Splashed to chase the thirst away -
Much the same chaos in the writing world! This week, I have joined Linked and Scribd, and two other online groups as well, in an effort to float my stories out to you! Too much, you say?? Perhaps! Time will tell, lol. In the meanwhile, I am excited – yes, truly! – to be diving into the second round of edits on my novel. I am relieved to note that very few corrections are needed, but more than that, I am thrilled that I still like my characters. I had worried that after this brief hiatus away from them, they might have gone stale for me, but thankfully this is not the case. Below I’m posting an excerpt from an early chapter where my two main characters, John Santiago and Nicola Thomas have their first significant encounter. Let me know what you think!
In the big bedroom upstairs, she burrowed, still dressed, beneath the covers, and watched him as he took off his shirt and set his wallet on the nightstand. He played with the notion of removing more clothing, but in the end stretched out beside her in his wife beater and dress slacks.
“That’s a great tattoo,” she whispered, tracing a delicate finger along his right bicep. “Oh my, it’s a really big black bear claw. Boy scouts?”
“No sweetie, not quite.” Distracted by her nearness, the swell of her hip beneath the blankets, he did not elaborate, instead brushed a kiss across the base of her throat.
“What else?” She had stiffened at his touch.
He obediently turned to show her his other bicep, the semper fi inked in red there.
“A few years ago.”
“I can’t have sex with you.”
“Well, sugar puss, I never asked you to,” he said gently. “I guess we’ll either get around to it or we won’t, okay?”
“I can’t because I think it might hurt. I lost a baby and I’m sore inside and what did you call me?”
He allowed himself a moment to decipher her rushed words, to net the crucial part of her message. “You lost a baby? Just recently?”
“About a month ago,” she nodded. “And I know I’m all right, but I don’t feel so good, okay?”
“Not okay. Did you go to a doctor?”
“Yes, I got all cleaned out inside. It was horrible.”
“And now I just feel puny. Like a stupid old hollowed-out pumpkin.” She squeezed her eyes closed as though to hide from him. “I’m sorry I got you here in my bed and now I won’t do it with you and…and I’m sorry, okay?”
“Sweetheart, please slow down.” His hands found her beneath the blankets, and he rubbed her belly where her shirt rode up. “Tell me about it.”
“I hated that baby. So much. I just wished it away until it was gone.”
“No, that’s not how that works, chica. Unless some money changed hands?”
At last she turned on her side to look at him. “I’ve only ever slept with Tony. I was so sure I loved him.”
“Well then, you probably did. Do you still?”
“No, not at all.”
“What about your Cindy?”
“What about Cindy? There is no Cindy. Poof, she’s gone, okay?” He tucked the comforter around her shoulders. “And you and me, chica, we’re only laying here, all our clothes on, see? Nothing to fret about.”
“Okay.” She knuckled her eyes and linked her fingers into prayer position beneath her chin. “I have to sleep, I feel a little sick and dizzy, okay?”
“Close your eyes, munequita.” He reached for the lamp switch, throwing them into darkness, and returned his hand to the warm patch of skin between shirt hem and pajama bottom.
“I’m sorry I’m such a freakin’ disappointment,” she murmured into her pillow and he had to strain to catch her words.
“Not to worry, sweetie.”
Easily said, but he knew that he would lie awake for the next few hours. That, another day, he would examine his reasons for staying, and come away uncertain.