[A NOTE OF CAUTION: Please skip today’s post if either A. we know each other in person, or B. kissing or other intimacies make you uncomfortable.]
A huge thanks to Sharon for suggesting I have a “Wicked Wednesday!” feature, so here it goes…
I have two excerpts, today. The first is a favorite of my husband’s, for obvious reasons. In fact, from time to time I’ll ask what his favorite scene in all of my books is and he ALWAYS says this one. When Darah read this book looking for scenes to post, she specifically mentioned this one, but said it might be a bit risqué and might be unsuitable. Immediately, the challenge bells in my head went off along with the words: Wanna bet?
So, here it is, the infamous orangery scene!
“Would you like to see the orangery?”
“Yes,” Brooke said uneasily. They had barely walked down one row in the conservatory and he was already rushing her off somewhere else. How was she supposed to work her magic?
At the end of the row was a door. When they walked through it, they entered the orangery. “I hadn’t realized we were so close to the orangery,” she murmured.
“Yes, they are connected, quite unusual really. The orangery was not always here. About five years ago Alex decided he would like to raise orange and citrus trees, but there was no space. His father wouldn’t allow a new building to be erected. Alex talked him into a compromise. The conservatory was to be split in half. A wall was put in to divide it. That way Alex could use one of the sides to grow his citrus trees.”
A bench was positioned on the opposite side of the orangery, and without a word, Brooke started to walk over to it. Her hand was still on Andrew’s forearm, forcing him to walk toward the bench along with her. “I should like to sit a few minutes,” she said when they arrived at the bench.
Andrew waited while Brooke took a seat on the bench first. When she was seated and rearranged her skirts around her, he sat down and left only a few short inches between them.
Brooke pretended not to notice how close they were already and swung her right leg, even if it were considered unladylike to do so, slowly brushing his calf with her bright blue skirts with each swing.
Andrew didn’t move away. He just looked at her. Then slowly, ever so slowly, he moved his leg closer to hers. He kept moving closer until with one of her swings, she made direct contact with his leg. Well, as direct as one can get through a massive amount of fabric fashioned into a skirt.
Her leg stilled. Heat radiated from his leg all the way through her skirt, petticoats, and stocking. It felt as hot as the iron Mrs. McNaught had used to steam the wrinkles out of their gowns back in Bath. For a moment, they both just looked at each other.
Andrew’s eyes changed. They were growing darker and more intense. Desire made them become a new shade of blue. A shade she had only seen once before, in the museum when they were alone in the empty room.
He leaned closer, so close that his face was less than two inches from hers. His eyes seared into hers and his lips were so close she could almost feel them.
Brooke’s mind barely registered what was going to happen. The realization he was about to kiss her made her snap out of her lusty trance. This was her chance. She had to be strong. She had to resist. If she didn’t, her plan would come to naught and she would be even more heartbroken than before.
With shaky legs, Brooke abruptly stood and moved a few feet away to an orange tree that had several ripe oranges hanging on it. “Do you…umm…think that uh…Alex would mind terribly if we…er…I were to eat one of his oranges?” she stammered.
Andrew was by her side before she even finished her question. One of his bare hands plucked down an orange while the other dug into his pocket. A few seconds later he pulled out a penknife. Wordlessly, he peeled the orange with his knife. In a minute, the rind was gone from the orange and he was breaking it into sections.
Brooke peeked at his eyes. The look was not gone. He still had the deep look of desire in his eyes. Brooke smiled to herself. It was working. He was going to find her, and only her, irresistible by the end of the day. She would make sure of it, even if it drove her crazy in the process.
Once Andrew had the orange completely separated, Brooke reached for one of the pieces. Andrew was quicker though and pulled them back. “It would be a pity for you to ruin your gloves by touching the orange,” he said, looking down at her gloves. “I think the better solution is to let me help you eat this. Come, let’s sit back down.”
They walked back to the bench they had both vacated in haste just a few moments before and regained their seats, sitting just as close as before.
“Are you ready?” Andrew asked hoarsely.
“Yes,” Brooke whispered. Reason told her to put him off a little longer, but her body was screaming something else entirely.
Andrew took one of the orange slices and gently ran it over her lips—just enough to let the juice from the wedge moisten her lips.
Brooke’s lips parted a little further and her tongue came out to lick up the juice the orange had left in its trail. Andrew swallowed visibly then shifted on the bench.
After running the orange around her mouth a second time, he slowly slipped it into her mouth.
The slice was a bit too large for one bite, and a little stream of juice came out around the corner of her mouth and dripped to her chin. Embarrassed she was making such a mess on her face while eating the orange, her hands flew up to wipe the juice from her chin. But Andrew was quicker. He grabbed her hands, bent closer to her, and whispered, “Allow me.”
Brooke relaxed her hands in his hold. His left hand came up and wiped the bit off her chin, then he brought his fingers to his mouth and sucked the juice off.
Brooke’s eyes widened. That was not what she had expected. She wasn’t sure what she had expected, but it wasn’t that.
All thoughts of holding him off vanished when he leaned a little closer. “It seems I missed a spot.” Then, within a blink of an eye, his lips were on the corner of her mouth.
He nipped the corner playfully before moving over to be dead center on the middle of her lips.
Brooke’s arms went around Andrew’s neck and her fingers sank into his hair. She twirled her fingers into his black curls, holding his head close to hers. His tongue ran along the seam of her lips. This was new to her, yet it felt so natural. Other men had just tried to shove their tongues inside, but this, this was much better. It felt so good, she gasped.
Andrew took advantage of her gasp and pushed his tongue past her lips. He ran his tongue along her perfect row of teeth before doing a full exploration of her mouth.
Brooke had never been one to only observe. Boldly, she slipped her tongue into his mouth and mirrored all his actions. She explored his mouth just as fully as he was exploring hers. She had never been so bold before. She enjoyed this kind of kissing with Andrew.
Brooke tightened her grip of his hair, and groaned, “Andrew.” It was the first time she’d called him by his name, and she hoped she hadn’t overstepped by doing so. But at present, she couldn’t care enough not to do it again.
Andrew said her name while running his fingers up to her soft brown hair. He grabbed one of the curls that were overflowing from her coiffure and wrapped it loosely around his finger before giving it a gentle tug then letting it go. Then he moved his hands, reached right into the back of her massive knot of hair, and caressed her scalp with his fingers.
Brooke had been aware that it was bad form not to wear a bonnet outside, and had thought to grab hers when Lady Olivia had donned hers, but Andrew had been in too much of a hurry. Now she was glad she hadn’t bothered. His fingers tenderly dug into her hair and massaged her scalp.
Suddenly there was a distinct clink, clink, clink. Breathing raggedly, both of them drew back and looked around the room to see if they had a visitor.
The second excerpt is more of a quote that I never really gave a lot of thought to until it was bandied about all over the Internet two years ago as one of the most unbelievable or strange or bizarre or worst (or something like that) quotes to ever be written in a romance. Apparently there is a website dedicated to this sort of thing and my book was fortunate enough to be featured! How wonderful! Anyway, at first, I was mortified as I imagine most people would be that someone had gone through enough trouble to try to publicly humiliate me this way and my knee-jerk reaction was initially to remove it ASAP, but the more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed to me for some reason! I cannot explain why, it just is and every now and then my husband ask me to recite it for him, after which we immediately dissolve into laugher!
Setting the scene: Brooke and Andrew have just gotten married and they’re about to consummate their marriage.
The quote: “Her eyes were fixed on that part of Andrew that had just been revealed like it was a novelty in a curiosity shop. “
There you have your first Wicked Wednesday. I’m sure you all probably think I’m a total nut now if you didn’t already think so before!