This week for Sneak Peak Sunday I have a bit of a favor to ask.
Should they....or shouldn't they?
See, here's my issue: In my current work in progress, "Fresh Ice" my two characters, Izzy and Quinn, wrestle with big issue problems about who they are, what kind of person they have become, and, most importantly, can they be saved from what they've become. A movie writer's log line might read "She's an angel in need of rescue. He's a hero in need of redemption. Can they save themselves from themselves?"
First off, i know...thank goodness I don't write log lines for a living.
Second off my big question with this book is, should this be an inspirational novel or a hot and steamy romance?
One might wonder how on earth a story could fall of either side of that coin easily and I'll tell you this: the characters wrestle with some serious moral questions ranging from the evils of drink to abortion. They are two very broken people, but broken in different ways. Quinn, especially, has issues, especially with how he's used women, and how he's now being used by a woman.
So when I get to that moment in the book when they should...you know...I halt and close the door. I've tried writing steamy loves scenes for these people, which is always fun, but it doesn't ring true given 1) Izzy's complete lack of experience with men other than her now deceased husband and 2) Quinn's longing to become a better man by treating Izzy better than he's ever treated any other woman.
With that in mind, tonights sneak peak is a very unfinished chapter, and one I hope you can help me with: At the end...simply leave a comment with one of three answers.
1) Close the door. (Yes they do, but we don't see it.)
2) Bring it on. (steamy love scene.)
3) Ring the doorbell. (Nope, not happenin')
Izzy sat at the table. “This smells amazing.”
“You know, it’s the funniest thing. Breakfast. Breakfast in the morning when the sun is shining.”
“Which is when most people eat breakfast.”
Quinn sat down across the table from her. “I can’t tell you the last time I ate breakfast after four AM and before noon.”
“Well, welcome to the world of normal people, Quinn.” Izzy raised her juice glass in his direction. “So what are we doing today?”
“Today not much. But tomorrow morning, around ten, we have another skate practice scheduled, so rest up.”
“So nothing today. And I’m off today.”
Izzy threw her napkin at him. “Don’t act like you don’t know my work schedule.”
“Okay, fine. I may have checked before making the skate practice.”
“Well, since you’re free and I’m free, I have a proposition for you.” Izzy laughed out loud at Quinn’s lecherous expression. “Really?”
“Sorry. Sorry. Force of habit. Muscle memory. A woman says she has a proposition, my face just falls into that look.”
“Whatever. Do you want to hear my proposition or not?”
Quinn covered his face with her napkin. “Go ahead. I’m listening.”
“I want you to sing.”
Quinn lowered the napkin. “You want me to what?”
“I want you to sing. I want you to go over to Second Chance’s and work out something that that guy…what’s his name?”
“Right. Talk to Chance. I want you to set up a couple dates to sing again.”
“Izzy I told you. That was a one time thing to settle a bet. I’m not a singer.”
The light in his eyes told her otherwise. “Quinn, I’m serious. You got me on the ice again, against my better judgement. You are a very, very good singer. That crowd loved you.” She blushed. “I loved you.”
Quinn dropped his fork. “I’m sorry, what?”
“You heard me. I was standing there, watching you sing that beautiful song, and I just sort of fell in love. With you. The singer.”
Quinn jumped out of his chair, crossed the room, and grabbed his guitar case from the corner near the fireplace. “Geez woman, why didn’t you say that earlier? You love me as a singer? Fine…I will happily serenade you while you eat breakfast. I will serenade the hell out of this breakfast if that works for you!”
“You go for it!” Izzy cheered and she bit into a salty piece of bacon. She watched him move around the room and then sit down with his guitar. His manner changed, as if he were a completely different person. Izzy sipped her juice and waited for him to sing.
His hand trembled with the first chord and he hoped she didn’t notice. What on earth am I doing? I can’t just sing a song here in my apartment, first thing in the morning?
“What would you like me to sing?”
She chewed slowly on a piece of bacon. How is it possible she’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. She’s got bed head and she’s eating bacon?
And if she asked me to swallow crushed glass right now, I probably would.
Quinn took a deep breath. Waiting…not exactly my biggest talent.
“I really, really liked that Night Ranger song you sang at the end.”
“That one? But it’s sad? It’s a good-bye song.”
She set down the bacon and took a sip of juice. Licking her lips, she smiled. “And your voice was ultra sexy when you sang it at Chance’s.”
It’s not swallowing crushed glass, so I’m going to sing it.
Quinn strummed the strings, and hummed a few bars, warming up to the idea that he was sitting in his sweatpants, singing a stripped down version of a sad song to the woman who held his heart squarely in her hands.
Singing like this took him back, back to his mother’s kitchen when he’d sing for his sister. She loved it when I sang. She was truly my biggest fan.
And then I became the biggest ass in the world.
The words stuck in his throat and he stopped singing.
“Quinn? Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he wiped his eyes. “I was just remembering…my sister loved that song.”
“You talked about her last night, too.”
Quinn nodded. “Yeah, I did. “
Izzy set her fork down. “You should call her, Quinn.”
“You should call your parents.”
She bit her lip and for a moment Quinn wanted to curse himself for breaking up a beautiful moment. “I won’t be calling them, there’s no hope there. But you and your sister, you could give her a call.”
Change the subject. Bring the mood back to when she was talking about loving you, you big dumb idiot. “Tell you what. I’ve got another song I’d like to sing for you, if you don’t mind.”
Izzy stood and cleared the plates from the table. “Sure. What do you have in mind?”
Quinn strummed a few chords. He knew she recognized the notes by the way she stared at him.
“Oh Quinn,” her voice was soft as she sat on the floor next to him.
“’If I had another chance tonight, I’d try to tell you that the things we had were right…’”
The song lasted three minutes, but the effects, Quinn sensed, would last far longer. Izzy’s eyes glistened with tears.
“That was beautiful,” she whispered against his cheek.
He set the guitar on the floor behind him. He kissed a tear away from her cheek, savoring the salty taste. Cupping her face in his hands, Quinn kissed her gently, without demand, and waited.
Her return kiss was just as gentle, but confident, and full of promise.
He kissed her again, holding her tighter, one hand smoothing her wild cloud of curls. Her locks were surprisingly soft and untangled, giving way to the slightest pressure from his fingers.