Here is a short excerpt from my contemporary sweet romance WIP, Ruby. They've just broken up and Michael, the sea captain, is about to head to the Southern Ocean in pursuit of the Japanese whalers, leaving Ruby at her boutique hotel in Noosa.
. Blue Moon Rising
Michael had left hours ago. Ruby had stopped staring at the door waiting for his return. He wasn’t coming back. She gave the window a rough push outwards. The night had turned sultry. A Queensland summer night, except it was spring. Was it just her? The heat felt sticky, rivulets of sweat were running between her breasts. Maybe there’d be a storm later to cool things off.
To think of sleep was laughable. A leisurely bath might help. The trouble was her body remembered Michael’s touch. Her body wouldn’t let her forget how it felt to be touched by him. She still felt on fire hours later— she felt lush, like a ripe fruit. Oh to wash those feelings away.
This time the bath hadn’t helped. She lay naked on top of the sheets but sleep was elusive. She felt bereft but this was what she’d asked for. Michael was in his cottage packing his bags, dreaming of the whale hunt instead of sharing a sultry night with her. He’d made it clear where he’d rather be.
With a cry, she flung herself out of bed and slumped at the window. Maybe the fresh air would cool her. She leaned out as far as she could, pushing aside the fragrant fronds of purple wisteria. She surrendered to a shadowy blue moon hovering over the ocean. Ah, the mystery of the blue moon, seductive, like smoothing the sheets on an enticing bed.
She collapsed into bed. She lay there in the dark, eyes wide open, sheets thrown back. She watched the blue moon shimmering on the ornate mirror opposite her bed. Yes! She’d wish on the blue moon. Wished for Michael to come back. What was that old proverb?
If they say the moon is blue, We must believe that it is true.
She was alert to the night sounds—a dog barking, a door slamming, the whisper of tyres from a car going down the hill. Common noises, noises that happen anywhere in the world where there are people, but tonight they spoke to her, the mundane had become memorable. Tonight she had sent her love away.
What if she was wrong? ‘Oh, Michael,’ she cried into the darknening room. ‘I love you, but you aren’t ever coming back.’ Did she hear him whisper, Maybe next time there’s a blue moon?
How well Alicia remembered David’s first gift, a classic perfume from the 60s by Guerlain.
‘Do you like it?’ He'd squirted the air. ‘Mmm, what a bouquet…’
Bouquet? Yes, of cow dung…‘Mmm, a certain something, darling,’ she'd replied.
She’d sprayed it around the apartment with the windows open, in the linen cupboard, in the kitchen bin, even on herself when she had to. If she used her favourite Guerlain classic Jicky, David still thought she was wearing his ‘Ikkie’ (her word.)
Last week she’d been ready when he nuzzled her ear and whispered, ‘Are you wearing my perfume?’
‘No, honey. Perfumes don’t last forever, sadly.’ Thank God.
So, another anniversary, another gift. She loved David, she really did, it was just his taste in perfume she loathed. This box, however, showed promise, nice and small, hmm, maybe...
‘Open it!’ he cried, holding it under her nose.
‘What!’ she squeaked, ‘David, you’ve outdone yourself !’
A minature bottle of ‘Ikkie.’
‘It was an extra they gave me when I bought the last bottle. I kept it for when you ran out.’
‘Don’t you like it darling? I thought you loved that bouquet. Why, I could even smell it in the garbage bin.’
‘David, I must tell you…’
‘Hey, look Allie. Where did that come from?’
He whipped out another little box and flipped the lid.
There, artfully arranged on white satin was the most adorable white gold sapphire and diamond ring.
‘David! It’s exquisite!’
‘And so is my Alicia.’ He knelt on the floor.
‘My darling, will you marry me?’
‘Yes, yes, yes!’
‘You didn’t think I had it in me?’
‘Er, no, of course I knew you did sweetie.’
‘Now, what about your little bottle of perfume?’
‘David, I need a change.’
‘Thought you might say that.’ He winked. ‘Hey, there might be another box...ta da!'
There it was, Jicky, its golden stopper glinting in the morning light.
‘How did you know I like Jicky?’
‘Well, do you really think I couldn’t tell the difference? But I let you go on pretending.’
‘Oh, David. I should’ve been honest. I didn’t want to hurt you.’
‘I know darling. A woman who’ll wear perfume she hates for a year must really love her man. I fell in love with you all over again when I saw you spraying it on, just for me.’
‘Come here love.’ He took the ring and slipped it on her finger.
I hope you liked my story for #RFWer and #Fridayflash. To read more click on the badges in the sidebar.
407 words. FCA
Romantic Friday Writers is a blogfest every Friday co-ordinated by myself and Francine Howarth. It is a fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers who write romantic flash fiction or poetry under 400 words. Click on the icon in my sidebar or the link at the end of my post to check out others participating today or join the blogfest yourself. You will be most welcome. We are also found on twitter. We are @RFWER A winner is awarded the recognition of being the week's Featured Writer.
#Fridayflash is a group of writers who write flash fiction under 1,000 words every Friday to no particular theme. Click on the #Fridayflash icon in my sidebar if you want to access more stories.
The coffee shop was wall to wall with regular customers. Hallie surveyed her domain from behind the counter. She was amazed at the business her little coffee shop drew – locals and foreigners, all meeting together like there was no war happening outside the walls. There was a buzz throughout the room. How did she end up running her business in the middle of a war zone? All she had between her shop and the dangerous streets of Kabul was a flimsy wall. She’d already had her front windows shattered when a bomb went off outside the market. Too close for comfort that one.But I love it here.
He walked in.
She noticed him right away. Being on high alert could be a life saver. He was tall and dark, dressed in black, with eyes hiding behind Ray Bans. A machine gun hung casually over his shoulder, while a sidearm hung from each his hip like he was some Wild West cowboy. Trouble? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe he was just after lunch. Ha! A plate of Qabli Pulao that Shari made so well, perhaps a plate of qorma, a cup of coffee, a platter of melons from Mazar-e-Sharif, or oranges from Jalalabad? Maybe grapes and pomegranates from Kandahar. A girl can dream.
She stepped across the room. “Hey there cowboy! Guns for lunch?”
He eyeballed her through his dark shades, shrugged his shoulders, scanned the room, then handed his armoury to Asmaan. His eyes never left Asmaan as his guns were toted behind the counter. He didn’t move until the lock clicked.
“Now, what’ll it be? Lunch?” she asked, as they sat at the last empty table, the one facing the entrance.
“I’m not so much hungry for food Hallie.” She knew it.
“Why not? We sell the best food you’ll eat in Kabul,” she teased.
He reached across the table and took her hand. She felt the fire.
“The food you can offer me is not to be taken here in a public place.” He brushed her cheek with fingers hardened in battle.
“Is that right cowboy?” Damn her voice for shaking.
Hallie kicked her chair away from the table. He knocked his to the floor. She ignored Asmaan’s smirk as on trembling legs she led her cowboy up the rickety stairs to her room where indeed a feast of a different kind waited.
395 words. FCA
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