"March, master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms that enkindle the season they smite."
~Algernon C. Swinburne
Congratulations to the winner of my February Giveaway: Cynthia Borris!
Hope you’re all enjoying this first day of March (is it here already??)
For a little something different, I thought I’d post an excerpt from my WIP Lost in Paradise, which is in its umpteenth revision since being pulled from Virtual Tales. It’s also being read as a partial right now by The Wild Rose Press, so fingers crossed.
Here, the hero and heroine reunite after a fight…
She’d almost made it to the stairs by the time his door swung open. Eddie stood on the other side, bare-chested and dozy-eyed. He wore a pair of cut-off sweats and nothing else.
She forgot how to breathe.
“What time is it?”
“I’m sorry.” The words came out in a rush. “I shouldn’t have--were you sleeping?”
He shook his head and ran one hand over his hair, standing it up on end. “Watching TV.” He paused for a moment, then pushed the door open all the way. “Want to come in?”
The living room smelled of him, that complicated scent she associated with baseball games and late nights on the porch and winks in the bar as he sat and watched her count tips. Ash stopped near the recliner and looked around. The kitten, now a few pounds rounder in the belly, slept on a towel Eddie had tucked into a cardboard box.
“You ever give it a name?”
He closed the door and stepped beside her, breathing the words into her ear. “Call ‘im Tiny. Seems to like it.”
She smiled. “Fits him.”
He sat on the edge of the couch. “So--”
“I’m sorry,” she said again. Second time in less than five minutes, she thought. Why don’t I just apologize my way into tomorrow? But there didn’t seem to be any other words to fit the enormity of what she needed to say.
“Sit.” Eddie cocked his head at her. “Stop being so god-damned nervous and tell me what’s going on.”
“It’s complicated.” She worked her way toward him. “I’m not--”
“So, start with something small.” He leaned back as she edged onto the couch. “Start with--I don’t know. Why you decided to leave Boston.”
Ash laughed. “I wouldn’t call that something small.” That’s the biggest part of what I need to say, she thought. And the hardest.
He didn’t say anything after that, didn’t press, didn’t keep questioning. He just studied her with that intent gaze of his, until she felt sure that he had stripped off every last stitch of clothes she wore, skin too, and saw through to the heart that beat erratically under her skin.
One hand worked its way across the cushion, until it rested on his bare leg. “What happened the other night--”
“Was nice. Was good. Should happen a lot more.”
She let out a long breath. “Yeah.”
Eddie’s hand reached for hers, five fingers twining their way around her own. Ash let her gaze move across his chest, over the pale fuzz that spread there. Up to the tattoo on his triceps. Over to his square chin, that bobbed when he spoke too fast or got too excited. Down, just for an instant, to the waistband of the cut-offs that dipped below his navel. Then up, where blue eyes met hers and a mouth looked as though it was waiting for her to make up its mind.
“There’s so much I need to tell you.”
“Okay.” Eddie pulled her toward him, working his hand from hers, slipping it around her waist and drawing her across the pillows so that her curves melted into his.
“Eddie--” But there was nothing she wanted to say. Nothing she wanted to explain. A dizzying rush of desire came over her, so strong and so sudden that she felt as though all the air had been sucked out of the room.