But now it's
Blog Fest Time!
Here's my entry for Critique This WIP's Flirt Scene Blogfest. Pop on over and read the other entries, whydoncha -- they're hot! Below is just a lil som'thin som'thin I put together for this little event:
Karen crashed her way inside the hauler, fingers already clawing the neck strap of her firesuit away from her throat. After her noisy clamber up the metal steps, the silence drew her up short. She curled her fingers into the padding of her helmet, dangling it from her fingertips like her crew chief's name dangled from her lips. "Lude?" Karen said. "What's going on?"
Silence curled around her like the gloom of the racing hauler. And that's when she became aware of his eyes--and the warning in them. Lude had backed up against the bathroom door at the opposite end of the vehicle, nearly lost in the shadows that yawned around him. But she could see his eyes. They flickered from her to another point in the darkness and back again. She turned, saw Claire, Lude's 10-year-old daughter, the lower half of her pale face covered with the brown fingers of Karen's assistant. They both crouched between the leather couch and the small dining table.
Karen stared at her assistant. "Terri?" But the woman only allowed the barest movement of her head, nodded at something behind Karen. Karen squinted at her, not understanding. Then she felt a pair of hands draw her backwards; she snapped her head around to see Gordon Walker, the reporter from The State. He put a finger to his lips and drew her against him. His heart was a trip-hammer against her back.
"Quiet," he murmured, his voice a warm tremor in her ear. "Look." Gordon eased the trailer door open an inch. The early Thursday morning light drew a silver rectangle around the door. Outside, Pit Row was just coming to life--they'd made it a point to pull into Darlington at o'dark-thirty so Karen Lemmings could whip up some much-needed mojo before qualifiers on Friday. She'd just started to feel it coming back, Lude's new suspension like genius on wheels, when the first black circle had appeared.
A series of strange, metallic pops now ruptured the silence of the track -- a silence Karen hadn't noticed when she zoomed into Pit Row with panic trailing her like a tattered caution flag. From the corner of her eye, she'd spotted the second enormous circle as she rode the high bank of the turn, the grass collapsing in on itself to create a thirty-foot O of darkness beyond the fencing of the RV camping area. She'd wiggled from the number 12 Lady Gillette car, shoved through most of her confused pit crew and clambered up into the hauler, Lude's name on her lips.
But now, she felt Gordon's fingers tighten around her upper arms as another giant circle fell away in the center of the track. Cries went up like a flock of startled birds. Karen pushed her back against Gordon's chest, forcing him backward. The door swung shut. The gray light curdled the darkness of the trailer, and she had to wait for her eyes to adjust. But she felt Gordon, felt his heart, came aware of the stacked muscles of his chest in a primordial way--the solidness of the man behind her spoke to the vaporous panic escaping from her. "And here I was thinking there were earthquakes last night," he murmured against her hair.
When her eyes adjusted, she found Lude's glance locked onto hers. His terrified expression told her that he'd seen the circles appearing, too - but the flatness in his eyes told her he'd seen what she'd done with Gordon the night before. "Are you serious?" Karen whispered. "You're flirting with me now?"
Gordon's stubbly chin grizzled against her cheek. "When it comes to you, I'm always serious," he murmured. "Even with some crazy shit going on."
"What is going on?" This from Lude, who, either spurred by the chaos outside or the chaos in his heart, had advanced part way up the hall toward them.
"Where are your cans?" Karen hissed at Lude, pointing at her ears. "See if you can hear what's going on."
"I know where your cans are," Gordon chuckled.
"If you don't stop right now--" Karen whispered. But her hips, on fire under the heat of his palms, held no such protest.