Hesitant Kissing Scene #2 – with humor. 🙂

by | Mar 4, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 9 comments

So, you guys got a taste of my historical writing yesterday. I’m going to go for contemporary today. Of course, a kiss is timeless, but, for me, there’s something So Much Fun about writing romantic comedy. I dearly love to laugh.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from my novel Love Is Here to Stay. It’s one of my favorite kissing scenes I’ve ever written because I had A LOT of fun with it. I love the ‘trapped’ feeling about kissing scenes, almost like a predator/prey sort of thing.

For a quick set-up – Eisley (sort of looks like Amy Adams)is an Appalachian single-mom of three & she’s currently dating (much to her suprise) British costume drama actor Christopher Wesley Harrison (I envision Richard Armitage here). They’ve just gotten to see each other after a time apart, so…

Hope you enjoy. It might be a bit longer.

She entered the hall closet and flipped on the light, scanning for a hanger. 

“Emily still taking a kip?”

She shot Wes a startled look and followed it with a nervous laugh – the butterflies kicked into hyperspeed. Oh pull yourself together woman. “Yea, poor little thing seemed as pooped as her mom.”

“Well, the…um… boys are occupied upstairs.” Wes’ voiced edged a bit closer, words slow, almost calculated. 

Ah finally, a hanger. She proceeded to slide Pete’s jacket onto it.

            “I know. You’re amazing. You brave my dad and brothers, tuck your pitiful girlfriend and her daughter into bed, read them a story – even, and entertain the boys for an hour. You’re like Superman or something.”

            She smiled and turned in time to see him step into the closet and flip off the light.

“Superman?” The door clicked closed. “Hmm, then I think I’ve found my weakness, luv.”

Her sharp intake of breath slit the darkness. His silhouette moved toward her, outlined by the gap of light slipping underneath the closet door. She pinched herself really hard this time, but his shadow kept moving forward. Mama never told me there’d be days like this.

His hands cupped her arms and slid upward to find her cheeks, thumbs caressing a soft line across her cheekbones. Think of something clever to say….but breath kept coming in short supply, not to mention mental clarity.

His whisper breathed against her mouth. “Separation from you.”

“Oh really?” She’d planned on sounding matter-of-fact and completely in control, but some voice akin to one of the mice on Cinderella asked the question. She swallowed a big lump of ‘oh my goodness’ as he drew her closer into his arms and ran his nose over hers, teasing her.

            His lips found hers, first testing her upper lip then lower one, like a gentle experiment between the two. One of his hands moved to cradle the back of her head, nudging it to the side so his mouth could roam her jaw line and inch back to capture her lips again.

            “I have three weeks of catch up, I believe.” His words fanned across her cheek and down her neck, with fireworks following in her stomach.

“And three days,” she whispered.

His smile stretched against her cheek and he pulled her against him. His warm, sweet mouth found hers again and massaged it into pleasant submission while her mind twirled three loops on the roller coaster of dreamland.  Oh Lord… can I keep him?       

Wes rested his forehead against hers. His hands slid down her back, capturing her at the base of her spine. “I’d prefer not to take such an extended holiday between our next kiss, if you don’t mind?”

            Eisley cleared her throat, but her head remained foggy, and a thick English fog at that. “Wait, I don’t think I can answer any questions right now, I’m pretty numb from the brain down.”

            His low chuckle near her ear sent tingles dancing down her neck and fanning out over her shoulders. “You smell like apples. Mmm…”

Eisley’s mouth went dry. She closed her eyes altogether and allowed other senses to ‘see’ for her; every sensation suddenly enhanced by the darkness:  the feel of his soft, cotton shirt at her fingertips, the smoothness of his skin underneath, the earthy, intoxicating scent of his cologne , and his deep voice filled every inch of space outside and inside of her. Closets are very romantic places. “Do you…um…fancy apples?”

Fingers brushed through her hair and scraped against her neck. “Especially the Eisley variety.”

His lips were mere inches away, hidden in the darkness and waiting to greet hers. He wanted to be with her. Was he crazy? Actually, that might be a plus considering her circus of a life.

Eisley reached up to touch his face; tiny hints of scruff tickled her palm, and felt the curve of his lips spread into a smile.  “Why are you here?” Sudden tears scratched at her voice. She swallowed to clear them, her heart teetering…hoping.                       

“Because you’re here.”

 So simple…so certain. “But why me?” She needed to ask, to get a clear answer, but the way his lips trailed down the side of her neck didn’t help her clarity of thought. “You could…have…anyone. I’m so…”

He closed off her words with another kiss and pulled away. “You brought my heart to life, Eisley. From the first moment I took your hand, your joy…your compassion…” His lips skimmed over her jaw and touched her earlobe. She fisted his shirt to keep from melting to the floor. “I enjoy kissing you very much.”

            “That works….out…well…for both of us, doesn’t it?” Eisley squeaked when his lips grazed over each eyelid and followed her hairline. “Because… I enjoy being… kissed by you ….very much.” 

            She fought for excuses, fear pushing against the desire to give in to his affection…the need to warn him…be sure. “But…I’m nothing special and I come with a big package. Guys like you…”

“Are looking for women who are genuine, funny.”  He smoothed back her hair and kissed her temple. “Lovely.” Her cheekbone. “Honest.” Her nose. “Compassionate” His mouth hovered over hers. “Did I say lovely?”

“But I’m…”

The touch of his lips silenced her again. “Just the way you are, Eisley.”

            The knotted fear in her heart began to unbraid. Just the way she was? Tears burned in her eyes, maybe even fell down her cheeks, but she didn’t know.  She felt a release, a complete rift in the wall around her heart, and all she wanted to do was show Wes how much his words, how much he, meant to her.

            She took his face into her hands and captured his mouth, his surprised moan fueling her desire. She wanted to smother him with affection, let him know her heart was ready…waiting…his?

One hand tangled through his hair and pulled him closer, while her other one slid down his neck and across his chest.

            Somewhere in the back of her mind a caution light started blinking, but instead of pulling away, her body melted into his, requesting more. He groaned and his fingertips traced a fiery line from her chin and down her neck to the small hollow point between her collar bones. Warmth pooled through her and shot downward. She mumbled words on chunks of broken air.  “Are you…trained…in kissing…for…films too?”

            He murmured something unintelligible against her neck.

            “I bet…you made…an A.”

            His arms engulfed her, palms coaxing shivers up her spine with gentle circular touches.

            A robotic voice from a childhood movie sounded off in her brain: Warning!  Warning!  In rebellion against the voice, she lifted her chin to expose her neck to the beautiful sensations of his warmth, his kiss…his care. All the while her heart blinked a confusing game of ‘Red light, Green light’.

            “Eisley.” His hot whisper tickled her shoulder blade, even through her thin shirt.

Need and desire weighed his voice down an octave. She shared the need…for more. Three weeks? Felt more like three years, or maybe this is what her heart had been waiting for her whole life.

            When his lips slipped below her collar bone, her eyes flew open in surprise. “Oh, Heaven help me.”

Her muscles shut down, beginning with her wobbly legs. She stumbled back to steady her limbs and pulled Wes along, but the foot she placed her faith in landed on something small, round, soft and…slippery.

With an unladylike squeal, a painful grunt, and a resounding crash, Eisley succeeded in landing on her back and bringing Wes with her. Maybe closets weren’t such romantic places after all.

            “Eisley, are you alright?”

            “Why do all my romantic scenes end in a commercial break?” She pushed herself up to a sitting position. A twinge of pain shot down her back and produced a groaned laugh. “Maybe break wasn’t the best word to use.”

            Wes’ hands gripped under her arms to help her up, but before she made it to a complete stand she reached down to find the leg-splitting culprit…or perhaps providentially designed agent of rescue? The soft object felt amazingly familiar.

She reached for Wes’ hand. “Are you okay?”

            “Fine…humbled…a bit disappointed…”

            Suddenly the closet door swung open. Nathan and Pete’s curious faces peeked in.

            Nathan flipped on the light. “Hey, what are you two doing in here…and what was that big noise all about?”

Eisley met Wes’ sheepish glance with one of her own, her mind wandered to his disheveled raven hair and almost got lost in those eyes, but she jerked her attention to the boys..

“Well…um…I was hanging up Pete’s jacket and …eventually fell over…” Eisley looked down into her hand. “Emily’s shoe.”

“You finally found it, Mama.” Pete’s grin dimpled each freckled cheek. “Good job.”  Lord, thank you for the lack of problem solving abilities of a five and seven year old or I’d have to explain why my face was probably as flushed as Wes’.

            “Thanks, Pete.” Eisley moved past him and out the door. The room temperature dropped about fifty degrees. She tried to focus on the curious little faces in front of her and ignore the handsome-but-somewhat-guilty one.

“You’re faces sure are red. Are you mad?” Pete’s bright blue eyes volleyed between them. Eisley contemplated how to answer, but Nathan beat her to it.

“It’s hot in there, silly.” In more ways than one.


  1. Melanie Dickerson

    Yep, Pepper, that’s some hot stuff! Are you sure you’re targeting CBA? I have to admit, I loved it.
    I just finished watching North and South with Richard Armitage, too. I hope I can sleep! Ai yi yi.

  2. Pepper

    Hey Mel,
    I asked Julie about this scene because I didn’t want to go ‘over the top’, but she said it wasn’t. And she should know 😉
    Thanks for stopping by. I REALLY appreciate your encouragement. As you well know, the process is long and slow.

  3. Julie

    Pepper, this scene has it all … humor, passion, caring, surprise … I love it! The first time, and even more the second.

    And, no, I don’t think it’s over the top for the right publisher in CBA, Melanie. The worst thing that could happen is that they would have Pep cut or modify the lines:

    “Somewhere in the back of her mind a caution light started blinking, but instead of pulling away, her body melted into his, requesting more.”

    “When his lips slipped below her collar bone, her eyes flew open in surprise.”

    But trust me, I have had heroines’ bodies “melt” into the heroes, and Revell left it alone, so you never know.

    LOVE your way with words, Pepper. Smooth, unique, creative … such as a line like:

    “She mumbled words on chunks of broken air.”

    Do you know how hard it is to come up with a different way for gasps or heaves??? Excellent!!


    • pepperbasham

      Can I hire you as a life-long writing encourager 🙂 Thank you! I LOOOVE this book. I just need to work on it a bit. Eisley’s family is a HOOT! So funny. Kind of time Janice Thompson’s Bella’s family, except NOT Italian – Appalachian.
      Whew…that’s an entirely different culture there 🙂

  4. sherrinda

    Girl, that was HOT! Bring on the ice water and drench me, please! lol That was awesome!!!! And Julie’s right. It edgy, for sure, but within boundaries. Whew! I can’t wait until you are published!

  5. Melanie Dickerson

    Sorry if I sounded like I thought it was too risque! I don’t really think it is. I mean, it could be, if this was the first scene in your book! But I’m sure it’s not. I really loved it and can’t wait to read the whole thing! It was easy to imagine Richard Armitage, too, which is dangerous in itself, right after watching North and South. 🙂 And no, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.

    • pepperbasham

      No need to apologize, Melanie. I wondered about it being too risque when I first wrote it.
      Dear me, when I watch North & South (which I own and watch about as religiously as P & P and the new Jane Eyre), I sleep very well 🙂 Great dreams too

  6. Casey

    Oh, Pepper! If I had anything near me that would melt, it would be gone!! It’s a good thing I don’t eat chocolate at the computer! That was simply stunning. Pulled me into the middle and wouldn’t LET ME GO! I usually skim stuff on the internet because I don’t have time to really delve into it. But you wouldn’t let me get away without a fight. I could not stop!

    WAY TO GO!!! Now, where’s my highspeed fan, it’s hot in here……


    • Pepper

      Casey, Casey
      THANK YOU!! This was such a fun scene to write and the whole idea of kids being somewhere nearby made it even funnier, sneakier. I love having pictures in my mind of characters too – and it just so happens that both of the actors I have as ‘models’ for my characters could fit the roles of my hero/heroine too. Makes it easier to describe the characters and their responses…
      I do so LOOOVE romance



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