Last weekend was break-ups so today is make-ups! I love to make and alpha work for it. I know, it’s horrible and all, but sometimes a big old alpha male needs his match to push back hard enough to remind him that while she makes allowances for his normal pushy, alpha self, there are limits. It’s the heart of what makes the relationship with an alpha work in a book I think. I have some of my favorites – Cassie and Shane after he gets all up in her business, even though he’s trying to protect her, she has big giant issues about it having come out of a horribly abusive marriage. She needs to push back to keep herself whole and in the end, he gets that. In Second Chances, Jude messes up big time with Rori and it takes a lot of self reflection and losing her for him to come to grips with just exactly what he did. In Undercover, Sera and Ash have a past that is full of hurts. She’s afraid to trust him again and he needs to show her he’s worth it. Break ups, or these tumultuous moments in a relationship are fun to write, though sometimes they’re the most difficult.
But make ups – well, they’re fun in a whole different way. An author needs to be sure the reader feels satisfied the person in the wrong has sufficiently paid for his or her crimes in their eyes. If either person is too petty, or lets serious transgressions go too easily, it leaves you feeling unsettled. But a great, rip roaring break up followed by an intense make up can cement the relationship and move the book forward.
So today how about a scene from Sensual Magic? This is my novella in the What Happens in Vegas…After Dark anthology. Nell is a law enforcing witch and William is a human male who owns a nightclub. The last thing either of them expects is the other. But where Nell appreciates what he is to her, how she feels, he’s far more reticent. When he comes to his senses, he grovels a little…
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…AFTER DARK – SENSUAL MAGIC by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Spice Books
William stalked down the hall, annoyed with himself for even being there. He should be back at his apartment with a woman or two, fucking this one out of his head. Fuck it, he had to get her out of Vegas before he did or said something stupid.
Agitated, he pounded on the door, softening as he remembered it was after one. He waited, hearing her approach on the other side.
“What do you want?” Her voice came, muffled through the door.
He leaned in close to the door. “Open up, Nell.”
“Damn it. Open. The. Door.”
“Go away, William. I can’t deal with you right now. I’m tired and I don’t have the energy to fight with you or take your insults.” Her voice caught. He heard it through the door and regret crashed through him.
“I need to talk to you. It’s important. Open up. Please.” His hands fisted with the need to pull her close and make that catch in her voice go away.
She opened it hard, stood there in a tiny pair of pink panties and nothing else. He pushed his way inside and closed the door, locking it. It was then he really saw her face. Her beautiful eyes sparked with temper but they were swollen and red.
She’d been crying? Tenderness unfurled through him, pushing aside his anger, his frustration. “What’s wrong?”
She put a hand on her hip and try as hard as he could, there was no way her near total nakedness couldn’t attract his attention. He’d been inside her twice, thought of her in hundreds of sexual situations but he’d never seen her totally nude. Her breasts were fucking amazing, the rest of her was long and lean, toned and creamy pale. She shone like the moon, nearly stopping his heart with her own unique beauty. Never in his life had he been so moved by a woman’s beauty. No one was like her.
Still, tears. Focus on the tears.
“I’m trying to sleep, in case you haven’t noticed. You got what you wanted back at Darkness. Why are you here?”
That hit him like the slap it was. Landed true because he knew he’d run out and made her feel used. He’d done it to hide from what she made him feel and instead he’d damaged her. The wall he’d erected just two hours earlier continued to crumble.
“Doesn’t look like you were sleeping. It looks like you’ve been crying. And I didn’t get enough of what I wanted at Darkness.” He paused and walked down the hall into the room. He’d meant to just tell her to get out of town immediately and instead found himself standing stock still, breathing deep. Her scent hung in the air, wrapping around him and squeezing until he had no choice but to abandon his stupid plan. “Damn it. Damn it, Nell, I don’t feel like I can get enough of you. Ever.”
She’d grabbed a robe and was attempting to put it on when he spun and caught her. Emotion clouded his gaze and something deep inside her squeezed.
“What now? What did I do?” She left her robe open, daring him not to look.
“Fuck. Fuck. Why? What did you do to me? Why do I love you?” He reached out and pulled her to him and she growled in his face.
“Do you think I need magic to be alluring? You’re such a prick!”
“I am. I know I am. It’s served me well, kept me away from feeling deeply about other women like Leah! And you come along, I barely even know you and I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Anguish poured off him in a wave, catching her, tugging at her emotions, her need to soothe him.
She pulled herself loose, needing some distance. “I would not use magic to manipulate your feelings. That’s not how it works. I use it to defend myself and my people. I don’t use it to play with men who I’d be way better off without. You don’t know what an insult it is to accuse me of that. There are no love potions, no spells to make another person love you and if there were, I’d still not use them. I wouldn’t cloud your will.”
He sat on a nearby chair and looked up at her. “I’m sorry. It…I know you wouldn’t harm me like that. I don’t know why I know it but I do. I’m just, I don’t know what to do with all this emotion.”
Unbidden, laughter bubbled from her and she bent, kneeling before him, giving into her need to touch him. “You think I do?”
A smile tugged at his mouth and she had to kiss it. His hands cupped her cheeks gently as he tasted, teased, returned the kiss.