(June 11) Thanks to everyone who participated! I have contacted the winners of The Ice Goddess drawing. Hope you have a great summer!
Hello, everyone! In this excerpt from Tower Bridge, my first published novel, Anna is trying to win back the affections of her husband, the moody musician Stan, in the sultry late-summer surroundings of their garden.
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We made our way through the first bottle, and as the moon rose and the sky deepened, a plum color now, I produced the other, already opened (see how well I had planned?), from under the bench.
“Anna!” he said, surprised. I began to pour him more, my arm unsteady. He gently pulled the bottle from me. “Let me,” he said, and I loved the way he said it. Like a real husband, one who cared enough to notice little things.
I watched as he topped off our glasses. And then I decided. When I reached over to caress his cheek, the beginnings of his beard, he started to move away, but hesitated, torn. He didn’t want to hurt me. I knew him well enough to suss that out. And I think both of us were remembering the last time we had been together, so long ago, before his concert in town. I pushed him too far that afternoon. He hadn’t been ready, still reeling from all that had happened.
“Anna,” he said, attempting a reprimand. He held onto that bottle and didn’t look up. His lashes lowered and dark against his cheeks.
I carefully took the glasses and set them underneath the bench. And, with both hands, I pulled the bottle from him now and placed it out of sight. He raised his eyes to mine. He didn’t want to fight.
“Please.” I touched my fingers to his lips. “It’s my birthday.” He didn’t move, so I did, leaning in towards him. I smelled sharp Irish Spring soap; it mingled with the sweetness of the cloves from his cigarettes and that damn conditioner I had made him use. And underneath it all, his basic earthiness. I began to kiss him with a need I had tried to ignore for a long time: years at this point. He groaned – so nice, the vibration of his mouth heavy under mine– and I pressed myself closer, my hands all over his back, then moving through his hair. I was mad about his hair. That and his bloody, irresistible earring were my downfalls, among so many other things. Oh, God, I was relentless, and at one point, our teeth clicked together. Hard.
He pulled away. “Ouch,” he said, laughing in spite of everything.
I leaned my forehead against his and took this time to catch my breath. And then, well, I started to kiss him more.
“Anna…” he managed to say, a bit desperately, when I finally allowed him air again.“Don’t,” I said against the corner of his mouth. “Don’t refuse me, please. Just this once…”
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