Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Arguments and Tension... sexual and otherwise

It's inevitable... any time you put two strong willed people together there's going to be some friction. Throw in the additional tension of an unexpected and unwanted sexual attraction you know there's going to be some disagreements and maybe even outright arguments! But they are fun, aren't they? At least a little?

My characters Jaden and Adam have plenty of chances to disagree-- and they do! But it helps them learn about each other and gain respect for the other.

Here's one such scene:

“Everything that goes on in this house or on these grounds is my concern. You could have left a note.” Though his voice was low, his tone indicated a clear underlying irritation.

“A note about what?”

“Where you were going, what time you’d be back.” His exasperation came through distinctly.

“Are you always so nosy?”

“Are you always so sneaky?”

“Sneaky?” She stopped the cocoa preparation and turned to look at him squarely.

“You slipped out of the house tonight without a word to anyone about where you were going.”

“I didn’t realize I was under house arrest. I have things I have to do. And I did not ‘slip out’.”

“A million dollars is a lot to pay for an eight hour work day.” He lifted the coffee cup that she hadn’t noticed until that moment.

She felt a wave of indignation wash over her but she held her expression stoically. “This is not exactly a typical business arrangement.”

A long silence followed her statement.

“You’re right.” His words took Jaden by surprise. “For instance, any other time I hire someone, I ask a lot of questions about them personally as well as professionally. I like to know about their families, their interests and hobbies. Their habits. I should have asked more questions about you. My primary concern at the time was that I hire the best therapist for Emily.”

“You did.”

“Yes, but I didn’t think beyond the therapy sessions. I didn’t fully consider all of the things you would mean to Emily besides being her therapist.”

Jaden frowned, wishing she could see his face more clearly. “What do you mean? And what did you mean by ‘their habits’?” She wasn’t sure why but she felt offended by the comment now that she replayed it in her head.

“I expect Emily will get very attached to you. You are a young, intelligent, successful woman and Emily will likely look up to you.”

“And that concerns you.”

“Frankly, yes.”


He came to his feet in one quick, fluid movement. “Because it’s one in the morning
and you’re just getting home.

Let him guess and assume about what you were doing. Make him a little crazy for a change.

“I don’t like that you’re assuming the worst about me. I haven’t given you a reason not to trust me.”

He took a deep breath. “Okay, then, I have only one question for you. Where were you?”

She swallowed hard and tried to get a grip on the thoughts and responses that were stumbling over one another in their haste to make it to her mouth first.

“I was out, Adam. That’s all you need to know.” She added a flip of her hair to emphasize how casual she was about the whole thing.

“Jaden…” He took a deep breath and she saw him consciously work to unclench his fists. It struck her how personal her name sounded from his lips even when he was frustrated. That only increased her aggravation.

His voice slightly calmer, he spoke again. “It is important to me. At least tell me that you weren’t—”

“What? That I wasn’t…doing drugs? Drinking all night at the bars? That I’m not a call girl in the evenings when I’m not at the hospital? Smell my breath, Adam, if you don’t believe me. Diet cola was the strongest thing I had tonight.”

He came toward her quickly and she tipped her chin up to meet his gaze. He leaned in, braced his hands on the counter behind her on either side of her hips and took a deep breath.

She held hers. Having him suddenly this close was overwhelming and she fought to remember what they had been talking about.

He reminded her quickly. “How about all of the above?” His voice was lower now, huskier, and his eyes studied hers closely. “How about reassuring me that you wouldn’t dream of doing any of those things?”

She didn’t like that he doubted her. She wanted to stomp and yell and demand that he believe in her. But at the same time, this might just be perfect. She’d been off-balance since meeting him. He shook her up, as much as she hated it. Clearly her conduct during off-duty hours interested him, and worried him. This might be her chance to turn the tables a bit. Not that getting a man like Adam off-balance would be easy. But it would, very likely, be fun.

“I’ll tell you this much. Drugs and prostitution aren’t my thing.”

He pressed closer and she felt the edge of the counter against her low back. Perhaps it was her decision to try to overwhelm him for a change, but for the first time, when he got close to her, dropped his voice low and looked at her like he wanted to make all of her fantasies come true, she reveled in it.

She found the scent of his cologne and the warmth of the arm braced on the counter beside her appealing rather than aggressive. In fact, this close, she found that his blue eyes, swirling with emotion, were impossible to resist. He was a passionate man. He cared about his daughter, his household, and stood firm in his convictions. It was his unflinching devotion that made her want to know more about him. For instance, what else stirred Adam Steele’s passions?

“So tell me, what is your kind of thing?”

The huskiness in his voice made her nerve endings dance.

She studied his full lips for a long moment before her eyes traced his strong jaw
shadowed with dark stubble. Eventually, she moved up slowly to again meet the midnight blue eyes that seemed to pierce straight through to her soul.

“Arrogant millionaires, evidently.”

As his lips met hers, she momentarily stopped disliking anything about him.
Adam’s lips were demanding as they moved, leading Jaden along on a stirring journey. But his mouth was warm and gentle, the edges of his lips rough from his late night whiskers.

She slid her arms around his neck and let her knees get just a little weak, let her little sigh escape and held him just a little tighter. There were so many things that she wanted to do and say and feel…

Then he pulled back.

She blinked as if someone had flipped on a fluorescent light in a previously pitch-black room. Slowly her eyes focused on Adam’s face.

Adam. Lips. Kissing. Oh, crap.

“Jaden…” His voice was hoarse.

“Don’t.” She focused on the tiny, opaque button on his shirt collar. She resisted the urge to press her lips together, to relive the surprising, intimate moment for just one more second.


Don’t ever stop kissing me.

She was in big trouble.

“Let’s just change the subject. In fact, I think I’ll even change the scenery. I need to go.”

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