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#KissingDayBlogFest Entry: A Scene from A CASE FOR LOVE

Monday, December 21, 2009

Okay, y’all badgered me into it. Here’s my second entry into the Official Kissing Day Blog Fest, an almost-kiss scene from A Case For Love—due out in a few weeks! (And don’t mind the ellipses in a couple of places—I edited out some spoilers.)

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Forbes didn’t like this no-name, no-picture deal. Petite brunette wearing black-and-white wasn’t that much to go on. But right now, no one fitting that description sat by herself at a table or in the armchairs over by the greenery-filled fireplace or out on the deck overlooking the river.

Instead of committing himself to a table before his date arrived, Forbes stood at the coffee bar, feeling very much like a cowboy in one of those old Westerns Meredith and Major liked watching so much.

The front door swung open. Forbes straightened. Though backlit, the silhouette entering was definitely female—a petite female. She paused, probably letting her eyes adjust to the dim interior. He checked his watch—9:21. Not just punctual, but early. Nice.

She moved toward the cashier. Forbes’s knees went weak. Alaine Delacroix pushed her sunglasses up on top of her head and placed her order.

Alaine? Could Shon have possibly—but if he had, why hadn’t he said anything? Forbes pulled out the copy of the e-mail with the description Shon had sent. Petite. Check. Brunette. Well, Forbes would have called her hair black, but it could work as a description. Wearing a black-and-white top. He glanced back up at Alaine, making sure to keep himself partially hidden behind the coffee-making station. She was wearing a black-and-white polka-dot jacket. Three strikes—er, three hits—okay, so the baseball metaphor didn’t work.

He waited for her to make her way down the long counter to the corner where she’d pick up her coffee, and from whence she’d be able to see him.

Their eyes met. Hers widened, and her full lips formed a small O. “What. . .what are you doing here?”

“Good morning to you, too.” He saluted her with his coffee. “Are you meeting someone here?”

“I—uh—yes, I’m supposed to be meeting someone here.”

“Devastatingly handsome and wearing blue?”

Her face went from ghostly pale to flushed in a split second. “Tall, dark hair, and wearing. . .red.” She frowned and pulled a folded piece of paper from her purse. “It definitely says red, not blue. Wait—are you here for. . .are you meeting someone here from Let’s Do Coffee?”

His face went hot now, too. “I am. Petite, brunette, wearing a black-and-white top. If that isn’t you. . .” He scanned the room again, just to make sure he hadn’t missed someone else fitting the description.

“Extra large café au lait,” the barrista called.

Alaine stepped over to grab the tall ceramic mug. She poured what looked like half the sugar shaker into it, tasted, and added a bit more sugar. He shuddered. It had to be sludge-like by now.

“So if I’m not meeting you,” she said, returning to stand at the bar beside him, “and you’re not meeting me, maybe we shouldn’t be standing here talking to each other when they do come in, or else they might not realize we’re the ones.”

“Are you trying to avoid me?” He sipped his latte, enjoying how the strong flavor of the espresso picked up the subtle hint of the skim milk and the light sweetness and chocolate of the sugar-free mocha flavoring, trying not to let himself be disappointed that Alaine wasn’t here for him.

“Avoid you?”

“You haven’t returned my phone calls.”

She traced her finger around the handle of her mug. “I wasn’t sure what to say to you.”

Setting his cup down, he leaned forward. “I only wanted to thank you. To try to tell you how much what you did meant to me. And to say that I hope your folks didn’t give you a hard time for it.”

Her gaze dropped to his mouth, but then just as quickly, she closed her eyes and turned her head away. Heat coursed through his body. He’d been wanting to kiss her since the first moment they met—actually a long time before that. Unless his eyes deceived him, she’d just told him she’d thought about it, too.

He took a step back for safety. “I saw your name made the newspaper blurb. That didn’t make things worse, did it?”

“My parents understood why I did what I did. . . .” She turned her profile to him and leaned back against the edge of the bar’s top, cradling her mug in both hands. . . . She took a sip of coffee, and finally looked at him again, her dark eyes sparkling like onyx. “Besides, that kind of journalism demands objectivity, and there’s no way I could stay objective about this story.”

This time, her eyes stayed locked on his, but he found himself once again leaning toward her, toward those enticing, full lips.

They both startled when the bell on the front door jangled. A tall man—a very tall man—with hair almost as dark as Alaine’s and wearing a bright red University of Louisiana–Bonneterre T-shirt entered the café and stood inside the door scanning the interior.

Alaine looked like she might tuck-tail and run. Forbes might aid her, if it came to that.

14 Comments
  1. Monday, December 21, 2009 11:19 am

    They’re both great but I think I like this scene best… the tension is wonderful. Isn’t this Blogfest fun? 🙂

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  2. Monday, December 21, 2009 2:14 pm

    Great stuff! I read both scenes and liked them both. Talk about a steamy day. 🙂

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    • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:13 pm

      LOL—with the amount of work I’m trying to get done by Christmas Eve, I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time reading, but every hour or so, I’m sneaking in a blog or two. At this rate, I might be finished reading them by Valentine’s Day!

      Like

  3. Monday, December 21, 2009 3:26 pm

    I felt MY heart rate go up! Very nice . . . and thank you for bowing to peer pressure and giving us BOTH! lol

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    • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:14 pm

      Well, I had a hard time deciding between the two scenes, so it was easy to let my arm be twisted.

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  4. Monday, December 21, 2009 4:04 pm

    I loved both of them, but I think I love the first one just a teeny bit better. They both make me want to read more!

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    • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:14 pm

      I wanted to post a little more of this scene—after Forbes’s date shows up, too—but it gives away way too much of the story!

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  5. Monday, December 21, 2009 5:42 pm

    Thanks for pulling double duty, Kaye.

    I especially loved the reveal in this scene. Even though I don’t know much about Forbes and Alaine’s history, I feel the tension just the same and want to see where this all leads.

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    • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:16 pm

      Both of these characters, but Forbes especially, gave me all kinds of fits when I was writing this book (Forbes being a control freak didn’t want to let go and let me control the story!), but once I wrestled them into (almost) submission, I had a lot of fun with writing it—especially scenes like this between the two of them.

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  6. Monday, December 21, 2009 9:55 pm

    Well, well, well. I didn’t think you could beat the great couple in Stand-In Groom, but this looks VERY promising!

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    • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 12:17 pm

      Thanks, J.J.! I spent three years with Anne & George in writing Stand-In Groom and I wish I’d had that much time to spend with Forbes and Alaine, because they got to be so much fun to write!

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  7. Jess permalink
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:04 am

    Oh, Kaye, I love the Austen-like “little details” he notices in her face that tell him how she’s feeling. And you totally fooled me–I thought they were waiting for each other! Can’t wait to read this one!

    Like

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