‘Animal Attraction’ by Fenella Ashworth

‘Animal Attraction’ is available to purchase on Amazon, and free to all you Kindle Unlimited subscribers.  You can find the first chapter at the bottom of this page.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.  Yay!

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The one thing Katie Gardener didn’t expect to encounter during her early morning dog walk, was a stomach-clenching, mind-numbing, arousal-inducing crush on a delectable stranger. Cursing herself for her ineptitude, she left their meeting without even knowing the man’s name.

Fortunately, fate conspired to bring them together once more, only to discover that their mutual animal attraction was relentlessly potent. But, having been hurt in love before, would it really be sensible of Katie to trust again?

 

Chapter 1 

 Katie breathed a huge sigh of contentment as she strolled happily through the lush meadow, peppered with vibrant wild flowers.  The gently meandering river marked her path ahead, along which gently buzzing bumble bees drifted lazily between flowers, heavily laden with pollen.  Somewhere in the distance, she could hear the insistent, methodical call of a Cuckoo.  Despite everything, summer remained Katie’s favourite time of year, no question, and she happily allowed the noisy surrounding bird song to fill her senses.  Walking just after dawn was a complete joy; she could practically guarantee not meeting another living soul, as though the whole world existed only for her.  That is, existed for herself and her currently missing-in-action dog.

Casting a swift glance behind her, Katie whistled briefly, before continuing forwards.  Moments later, a squawking partridge erupted from some nearby vegetation, closely followed in hot pursuit by a white and tan Cocker Spaniel.

‘Maisy!  Come here!’ she called in the most authoritative voice she could muster, as her afore mentioned walking companion feigned temporary deafness and gleefully coursed the low-flying bird across the farmland, in utter contempt of her despairing owner.

Rolling her cobalt-blue eyes at this all too familiar scenario, Katie simply continued forwards, trusting that her canine cohort would return in her own good time.  She knew from past experience that yelling at the top of her despairing voice, like the proverbial old fishwife, would make not one iota’s worth of difference to the outcome.

Blinking into the sunlight, her thoughts drifted back to the weather.  Meteorologists were forecasting a prolonged period of high pressure, with accompanying clear sunny skies, for the remainder of the month.  This news had been somewhat of a relief, given that THE wedding was taking place in only a few weeks’ time.  “Bridezilla” was, perhaps, an unfair term to use, but her sister Holly had shown a different side to herself in recent months; one that had certainly never previously been witnessed by her family.  Fortunately, her future brother-in-law, John, did seem to be taking the extreme mood swings in his long, relaxed stride.  He was probably hoping that his increasingly obsessive and emotional partner would return to her normal charming self, the moment their vows had been made.

Katie whistled half-heartedly, knowing in her heart that Maisy would only return when she was good and ready.  Having never been in her sister’s position, she couldn’t envisage suffering a similar reaction if her own impending wedding nuptials were looming large on the horizon.  She could only imagine feeling an overwhelming sense of relief that her deeply uninspiring experience of the dating game could finally be confined to the annals of history and never spoken of again.  But until that happy day, her friends and family would undoubtedly continue to try and encourage her to meet a new man, relying heavily on the excessive use of clichés.  Without a doubt, “plenty more fish in the sea” was the single most annoying of these and was one which people seemed inordinately fond of.  Through trial and error, Katie had discovered that any do-gooders could be most rapidly silenced when she drew their attention to the presence of sharks, seaweed and toxic waste in that very same sea.

Speaking of toxic waste, it had been four years now, since she’d split from her ex; Katie no longer gave him the courtesy of referencing his real name, not even in her own head.  The emotional fallout from the end of that relationship had been a key reason that she’d made no active attempts to date since then.  Instead, she simply tried to maintain a positive mental attitude, concentrating on enjoying living in her own skin, as a confident, independent woman.  Whether she always achieved that utopian aspiration was quite a different matter, for although she didn’t need a man to complete her, the companionship of somebody in her life would still be welcomed.

If only that continuous nagging at the back of her brain could be erased, helpfully reminding her that by thirty-seven years of age, she’d always dreamed of having the family life which all of her friends seemed to have so effortlessly achieved.  Secretly, Katie would love to be coupled up with somebody who loved her back, but could she really ever trust again?  If not, that picture-perfect life she’d always dreamed of would remain just that; a dream.  Her English country cottage with a climbing rose around the door.  Three happy children playing contentedly in the garden whilst she stood watching from the doorway, encompassed in the strong, comforting arms of her sexy, loving husband.

Katie exhaled sharply and scuffed the ground with her foot as she continued to stride forwards.  Fantasies were dangerous things to spend too long wallowing in. Instead, she should be grateful for what she did have, which was plenty.  Her health, her own home, a job that she adored, friends and family who loved her and last, but not least, Maisy…that is, if she ever decided to return. Besides, being single had its advantages, including the easy avoidance of the most overrated activity that had ever existed: sex.

Granted, she’d been a late developer, entirely bypassing boys in her teens, and managing only a few ineffectual fumblings before meeting her ex in her late twenties.  They’d started out as work acquaintances and eventually begun dating; it had all been very laid-back, yet somewhat inevitable.  Of course, Katie wasn’t naïve enough to believe in “the thunderbolt”; that single moment of meeting your perfect match, when all the stars align, fairy dust is sprinkled from a great height and everything magically falls into place.  Life wasn’t a romantic film after all, with Hugh Grant or Jude Law flitting on and off stage in various states of undress…worst luck.  Rather, life was a series of compromises.  For Katie, one such compromise had been having to conjure up increasingly creative excuses of how to avoid the monotonous act of sex altogether.

As had been the case so many times over the past few years, the rapid return of the indomitable Maisy knocked Katie out of her imminent melancholy, as only dogs can.  Having eventually accepted she was on a fool’s errand, given that her chosen quarry had mastered the mystical art of flight, Maisy tore back along the footpath before jumping straight into the river.  A couple of mallard ducks retreated noisily into the sky, amidst a flurry of quacking and splashing, whilst Katie found her sluggish brain forced into immediate action.  Experience told her that she needed to get out of the way…and fast.

‘Oh no you don’t!’ giggled Katie, sprinting out of Maisy’s range, as her sodden dog clambered back up the river bank and attempted to shake all over her.

Shrieking with laughter, her blonde hair flying in all directions, she darted around the bend in the river, a wide vista opening up before them.  With a momentarily bristle of indignation, Katie observed a male figure in the near distance, skirting alongside the edge of a small copse.  Part of the reason she walked so very early was for the solitude; being forced to interact with other people simply didn’t form part of her unspoiled morning routine.  Further annoyance descended when she realised that he also had a dog.  Katie whistled a dripping Maisy back towards her and immediately put her on a leash; her bitch was currently just finishing her season so it wasn’t sensible to have her loose in the company of other dogs, especially if they might be of the opposite gender.

Not overly enthusiastic about having her freedom unexpectedly curtailed, Maisy tugged impatiently, towing Katie towards the stranger at pace.  As though some unspoken telepathy had taken place between them, the other dog suddenly noticed their presence and began to run at speed, in their direction.

‘Hector!!  Come here!’ bellowed the man’s authoritative voice from across the field.  Smirking, Katie felt an unexpected moment of solidarity with him as, in an all too familiar scenario, his dog also completely ignored his masterful commands.

Although Katie could see the man running at an impressive pace towards her, it was Hector that reached them first.  Slightly stockier and taller than Maisy, he was the same breed although almost entirely white, save for a large black patch across one eye.  Never one to hold back, Hector immediately tried to shove his nose under Maisy’s tail and sidle up behind her.  Katie watched in despair as Maisy’s hackles started to rise on the back of her neck, whilst clamping her tail firmly down.  She continually rushed behind a rotating Katie in an attempt to escape; clearly Maisy’s mind wasn’t aligned with the signals her wanton body was giving off.

‘Stand still!’ wailed Katie, as the dogs stalked each other around her legs and she began to get tangled up with them.  In a final act of desperation, Katie dropped Maisy’s leash and picked up her still dripping dog, holding the squirming animal against her chest.  Hector, clearly not willing to be hampered so easily, began to jump up against Katie’s body, in an attempt to get closer to his beau.

‘Hector!  No!’ shouted the man.  ‘Get down!’

Not expecting that he would sprint across the field quite so quickly, Katie looked up in surprise to be met by a pair of astonishingly piercing green eyes.  As he slowed to a walk, she found her head tilting up to remain aligned with his, without realising her jaw was starting to hang open.  Put simply, the man was gorgeous.  Around her own age, he displayed a fit, athletic figure, which included being quite a bit taller than her.  Although at five foot five inches, that wasn’t difficult to achieve.  Admiring his tousled light russet hair, she found herself instantly transported to the beauties of an Autumn day as she tried to curtail her desire to run her fingers through it.

‘I’m really sorry,’ he said, his voice softening dramatically when speaking to her.

Utterly stunned, unable even to manage a croak in response, Katie simply stood there looking rather vacant, as the man did his best to capture his sexually motivated hound.  However, each time he made a grab for Hector, the dog darted craftily out of the way, causing the man to move increasingly closer to Katie’s trembling body.  On one occasion, she caught a whiff of minty toothpaste, on another, a soupcon of fruity shower gel.  And then there was a continuous warm, musky, masculine scent, jam-packed with pheromones, which catapulted every sense she possessed into overdrive.

At last, the man managed to make a successful grab for Hector and clipped on his leash.  As he stood upright, the shock of him being so close was overwhelming, causing Katie to gasp loudly.

‘You okay?’ he asked, his concerned voice a deep rumble. Katie found herself blinking up at him stupidly.  Each time her eyes flicked shut, her overwhelmed body was given a moment’s reprieve from the mesmerising sight before her.

‘Yes,’ she croaked, her mind whirring at double speed, to create a passable excuse for her extreme reaction.  ‘Just the cold water from the river took my breath away.’

‘Oh God, I’m so sorry!’ he groaned, his eyes flicking down her lithe body to observe the river water spreading across her clothing, thanks to the dripping wet dog which she continued to clasp against her abdomen. Katie shifted Maisy slightly further towards her rounded breasts in an attempt to cover her rapidly hardening nipples; she was horribly aware that she would currently be a very strong contender in a wet T-shirt competition.

‘It’s fine,’ she tried to say, but no sound was forthcoming.  Coughing politely, Katie swallowed to moisten her parched throat.  She then chanced her voice again, impressed to hear it was working once more, albeit a little higher than her normal tone.  ‘It’s my fault.  Maisy’s in season.  I never normally see anybody at this time of the morning so I thought I’d chance it.’

‘Ah, that explains his reaction,’ grinned the man, still holding back his exceptionally keen companion, whose failed attempts to reach the object of his affection was doing nothing to dampen his enthusiasm. ‘Hector’s an entire dog.’

‘I do want to breed from her,’ continued Katie, starting to shake, although she wasn’t entirely sure whether it was from cold or excitement.  ‘Just not today…’  The man laughed in response; a warm, friendly chuckle which felt like a mug of hot chocolate on a frosty morning.

‘Well, one thing I’ve learnt over the years is to never argue with animal attraction,’ he stated, his eyes boring into hers.  Katie gasped, her brain entirely devoid of possible responses.  She suddenly understood the saying “like a rabbit caught in the headlights.”

‘You’re cold,’ he said, noting she’d started to shiver. ‘Here, allow me,’ he added.  Unzipping his fleece jacket, he shrugged it off to expose a tanned, well-toned body, perfectly complimented by a tight white T-shirt.  Taking a step towards her, he placed the coat gently around her shoulders, his firm, confident touch sending her mind reeling.  Katie found herself quite unable to assist, clasping Maisy to her chest whilst the river water continued to permeate uncomfortably through her clothing, now seeping through to the waistband of her trousers.

‘I’m not swapping clothes with you,’ smiled Katie shyly. Although she was grateful for the garment, still warm from the heat of his body, the transferred scent of him up close and personal was almost more than she could bear.

‘I’m trying not to look disappointed,’ he replied with a wicked grin, his green eyes boring into hers.  ‘How am I doing?’

‘Not at all well,’ she giggled, grateful that human sexual desire couldn’t be read as easily as it was with dogs…or at least she hoped it couldn’t.  Still, that didn’t stop her own stomach churning with a craving so strong, it momentarily overwhelmed her.

‘Can I do anything to help?’ he asked more seriously.

‘I’m fine, thank you,’ she replied with more confidence than she felt.  ‘I’ve got a change of clothes in my car, which is only a five minute walk away.  Plus,’ she added.  ‘It’s a beautiful, warm day.’

Beside her, the man inhaled deeply, his strong broad chest expanding dramatically, before exhaling with satisfaction.  The sight sent a warmth to her core, despite her reduced body temperature.

‘Yes, it’s glorious, isn’t it?  So, you own the hot hatch in the car park, do you?’

‘Yes,’ she said, perhaps a little too defensively.  Having the capability of being selfish was, in Katie’s opinion, one of the few benefits of a single life.  A such, she could spend her time and money on whatever she chose.  She had taken a certain amount of criticism from family members about her choice of vehicle and “a waste of good money” was one such censure that still rang firmly in her ears.

‘It’s not very practical for a dog owner, is it?’ he observed lightly.

‘You sound extraordinarily like my mother,’ she snapped, unable to prevent her hackles from immediately rising.

Chuckling, the man’s gaze dropped to the floor, as he scuffed his feet along the ground.  Slowly, he raised his eyes back to hers, looking up at Katie from under his long lashes.

‘I’m sorry.  I’m guessing from your tone that I shouldn’t read that as a compliment?’

‘Not on this occasion, no,’ she replied, unable to hide a smile.

‘Then I’ll take that as my cue to leave.’

‘I’m sorry…I didn’t mean…’

‘I’m playing with you,’ he interrupted with a smile. With their eyes locked, Katie couldn’t help but notice tiny flecks of gold surrounding his pupils  They both looked momentarily embarrassed, aware of how his innocent words could so easily be misconstrued.

‘I’m sorry if we’ve spoilt your walk,’ stuttered Katie, realising that Hector couldn’t now be released, given that he would only turn and sprint back to Maisy.

‘On the contrary…’ he replied quietly with a dip of his head, tightening his hold on the leash.

‘Goodbye,’ she stuttered.  Not waiting for a reply, aware of the blush starting to spread up her neck, Katie turned and walked away.  Fighting her natural instinct to look behind, she released her wet hound, wrapped that gorgeous man’s fleece jacket more firmly around herself and strode purposefully forwards.  It was only once she’d crossed the field, skirted the copse and reached the edge of the car park that she dared to glance backwards.  Predictably, there was no one there.  Confused to feel both relieved and seriously deflated, she walked towards her car, kicking herself for not even asking his name.

Approaching her vehicle, Katie found her steps stutter to a grinding halt as her jaw dropped in amazement.  There, parked adjacent to her own dark green ‘hot hatch’, as he’d called it, was another car of exactly the same make and model.  The only difference seemed to be that this car was electric blue.  There wasn’t another vehicle in sight; it had to be his.  Katie sighed with controlled frustration.  He hadn’t been criticising her choice of car but rather, rejoicing in their shared taste.  Sometimes she could be such a dick!

Having changed her own clothes and settled Maisy into the car, Katie found herself dithering.  She had to make tracks if she was going to get to work on time, but equally, she was incredibly eager to bump into a certain fellow dog-walker again. Folding up his jacket, she placed it carefully on his windscreen, before dashing back to her car to grab a pen and paper.  With a broad grin, she scribbled out a note and placed it carefully under his windscreen wiper.  With an impish sense of satisfaction, she quickly jumped back into her car, driving off at speed.

If only Katie could have seen the amused smirk her actions caused when, returning to his car half an hour later, the man discovered a note which simply read “Nice (albeit wholly impractical) hot hatch”.

The full version of ‘Animal Attraction’ can be found on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fenella Ashworth

Fenella Ashworth is a British author of contemporary erotic fiction.  All of her stories are available from Amazon and free for those with Kindle Unlimited access.  Her best known novels are ‘To Love, Honour and Oh Pay’ and the Daniel Lawson series.
Fenella also releases stories on BooksieSilk, Booksie, Lush Stories and Literotica, and is often visible in the Literotica ‘Erotic Couplings’ Hall of Fame (Top Rated).
Please sign up to her newsletter for the latest news, and access to freebies, including a copy of the recently published ‘Bad girls go to Heaven’.

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