Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sample as orginally written and submitted (blush)

Betsy Williams felt the tears of joy pooling and blinked them rapidly away; nothing should mar this moment for Merci. All eyes were riveted on the newlyweds as Rod lifted Merci’s veil, leaning in to claim his first kiss as a married man.
The wedding, lavish and romantic was the fairy tale ending so many little girls dream of, with an elaborate white dress, a pretty church and, of course, a handsome groom pledging his eternal love. Betsy swallowed a sigh; it’d never been her dream.
As a child, she’d seen too much, to harbor romantic dreams about men. Her mother, Connie had been a beauty with her rich gold hair and hypnotic amber eyes. Her looks hadn’t drawn the men. Her sensuality drew them. A series of men came, city after city and night after night. The men left behind rancid smells, money and, a grumpy, unsatisfied Connie.
By age eleven, they were eyeing Betsy. The following year she ran away to her Grandma’s in Seattle.
Her Grandma welcomed her with open arms and sad eyes. “You’re just like her.”

Grandma had been even stricter with her than she’d been with Connie, grimly determined not to repeat the mistakes she’d made raising Connie. Betsy welcomed the discipline and loved the normalcy of life with her grandma. Where Connie felt smothered and rebelled Betsy felt loved. She loved coming home to the same house day after day. She loved the clean soft smell of lavendar that her grandma used in sachets, the cheery geraniums she planted in window boxes every spring, the smell of fresh bread baking on Saturday morning. Grandma celebrated her schoolgirl victories; she gave Betsy a foundation of love and trust.
Grandma always maintained, “The only thing men are good for is making babies.”
Now, grandma and Connie were both gone. Trying to distract herself and regain her composure she looked around the church. Edward Jamison, Rod’s best man drew her gaze with his intimidating presence. Taller than anyone, but Rod, Edward smoldered in easy grace, despite his formal wear.
Betsy remembered the first time they’d met, but she doubted he did. She’d been out with Merci at the La Plaza Rojo. Edward was dining with Rod. Merci introduced Rod and he’d introduced Edward to them. Rod and Merci only had eyes for each other. Edward looked bored and Betsy felt uncomfortable the way she always did around big aggressive men. Rod and Edward were both like that. Except, Rod didn’t make her nervous since he was so focused on Merci.
A tiny traitorous corner of her soul wished that she held that fascination for a man, but she wasn’t Merci. If she claimed her vixen heritage men responded, but their interest wasn’t romantic. Betsy didn’t confuse love and lust. She understood which one men felt for her.
Betsy darted another look at Edward. There was something compelling about him, if you went in for tall dark and dangerous, which she didn’t, she reminded herself. Attractive in kind of hard-edged way, but more than that - he seemed to ooze testosterone. Edward was the kind of man who made other men suck in their stomachs and stand a little taller and made women walk a little slower and smile a little wider.
His eyes met hers; his look held both a challenge and a promise. Betsy felt that look down to her toes. Like a calf catching a whiff of a tiger, she tensed. This man was a predator and she was fair game.
Men sometimes got the wrong impression about her. She’d inherited her mother’s striking coloring and her lush figure. Normally she dressed carefully to counteract the impression. Tonight Merci had picked her outfit and it reflected Merci’s style not her own. The dress was simplicity itself; a little nothing slip of peach silk that clung to every curve, the neckline a soft drape that gave a man hope.
If seduction had been her goal this would have been the dress to wear. The barely there nude bra with the front clasp and the matching thong made every curve appear flawless. Just the sort of thing that those big hands would enjoy undoing. Suddenly the church felt warm and Betsy felt herself starting to blush. The man had said nothing more to her than “How do you do” and “Pleased to meet you” and he had sounded completely bored. Here she was creating a whole fantasy starring a stranger.
Right then she was sure that what she had feared was true. She had inherited more than just her mother’s good looks; she had inherited her weakness for men too. Her blush grew deeper.
Edward watched as Betsy’s blush deepened another hue and raised an elegant brow in silent speculation. What is that enchanting creature thinking? Could she read his mind? Not likely, he chuckled inwardly. If she could read his mind she’d either be on her back or running depending on her reaction to his erotic thoughts about her.
None of these erotic thoughts showed on his face. Edward looked harsh, even his lips looked cruel, his face, like his body had no soft edges. His hair was thick black and slightly curly, his eyes so dark they seemed black, his skin tanned from days spent outdoors. Even though he was dressed in evening clothes, he looked as if he’d be equally at home in sweats or in nothing at all.
As he continued to watch Betsy he tried to analyze his feelings. He couldn’t remember ever having the reaction to a woman that he had to her. Sure, she was pretty in a doll like way, blonde ringlets cascaded from an upsweep, and her eyes were an unusual light brown with flecks of black, almost cat eyes. She had nice skin, creamy, a great foil for that delicate peachy blush. A killer body, a little too round to be fashionable, but lush breasts and curvy hips were exactly what a lot of men preferred. All and all a very nice package, she smelled good too, clean with a hint of something floral. But none of that explained his reaction to her. He had dated some spectacularly beautiful women and they hadn’t had the same impact as this round little peach.
It was the undercurrent of molten pleasure that she exuded that had him nearly inarticulate. He felt an urge to paw the ground, beat his chest and roar his desire. That would go over big..


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