The Kiss. (Daniel Speaks)



In honor of Valentine’s Day, a gift for TELESA readers – a piece that may (or may not be) Daniel’s thoughts on kissing. And that kiss. Hope you enjoy it!
Why is that guys are supposed to have kissed tons of girls – or else they’re designated “losers”? While girls are supposed to only have kissed one or two people at the very most – or else they’re designated “sluts”? That never made much sense to me at all. But then there’s a lot about kissing. And girls. That has always eluded me.

When guys get together they like to talk about girls. Which usually leads to talking about who they’ve been kissing lately. Or wanting to kiss lately. Me? I like to adopt a ‘man of mystery’ approach to the whole thing. I tell them that according to my Grandfather, ‘a gentleman never kisses and tells.’ Which of course makes it sound like I’m getting it on with loads of girls. Ha. When really? The truth? I’ve only ever kissed two girls. And I’m not sure forced mouth-mashing actually qualifies. Samantha Matu kissed me in Year 5 when the girls were playing ‘Chase the boys and Kiss Them.’ (Okay, so she was a faster runner than me, but damn, have you seen her? That girl was a giant compared to the rest of us and nobody could escape her. The kiss she plastered on my clamped shut lips was vicious.)  My second kiss wasn’t much better. In Year 8 a girl called Malia liked me. So her best friend told my best friend to tell me that I should  meet Malia at the back of the school hall. Well, I did and after standing there in total silence for ten minutes, we both had the same idea and kind of smushed our lips together for all of two seconds. Which left me wondering, ‘what the heck is the big deal with kissing anyway?!’


The day I kissed Leila gave me the answer to that question – and then some. We had gone running together at the SamCo field and she had basically killed me in the fitness and endurance department. (Shh, don’t tell Coach.) It was getting dark by the time we were done, so the field was empty. Just me and her with the stars coming out. I remember she was wearing blue running shorts and a white singlet with this black sports halter top kinda thing inside it. She was flushed, sweaty and laughing, really loving the fact that she had just kicked my ass on the track. She smiled up at me. That’s all it took and everything came to a crashing halt, like someone had taken me out with a killer tackle. No air. No sound. Nothing. Why had the world stopped? Why couldn’t I breathe or move or feel anything?


I looked at her. Really looked at her. 


I had seen Leila without a shirt before, so I knew that under the clothes she wore with awkward unease – there was a body that dipped and curved in all the right places. In unforgettable ways. (And believe me, ever since the night I had surprised her at the midnight pool, I had been trying not to remember it.) It was easier when she was in the orange and yellow school uniform everyday, but that night, her workout clothes clung to her with sweat in a way that I bet would have made her really mad if she had known. I tried to focus just on her eyes – but my memory was filling in all the tantalizing gaps. The long legs that went on forever. The slight slouch to her shoulders because she was always trying to hide the fact that she was taller than most everyone around her. Her hands that she would wave around all over the place when she was trying to get her point across. The thick rope of hair that I wished I could loosen from its braid, just so I could see if the sandy highlights would catch fire in the moonlight. Her black onyx eyes that could knife through a guy when he was dumb enough to debate with her. Or soften to a midnight ocean velvet when memories entangled her. Or glint with chipped diamonds of laughter when she was teasing me…Are you sure you’re man enough to risk losing a race to a girl? I think I saw you struggling to keep up there for a few laps!


I looked at Leila. And that’s when it hit me. Damn. She’s beautiful.’ 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I thought she was ugly before that. No, it’s just that up until that moment, I had been too busy trying to figure her out. Everything about Leila both intrigued  and infuriated me. From her anger to the sadness that she drowned in when she talked about her Dad to her ever-readiness to believe the worst of me. Any encounters with Leila inevitably had me feeling like I wanted to smash stuff. Or like I needed to go for a long, hard swim in a icy cold pool. Or both.

But that night, Leila wasn’t making me mad. Or confused. She was just smiling and laughing and talking. And being so damn beautiful that it hurt.  A lot. In my chest. My head. And everywhere else that a guy feels stuff.
We sat and talked but I couldn’t tell you what we talked about. I just hope that I made legible sense. I can tell you that she sat beside me on grass that was still warm from the fast fading day. We were barely close enough to touch but every breath I took tasted of her. Chocolate. The savor of roasted koko beans with lots of brown sugar. And hints of vanilla spiced with the burn of chilli. We talked but all I could think about was how beautiful she looked in the moonlight. And wonder… how angry would she be if I tried to kiss her?

And then she ran her fingers along my shoulder, tracing the patterns of the tattoo on my arm. Her touch burned. It was a struggle not to jump up and run a mile in the opposite direction. Because I wanted to touch her back. Hold her. Taste her mouth on mine. And I knew I couldn’t. Shouldn’t.  

For the barest of moments, I did try to halt the tidal wave of heat that was sweeping me towards her. I tried. And then I wasn’t trying anymore. Because then a thought, a longing had melded into a moment. I breathed a kiss on her cheek. Her skin was hot. Sweet. And then her lips were opening under mine and I wasn’t thinking anymore. Because I was sinking, melting, drowning in a pool of hot chocolate. Everything splintered into flashes. Swirling like in a kaleidoscope.

Hot. Mouth. Velvet sky. Stars gleaming. Tongue. Searching. Hands. Tugging my hair. Skin against skin. Hard. Sweat. Pulse. Hot. Electrical current wired from earth to heavens. Heart beat. Sweet. Hot. Fire. Raging. Kiss. Faraway ocean roars. Crash. Foam. Leila. Hot. Hot. Fire. Hot. 

Too hot. Shit! Ouch.

“Leila, what’s happening?”

She pushed me from her with a strength I didn’t know she had. “Daniel, get away from me!”

And then, the girl who had set me on fire with a kiss – exploded and burst into flames.
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71 comments

  1. Thank You! you have inspired so much Passion! i love love love this! i wish to be Leila in that moment to have such a passionate Kiss! I cant wait for the 2nd installment! God Bless ❤

  2. Well that was HOT! lol wow, reading from Daniel's perspective almost made me want to make out with Leila…LOL! j/k This totally gave me the chills. Well done Lani! Loved it.

  3. Ahhh Ahhh Ahhh Ahhh!!! I just died, and then came back to life. I love you! Just started reading telesa (didnt know there were so many pages. Freaking e-books are soo deceptive! They all look the same size until you open the file.) Any who. This makes me want to put down my homework and read the rest right now. Only I cant. I have a paper due next week. (I'll just read at work when I should be doing work work)

  4. Even in the middle of the laundromat this snippet takes me back to my obsessive book 1 days. The mental transport was a welcomed treat, thank you 🙂 Beam me up Scottie/Lani, any time!

  5. O>>M>>G….thanks for telling me what my future baby daddy was thinking….I remember that night, and was wondering what was going on in his angel like head of his…jus cause im LEILA, daughter of a telesa does not mean I read minds…although it would be nice….thanks for the gift Lani….I get carried away sometimes in your books, Being Leila is fun… especially wen I have Ezra as my Danny Boo! lol…I too enjoyed ur gift. Much Alofas! PS. U can come to america now…Were waiting!

  6. Ooh i am more than HAPPY to read it! i am so happy my friend told me about your book! Thank you so much for re-igniting my passion for reading and romance..let me know when i can read the cut OUT parts hehe 🙂 Much Love and God Bless _SheRR N.

  7. Woman, what are you doing? Stop teasing us with brilliant short stories and finish the next book!!! I want more everything? Put me out of my misery though…where's Jason??

  8. Big heavy sigh…and request. Can I purchase the R-rated version anywhere online? Waiting with breath that is baited for the next book. No hopes for a book release in Honolulu? And honey, Channing Tatum ain't got nothing on a fine, young Polynesian boy (yes please, Daniel!).

  9. My oh my! That was very detailed I absolutely loved it. I can only imagine what the unedited version was like. It's nice to read from Daniel's point. Are you writing more from his view? It's exciting to read from his view. Can't wait for March to get here. Hope to read more from Daniel's view.

  10. Okay, I concede a Daniel is more intriguing than a Channing…BUT I would still like lots more Channing! LOL Youre not the first one to mention the "R-Rated" version. I've been musing on the possibilities of that one, haha.

  11. LOVED this post. I may just book mark it and come back to read it over and over again until the next book comes out! I was just introduced to Telesa a few weeks ago and couldn't put it down! My husband was not too happy about me staying up all night reading. My baby would wake up at 3am for a feed and I'd still be up reading. It was so hard to stop! I enjoy your blog and am looking forward to reading the next book.

  12. Have finally read Telesa…..well done Lani. Now the kids are all reading it. Will be waiting to read the next one and am very impressed with all you have had to learn to do in the past year to self publish and market.Aloha

  13. LOL love hearing your Telesa reading experience TnT! Sounds like youre a bit sleepless yourself when it comes to reading…I was up until 2am last nite reading Sophie Kinsella's latest book. Not a very smart idea when you have to get up at 5am to take teenagers to early morning scripture study seminary class….aaaargh.

  14. HI Stella, thank you for the feedback. You're such an extensive reader that Im thrilled that you would read Telesa and actually not hate it. I hope the kids enjoy it. Am working (sporadically) very hard on the next one. Keep getting distracted by children and etc. Great to hear from you!

  15. Dear Kuaback, thank you for the book love and encouragement…Im looking forward to ALLLL your blog updates now that you are back in Hawaii and enjoying broadband internet!Impatient Kuaback Blog Reader

  16. Thank you Lani – I just got in trouble at work, because I couldnt put the damn book down. In fact, I was the first one to buy the book this morning when I arrived to get some fruits from the Samoan shop and the guy that delivered them was there with both the Telesa & Pacific Tsunami. The Title Telesa caught my eye, but it was the name "Wendt" that made me bought it. Thank you for the smile of the day. And for those of you who havent yet read this book, I dare you to. They are now selling them at Ulutoa & Sons Taste of Samoa located at 1898 Great North Road Avondale, Auckland.

  17. u won my heart over! so much that twilight is garbage to me! lol makes it more enjoyable because daniel look too damn good hahaha! more telesa pleease. a fan introducing ur book to every 1 out there! LA girl…..

  18. Thank you for giving my book a chance. I've updated my 'Where to Buy' page with the name and address of the new book retailer, appreciate the info which will help others in West Auckland looking for a copy!

  19. ummmm…can you please return Telesa and her five sisters back please please please…they make the story much more interesting and exciting. Just dont kill anyone off, they all play a special and unique part of the story, especially Simone..lol. Thank you Leila oi I mean Lani. Keep up the good work but please take care of your health, so you can write some more books for us to read.

  20. Thanks! I like reading Daniel's POV, as well as Leila. It's rare that books tell of both sides, and it's that much more enjoyable when both characters tell of their feelings to captivate the reader.When i was younger, i used to only like books that told both sides…the boy and the girl's, because i wanted to know that both were feeling the same way, even though they refused to be the first to give in…This was great! Daniel is some kind of a guy 🙂

  21. i had just settled my Telesa buzz after reading the first book, & then having to wait for book 2 (it sure hasn't been easy i think my book has had it been read over and over again) and then to finally give in and read this! Gaahh – So i love with it 🙂 can't wait for book 2!

  22. I hear ya! I cant bring back the five sisters in book two but I do introduce a bunch of new kick-butt telesa women who hopefully you will find just as interesting and exciting. Thanks so much for the feedback.

  23. Glad you enjoyed it. I enjoy writing the Daniel pieces so much that Im writing a novella all from Daniel's point of view (from the first book)that will be released later this year. I too like getting more insight into how the boy thinks and feels in a book so thought I would try writing it. Look out for it!

  24. Thank you Cecilia – I love hearing from satisfied readers, LOL. Im so sorry that the release date has been bumped back a bit. I promise it wont be too long though before the second book is out.

  25. I'd been restraining myself from reading this part because I hadn't read it in the book until a week or so ago, but I just didn't come back to it. And I'm so glad I did. Everything about his POV was awesome, and if anything, I love him even more than I already do!~Jess

  26. LaniShort and sweet is what makes a perfect book. You nailed it. I thank you for all the hard work, the sleepless nights, time, effort, you have put in just to make us readers happy. Proud of your work. A huge thank you to your family for giving you the time to write this book. God bless you and your family. Thank you for the Telesa book.

  27. A friend introduced me to your book the other day and I was sucked in! I finished it yesterday and was so satisfied. I absolutely loved 'Telesa' and I'm so exciting for 'When Water Burns' to come out! I wanted to buy a copy for myself, but couldn't find one online. Do you have a site that you sell your books on? Amazon only carried the Kindle version.This is definitely a Samoan version of Twilight! You are amazing, and when I read you had 5 kids, it makes it even more amazing that you're able to find the time to write!Thank you for sharing Daniel's POV. Are they planning on making a movie? I don't know if any guy could compare to the Daniel I dreamed up of in my mind ;)Your Newest Fan,Chant'e

  28. Aww thanks Jess. I have so much more fun writing his POV than Leila's…Even tho Im sure guys never think all that stuff at all. Arent they supposed to only have one thing on their minds all the time?! I much prefer fantasy Daniel to a real life one, LOL.

  29. OMG…i fell inlove with Daniel right before he kissed Leila….lmao…..Lani you have inspired the whole world with your books! I cant wait for book 2…Its already March and when are we expexting it?? sorry im too pushy but i cant wait..i finished Telesa the first night i bought it.Ha…gooo team Daniel! I Love it!

  30. Ooh'wee! Such a teaser with this piece..haha…and why am I all late in reading this? Happy belated Valentine to me! Haha….so looking forward to book 2. #TeamGirlOnFire!

  31. Lani, you are an exceptional writer! I'm most struck by your ability to transport the reader into the mind of the narrator in the most subtle of ways and how easily you convey the strongest emotions. I recently graduated with a degree in Biology, but in my last semester I took a Creative Writing [non-fiction] course and fell back in love with the art of writing. Reading your work has inspired me, in all ways. Every page takes me back to Samoa and I can't wait until I can visit there again (hopefully in 2 years, max!) If you ever come to northern California for a book signing, I'll be first in line :]

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