Ten points if you get the reference, but only ten, because you really, really, should.
Did you all have a reasonably tolerable week? I know some of you got hit with awful weather, and then there’s that whole Valentine’s Day thing. If yours was lousy, you’re not alone. Mine stunk. Happily for me, I don’t actually care about Valentine’s Day. (I did research once. Bubble popped.) I merely relegated the stinkiness to the category of “not one of the good days” as opposed to “romantic calamity.” Nevertheless, I thought it might be nice to post something sticky-bandage-esque to soothe the disappointment of a lousy day.
Faerie Blood doesn’t have any truly spicy scenes, but this one is a tad warmer than what I typically post. A box of bananas and puppy treats to K.L. Schwengel for being our hostess (I believe in practical gifts) and my thanks to Abigail Erynne for helping me pick a scene to post and letting me keep the dark chocolate truffles even though the Zeeb & Tai women-troubles conversation she requested was not working.
Math = 18th of February = 18 paragraphy things. It’s a little long. My apologies. I’ll understand if you skip. 🙂
Lost in anxiety, she didn’t notice the cold until the warmth of his hand brought all her senses into sharp focus. For the first time, she caught his scent, wild and rich like burning hickory, flowing into the salty breeze. Her lungs swelled to catch the fragrance, greedy for all of it. His knuckles pressed the soft, fleecy fabric of her robe against her skin to trace a path down and up her arm. His touch joined with the wind tickling her spine to send a shiver across her shoulders.
“You’re cold. You should go inside.”
[Talk, talk, talk.]
His eyes followed his hand down her arm, tracking back up until they made their way to her eyes, where they shone with an unspoken question.
Her breath eluded her, snatched away by her racing heart. She feared the question. Above all, she feared the question. Even so, she wanted him to ask it. She didn’t know what she would answer if it came, but, in that moment, she wanted nothing more than to hear it asked.
His head swiveled to look up the deck, breaking the spell his eyes held over her. “So, besides being terrified, are you excited?”
Harsha released her captive lungs with a silent sigh of mingled disappointment and relief. “Can’t you smell anticipation, too?”
“Not the kind I’m talking about.”
Glad the night distorted colors and hid the burning of her cheeks, she chuckled. “Yes, I’m excited. I know I shouldn’t hope for much, but I can’t help it. I never could. Jason used to tease me for it.”
“Hope isn’t something to take lightly.”
“No, but neither are repeated brushes with death.” Nauseating guilt writhed in her belly. She dropped her head to stare at her feet in shame. “Especially when my choices put other people at risk. Like today.”
“You really should go back inside.”
His husky tone yanked her head up to meet his eyes. His face betrayed no emotion, but his chest heaved and his hands were shoved into his pockets, balled in fists.
His anger tore at her like nothing she knew. Desperate to make things alright with him, she gripped his shoulders. “I’m so sorry. This was a bad idea. I should have listened to you.”
He sucked in his breath and closed his eyes. With slow, deliberate motions, he eased his hands out of his pocket and removed her hands. He opened his eyes and brushed hair back from her face. “I’m not mad.” His gaze dropped to her lips and lingered there.
Harsha caught his scent again, closed her eyes, and breathed it in. She wanted to eliminate the space between them, to lean into his arms and find out if he tasted as good as he smelled.
His hands trailed down her arms and withdrew. “Please go back to bed.”
So close, but to what? Something she really wanted, or something borne of frazzled emotions? She opened her eyes. Zeeb leaned against the wall, balled fists in his pockets again, staring up at the moon, and she knew he doubted himself, too. Torn between frustration and admiration for his self-control, she nodded and returned to her cabin to stare at Maura’s berth and ponder more concerns than she started with.
The game is WIPpet Wednesday. To play…
- Select a portion of your WIP somehow related to the date.
- Post it on your blog, with credit to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.
- Link up here so we can find you.