Friday, December 21, 2012

Hot Chips and Sand 61-65 Second Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2012 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved

She considered not changing. But she found her jade dress hanging in the closet, the one she hadshe’d bought for her college roommate’sElissa’s wedding and had nothadn’t worn again. The one that had elegant lines and graceful curves and showed just enough skin showing to be interesting.
So she shimmied into a new pair of silky pantyhose, slid on the dress and misted herself with her favorite scent. Then she pulled her hair out of the no‑nonsense barrette she commonly wore to work, combed it into soft waves and spritzed it in place. She considered a pair of heels in the closet, but since they made her back hurt, rejected them in favorso instead she slipped her feet into of a glossy pair of black slides.  On her way out, she stopped quickly at the refrigeratorHopefully she wouldn’t be underdressed [MH1] for dinner with a tall glass of iced tea.  Considerably refreshed, she grabbed her purse and ran out to meet CliffSir.
On her way out, she stopped at the refrigerator for a couple bottles of water, opening one and drinking half on the way out. Considerably refreshed, she felt ready to meet Cliff, and maybe even computer magnate Sir Humphrey Hawkesclyffe.
He lounged by the car, deep in the latest issue of a specialty hardware magazine. He looked up at her approach, and, strangely enough, .
And smiled. [MH2] 
She slowed, to savor the warmth in his eyes, a warmth she hadshe’d never seen before. She got in liked it. See what professionalism get you? He opened the passenger door, and she slid into the car, determined to keep that warmth in his eyes, determined to keep her temper under control, determined to exude professionalism.  All right, sexy professionalism.
Determined to be perfect.
            Birmingham’s turned out to be Rusterman’s was about a half‑hour’s drive away. Vickie liked relaxed at the hand-hewn logs of the outside, and noticed several façade. Several rustic-looking tables sat on the patioa large deck overlooking thea lake.
The inside, however, was not rustic and homey.  In fact, it looked like one of the eighteenth centuryThick red carpet, gold flocked wallpaper with dark veined marble. Antique gold fixtures, rich red linen and glossy dark wood was everywhere. [MH3] It reminded her of European palaces  she hadshe’d toured in Europe last summer, so rich andwith Ron, ornate was it.  And the clientele she could seeand high-toned. The men and women sitting elegantly straight draped in the latest fashion creations or perfectly-tailored suits reeked of old money. ‘Wonderful,’ she thought.  ‘He picks a great time to play British noble.  I shouldWarmth and professionalism leaked from her like balloon gas. Should have gone out and bought something new and stunning.
Cliff, howeverBritish noble that he was, seemed right at home. The maitre d’hotel greeted him by first name, and showed them directly to one of the best tables in the place.
Then the wine steward came by, and he and Cliff spent about ten minutes discussing the finer points of the selections on the list, all of which were over $100probably a couple Franklins a bottle, she was sure. . There would be no raspberry beer for her tonight.
Then, of course, the waiter came over to explain the menu for the evening. In French. Cliff handled that with an aplomb she certainly wouldn’t have managed with her one semester of French. . She did get in one merci beaucoup, but other than that was satisfied to nod pleasantly. So much for Ms. Perfection, she thought ruefully. She might as well get used to feeling like she had braids, braces and skinned knees around Sir Humphrey.
After that, at least three people found excuses to drop by and chat with Cliff. “Oh, darling, I’ve known Sir Humphrey for years!” one rather large woman exclaimed. She dripped with diamonds, and pronounced ‘years’ with threetwo syllables.  Vickie had to bite her cheek to keep awake while she was talking. [MH4] 
            Then there was the white‑haired gentleman, who reminded her of what she thought Sir Hawkesclyffe should have looked like, a Mr. Harrison by name. She found she rather liked listening to his soft British accent as he told a few gentle jokes and talked about his wife, who was apparently involved in some community projects back home.
The third person she didn’t like at all. All right, maybe it had something to do with the woman’s incredible beauty. It surely couldn’t have been how she had waved her decolletagedécolletage in front of Cliff as if she were displaying Mt. Everest. And of course it didn’t bother her at all that Cliff didn’t seem to mind—why should it? It was none of her business who Cliff wanted to scale. Right? Right.
Vickie unwadded her napkin as the woman swayed back to her table.         She With all the visitors she needn’t have worried about spending time alonehaving an intimate dinner with Cliff at all. Maybe this was one of those restaurants she had read about, where people went to be seen by the in‑crowd, not to really eat or enjoy each other’s company, or even to discuss business.  She would have been better off canceling and going to McDonald’s.  Then, as if he hadn’t had enough visitors, Cliff waved the waiter back to the table.  She was just about to excuse herself and walk home, all twenty or thirty miles, when the waiter reached them.  Cliff casually held out a bill of rather large denomination.
Then, as if he hadn’t had enough visitors, Cliff waved the waiter back to the table. Vickie was about to excuse herself and walk home, all twenty or thirty miles, when Cliff casually held out a bill of rather large denomination to the waiter and said, “Do you have anything a little more secluded?”
The waiter looked at Cliff, then at Vickie, then smiled at Cliff. “Of course, sir.”
Vickie blushed. “We have business,” she put in, then .” She realized that that didn’t sound any better. Sure they had business. She was wearing the type of dress that just oozed business.
But the waiter was already leading the way out of the main dining room. . Cliff picked up their drinks and stood, waiting. Apparently she was supposed to go next. So she followed the waiter, trying very hard not to think of the big man just behind her. Certainly not trying to sway like Ms. McKinley. Well, maybe a little.
The waiter lead them to a small room with a single table. Cliff putset down the drinks and pulled a chair out for her.   Oh, wonderful.
Fry my motherboard.[MH5]  She had never done this right. The times Ron had tried it, she had either fallen straight on her behind, or he had bump‑bump‑bumped the chair into place. One time he had scraped the thing over her foot. So much for not embarrassing herself.
But as she sat,bent knees Cliff smoothly pushed the chair in so that her . Her behind hit the chaircushion just as the chair reached the optimal position.
Perfect.  She had
A little tremble like butterfly wings tickled her tummy. She’d never meshed so perfectly with someone else in her life.  Certainly not her social life.  In fact, it had felt a little like Not even working onwith her team, where each one knew the others so well, words were often unnecessary.
Cliff took the chair across from her. His eyes sparkled over the candle between them, and he smiled again, that warm, wonderful smile. He took his glass, and as if he had read her mind, toasted, “To teamwork.”
Unnerved, she took her glass too, but only mumbled some inanity before taking a deep gulp. She quickly put the glass down, and then, feeling strangely shy, looked at him.
He was gazing at her as though she were the only thing in the room. She had noticed that about him, of course; this before, his ability to concentrate totally on a single person or thing. But it still made her tingle, made her feel absolutely special. Her heart thudded as his gaze shifted downward, to her mouth, her chin, the thin gold chain at her neck, and finally lingering aton the gentle curves of her breasts. Then he raised his eyes to hers and his smile became warmer, knowing, intimate.
The clank of china warned her that the waiter was coming down the hall toward them. But Cliff did not release her eyes the whole time as the waiter set their soup before them, refilled their wine and water glasses, and cleaned a few odds and ends from the table. And when they were again alone, he took her hand.
She trembled as thelong bronzed, slim fingers touched hers. Artistic, yes, but quite strong, she noted while as he leisurely traced the lines on her palm. Each stroke seemed, like cat’s fur, to build up the charge on her skin. Then he turned her hand over and caressed the back of it with his fingertips. Her breathing had become shallow, her eyes bright with the sensations he was evoking. He turned her hand back over, considered it a moment, and slowly, lightly, kissed her palm.
His eyes gleamed in the semidarkness, watching her. She closed her eyes and suppressed the groan in her throat.  She could not see him watching her carefully[MH6] , eyes gleaming in the semidarkness.  She did not see him read her beginning arousal, which she was trying soShe tried desperately to hide.  the beginning of her arousal.  But when his tongue followed the same lines as his fingers had moments before, she gasped.
Her eyes flew open but she could not stop him or her reactions as he. A small, intimate smile rested on lips that gently kissed, then nibbled her wrist.  His one handHe held hersher hand, but now the otherhis free hand began caressing the inside of her arm, and the sensitive skin at the joint, while his mouth worked its way up to her fingers.  Then, with hisinside her elbow. She trembled in response.
His eyes locked on towith hers. Holding her gaze captive, he lowered his mouth onto her index finger, grazing it once with his teeth, and then closing on it, hard and suckling lightly.
Her breathing became ragged. It seemed as though he was trying to extract every ounce of her through her fingertip. She was now more aroused than she had been in years, and yet he had touched nothing other than one hand and arm.  He was probing the delicate flesh at the base of each finger with his tongue.  She imagined what the sensations would be at her earlobe.  Or neck.  Or along the curve of her breast.
He backed off suckling and began probing the delicate flesh at the base of each finger with his tongue. Only her hand, but she could imagine what that hot mouth would feel like on her earlobe. He neck. The curve of her breast.
An embarrassed cough brought her out of her entrancement, to an awareness of the jerked her upright.[MH7]  The pair of waiters had glided noiselessly in the room, and were ready to serve the main dish.  Apparently, itOr maybe they’d made noise but she’d been totally enraptured by Cliff’s talented mouth.
The dish was something that had to be finished with great flourish by the table, by dousing it with alcohol and turning it into a three‑alarm fire.

 [MH1]This sets up a bit I did later. I may end up taking out the whole underdressed/overdressed thing.

 [MH2]I changed my paragraphing significantly after realizing my husband beta reader was missing important facts that I’d put mid-paragraph.

Now the way I learned it, you put your most important thing at the end of the paragraph, and lead up to it. But when I did that it didn’t create excitement, it created confusion. Granted, my husband is a speed reader, but how many other readers read the first sentence in a paragraph and, if it doesn’t interest them, skip to the next?

So I started putting important stuff RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING. I also break paragraphs so that really important things stand out, a single line sandwiched between two thicker paragraphs. Like this.

 [MH3]“It looked like” = TELL
Thick red carpet, gold flocked wallpaper = SHOW

 [MH4]Vickie has a temper. She doesn’t have to be rude on top of it.

 [MH5]Characters in stories--not just mine--are  always swearing for emphasis. As a reader I get tired of that. But even “Good grief” and “Oh wonderful” are just gentler substitutes for  swearing. I like to get creative. It’s a quirk of mine and taken too far probably annoys some readers. But I’d rather do this than have damn everything.

 [MH6]This is a POV error. She can’t see him! How does she know he’s watching? If I were doing omniscient POV or even mixed in a quick hop to Cliff’s head, I could do it. I chose to keep inside Vickie’s head and work the info in another way.

 [MH7]I like more active verbs.

No comments:

Post a Comment