Excerpt ...
Finding Love for the Loner

Chapter One:  Winston’s Normal



It was still dark out.

Winston Adams knew it was way earlier than he’d care to wake up on a Saturday.  But his bedmate had stirred beside him and when she did that, it was only a matter of time until he was up, like it or not.

He closed his eyes again and lay still, hoping beyond hope that she’d settle back in.

She released an annoyed growl.  No words, but he knew exactly what she meant.

He rolled over to face her, wrapped his arm around her and shushed her restlessness.  “Shhh, baby, he whispered.  "Go back to sleep.  It’s so nice and warm in here.”

Something thumped against the mattress, most likely her tail, and a sloppy, wet tongue licked his face.  “Okay, okay, calm down.”  At the sound of his voice, she pulled herself up to all fours, trapping him under her body.  She bathed his face full force.  “Rebel!  Stop it!  Okay!  I’m up!”

Winston rolled off the bed and onto his feet, his ninety-pound yellow Labrador bounding behind him, landing on the wooden floor.  The pads of her feet slid across the slick surface, and she slammed clumsily into the wall.  She woofed, shook her great muscular form and headed for the bedroom door.  Winston opened it and she escaped.  The sounds of her bounding down the stairs filled the small two-story Cape Cod.

Glancing over his shoulder wistfully at the still-warm tousled bed, Winston sighed.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Once his Rebel was up, she was up, and there was no rest for the weary, AKA him.

Two hours later, their morning routine was complete.  He’d let Rebel out in the fenced-in yard to do her business while he’d dressed in sweats, a warm shirt and shoes.  He put her in her harness, attached a leash and headed out for their two-mile walk.  Back at the house, he measured out the large breakfast serving of dog food, and after gulping it down, she was ready for her lazy time.  She’d leaped up on the couch, which was unfortunately shabby from her doing that day after day. 

And the sun had come up.  Finally.

Winston drew a hand over her short-haired back.  “You know, most working people who have weekends off actually sleep in on Saturdays.  Till, oh I don’t know, eight o’clock at the earliest.”  Gone were his bachelor days of sleeping till noon.  Once he’d become a puppy-daddy, his entire life revolved around the dog. 

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