Cross-posted from Fire and Ice.
In view of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d talk a little about that all important first kiss in a romance novel.
Kissing scenes are hard to write anyway, but the first kiss scene? Argh! The pressure! The expectations! It makes it all the harder. You have to get it just right, you know? The charged erotic climate. The blossoming attraction between the hero and the heroine that might, juuuust might turn into something more.
You have to nail the sensuality of it. The slow glide, lip to lip. The taste of each other’s mouth. The scent of their skin. The slip of tongue against tongue that sends tremors of want through them both. The twining of their breath, a little bit of their souls. How to get it exactly right… What are their hands doing? Are his hands at the small of her back, holding her flush against his chest? Are hers curled into the fabric of his shirt at his shoulders?
It makes me crazy getting the details straight.
I’m not holding this one up as an example of a good first kiss scene (I’m way too critical of my writing to ever think that), but I do really like this one from an older, less popular title of mine, Water Crystal (Ellora’s Cave).
The room was empty save for the two of them. Steam billowed from the surface of one filled tub. To its right side stood a shelf containing shampoo and soap. On the other side stood a rack of large towels.
Angelo uncuffed her and turned to leave, but hesitated at the door. “Let me check the boards on these windows, Bianca.” He went around the room, making sure the windows were nailed tight enough that she couldn’t pry them off.
“I’m not going to try and escape.”
He turned and gave her a look of disbelief. “After what you pulled at Hank’s, am I supposed to believe that?”
“Angelo, I swear. I’m much safer with you than without you at this point.”
“I agree with you for the first time since we met.”
“The water’s getting cold,” she complained.
“Just give me a few more minutes, okay?”
She gave him that sly, secret smile that was fast becoming her trademark. That smile meant she was up to something. “Well, if you won’t leave me alone, I guess I’ll just have bathe with you in the room.”
Before he had a chance to protest, she unbuttoned her pants and sent them sliding down her legs to pool at her feet. Shapely calves flowing into strong, beautiful thighs met his view. Above that was a peek of blue material under her shirt, blue cotton with tiny, faded red roses.
She kicked her pants away with one slim foot and the smooth muscles of her legs rippled. He couldn’t look away from her. Damn, he couldn’t even move. There it was again—that tightness in his body, settling in his groin. He hated that she had such power over him. He hated it even more that she knew she had that power over him.
Her hands went to the bottom of her shirt, as she prepared to slide it up over her head. Her flat abdomen came into view.
His paralysis broke and he went to her in four fast strides. He caught her hands and pushed them down, forcing her shirt back into place. She looked pleased with herself. Too damned pleased. She knew that she had the upper hand, and that she could bring him to his knees if she tried hard enough. He knew it and so did she.
Playing with fire, that’s what Bianca loved to do…but she could she handle the inferno once it was started? Angelo doubted it. Maybe it was time to turn the tables. Maybe it was time to push her buttons and reveal the truth at the same time.
Winding one arm around her waist so she couldn’t step away from him, he caught her chin in his fingers and tipped her face to his. “Are you going to be ready for me, Bianca, when I finally call your bluff?”
She looked uncertain for a moment. That same raw look of innocence wounded crossed her features. A fake smile flickered across her face. “Bluff? What do you mean?”
He drew his thumb over her lower lip. It was soft and smooth. He couldn’t help but think about how her mouth was going to feel under his, so lush, warm and wet.
“This is what I mean.” He lowered his face toward hers, and he felt her stiffen.
“Look, I’m sorry I teased.” She snaked her hand between them. Her palm pressed against his chest. “This is a bad idea, Angelo,” she whispered so low he almost couldn’t hear her.
He nodded his head slightly, his intent gaze on her lips. “It’s the worst idea I ever had.” He drew his hand from her chin to the base of her spine, and then pressed her into him while his mouth descended on hers.
Her lips were unmoving at first and then her body relaxed, curving to fit him perfectly. Her mouth moved under his, returning his kiss with a sudden urgency. He coaxed her lips apart and let his tongue explore within.
Her hands came up tentatively, fluttering against his arms as though she was unsure what to do with them. She finally curled the fingers of one hand into the hair at the nape of his neck. The other she pressed tight against the back of his shoulder. It almost seemed as though she was willing more of him against her.
Her tongue found his and moved against it artlessly. Her inexperienced strokes simply served to stoke the fire that was already burning hot and high within him. All his resolve about staying celibate dissolved like sugar stirred into water at the press of her lips and tongue against his.
He brought a hand around and cupped one small breast, brushing his thumb back and forth over her erect nipple through the material of her T-shirt. She moaned deep in her throat and arched into him. Reveling in the feel of her taut breast pushing against the thin fabric, he pressed his hard cock against her so she could feel what she was doing to him, and how much he wanted her.
She pulled away a little, gasped, looked surprised for a moment, then smiled and sealed her mouth back on his with a new urgency.
He found the edge of her T-shirt and pushed his hand under it to caress the skin of her lower back. She felt firm and warm. He wanted so much more than she was going to be able to give him. His body ached with the desire to lower her to the floor and help her discover all the ways a man and woman could find pleasure together, because for all her teasing she didn’t know.
He’d been right all along about her. The truth of it was in her kiss. She wasn’t ready for him. Suppressing a groan of frustration, he released her and backed away.
He looked at her and couldn’t help but smile. Now who had the upper hand? It had nearly killed him to get it, but he’d savor it while he had it.