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 if
he was expecting her say something, like about the job, or good night , or
something. How very awkward. Cliff’s[MH1] fingers, warm on her chin, were starting to cause
Vickie’s flesh to
goose ‑bump. Oh, how extremely awkward , she
sighed , closing her eyes, breathing in his fresh, spicy scent. Then his hand slipped from her arm to around
her waist, and the
her chin slid with tantalizing slowness down her neck.
his hand around to support the back of her head.
and her lips
parted in reaction and anticipation.
He pulled her against him, suit coat rustling slightly
, and at the same time kissed her softly.
had been afraid
what her reaction would be to being kissed after Ron. She worried that the scarring Ron had left on her would
render her incapable of giving herself to
she was afraid because
her reaction was so strong.
it 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
, almost like that night high above the courtyard. This night her feet were on the ground, but she
couldn’t feel them touching.
could feel was
his mouth, smooth and silky, gliding across her lips. Oh, he was good. Vickie groaned
very softly, but he heard her. If she had
known, she would have recognized his answer
he slid both hands along her
ribs, pulling her in breathlessly close, and when
his mouth opened fully
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
him to take her inside, and here he had done nothing more than kiss her.
released her immediately.
on the door caused
her heart to leap
into her throat. 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
Cliff stood on the stoop,
crossed over his chest. He did not
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 known. Business was more important
to the man than anything. She invited
him in, anger and embarrassment fortifying her.
Cliff crossed the sill,
but did not come any further . He filled
entry way, his arms still crossed
and his legs spread in a
stance. Vickie blanched mentally, and
left him to get the shirts and the chip.
“You’re welcome,” she replied, equally formal.
She watched him
until he roared away,
disappearing around the corner a good twenty miles over the speed limit. What had he meant? She closed
the door, and again leaned
against it for support. Simply
taken it. Yes, for a man with his
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 country.
If I had just wanted the brassboard
…” So what
else did he want?
[MH7] Vickie woke the next morning
sun streaming through the window ,
feeling terrific. Her body sang, and she jumped out of bed, eager to get to
the events of last night
her stomach. Cliff certainly had not
been pleased with
Mel Pinlow, the rat, would have labeled her a tease.
Would Cliff, too?
She went about the morning routine as
she thought furiously. Coffee, Cliff. Shower, Cliff. Breakfast,
Cliff. What made the man tick?
Why was he interested in her? Was it just professional? What did that kiss really mean? She had
felt like that
when Ron kissed her. She had
never given herself so totally when Ron touched her.
he was really excited by her, how could he have just stopped kissing her like that?
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?
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.
[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.