Time for another #WritingChallenge!

Writing Challenge BubbleDo you love enemies-to-lovers romances? (And let’s be honest here, how can you not?!) Then this weekend’s #WritingChallenge is going to be right up your street…

We want to see that amazing moment when your character realizes they don’t hate the person who’s been getting under their skin…they’re falling for them instead!

We can’t WAIT to see what you come up with 🙂

Happy writing!

The SOLD Editors x

219 replies on “Time for another #WritingChallenge!”

Here is a excerpt from my SYTYCW15 entry Second Hand Wedding. I hope that isn’t cheating but I’m exhausted after putting it on Wattpad. I’m also drafting of another item.

Chloe danced with more enthusiasm than skill. Apart from Silas, her partners always complained and left the dancefloor after one song. The lighting changed to an intermittent strobe that seemed to flash in tandem with her pulse. Silas lead her to the corner of the dance area. Although he was as ungainly as her, they partnered each other well.

Their dancing became more adventurous as the night progressed. The wedding playlist spanned all musical genres allowing them invent dance routines or recycle their old favorites. Finally the band changed to slow romantic love songs.

In his casual way, Silas included her in the wedding. Today she belonged rather than being the outsider, without family in the locality.

Too soon, the band announced they would play an encore once Sandra, the bride threw her bouquet. Chloe took a long drink of water. Catching the bouquet forecasted she would be next.

With nervous anticipation, Chloe jumped and reached out with a dozen other single ladies. Disappointment surged through her as it veered straight into the hands of an uncle who mistakenly joined in. A professional rugby player, he possessed an unfair advantage.

‘Are you crying?’ Silas returned from the bar with a glass of wine for her and another apple juice for himself.
She wiped her face with a napkin. ‘ Of course not. The band should have announced that bouquet throw was for single women.’
‘Probably can’t. Gender discrimination laws.’ He stared at her face.
She moved closer, with an unexplained need for comfort, reassurance and inhaled his delicious combination of apple juice and baby shampoo.’I attended eight weddings and never caught even a petal. I’m jinxed.’
‘Mind my drink.’ Silas went over to his uncle and, after a brief argument, returned the bouquet to Sandra.

She moved into his embrace on the excuse of handing him back his apple juice. ‘Why did your uncle return the bouquet? Does he not appreciate it’s an honour to catch it?’
‘I explained how much you wanted to catch it.’ Silas removed both glasses from her hand. ‘Come on. Sandra agreed to a replay.’
She scanned the room. ‘I’ll get the girls to line up again. I think most went to the bar.’
‘No, you alone this time. Stand behind her.’ He kissed her nose. ‘Good luck.’

Sandra threw the flowers with a bad aim so she missed the first three times. Her boss omitted her from the sports supervision rota for a reason.
Silas and the rugby pro directed them. ‘Move backwards when it hits the air. Twist your wrist like this.’

On the seventh attempt, she caught the now crumpled yellow roses. Silas lifted her up and spun her around. Everyone cheered as she waved the yellow roses in the air and for the first time in ages, she felt part of a group. The bouquet superstition must be correct for it to have survived so long. Her heart soared her wedding would go ahead, slotting her into the city as a local.

Chloe & Silas. Unlikely, yet such a likable couple. Cute read. Nice job, Mary and best of luck in SYTYCW15!

OMG this is adorable. And the fact that Silas arranged for her to catch the bouquet–or attempt–seven times tugs on the heart. Oh the feels.

And the first line had me giggle and hooked. I could totally picture the awkward dancing couple who does give a flying fig on the dance floor.

As someone who loves to go out and shimmy until the sun comes up, I’m always a fan of anyone who dances like no ones watching. 🙂

Hi Mary, unfortunately we can’t give you any feedback on this as it’s your SYTYCW entry and Harlequin editors aren’t allowed to review them until after the competition closes on Sept 21st. Best of luck with your submission!

Sorry, Sold editors.

I actually thought that myself after posting it last Friday night. At least I mentioned it was in SYTYCW15 rather than just popping it up. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The old brain shut down after a week of pasting to Wattpad. It’s very emotional putting an entire item up for public view for the first time. I appreciate all the great comments I got here for my first turning point.
Mary

This is from a book I’ve just finished, my first ever, started eons ago but recently taken out of a drawer. They’ve just got to the she’s-got-feels-but-has-he? stage. Hope it makes sense!

“Do you always have to ‘get’ somewhere, Christian?”
His look was eating her for supper now but he hadn’t made a move on her. God, the man could do iron self-control!
“That would be as opposed to leading a vacuous, dead-end existence, you mean?”
“It’s called living.” She was so red-hot and so rambling and the champagne definitely was not helping. “You just kind of – are there, eat lots of over-iced cupcakes and party.”
“Sugar’s addictive, didn’t you know?” he murmured, his gaze lazily dropping at last to the firm mounds of her full breasts, exposed by the very low decolletage of her dress.
“Are we still talking cupcakes here?” she asked. She should have felt triumphant. Not dizzy.
“Probably not.”
It was so much worse, this not touching he was doing.
“Don’t you ever let your hair down, Christian?” she asked, her words too low, too husky now, too much like an invitation.
“I’m throwing a party in my own honour, isn’t that enough?”
“Nope, because almost certainly you’re only doing it because you prefer to orchestrate the few events you need to do.”
“And here I was, thinking I was living it up,” his voice dropped, for her ears only, and as if to prove his point, he reached out and slid a finger down a thick strand of her hair and suddenly his knuckles were only an inch above the swell of her breast.
She simply stopped breathing.
His face came closer. But still he didn’t touch her. Her blood was racing into her neck, her face, her arms, pulsing between her legs. She knew she’d parted her lips. But she couldn’t think, couldn’t act.
This was what seduction felt like. This.
Slow.
Sexy.
Majorly scary.
It removed all the air between them. The electricity of it lit up the world as if everything around them was suddenly poised, waiting for a storm to break.
And when it did, when his hand touched her skin, when her body exploded with feeling, everything she never allowed to matter or to hurt surged through her.

LOVE this, Maggie! So hot ~ and the last line…awesome. Hope you’ll keep this one out of the drawer, it’s great! 😀

Congratulations on finishing your book. It’s easy to start them but getting to the end is a different matter.

Your piece is very sensual,with oodles of emotional tension and attraction.She’s definitely not enemies with Christian any more.

Yvonne, I have NO idea why I posted 2 replies to you – it’s been a long day with too little coffee clearly! Mx

OMG this is great but everything after she stopped breathing is MAGIC!
Bravo and kudos that you were able to salvage one of the ‘drawer’ pieces, cause we all know those are the hardest. Really, really great writing. WOW!

Fallon, what truly lovely words! Thank you! I’m shoving my story out of the nest soon! Going to see if I can do this thing! Mx

Phew – what a steamy read! Brimming with emotional and sensual tension, great stuff!

I couldn’t resist this Challenge, since my SYTYCW entry is an ‘enemies to lovers/marriage of convenience’ trope. This is an excerpt from it, hope that’s okay. 🙂

***

Gracie wanted to curl back up and continue the dream of a handsome stranger, wet from his swim, naked from the waist up…

Only now, in the stark morning light,
she realized the man in her dreams wasn’t a stranger – but her husband. Yet, she didn’t know Braden James at all – had never wanted to.

So why, after all these years, was he invading her dreams? Maybe the answer was in her own body’s reaction to him when he was near. She’d never felt this basic primal hunger for anyone else. When she’d dated in college, and even after, she never had this all-consuming need – even though she’d believed herself to be in love a few times. In her work, she’d heard the couples’ stories about a so-called chemistry, but she’d never experienced such nonsense herself.

Except eleven years ago…

She and Braden never slept together, yet he was the best sex she ever had. And she wasn’t even a virgin. She wondered how it would be with him…

Gracie stopped herself.

Why was she thinking of making love to her enemy? For years she’d tried to forget how he’d awakened the woman in her that night in New York City. The only way she got over the lingering dreams of Braden then was to channel that unfulfilled desire into pure hatred. For him. For her father. For her past.

But the fire was re-ignited with that hot kiss on the porch. And to go any farther with Braden was out of the question. If she did, Gracie would be vulnerable to him, give him the advantage. But what was she most worried about? Braden having control over her…or falling in love with him? In Gracie’s mind, the two went hand in hand.

Thanks, Yvonne! 😀 Look me up on Wattpad, this is my SYTYCW entry. Only CH 1-2 posted so far, but you’ll get some backstory there. 😉

I’m at an advantage here as I’ve read the first two chapters. I’m not putting spoilers here though.
There’s a massive conflict between Gracie’s subconscious mind (aka her dream) how her rational mind/history dictates she act in the first two chapters.
Gracie interview celebrities for a living so I love ‘the couple’s stories about so called chemistry.’
So far there’s been a fair few good liners in Gracie’s Bluff.

I’m so happy you’re following the story, Mary! Thanks for the comment, and for your support! 😀

Hey Gracie!
What a coinky-dink, started reading this entry the other day and loved the tension between Gracie/Braden. I’m so intrigued to find out the source of their animosity that’s driving them apart when they so clearly want one another.

Absolutely loved this, Gina! I LOVE ‘enemies to lovers/marriage of convenience’ stories! 🙂

Well, you had me at “naked from the waist up” but throw in a “primal hunger” and I’m you’re woman! So loaded with conflict, it definitely makes me want to read on, Gina. Mx

Hi Gina, unfortunately we’re not able to review or give feedback on any of the SYTYCW entries until after the competition closes. Best of luck with your submission!

I little snippet of the book i’m working on now. Dom is the son of a rich property developer, Philip, and has just recently become one of Jackies clients at the bank. They are at an awards dinner and Jackie and her boss, Luke, are entertaining their clients.

Dom rose from behind the table and marched over to the dancing couple. “May I please cut in?” Dom asked while tapping his father on the shoulder.

“Certainly my son,” Philip stepped aside and handed Jackie over to Dom.

Jackie felt like she was in a Jane Austin novel, her favorite being Pride and Prejudice. “I was just starting to get the hang of that dance. Your father is a very good teacher.”

“So am I.”

Dom grabbed her assertively around her waist and pulled her in close. Instinctively Jackie placed her arm around his shoulders, more to stop herself from falling than knowing where to place her hands. Dom grabbed her other hand in his, placed his leg between hers and started to move slowly around the dance floor. The sultry sound of Nora Jones, singing ‘come away with me’ crooned in the background. Jackie felt giddy. She couldn’t feel her feet and was hoping that she wasn’t stepping on Dom’s toes. Dom was excellent at leading her around the room, and for a short time she forgot that she was actually on duty and he was her client. Jackie felt like they were dancing on clouds. Dom’s arms were holding her so strongly that she wasn’t sure he was ever going to let her go. Mr Darcy had nothing on Dom tonight. Jackie slowly lifted her head to look into Dom’s eyes. He was watching her face intently, studying every inch of her fine features. Being this close to Dom, she could no longer hide the pink tinge of the flush that was evident in her cheeks.

“You really do like me don’t you Jackie?” Dom whispered warmly. “I can see it in your eyes. God they are amazing eyes.”

Jackie felt her knees buckle as she tripped on Dom’s shoe. Dom’s hold on her kept her upright as he expertly whirled her around to stop her from falling.

“I guess you do have a way of making me fall into your arms.” She was looking into his eyes longingly and knew that he could feel the beat of her heart grow faster. “But we can’t do this Dom.”

“Why not?”

“It’s my job. You are my client and I can’t have any relationships with my clients outside of work. I would lose my job.” Jackie explained.

“So we’ll just have to make our meetings work related.” Dom suggested.

Dom’s face was so close to hers that she could almost feel his luscious lips against her skin. All she wanted to do was suck his pouty bottom lip and find out how it tastes. As Dom spun her around and lowered her into a dip she caught a glimpse of Luke watching them. As Dom lifted her back upright, her head cleared.

“I can’t Dom. I’m Sorry.” She exclaimed as she pushed against his tight chest with her hands.

Dom didn’t let go. He didn’t want her to leave. Having her so close confirmed to him that what he was feeling was real. He hadn’t felt this way about anyone else and he had to have Jackie in his life.
Jackie managed to loosen Dom’s intoxicating grasp and headed for the patio that was off one side of the main hall, reached through a set of open heavy doors. Dom walked beside her. As they reached the doors, Jackie felt the chill in the air and wished she had brought her mothers pashmina to wrap around her shoulders.

“Jackie, are you alright?” Dom had a cute worry line that ran across his forehead.

“No not really.” Jackie was confused. Her head was starting to spin. Leaning against the fence that ran around the outside of the patio, Jackie started to shiver. She wasn’t sure if it was from the chill in the air or from Dom’s heady scent.

“I’m Sorry Jackie. I know this has happened all too fast,” Dom said as he placed his dinner jacket around her shoulders. Jackie hadn’t even seen him take it off. “I can’t explain it myself. I just know that I have to see you again. How and when, I’ll leave up to you.”

Jackie turned to face him and saw Luke and Philip walk out onto the patio. ‘Oh No! how much of that conversation had they heard?’

She’s in trouble. Her boss will probably presume the worse so will have to come to some arrangement with Dom to save her career. As you can see,I’m already turning the pages.

Wow, Dom totally does have this regal. Mr. Darcy-esque vibe. So hot. By ‘God they’re amazing eyes’ I totally got tingles.

Oh, I do love a woman being whirled assertively around a dance floor by a man she has all the feels for! So romantic!

It certainly sounds like this relationship will be difficult to keep strictly professional! To make their admission of attraction more impactful, would have loved to have seen more of the ‘enemies’ bit first 🙂

“I’m not saying our town doesn’t want the jobs, Ms. Carris.” Zav Stone stood and strode around the conference. He had his hardcopy of the presentation in his hand as he walked up to the site map displayed on the screen across from Ella’s seat.

Ella crossed one long leg over the other and smoothed her black skirt over her trim thighs. She had watched him move across the room, mesmerized. She reminded herself to keep it professional.

“What are you saying then, Mr. Stone?” Ella wished they weren’t alone in the big conference room. When he had walked over she had caught a whiff of his after shave. Mmm spicy.

Stop that. She admonished herself.

“I’m saying that this drawing is missing some key components.” Zav glanced back at the slender brunette, likening the way she tipped her head to watch him, the pose displayed her long sleek neck.

“It’s only an a conceptual drawing. The full complement of architectural drawings, including tie-ins to the town infrastructure have yet to be completed. If you don’t approve the building permit, there is no point in having a full work up done.” She was trying to be reasonable why couldn’t he?

“Tell me again why you selected Arbutus Grove for your company’s call centre.”

He turn his deep brown eyes fully on her for the first time and Ella now understood what a smouldering gaze was.

None of his forceful personality had come across on the conference call over the last few months. Zav Stone had mostly listened to various draft proposals and the debate that followed each. Once in a while he would ask a pointed question or make a statement that would make both sides pause.

He was a hard guy to figure out, but then self made men sometimes were. Especially if they could swing an entire town council’s vote.

“One, you have the fibre optic network we require for our network.” Ella held her index finger. “Two, you have 4G cellular access for our communications. Three, your record on environmental issues is stellar and we want our brand to be identified with that.” She had made it to her pinky finger. “Lastly you have a young workforce and a growing community with lots of activities.”

She really did have lovely hands, Zav thought. He had to remember to focus on her words as he watched her scoop up her mane of ebony black hair and toss it over her shoulder. Ah, she was nervous. He allowed himself a slow half smile.

Ella saw the smile and frowned. “Are you seriously considering our final proposal or are you just fiddling with me?”

Zav dropped the presentation on the wooden table and stood next to Ella’s chair, letting his eyes slide over her.

Ella parted her lips.

“I don’t know. Is fiddling around with you an option?”

Ha! wow, I totally adore Zak. He won me over with that witty little tongue in cheek line.

Oh, please do. Fiddle away. 😉

Ha. Loved the fact that, clearly, neither can concentrate. But also that great cheeky fiddling line. Go, Ella!

Hmm. Seems as though Ella drew some subconscious love plans of her own, where Zav is concerned, Yvonne. 😉

What a brilliant line to end on! There’s a really nice sense of the professional stakes ratcheting up their tension, and the unexpected sizzle between them. To really make the most of the enemies-to-lovers themes, it would have been good to have set up more antagonism between them to begin with, but still a fun, flirty read.

Thanks Sold Editors, I agree I needed to explain the stakes and give bit more back story on the conflicted relationship. Thanks again for your feed back.

I love how you blend their inner thoughts about their mutual attraction with their outer really proper business speak. That is until the double meaning fiddling around.

From your extract,I suspect a bit of fiddling happens sooner rather than late.(and not with a violin).

Ryker Kincaide pushed through the entrance of Rose Banner’s home as if he owned the place. As soon as the minister pronounced them man and wife, he would. He was at Rose’s bedroom door in a matter of a few long, lean strides.

“I see you’re ready,” he said.

He didn’t mean the delicate, white sundress she was wearing or her pinned up ebony curls. No, he meant the pistol she pointed shakily at him.

“It’s bad luck to see me before the wedding.” Rose fired. Missed.

Ryker ran his fingers down the splintered door frame where the bullet lodged. “Tell me about it.”

“Say you’ve called off the wedding or get out!” Rose was precisely five feet of spitfire…with a trembling lower lip.

Ryker took off his Stetson. Ran his fingers through his dark blonde hair. “You know I can’t do that.”

“I hate you,” she said but laid her pistol on the vanity.

Better you hate me, darlin, than find out what your dead beat father did, he thought.

“So why are you here, Ryker?” Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. “I’ll be your wife in twenty minutes.”

“Two reasons.” He reached into his shirt pocket and retrieved a handkerchief, off-white with pink embroidery. “It was my mother’s. I’d like you to have it.”

Rose gasped softly as she accepted it. “This means something to you.”

Ryker attempted to clear his throat. “She was the only one who believed in me. She was a little thing like you but not nearly so fiesty.”

Rose laughed softly. “What was her name?”

“Elizabeth,” he whispered. “I better go.”

“Wait,” Rose stopped him. “You said two reasons.”

Ryker looked over at the four-poster bed and lowered his head. “If anything happens between us… there, it will be your choice. I give you my word.”

When he dared to look at her, he saw she was holding his mother’s handkerchief close to her heart.

This is excellent, Terri! I suspect it won’t take Rose long to fall in love,and in bed, with Ryker. 😉 *sigh*

Well, that gives whole new meaning to a shotgun wedding. Love that she actually shot at him. Haha. And that he just stood there utterly unfazed. Says a lot about the couple and the sort of action we can expect to come down the road.
Loved this Terri. Wish this was already in print so I could devour it/them. Ugh!

We really liked this – the setting, the gun-toting heroine and the gruff-but-honourable hero all worked really well together! Congrats on capturing so much emotion in a very short word count!

This is from my book The Beast, a paranormal “almost-romance” that I started writing for SYTYCW 2012 (before I realized that I wasn’t exactly writing a true romance). Simon is a werewolf, and Jade isn’t (yet).

I turned to face him, one hand firmly planted in a splatter of sticky soda that somehow landed on my driver’s door window during the explosion. I took a long breath before answering.
“Thank you, Simon,” I said levelly. “But no, I would not like a towel. In fact, I would very much like to get soda all over my seats. After that I think I’d like to pour gasoline all over my car. And then, more than anything else in the world, I would love to light the damned thing on fire just to watch it burn.” I released the door handle and was moving closer to him, propelled by all of the minor annoyances that fueled my mood. “But wouldn’t you know it, gas is just so damned expensive and I need this last thirty two dollars to make the insurance payment on this failure of a hybrid. So I think I’ll stick with the soda pants. Good night, Simon.”
He smiled at me, revealing straight white teeth and dimples.
Dimples are girly, I thought, still scowling, turning the key in the ignition. It clicked uselessly. I wonder how much he paid for all that dental work.
He seemed determined to watch me drive away. My car was determined not to go anywhere. I got out and slammed the door.
“Scratch that,” I called. “I need this thirty two dollars for a cab!”
I reached into my pocked for my cell phone before remembering that I didn’t have it. I opened the door to fish for change for the pay phone.
“Come with me instead,” Simon said, still grinning a few paces away by then, standing near his battered maroon sedan, leaning against the inside of the open door.
I blinked in mute confusion. I opened my mouth to respond, closed it, opened it again. “What?” I finally managed.
“I’ll give you a ride,” he shrugged. “I don’t care about my car seats. It’s crappy and old anyway. Maybe you can even light it on fire.” He smiled again, one dimple sinking in deeper than the other.
I realized I was smiling back and immediately stopped. I eyed him suspiciously. He was probably a con artist with his less attractive friends lurking in the shadows nearby, waiting to steal my car.
Let them have it, I thought. The stupid car sucks anyway. I’m always out of gas.
Maybe his intentions were even worse and he and the friends I had imagined for him intended for me to be on the news the next morning, “found slain” in the hills, half eaten by coyotes.
Let them try, I thought.
“Forget it,” I said. I slumped against my car seat for a moment, just wanting something to go right. I’d done everything right, like I always did, and what did I ever gain from it? Maybe, just maybe, given the circumstances, getting into a car with a stranger was the right thing to do.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten, I reasoned, unsure of where I’d heard it before. Stupid quotes were always jumping into my head like that. Probably because they were always jumping out of my supervisor’s mouth at work. I scowled. Work was even ruining my moment of spontaneity.
He didn’t seem at all surprised when I agreed. He just kept smiling as he walked around his car and opened the passenger door for me. I heard him chuckle softly as I climbed in, dripping jeans and all, before he closed the door.
“Soda pants.”
As I watched my car and the gas station fade out of sight, I realized that I was probably making a mistake.
“So,” he said, stopped at the light just before the freeway onramps. “Do you want to go home? Which way?”
“I don’t know,” I sighed. “No, I don’t really want to go home.”
I didn’t want to wade through my drunk neighbors just to find out which bill was overdue and which utility I might be living without this week. We passed a few exits before I spoke again.
“So what now?” I asked. “Where are we going?”
“If you are really asking if I’m going to leave you for dead in a ditch somewhere, the answer is no. I won’t hurt you like that.”
Like that. I nodded and rolled the window down.
The inferno of my temper started to cool as the warm night air combed through my hair and swept away the old car smell coming out of the air conditioner vents. Watching the city lights pass below I realized how much I liked living after all, but I wasn’t afraid. Every tree was a tall black sentry, promising me protection in the darkness outside. A coyote’s yip was a message that tonight I would not be fighting for my life. I shifted my gaze to Simon and examined him from the corner of my eyes.
Shadows played tag with lights across the stubbly surface of his cheeks. His watchful brown eyes flicked across the road between long dark lashes. The grey t-shirt he wore did little to disguise his lean, muscular frame and when he turned the steering wheel I could see the faint hint of bicep rippling under the surface of his skin. I was starting to think that he was too perfect to be real when I noticed a fat scar the length of my finger that started at the corner of his jaw and stretched just under his ear into his hairline where it interrupted the thick field of dark brown hair. His dimples started to sink in and I knew he could tell I was staring.
By the time I looked out the window again, I was smiling too.
“Here we are,” he said, pulling over to the side of the freeway almost at the crest of a hill.
“We aren’t anywhere.” Before I could object further, he hopped out and opened my door.
Here it is, I thought. He’s just going to throw me off a mountain.
The thought had come without feeling, and a chorus of crickets reassured me that everything would be okay. The faint smell of warm wet earth agreed.
In the light of the bright stars I followed him under a huge old oak tree with thick, acorn laden branches and over a trickle of water so small it could barely be called a stream.
When we emerged from the darkness under the tree, it was onto an open field that ended in a cliff.
“You can see the whole city from here,” he said, with a hint of something like pride in his voice.
Colored lights sparkled up at me from below.
Naturally, I tried to find my apartment building.
“If you look the other way you can see the valley where that creek goes, but it’s not as impressive at night. Or in the summer. And if you look up-” he said, turning his face to the sky.
I looked up.
“It feels like you can see the whole sky.”
It felt exactly like that. Inky blackness surrounded me on all sides, studded with diamonds. If I knew any constellations I would have been able to find them all in the generous sprinkling of stars overhead. I felt myself rising up, dizzy with elation, afraid to look down out of a sudden feeling that the ground wouldn’t be there and I would float away in space.
Simon’s voice called me back. “Here, have a seat.”
I sat on one end of the towel that he had laid out and he sat on the opposite end.
“So what were you so upset about?” he asked. “I’m sure it wasn’t just the kid asking your name. You don’t seem quite that unreasonable.”
I let out a sound that wasn’t quite a laugh. “You’ve known me all of two minutes,” I said.
“And yet, you got into my car and followed me out into the hills.” His deep warm voice, softened by the gentle breeze that swept around us relaxed me the way candles and bubble baths never could. I leaned back on my hands and the wind pushed my hair around so that it tickled my wrists. I shook my head and leaned back slightly until I knew that my hair was touching the ground, something I hadn’t done since I was a little kid and everyone called me Pocahontas.
Looking out at the sparkling city and the sparkling sky with the rustle of leaves and a handsome new friend for company, I couldn’t remember what had upset me. It was all so small and silly compared to everything around me, but I couldn’t leave his question just hanging in the air. “Just… life I guess. It was just one of those days where nothing goes right, you know?”
A gusty little breath of wind ruffled the hairs on my arms.
“Well, I hope that bringing you here made it a little better. It always makes me feel better.”
I looked over my shoulder at him to see him smiling at me. His dimples weren’t so girly after all. They were a comforting feature of the landscape, like the little stream with its quiet trickle. Unlike the stream, it gave my heart a little flutter to realize that the dimples were there just for me. I smiled back and, not knowing what else to do, I looked up again at the sky.
Within a few silent moments we were both on our backs, shoulder to shoulder, with our feet hanging off of opposite ends of the towel. It felt like I could almost hear his heartbeat, even though we weren’t touching.
“Why did you bring me here?” I asked.
I could feel him smile. It was like the warmth on that side of me got just a little bit warmer.

LOVED the dimples and dental work introspection. She’s so spunky. And there is such a great, easy sort of connection between them that feels oh so right.

Thank you! She’s definitely a spunky one! Their connection only gets stronger, despite her anger at him for bringing monsters into her life, and turning her into one. 🙂

This is beautiful, Shantea. I’m not sure, but I think there’s a line in SYTYCW this year that accepts paranormal romance. You should check it out, because this is really good! Living in the foothills myself, I especially liked your descriptions of seeing the city lights and starlight from the mountains. Great job! 🙂

Thank you!!
This particular book is scheduled for self-publishing probably in early October, but I do hope to enter this year!
If I can buckle down and finish one, I may enter either a Teen “urban fantasy” or a different paranormal romance. Or I’ll look into where a post-apocalyptic/dystopian romance would fit. I have one of those that is a real romance and it’s got a much slower development of enemies to lovers and then a struggle over their secrets from “Before”.

What a great, complex heroine you’ve set up! Love the shift from her initial frustration and anger into the mingled apprehension and excitement about going with Simon. Her shift from finding him maddening to sexy is also fascinating – would love to know what happens next in your ‘almost romance’ 🙂

Thank you!!! I do have a couple of “actual-romance” manuscripts in the works and I hope to buckle down and finish one in time to enter it. 🙂

Switch and Serena were two characters I fell in love with when I wrote my vampire books a few years ago. Unfortunately, I just didn’t do them justice with my writing. I took their same personalities and wrote a little scene for the challenge.

“Going shopping again?”

“It’s a woman’s prerogative to do whatever she likes when she’s not working,” Serena Delaware said, lifting her chin as she searched her purse for her jeep keys. She fluttered her thick eyelashes, heavily laden with mascara, her keys now dangling in her hand. “Bite anybody lately?”

“Not lately.”

He narrowed his eyes, the dark slits were laced with sexual warning and it made Serena turn away from him, her platform heels feeling a little unsteady. She hated it when he looked at her like that. Like she was something to eat! If he was human it would be one thing. She didn’t have a particular abhorrence to having a party down under, but Switch wasn’t human and he wasn’t looking to party. “Look away, Switch. I’m untouchable. You can’t eat me even if I was slathered in Ketchup!”

“She didn’t say anything about biting,” he said and slowly smiled. “Eating is one thing, but a nibble here and there can do wonders for the eater and the eaten…”

“In your dreams…” she replied back and swallowed. Just a few seconds ago he was lying on the couch in his regular black jeans and black top with his dark brown hair and slitty eyes like he ran the universe and now he was gone. She hated it when he did that. She hated a lot of things about Switch. He was cool, calm and collected and he was such a snob. He didn’t like her because she was passionate about clothing and make-up, smart mouthed and if she didn’t mind admitting a little bit of slutty.

She placed her hand on the door knob and was suddenly grabbed by the wrist and swung around! She met the narrowed opening of his eyes. “Stop it, Switch.”

“What?” he soothed, running a finger delicately up her arm, her shoulder and then finally trailing over the pulse in her neck.

“You’re too close.” Her heart raced like she was running in a forest fire trying to escape with her life. Switch scared her. He always had, but she used sarcasm to cover up her nervousness. Like a pitcher and a batter, whenever he would pitch a remark, she would bat it out to left field with her wit and then leave the room. But this time he wasn’t letting her leave and she knew she couldn’t run.

“I hear your heartrate, little bird,” he said softly, his mouth now close to her ear. “It’s beating very fast…Are you frightened?”

“Of your teeth…yes. Of you, no.” Liar.

“You should be.”

“If you touch me, Crissy will have your head. Quite literally, actually,” she reminded him. He was tracing her jaw line now and she was slightly moving away. “Switch…” She swallowed, and then froze.

“Mmm?”

“Your teeth are out.”

He clicked them back in and abruptly let her go. “Go…fly away little bird. Go do your shopping.” He left her suddenly and landed on the couch with a thud, the remote in his hand as if he’d never left.

Serena fumbled for the door handle, her hands shaking. She opened the door and prayed her trembling legs would carry her through the doorway. They did. But when she closed the door behind her, she leaned back against it and just breathed. She was scared…that was a given…but something else had happened too. She looked down at her empty hands. He had taken her car keys and now she had to go back in.

I echo the comment about you diving back into this. Switch and Serena sound like they’d be great fun to write on the page. And love that he pilfered her keys from her own hands, thus leading her with no choice but to come back to him for round two.

Loved this, Karen! Serena’s wit is awesome! And Switch… *sigh* How will she resist him? Such tension between these two ~ sexual and scary. I want to see how they work through the conflict, it’s obvious they really want each other. 😉

Don’t read vampire books cos I’m such a scaredy cat, but this was so filled with tension and well written that I loved it. Well done! Mx

Spunky, Karen! I can see why you fell in love with Serena and Switch while writing them–they’re such fun characters!

Compelling stuff – you write Serena’s fear, hatred and unspoken attraction so well! He sounds gorgeous too, very tough and sexy. Love the comment about his teeth being out! We think she should take a chance on him… 🙂

I am in love with all of this!! The names, the tension, the vampire hierarchy- LOVE.
In regards to your comment about capitalizing the pet names, I would say yes, do it. It shows that while it’s not her ACTUAL name, it’s the name he uses for her regularly (and that he’s not calling her A little bird). Or think of it this way- it’s like a nickname, you wouldn’t keep “max” lowercase just because his actual name is “Maxwell”.
I think it would hep with the flow since it pulls double duty, saying that he calls her by this name, so he probably sees her as fragile and he’s arrogant enough to be so blatant about it.

She didn’t say anything about biting…was supposed to be Crissy didn’t say anything about biting. Crissy was the Vampire leader.

Also, I didn’t capitalize little bird, because I thought it would read like it was her actual name. Little Bird. But in grammar you’re supposed to capitalize a name when you are addressing someone. Is it the same for pet names? Ugh. I just didn’t want it to stop the flow. Can the editors tell me what I should have done there. Thank you.

LOVED this, Karen! Love the way you’ve built up the sensual tension! Would love to know what happens next! 🙂

The small, one-room apartment wasn’t much, but Anna Taylor couldn’t refuse it. No way was she going to turn back and go home to her parents.

It wasn’t that Daryl and Joyce Taylor didn’t want Anna anymore. As her parents, they’d be happy to have Anna stick around with them forever. After all, they had plenty of room for her to remain in their house. But at twenty-six years old, Anna just didn’t feel right about living at home anymore.

“Says here that you’re a manager,” Noah McCoy said, chomping on his frayed, unlit cigar.

“Yes.”

Ugh. Cigars. How unattractive…I think.

Noah crossed his arms. His biceps popped in his sleeveless T-shirt. He smiled haphazardly at Anna. Then he looked her over with a “how about a date” twinkle in his eyes and said, “Me, too.”

Sleeveless T-shirt? Just what I need, a guy who’s stuck in the 1970s. The last time I crushed over a shirt like that, was when I saw Chachi wear it in a Happy Days sitcom rerun. Puh-lease.

“Look, Mr….”

“Noah.”

“Mr. Noah” —

“No. Noah’s my first name. You know, like in the Bible.”

Oh, yeah. It was going to be something living here, Anna thought. But she wasn’t looking for a man, was she? Her interest here was only to rent an apartment, right?

“Yes, I work at a doughnut shop downtown,” Anna reiterated. “Says so right there.” She pointed to her completed application in Noah’s hand.

“Well, what do you know,” he sang, glancing at the paper, chewing on his cigar. “Our girl here is right. Perhaps we can have doughnuts together sometime and talk.”

“Sure,” she snorted, “drop by whenever. I’ll introduce you to Fast-Fisted Taylor, my father the owner.”

Noah gulped and withdrew the cigar from his mouth. “He was a boxer?”

Anna smirked. “And he can still really hit,” she said, punching her right fist once into the palm of her left hand.

Noah stepped back. “Must be really tough on your boyfriend, huh?”

She grinned in spite of herself and said, with a hint of mockery in her tone, “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“No wonder,” he muttered.

“Excuse me?” —

“You know,” he rushed, then stepped about the area. “I kind of hate to let this place go. After all, this had been my apartment.”

Anna gulped in somewhat uncertainty. “Your apartment?”

“Before putting it up for rent. My Super’s room is in the basement. You know, underground. Never get to see scenery from down there, though.”

Terrific. Dracula the landlord.

“All I want to see is sleep. I’ve been searching for a place all week. I have the weekend left, before my vacation’s up. I’ll move in quickly, then I’m going to enjoy some real R&R. How’s the noise level around here?”

Noah grunted a small sound. He knew a brushoff when he heard one. “Sleep, huh?” he said, as he stepped to a side window, opened it, and took a deep breath of stale alleyway air. “That’s just what you’ll be able to get here. Listen.”

Anna tuned her ear in the direction of the side window. Pure silence.

“Eww,” she objected, covering her wrinkled nose. “What’s that smell?” Then she heard a howling in the distance. “Dogs?”

“Problem for you?” he asked, raising his brow.

“I never had animals.”

“Well, I guess that’s my answer. I’ll take care of it,” he said, then turned and left.

***

“What in the world is that?” Anna sighed, groggily waking the next day, all the while hearing a muffled cooing sound. She looked toward the window. The sun wasn’t even fully awake yet. “No!” she cried. “This is my day off!”

Still, she wanted to know from where the incessant cooing sound was coming. So, she jumped off the bed, and stepped about the apartment.

“Pigeons?” she snapped, gawking through the alleyway window. A few of them were milling about on the ground. “Dogs yesterday and now…birds? Hey!” She tapped the glass to shoo them. They didn’t budge. “I’m trying to sleep!” She unlocked the window and thrust it upward saying harshly, “Go sing somewhere else!”

But just as Anna had opened the window, a line of diving pigeons swooped into the room. Ducking and bobbing in time to avoid the onslaught, Anna watched as the birds circled the area, christened some of the wooden floor with droppings, then settled in the room, cooing and eyeing her.

She looked at the window, inching her way toward it to escape.

“Hey!” a male voice called. “You got my birds down there?”

Anna looked out the window and upward. She could barely see Noah on the roof holding a pole with a colored flag attached to it.

“These are your birds?”

“Yeah! Pigeons!”

“Well, they just pooped all over my apartment!”

“Serves you right for disliking animals! Welcome to Noah’s Ark!”

Then Noah began whirling the pole around in a circle. The flag whipped with a distinctive, fluttering sound in the pre-dawn quietness.

The pigeons perked up in Anna’s apartment. Her eyes grew as large as saucers. Then she dropped to the floor as the birds took to flight and flew over her head, out the window.

Then, hearing what she presumed was Noah laughing from above, along with howling dogs in the distance, and her recollection of his eye-catching cigar, and vintage T-shirt mixing in, Anna knew that she’d found the perfect place to live. Now all she had to do was to convince Noah of that, too.

Ha! Pigeons in the apartment/ Noah’s ark. What a riot. I don’t really get enemies to lovers from this, yet. Unless she were to go to war with him over the birds and his penchant for hosting a menagerie in the building? But the last sentence implies that she’s already tumbled for him. An enjoyable read, nonetheless. My fave from you so far.

Great imagery in this scene, Chris! Noah is quite a character ~ and I love how Anna realizes she likes it all, in the end. Fun! 😀

Love the Happy Days ref 🙂 There’s lots of quirk and personality here, although would have liked to see more ‘enemies to lovers’ – these two seemed to get on pretty well right from the word go!

I angrily walk into my office, trying to slam the door behind me but Adam stops it from slamming with his hand. He closes it quietly, I turn my anger on him.
“Get out and leave me alone!” I scream. I’m absolutely furious with him, why can’t he go away and leave me alone, instead of stirring up trouble and bring back memories I’d rather forget.
“Calm down Nicole.” His brown eyes boring into me, as he runs his hand through his jet black hair and I can’t tear my eyes away from his face. “It really isn’t that bad, he was trying to play us and see how low we would go.”
“It really is that bad you made me look like a complete idiot,” I shout.
How I managed to walk out of the meeting without killing Adam McGuire I will never know, my temper barely under control until our prospective clients left the building. He’s so arrogant that he makes my blood boil. What does he mean he was trying to play us?
“You managed that all on your own,” he replies with a smirk.
“Oh my god you really are so full of yourself.”
“No just stating a fact, besides I saved us from making a big mistake. You can thank me later,” he tells me, taking off his suit jacket and placing it on the settee in the corner. I watch mesmerised at the ease of his movement as he walks across the room, pulling his tie loose before he takes a seat in the chair. I can’t move, only stare, marvelling how his white shirt fits him perfectly, showing his toned body beneath the white of the fabric. He is unbelievably hot and he knows it.
“What do you think you’re doing, I told you to get out?” I snap.
The twinkle in his brown eyes and the smirk of his lips makes him so kissable, what am I thinking. I hate Adam McGuire with a passion, he’s a lying, cheating scumbag with no backbone, he walked away when I needed him.
“We need to sort this out Nicole, we need to work together,” he says easily.
“Huh, work with you? You’ve got to be kidding me,” I reply, pacing up and down, my brain working overtime on how I can get him out of my office, not to mention my company and life.
“Stop being unreasonable, we were a good team once.”
“Yeah you got that right. Once, being the operative word. Why can’t you just leave? Do you hate me that much that you’ve come back to destroy me?” He laughs, which just annoys me more. Why does he have a way of winding me up so easily?
“Stop being such a drama queen. I don’t hate you and I have no intention of destroying you.” I stop my pacing at his comment and look at him, shock resonating through my body. “I’m going nowhere until we talk Nicole, even if it takes all night.”
“Phff, you’ll have a long wait the only talking we need to do is about when you’re leaving,” I huff, slumping in my chair.
The silence hangs heavy in the air between us. I try not to look at him, when I do I can see him studying me.
“I’m going nowhere, so we can sit here in silence all night if that’s what it takes.” “Fine, whatever,” I reply.
“So tell me why do you hate me so much?” he asks.
“You’re unbelievable, do you even need to ask?” My head tells me I hate him for what he did, but my heart screams no. I try hard to push the feelings back down that I once had for Adam McGuire. He looks at me the question shining in his eyes.
“Yes, I don’t know what changed between us and want to know why you hate me.”
“You’ll have a long wait, besides you hate me why else have you been making my life hell for the last two months? Why couldn’t you just stay away?” I reply turning the tables on him, suddenly all the fight has left me. I’m fed up of hating him and feel tired, maybe he’s right it’s time we sorted this out once and for all.
“You know why I came back, my dad was ill and he wanted me to help you.”
“I don’t need your help,” I snap, I look at him defiantly and see the face I know so well studying me. “Don’t make excuses, why have you come back to destroy my li…”
“Stop it, this is crazy. We can go round in circles but this is getting us nowhere.” He raises his voice, leaving me stunned. Adam never raises his voice, he is typically cool, calm and collected. His tone usually is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks. “What do you want me to say?” He asks rubbing his chin, I can see the stubble growing back slightly and want to rub my hand along his jawline.
I mentally shake the thoughts from my head, I’ve spent so long hating Adam or convincing myself I hate him that I don’t know what I feel anymore. When he walked back into my life two months ago I was determined to not let him get to me but he has.
“I want you to tell me why you left?” I try to stop the tears from coming to my eyes, it still hurts that he upped and left without a word, no goodbye, nothing that was four years ago.
“You knew I had the job in America we talked about it. What’s this all about Nicole?”
“But I thought you would have stayed once you knew.”
“Once I knew what?” I can hear the confusion in his voice. “You’re not making any sense, you had your career and I thought it was what you wanted.” He stands and comes to kneel before me. I shiver as his hand touches my chin. “Tell me what you’re talking about.”
“We needed…” I stumble over the words realising my mistake, confusion springs in his eyes. “I needed you and you left, after spending the night with Janey.” I never told Adam I had seen him at Janey’s house or that I was pregnant. It broke my heart that he had been with her.
“It wasn’t like that, she was drunk and rang me to pick her up. I stayed cos she was so out of it and couldn’t let anything happen to her.” That sounds like the old Adam, now it’s my turn to be confused.
“But you left without a word.”
“I got your note to say you didn’t want to see me and thought it was for the best that I just left.” Oh no it was my fault, in a fit of pique I had left him a note to wish him luck and tell him goodbye as I couldn’t bare to see him leave, that was before. “Then as the time passed and I never heard from you I believed it was what you wanted.” I look into his chocolate coloured eyes and I know he’s telling me the truth. “I loved you, I still love you but you’ve kept me at arm’s length. If you really want me to leave then I will do, you can go back to your happy life. What’s it to be, it’s your choice?” I gulp the guilt threatening to engulf me, Adam loves me? I’m too shocked to reply. He sighs, “I guess your silence is your reply.” He walks towards the door and grabs his jacket off the settee.
“Adam,” I say. “Wait.” He stops just before the door and I jump from the chair, stopping a few paces behind him. “You love me?”
“Yes, I always have, you’re fiery, annoyingly stubborn and sexy as hell, but for God knows what reason, I love you.”
I reach out and touch his shoulder, the electricity shoots down my arm. “I love you too,” I whisper.
“What?” he says turning to face me. “What did you say?”
“I love you, Adam.” He takes a step towards me and pulls me into his arms. I can smell his aftershave it’s a smell I have missed and know so well. “There’s something else I need to tell you.”
“Later,” he replies, his mouth finding mine as I start to protest, his kiss deepens, becoming more urgent and demanding. My arms slide around his neck and I rake my fingers through his hair. I will tell him about his daughter but for now we need to find each other.

Oh wow those last two lines! I would make only one small suggestion to drop the shout, scream, snap tags from her dialogue beats. She’s angry – we get that she’s angry and will likely put in the necessary punches into her dialogue without them. Other than that – awesome. Classic example of how a scene can start with the characters arguing about one thing, but turns out there’s a deeper, more hurtful, truth underscoring the scene.

Really loved the angst and tension between them, especially when it became clear Nicole still had the hots for Adam! Love how it spins off into a hot sex scene but would caution against them resolving their issues too quickly – part of the fun of enemies-to-lovers is relishing their struggle to admit they care! Would also take care to ensure that what’s keeping them apart is more than a simple misunderstanding. You write strong emotion really well, so channel that when creating believable, compelling emotional conflicts keeping your characters apart!

A steamy little PNR tucked in my drawer but one I plan to dive back into very, very soon. Laura’s entered into a marriage of convenience with Conrade, her deceased husband’s sworn enemy and a man she personally despised.

**

“They say it is a fine line between love and hate. Did you love her?”

Cold heat flashed across his striking face. “I am a selfish and vain creature. Things such as me do not love. We can’t love.”

The words didn’t sound like they belonged to him. No, not him. Someone else. Someone else had said those words and he was just parroting them back with utter contempt and disdain.

Perhaps this woman, this Jacinda had been the one to turn Conrade into the cold, embittered and twisted creature he was today. Stripping away everything and leaving nothing behind but empty bones.

“I think you can. I think you’re more than capable of it.”
Conrade snorted into his glass, took a large gulp.

“Then you’ve learned nothing about me in our short years.”

Laura skimmed her fingers against her untouched glass than, with resigned dignity, she took one large swallow followed by another, and set the glass down, for good. “Why did you pursue me?”

“Because I wanted you,” he said abruptly. “I’ve told you this before.”

“Yes, but why?”

Conrade stood, heaved his glass into the flames. Watched them burst, flare—fire swallowing up the booze and shattered crystal. “Because I am selfish and vain and want most what can’t be mine.”

More parroting. More words that did not belong to him.

“I think you saw what I shared with Marius. I think you coveted it.”

“Coveted what?”

“Me. Our love. I think you want it.”

“I don’t need you to love me.”

“I didn’t say need. I said want. You want to know what it feels like. To experience it.”

“You think too much. A quality I am growing to detest.”

“Why do you hold on to me?” She stood next to him, heaved the rest of her glass into the hearth and stepped back as it burst with a ball of flame and a blast of heat. “If it was just as simple as possession you would have fulfilled that desire ages ago once my name was signed to the page in ink. Or once you’d had me in bed, if it was as easy as conquest. You wouldn’t have wasted all this time, expended all this effort, unless there’s more. So what is it?”

His eyes, whiskey glazed, searched her. “Are you hoping to hear me say that I am in love with you?”

“Are you?”

With a roll of his eyes, Conrade put his back to her. “I think you are deaf.”

“And I think you’re blind.” She faced him, nudged him back into his seat so that she could stand over him. She braced the arms of his chair, came in close.

“What are you doing?”

“Testing something.” She leaned in another inch. As she expected he dodged her, pulling away. “There. Why do you do that?”

“I don’t kiss.”

Laura slithered into his lap, straddling his thighs, her arms weighing on his shoulders. “For someone who derives great satisfaction from pleasing his partner, you continue to deprive me of that one small joy.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Everyone likes to be kissed. When it’s done right.”

“It’s too personal.”

She gave a short, surprised laugh. “More personal than anything else we’ve shared?”

“I don’t kiss,” he said again. Resolute. Stubborn.

“You know,” Laura skimmed a finger against his jaw, traced his mouth, holding his eyes, watching every wary flicker. “I believe it’s through a kiss that we fall in love. That it’s a kiss to connect body and heart and soul, all at once. Does that frighten you?”

“I am afraid of nothing.” He brushed her hand away from his mouth. Lips tingling…

“I think you are.” She said. “I think you’re afraid of me, right now.”

“No.”

“Prove it.” Laura brought her mouth close, whispered with a breath, “Kiss me.”

To save face, and to prove his point, Conrade met her mouth with an impatient peck. Laura laughed, a soft, amused chuckle.

“That hardly counts. Let me show you. Hold still, I’ve been told I’m pretty good at this.”

She was so close. His mouth went dry. “Really?”

“Flawless,” she whispered against him. Her mouth hovering, waiting. For what?

A brush of lips. Of breath…a teasing nibble of teeth.

He wasn’t afraid.

She was warm, tasted of whiskey and woman. She was good. Flawless. He parted his lips and her tongue slid against him, coaxing, drawing him out.

He followed. Obeyed. Body to body, she settled in his lap, hands in his hair, fingers threading, pulling, anchoring his head back as she dominated.

Deeper. She took him deeper. Deeper than he’d ever been. Deeper than he wanted to go, but as she led Conrade blindly followed.

He moaned.

More.

[Hot sex scene removed 😉 ]

He watched her as she slept. Peaceful, perhaps a little triumphant, curled against him in the nook of his arm. A smile tugged at him, even though he fought it.

Devious little minx. His finger skimmed along her cheek. She stirred. Sighed against him. Lips swollen in a dreamy pout. A sleepy temptation…

Against better judgment, Conrade brought his lips to hers. Pressed. Held. Only while she slept would he dare indulge in this one last kiss.

One of body, heart.

And soul…

Love how you highlight the power of a kiss… 😉 Wonderful scene, Fallon! And thanks for taking a look at my entry ~ love yours, BTW! 😀

Wow, intense! Love the heat, angst and drama here, particularly how she challenges Conrade to kiss her. Would love to know what happens next!

“My name is Imogene Suvana. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
“That sounds more impressive with a Spanish accent. And also. Look. Five fingers on both hands.”
She should have known Dmitri Khalanov wouldn’t take her seriously. Ginny tightened her grip on the gun. Sweaty palms were a problem no-one told her about at the firing range when she practiced. “Just keep your hands where I can see them.”
“Don’t wave that thing around, darling. You could hurt someone.”
Her head throbbed with the beat of her heart. It was going to explode and splatter her brains all over the deck of the yacht. “Don’t call me darling. I will hurt you. You…you…vile seducer…murderer. Maker of orphans.”
“Orphans? I thought your mother was alive. Did she not marry and move to South America after the divorce?”
“I hate you. You know everything about my life and I know nothing about you. It isn’t fair.” Now she sounded like a whiny kid. All because he wouldn’t co-operate. He should be scared. He deserved to die. Horribly. Yes, that was it. “You deserve to die. Horribly.” She swapped the pistol to the other hand and wiped her damp palm on her jeans.
“Look, Ginny. We can work this out. Give me the gun.”
“No. You can’t be trusted. You came creeping around, pretending to be something you’re not. You made me…like you. I let you…Oh God. You were my first and you were just using me.” His face blurred. “I will kill you. I hate you. So much.”
“Ginny, sweetheart.” He’d moved closer, taking advantage of her momentary distraction.
“Get back. You lied to me. All you wanted was information about my father so you could kill him. How could you do such a despicable thing?”
“It wasn’t about that. We were special. Believe me, Ginny, I never meant to hurt you.”
“Don’t.”
His long arm reached out. He was going to take the gun. She stumbled, stepping back. The report from the gun was deafening, the base of her thumb painful from the recoil.
Heart pounding, she saw him reach up to his shoulder. Blood flowered on his shirt and seeped down his fingers, over the back of his hand.
He dropped to his knees, his eyes wide and mouth open, saying something.
“I didn’t think you had it in you.”
“I don’t, I didn’t. Oh, God, what do I do?” The wound was so close to his heart. She fumbled for the phone in her pocket. No signal. She looked at the distant lights on the shore. At least an hour away. If she didn’t pull herself together, he would die. She didn’t want him to die. He deserved to die. But a world without him stretched emptily into the future.
“Lie down.” He looked surprised but complied.
“You going to patch me up?”
“Yes. I will not have your death on my conscience.” She yanked her t-shirt over her head and watched his eyes shift to her bare chest. “Close your eyes.” She bunched up the shirt and pressed it on the wound.
“No way. If I’m going to die I intend to take in all the scenery I can on the way.”
“Beast. I hate you.”
“I know.”

OMG ~ Awesome, Fi! This whole scene really made me smile! I love her back-and-forth emotions ~ and his last line, in the face of death, is priceless!! LOVE it!! 😀

Ha! Loved that she actually shot him. And the Princess Bride references were hysterical. Always a fan of your work, Fiona.

Fi, I just love your sense of humour and it works so well here. Such great lines in one very conflicted heroine! Mx

Very fun! Love the feisty heroine (poor thing with her sweaty palms – that little detail of her nerves instantly gets us on her side!) and how calm the hero is in the face of her anger and hurt. Very enjoyable!

I apologise everyone, but I wanted to write another. Hope that’s alright editors? I love these challenges so much and since I already knew Switch and Serena I felt like I needed to do another challenge to get it out of my system. Plus it’s such great practise! Also, good luck to everyone for the September SYTYCW. I know everyone is busy writing!

Roped in by the Cookies

“Tommy? You up there?” Grandpa asked gruffly at the bottom of the ladder.

“No…” Cole answered. He pulled his knees up to his chest, bringing with him a bunch of old hay. The smell from his boots weren’t too good neither.

Grandpa paused a second or two. “Why’d you answer then?”

He cringed. He didn’t want to see her! She was seventeen and angrier than a crazy heifer in heat! He shifted uncomfortably, his overalls tightening on his bare shoulders. He’d rather shovel Bessy’s dung all over again than see her again! In fact, as soon as he was of age, he was taking off from this rat s**t town and never coming back!

“I think you want to come down here, Son.” Grandpa said.

That was serious talk. When Grandpa said son, he meant serious business. Either Tommy was going to get a whippin bad or he needed to see something quick. Since he’d done nothing bad, curiosity got the best of him. He peeked one eye over the edge of the rafter and looked down. There she was! He moved quickly back and against the wall of the barn. His back as flat as the board he was leaning on. “Tell her I’m not here, Grandpa. Please…” he whispered.

“I can hear you, Tommy Turner!”

Tommy peeked over the edge again and watched her speaking to the air in front of her.

“Now you come down here right now! Oh, darn!” she said and clenched her fists beneath the plate she was carrying. “Please and thank you!” She grimaced and shook her head at herself for her angry outburst. “I have an apology to make and I brought this here plate of chocolate chip cookies, too!”

Tommy dropped down with a thud landing on his two booted feet before Sarah Lee and that plate of cookies. His mouth watered.

“Well, that’s better…” she said and cleared her throat as she glanced quickly at Tommy’s grandfather and then back at Tommy. “I’ve come here to say I’m sorry. Mamma says something about my Hermins…ah…Hormons…get the best of me sometimes and I need to curb my mouth. I don’t think she’s right…in fact I don’t even know what she’s talking bout half the time. But Pa says she reads so many of those dang women magazines. I dunno…” She shrugged and continued. “Anyway. I’m sorry and I baked you this here plate of cookies…so here.” She thrust the plate at him and Tommy took it eagerly.

He caressed his dirty arm around the plate like he was cradling a baby and unwrapped the plastic wrap. He picked up a heavily loaded chocolate chip cookie and took a huge bite. His eyes lit up and he shoved the whole cookie in his mouth before grabbing another and then another.

Sarah Lee Connor pulled a face as she watched the boy devour her cookies two at a time. She thought it was much like watching one of her pigs eating, but they were much cleaner. “Aint you gonna offer your Grandpa one?”

He looked guiltiy at his grandpa and tentatively, but reluctantly offered the plate to him. Grandpa took one cookie that hadn’t been attacked mercilessly and nodded a thank you to the girl. She smiled back proudly and curtsied.

Tommy stared at the girl as he chewed his last cookie. “You make good cookies Sarah…” he offered as he looked at her dress and then down at her bare legs and white sandals. “Why you so dressed up,” he asked and swallowed the last bit of cookie. He wiped his hands on his overalls and looked at his grandpa who was smiling. Tommy gave him a puzzled face. “What?”

“Nothing. Good cookies Sarah. I better go. I can hear my kettle boiling.” Grandpa practically man skipped out of the barn and toward the house while Tommy looked on.

Tommy shook his head and looked at Sarah. “I think my Grandpa’s starting to lose it. He doesn’t own a kettle.”

Sarah pulled a worried face. “My Mamma’s sure acting somethin weird too. Must be something going around…maybe somethings in the water. Anyway…” she shrugged again. “Mamma said I should dress up and come and apologize or you may not see me. See me?” Sarah laughed. “When I asked her what she was talking about, she didn’t answer me and started doing the dishes! You see me, don’t you, Tommy Turner? I’m standing here just as sure as day.”

“I see you, Sarah Lee. A far cry from yesterday when you was wrestling the pigs.” He laughed. “You was so muddy! And that pig bested you!”

Her face reddened. “He did not best me, Tommy Turner,” she bit her lip and stopped from what she was going to say next. “Anyway, Mamma says I shouldn’t be wrestling pigs no more.”

“Why the heck not?” he asked looking real worried.

“She says it’s cause I’m a woman and all…” she smoothed out her hair.

Tommy laughed. “You aint no woman! You’re just a girl!”

She frowned. “You take that back, Tommy Turner or I won’t be makin you no more cookies!”

His face fell and his stomach lurched. “Okay…Okay. I’m sorry, Sarah Lee. I take it back.” He swallowed sure hoping she’d take his apology. He walked up to her and held out his elbow, a smile slowly cracking his face. Girls liked it when boys smiled at them for some strange reason, he thought. Her eyes went all shifty like and then her face blushed. It was the prettiest blush he’d ever seen. It made her face light up and look all soft like. Not hard and stern whenever she looked at him and huffed away these past few months. He didn’t know what to make of it, but when she put her hand through the crook of his arm, he thought she smelled real nice too. And her arm was soft, unlike his.

They walked like that for a while, not talking, just walking and then Tommy couldn’t help himself. “Ah…Sarah Lee?”

“Yes,” she asked. Her eyes lighting up as she looked at him.

“Ah…any chance you have more cookies?”

Awwww ~ what a charming way to work the Writing Challenge, Karen! Young love…so sweet. I really enjoyed this ~ great scene! 🙂

Very sweet 🙂 You capture the adolescent awkwardness nicely, although to dial up the romance, the characters would need more emotional depth – they did seem really quite young here. But fun dialogue and a unique spin on the challenge!

Thanks everyone and editors. Yeah…they did need more emotional depth, didn’t they? The girl could have been a little smarter for her age. I guess I wrote her almost too young. Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it and your time. Everyone’s time. 🙂

Helly Carmichael held her Kimber warrior III in a Chapman hold. Using her flashlight she cut the room into pie slices as she worked around the corners looking for their perp Conall Williams. They had already captured Izzy Strang and his life as a gangster gun runner was over.

Her partner Jaxon Taylor was close behind and if given the chance he would take the lead and grab the glory of this arrest if he could. There was no way Helly was going to let that happen.

Helly paused by the kitchen doorway. The room was pitch black. Only Taylor’s flashlight beam bouncing around briefly as he moved to the back of the house offered any light.

Helly moved around the doorframe positive she would find Willams in here.

Away from Taylor, she hoped they could exchange a few words.

Nothing. The room was empty save for old appliances and a battered Formica table and chrome chairs.

“I got him! I got him!” Shouted Taylor from the back of the house.

Helly spun and moved quickly to back up her partner.

“Son of a–,” Taylor’s cuss was cut short as a thump and a struggle could be heard coming from the back bedroom. “He’s got my gun!” Than the sound of a fist impacting flesh.

Helly arrived to find Taylor pinned under Williams. Taylor was on his stomach with Williams kneeling on his back and a hand on Taylor’s neck, with his Glock against his temple. Their backs were to the bedroom door opening.

She moved on cat soft feet and approached to level the Kimber to the back of Williams head.

“How many are with you?” Williams snarled.

“Just one,” Helly said with a smile and nudged Williams’ head with the barrel. Her smiled turned into a grin when Taylor cussed.

* *

Helly assisted Williams into the back of the police cruiser so he wouldn’t bang his head and couldn’t help stroking the blonde locks as she guided his head inside.

“Find anything?” She asked without preamble.

“I got a lead,” Conall said tersely. He let his eyes slide down her lithe body. “You look good Helly.”

Helly could help but let a half smile curve her lips. “You don’t look so good Conall.” The bruises aside he actually didn’t look too bad. Maybe a bit tired, but still driven.

“A kiss would make it all better.” Conall flashed a smile at her and his navy blue eyes burned.

“I’d help you out with that, but you know we wouldn’t stop at s kiss.”

“True,” He acknowledged.

Helly turned and called out to the transport team. “Somebody give me their cuffs. He’s not leaving with mine.”

“Here you go.” Shane tossed her a pair then turned back to Taylor to get the rest of his statement to explain how he had lost his weapon.

Conall had Taylor out classed and that was all there was to it. But then not many were in Conall’s class.

Helly quickly swapped out the cuffs and closed the Crown Victoria’s door. “You need anything?”

“No. I’ll ride along with these guys until we get to North Vancouver. After that I don’t know when I’ll be able to make contact. You picked up the drop?”

Helly nodded, she would review the information later. “I want this to be over,” Helly whispered. “I want our lives back.”

“Me too,” Conall said. His eyes held hers for along moment like he couldn’t bear to break the brief contact. Then he leaned back in the seat and turned his face to the shadows.

Yes! Very well done, Ivy! I love reading everyone’s contribution, so I’m glad you added yours too. I’ve had more time to enjoy reading them today.

We like the twist on the undercover relationship here – it’s intriguing, and adds a nice sexy buzz to their interactions. To really make the most of the enemies-to-lovers theme, there could be scope to dial up the fake antagonism between Helly and Conall much more, but still a fun entry!

This is a scene from my paranormal,book Blood Spell. Here it’s the Hero who realizes he’s falling for the heroine and it’s not something that he wants to do or will work in his plan. Sorry, it’s a bit long. (In the beginning the person speaking to Mallory can only be heard by her)

Everything was gray. There was no grass. No flowers. Nothing except dead weeds and gray stones everywhere she looked. “Curb appeal isn’t its strong point. The first thing I’m going to do is plant some flowers. Maybe Mr. Hale can have someone put grass in the front.

“Oh yes, please plant flowers. Maybe if you plant them they’ll live.”

Her eyes flew to the windows to see who was talking to her. Seeing no one, she realized the voice spoke in her head.

“Why wouldn’t they live?” Mallory body began a slight sway.

“Everything I plant dies. Nothing of color will live outside or inside the castle. Except the library of course.”

“I know you, don’t I?” A floating sensation filled her body. She could see the outline of a woman standing in the upper west side window.

“I’m your many times over great grandmother.”

“Come on Mal, honey, come back to me.” Fear laced Trevor’s words as the color drained from her face, her breathing all but stopped.

“Grandmother Elizabeth?”

“Yes child. Be careful, he knows you’ve come”.

“Mallory! Mallory can you hear me?” Trevor’s voice shook.

“Oh dear, I believe your young man is calling you. He is very worried about you.”

Trevor tightened his hold to support her as she began to sink to the ground.

“He’s not my young man Grandmother. The other one you speak of, is he the one who told me to go home? In her trance like state, Mallory saw the woman’s head nod. “I am not going Grandmother. I’m staying.”

“I know child, I’ve always known it would be you to break the blood spell.”

Thunder boomed, shaking the ground, the blue sky turned ebony as lightning forked across the black canvas. At the same time, Mallory’s body went limp.

Trevor’s arms wrapped tight around her, relief coursed through his body as her eyes opened. “Damn. You okay?”

“I think so.” She held his hand and sat up. “I know this is going to sound crazy but I just spoke to Lady Elizabeth.”

“Lady who?” Trevor blinked, trying to understand. “Did you hit your head this morning?”

“No, but I’ve been here before. Only it wasn’t all that pleasant.” Seeing the concern on his face, she continued. “My great-great-bunch of great’s grandmother talked to me. I know it sounds weird, but I’m pretty sure she did.”

“Okay, now you’re starting to freak me out. What do you mean someone was talking to you? I didn’t see anyone or hear anything. You were rocking back and forth and I caught you. Not that I minded catching you but—”

“You know what, you’re right. It’s weird. Forget I said anything.” She looked past him to the empty window. “Let’s go look at the gatehouse. If I’m going to stay here I need to see what it looks like.”

“Mallory, we have to wait for Mr. Hale. He has the keys.”

“I can look through the windows.” With a stubborn lift to her chin, she challenged him.

Trevor turned to the castle. The place was old. From the outside, it didn’t appear anyone had kept it up. The structure looked sound enough, but the pale death gray color gave him the creeps. “I sure hope the inside is better than the outside,” he muttered.

“Why, what has the inside got to do with anything?” Mallory raised her eyebrows and then frowned. “Oh you mean for resale. Trevor, I haven’t told you or Mr. Hale I would stay, much less sell the castle.”

“Why would you want to keep it? Too much work and besides what would you do with a castle. The land is worth more than the building.” He looked over to see her swaying back and forth again.

“It belongs in my family. Besides, I think it wants,” she shook her head, “no it’s telling me to stay.”

“Now you really are talking crazy. A castle can’t talk.”

“You don’t think so?” She pointed towards the structure. “Look at the place. It’s sad. I don’t know, like it’s missing something or someone.”

“It doesn’t look like it’s missing anything but a whole lot of restoration.”
As Trevor spoke, tattered curtains moved in the second story window. I did not see that and I do not believe in ghosts.

The sound of a car rounding the drive stopped him before he could ask Mallory if she’d seen anything.

“Ms. Donovan, Mr. Riley, it’s a pleasure to see you both again,” Mr. Hale said, closing the car door. He nodded toward Trevor, and stuck out his hand to Mallory. “I thought we were meeting at the gatehouse.”

“I wanted to see the castle for myself,” Mallory said.

“So you’ll be staying on?” Hope sprang in the solicitors eyes.

“It seems I might be, at that.”

“This is very good news. Well then, let’s go view where you’ll live for the next six months.”

Walking to the car, Trevor causally threw his arm around Mallory’s shoulder and pulled her close.

“You sure you’re alright?” Trevor asked. “Something happened to you back there, and I don’t mind saying it scared me.”

“I’m okay, but you’re right, something definitely happened. I’d rather not talk about it in front of Mr. Hale,” Mallory whispered.

“If you two are ready, we should go while the sun is still high.” Mr. Hale stood with one leg in the car.

Mallory uncurled herself from Trevor’s arm and nodded. They followed Mr. Hale’s car down the road a mixture of dirt and stone pounded together to form a driveway. At the bottom on the right sat the gatehouse. On the left side of the road, huge rocks and patches of dead grass formed a pathway out to the cliffs.

“This would be hell to drive in a storm,” Trevor said.

“Aye and it would at that.” Mallory glanced at the cliffs, her stomach doing a somersault.

“Look at you, already starting to pick up a wee bit of the Irish brogue.”

The way she stared at him, almost sizing him up, caused a ping of caution to erupt in his chest. Trust. Plain and simple, she didn’t completely trust him yet. He was working with her solicitor and wanted to buy the place, she wasn’t convinced he was on the up and up.

The fierce protection that consumed him at the castle when she almost fainted was new to Trevor. He had been ready to fight whatever demons clawed at her mind. That’s exactly what it looked like to him. One minute she was talking to him and the next she was in another world. He didn’t think he would ever forget how her face became white as a ghost, her eyes unseeing, and she couldn’t hear him. Fear inched along his spine. Shaking his head, to clear the image, he looked at her sitting in the passenger seat.

She’s beautiful. I think I’d give my soul to bring her back from the hell she was in. Shit, this is not good. I’m the one who’s supposed to get under her skin.

Looks like Trevor gets the tables turned on him in this dark tale! Love has a way of doing that. Great job, Vicki!

Oooh, love the dark intrigue of this one. And a castle, too! It’s a good sign that Trevor puts his worry for her above his scheme. I think she’s going to need his help… I’d love to read on! 🙂

Lots of intriguing layers here! Whilst the enemies-to-lovers angle isn’t that clear, you’ve created a complex storyline, particularly with that last line – we want to know more about Trevor!

I love ghosts, hauntings and stuff like that and of course Vampires!!! I’m totally hooked! I want to keep reading. What books do you read? Any suggestions?

Totally mess up. I was thinking about entering this one into SYTYCW and didn’t even think about mention it. *Sigh*, Should I look to another book to enter now? So sorry.

On holidays with DH so I don’t have time to comment individually. Have read them all and enjoyed them. Love how they are all so different.

Leone Carlevaro’s, long tapered fingers curled tightly around the tumbler which he held in his hand as he watched his business rival, Jemma Hamilton dance. The man she was dancing with was no match for her, what she needed was a real man, a man who could handle her fiery temper, a man who knew how to tame her when she came charging at him.
Leone gave himself a mental shake. What the hell had gotten into him tonight? He was a corporate raider, or better known in the business world as ‘the heartless shark’, and she, well she was the CEO of the company which was next in line to be torn apart by him. They were enemies, so why was he so affected by seeing her in the arms of another man? He had only known the woman for three months and nothing but icy hostility existed between them. But despite the hostile atmosphere, there was no denying the sexual currents which sparked beneath the surface.
Yes, he had had countless affairs but no one had been able to touch him emotionally. He was beginning to think he was like his father, incapable of loving or feeling. So when had this feisty red head managed to weave her way into his system? He had no idea when or how, all he knew was that she belonged in his arms and no one else’s.
Downing the amber liquid, he moved away from the bar and strode towards the woman who had set fire to his blood.
Leone cut in, making Jemma seethe. The other man looked annoyed but didn’t say anything and moved away.
“Who do you think you are, taking over in such a high handed manner?” Jemma demanded in hushed tones. Her heart was thudding against her ribcage and the blood was pounding in her veins. Never had a man’s touch seared her skin the way Leone’s did.
“I’m surprised you came to Tom’s party.” Leone drawled, gazing down into her flashing blue eyes and pulled her even closer.
A soft gasp escaped Jemma as she felt his tall, lithe frame move intimately against hers.
“Why wouldn’t I? He’s a mutual friend.” She flared hotly. “You don’t frighten me Mr Carlevaro.” She tried to pull away from him, but he refused to relinquish his hold on her.
“Please let go of me.” Jemma hissed through gritted teeth. If he didn’t release her soon, her traitorous body was going to start leaning into him and that was the last thing she wanted to happen!
He had no intention of doing what she was ordering him to do, instead he realised that not only did he want to take over her company but he also wanted Jemma, at any cost.

Icy hostility with sexual undercurrents between them…a definite ‘enemies to lovers’ setup! I see fireworks in their future!! 😉

Very fun and dramatic – Jemma doesn’t stand a chance! Would have liked to see more of their interactions on the dance floor, really showing us their sizzling angst-ridden chemistry in action, but a nice, sexy scene!

Set up- Scotland- Ana forced to go against her will fighting a Land developer who has taken away her granny’s home. Or So she thinks.

Mockingly Ana placed her hands on her waist. “Don’t get any ideas lassie, Ross only marries a Campbell, its tradition,” she mimicked Mary. “You’ll only a Stewart of inferior bloodlines.” Malcolm shook his head. Ana moaned. “He’s behind me, isn’t he?” she mouthed. “Of course I love to go riding with you Malcolm if you don’t mind been seen with a Stewart?” she asked sweetly.
“Nice try Stewart,” Andrew growled behind her to have her swing around with wide green eyes.
“Oh, you startled me Laird, you really shouldn’t sneak up on a girl like that,” she said innocently.
“I see the truce is over,” he growled walking passed her and out the front door. Deflated she stared at the closed door.
“That didn’t last long.” She turned to Malcolm pleadingly to be nodded. She made her escape back to her room where she changed into old jeans. Pulled on a thick cable jumper of blue, wrapped a Stewart scarf around her neck, pulled on a large coat. Kicking off her shoes she pulled on walking boots. Grabbed a cap to pull on her head and headed out, leaving the castle behind to follow one of the tracks that lead down to the loch. Sharp barking had her look around to have Jock running after her on his little legs tag wagging. “Come on then wee laddie.”
Digging her hands into the pockets of the jacket to keep out the cold she rambled down the long windy rough trail, Jock at her side. To finally come to the loch and wide open spaces. She looked behind her to the castle in the hills looking down upon them in all its grandeur. Her heart swelled. To be honest she loved the place and all it hidden treasures that she enjoyed discovering on her own. Jock ran ahead his little legs covering ground heading towards the waters. “Jock!” she called to have him stop and bent down to pat her knees to have the dog to run back to her and lifted up into her arms to cuddle. “Don’t go near the water, I don’t know the lay of the land and there could be bogs and we don’t want to lose you. What’s another black mark against my name, hmm?”
“He does, let him down Ana,” she was advised to place down the dog.
“Go for your run Jock,” Andrew indicated with his head to have the dog run off again barking. Clutching at her arms she turned around to face the man who was behind her. “I thought you were going for a ride with my brother, then I saw you walking off by yourself that was foolish and stupid. Did you tell anyone?” She shook her head to have hair blown across her face by a sudden gush of cold wind to pull back with a hand. He shook his dark head to close the distance between them. “You can’t do that Ana, what if something happened to you, no-one would know where to look for you. Always let someone know where you’re going.”
“Sorry.” Properly put in her place she started to head back to have a hand clamp on her upper arm to look up into intense blue eyes.
“Where are you going?”
“Back to stay in my room,” she stated indifferent. What was the point?
“Then why come here?”
“Just to get some fresh air, all done.” Still he refused to let her go, instead guiding her closer to his frame to drop his hand to place on her waist inside under her jacket.
“And dragging Jock along?” She looked across to the dog that was frolicking along the muddy edge a once white dog now a wet dirty brown half way up his tiny body.
“He’s enjoying himself,” she noted. His gaze followed hers.
“Aye that he is and you can give him a bath.” He turned his head to place his lips near her temple. “I’m not a man of tradition and will marry whoever I want.”
“Oh,” she sighed. “I think others have different ideas on that Laird.”
“Stop calling me that,” he hissed. His breath warm against her skin.
“Shall I call you Lochlan instead then?”
“At your own risk, Anastasia.” She moaned. Point taken. “How on earth did a good Scottish girl get a Russian name?”
“My mother was going through her Russian renaissance stage. She had a love of everything Russian especially the missing princess Anastasia and I’m more Australian then Scottish. I was born and breed there.”
“Aye, but you have a temper of a real Scotsman.”
“I was protecting my granny,” she protested.
“I know,” he whispered, “and I cannae fault you on that.” She turned into him to have his arm go more firmly around her waist, drawn closer to him feeling his body heat that sent tingles of excitement through her.
“Do you know that your Scottish is thicker here than in Australia? Suddenly it’s all ayes and cannea.”
He laughed warming her heart. “It cannae be helped when you hear it every day and I was brought up in Scotland. What about all your wee laddie, hmm?”
“You followed me all the way down?” she gasped.
“Had to, cannae have you fall and break your neck, your Gran would’ve never forgiven me.”
“One less to worry about.”
“Ana,” he growled in warning, “don’t say such things. You might be a pain the butt sometimes but I can’t fault your loyalty and dedication to your family.” Suddenly there was a yelp to have them both jump and turned to find Jock near the edge but stuck. Andrew took to his feet, Ana closed behind, their feet sinking in as they got closer. “Stay there,” Andrew ordered as he edged closer to the squirming dog. Ana dropped to her hunches, heart in her throat, because she had fallen in love with the wee doggie. “Drew, please be careful,” she begged as he dropped to his knees cursing because he had forgotten how boggy it got down here after melting snow and rain. Lucky enough the tide was out. “Jock,” she called softly trying to calm the wee thing down. “Baby please be still, Jock, stop!” she snapped to have him still and look at her. “Good boy.” In the end Andrew had to lay out across the muddy water edge and crawl across until he could reach the terrier and pull him free to have him bounce down his back and straight into Ana’s waiting arms who smothered him in hugs and kisses.
“I hope I get that when I get back,” he noted dryly to have Ana look across at him sprawled across the mud.
“I think a hot bath would be better, you must be freezing Drew. Can you get back?” He did slowly by crawling through the mud backwards to find harder ground to sit up and looked down at his muddy wet front. Even his face was covered in mud. Ana pressed her lips together to stop from laughing at such a sight. He lifted a brow daring her to so, so did, bursting out in laughter to his disgust. “I’m sorry, really I am, but I’ve never seen a muddy wet Laird before.” He stood to shake of the excess mud, spraying her. Laughing harder she stepped back only to loss her balance to land with thump on her backside on the muddy edge, laughing even harder. “Oh that’s cold,” she complained as it seeped through the layers. Tucking Jock under her arm she took Andrew’s offered hand to be pulled to her feet and guided to safer ground to place down a wiggling dog that raced towards the track. “I think he’s trying to tell us something, he’s had enough.”
“So have I.” She looked at him wide-eyed to be gathered in his arms and kissed. The minute his lips touched hers all was forgotten to melt against him, touching his muddy face with her hands as she opened to him, moaning with pleasure as his tongue flicked across her bottom lip to dip that she met hungrily, fires of desire licked her body, warming her all over leaning into his frame that seemed perfectly built for her. His stubble jaw line rasped her fingers as she trailed finger along as he gathered her hard against him with strong arms yet so gentle. “I better get you back to change,” he whispered against her softened lips.

Loved that I could hear their Scottish accents as I read this! 🙂 Such a charming scene, Jan. I really enjoyed it!

Lots of story and tension here between these two! The shift between enmity and attraction felt quite sudden – it would have been nice to see their chemistry build more gradually on the page so their lovely kiss packs as much of a punch as possible!

Thanks for all the fab entries this weekend, they’ve been such fun to read! You guys are spoiling us 🙂

See you all on 28th Aug for the next #WritingChallenge!

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