Quickie Update…

Yet another quickie update. I am happy to say that I have finished adding all the major scenes needed, as well as re-working all the important scenes that needed re-working. I am also most of the way through an on-screen re-read. Tomorrow, I am hoping to print out the entire manuscript so I can read it via hard copy, which always helps me to catch typos that I haven’t caught electronically. I think I may need to add a few lines here and there, and maybe one or two more short scenes, but other than that…this puppy is just about done! I may also need to find some fat to trim, since the manuscript is now at right around 92k instead of the 82-83k it was at earlier…Oops.

Ah well, I do feel that it is tons stronger than it was before! And really, isn’t that the important thing? =)

Scott’s eyes zoned in on me the moment I stepped into the room, and the liquid heat they reflected made my knees go all wobbly again. The music had changed, this time REO Speedwagon echoed my sentiment of “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” perfectly. I managed to make it from hallway to table without falling on my ass, no small feat in the too-large sandals. He met me halfway, pulled out a cushioned chair, seated me with a gallant flourish, and then removed the covers from our food. My eyes widened when he pulled out a bottle of my favorite, and uber expensive, Chianti.

The sudden pitter patter of my heart had me fighting for equilibrium. “Pulling out all the stops, huh?” I tried to make it a joke, but my tone was way more serious than intended.

He paused in the act of pouring and shot me a soul-searing look that did not settle my racing pulse. “I never do anything by halves.”

Oh man, that was so true. While he’d never wined and dined me quite like this, he had always been a genius at making me feel special and desired. Until the day he’d chosen family and work over me…

That topic of thought was even more dangerous than thinking of his little brother, so I ruthlessly shoved it aside. I sniffed the creamy ravioli suspiciously, poking it with my fork. Cooking had always been more my forte than Scott’s.

“What, you don’t trust my cooking?”

I glanced up with a guilty expression and quickly scooped up a forkful of pasta. “I didn’t say that!”

His lips curved. “You didn’t have to; it’s written all over your pretty face.” As if to reassure me, he took a large bite of ravioli and then fluttered his eyes in pleasure. “Damn, Ellie’s a great cook.”

My nose wrinkled. “I’ll just wait and make sure you don’t keel over then.”

Scott’s grin turned into a guffaw. “Ellie wouldn’t poison me to get to you.”

“You sure?”

He took another bite and smacked his lips noisily. “Yum. It’s your favorite, four-cheese ravioli.”

“Ah well, a little poison never hurt a Fury.”

“That’s the spirit.”

The banter continued as we enjoyed the good–okay wonderful–ravioli and the spectacular Chianti (fava beans not included). Scott had never had a nose for wine, either, so I suspected Ellie had helped him with that selection as well, but it didn’t take away from the fact he’d chosen it specifically for me. He took the lead in dinner chit chat, steering it toward mutual acquaintances, mortal headlines, and our shared love of the Red Sox for the most part. I could almost pretend the past two years had never happened, that Vanessa had never gone missing, that we had never broken up, and that our blooming relationship was still in full swing…

He kept the wine flowing and I deliberately drank it quickly enough to take the edge off my nerves. It would take much harder liquor and conscious effort to get outright drunk, but the bubbly warmth pooling in my body was more than enough for my purposes. The Righteous Brothers finished their Unchained Melodies, and Natalie Cole’s duet with daddy dearest, Unforgettable, echoed in the air. A smile touched my lips. I’d always had a soft spot for good ole Nat King Cole.

Scott was around the table and holding his hand out to me in seconds flat. I stared up into his glowing amber eyes and hesitated. Slight intoxication or no, the time had come to make a conscious decision. Either I wanted to take this risk–to put my heart on the line again and see where things took us–or I wanted to play it safe and keep things as platonic between us as possible. Which involved a strategic retreat and spending the night in Scott’s guest bed.

Oh hell. I’d never been very good at playing it safe.

My hand slipped into his hesitantly. He eased me to my feet, arms wrapping around me as soft as a butterfly’s caress, as if afraid anything stronger would startle me away. The heady flavor of his subtle cologne mixed with his own unique scent went to my head even more surely than the red wine, and I closed my eyes and burrowed more snugly against his warm body. God, father and daughter had it so right. He was so damned unforgettable, no matter that I’d been trying my damnedest to block him–and the way he’d always made me feel–out of my mind.

We danced for what seemed an eternity, but was probably closer to thirty minutes. Song blended into song until Aerosmith belted out “our” song once more, and the hesitant caresses, touches, and kisses we’d been risking blurred into more. Much more. I don’t know which of us initiated it–and I don’t really care–but heated hunger flared to life and set off a chain reaction of desire. My hands grabbed onto his shoulders for purchase as he swung me into his arms, strode toward the bedroom, and proceeded to show me just how much I’d been missing the past two years…

Okay, off to bed!

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