Wednesday – What’s the Scenario: “Chemistry”
Today is What’s The Scenario Wednesday. And it’s all about Chemistry 101. We romance readers love our spicy scenes, we crave the hero that makes you swoon with one look from across the room or a touch of your hand. With the growing influx of Erotica some authors forget or miss the special ingredient of sensuality in romance. So we authors would like to give you a snap shot of our favorite scenes that focus on the chemistry of our characters. Also a little insight to why we love our hero and heroines.
Backstory: Lee’s Girls is a three part trilogy. Next week the first installment will be released by Decadent Publishing. Soon after will be the next: For the Love of Chocolat. The scene provided to you today shows the push and pull of love and hate between Lee and his hearts desire Michelle ‘Chocolat’ Dixon. After she’s learned of his betrayal in book one she vows to be free of him. But the only way to do so is to manipulate his heart. The problem is, she can’t untangle hers from his.
Excerpt: The candles twinkled and the strong aroma of melting wax mingled with soft music beckoning her to the back of his estate. All of it made her quite light headed. She emerged into the dining room fit to serve a King’s court. The long dining table was removed for a smaller intimate one. And there was Lee. He turned darkly dressed and freshly shaved. Those eyes that made her knees weak swept over her with approval. She swallowed the nervous knot in her throat as he approached. She straightened her spine and gave him a small smile in return.
“A bit theatrical don’t you think?”
“You look stunning. I knew you would. Absolutely beautiful.” His face came close for a kiss but she sidestepped him.
“So what’s on the menu?” she asked with a casual ease to her tone. She observed the place setting. Silverware and china, with covered plates.
“You.” Lee answered. He was behind her before she anticipated it. His hands smoothly went down the bend of her hips. His lips grazed the exposed back of her shoulder. “How is it that even now you excite me?”
“Maybe you’re just easily excitable?” she said dryly.
Lee chuckled. “I think not.”
His hands flat against her thighs traveled around dangerously high and he spoke his intentions in her ear. “Dance with me first, then we eat. I want to hold you again.” He breathed into her hair.
Michelle sighed. She turned within his hold on her, dropping her arms over his shoulder. Lee approved. They seem to float to the center of the room. It was so effortless being with him.
Lee’s head fit into the hollow between her neck and her shoulder, she felt his breath warming her skin. A series of slow shivery kisses grazed the contour of her neck and her lids fluttered shut. The touch of his hand was almost unbearable as he cupped her below and squeezed. She had no desire to back out of their embrace, to turn from the seductive appeal of his lips on her skin, to stop the massage from his hands or refuse the rub of his hardening cock pressing into her. She had no desire to refuse him at all. She could be angry again later. These moments were the ones they both readily submitted too.
Lee’s lips parted hers and he held her tighter as he gave her a breathtaking kiss. The tug of her hair forced her mouth to capitulate under his plundering kiss. Michelle exhaled once more and chased his tongue with her own. A duel for dominance dissolved to a drudgingly slow playful swirl that explored and claimed her in ways no other man had before.
Finally he released her for air but held firm to the locks at the back of her head. He studied her face, seeking what she didn’t know. Her lids remained heavy as her body warmed all over. She dug her nails into his shoulder swallowing and breathing hard. Lee gave her a familiar dark conspiratorial smirk. The unshakable confidence that made him the best manipulator in the business shone in his eyes. She hated him still. She craved him deeply. Inside she was a confusing mix of indecisiveness. Was he the enemy, her lover, or more?
“Let’s eat,” he said. Releasing her. She resisted the urge to pull him back and kiss him deeper. Brand him the way he branded her. Make him submit.
“Okay.” Is all she said and allowed him to lead her to the table. She sat and a servant poured the wine. The violinist came near the table changing the tempo of the melody and therefore setting the mood. She had forgotten that he was with them. The servant lifted her covered dish to reveal a filet, potatoes and asparagus. Michelle didn’t dare look up. The plan was simple. In order to be free she would have to convince Lee otherwise. But the girlhood crush she carried for years, made her foolish to consider other options. An allegiance with him using the Chalice could liberate them both.
“So you went to see your friend Cosmo today?” Lee asked, cutting into his filet.
Michelle froze, ripped from her inner thoughts her gaze lifted. She swallowed. “What did you say?”
“Cosmo, Pops best friend. You paid him a visit. Do you think he knows where the Chalice is?” Lee asked picking up his red wine and sipping.
“What is this? Are you having me followed?” her brows knitted together in disapproval.
“Don’t be paranoid. I will always know where you are. It’s for your protection–and mine.”
Lee winked. “You’re Chocolat, I know my lady and how sneaky she can be when pissed off.”
Backstory: Black Butterfly was the first Contemporary Romance I wrote. I believe I shared it with my readers in 2005. The story has sat in cold storage without much consideration until now. It’s a tale of a wanna be starlet in the Big Apple. Her chance at becoming one of the few African American Prima Ballerina is threatened by the desires of a ruthless businessman who is the curator of her show. Add in the dynamics of her girlfriends who want success for her and themselves you get a tale of lust, betrayal, lies, love and redemption. The setting before is Faythe facing the Executive Producer after being forced to meet with him for dinner. Though his plan of seduction fails, her reaction to him and his wealth makes him desire her even more.
Excerpt: Faythe swallowed her nervousness and headed toward the host outside the restaurant. “My name is Faythe Taylor. I’m here to meet Nolen Burke.”
The man’s face brightened at the name. Evidently Mr. Burke was a favored patron. “Right this way, Ms. Taylor. Mr. Burke is expecting you in his private dining area.”
The view from any of the tables was spectacular. Couples scattered throughout the restaurant were seated under a drop ceiling, its cross-hatch of light fixtures illuminating the atmosphere romantically. Faythe remained steady on her feet, walking through the restaurant and avoiding eye contact with the diners. The host veered to the left toward a corner separated from the other tables by a wall-high divider made of frosted cubes.
A waiter dressed in white slid the divider open as they approached. And there he was. He rose out of his seat at her approach, and her eyes froze on his form. She took in his tailored dark suit, accentuated by a black shirt and tie. She wondered if his broad shoulders ever tired of carrying the weight of his ego. He smiled charmingly at her, and it was a little disarming. He had clear blue, observant eyes that captured hers. They were so intense that she was the first to break the stare.
“Ms. Taylor, at last we meet,” he said, extending his hand.
Unable to speak, she sucked in the right side of her jaw nervously, then transferred her purse to her other hand to accept the handshake. She was halted by the iron grip of his shake, then soothed by the soft stroke her palm received when their hands parted. He stepped around the table behind her. Placing his hands on her shoulder, he was gallant in his assistance with removing her coat. When he handed her coat to the waiter, Faythe moved instinctively to the side to put some distance between them.
Nolen pulled out her chair, and her temporary shock and shyness finally began to wear off as she accepted the seat. She looked up to see him smooth his tie before taking a seat across from her. Then his eyes focused directly on hers. His every move seemed to be part of a scripted production.
Faythe cleared her throat to speak first. “Thank you for the invitation, Mr. Burke.”
“Call me Nolen.”
“I’d rather call you Mr. Burke,” she said coolly.
He smiled with a raised eyebrow. “I see. Well Mr. Burke is my father. So what about a compromise? You can simply call me Burke?”
Faythe frowned. “OK, whatever. As I was starting to say, your dinner invitation and gifts were very generous, but completely unnecessary.”
“Something wrong with the dress?” he asked, noting she wore a dress that he wouldn’t have chosen. Red was always the color he sent. Annemarie knew better than to deviate from his wishes.
“Yes. I said it was inappropriate.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I don’t know you and I don’t get thrills over gifts from strangers.”
He nodded, but said nothing. Faythe expected some disingenuous remark about wanting to know her better, but instead he just stared at her. His brilliant blue eyes never left hers for a second. She sat back in her chair, trying to understand his intentions. He seemed too well put together to be this easily bored. Why would he even bother to send for her?
“Do I make you nervous?” he asked.
“Why did you invite me here? Is it because of the audition? Are you some rich pervert that gets off on screwing dancers?”
Nolen laughed softly. It was a deep, seductive laugh that she found infectious. She fought against smiling herself. Placing his elbows on the table, he leaned over. A wry but indulgent glint appeared in his eyes. “No, Faythe, I’m no pervert, and actually I’ve never had a dancer make the list of the kind of women I screw. I saw your audition and heard it was your birthday. You pleased me, so I decided to spend it with you.”
She wanted to throw her glass of water in his face. “You––you decided?” she stammered. “Who are you to decide how I should spend my birthday?”
“I’m Nolen Burke, or didn’t you know that before you came?”
“OK, that’s it!” she snapped. “Let’s get something straight. I came here because I want my shot at the ballet, a fair shot, and I wanted to tell you to your face that I wouldn’t screw you to get it!”
Nolen blinked. Sitting back, she saw frown lines deepen between his brow. “Careful, Ms. Taylor, I’m beginning to think you don’t like me.”
Faythe laughed. “How could anybody like you more than you like yourself? Yes, Mr. Burke, I know who you are—some rich guy who buys buildings for a living.”
Nolen smiled. “That’s one way to put it.”
“My daddy had a name for men like you.”
“Your daddy?” he asked, frowning.
“He’d call you horn dogs.”
“Wasn’t that Elvis?”
“Not hound dog! I said horn dog! Men like you preying on women just to dog them around. If you are as rich and successful as those papers say you are, why don’t you find a better use of your time?”
The waiter came over with the wine choice, but Faythe shook her head. “I’ll be going now,” she said, pushing back her chair.
Nolen frowned, waving off the waiter. “Wait. I owe you an apology. Don’t go.”
“I said what I came to say. It’s my birthday, and I plan to celebrate it with people I like.”
He smiled at the way she spoke to him. He hadn’t had someone disagree with his wishes in quite some time. “Ms. Taylor, I do owe you an apology.”
Rising, she turned and asked for her coat. “Thank you again, Mr. Burke. It was nice meeting you.”
“At least have a glass of wine with me.”
She reached for her purse, meeting his eyes. “Why?”
“Because it’s polite. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you all day. Dinner and a drink won’t delay your birthday celebration. Besides, I’d hate for us to part this way.”
“You know, I don’t get you. It can’t be this hard for you to find a date in Manhattan.”
Nolen smirked. “One as beautiful and talented as you? Yes, it can be quite difficult.”
She shook her head, one hand firmly placed on the curve of her hip. “Like I said, thanks, but no thanks.” She flashed him an I’m-not-for-sale-you-asshole smile before turning to leave.
“Faythe,” he said in a smoky voice that gave her pause.
Sighing, she looked over her shoulder at him. “What is it?”
“How’s the foot?”
Her heart surged at the question and she froze. He leaned forward and she saw a devilish gleam tint his eyes, and the corners of his mouth tipped in a mischievous smile. “I must warn you, Faythe, that I’m used to getting what I want. Now you have my attention, so what I want is you.”
In dazed exasperation she stammered out a reply. “I . . . I . . . don’t care what you want. What I have to offer isn’t something you can hang a price tag on, Mr. Burke.”
“Understood.” He gave a curt nod. “Then I’ll find another way. Money is just one of my assets, not my talent. You’ll see that soon.”
Picking up his whiskey glass, he drank a shot and lifted his eyes back to hers. “You have a happy birthday, butterfly.”
She stepped back into the waiter. He had her coat in his arms. Taking it, she rolled her eyes. “You enjoy the rest of your evening,” she said.
Nolen watched her leave, and then his eyes dropped down to his now empty whiskey glass.
“Mr. Burke, can I suggest sir—”
The waiter nodded and walked off. He fished his phone from his pocket, dialing his assistant.
“I want you to find out where Ms. Faythe Taylor works, sleeps, and eats. I want to know everything about her before sunrise,” he said and closed the phone. Rising, he walked over to the large tinted window. Looking down into the street, he saw her tiny image running out of the hotel, her hair blowing out behind her as she flagged down a cab. Though his elevated position made it impossible for her to see him, he noticed when she turned and looked up in his direction one last time before disappearing. Smiling, he walked away.