Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snippet

All right, here's a snippet. Our lovers are only just acquainted in this bit.

From THE WITCH OF BADENOCH
Copyright me, 2006

Copper was passing the door that led out to the bailey when it opened, the draft extinguishing her candle. She jumped, squeaked and swore. This part of the castle was not often used at night, and no torches had been lit. There was a shifting sound in the darkness as whoever had opened the door paused, then pushed the door shut with a soft thud.

“Who’s there?”

A deep chuckle was the only answer she received, and a pair of impertinent fingers pinched her on the buttock. She squeaked again, but in surprise this time, more than alarm.

“Kieran Gordon!”

The chuckle filled the air around her, warm and infectious, and a broad hand closed around her upper arm, guiding her through the darkness.

“This way [little mouse], I’ll get you a light.”

“What are you doing, creeping about in the dark?” She scolded, heart still rattling against her ribs.

“Coming in from the loch. Step up, here.”

“Ah.” Now he mentioned it, he smelled of water, fresh and dark and cool. He kept his hold on her arm as they mounted the steps. She was uncertain of her footing, and more than once the backs of his fingers brushed the side of her breast. She tried to ignore that, but the heat that rushed up inside her at his touch was distracting.

“Last one,” he thoughtfully warned her, but she could see now. A short distance down the wall a torch burned, and he stepped away from her to light her candle from it.

He had been swimming, and the reason why he’d crept in the back way was now obvious. He was dressed only in his breeks, and they hung damp and carelessly fastened from his hips, threatening to slip with every movement. His skin was still wet, and the light glistened on his chest and the wide, solid angle of his shoulders.

Taking her arm again, even though they were now surrounded by yellow candle-glow, he turned her back toward the stair and up to the next floor. They went down a corridor and around the bend to her room, but she didn’t want him to leave. The nearness - and near-nakedness - of him was making her warm. He chatted, casually unaware, and paused at her door to finish whatever it was he’d been saying, something about a missing calf.

A droplet of water fell from his hair and streaked down his chest to hide in the soft fuzz on his belly. Her eyes followed it, enchanted, and the soft rhythm of his voice faded. His eyes had darkened by several shades when she looked up, several heartbeats later.

“I’ll be saying goodnight, then, Lass.” Now, her eyes fastened on his lips. She heard the husky warning in his voice, but her fingers drifted of their own accord, lightly brushing up along the path of the droplet, up to the soft curve of his bottom lip. At her touch his shoulders stiffened and he froze, eyes locked on her, fire (was it really from the candle?) flickering in their depths. A small sound came from his throat, and he caught her fingers, kissing the tips before pressing the candle into her hand. He disappeared around the corner without a word of good e’en.

Smiling, Copper let herself into her room, and went to bed.

4 comments:

Mrs. Mitty said...

Ooh, the brazen wench! I like her! I like him even more! LOL

Nice snippet!

Cindy said...

Thank you.

Now that it's out in public, though, I see a number of errors. Too many "soft"s, too many "several"s. How would she know his belly-fuzz was soft, until she touched it? And the calf story is lame. Change that to a vomiting stable lad.

That's the way it goes, just like my car. It always looks clean enough to me, until someone else gets in!

Sara Walker Howe said...

Hi Cindy! Very nice!

And don't beat yourself up too much. These things you want to change-- I've seen them in published books. I'm coming to realize that everything is forgiveable if the story is good enough. If you can sink the reader in deep enough, they're too busy wallowing in the story and characters' problems to notice they're covered in mud. :o)

Cindy said...

Dear Sara:
Thanks! I've been away too long, itching to get back...