Saturday, June 11, 2011

Romantic scene...

Gabriela Leesa is having another agent judged contest on her blog. This one is being judged by my friend Weronika so is well worth entering! The theme of the contest is love scenes, so here's something from Chasing the Taillights that you won't have read here before.

This scene comes toward the very end of the book. Tony has been struggling with having a crush on his best friend throughout the book. In this scene, Tony's had a hell of night and has decided he can't go home because he's afraid to face his sister who has just dropped a bombshell in his lap. So he goes to Jake's...

“Get out of those wet things.” He gestures at my clothes. “You’ll die of pneumonia. Or double pneumonia as my grandma always used to say.”

I don’t argue. I peel off my wet sweatshirt and rub the towel across my skin, trying to force the circulation back into it. My butt and thighs are numb, but I can’t take my jeans off. Not here. I just wrap the quilt around me and curl up on the couch again, still shivering.

Izzy ducks back into the room, zipping her jacket and pulling a woolen cap over her blond hair. “I’ll be back soon.”

“Where…” I can’t manage anything more.

“I’m going to your place,” she says. “I’ll make sure Lucy’s okay.”

Relief crashes over me. “Thanks.” I let my eyes close for a second. I wait until I hear the door click closed before opening them again.

Jake’s looking at me, standing by the couch, his eyes weary-looking. His hair is mashed against his head on one side, and his boxers sit low on his hips, hanging unevenly around his legs. He bends over, and before I know what’s happening, he’s knotted his hands behind my head, drawing me toward him. His lips meet mine, pressing my mouth against his. I pull him closer. I’m kissing him. Finally kissing him. And he’s kissing me! His lips are soft and full, warm, tasting a little like cinnamon candy.

It’s either a second or forever before I pull away. He steps back, and when I find the courage to look up, he’s leaning against the windowsill, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand. What just happened? Am I dreaming?

“Have you any idea how long I’ve been wanting to do that?” Jake’s voice is shaking.

I must be dreaming. This can’t be real. Did he just say what I think he did?

“Me too.” I get up, letting the quilt drop from my shoulders. I stand before him, realizing he’s trembling too. I bend and kiss him again, gentle this time, testing the waters, seeing if this might possibly be real. His tongue touches mine, and something like electricity pulses through me, weakening my legs so I have to brace myself on the wall to keep standing.

This time he’s the one to pull away. For a long moment we just stare into each other’s eyes. I’ve never noticed the flecks of gold and brown in his before.

“So… If you’re…um… Why did…?” Words fail me. My heart’s pounding loud enough to deafen me and my lips ache to be pressed to his again.

“Why’d I freak out that day in the locker room?” Jake gives a wry grin.

I nod. How the hell did he know what I was thinking? The guy’s a genius. “Yeah.”

He sighs and moves away from the window. “I’m a dick. I told you that. I freaked out. I’d been trying so hard not to like you, man. When you came at me like that, it scared the hell outta me. So I ran. And then I tried to find out if you meant it, remember? At that motel? After the meet?”

“I remember.” I nod again, stare down at my feet, too scared to look at him.

“I asked you, man. I pretty much came out and asked. And you blew me off.”

“I was scared too.” Admitting it is incredible. It’s like I’ve lost ten pounds in an instant. “I mean, you ran off on me the first sign of anything like that. What was I supposed to think?”

We move toward each other, lips meeting once more. I can taste last night’s booze on him in a bitter undertone.

“You’re wet,” he murmurs, jumping as my leg comes into contact with his. “And freezing. Why don’t you take those off?” His hands make their way under the towel and fumble with the top of my jeans. They’re warm against my cold skin. I’ve dreamed of this moment so many times, but I never imagined this heat. I moan as he tugs my pants down to my ankles and I step out of them. The towel rises in front of me as if by magic. Jake’s fingers brush against me and I clutch at his shoulders.

It’s at this moment my exhausted muscles resign and I crumple to the floor.

Please, don't be afraid to tell me what you think!


  1. I adore this surprising and exciting excerpt! There isn't a word out of place as far as I'm concerned. The prose is gorgeous. My two favorite lines are "Relief crashes over me" and "It's like I lost ten pounds in an instant". Those are so visceral. I knew exactly how the narrator felt--and that's the point of great writing.
    Good luck!

  2. Very intense... I liked it.

    Just noted a couple of things:
    When Jake first goes to kiss her, his behavior seemed a bit aggressive... like he jerked her into his kiss, but maybe that is his way?
    I'm also left in the end wondering if she fainted or just lost her balance from exhaustion?

    Good luck.

  3. I could feel their hesitancy, fear, and passion. I like how you portray the two men together.
    And...I smiled at "The towel rises in front of me as if by magic."

  4. Not only is this hot, but the love between these two is thrilling. Great job!!! Love it.

  5. I love the tension and the passion in this scene. I'm glad it's a love scene between two young guys, because I think you captured their hesitancy and excitement perfectly. I like that they're trembling because it's scary for them to admit to their feelings for each other. Great work!

  6. No suggestions on this - it's such an intense scene. And great as a stand-alone because it explains things that have happened we haven't read. much emotion. I love it ^_^ I can really tell you've polished it.

  7. Hey you! Very good!!! I tried leaving a comment earlier but Blogger didn't like me then. question is passive/active voice vs YA and adult fiction. I'm not sure if there's a difference in the way these genres are written but some of your sentences are passive voice. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be though because I've thumbed through YA and have seen it. Example: Jake’s looking at me, standing by the couch, his eyes weary-looking.

    Instead of Jake is looking at me, what about "Jake's eyes search mine."


    Instead of “Have you any idea how long I’ve been wanting to do that?” Jake’s voice is shaking. How about "Jake's voice shakes like..."

    Show us his voice is shaking. Not sure if this makes any sense! But good luck either way!!!

  8. Love this! Nicely done! It's a super intense scene and I think you've polished it nicely. My only crit is the bit about him wiping his mouth with the back of his hand after kissing her. Ha! Aren't you supposed to be sneakier when you do that?? ;)

  9. Thanks for the feedback everyone! Glad you liked it. Clearly it's not obvious from this section that the scene is between two men. Must clarify that...

  10. A friend sent me over here because she loved this so much and I agree. Awesome job and I definitely want to read more!

  11. Congratulations, Kate, for being a finalist! This scene really is fantastic. I love it :)