Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other.
SETUP: This is a scene from my Young Adult novel, Melody's Song. Melody has a run in with Nate - literally.
The cool night air slapped me in the face when I opened the side door to escape and it took me a second to realize it was drizzling. The misty rain pattered down against my hot skin. The chill felt good. It might not be that long before we got snow. It snowed in Ohio, right? A tinge of excitement coursed though me. My first snowfall! My eyes widened as I strained to look at the misty rain, searching for that alluring first white flake.
A low chuckle came from the semi-darkness behind me. I pivoted to search for the source, my balance tittering on an unsupported ankle and I crashed to the ground.
Two hands reached out to grab my arm, but my rear hit the cold pavement before they could get to me. Nate knelt down, concern etched on his handsome face. Well, concern and amusement. My heart skipped three beats, forgetting for a moment how to work.
“Are you okay?” I could hear him straining to keep from laughing. Smart guy.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I tried to brush off splatters of mud clinging to my jeans, but like day old grease in a grease trap, it fused to my pants.
“Let me help you up.”
“No thanks, I got it.” An edge of annoyance crept into my voice. Did he purposely wait in the dark to scare me? The rain started to pick up, fat droplets plunging to the ground around us, sounding like fingers tapping on a desk. I ignored his outstretched hand and struggled to my feet.
Pain shot through my ankle and rippled up my leg. Hot tears prickled at the edges of my eyes, but I swiped them away. Nate’s arm encircled me before I tumbled back to the wet pavement.
“Whoa. Steady. Your ankle?”
“No my ear. Idiot,” I snapped. It felt like a smoking red hot poker straight from a blacksmith's forge was searing straight through the skin and skewering the bone. I desperately wanted to stop the tears threatening to overflow. But it hurt. I mean it really hurt. Like the kind of pain I imagine a guy would feel if his dick got caught in a zipper. A zipper with razor sharp teeth.
“Can you walk on it?”
I clung to Nate’s strength, his warmth seeping through my shirt and into my chilled skin. Our eyes locked and for one blissful second I forgot about my ankle. His chest rubbed against my side, my hands gripping his taunt biceps. Our faces were only inches from each other and his breath a wisp of vapour.
“Can I take a look?”
I nodded as he assisted me over to a bench near the store’s front door. The rain pelted off the tin roof above us making a musical hymn. I concentrated on the sound, trying to keep my mind off the pain. He knelt on the ground in front of me and held out his hand, palm up. Our eyes met and I hesitated. Was I doing something wrong? Could I screw up my assignment anymore? I’m pretty freaking sure falling for your Charge was a big no-no. What would the Senate think? What if they reassigned Nate’s file? What if…wow he smelled amazing. I filled my lungs with the earthy scent making me light headed. I lifted my leg and let his warm hands examine it. My stomach did a nosedive when he touched my skin. A jolt shot through my blood and tingled from the tip of my toes to the top of my ears.
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