a number of feet before once again giving way to rocks. He heard birds chirping and insects buzzing.
Grinning, Deckart thought it was perfect.
With a few more grunts and plenty of spilled sweat, Deckart managed to push his Vespa amidst the trees. He un-bunjeed his couple of duffle bags and placed them on the ground. From the larger, he pulled out a small, single-person tent. Once he’d finished putting it up amidst the trees, Deckart cast about for stones to make a fire pit. After that was done, he reached his arms over his head and stretched.
The warm afternoon sun heated his already slicked skin, and the lapping of the waves drew his attention.
“Time for a swim,” Deckart mumbled. “God, that sounds good.”
With a grin, Deckart tugged his polo shirt over his head before draping it over a tree branch. Then he fished through the larger duffle again and pulled out a towel, which he spread on the beach for later. Finally, he tugged free a snorkel, mask, and flippers. Deckart set them aside before pulling out a harpoon gun, too. After a few seconds, he rested that against his scooter for later.
Deciding that, since his shorts were already filthy, Deckart skipped changing them. He toed off his hiking boots before yanking off his socks. Quickly, he donned his flippers, picked up the mask and snorkel, and headed for the oh-so-inviting water.
Deckart hissed when the surf first splashed over his feet and ankles. Pressing on, he strode forward, awkward in his flippers. Still, Deckart kept moving. He could cool off while checking out the fish movements. While he could live on the box of energy bars and bags of dried fruits and nuts he’d brought, he would prefer not to. Exploring for a while would help with that.
Moving quickly, Deckart hoped it helped him warm up. He moved deeper into the water. His skin goose bumped with the chill of the ocean water, but he ignored it.
Once Deckart reached waist-deep, he dunked his goggles in the water, rinsing them. He spat on the lenses on both sides, coating them, then dunked them again. Finally, Deckart fitted them to his face and slipped the snorkel mouthpiece between his lips.
Deckart dove forward and started to swim. He remained on top of the water, putting his face in the waves, breathing through the tube. Roving his gaze over the area, Deckart took in the sandy bottom and the smooth rocks.
As Deckart swam, he searched for good locations where fish would be clustered. He spotted a trench off to his right with a rocky overhang and headed in that direction. Immediately, Deckart noticed several species of fish, crustaceans, and other sea life.
His stomach rumbled, and he suddenly felt sorry he’d left his spear gun behind.
Then a large shadow to the left caught his eye. He headed in that direction, squinting through the gloom. His heartrate shot up, and he barely resisted gasping when he realized he had to be looking at the largest sea snail he’d ever seen.
The creature had a large, circular shell that had to be nearly five feet in diameter. As he drew closer, he began to circle it and guessed the shell was at least two feet in width. Curiosity getting the better of him, he took a deep breath and dove under the water.
Deckart swam toward the snail slowly. While he’d never heard of an aggressive snail, it was still an animal, and he afforded it the respect it was due. His brows shot up behind his mask as he took in the gorgeous swirls of color in vibrant greens, yellows, and blues on its shell, illuminated by the sunlight filtering through the water.
While Deckart knew it was stupid, he couldn’t resist reaching out and touching. The shell slid smoothly under his fingertips. Within the grooves of the swirls, he noted tiny bumps that caught on his skin.
The snail didn’t move.
Grinning behind his mask, Deckart placed his palms on the top of the snail’s shell and pushed. He floated toward the surface, rotating in a forward roll in the process. When Deckart broke the surface, he took in a deep lungful of air.
Deckart peered under the waves once more and noticed the snail still hadn’t moved. Still curious, he dove once again and swam to the snail. He’d just never seen one so big, and he wished he had his underwater camera.
Oops. Left it at home.
Swimming around the snail once more, Deckart slid his palm along the shell as he swam around it.
To Deckart’s shock, something began to slither from the base of the shell…somethings that appeared to be…tentacles.
Okay. Not a snail.
Treading water, Deckart stared in disbelief as one of the tentacles reached toward him and wrapped around his wrist.