Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday, Monday

I'm looking down the double barrel of a 14 hour work-day today, and a trip to l'hospital tomorrow for day surgery, so I'm going to post a couple of things and leave you all to amuse yourselves until, say, Weds.



I've known for a while that I needed a, "not quite a kiss," moment in chapter one of DANGEROUS LIES, but I've been struggling with getting the words down. The other day, in a lovely coffee house in Keswick, over lunch, I got it.

Waddya think?

Alan and Marianne are escaping some rioters. They hide in a tiny, gated alleyway in Rabat, Morocco. They've only just met. *VBG*


"In here." Alan flicked a latch on a narrow gate of planks, paint peeling red and green, and pushed her through it ahead of him. It was little more than a narrow space between two houses. Not even wide enough to earn the name alley, just a gap, with a wavering channel running down the centre, where water would run in the rains.

He crowded in after her, bending close to the gate to close it, one palm braced on the splintering wood, one easing the latch into place silently. The mob passed, a shadow at the gate, a shouting and thundering, shivering a skein of sand from the back ledge of the gate.

The noise outside went away, the noise inside was only their breathing, her feet shuffling on the ground as she tried to edge her way to some personal space, somewhere she could breathe.

She was immediately half blinded in the shadows and half stifled in the still, hot air. She braced one hand on the rough rendered wall opposite – with her back against the other wall, she couldn’t even straighten her arm. She dragged in hot, dusty air, choking on the racing of her own heart, and tried not to panic.
Looking around, she saw that the other end of their hiding place was blocked by piles of something like boxes. Oh God. "Where—"

Alan whirled on her, plucking her close, wedging her between his chest and the wall, one arm immobilising her, one hand hard across her mouth. Outside there were shouts, a distant cacophony, unreal and distorted.

Everything was unreal. The shafts of light piercing the rickety door were like golden blades. The dust motes that danced on them were gods and angels, djinns and genies. She was blinded with light and dazzled with darkness in one breath.
In the stuttering dark he was a wall of heat, pressing her back, holding her in place. Adrenaline surged in her, heightening her senses, making her want to shout against his hand, making her want . . . .

One of those golden blades sliced across his throat, where the collar of his pale shirt was undone. It gleamed on his damp, tanned skin, and glinted on the bead of sweat that was travelling - now fast, now slow - down the rough stubble underneath his jaw.

Her breathing had steadied, but her heart was still racing. There was no sun, now, on which to blame her light-headedness.

He was golden, gilded, bright.

His palm against her mouth smelled of him, and of spice and heat. She dragged the scent in, her eyes fluttering half closed. His skin would taste of salt, she knew . . . it would taste salty and hot and intense.

It would taste . . .

She put out her tongue, half dizzy, half dreaming, and tasted him.

His body jerked against hers. His eyes were glowing in one of those brilliant beams from the broken door, all white and blue, like a clouded summer sky. They fixed on her, holding her more effectively in place than the hands that gripped her and the body that pinned her.

He ducked his head. The hair at her temple snagged on the roughness of his jaw, and his breath spilled down her neck. "Mari," he whispered, a word of warning, but his grip on her changed, gentled. His thigh brushed hers, his chest pressed against her breasts. Outside, distantly, a crowd roared, but the sound of her blood drowned out their hate.

She tasted his skin again. He snatched his palm away.

She was afraid. But this was the other reason she was here, wasn’t it? In fact, if she was honest with herself, following in her Grandfather’s footsteps was the excuse for this . . . meeting men, a man, finding out . . . . Eight years, more, of the most contained, confined life that life could deal you, willingly, if not gladly, caring for her father . . . and now.

Now the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen was pressed up against her in the dark, and her head was spinning with recklessness. She arched her back and pressed closer.

Infinitesimally, his position changed, his body somehow cupped around hers, not the position of a guard and a captive, but the pose of a man encompassing a woman.

She lifted her hands. They weren't hers. Not when they brushed against his shirt to feel the way his chest rose and fell with his breathing. Surely they weren't her hands, those hand that tested the tension in his arms, tracing the bulk of bicep and shoulder, that touched the skin of his neck where the sunlight stroked it.

The points where they touched were the only parts of her that existed. Breast to breast, thigh to thigh. His hands on her waist. The brush of his jaw against her skull. It was as if she was a join-the-dots picture. For a wild, irrational moment, she felt that if he touched her everywhere, she would burst into being. If all of him touched all of her, she would come alive.

There was a burning in her that beat back the sun. The bead of sweat on his neck trickled down to touch her fingers, and at that hot, wet touch, she raised her head, turning, reaching for, longing for, his mouth.

His hands had moved. They cradled her head, spiking through her hair. Her eyes were open, but she couldn't see. There was only the touch of his body, the stroke of his breath across her lips, a heat that was almost flesh.

Almost his mouth. Almost a kiss—

And then he moved, a moment of disorientation, his hands dropping to her waist again, his head sliding away.

I never knew I was such a tease... ;-)

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At 12:35 pm, Blogger Jessica Raymond said...

Ooh, nice! Your writing is so atmospheric, Anna :)

Jess x

At 12:45 pm, Anonymous Julie Cohen said...

*a multitude of cheers*

At 7:01 pm, Blogger liz fenwick said...

You are a BIG tease......come on where the rest???

At 11:42 pm, Blogger Danielle said...

Okay, yeah,I'm with Liz here, where's the rest? When does the kiss happen for real?

Maybe we should be that angry mob chasing them down, wanting to read the hot kissing part :o)

At 5:47 pm, Blogger Sela Carsen said...

Wha... Where's the kiss?! I'm hanging on the edge here! Tease. *gg*


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