The snippet below is actually a last minute substitution. In between signing up for this blog and today, I got a publishing contract for January Black. (Party hats!) Anyhow, I didn’t want to put up anything from that novel until after the editing’s done. So, this scene is from Circle of the Butterfly, another fantasy novel I wrote in the 90’s.
Lead up: Mia is the Lord of Kelmarin, one of the most powerful people in the world, and she’s currently in hiding. Shane is lord of a crime family that has vowed to keeping her safe. Mia and Shane have been dancing around each other for two years, but this is the first time they’ve ever been completely alone. Stuck during an abandoned house during a rain storm, they’ve passed time talking. Shane’s has never talked about losing his wife with anyone until now.
“I knew,” Mia told him. “Not the details, but I knew you loved her.”
She stood up, feeling guilty and ashamed for her audacity. She walked over to the barre and rested her hands on it. “You’re a striking man with two beautiful sons and their mother is never spoken of. You have considerable power…surrounded by attractive women and you never partake. You’re a man in perpetual grief. Why else do you think I’ve shied away?”
“As I understand it, you made a promise when you were sixteen.” His tone was hollow. Injured.
She looked sideward, almost towards him for a moment, then looked back to the wall. “What promise would that be?”
“That if you couldn’t have Briar, then no other man could have you.”
She thought about that for a moment. Turning around, she asked carefully, “Who told you that?”
“Siilan,” Shane told her, still sitting on the floor with his back to her.
Mia explained. “I didn’t want to break his heart.”
Shane turned around sharply. She turned away. She kept her eyes on the wall as his hands took the barre on either side of hers. She felt his warmth on her back. It was just enough touch to know he was there. She gripped the barre tighter. She wanted more. “Tell me the truth, Mia. If not for Briar, why do you shy away from me?”
“There’s so much pain in your family,” she told him as steadily as she could as he put his hands on her shoulders. “I love your sons,” she cried softly as he turned her around. “And your brothers and I am afraid they’re going to think I’m trying to take her place!” Shane pulled her closer as she continued to ramble. “Or that they’ll want me to…” he hushed her gently, holding her tighter as she tried to push him away. “…and I can’t!”
“Let go, Mia,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to hers. She turned away as he tried to kiss her. “Let me love you.”
“I’m scared!” she confessed while still pushing against his arms. “If I let go, I’m falling, hard and fast.”
“It’s all right.” She turn away from his lips once more. He grabbed a fistful of her hair to forced her to look at him. “You’re not alone anymore.”
Her eyes shivered as they locked on him. She blinked tears and begged him, “Catch me.”
Mia released his arms and grabbed his face with both hands. She pulled hard enough to lift herself onto her toes. His lips took her breath away.
Please check out the other authors participating in “Is it Getting HOT in Here?” And then get off the internet and find someone to smooch!