Feb 15, 2010

I’ll make my own rules…

Is it wrong to change my Love at First Sight Blogfest scene? Originally, I posted a snippet from my brand spankin’ new romantic/suspense WIP, based in Canada. But now that I’m looking it over, it isn’t as romantic as I’d like. Sorry, but I had just finished writing the scene and (of course) I thought it was perfect for Blogfest. Upon hindsight, I have changed my mind. Instead (because I enjoy making up my own rules) I have submitted a scene from Nightlings, my paranormal romance series. Like I've said, I don't actually have a love-at-first-sight scene with these characters, but I'm rather fond of this scene, and it's plenty steamy for Valentine's Day. You’ll notice this post is significantly shorter than the last snippet :-)

Want to see the other LaFS Blogfesf entries? Check them out here.

A little backstory: Two vampires, Caleb and Kate (you may have already read their author/character interviews) have been fighting their growing attraction for one another. Unfortunately, current events keep bringing them together. The scene below is one such scene. While at an annual ball involving the three different Nightling races, Kate is dancing with the Vampire King, Gabriel—who also happens to be Caleb’s cousin. A little family rivalry, perhaps?

Note: This is an excerpt from a never before seen chapter—meaning, it is unedited by both my critique group and my partner. As always, feel free to comment and critique.

Caleb had managed to distract himself from Kate by mingling with their foreign dignitaries. Unfortunately, he’d only made it halfway through the First Dance when his eyes betrayed him and honed in on Kate like a magnet. She was drop dead gorgeous tonight, just like every night, but tonight, she was in Gabriel’s arm. As they twirled around the dance floor, she laughed at something he’d said.

Damn it, Gabe.

He was probably using his charm on her.

The bastard.

It had been hell watching Kate dance with his cousin. The First Dance was similar to a waltz—very classy with no real sexual undertones, but Gabriel still managed to make his dance with Kate look intimate.

Fucking pervert…

Caleb had to stop this. His cousin was seriously crossing a line, even if he didn’t know there was a line to be crossed. As if scripted to piss Caleb off, Gabe leaned in and whispered something against Kate’s neck. Son of a bitch. He had to stop this and he had just the opportunity.

The First Dance opened with only the three Immortal King’s and their dance partners. As the dance continued, members of the royal families were expected to chime in, followed by advisors. By the end of the dance, anyone could join in; the ball had officially begun. Luckily, it was halfway through the song, and time for the royal family to join the dance. It wasn’t exactly proper to steal the dance partner of a king, but Caleb didn’t care. If Gabe wanted to bitch about it later—big whoop; there wasn’t a rule against it.

Caleb didn’t remember making his way onto the dance floor. One moment he was standing near the head table, and the next, he was placing a firm hand on Gabriel’s right shoulder.

“Cousin,” he said, glancing at Gabe before looking to Kate and offering her his hand. “You can’t expect me to do work of finding her if you’re the only one who gets to dance with her.”

Gabe chuckled and stepped away from Kate. “Be my guest, Caleb,” he said. Then, so that only Caleb could hear, “Take your prize.”


What was he doing? Was he crazy? Did he not understand that she’d put a stop to…to whatever was going on between them, the night before? She didn’t want this. Well, she did but she couldn’t—shouldn’t—want this. But here he was, taking her hand in one of his and pulling her against him with the other.

Electricity sparked in her arm when she placed her left hand on his shoulder and settled her body into his hold. His muscles were hard, his steps confident. Her mind began a picture show of last night’s highlights. His touch. His kiss—it was all too much, too good.

“You’re blushing,” he said, his voice deep. Stepping into motion, he forced her to dance with him.

“I’m pissed,” she spat at him, then looked around to make sure she hadn’t attracted any unwanted attention. She hadn’t; the other dancers looked only at their partners. When she looked back at Caleb she was annoyed to see he was trying to hide a grin. “Is something funny?”

“Just wondering why you’re upset…”

“Because of you!”

“Me? What did I do?”

“You’re dancing with me!”

“And dancing makes you mad?”

“Dancing with you makes me mad. You make me mad.”

“Why’s that? I thought we got along well last night…”

Why’s that?” She repeated, angry that he seemed so have forgotten that she’d put a stop to their…encounter. “Last night’s why’s that!”

“You didn’t enjoy kissing me?”

“What?” She stumbled but he pulled her harder against himself to keep her from falling. “I…it was...last night was… It doesn’t matter. It happened, now it’s done with. I won’t happen again.”

“Won’t it?”

“I thought I’d made it clear—

“By running off? I suppose it could be taken that way. Of course, it could also mean other things…”

“Other things? Like what—no! Nevermind, don’t answer that; I don’t want to know.” She breathed in deeply to try to clear her head of the images still flashing in her head, but she only managed to breath in the scent of him and that only made the images stronger. “Caleb, I can’t do—

“Shh,” he said softly. “It’s just a dance, Kate. I’m only dancing.”

His eyes were so kind that she felt hypnotized—lost in their depth. He was right. They were only dancing. It wasn’t like she’d make some crazy mistake like falling in love with him, right here on the dance floor. This was safe. Two people, dancing, in a room filled with people. There was no danger in that.

She didn’t reply; only nodded her head once in acceptance, then followed his lead as they danced.

The longer they danced, the more the music entranced her. Kate didn’t fight the images of the night before; rather, she indulged in them. And she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Caleb. His face was a work of art: a chiseled perfection. He had a strong jaw, and straight, white teeth framed by full, soft lips—lips that she couldn’t help but want to suck on. Again.

The song ended but neither of them released the other. His eyes…she was lost in those pools of blue and green.

How had she missed the flecks of silver that were sprinkled atop the blue and green? The silver specks added an icy, cool hue to the irises, but, as if watching them transform, the silver turned to gray, and his eyes grew dark with…something. Desire, maybe?

A couple brushed past them, exiting the dance floor, but still, they didn’t separate. His gaze was so intense; she licked her lips and started to pull away, but Caleb held her firm.

“Not yet,” he breathed, so quietly that only she could hear him. The music started again, this time a deep, lusty rhythm that matched her beating heart. “Try to relax this time; let go and enjoy it.”

She didn’t respond. She couldn’t. Letting him lead her into the next dance was natural—like breathing. It wasn’t as if she could have said no. For some reason, her damn throat couldn’t seem to muster up the energy to even try to speak. She simply gave in, and did as he asked: let go and enjoyed it.


  1. When you write like that sweetheart, you can make up all the rules you like. That was good. Very very good :)

  2. More! More!

    Wow, incredible chemistry rockin' their world. I loved this.

  3. very yummy, courtney. i'm looking forward to reading more....

  4. You've built up a lot of great tension here - love it! Very nicely done :)

  5. Ahhhhh...
    I'm loving this. Please, please, pretty please--upload some new stuff for me to enjoy (errrm--I mean crit.) ;)

  6. Oh, very nice! Way to capture the tension here, good lady.

  7. Oh yes, I agree with Wendy!!! Break the rules! Especially if it means bringing Caleb and Kate to us!! Yay! So happy to see them again. And what a stamy scene, too...all that underlying tension. Hot stuff, chickie.

  8. Wendy- *Blushes* Thanks Wendy! I'm glad you liked it!

    Tara- Thanks for commenting. It feels good to know I accomplished my goal. Tensions is such a fun thing to write (and I love making my characters squirm!).

    Embee- Oh, you'll get to read way more than you ever wanted to. Soon, dear, soon. (Da da DAAAA)

    Jemi- Thanks Jemi! I love knowing I succeeded in the sexual tension department. My characters must hate me... haha

    Merissa- I will--so many you'll be begging me to stop. Tonight, my fiance goes to class (a class I am "too sick to attend" and I'm going to be playing on Critique This for the rest of the night! I'm SO excited!)

    Simon- Thanks, Simon! Glad to know even my male audience can appreciate it ;)

    Carol- Yay! Glad to got it right! Thanks for commenting, Carol. You made my day!

  9. Love the tension in the scene and the intimacy of sharing a dance with someone you're trying to resist. Great job. And thanks for holding the blogfest--it was a lot of fun. :)

  10. I love this scene! I have to agree with Roni about the tension and intimacy. Smashing job, Courtney. ^^

  11. Very nice! I love the first part from his POV-- tortured men are my achilles heal! Great tension!

  12. Roni- Oh yes! That's the ultimate romantic torture! Glad you liked it :)

    Ashelynn- Thank you! I'm glad to know I did a good job on the scene. This is one of those chapters that seemed to go on forever, but it was fun to write. Thanks for commenting.

    Amalia- Oh yes, mine too! Jealously is such a potent emotion--and awfully fun to write about too ;)

  13. I really liked the dialogue. Great chemistry.

  14. Your house...your rules! I'm glad that you did break them, that was a great scene.

  15. Hi,
    I found my way here from Word Play Sword Play. I was reading her post about your entry and found it very interesting. Is it a WIP?

    Yaya's Changing World

  16. Excellent writing; you have a very gifted pen, Courtney.
    More please.:)

  17. Hi! You've been nominated! http://ashelynnsanford.blogspot.com/2010/02/again-sigh.html

  18. Wow... That was freaking fantastic. Seriously... blew me away. Right on.

  19. Roxi- Thanks! Its so easy to write about these characters. They really do have some great chemistry going on. Thanks for the comment!

    DL- Thanks, DL!

    Yaya- The scene on her blog was actually from her WIP. The one on my scene was from mine. Her story is really good though, huh? :)

    Laura- Thank you, Laura. Will be posting more as I write. There are two more blogfests coming up this month that I hope to participate in--as long as I don't get too busy. ;)

    Ashelynn- Thanks Ashelynn! I'm so excited!

    Wendy- Thanks! I love me a good love scene, haha.


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