July 1, 2010
today is the day we share our darlings. i'm looking forward to reading all the entries. if you didn't sign up, but decided at the last minute you want to play along, that's great. anyone who signs up by midnight tonight (July 1) will still be eligible for the drawing for one of two books.
to read the darlings others have shared, or to sign up at the last minute, here you go...
two of the links below aren't working, so here are links to those blogs:
and now, my darling.
actually, i have two darlings, or rather, two versions of one darling from my work in progress. i worked on them a little, but neither one of them is polished by any means. i'm posting only one of them here. the other is this darling's fraternal twin (as it were) since they're the same situation, just with a different take. you can read #2 here: my darling's fraternal twin.
the setup - Arathor and Tiana (my 2 MC's from Blackheart) have been traveling together and are staying in a stranger's house. out of convenience, they're sharing one bed, even though they're not married. he's promised to not touch her, but now he's having second thoughts.
you also need to know that Arathor has a mental connection with his son, Kieran, and one with Tiana. he was supposed to marry her but didn't. they both lost their spouses 20+ years ago.
i like this scene because it puts them in an uncomfortable romantic situation. i decided to cut it because, as with many of my romance scenes, it felt a little too forced and it doesn't really fit into the 2nd draft. also, it's a little over-written, a little too "romance novel-ish." even today, i tried to figure out how i could keep it, but it really won't fit anywhere and i'm learning to not force a scene just because i want to include it.
now, imagine this guy...
Sleep was never hard for Arathor. Tonight it was impossible. From the moment Tiana had come to bed, his mind had raced with possibilities. Even then, he’d known he should sleep on the floor, but finally having the chance to have one night off the ground had gotten the best of him. Against his better judgement, he’d stayed, listening to every breath she took, sensing the moment she fell asleep, hearing her call out Devan's name in a dream. (Devan was Tiana's husband.)
He was tired of being alone. He didn’t feel guilty about his choices, and finding love again felt like betraying his wife. But not even Annalisa would want him to spend the rest of his life this way. Now there was a chance to start over and there was only one woman he wanted.
She was just an arm’s length away.
Once upon a time, they'd had a heart connection. He thought it had died, but lately he’d felt it reaching out to him. He wanted to know if it was real.
Tiana rolled over. The whisper of her breath on his arm sent chills through him. It would be easy to inch his hand towards her hair. He’d wanted to touch it for days, to see if it was still like touching silk. Just one touch and then… He didn’t know what he would do then.
He waited, trying to slow his breathing. She stirred and he almost lost his nerve. If she felt his touch, she might be insulted – or she might want more. He had to know.
Slowly, he reached out to touch the top of her head. She didn’t move. Maybe she was still asleep. His hand moved to cradle her cheek. His thumb stroked the soft skin. He thought he heard her sigh. He held his breath, waiting for her to respond. She did nothing. He let his thumb brush across her lips. It had been years since he’d kissed her, but he knew what her lips would be like.
He shifted so he was closer, close enough to catch the scent vanilla clinging to her. Now her breath was on his chest and his body felt like it was on fire. He didn’t know how much longer he could stay in control of himself. He wasn’t sure that he wanted to control himself.
He jerked his hand back and sat on the edge of the bed. What was he thinking? He should leave the house right now. If he stayed, his charging desires were going to get him in trouble.
She put her hand on his back and left it there, as if she’d meant to touch him. The simple brush of her fingers burned into him like a hot coal.
“I’m sorry if I woke you.” He was surprised at how ragged his voice sounded.
“I wasn’t asleep.”
His gut tightened. She’d known he was touching her and hadn’t stopped him. “Tiana—”
He heard her moving behind him. He sucked in a breath as her fingers moved over his shoulders and down his arms. She took one of his hands and kissed his fingers. His pulse pounded in his ears and sweat beaded his face.
“I know,” she whispered against the corner of his jaw.
Her hands came over his chest and started to explore. He closed his eyes and reveled in her sweet touch. Her body was pressed up against his back and every soft curve enticed him. It took all of his resolve to press her hands to his chest to make her stop. If she continued, he knew how it would end.
Protecting her honor warred with raging desire. It had been so long since he'd been with a woman and he wanted her right now. Before he could decide, she was in front of him and they were kissing. He could feel her passion in the way her lips took his, in the way her hands roved over him, in the unrestrained thoughts that passed between them. She wanted this as much as he did.
His arms came around her and he angled his mouth across hers to deepen their kiss. The sound of her sighing went straight to his groin. He threaded his fingers into her hair and pulled her braid loose, then let his lips move down her neck and across her shoulder. Everything in him wanted to make love to her.
She suddenly pulled away. At first, all he heard was their labored breaths.
“You’re kissing me,” she said.
It took a moment for him to think. “You were kissing me.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you wanted to?”
“I would never—”
“But you did," he said. "And you seemed to want more.”
She shrieked and pulled away from him. He could feel her teetering between outrage and embarrassment. “Get out!”
“Wait – you wanted this as much as I did.”
“You said you wouldn’t touch me.”
“But you were awake when I—”
“You’re blaming this on me?”
“Damn you, woman. Make up your mind.”
“I said get out.”
He growled out loud. He didn’t care if their hostess heard any of this.
He fumbled in the dark for his shirt and pulled it over his head. “I’m going.”
He left and she slammed the door behind him.
What the hell had just happened?