Another New Year, another No Kiss Blogfest. I’m so excited that this new method of internet is reliable enough to let join in with the community again.
This blogfest is becoming something of a tradition for me. Last year, I went with a chapter from A Game of Cat and Horse, the year before that it was the pivot point of Dark One’s Mistress.
This year, the piece comes from Dark One’s Bride. It’s a later chapter (and a sparsely-done one at that) that’s just a little past halfway in the story.
I’m not going to go into massive explanations or anything, but I will say this: Clara was all set to marry Lucias (hence the title) but she called it off with only days to spare. And as for the scene itself … they were engaged in a little swordplay just moments ago.
He pinned her to the ground. “Do you concede?”
She struggled. With the bulk of her skirts tucked beneath her, there was no chance she could throw him off. Clara sighed. Time to admit defeat. “You win.” She peered through the tangled strands of her hair when his weight didn’t move. “Did you not hear me? I concede.”
Lucias brushed the hair from her face. She’d expected to find his mouth warped into that insufferable smirk he always got whenever he won. Its absence only added to the guilt bubbling in her stomach.
He leant close. “Clara.” His breath danced along her throat, its warmth aiding in the pounding of her heart. “Tell me you don’t want me.” Each husky word slunk across her skin, more intimate than any touch. “Look me in the eye and say it. Make me believe you’ve no interest in staying at my side.”
Clara parted her lips, drinking in his breath. Her body strained against him, no longer seeking a way to be free of his weight. This is wrong. She willed herself to lie still. It left her hollow, but to do otherwise was only feeding him false hope. “I—” She couldn’t bring herself to speak whilst looking at his face. Her gaze dropped, fastening on his chest. The way it rose and fell in rapid bursts only served to warm her cheeks. “I don’t want you,” she finally mumbled.
The stark certainty behind the word drew her gaze back up. He dared to call her that? She glared at him. There was the smugness she’d expected earlier. “I am not.”
His laughter shook both of them. “Lying about lying, now?”
She pushed herself off the ground until their foreheads touched. Their noses also pressed uncomfortably against each other, but she wasn’t about the pull away right now. “I don’t want you,” she muttered, each word clipped.
Something dark shimmered in the back of his eyes as she spoke, flickering at her single falsely-uttered word. His lips twisted. They were so close to touching hers that her skin tingled. “And I don’t believe you.”
Of course you don’t. If she couldn’t believe it then what hope did she have of him being deceived by something as plain as an outright lie? The magic he’d inherited from his mother’s family practically guaranteed she couldn’t. “I really can’t be what you want.”
Heartache darkened his eyes and deepened the lines on his face. “Clara…” The back of his fingers caressed her cheek; soft and slow as if she were some half-tame alley cat. “Did you not hear me when I told you that you are everything I want?”
Yeah, nothing as stellar nor as steamy as the last two times. Sorry.
If you haven’t already, be sure to drop by Amanda’s blog for a list of the other participants and check out their scenes. I know I will be.