Friday, January 4, 2013

Hot Chips and Sand 71-75 Second Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved

In the shadows of the night, Vickie could not quite see the expression on his face.  She wondered ifWas he was expecting her say something, like about the job, or good night, or something. ? How very awkward.  Cliff’sHis[MH1]  fingers, warm on her chin, were starting to cause Vickie’s make her flesh tointo goose‑bump.  bumps. Oh, how extremely awkward, she. She sighed, closing her eyes, breathing. And breathed in his fresh, spicy scent.  Then his hand slipped from her arm to around her waist, and the Her eyes closed
His fingertips on her chin slid with tantalizing slowness down her neck.
Vickie shivered with the intimate contact[MH2] .  He continued caressing. As he caressed her neck for a moment, then, his other arm curled around her waist. His grip firmed.
His fingers moved his hand around to support from her neck to burrow into the hair on the back of her head.
She shuddered and her. Her lips automatically parted, in reaction and anticipation.
He pulled her against him, suit coat rustling slightly, and at the same time . Bending, he kissed her softly.
Vickie hadhadn’t dated since Ron. She’d been half-afraid of what her reaction would be to being kissed after Ron.  She worried that the scarringshe’d been so scarred by Ron had left on her would render her incapable of giving herself tothat she’d never want another man.
Now she was afraid because her reaction was so strong.

            It washer heart hammered overtime and her blood caught fire as though her body had risen up beyond her, openingrose and opened to Cliff, freely and with joy.
Which terrified her. Didn’t ither body realize how dangerous this man was? Didn’t it care that he could make or break her chances in the industry? Didn’t it even once consider just how easily he could break her fragile, half‑healed heart?
Apparently not, for she found her arms wound tightly around his neck, urging him to kiss her harder. And he did.
With one powerful arm he shifted her weight until she lay suspended, in his embrace almost like that night high above the Middle Yemen courtyard. This night her feet were on the ground, but she couldn’t feel them touching.
All she could feelfelt was his mouth, smooth and silky, gliding across her lips. Oh, he was good.  VickieShe groaned very softly, but he heard her.  If she had known, she would have recognized hisHis answer when he slidwas to slide both hands along her ribs, pulling her in breathlessly close, and when histo claim her mouth opened fully onto herswith his own.

            As it was, her Her body recognized it. rejoiced. She pressed herself against the great length of him, feeling each hard button on his coat against her torso.  She pushed her legs into his muscular thighs, urging him to pick her up again, to carry her across the threshold into her apartment.
Vickie’s fingers were all tangled in his thick hair by now, and she was trembling beyond her control. In another second she was going to be beggingbeg him to take her inside, and here he had done nothing more than kiss her.

            HadSo Ron hadn’t left her thatscarred. Had he left her desperate?

            Vickie knew she had to escape while sanity was yet somewhere in sight.  Putting her hand flatThat made her wedge her hands between them, flattening palms against Cliff’s incredible brick wall of a chest, Vickie pushed hard.  Heand push.
Cliff released her immediately.

            The same bad lighting that had prevented her seeingShe avoided his eyes, not wanting to see his expression before protected her now. . “Uh, thanks for a wonderful evening, Mr. Hawkesclyffe.  I look forward to doing business with you.” She quickly pumped his hand and escaped through the door into the safety of her foyer.

            She leaned, backBack flat against the door, and putshe covered her face in her hands.  Oh brother.  Had she goofed up this time.  Hadn’t she learned from her experience with Ron how to avoid situations like this?  Or why she should, at all costs,her hands. Sweet blue screen of death. Rule Number One: avoid romance in the business setting?. Rule Number Two: never take a management position. Both led to hell.

            Thinking of Ron turned her stomach sour.

            They had been engaged.  She even remembered what he had said when he had first given her the ring.  For now and forever.  Only when the now started going sour, he had forgotten the forever.

Vickie had been more than willing to shoulder her share of the blame, and wanted to work things out.  Ron had cut and run.

            Some people at the office had been sympathetic.  Her boss had not.  “Serves you right, mixing your personal affairs with the business.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Johnston.”  Then he had fired her.

            That this had been her first love affair as an adult only made matters worse.  It had made an indelible impression, one that left her determined to keep love and business separate.  She couldn’t afford to lose that determination now.[MH3] 

            Yet with Cliff, she’d tripped merrily down that path.
The knock on the door causedthudded against her back. Her heart to leapleaped into her throat. That was Cliff, knocking. It looked like her determination was going to be tested a little sooner than she thought. “Who is it?” she called, although she was pretty sure she knew.
“Vickie. I want to come in. Open the door.”
Not by the hairs of her chinny‑chin‑chin. “Uh…Cliff, I can’t, uh…the phone rang, and, yes, it’s my mother. My mother’s on the phone, and she’s calling long distance, and…”—”[MH4] 

            “Cut it out, Vickie.  I didn’t hear any phone ring.  Look,“Don’t lie to me. I promise I won’t try anything.  OpenJust open the door.”
She felt strangely disappointed, and embarrassed, too. Not try anything. Her cheeks heated. Wasn’t he supposed to be so captivated by her beauty, that he couldn’t keep his hands off her?  She felt strangely disappointed, which embarrassed her even more. Apparently she was just imagining that he was as attracted to her as she was to him.  She felt suddenly hot. Her whole body flamed. Damn.

            Vickie She took a deep breath, turned, and opened the door, keeping her libido in severe check.  .
Cliff stood on the stoop, his arms crossed over his chest.  He did not move.

            “I’d like my brassboard back.”

            “I don’t have your…” The T‑shirt, its hidden pocket. The computer chip[MH5] .
Was that why he had taken her to dinner, then kissed her so wonderfully? To make her pliable enough to easily recover that chip prototype?  She should have She huffed a disgruntled breath. Should’ve known. Business was more important to the man than anything.  She invited him in, anger and embarrassment fortifying her.“Come in. I’ll get it.”
Cliff crossed the sill, but did not making her skitter back. But he didn’t come any further.  He, just filled the entry way, his her entryway, arms still crossed and his legs spread in a .
Equal parts aggressive and defensive stance.  Vickie blanched mentally, and left him to get the shirts and the chip.
            She handed him the shirts, which she had washed,, as if she’d hurt him. A hit of embarrassment seized her neck and hunched her shoulders. She consciously straightened and went to get his T-shirts and the chip.  “Thank you,” he said formally. 
Though she’d never expected to see him again she’d washed the shirts. Now she was glad she had as she handed him the shirts and the chip.
“Thank you.” His tone was clipped and formal, and for the first time an edge of British accent came out.
“You’re welcome,” she replied, equally formal. He turned to leave and she started closing the door, then stopped. “I’d have given the chip back if you’d just asked. You didn’t have to go through all this…” She waved her hand vaguely at the car and her mouth, letting some of her own hurt and anger through. “This.”

            Then she let some of her hurt and anger through.  “Although I would have given it back if you had just asked.  You needn’t have gone through all this.”

            Cliff had turned to leave, but now back, and he stared at her. “For your information, if I had just wanted the brassboard from you, I couldwould have simply taken it.” With this, he turned heel and strode back to the red sports car.
She watched him until he roaredroar away, disappearing around the corner a good twenty miles over the speed limit.  What had he meant?  She Then she closed the door, and again leanedleaning against it for support.  SimplyI could have simply taken it. Yes, for a man with hisof Cliff’s abilities, she supposed he could have simply taken it.  Strange that she had forgotten the encounter in Middle Yemen.  That he had whisked both her and Kulinahr out of that countrythat was true.

            She started toward her bedroom.  She needed some sleep.  But she She lay awake for hours.  Thinking.  thinking about that encounter. About Cliff.  He could have simply taken that prototype chip.  His words rang in her head.  “If I had just wanted the brassboard. So what else did he want?
And then, sometime in the small of the morning, a different play hit her.
If I had just wanted the brassboard…”  So what else did he want? from you.
From you.
So what else did he want—from her?

The birds chirped merrily when [MH7] Vickie woke the next morning with the, sun streaming through theher window, feeling terrific.  Her body sang,. She smiled and she jumped out of bed, eager to get to work.  Then She started for the kitchen to make coffee
And saw her lovely jade dress draped over the chair where she’d left it last night. Slamming the events of last night slammed into her stomach. Acid churned. Cliff certainly had not been pleasedhappy with her.
Mel Pinlow, the rat, would have labeled her a tease.  Would Cliff, tooShe wasn’t, but Cliff was a guy. What had he thought last night, when she kissed him like a sucking a chocolate shake, and then pushed him away?
She went about the morning routine as she thought furiously. the hamster wheel of her mind spun. Coffee, Cliff. Shower, Cliff. Breakfast, Cliff.  What madeHe’d pursued her after the man tick? meeting. Why was he interested in her? Was it just professional?  Whatonly business? Then what did that kiss really mean?  She had
She’d never felt likefired up that when Ron had kissed her.  She hadShe’d never given herself so totally when Ron touched her.

            But for Cliff, well, heThen again, Ron had always seemed to be able to turn it on and off at will.  The more she thought about it, the more she wondered—ifhold slightly back from the act. Cliff had been just as fired up as she.
Until she pushed him away. Then he’d gone cold.
If he was really excited by her, how could he have just stopped kissing her like that? Could he turn it on and off at will?
Which one was the real Cliff, the one who warmly kissed and caressed her, or the one who stood in her hallway, defensive and angry?
Maybe itthe kiss had all been an act, like in the hotel that night in Middle Yemen. That would be great, wouldn’t it. The man could ignite her body instantly, but he himself felt nothing for her.

 [MH1]Not everybody does this, but the way I learned it the name goes at the beginning of the paragraph and then you use pronouns after.

Unless there’s another he in the paragraph, then you have to use the name again to avoid confusion.

 [MH2]Granted, one or two people might think she’s shivering because a huge northern wind came out of nowhere and she’s cold.

But most people will get that she’s shivering because of his touch. I trust my readers so I took the overexplanation out.

 [MH3]I moved the Ron backstory earlier and changed it to make it more in tune with her character.

 [MH4]Ellipses for trailing off. Em dash for interrupted.

 [MH5]See how much more compact SHOWING she’s forgotten the chip is compared to all that messy telling?

 [MH6]BTW, chapters generally have a page break before them. I’ve removed those to make the sections more compact for the blog.

 [MH7]If you have a chance for senses other than sight, use it! But only if it makes SENSE. Heh.

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